Columns

Chattering roamed on through the room and trailed out the hallway.

As I walked up to the door I took a deep breath and walked into the room. Waiting there was a room full of journalists sitting at small, lined-up desks.

These weren’t just any journalists, but The South Texan journalists, the ones I looked up to from the moment they introduced themselves.

Three years ago, on a Monday afternoon, was my very first South Texan meeting for a chance to write for the paper.

Never in my life did I think I would have the opportunity to work for the university newspaper.

I always thought it was only for the really talented journalists, not a newbie.

I received my first story for the opening of the women’s center here in Kingsville. After getting my interviews, I sat at my computer writing and rewriting over a hundred times as my sister, who had already written for the paper, went over it with me.

My parents even went over the story and fixed things, and no they aren’t journalists, but it helped.

Before I knew it, my story was printed in the paper that week. It was a feeling I’ll never forget of pure joy to see my name in the newspaper with my story, no one else’s.

From that moment on, my journalism career began. I have been a part of The South Texan newspaper for three years and I have loved every single moment of it.

Sure, there have been ups and downs, but I don’t regret one single bit of the journey.

My career as a journalist wouldn’t be the same without the people I have learned from in my time here, my advisors, Don Fisher and Dr. Manuel Flores.  Without the yelling and lessons from my advisors I would not be where I am today.

I would also like to thank my editors: JJ Adams, Fares Sabawi, and Frank Garza, who took me onto their staff and taught me all of the ropes of not only being a reporter but an editor.  As I get ready to take my finals, I look at not only the fact that I have finished my time here at TAMUK, but my time with my family, The South Texan.

I will miss you all very much. I hope to see you journalists in the near future, covering that breaking news story.

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This is it.

To be honest, I don’t know what to feel. It’s been that way for a couple of weeks now, hence not feeling at all.

I’ve been looking in the mirror a lot lately. The person staring back at me is completely different from the person that I feel like I am.

He’s older, and he’s probably wiser. I want to ask him: are you ready to leave?

I want him to say yes, because if he can fool me, then he can fool anyone.

Because the truth is, I’m not ready. I’ve known that for awhile.

This wasn’t so much of a secret around The South Texan, but I hadn’t wanted the editorship. It was out of my comfort zone, and after seeing my good friend Fares Sabawi wrestle with the responsibilities of the job, I was afraid.

And yet, I applied.

Nobody else wanted the job, and someone had to lead. So I took that step forward. And I learned a quiet truth: nobody is ever ready for the hardships a leader faces.

It was a comforting thought. And at a certain point, you have to learn to push forward despite your feelings.

There’s a point where you say, “I’ll do this because I must.”

If anything, that’s what college has been able to do for me these past four years: force me to deal with situations that were less than favorable to me.

I’ve gotten this far, somehow. What makes the future any different?

It took me a long time to realize this, but the person people see in me is the one I see in the mirror. They see the man who, somehow, managed to figure everything out up until this point. They see the leader who, when he failed, dusted himself off and tried again.

And when I walk out these doors, like so many of my peers, it will be him, not me, that people see with diploma in hand.

The time to say good-bye has come. It is the moment that every college student has been waiting for four long years.

I feel happy but sad at the same time.  In my situation it has been a long journey full of achievements and disappointments.

There were times when I wanted to stop what I was doing and give up.

Luckily, people supported me and motivated me to keep on following my goals.

Thanks to God and my family I was able to get through this, they have always been my biggest supporters and I’m so thankful for that.

My years at Texas A&M University-Kingsville were the best of my life as I had the opportunity to interact with a group of professional individuals at The South Texan and The Javelina Broadcast Network.

Coming to TAMUK is definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. Getting involved with the newspaper was the best choice I’ve made.

At first I was very scared and wanted to quit, but later I decided to just try my best and do it, which I did and it turned out to be a great experience.

I’m thankful for the opportunity given to me by the Chief Editor to serve as the Spanish Editor and Chief Reporter.

I came into this knowing nothing and I’m leaving with a lot of knowledge. There are too many people to mention and too little space, so I just want to thank everyone who has helped, inspired or motivated me.

Without y’all I wouldn’t be here. Thank You!

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Four years up, and four years down. It’s hard to comprehend saying goodbye to The South Texan and this university, too.

When I sat down to write this, I looked back at everything I’ve been through. I remembered my classes, my assignments, my friendships, my relationships, my jobs, and yes, all of my stories

And I realized something. I’m so thankful.

I’m thankful for my professors, their constructive criticism, and their faith in me.

I’m thankful for the opportunities that have come my way, and doubly thankful that I took them up instead of declining them out of fear of failure.

I’m thankful for my friends, who do what friends always do.

I’m thankful for my family. They have always pushed me to do my best, even when I thought I couldn’t do any better.

I’m thankful for just about everyone I’ve come across (especially you, Felicia). They’ve all changed my life in one way or another, and that’s something I’ve learned to appreciate.

Lastly, and most importantly, I’m thankful for the mistakes I have made, and I’ve made a ton of them.

Without them, there would be no guide to go off of. There would be no lessons learned, and no knowledge gained.

Some people want to go through their life without problems.

They just want to cruise on by with no hardships in their way, with no struggles, with no uphill battles.

But you need that. You really do. You need that devastation you get from failure. You need those moments right after you mess up where you ask yourself, “Why did I just do that?”

You need to come to those crossroads where you’re forced to make those tough decisions, and sometimes, you need to make the wrong decision, just to know what it feels like.

It’s an awful place to be, but it’s necessary.

So go out there and mess up. Go out there and make those mistakes. You’ll learn to even appreciate those, too.

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This photo, published with a story on historically high enrollment won an award in the News Photo Category.
This photo, published with a story on historically high enrollment won an award in the News Photo Category.

Another successful time at the annual Texas Intercollegiate Press Association shows the work The South Texan has been able to accomplish last year.

This newspaper competed with other collegiate publications around the entire state, and came out victorious in some cases.

The awards not only recognize the effort our staff puts in each week to print a newspaper, but the creativity and the talent that our staff members use to come up with contest entries on the spot.

Most of the live competitions require on-the-spot spontaneity, and five of us were able to place in contests spanning different mediums.

Whether it’s newspaper, radio or video, communications students are excelling right here in Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

Regardless of who is graduating, I’m confident that The South Texan, Javelina Broadcast Network and KTAI 91.1 will continue operating successfully and spread accurate and vital information for all students.

The field of communications continues to grow vastly, and according to this year’s award results, TAMUK students are on top of the changing times.

All award winners are listed below. If you know one of these students, don’t be afraid to congratulate them for their successful efforts.

Live Contest:

Rey Castillo- Honorable Mention sports writing

Dante Hernandez- 2nd place radio announcing, Honorable Mention Video News

Thalia Perez- Honorable Mention two-person photo essay

Herminio Rodriguez- 2nd place Spanish radio announcing

Fares Sabawi- Honorable mention two-person photo essay, honorable mention editorial writing

Previously published:

Kim Caughman- 1st place editorial cartoon

James Espinosa- 2nd place sports column

Frank Garza- Honorable Mention feature story, Honorable Mention feature photo

Fares Sabawi- 1st place information graphic, 2nd place editorial, 3rd place news photo, Honorable Mention Photo Illustration

D.A. Zapata- Honorable Mention critical review

South Texan Staff- Honorable mention editorial

Kylie Jenner Kylie Jenner is not only famous for her family “royalty” but she is famous for her “perfect” ideas for fashion trends. Just recently, social media has been blowing up with #TheKylieJennerLipsChallenge.

Where girls from all over the world attempt to pursue the lips of Kylie Jenner by suctioning their lips into a glass. Which then makes their lips fuller, and have the allusion of liposuction.

Is it really worth the time and even the risk of serious damage? You would think it would just be a waste of time and nothing bad could possibly happen.

This however has been strongly proven that it can go wrong, very wrong. According to Teen.com, 21 people have proven this, they tried and miserably failed the challenge with horrible lip infections.

The end result is bruised and a lip infection. One guy that goes by the name lookthisnuggets on Instagram even posted that he failed the challenge worse than anyone.

The shot glass shattered over his lips slicing his top lip in half.

After seeing these horrific photos, which if you haven’t seen, you really should.

Before you consider seriously injuring yourself. Is it worth the time to look like you have fuller lips and injure yourself?

Might as well do yourself a favor and just buy some lip-gloss for a few bucks, that can make your lips  full and not bruised and sliced in half. You could even use lip liner to make the illusion of fuller lips.

There are safer ways to attempt this look everybody. Lets not split any more lips. Stay safe and away from glass.

It is safe to say the Javelina baseball team is starting to get into form and play like the Lone Star Conference champions that they are.

With solid hitting and consistent defense, the pitching has been the key for head coach Jason Gonzales and company. Matt Terrones , Hayden James and Ryan Benitez have been nothing less than solid in their past three outings.  With their recent matchup against Cameron University, Terrones followed up last week’s win over nationally ranked West Texas A&M University with a shutout. The lefty struck out four Aggies and allowed just three hits in TAMUK’s first shutout since April 26, 2014 versus Angelo State.

Shortly after, James had another pitching performance to remember as the right-hander finished with an 11-strikeout performance against seven strikeouts in 7.0 innings.

The Aggies were only able to get one hit off the senior as James earned his first shutout as a Javelina.

So with the pitching in form and the offense clicking, Gonzales has to be pleased with the young players that are stepping up. Although the season is still young, these guys are on the right track to mirror what they did a season ago.

The Hogs will be looking to prepare for Eastern New Mexico this weekend in a four game set at Nolan Ryan Field. This will be their first matchup of the season with the Greyhounds.

  Looking at the numbers, the Greyhounds find themselves at the bottom of the LSC in fifth place above Cameron, but you won’t find any of the Javelinas taking them lightly. Look for TAMUK to take advantage of their LSC worst 7.20 ERA with 106 runs allowed.

The Javelinas find themselves at 11-7 and in second place in the LSC with their 5-2 conference record. TAMUK will look to use their .281 team batting average against Greyhound pitching. As for offense, the Greyhounds are hitting an impressive .296 against their opponents but you can bet TAMUK’S big 3 will be up for the challenge.

I look for the Javelinas to win the series 4-0 with the pitching picking up where it left off and the bats doing the same. I look for senior third baseman Cline Andrews to continue to swing the bat with this team leading with a .354 batting average to set the tone for his offense, while Javelina pitching finishes the job.

Stiller and Wilson take the runway at the Valentino show.

Blue steel is back!

For Paris Fashion Week, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson strutted the runway at the Maison Valentino show, where Ben Stiller announced the sequel of Zoolander.

Zoolander, the 2001 comedy is about Derek Zoolander, played by Ben Stiller who is VH1’s three time male model of the year. Hansel, another famous model wins the award instead. This turns Zoolander’s world around.

He retires to find himself and gets hired by an evil fashion guru, Mugatu, played by Will Ferrell. Zoolander thinks things are great working with Mugatu but finds out that he was brainwashed by the designer to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Zoolander takes on this ridiculous but very entertaining journey to stop from killing the Prime Minister.

Stiller and writers have been discussing the sequel for some time now. Due to the 14 years passing, it was hard for them to just pick up where they left off with the storyline.

However this isn’t stopping Stiller and Wilson from bringing back their infamous roles as supermodels. The movie will start as if it’s 10 years later and the models have been completely forgotten.

“In the fashion world, if you go away for a year, it’s changed it just happens so quickly. I think the idea in the beginning of the movie is that it’s 10 years later, and Derek and Hansel are literally forgotten. Nobody remembers who they are, so they have to reinvent themselves,” Stiller says in a MTV interview.

As the sequel has progressed, the writers are finding the actors to fit the roles, just last fall Penelope Cruz had joined the cast. As well as Will Ferrell who will be back with his fierce and hysterical role as designer, Mugatu.

This sequel is so exciting especially for those early 2000 movie lovers.

The late 90’s and early 2000’s were the best comedies so it’s great to see them coming back. According to a tweet from Paramount Pictures, the film will release on February 12, 2016.

Taking math courses in college is not an option but a requirement.

Even if we are not math majors, we are required to take the courses in order to graduate, and if we don’t pass the course, then we fail, can’t graduate, and have to retake the course again.

I am in that situation right now.

I’m struggling to succeed in a math course which I hardly understand and I am pretty sure there are more individuals at TAMUK who are in the same situation as I am.

When I transferred to this university I was told that I didn’t have to take any more math courses. That was one of the happiest moments of my life.

But as luck would have it, my adviser told me last semester that I had to take one more math class.

That didn’t make sense to me. Why didn’t she tell me that when I first enrolled?

Well, I had no other option than to enroll in contemporary mathematics,  which is supposed to be pretty easy, according to my adviser.

It turned out to be more complicated than other math classes I’ve taken in the past.

I have had an ugly experience trying to figure out math problems and failing.

The professor has office hours for us to go and ask for help, but unfortunately I have to work and it’s hard for me to find the time to stop by her office.

The other option was the tutoring center located at the library, which the professor encouraged us to visit.

I did visit them, but unfortunately the tutors were not able to help me with my homework.

This caused panic and concern for me. If I don’t pass this course then I will not graduate and like I mentioned before, I am not the only one with this problem, because the majority of the students in my class are struggling as well.

I really want to emphasize this:  TAMUK needs to make sure there is legitimate help being offered to students before offering a class.

I was about to give up when the light in the dark tunnel finally turned on.

After all my struggles, one of my friends offered to help me.

It took my friend a good amount of time for himself to figure out everything. But after he explained everything to me everything was easier for me.

Now thanks to my friend, there is still hope for me. I just hope that my classmates find help as well.

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March is the month we remember women’s history.

I think to myself, what I could ever do with my life that could compare to the women we remember on this month?

Ann Frank wrote a diary once.  I know I’ve attempted to write a diary, but who knows where that notebook ended up?

Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back of the bus. I never liked walking all the way to the back either.

Mother Teresa established the Missionaries of Charity through the Roman Catholic Church.  With my Christian, background I actually have been able to participate in a few missionaries myself.

Amelia Earhart was the first female to fly solo.  Well, I’ve been flying solo for a few years now and finally got somewhere, too.  No more single ladies song for me.

Gertrude Ederle, also known as the “Queen of Waves,” was the first lady to swim across the English Channel.  I once raced my younger brother across the other end of the pool. I didn’t win of course, but I got halfway through it.

Truth is at this point of my life, 23-years-old broke college student living at my parents, I still haven’t even gotten close to what can compare to the accomplishments of these women.

But what I can say as far as accomplishments for such a woman as myself?  Yes I am just like any ordinary person.

Yet, I endured the many years of bullying all through elementary and high school and even the bullies of today.

I was able to get through the struggles of being a victim of sexual abuse.

I was able to beat the odds of even being able to step foot into a college because of my learning disability.  Now, I’m going to finish my last semester in college.

I am a woman of valor.  Now I’m not someone who stands out or anything,  but I am someone who has fought the many battles of life – just like you.

Some don’t make it in life.  Fortunately, I chose to use my struggles as my strength.

I chose to use it to love others, not hate.  I chose to help others with it and not fight back.

Today I am someone who cares and loves my family deeply.

I am someone who has traveled.  I have experienced the good and the bad in life and more to come.

These women chose to make a difference in one way or another or maybe didn’t even know they would make a difference.  Regardless, it’s the choices in life that shape us to who we want to be and what we want to do with what we have, in spite of  the challenges that may come.

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