Category Archives: Experience

Favorable Underdogs

While favoring the big dog is often the most logical choice, favoring the underdog is often the most irresistible one.

The story of the underdog is a story that we can all relate to. I believe the reason why we want the little guy to take down the bigger guy is because we all feel like the small guy sometimes. When we watch the guy who isn’t expected to succeed do great things, it gives us the idea that we, too, can accomplish bigger things in our own lives. The triumph of the little guy gives us the “take on the world” attitude.

Sports are the easiest way that we convey our feelings about the little guy. Honestly, what sports movie is not about an underdog? From Seabiscuit to Cinderella Man to Rudy, it appears the underdog dominates the film industry, our hearts and imaginations.

Odds are, if you haven’t rooted for the little guy, you have bought your ticket to hop on some band wagon.

Some famous underdogs include Tom Brady, the 1968 New York Jets, the 1980 USA Hockey team, Rudy, Upset vs. Man O’War (100-1 0dds), Buster Douglas vs. Mike Tyson, Bob Knight vs. his temper, Tiger Woods vs. everyone, and Ricky Williams vs. weed.

Another prime example, and my personal favorite, is the 2005 NCAA National Championship football game. The USC Trojans, one of the most prestigious teams in all of football, were playing for their third straight title. On the other end of the field were the Texas Longhorns, who had not won a championship since 1970. All year, the Trojans were ranked number one, and Texas two. Reggie Bush won the Heisman Trophy and Vince Young came in with a second place finish.

The game was primarily back and forth until 2:09 left in the fourth quarter. USC was on its way to a victory, all they needed was two yards on fourth down to seal the deal. The Longhorn defense had other plans. Texas’ defense held USC to get the turnover on downs. The championship came down to fourth down and five from the USC eight yard line, Texas’ last chance at victory. With 19 seconds to play, quarterback Vince Young ran the ball into the corner of the end zone to put the Trojans in their place. Young finished with 200 rushing yards… Bush had an unimpressive 89.

The story of the underdog will always be one that I tell and retell the most. There truly is nothing better in sports than watching David kill Goliath.

The underdog will always be the favorite.

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What do your dreams mean?

Ever had one of those crazy dreams where you woke up and wasn’t completely sure the dream wasn’t reality?

Well that happened to me last night. I dreamt that I was fired from my job for some random reason. Obviously, it was a dream or I wouldn’t be writing this right now. Or maybe, no one has the heart to tell me to go home….

Anyways, this post is not about my dream, but about dreams in general.

After my crazy dream, I began to wonder. What do dreams mean? I know it would be crazy to try to answer this question in a few paragraphs, but I would like to share some interesting information I have came across.

First of all I found an online dream dictionary, where you can look up certain elements of a dream to see what it symbolizes. Let’s try it out. Let’s say I had a dream about chocolate. First of all, I love chocolate so this might not be too far-fetched. What would you say that symbolized?

The Dream Dictionary says, “To see chocolate in your dream, signifies love, celebration and self-reward. It also denotes that you may be indulging in too many excesses and need to practice some restraint.”

What about dreaming about being in an airport?

“To see a busy airport in your dream, signifies the desire for freedom, high ideals, ambition, and hopes. It is an indication that you are approaching a new departure in your life. Some new idea is taking off or is ready to take off. You may be experiencing a new relationship, new career path or new adventure.”

So if you’ve been having some strange or reoccurring dreams, maybe your mind is trying to tell you something. Let us know, what do you dream about?

Always on My Mind

Travel is my favorite thing in the world to do. Plane trips, road trips, boat trips, family trips; even just driving around the Dallas metroplex makes me happy. Being on the move is almost a must-do for me. I can’t sit still! I gotta go!

This is the paragraph where I get to brag and tell you all the places I’ve been. I am 20 years old and have covered 40 states. In Texas, my travels extend from Texarkana to El Paso and from Amarillo to Corpus Christi. My abroad travels include Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Northern Ireland and England (which I will get to further experience in 6 days as I take a Study Abroad class in Oxford). Actually, my only England experience so far has been in the London-Heathrow airport for a few hours, so I’m not sure that counts. During Study Abroad, we will hit up France, Germany and possibly a couple other places. Yep, when it comes to traveling, friends, I’ve been everywhere (so I like to think).

Aside from studying in Europe and a possible road trip to Wyoming this summer, there is one destination I have been waiting to arrive at for several years. This destination has eluded my arrival ever since I was an early teenager. I have seen my family go seven times and have even been promised to be taken along, but those promises have come up short. I tried to go last summer, but my unprepared plans fell through. I am talking about Africa; poor, desolate, vibrant, beautiful, hungry, malnourished, majestic, wonderful Africa. On July 28, I will be on my way to Mozambique by way of Beltway Park Baptist Church for a mission trip with Iris Ministries. Finally, Africa is firmly in my sights.

But this coin has two sides. Sure, my shot at Africa has been assured, but why I’m going to the Motherland is far greater in purpose than a simple, selfish travel experience. Our trip is entirely focused on the people of Maputo. My team and I are staying at the children’s home which has around 500 children whose parents have died, abandoned them or have AIDS. Some of these kids were sold as slaves and prostitutes, even at toddler’s age. Our job and mandated mission is to love these kids with all our hearts by praying over them, eating with them, playing games and telling them about what Jesus did for them. But our service is not limited to the orphanage. Teams will be assembled to go into the hospitals and the streets of Maputo to evangelize and pray over the sick. The city dumps will be a hot spot as we sit in the trash with the poor who have nothing and no one. We are going all-out. I am longing for the culture shock and the rugged conditions of seeing widespread poverty, hunger and lack. I have always had a heart for mission work and I hope to continue it my entire life.

But one thing we will keep in mind, the ones we are serving are greater than we are. Yes I said it. The naked, hungry, diseased homeless man in the dumps is better than I am. I will be there to learn from him, not vice versa. Complete humility is the goal for me; the people of Mozambique have already achieved that. Africa is the birthplace of humility and lowliness which are two of the greatest qualities when talking about the Kingdom of Heaven. My team and I are servants of an inverse Kingdom that cannot be shaken. Who can stand against it?

My favorite quote of all time comes from an athlete-turned-missionary, C.T. Studd. The English cricketer served as a missionary in China, India and Africa from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. He famously said:

“Some wish to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.”

On paper, Africa will be another box that is checked on my list of places to go. In eternity, Africa will go further than I have ever been. Happy trails.

Friction

Since the death of Osama bin Laden, there has been a lot of back-and-forth between Christians and American patriots. On that note, there has been even stronger differences amongst Christians, I feel. One of the big questions Christians are asking themselves is, “Should we be celebrating death?” I want to explore the arguments for both Christian viewpoints and discuss a Biblical view. There are highly intelligent people giving reasons to indulge in the swoop of national pride Americans are feeling, and there are equally intelligent people arguing for a more Biblical worldview. So let’s take a step back, stop shouting, catch our breath, and look into the teachings of Jesus.

First we will take the case of the “patriotic Christian”. The patriotic Christian loves his country; from unalienable rights, to our founding fathers, to the constitution, the patriotic Christian upholds his history. He raises his flag and recites the pledge of allegiance that brings him a sense of pride, honor and the freedom that God has blessed him with. He holds true that God has had a helping hand in the development of this fine nation. He supports his troops and prays they can return home safely, and is saddened when one falls. But most importantly, he believes in the Holy Bible.

The patriotic Christian views the death of Osama bin Laden as an act of global justice that brings the nation one step closer to peace and security. He found the news of bin Laden’s death to be a victorious day for America. This view comes out of a love for God and country. To back up his feelings towards injustice, he may resort to the Bible to show that bin Laden may have had this coming. For example, King David writes, “that you may plunge your feet in the blood of your foes…” (Psalm 68:23 NIV). Another popular scripture that the patriotic Christian loves to use also comes from the ancient Israeli king, saying, “O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me” (Psalm 25:2 NKJV). These verses emphasize triumph and victory with the help and support of a loving God. Patriotic Christians may say justice has been served, and the Bible supports this claim.

So, what about the other Christian view? You know, the view that says Christians should not celebrate the death of bin Laden. We will call these Christians “Kingdom Christians” because of a focus on Heaven as a nationality rather than American nationality. Kingdom Christians see themselves as aliens in the United States, even if they were born here. The Kingdom Christian sees the United States as secondary in terms of allegiance. They hold the words of Jesus to be true, practical, and relevant to today’s society. They may see the Christian worldview as superior to any other worldview. They find freedom in relationship with Jesus, not in the nation’s constitution. The Kingdom Christian holds the view that God’s grace is available to everyone who calls on the name of Jesus, even if they are murderers.

The Kingdom Christian views the death of Osama bin Laden as an act of anger and revenge that was acted out of a bitter heart rather than godliness. They find the news of bin Laden’s death as saddening because the Kingdom Christian realizes that a man who did not know Jesus will spend an eternity in crisis. This view comes out of the identity of a child of God. The Kingdom Christian will instantly look into the teachings of Jesus to settle his argument. He will take verses such as, “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you…” (Luke 6:27 NKJV). He may even quote outside of the New Testament from the book of Ezekiel and say, “As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live…” (Ezekiel 33:11 ESV). Kingdom Christians find the thought of bin Laden surrendering to Jesus in his final moments to receive forgiveness, ultimately enlightening. Kingdom Christians say love your enemies and the Bible supports this claim.

So where are you? Personally, I give my allegiance to the Lord before I ever consider pledging to the United States. I uphold the Kingdom Christian worldview.

Where is the line? Who is crossing it? And where is Jesus in all the friction?

The Duty of a Broadcaster

This past Thursday, we had a tornado drill at the Don Morris building, where KACU is housed. I received an email earlier that week explaining what each of the faculty members should do, evacuation routes, etc. But one thing that really got me was that it said that the on-air announcer had to stay behind to relay information, had this been an actual tornado, and at the time of the drill, I was the on-air announcer.

At first I was a little uncomfortable. While everyone else evacuated to safer grounds, I was supposed to stay where I was: in a radio control room surrounded by soundproof windows. I thought, sarcastically, “Wow! I sure feel safe!” But upon further thinking, I began to realize that this was really part of the job.

As a broadcaster and journalist, it’s my duty to relay the important information that others need to know, and to tell the story of what’s happening in what might not always be the safest area. While most broadcasters aren’t directly in harm’s way as often as, say, the armed forces, there are still times when disaster strikes in the blink of an eye, and we need to be there to tell the story, and give the information as it happens accurately and efficiently.

There are some journalists and broadcasters who are in harms way just about as often as our troops, because they travel with our troops. They relay information and stories from the battlefield back home to a country who is concerned about their sons and daughters fighting abroad. Other broadcasters and journalists spend weeks on end in extremely hostile areas such as Libya and Syria, where free speech and press is anything but encouraged. But it’s all part of the job, and some people like Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, two photojournalists killed in their line of duty this week while reporting on the ever-violent situation in Libya, put it all on the line and made the ultimate sacrifice to get the message out, in a land where the media is conspicuously controlled.

Now, as I begin to move more into the professional field and begin to wonder how much more my chosen occupation will ask of me in the near future, I realize that sometimes the situation will call for me to be in the path of the storm. It will ultimately be up to me to have courage to stay calm and tell the story when more people than ever will want to hear it. It will be easy to just run away, but if I don’t tell the story, who will?

Good Ole’ Home Remedies.

The other day, a friend shared via Facebook that her little boy wasn’t feeling well. He was sick throughout the night, and the poor child couldn’t even keep water down. Another friend commented that to keep her son from getting dehydrated, she should prepare some jello.  But instead of placing it in the fridge to solidify, she should pour it in a glass and let it cool room temperature. Apparently, this recipe made a homemade version of Pedialyte. The friend swore by it, saying that it was not only cheaper than the store bought drink, but also that children tend to like it  better because it can be made in a variety of flavors.

This got me thinking, what other home remedies are hiding out there. I remember when I was little, my grandmother had a book titled, Natural Home Remedies. This book had a homemade answer for everything. Back then I didn’t pay attention to the huge book, now I am more than curious about successful home remedies.

I found a great collection of unusual home remedies on The People’s Pharmacy’s website, a show that you can catch on KACU Wednesday at 1pm.

Here are some I that found interesting:

1. Black pepper for cuts: I have always heard that if you are clipping your pet’s nails and you accidentally draw blood, place the paw in a pile of pepper. Well, did you know that you can put a bit of pepper on a cut or gash? It is supposed to stop the bleeding sooner and help the injury heal with minimal scarring.

2. Chocolate for hiccups: This remedy sounds delicious. Next time you get a case of the hiccups, grab a handful of chocolate chips. I think I feel a case coming on right now.

3. Coffee for asthma: This one is only considered a short-term remedy. For relief from wheezing, if the medicine will take a while to reach, a couple of cups of coffee could gave some relief. The caffeine in coffee is similar to the asthma medicine, theophylline.

There are many other remedies on The People’s Pharmacy, posted by experts and listeners.

A reminder that home remedies should not substitute for doctor and medical care. Should you encounter an emergency, contact medical professionals immediately.

Do you have a home remedy that you think everyone should know about? Share with us, I would love to hear it.

Fly Thoughts

It’s funny how ideas can slip away from you. They are so fragile and delicate that most of them must be spoken out loud immediately, or else they lose their effectiveness and meaning. Even the idea I had for writing this post has slowly melted and decomposed the longer I have held on to it. But I’m going to try it anyway.

I recently came across the idea of thoughts and ideas acting like sand in your grip. No matter how tight you hold on to the sand, almost the same amount of sand will escape your hand every time. The “theory” is that the longer you hold on to your thoughts, the less meaning they hold. Let me give you an example. Have you ever been in a rapid-fire conversation with two or more people when countless topics arise in a short period of time? You could be talking about the greatness of baseball which leads your friend into a semi off-topic mockery of the Florida Marlins because he is a Phillies fan. That short conversation about the Marlins urges your other friend to talk about the Coral Reef because he happens to be a preservationist. That conversation leads to a discussion about life, which leads to aliens, which leads to God, which leads to Mozambique, and so on.

Eventually, your ideas that you wanted to share about baseball have diminished and lost most of their meaning. In fact, it would even be kind of awkward to bring baseball back up after all that chit-chat. Although you desperately want to discuss your baseball ideas, because of the wild goose chase conversations, the way you wanted to express your ideas have almost entirely gone.

This is actually kind of weird because I had the idea of writing about this while having a conversation with Dave Smith, the director of operations here at KACU. That conversation happened almost two weeks ago. Now, I have fallen victim to the very thing that I am blogging about! I feel as though my ideas have slightly slipped through my mind and I only have the leftovers to post to this blog.

I wonder if you have any thoughts on this idea. I think we have all been victim of the “sand in hand” conversations. If you do have thoughts on this idea, I would urge you to share it… as quickly as you can.

Why rumour spreads

The tsunami, earthquake and nuclear plant explosions in Japan are devastating. But some relevant information that is spreading quickly is more shocking to me. The other day, I read an article on one of my net pal’s blog. He forwarded it from a person, declaring that the nuclear pollution is actually caused by Japan’s atomic bomb test. At the beginning of the article, the author gave the source of the news: PhoenixTV.

PhoenixTV is one of the most famous TV stations in Hong Kong which is considered one of the most relatively objective news sources in China. To confirm the information, I searched their news website.

Japan’s earthquake was on the front page and is presented as special coverage with lots of reports. I searched carefully, and did not find anything about Japan’s nuclear bomb test. I searched “Japan’s atomic bomb test” on google and found out the information and analysis of this “atomic test” are all from personal blogs, which none of the mainstream media has reported.

Dongsheng Li, one of my net pals, forwarded the article. “I swear I will never buy Japanese products,” He commented, “I will never need Japanese products, no matter whether I live or die.”

“PhoenixTV never reported that Japan is having atomic bomb tests. The source is wrong.” I texted Li.

“I have knowledge on military affairs. You need to know better.” Li said. He avoided my point.

“I am not a scientist, but I study journalism. I know how to distinguish false news from the truth according to its source.” I replied.

We started arguing. My point was this information is not from any reliable source, and actually, the person who wrote it lied about the source. I didn’t think a person that lied about the source in order to add credibility to themselves could be objective.

Li did not confront my question at all. All he said was that Japan definitely has the ambition to make their own atomic bombs. Li did not argue with me about the credibility of the source, but kept avoiding my question and only focusing on his assumption.

“The information is too sensitive. They will not let journalists know.” This is Li’s most shocking statement about why the mainstream media did not report it.

The article Li forwarded looks rational. The author used a lots of terminologies and pictures to illustrate his opinion. The thing is, ordinary citizens have no idea about these terminologies and science theories. That’s just like fictional story created in a imaginary context. In the context the author creates, things make sense, and yet they are not true.

Japan invaded China during the World War II. China built several museums to remember the war. In China, every student learns about the war in schools. The hatred from history still exists, and that leads to an important reason why rumor spreads.

One reason that rumor prevails is that it gives people what they want, or it confirms people’s imagination. As long as someone presents the information with the six elements of news, and it fits people’s appetite, it spreads quickly.

Critical thinking skills are important to individuals. Unfortunately, most people don’t think rationally and objectively because doing so requires energy, time, and may even cause anguish and exhaustion. However, without thinking rationally and independently, people will be always following their feelings, create false emotions and make bad decisions.

Winning, and What Comes After

Last week, my fellow Journalism Mass Communications (JMC) colleagues and I attended the annual Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA) conference in Fort Worth. There we attended seminars on how to improve our craft. We also competed against colleges and universities statewide in on-site and mailed in competitions. As is well known by now, KACU cleaned up, and usually does at this event’s competitions, consistently beating out the even likes of TCU’s prestigious Schieffer School of Journalism. I believe Charlie Sheen put it best when he said, “Winning.”

Now it’s pretty easy to get a big head over this, and many people would. At last year’s awards ceremony in Kerrville, when my name kept getting called for 1st place, I wasn’t sure how I should feel. I’m anything but a conceited or overly proud person, but I had obviously hit a good groove. After I got home, I also began to wonder what I should do as far as my journalistic work from that point forward. It had already seemed like I hit the top… where do I go from here?

Many sports heroes retire when they feel satisfied with their career. But I’ve barely started mine. What’s worse is that you don’t get any judges’ feedback on your entries, so you don’t know where, if anywhere, to improve. There was one mailed in competition that I got 2nd place in: Radio Production, where I entered my weekly radio show, “Eye on Entertainment.” As a result, I changed up its format, and made it a longer, 10-minute show. One of these new format shows won 1st the Gutenberg student competition late last year, so I considered it a success.

Fast forward to last week’s awards ceremony in Fort Worth. I still won awards in each competition I entered, but there weren’t as many 1st’s as last year. “Eye on Entertainment” even got second again in Radio Production. Now, don’t get me wrong. I was still proud of these accomplishments, but the big question in my mind was if I had actually taken a step backward? Was last year a fluke?

After mulling this over the past week, I realized that wasn’t the case. Even if I had a perfect year of placing first in every competition I entered, the competition is going to improve for next year, and the challenge is to always continue to improve with them. I already know of ways to continue to improve my craft for next year’s competition, which would be my last year of eligibility for the contest. More importantly, the professional world is a completely different ballgame, and I have steps to take for my work to make the cut in that hostile environment. So, in a way, I don’t have time to get a big head over the results. I have to reformulate my strategy constantly to keep up with this rapidly competitive battlefield.

Food Optimists

The ACU Locavore Club will host the Just Food Fair at ACU’s Moody Coliseum with renowned author Joel Salatin.

The Just Food Fair is intended to help students and ACU discover how locally grown food systems can benefit particular aspects of agriculture, community, culture and the body. Educating students and ACU about the Locavore Club philosophy is the goal of the Just Food Fair.

The philosophy of the Locavore Club is “to promote the health, environmental, social and spiritual benefits of locally-grown food, and to participate in sustainable, small-scale agricultural systems,” according to the club Facebook page. The fair will host a farmer’s market from 4:30-6:30 pm tonight.

“The Just Food Fair is a more equal and just system to produce and consume food,” said Jon Camp, assistant professor of communications.

Matthew Hale, senior communications major from Uvalde serves as president of the Locavore Club. Hale said that the ACU Dining Services are more open to the thought of switching to the Locavore philosophy than he thought. Hale believes the switch in philosophy is a choice of morality.

“Real food truly nourishes producers, consumers, communities and the earth,” Hale said.

Joel Salatin, a Virginia farmer and author of You Can Farm, will be the featured speaker. Salatin raises livestock at Polyface, Inc using natural methods for feeding and production of meat. Salatin made an appearance in the 2008 documentary film, Food, Inc. examining commercial farming.

“He’s a real crazy farmer guy,” Hale said.

Salatin and the Locavore Club ate at Bonterra Blu in Clyde last night where Chef Joel Trublood has a similar food production philosophy as the Locavore Club, according to Hale. Dinner is $50 per plate with all proceeds going to the Locavore Club. Locavore members served tables and had a maxed capacity.

In the middle of the Just Food Fair, Salatin will speak during a 2-credit Chapel forum from 5-6 pm. He will sign autographs until 6:30 pm. The World Famous Bean will be offering an organic meal option for dinner. The meal will cost two meal plans.

Salatin’s final stop will be in the Brown Library Atrium for a coffee house discussion where Salatin and a 6-7-farmer panel will discus farming philosophy and local farming missions.