Cheap travel ideas for spring Break

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Courtesy Photo/The Bison

Bishop Castle is a work of stone and iron that has been continually constructed solely by Jim Bishop for the past 60 years. Featuring a grand ballroom, stained glass windows, towers and bridges.

Peyton King

Features Editor

Spring Break is just around the corner and those without plans to join family or friends on a trip are left searching for affordable, fun activities.

Unless they’re an individual who needs to stay close to campus for work or athletics, the only things that are holding students back from a memorable Spring Break are lack of ideas and lack of expendable financial resources.

Luckily for those who want to get out of the 405 without spending all their grocery cash, there are plenty of budget friendly travel options open to all.

Arguably the cheapest, most memorable way to travel during Spring Break is by go- ing on a road trip with friends. Seeing as most college students are 18 or older, a chaperone-free trip is an easy way to have a Spring Break worth remembering.

Listening to music, eating at cheap off-the- highway restaurants and playing road trip games with friends could easily outclass any experiences bought in a new location.

But even though it’s been said, “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey,” there are still many places nearby that would make the journey even more worthwhile.

Some of the most popular road trip destinations surrounding Okla. are Texas, Mo. and Colo. All of them have one thing in common: free sight-seeing experiences.

According to tourtex- as.com, you can catch a show at the Miller Out- door Theatre, visit the Contemporary Arts Museum, watch as many as 250,000 bats emerge from a bridge at dusk, go hiking or even explore Galveston Island – all for free.

And this is only in Houston.

Individuals still have the option to travel to cities such as Austin, Corpus Christi or El Paso to find unique free activities.

In Mo., visitors can get a taste of nature or a feel for the city depending on where they want to travel.

According to only- inyourstate.com, those who travel to Mo. can experience wildlife at its finest through free visits to the St. Louis Zoo, go hiking and swimming at Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park or explore old castle ruins and hike at Ha Ha Tonka State Park.

But more urban types have their options, too. Mo. is home to two main attractions that are free to the public: the St. Louis Art Museum and the Liberty Memorial.

Both places are surrounded by buzzing city lights due to the Liberty Memorial being in Kansas City and the art museum being in St. Louis.

In Colo., the hearts of small-town lovers will soar. But amongst the chilled-out, homey vacation spots, there are plenty of attractions for those who seek them.

According to out- therecolorado.com, there are multitudes of both natural and man- made sites to visit with- out any admission price.

For those who want to lay eyes on the natural wonders of Colo., the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, the Paint Mines Interpretive Park in Calhan and the Conundrum Hot Springs near Aspen are all completely free experiences open to the public.

Some more modern attractions include the St. Elmo abandoned ghost town, the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and Bishop Castle in Rye, Colo.

Bishop Castle is the largest construction project made by one- man in the country. Jim Bishop has been building this structure by hand for years and it is completely open to the public.

Of course, prices on these sorts of trips depend on gas money, how long you’re staying, cost of food and lodging and other forms of entertainment.

But overall, driving to your destination is likely the cheapest way of travel unless you want to walk or bike.

If you’re looking to travel by air, though, there are plenty of cheap plane tickets available to travel nationwide.

According to kayak. com, flights out of Oklahoma City airports start as cheap as $167.00.

For more information on cheap flight options, online price comparing resources such as kayak.com are available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAWC The World: A Celebration of the World

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PeyTon King/The Bison

Maxi Vergara, Dr. Lucrecia Litherland and Dr. Tony Litherland representing their home country Argentina at their Argentenian booth.

Peyton King

Features Editor

Thursday Feb. 20, OBU’s Recreation and Well- ness Center (RAWC) was buzzing with diversity.

Adorned with flags, food, drinks, music and guests of all cultures, the celebration was a social hot spot for people on and around campus.

Hosted 7:00-9:30 p.m., the event was generated in order to highlight the different cultures that have been brought to OBU through international students, staff and faculty.

The first booth to be seen from the main entrance of the event was representative of the country Argentina.

Donning the Argentina flag, the booth showcased the culture through books, postcards, pictures and the service of a popular Argentinian beverage: mate.

According to Vamos Spanish Academy, mate (pronounced, MAH-teh) is a “caffeine-rich infused drink is made from dried leaves called yerba mate mixed with hot water.”

Argentines normally drink mate in social settings with friends or at family functions.

Junior business administration major Maxi Vergara is an international student from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

As one who has played soccer his whole life, Vergara came to OBU to play center midfielder for the men’s club soccer team.

Vergara described his favorite thing about OBU apart from soccer.

“The people are so nice here,” he said.

One of Vergara’s teammates is junior international business major Peterson “Pet” Costa.

From Salvador, Brazil, Costa is another center midfielder for the Bison men’s soccer team.

Costa shared the trials that have come with moving from Brazil to Shawnee, Okla. have helped strengthen his faith.

He said being in a new country with cultural differences taught him how to really trust God.

Costa’s booth was lined with multitudes of chocolaty handmade brigadeiros.

This sweet traditional Brazilian dessert is the Brazilian equivalent to an American fudge.

According to an article written by Paula Mejia for Atlas Obscura, this dessert became popularized in 1940 when condensed milk became a staple ingredient for desserts due to wartime rations.

Made from sweetened condensed milk, butter, cocoa powder and chocolate sprinkles, this rich treat is one chocolate lovers are sure to enjoy.

Another kid-friendly dessert at the event was located just to the left of the Brazilian booth: fairy bread from New Zealand.

The incredibly simple dessert is comprised of white bread, butter/margarine and (preferably rain- bow) sprinkles, or “hundreds and thousands” as they’re called in New Zealand.

Senior health and human performance major Tahlia Walsh said this sweet snack is often served at the birthday parties of children back in Australia and her home of Te Awamutu, New Zealand.

Another sweet dish to make an appearance at the event was melktert, or “milk tart,” from the South Africa booth.

According to a recipe from African Bites, this tart is made from pastry crust, milk, butter, flour, corn- starch, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon and nutmeg.

As a light, creamy, dessert reminiscent of a custard tart, milk tarts are a South African staple. Junior accounting major and track & field runner Sherine Van Der Westhuizen made this dessert to sit atop her table at RAWC The World.

While Westhuizen does admit she misses the food and Kruger National Park from her home in Kempton Park, South Africa, her experience at OBU has taught her a lot about her faith.

“I am from a really Christian community and all of my friends are Christian, so [coming to OBU] wasn’t really that different,” she said. “But so many people’s moral values lined up with mine here.”

One of Westhuizen’s favorite parts about OBU is the culture of all the international students.

“Seeing all of the different cultures and how these people came to the same place and still have the most amazing personalities that I’ve ever met in my life has just been very eye opening to me,” she said.

“It’s been amazing to get to see how many people can share the gospel and I really felt that I was led here.”

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Loren Rhoades/The Bison

A RAWC The World attendee enjoys a cultural delicacy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black History Month: What it is & how to celebrate

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Matthew Dennis

Features Assistant

February — a month set aside to celebrate Black achievements.

Black History Month is the annual celebration of the many achievements from African Americans.

Black History Month was originally an event called “Negro History Week” started by Carter G. Woodson and other African Americans.

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Carter G. Woodson: The founder of what is now Black History Month. 

It was launched in Feb. 1926 to also celebrate the birth of Abraham Lincoln whose proclamation of emancipation was the beginning of the end to slavery, and Frederick Douglass, a freedom fighter who escaped slavery who also contributed to the U.S. an- ti-slavery movement.

Woodson’s creation of “Negro His- tory Week” became the model for Black History Month.

The Guardian defines Black His- tory Month’s vision and purpose as: “to battle a sense of historical amnesia and remind all citizens that black people were also a contributing part of the nation [… an envisioning] of a way to counter the invisibility of black people and to challenge the negative imagery and stereotypes that were often the only manner people were depicted in popular culture and in the media.”

The hope was that emphasizing the stories and achievements of Black individuals during the month could change the perspective to focus on positive aspects of African American life that was not commonly visible.

Lonnie Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution asks the question, if Black History Month actually matters or if it has become a meaning- less gesture that is on routine, in his article for The Guardian.

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Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Lonnie Bunch was the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History.

“Black History Month should still matter,” he said, “It is still the useful tool in the struggle for racial fairness that Woodson envisioned over 90 years ago. After all, no one can deny the power of inspiration as a force for change.”

Bunch does not want the event of Black History Month to simply become a habit for Americans but some- thing that people will pay attention to.

“It is important for the month to avoid romanticizing a history that is already ripe with heroines and achievers… rather than simply celebrate inventors,” he said.

“The month should explore the defeats as well as the disappointments, using history to educate future generations that change does not come without struggle and sacrifice.”

Since 1976, every American President has recognized Feb. as Black History Month and each year have given a theme to the month.

The 2020 theme, “African Americans and the Vote,” is to honor the anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment (1920) which gave women the right to vote and of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) giving African American men the right to vote.

This year at Oklahoma Baptist University, there are opportunities for students to get involved with Black History through the many events happening on campus.

Feb. 24 in the Mabee Suite there will be a Poetry/Jazz Night. Attend to be a part of a semiformal event to honor jazz music and famous African American poets in history.

Feb. 24, 10:00 a.m., OBU’s Black History Month Program will be host- ed in the Bailey Business Center Auditorium.

Take this opportunity to celebrate Black History. The founder, Andre Head will be sharing insight on “Black Wall Street and Black Towns: Economic Development in Black Communities” as the keynote speaker.

There are also opportunities to celebrate happening throughout Oklahoma.

 

Feb. 27, 1:00 p.m., a Black History Month Program will be located at Martin Luther King Elementary, 1201 NE 48th st, Oklahoma City, OK.

The University of Central Oklahoma will be hosting “Black History Month: African American Health: What We Aren’t Taught,” Feb. 19 at 6-8 p.m., Will Rogers Room 421, 4th floor, NUC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia fires: more than just physical damage

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Matthew Abbott/ The New York Times

A kangaroo, one of Australia’s unique species, traveling in front of a flaming building in Australia.

Matthew Dennis

Features Assistant

The Australian fires that started in September of 2019 have now burned more than 15 million acres and show no signs of stopping as Australia is only a few months into the summer season.

The blaze has done more than just destroy property and nature. It has deeply affected the function- ing of human society in over half of Australia’s population.

Since the beginning of the fires, at least 28 people have died across the nation. The flames have burned a land mass equivalent to the size of West Virginia.

The areas that are being hurt the worst are New South Wales and Victoria. These are populated states on the south-east side of Australia, where the city Sydney is located.

Across Australia, over 3,000 homes have been destroyed and many more have been damaged.

With people’s home being damaged, many have been forced to evacuate – therefore effecting their daily life.

A survey from The Guardian revealed that 9 percent of people have been forced to miss work. The Australia Institute estimates over 1.8 million workdays were lost – costing an estimate of more than 1.3 billion dollars in lost economic production.

One-third of the people interviewed by the Guardian said they had to change their daily routines due to the fires while 15 percent said they had to cancel or change their holiday or travel plans.

Even with the serious economic issues, the health of Australian citizens is also an important issue at hand.

Air quality in parts of Australia have been tested and reported to be 11 times the “hazardous” level. The poor air quality, due to large amounts of smoke, has made many people sick.

Extremely tiny smoke particles can be carried in the air that, when inhaled, can worsen asthma or lead to possible heart attacks and strokes.

This has caused many to go to the hospital with minor and serious illnesses and even the loss of life for some.

The sheer number of wildlife lost to the flames makes this already aching country hurt even worse. At the beginning of 2020 many were estimating about half a billion animals were killed by the fires and many more were displaced.

HuffPost interviewed Chris Dickman of the University of Sydney about the wildlife statistics surrounding the fires. “The original figure—the 480 million—was based on mammals, birds and reptiles for which we do have densities, and that figure now is a little bit out of date,”Dickman said.

“It’s over 800 million given the extent of the fires now—in New South Wales alone.”

According to Dickman, this number soars above a billion when you include animals, bats, frogs and other invertebrates.

“Over a billion would be a very conservative figure,” Dickman said.

Sadly, no one will know the full extent of dam- age until all of the fires are extinguished.

Sam Mitchell, a co-owner of Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park said in an interview with The Guardian, that he estimated the total koala population to be around 50,000. He estimates that over half of the koalas have been killed.

Professor Bradshaw at Flinders University gave some hope for the tragic news of the wildlife. “Animals can and do rebound from such devastation… We are constantly surprised how recovery happens quickly after a fire and how many animals survive,” he said.

To put the damage into perspective, the 2018 California wildfires burned almost 2 million acres and were estimated to have cost close to 3.5 billion U.S. Dollars. So far, the flames in Australia have burned more than 15 million acres, which is over seven times the land mass of the California fires.

To donate to fire relief efforts, visit: https:// http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/about/victorian-bushfire-re- lief/donate.

 

Valentines Day for everyone on a budget

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Courtesy Photo / The Bison

Peyton King

Features Editor

Whether you have a Valentine, a “Gal”-entine or even a “Pal”-entine, 2020’s day of love doesn’t need to be a trigger for financial panic.

This year, if you’re in a romantic relationship, looking for one or not interested in relationships at all, Valentine’s day can be a great way to celebrate your loved ones without breaking the bank. In fact, you can have a fun, memorable and even free Val- entine’s day if you so choose.

For those of you who are single and not ready to mingle, Valentine’s could be a great opportunity to have a free day of shenanigans with your friends.

You could have a night where you dress up in your finest attire, or dress down in your sweats, and go out to get cheap junk food. You could watch a cheesy romantic comedy or even have a Star Wars marathon.

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Another fun platonic way to spend the night could be to go people watching and observe all the different types of people out on Valentine’s day.

Observing first dates, long-term relationships or possibly even platonic Valentine’s day dates could serve as a really interesting social experiment.

Or if you want to take part in the sappiness of Valentine’s day without a significant other, you could show your friends how much you cherish them with a handmade gift.

You could exchange hand-written notes, drawings or crafts that remind them how much you care.

For those who are in a relationship, Valentine’s day doesn’t need to carry all the pressure that looms around it.

For you, it can simply be a day of intentionality. It doesn’t need to be a day of big spending or extravagance (unless you want it to be).

Some great ways to remind your partner that you love them can be incredibly simple and inexpensive.

For example, a day of acts of service can be a fantastic way to show love. Acts as
easy as unloading the dishwasher (if you live in married housing), cleaning
out your significant others’ car or even giving a massage without asking for one in return can be more meaningful than spending 100 dollars on an Edible Arrangement.

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Another great option is to go through old photos, ask each other questions about your relationship or to write “What I Love About You. . . ” letters to each other. You could even add this onto another activity you want to incorporate that day.

Some other ideas could be to make a meal or dessert together, set up a movie night, be a “local tourist” and explore your city or set up a scavenger hunt.

Make your Valentine’s day personal and enjoy- able to you. Don’t let the stereotypes of what women and men want get in the way of you having a good time with your loved one.

Last but not least, if you’re wanting to lavish some of your family members with love this Valentine’s day, there are plenty of cheap or free options out there for you.

If you’re far away from home, a simple way to remind your family members how much you love them is to send them cards. Whether they be store- bought or handmade, a simple written reminder is a great way to remind them of how much you care.

If you don’t have time or supplies for this one, another equally effective way is simply to call. Millennials and Generation Z are often told to call their grandparents or relatives, but they often forget to do so.

Reaching out to your family members before they call you is a great unexpected way to take the first step in showing your appreciation.

If you live close to your family, another great way to show you care is by turning the tables and doing something for your family that they’d normally do for you.

For example, if your parents cook and clean for you when you come home, try vacuuming the house for them or preparing a home-cooked meal.

These easy acts of service can serve a great reminder to your caretakers of how you don’t take the things they do for granted. It also gives them a nice break from their daily duties.

A more sentimental activity could be going through old photo albums with your family members; whether it be your parents, grandparents, siblings, or even cousins.

If you want to go the extra mile, you could also prepare a tear-jerking slideshow for them to watch. The nostalgia and time set apart to sit with your family and look at all the memories is a great way to show your love for them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the Hill: Emily Chadwick

By Morgan Jackson, Features Editor

For all students, the road to deciding what to do after high school is different. Junior family science major Emily Chadwick never expected to be where she is today.

“What lead me to OBU?” Chadwick said. “That’s a funny story. I never had any plans of ever going to college.”

Chadwick was working as a nanny for her brother in the area when they decided to move away.

“I needed to figure out what I was going to do in the next season of my life,” Chadwick said. “I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I was friends with a bunch of OBU students, and they were all like ‘Why don’t you come to OBU?’”

Chadwick had all sorts of excuses for not wanting to come to OBU.

These included claims about not being smart enough, or not having a high enough ACT score to be admitted into the school.

Chadwick’s thinking flipped after she found the determination with-in herself to want to be at OBU to learn and grow.

Chadwick was familiar with the OBU community because of her friends and family.

“I’ve always been amazed at and in love with the professors here,” Chadwick said. “Because all of my siblings previously at-tended OBU, I already knew some of them, and I knew that I liked them.”

Chadwick decided on a family science major during her time at OBU.

“I love family science because I love talking about people,” Chadwick said. “I want to know everything about people. I want to know why they do the things that they do, and what they want to do.”

Chadwick has a love for people and making relationships.

“I want to continue to learn and grow myself, while also helping those around me to learn and grow in healthy ways,” Chadwick said. “One of the biggest reasons I love family science is being able to learn about people and how people affect people.”

In the future, Chadwick is thinking about pursuing counseling as a career, though she is currently undecided.

“I really like hearing about people’s problems,” she said. “I like to love on people and listen.”

Chadwick currently works at the Hope House, a Youth and Family Resource Center in Shawnee. Her job involves making sure that kids are doing what they are supposed to be doing, like homework or another activity.

“It’s like babysitting or parenting,” Chadwick said. “It’s a very fluid job. You never know what is going to happen next.”

While the job is often demanding or challenging, Chadwick sees the reward in the eyes of the children she is caring for.

“The most rewarding thing is seeing that the kids are loved and cared for,” Chadwick said. “So, we have two little kids right now, around the ages of eight and nine. They have started asking for hugs. When they first came, they were afraid to ask. But now, they come up to me and look at me and say, ‘I just need a hug.’ It is the sweetest thing, and sometimes it makes me want to cry.”

Chadwick often looks for small ways to share the gospel with the people around her, and often does this by showing love to whoever she is around.

Junior biblical languages major Chloe Stokes has seen firsthand the qualities Chadwick displays. They attend church together at Temple Baptist Church.

“Emily has the unique ability of making everyone feel welcome,” Stokes said. “No one can feel alone when they are around Emily.”

Stokes also appreciates the way that Chadwick affects the people that she is around.

“Emily brings all of the energy to a room!” Stokes said. “Her laugh is contagious, and she is always laughing. Her love for everyone is evident, her friendship is invaluable, and she brings light wherever she goes.”

Adjunct professor makes lasting impact

By Loren Rhoades, Assistant Features Editor

Thursday, April 25th, previous OBU adjunct professor, Brian Blansett, was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame.

“It’s a pretty big honor,” Blansett said. “A lot of first-rate journalists have been nominated and it’s an honor to be recognized beside them.”

In order to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, a person must be nominated and then chosen by a selection committee. Blansett was nominated by retired editor of The Oklahoman, Joe Hight.

Blansett said he knew as a third-grader that he wanted to be a newspaperman and since then it’s been a very fun ride.

“I didn’t have any particular idea what that meant at the time,” Blansett said. “I just knew I wanted experiences, and that’s what I got.”

Blansett has worked for the Stratford Star, the Ada Evening News, the Sulphur Times-Democrat, The Daily Ardmoreite, the Waco Tribune-Herald, the Shawnee News-Star and was also elected as the president of the Oklahoma Press Association in 2017.

Blansett currently owns the Tri-County Herald in Meeker and Stroud American and said it’s the most fun he’s had in his entire career.

During his time at the Waco Tribune-Herald Blansett led the coverage over the assault on the Mount Carmel Center by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, as well as, an investigative series over the Branch Davidians, which was eventually a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Assistant professor of journalism Holly Easttom said that Blansett has done everything in his career to be an accurate, invested and professional journalist with an amazing personal style.

“Brian is an exceptional journalist, an exceptional educator and an exceptional human,” Easttom said. “In all of the individuals in my life, he’s in the top 10 of people I know, respect, admire and want to emulate to a certain extent, professionally. He’s the gold standard.”

While being a journalist and an educator, Blansett has also been a mentor to others in his field.

OBU alum, Nicole Smith, said Blansett made her the journalist she is today.

“When I first started working for Brian as an intern my sophomore year of college, I thought I was already where I needed to be as a writer,” Smith said. “But I quickly realized I had a lot more to learn and Brian had a lot more to teach me.”

Smith said Brian continued to work with her as a mentor and friend throughout her college career and assigned her stories most people wouldn’t give to a college student.

“He gives you challenges that he believes you can meet and exceed even if you don’t believe it yourself,” Smith said. “Then when you do succeed; he’s never surprised.”

Both Smith and Easttom said Blansett’s induction into the Hall of Fame is not a surprise and if anything, long overdue. Smith said to her he’s already a legend and always has been.

“His work with the Waco-Tribune more than speaks for his abilities as a journalist and leader,” Smith said. “This is more of a formal recognition of what anyone he’s worked with already knows. He’s the best journalist I know, and I hope he continues to mentor many more young journalists, because the world needs more like him.”

Brian will be back on Bison Hill next semester teaching photojournalism.

Terry James brings care, experience to OBU

By Morgan Jackson, Features Editor

If you were to sit in on one of associate professor of education and director of teacher education Dr. Terry James’s education classes, you would probably hear him say, “I think the teacher is the most important person in society today.”

James values education, learning and most of all, students.

James originally came to Oklahoma Baptist University in 2008 and served as an assistant professor of education.

During his time as an undergraduate student, James studied at Indiana State University and obtained a bachelor’s degree.

He completed a master’s program at Indiana University, and ultimately, a doctorate program at the University of Oklahoma.

James has always respected the profession of teaching and the function that it serves for society.

“I really decided in the eighth or ninth grade that I wanted to be a teacher,” James said. “I liked my teachers. I respected them. I thought that what they were doing was important. I guess I was fortunate, in a way, that I decided early.”

James is originally from Indiana, where he went to school.

“I majored in English, and taught English, Physical Education and coached some football and track in Indiana, then moved out to Oklahoma,” James said.

James has had many roles in the education system that vary in responsibility.

He taught in the public school system for many years, worked as both assistant superintendent and superintendent in different school districts.

When he was teaching in the public school, James taught English because of his love for literature.

“I thought, if I’m going to have to read all of this material, why not let it be something interesting and fun to read,” James said. “Would I rather read a chapter of a history textbook or would I rather read Dickens or Wordsworth? I’m actually reading the Canterbury Tales right now. I thought it would be more interesting and fun to read things that are considered great literature.”

James came to OBU after he retired from the public school system. He said he is very happy to be here working with future teachers.

“I can think of no greater privilege than to get to work with my future colleagues,” James said. “I am absolutely convinced that the teacher is the most important person in education.”

James is passionate about education as a system and as a deep need in our society. He said he believes that teachers are becoming even more influential and needed in society because of the functions that the schools serve today.

“I believe that the teacher is the most important person in our society right now, with everything that they are expected to do,” James said. “Teachers now have to analyze the deepest needs of a student and figure out how to respond to them. I have seen the role of the school increase over time, and the importance of the teacher, which was always important. So, what greater privilege is there than to get to work with my future colleagues?”

James currently teaches many education classes at OBU. He also serves as the director of the Teacher Education department.

Dr. James loves OBU and its students. He strongly believes that OBU prepares students to become great teachers.

“I think you all are wonderful,” James said. “I was involved in hiring maybe a thousand teachers over my career. I would hire you all in a second. I think the average OBU student is mature, a person of integrity, responsible and dependable. I just respect the students here, just who they are as people.”

Teacher Education students seem to appreciate Dr. James for all he does for the program.

“Dr. James really cares about you as a person and wants you to succeed,” freshman elementary education major Sadi Hostettler said. “I have learned so much more about our education system a how to become a great teacher.”

Remembering tragedy: OKC bombing memories still strong 24 years later

By Chelsea Weeks and Loren Rhoades, Editor-In-Chief and Assistant Features Editor

“I was actually walking out to come to work that morning and heard it. You could hear it from that far away.”

– Bobby Cox, baseball coach and assistant professor of KAL

April 19, a day of sorrow and remembrance for many Oklahomans. On that date 24 years ago, ex-army soldier Timothy McVeigh parked a Ryder rental truck in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The truck contained a fertilizer bomb that after being detonated led to the death of 168 people and the injury of over 650 others.

Until September 11, 2001, McVeigh’s act of violence and terrorism was the deadliest attack to ever occur in the United States.

For most students on OBU’s campus, the April 19th bombing is an event that occurred before their birth, but for some OBU faculty and staff members, it is a day they will always remember.

“I was actually walking out to come to work that morning and heard it,” baseball coach and assistant professor of KALS, Bobby Cox said. “You could hear it from that far away.”

Cox said the baseball team was supposed to compete against Oklahoma City the next day but canceled the game due to the tragedy. The team rescheduled the game for a few days later and witnessed the wreckage on their way there.

“So, you’re driving across town and you could see it was still smoking at the time,” Cox said. “The interstate was raised at that point so you could see down in there and it was just like total silence.”

Different professors on campus said it was a time filled with questions for Oklahomans as well as for students on Bison Hill.

“If I had to describe it, it was just a lot of confusion,” HHP professor Dr. Norris Russell said. “There was a lot of ‘why?’ and ‘what’s the deal?’ It took a while for the whole situation to finally unravel.”

Although the event caused a large amount of heartache, it also brought people closer together. People from all over the U.S. were heading toward OKC to see how they could help in some way.

Professor of history Dr. Carol Humphrey said there were also OBU students with the desire to aid those who were affected by the bombing.

“There were a lot of students at the time who weren’t from Oklahoma, so they were shocked by it, but they also wanted to see if there was a way to help out,” Humphrey said. “So, I think in some ways it did bring people together in ways that had not been true before.”

The Murrah Building bombing changed the lives of so many forever. In response to the domestic terrorist act, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the Oklahoma City National Memorial Act of 1997, which established the site as a National Memorial. A task force of over 350 people was assigned by Oklahoma City mayor Ron Norick to memorialize those who were lost in the attack.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial was formally dedicated April 19, 2000, five years after the bombing. The Museum was dedicated a year later February 19, 2001. The mission statement of the Memorial was to “remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever.”

The Outdoor Symbolic Memorial consists of a multitude of elements to honors those who were lost.

Twin bronze gates frame the entrances to the memorial. 9:01 is found in the eastern gate and represents the last moments of peace. 9:03 is found on the western gate and represents the first moments of recovery.

In between these two gates lie the Reflecting Pool, a thin layer of water running over black granite. Those who peer into the Reflecting pool are supposed to see “a face of a person changed by domestic terrorism.”

168 empty chairs made from bronze, glass and stone can be found south of the Reflecting Pool. Etched in each chair is the name of a lost father, mother, brother, sister – a family member, a victim of hatred. The chairs were designed to represent an empty chair at the dinner table of a victim’s family.

In the southwest corner, the only remnants of the Murray Building have been transformed into the Survival Wall. Granite salvaged from the Murray Building has been inscribed with the names of over 800 survivors.

The 112-year-old American Elm that used to offer shade to vehicles, was damaged from the blast. Evidence of the attack was found in the branches and bark of the old tree. Many thought it would be lost, but a year later it began to bud and continue to grow. Its determination to survive mirrors the determination of those impacted by the attack.

On the anniversary of the attack, seeds from the Survivor Tree are sent across the country to be planted. For the 22nd anniversary in 2017, a Survivor Tree seed was planted right here on Bison Hill and can be found south of Raley Chapel.

The 33,000 square foot Memorial Museum strives to tell the story of the horrific domestic attack and the hope that followed after.

The cost is $15 for adults, $12 for students and free for children under fi ve. People from all over the country come to visit the site and get involved.

The 16th Annual Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon will take place Sunday, April 28, 2019. There will be a variety of races available for all individuals including a full and half marathon, a 5k, a kids marathon and a relay marathon. For more information about the race or to sign

Blitz Week brings campus together for a cause

By Morgan Jackson, Features Editor

Last week on Bison Hill was Blitz Week, a week focused on raising funds for a specific charity or cause.

This year, money was raised to help mitigate the cost of OBU’s Global Outreach trips, so that students can go out to many different parts of the world and serve people who are in need of the Gospel.

Currently, the co-chairs of Blitz Week are Braeden Mastin and Olivia Dudley.

“Blitz Week is a week in April every year dedicated to helping a charity/cause of our choice,” co-chair of Blitz Week Braeden Mastin said. “This year we focused on helping students afford GO trips. We strive to be light of the world by helping others, bring the campus together and to leave a positive impact on others.”

Last week’s events included a multitude of activities that raised money for the cause.

The first Blitz Week event was the Paintathon. Students gathered in the Gieger Center Sunday Night to paint canvases. The paintings were put up for auction all week in the Gieger Center. The starting bid for each painting was five dollars.

Another event that spanned the entire week was a campus-wide game of Humans versus Zombies. For two dollars, students could sign up to play the game.

Humans vs. Zombies trans-formed campus last week. Students and faculty had Nerf guns in hand, ready to defend themselves from the zombies.

To distinguish those who were playing the game, and which side they were on, players wore pink bandanas on their arm or on their head.

Humans could use their Nerf guns to stop a zombie from tagging them, which would cause them to switch sides and more their bandana.

Players often had to alter their plans so that they were not exposed outdoors in high traffic areas. Players could not be tagged on or off campus.

“The wildest experience I’ve had so far is when me and my friends, Sam and Noah, got surrounded by seven zombies in the library parking lot,” freshman Christian ministry major Silas Bell said. “We had to sprint from the library to Agee, and I thought I was going to die from exhaustion.”

Bell’s sprint must have been worthwhile, because at the time of the interview, he was still on the human side. On Friday night, the remaining humans and zombies gathered in the Oval for a final showdown to end the game.

Blitz Week also hosted a faculty versus varsity basketball game, an escape room in the library, a percentage night at Qdoba, trivia night with UCS and the Mr. Bison pageant.

The Mr. Bison pageant was held last Thursday in Yarborough Auditorium.

The contestants were Cole Kliewer, Caleb Newton, Caleb Dyer, Caleb Corff, Grady Liston, Jimi Parker, Joel Tetmeyer and Noah Graves.

The competition was hosted by Kirt Henderson, director of Student Success.

The judges of the competition were Resident Directors Kyle Opskar, Dayla Rowland, Lanie Allred, Tanner Roberts and Erin Gulserian.

The event began with a dance number featuring all of the contestants choreographed by Sarah Cordle, a sophomore cross-cultural ministry and sociology major.

“My experience with the Mr. Bison pageant was one for the books for sure,” Cordle said. “I have never choreographed before and most of the guys never learned a dance before, so that was interesting, to say the least, but they all worked hard to learn the dance. What made it so great is that they were having a great time doing it. It was so much fun watching them finally perform it and they all did a really great job!”

Then came the introduction of the contestants and their escorts. This also served as the formal wear category. Henderson’s introductions of the contestants included hilarious fun facts about each of them.

Next up came the talent portion of the pageant. Talents included, but were not limited to neck wrestling, cooking demonstrations, lightsaber reenactments, interpretive dancing with a puppy and more.

After the talent portion, the contestants went into the audience to collect money from their fans as votes for the audience favorite award.

Then, the final five were announced: Caleb Newton, Caleb Dyer, Caleb Corff, Grady Liston and Jimi Parker.

They moved on into an interview portion. Each contestant was asked a couple of questions.

After that, the judges deliberated, and the new Mr. Bison was crowned.

Caleb Dyer won third place. Caleb Corff won second place and the Audience Favorite award. Caleb Newton won Best Talent with his impressive neck wrestling. Taking home the big prize was Jimi Parker, who spent the entire competition dressed in a Nacho Libre costume.

For his talent, he gave the audience a cooking lesson involving raw hot dogs. “It has been extremely rewarding and fun leading and facilitating fun events, and bringing the campus all together,” Mastin said