Monthly Archives: September 2010

No Impact Week: Farmer’s Market

Sustainable goods draw crowd to the Quad at Texas State

Yesterday’s No Impact Week farmer’s market was a hit with the Texas State community. Dozens of vendors sampled organic and sustainably produced goods, including teas, soaps, local honey, produce, Fair Trade coffee, tamales, pastries and meat pies. The event was part of the Common Experience 2010-2011 theme of sustainability.

Shelby Moss, from Little Shoppe of Health in San Marcos, tells Michelle McGee and Sarah Weathersby about the health benefits of different teas.

Round Rock Honey is produced in Round Rock using bees that collect pollen from wildflowers, a specialty for honey. Owner Konrad Bouffard offers bee keeping classes through the Austin Nature Center, for all you aspiring honey harvesters.

Ivaly Sanford weighs peppers for customers at the Scott Arbor produce stand. Scott Arbor offers community supported agriculture (CSA) subscriptions that include delivery of about 7 lbs. of fresh, seasonal produce to customers each week.

Shad Smith and Kendall Watkins of Full English, a cafe in South Austin, sold meat pies and other pastries from across the pond.

Texas State Faces: Football on Wheels

Unicycle football in San Marcos; photo by Jose Ole

Unicycle Football League finds
its balance in San Marcos

By Britney Munguia

Who has a fantasy about playing football on a unicycle when they’re 9 years old?

Marcus Garland, that’s who. The Texas State senior founded the Unicycle Football League in San Marcos during the summer of 2008.

After he finalized the idea and enlisted Austin’s Ozone Bikes to sponsor the league, more than 15 people bought unicycles within the week and began to practice. He’s since gotten The Hub, a San Marcos bike shop, to help out by cutting the costs of unicycles so everyone can afford to play.

Currently there are five teams in the league – the Berzerkerz, Gnarwhals, Hot Dogs, Unicychos and Illeagles – with a sixth, Hell on Wheel, in the making.

Garland says unicycle football is constantly evolving as ridership and skill levels increase. New rules, such as replacing the traditional coin toss with a joust on unicycles, are always being added, helping to create new dynamics for the game.

“I know that unicycle football sounds like a strange fantasy, but I’ve been a juggler and unicyclist since the age of 9,” says Garland.

The Unicycle Football League accepts new members 18 years old and up, and anyone is welcome.

“If you don’t know how to ride a unicycle… no problem,” says Garland. “We have extra unicycles and plenty of people willing to teach new riders.”

Just like football, the Unicycle Football League has a cheer squad of its own, known as the “Unibrawdz.”

“They are far more than your typical run-of-the-mill cheer squad,” says Garland. “They promote our games, latch hands and become our field-goal post and much, much more.”

Since turning his dream into reality, Garland is excited about the Unicycle Football League continuing on well past its sixth season.

“Pedestrian football,” he says, “is so outdated.”

Unicycle football games are held every Sunday at the farmer’s market lot in downtown San Marcos. The next game is Sunday at at 4 p.m.

Spotlight: Texas State History Club

What’s the highlight of being a student at Texas State?

As part of No Impact Week, the History Club held a book sale on the Quad to find new homes for old books. After a discussion of the geopolitical motives at play in the Pacific Theater during World War II, members of the club took time to share their thoughts about Texas State.

Eva Johnson
Denton, Texas
Public Administration ‘11
“The best thing, for me, is just the experience of being here. I wanted to try something new, to meet new people, different people, and be in a new environment. I’ve really found that here. And it’s made me want to go out and try more new places and new experiences.”

Eric Hawes
Port Aransas, Texas
History Education ‘12
“I transferred here from a really small college. I thought it would be a hard adjustment, but it wasn’t. I love it here. I love the people. Everyone is really friendly. The teachers and the classes are really interesting. And there’s lots to do. I’ve found tons of ways to get involved.”

Nancy Nerio
Donna, Texas
History ‘12
“The highlight here is certainly the diversity. It’s much more diverse than where I’m from. Seeing all the cultures and ethnicities and different ways people think is really wonderful. And everyone is very friendly. I really appreciate that.”

William Greene
Snyder, Texas
History ‘12
“I transferred from a community college, and this is such a different environment: more people, more avenues of education, more opportunities. From the first day, it’s been an enlightening experience.”

Patricia Ayling
History ‘14
“The history learning community I joined has really opened my eyes to what’s out there. I’ve met people, gotten involved, and I’m more outgoing. I also like the culture here at Texas State – it’s very diverse and open.
And it’s a very pretty campus.”

Bobcat Faces: John Luna

Building A Solid Future

By Billi London-Gray

John Luna is building his future according to a master plan. His studies will prepare him for a career in the construction industry, but, Luna says, it’s the lessons outside the classroom that give him a good foundation for life.

The engineering technology major at Texas State University expects to succeed his father as owner and president of Monolite Systems, LLC, in Houston, his hometown. Luna’s degree will include a specialization in construction engineering technology and a minor in business administration.

“I came here with the impression that I would pursue industrial engineering,” Luna says. “One day while waiting for an advising appointment, I ran across a pamphlet for the construction technology program. I read a little about it and immediately switched.”

Luna has high hopes for continuing the success of his father’s business, thanks to the specific career preparation of his degree program. He credits his on-campus activities with doing just as much to help him become “a very successful man” one day.

Luna has been involved with several on-campus organizations, including the Black Student Alliance, Black Men United, the Association for General Contractors and the Hispanic Business Students Association. Coming from “a strong, prideful Puerto Rican and Dominican background,” Luna says he has enjoyed the networking opportunities within these groups.

Overall, the activity that means the most to him is his involvement with PAWS Preview, a program that helps new students transition to college life.

“I have really stuck with PAWS Preview,” Luna says. “Through PAWS, I have learned so much about leadership and integrity, and a lot about myself.”

Luna worked as a peer assistant leader (PAL) in PAWS his freshman year and is in his second year as a co-chair, a year-round leadership position.

“As co-chairs, we work the entire year to make sure the PAWS Preview production in the fall will run smoothly. We hire a team of PALs and train them to help new students get acquainted with our lovely campus and learn the necessary ‘just-in-time’ information.”

John says the role fits him perfectly. He gets to introduce new students to the campus he loves while sharing his enthusiasm for the school’s spirit and diversity. He also enjoys being the “back support,” as he puts it, for his friends, co-workers and fellow students.

“PAWS has been such an influential aspect of my college career, and of my life in general. I’ve grown as a leader and an individual with this organization,” Luna says. “Through PAWS I’ve met many great, loving people. I would suggest to anyone, try and be involved with something. It‘s life-changing.”

Texas State Updates: National Punctuation Day

Celebrate the holiday with a quiz

Today is National Punctuation Day, an annual event that celebrates what we hope is the proper use of punctuation marks.

And while the official site for National Punctuation Day is sponsoring a punctuation haiku contest this year, we’re more into instant gratification here at the Texas State blog.

So here are 10 punctuation questions of varying levels of difficulty, gleaned from the Associated Press Stylebook. Take the quiz, then leave a comment on the blog to tell us how you did. We’ll pick 10 of you at random to receive the deluxe maroon-and-gold writing set (pictured).

1. Which of these is correct?
a. “Halt!”, the sentry shouted.
b. “Halt!” the sentry shouted.
c. “Halt,!” the sentry shouted.
d. None of the above. We hate exclamation points.

2. What punctuation is recommended to denote the unfamiliar phrase in this sentence?
a. Joe tuned in the game on his “transistor radio.”
b. Joe tuned in the game on his ‘transistor radio.’
c. Joe tuned in the game on his (transistor radio).
d. None of the above, as I do not understand what the heck either “tune in” or “transistor radio” mean.

3. Which of these is correct?
a. Who wrote “Gone with the Wind?”
b. Who wrote Gone with the Wind?
c. Who wrote “Gone with the Wind”?
d. What in the world is “Gone with the Wind?”

4. According to the Associated Press stylebook, what punctuation marks never should appear in the same sentence?
a. A dash and a colon.
b. A dash and a period.
c. A dash and an exclamation point.
d. A period and an ellipsis. All those dots make people dizzy.

5. Which of these is correct usage of punctuation?
a. LBJ (for Lyndon Baines Johnson)
b. L.B.J. (for Lyndon Baines Johnson)
c. LB.J. (for Lyndon Baines Johnson)
d. L.B.J. (for LeBron James)

6. According the Associated Press stylebook, a semicolon should be used:
a. to cram two completely unrelated thoughts into the same sentence.
b. when a whole colon is just too much to bear.
c. never in a Tweet.
d. to indicate a greater separation of thought and information in a sentence than a comma can convey, but less than a period.

7. Ellipsis are used to:
a. indicate the deletion of one or more words in a quote.
b. indicate a pause or an incomplete thought by a speaker
c. make people being quoted sound guilty (“I am . . . a crook,” President Nixon said.)
d. all of the above

8. When using a compound modifier, use a hyphen between words except when:
a. one of the words is “very”
b. one of the words an adverb than ends in –ly
c. you don’t what the heck a compound modifier is
d. all of the above

9. Which of these is correct?
a. It’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood.
b. Its a wonderful day in the neighborhood.
c. Theirs a wonderful day in the neighborhood.
d. “Why are you so happy, anyway”?

10. How do you indicate the plural of single letters (if, for example, you made an C in all five of your classes):
a. C’s
b. Cs
c. C-s
d. None of the above. I would never make a C in all five of my classes.

1. a (or maybe d)
2. a
3. c
4. a
5. a
6. d
7. d
8. d
9. a
10. a

Spotlight: You Define Excellence at Texas State

You define how Texas State shines…

Katie Wesch
Photography ‘12
Kyle, Texas
“The shine at Texas State is the way the students represent the school. Students look forward to school here. Before I came here, I didn’t look forward to the start of the school year. Now, I can’t wait to go to class. My political science professor is a great educator and makes the subject very interesting. It’s how the teachers instruct and how the staff respond to students here. It shows in the success of students and alumni after graduation.”

Dixie Rinker
Marketing ‘13
Ft. Worth, Texas
“To shine means to stand out. For me, Texas State stands out because it’s pretty and it’s a nice campus.”

Justin Dalco
Undeclared ‘13
Ames, Texas
“To shine means to glow. Texas State shines because it is a great campus. There are lots of nice people here; everyone is friendly. It’s a great place to be, and the education here is excellent.”

Sebastian Brei
English/French ‘11
Montreal, Quebec
“Shining is stepping out of the ordinary; it’s stepping out of one’s spheres and releasing of oneself, being able to see life from others’ perspectives. How does Texas State shine? There is a certain diversity in the language department – the department I know. It differs in classes and applications of different philosophies and theories. There are many thought perspectives.”

Caroline Richardson
Creative Writing/International Advertising ‘12
“I equate shining with imagination and intelligence. At Texas State, the imagination and intelligence shine. The intelligence – just being able to have a good conversation on the steps of a building with another student – stands out. People are very free-thinking here.”

Texas State Updates: The Red-Headed Stranger

Texas State lands historic collection
of Willie Nelson memorabilia

Willie Nelson, from his Facebook page

The Wittliff Collections on the seventh floor of Texas State’s Alkek Library now houses the Willie Nelson Recording Collection, which chronicles the career of the Texas singer, songwriter and bandleader.

Acquired from a fan and consummate collector of Nelson’s work, John Kalinsky, the collection spans 1954 to 2010 and contains 877 recordings, including 45s, LPs, audio cassettes, VHS tapes, CDs, and DVDs.

These materials represent a significant addition to the Wittliff’s Willie Nelson holdings of handwritten song lyrics, screenplays, letters, concert programs, tour itineraries, posters, articles, clippings, personal effects, and memorabilia reflecting Nelson’s success as a concert artist, as well as a handmade songbook created by Nelson when he was around eleven years old.

Featuring recordings under Nelson’s leadership as well as tracks on which he is a producer, guest musician, or songwriter, the collection represents Nelson’s enormous output and collaboration with various musicians.

The oldest recordings are two 45s by Dave Isbell from 1954, on which Nelson plays guitar, released by Sarg Records, a small label from Luling. The collection also contains Nelson’s first single released under his own name, “No Place for Me” backed with “Lumberjack,” recorded in Vancouver, Wash., while Nelson was working as a disc jockey.

Also included are deluxe-edition CDs of Nelson’s classic albums as well as box sets with extensive liner notes, recording and session information, and previously unreleased performances. There are also live recordings, including a DVD documentary on Willie’s 4th of July Picnic in 1974—a carnival-like affair emceed by Leon Russell with performances by Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Jerry Jeff Walker, and others.

With this new acquisition, the Wittliff Collections become the nation’s primary repository of Willie Nelson materials. See the A-Z Guide in the Research section at the Wittliff website for details. Much of Nelson’s early discography is on the original vinyl records, and these as well as the other recordings can be enjoyed in the Wittliff’s reading room. Everyone is invited to come and listen.

More: Willie Nelson on Facebook