Feature Articles

June 10, 2006

My contribution to the anniversary issue article "Years pass..." includes 1986 to 1995. However, I use the story in its entirety for reading purposes.

Years pass, TCC grows, students evolve

“We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.”
— President Jimmy Carter

  • 1965
    Tensions rise as U.S. involvement in Vietnam escalates. President Johnson nearly doubles the number of troops to 125,000. Americans react by staging numerous protests and draft card burning demonstrations.
    “ We Shall Overcome” becomes the national civil rights anthem as supporters march 54 miles from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery in support of the Voting Rights Act.
    Bell-bottom pants and mini-skirts become the latest fashion craze.
    Pop-top cans are modified, allowing American consumers to open cans by lifting a small lid that stays attached to the can.
    Congress warns Americans “Cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health,” passing a mandate that all cigarette packages carry the warning label.

  • 1966
    Accused Americans’ rights under the 5th Amendment are affirmed after a major Supreme Court ruling. Under Miranda vs. Arizona, law enforcement is required to read a person’s rights prior to interrogating suspects (later known as Miranda Rights).
    Charles Whitman shoots and kills 16 people in Austin, mostly from the tower at the University of Texas.
    Numerous radio stations place ban against The Beatles, after John Lennon declares The Beatles more popular than Jesus.
    The mod look gains popularity. Women wear fishnets, mini-skirts and boots while men wear skinny pants, floral-print shirts and wide ties.
  • 1967
    Civil unrest and urban anger lead to a breakout of racially inspired riots all over the country. The term “long, hot summer” is used to describe the tensions.
    The Pentagon reports more than 9,000 casualties in the Vietnam War—the deadliest year of the war at this point.
    Thurgood Marshall becomes the first black Supreme Court justice.
    Nehru jackets and love beads are the latest fashion craze.
    The microwave oven is introduced to consumers by Amana.
  • 1968
    The Vietnam War reaches a climax with the Tet Offensive. Communist forces attack more than 100 targets over a three-week period.
    Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated in Memphis.
    Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated in Los Angeles just after claiming a victory in the California primary.
    The death toll in Vietnam reaches 30,000.
    Richard Nixon is elected president. His policies include an end to urban rioting and withdrawal of troops through Vietnamization.
    Dan Blocker, otherwise known as Hoss Cartwright from the television series Bonanza, is a special guest to commemorate the opening of the fine arts complex on South Campus.
    South Campus’ Student Center is incomplete. As a result, students must endure the elements while eating lunch outside.
    Students show off their finest Dogpatch attire for Sadie Hawkins Day.
    The Unisex look is popular, with couples wearing long hair and bell bottoms. Military fatigues and boots are popular among war protesters.
    The median family income averages $8,000 per year, and more than 29 million American live in poverty.
    Physical fitness becomes chic, and a new fitness craze—aerobics—sweeps the nation.
  • 1969
    Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Armstrong land on the moon.
    Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and many others perform for 400,000 concert-goers at Woodstock, a weekend-long celebration of love, peace and music.
    After Sen. Edward Kennedy’s Oldsmobile plunges into a pond, he flees the scene. A Washington secretary is found dead in the back seat the next morning.
    Charles Manson and his followers go on a killing spree in Hollywood Hills.
    More than 250 people are killed after Hurricane Camille slams into the Gulf Coast. A majority of the deaths result from people choosing to ignore the issued warnings.
    Homemade yogurt is all the rage, and gourmet retailers report a boom in sales.
  • 1970
    President Nixon implements his policy of Vietnamization, expanding the Vietnam War into Cambodia and eventually Laos.
    The U.S. National Guard opens fire against unarmed student protestors, at Kent State University leaving two students dead.
    TCC students hold silent protests on Moratorium Day to honor those killed and wounded at Kent State.
    Ralph Nader speaks on South Campus provoking student conversations with his comments on safety of automobiles and meat-packing.
    Fire guts the Student Center on NE Campus, just one week after dedication ceremonies are held.
    Major department stores begin selling peace symbol necklaces.
  • 1971
    The U.S. ping-pong team visits The People’s Republic of China. This is the first time Americans enter China in 20 years.
    The Supreme Court unanimously decides busing is the best method to achieve racial integration in public schools.
    The 26th Constitutional Amendment is ratified, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18.
    Betty Friedan speaks out on the women’s liberation movement on South Campus.
    Allied health training becomes a major lure for students as NE Campus implements courses in dental hygiene, radiologic technology, medical laboratory technology and operating room technology.
    Very short shorts, known as “hot-pants,” become a short-lived fad.
    Courtesy collides with fashion as people wear smiley-face buttons and “Have a nice day” T-shirts.
  • 1972
    Police arrest five men who attempt to bug the Democratic National Headquarters at The Watergate Hotel.
    Controversial presidential candidate George Wallace is shot and paralyzed from the waist down.
    Legendary comedian George Carlin performs on NE Campus, daring students to be themselves.
    TCC students participate in gunfights to recreate the old west at Six Flags.
    NE students are given the opportunity to participate in work-study programs, with a starting wage of $1.60 per hour.
    The happy face is out, but rainbow decals are in.
    Afro-centric red, black and green flags and decals seem to be everywhere.
  • 1973
    The Vietnam War comes to an end as both sides agree to “peace with honor.”
    The Watergate scandal dominates headlines for the entire year. Impeachment hearings are held against President Nixon.
    Nixon tries to rally support of Americans as he declares, “I am not a crook!”
    The Supreme Court makes abortions legal with its ruling in the matter of Roe v. Wade.
    The Oak Ridge Boys visit NE Campus, singing songs with a message of hope and peace.
    A photography studio is built and Miss Texas Judy Mallett visits NE Campus to model for students.
    Hot tubs, hang gliding and yoga are the latest crazes to sweep the nation.
  • 1974
    President Nixon becomes the first president to resign from office. The next day, Gerald Ford is sworn into the presidency. Ford later grants a “full, free and absolute pardon” to Nixon.
    American consumers face long lines, closed service stations and price gouging at the fuel pump.
    NE students feel nostalgic as they participate in Gay Nineties Day and Fabulous Fifties Day.
    Students get a dose of culture as TCC’s first opera is performed.
    “ Streaking”—or running naked in public—becomes a ridiculous fad for years to come.
  • 1975
    Literacy tests are banned with the passage of The Voting Rights Act.
    Two assassination attempts within one month of each other, are made against President Ford.
    Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa disappears.
    Busy students at TCC may now take advantage of distance learning available by television.
    TCC students can test their accuracy as archery classes are available.
    Saturday Night Live debuts on American television.
    Mood rings have the power to reveal one’s emotions, and millions are sold.
  • 1976
    Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Maxine Kumin visits the Center Corner on NE Campus.
    The Office Education Association announces typing prices on South Campus. Title pages are 25 cents, and outlines and typed letters with one carbon are $1 each.
    A transitional analysis class is offered for children kindergarten through third grade on the NE Campus.
    Swine Flu vaccine arrives in Fort Worth and is available to all TCJC campuses.
    Vincent Bugliosi, prosecuting attorney in the Charles Manson case and author of Helter Skelter, visits the NE Campus.
    Aerobic fitness appears on the class schedule for NE Campus.
  • 1977
    Local employment and pay rates for students include clerk/typist at $3.40 an hour, janitorial at $2.50 an hour, entry clerk at $3.78 an hour, electronic service tech at $3.50-4.50 an hour and computer programmer at $800-$1,000 a month.
    TCJC receives an Award of Excellence from the federal government for energy efficiency.
    Pulitzer Prize winning writer Gwendolyn Brooks visits the South Campus.
    Pop Rocks candy makes its way to TCJC and becomes an instant hit. Years later it is erroneously believed that Mikey from the Life cereal commercial has died from ingesting Pop Rocks and soda.
    A woman is saved by a TCJC class while canoeing on the Buffalo River in Arkansas.
    World-renowned pianist Helena Costa performs at the Playhouse on NE Campus.
    TCJC and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram jointly offer Crime and Justice in America. Participants receive three hours of course credit in sociology and selected assignments by students are published in the Star-Telegram.
  • 1978
    Superman, starring Christopher Reeves opens nationwide. Reeves starred in three more Superman films.
    The Who drummer Keith Moon, 32, dies in his sleep from an overdose of Chlormethiazole.
    Former Olympic champion Wilma Rudolph speaks in the Center Corner on NE Campus.
    Dr. Jim McKenzie, professor of business on NE, releases his book Office Machines with co-author Bob Hughes.
    Author William F. Buckley speaks in the gym on South Campus.
    Dubbed “the world’s largest double-looped roller coaster,” The Shockwave opens at Six Flags over Texas.
    The Amazing Kreskin performs on South Campus.
    Columnist and radio personality Joyce Brothers lectures in the Gym on NE Campus. Brothers discusses “Coping with Anxiety and Tension” and relates her topic to the everyday pressures students experience.
    Basic Studies Program is discontinued on NE Campus because of lack of student participation.
  • 1979
    Sci-fi hit Alien starring Sigourney Weaver opens in the Metroplex propelling Weaver into superstardom.
    South Campus gets into the disco craze by hosting a free disco ball in the SUB Cafeteria.
    Cult classic Animal House starring John Belushi opens nationwide and starts a toga party craze.
    TCJC offers nine-week summer courses. The courses are aimed at high school students wanting to take classes during the summer.
    Iranian students overrun the U.S. embassy in Iran and 52 Americans are taken hostage. Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini urges his fellow countrymen to demonstrate against the United States and Israel, beginning the Iran hostage crisis.
  • 1980
    Spring semester enrollment places South Campus at 7,059, followed by NE at 6,677 and NW at 2,995.
    Local employment opportunities and rates of pay include bartender at $3.25 an hour, clerk/typist at $3.87 an hour and instructor $13,000 a year.
    Six Flags Over Texas opens its 20th season with the addition of the $2.1 million Judge Roy Scream roller coaster
    In perhaps the biggest cliffhanger in television history, J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman) is shot in the season ending episode of Dallas. Viewers would have to wait through the summer and an actor’s strike to learn the shooter was wife Sue Ellen’s (Linda Gray) sister Kristen.
    Ronald Reagan is elected president defeating incumbent Jimmy Carter.
  • 1981
    After 444 days in captivity, the 52 hostages held in Iran are released. The timing of the release sparks conspiracy theories that President Reagan had a deal in place with Iran.
    John Hinckley shoots President Ronald Reagan just 69 days into his presidency.
    Nov. 15-21 is declared Associate Degree Nursing Week by Fort Worth Mayor Woodie Woods and South Campus President Charles McKinney.
    Student employment opportunities and rates of pay include general office at $4 an hour, secretary at $500 a month and maintenance at $5.06 an hour.
  • 1982
    Activist, comedian and author Dick Gregory speaks on South Campus.
    The federal government gives individual states the right to control hospitals. Some examples of the public hospital service costs are $475 for surgery, $100 for anesthesia and $600 room charge for five days.
    “ Hippie” poet Ric Masten performs for students on South Campus.
    Steven Spielberg’s E.T. staring Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore is released nationwide. The movie becomes the highest grossing film until the re-release of Star Wars in 1997.
    The arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union concerns the international community.
    Tootsie starring Dustin Hoffman is released, paving the way for future cross dressers.
    Religion in Current American Politics is offered on NE Campus.
    Computers are rapidly becoming the “in thing” as non-credit computer courses appear on all TCJC campuses.
    NE Campus enters a joint venture with CBS-Blackhawk to produce TCJC television.
  • 1983
    Author Maya Angelou visits the Playhouse on NE Campus.
    Anchorwoman Clarice Tinsley speaks to TCJC students in the Rotunda on South Campus for Black Emphasis Month.
    The Heathkit H-89A computer is released. The all-in-one computer has a built-in 12-inch monitor and 48k of RAM available for $1,399.
    A Christmas Story starring Peter Billingsley is released. The catch phrase “You’ll shoot your eye out” is integrated into the American culture.
    NE Campus student Bill Martin wins the Texas Triathlon II.
    The Disney Corporation launches The Disney Channel on cable television.
    Return of the Jedi is released. To date, the Star Wars franchise has totaled approximately $2 billion in retail sales.
    Hustler magazine’s Larry Flynt announces candidacy for U.S. president.
  • 1984
    Jesse Jackson announces his candidacy for U.S. president.
    Law requiring children to ride in car seats becomes effective.
    IBM awards $160,000 worth of computers and funds to South Campus.
    NE Campus sponsors an exhibit of Greek antiquities from ancient ruler Alexander.
    Dallas’s indoor soccer team, the Sidekicks, begins play.
  • 1985
    TCJC begins building television tower in downtown Fort Worth.
    Student employment opportunities and rates of pay include general office at $5 an hour, childcare at $4 an hour and maintenance at $5.71 an hour.
    Former Dallas Cowboy Drew Pearson speaks on South Campus.
  • 1986
    An accidental explosion in the number four reactor of Chernobyl’s nuclear power and weapons plant kills dozens.
    Jobs bring an employee minimum wage of $3.25 an hour.
    Dr Joe B. Rushing awards the first Chancellor’s Award for Exemplary Teaching. Three winning faculty members each receive a plaque and $2,500.
  • 1987
    Smoking bans in certain areas provide students a smoke-free environment.
    Fort Worth’s Water Gardens becomes a U.S. court to naturalize 320 people as U.S. citizens. Sponsored in part by TCJC, the ceremony for Citizens Day includes Jim Wright, speaker of the house, and David Belew, federal district judge.
    Texas Legislature passes two resolutions to cut the drug abuse at colleges. H.R. #235 and S.R. #645 state no illegal drug will be allowed on campus. Violations will result in suspension.
  • 1988
    Partly because of the popularity of MTV, the younger generation becomes known as couch potatoes.
    The first issue of The Collegian takes over the multi-campus community college.
    Traveling to New York, Pan Am flight 103 crashes, killing 260 people when a bomb explodes.
    Former Vice President George Bush wins presidential bid. As President, he dedicates a war memorial in Dallas for the 3,427 Texans killed in Vietnam.
  • 1989
    All freshmen must take the Texas Academic Skills Program (TASP) to enter college.
    South Campus wins first place at the American College Theater Festival with a performance of Freedom of the City. The audience awards the 21-member cast and crew with a standing ovation. TCJC is the only junior college competing against universities in a five-state region.
    Two Pesos Mexican restaurant offers cheese nachos and a small coke for 99 cents. McDonald’s pays employees $3.75 to $5 an hour.
    New computer systems including a 640k RAM with 20mg hard drive and a 14” monochrome monitor sell for $1279.
    The Exxon Valdez oil tanker hits the Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, dumping 11 million gallons of oil into the ocean in the largest spill in U.S. history.
  • 1990
    Joe B. Rushing Performing Arts Center on South Campus opens in honor of TCJC’s chancellor emeritus.
    South Campus boosts technology with its satellite dish. Bob Frost, director of instructional television, says, “Satellite feed is the way of the future.”
    Six Flags Over Texas opens The Texas Giant and becomes the home of the tallest wooden rollercoaster in the world. The coaster stands at 143 feet with a high speed of 62 miles per hour and creates a 2.7 G force.
    East and West Germany and East and West Berlin reunite through the removal of the Berlin Wall. Originally constructed in 1961, the wall represented the division of Berlin after the end of World War II.
  • 1991
    The last indoor smoking area on NW Campus is closed. The biggest complaint is not the smoke, but the noise from smoke eater machines.
    Language barriers and terms of expression are traced to black culture from days of slavery and the entertainment industry, reports Dr. Kenneth Kirkpatrick, director of DePauw University’s academic resource center. Coded language included heinous for bad, melvined for duped, bogus for dangerously melvined and miscreant for loser.
    The creation of the World Wide Web expands the use and scope of computers.
    Texas votes for the amendment to its constitution implementation of a state lottery.
    Earvin “Magic” Johnson of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team announces he has AIDS.
    President Bush declares war against Iraq. The Persian Gulf War operation Desert Storm deploys troops to the desert to liberate Kuwait. Iraq alleges Kuwait is slant drilling into Iraqi territory for oil.
  • 1992
    NE student Tony Sturgeon notices Dr. Lawrence Baker, professor of media technology, having trouble and trying to push on his own stomach. Sturgeon performs the Heimlich maneuver, a technique he has learned only two weeks earlier.
    Wayne’s World opens in theaters employing language indicative of the college population.
    Farm-Aid, raises awareness of problems suffered by farmers. Willie Nelson, Farm-Aid Inc. president and noted country singer, appears in Irving to address issues.
    Bill Clinton becomes the nation’s 42nd president. He later reforms the welfare system.
  • 1993
    TCJC bond approved for Arlington Campus. The bond passed with an 82 percent vote to expand TCJC.
    Students are upgraded with Call Notes. Southwestern Bell offers the answering service to people with touch-tone phones. For $5 to $6 per month, the feature makes getting messages while on another call a possibility.
    The Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Bureau raids a compound in Waco to arrest David Koresh for firearms violations and starts a 51-day standoff.
    The World Trade Center in New York is bombed. Thousands are injured when a bomb explodes in a van parked below the north tower.
  • 1994
    TCJC begins accepting MasterCard and Visa credit cards for tuition payments. Cafeteria on South Campus introduces self-service techniques.
    The first students to enter TCC’s Cornerstone honors program graduate.
    Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan’s battle before the Winter Olympics attracts worldwide coverage. Kerrigan is clubbed in the knee, and suspicion quickly turns to her American rival Harding.
    Netscape releases a browser for the Internet, Netscape 1.0
  • 1995
    Ground breaking for SE Campus begins later than scheduled because of weather delays. Opening is scheduled for fall 1996.
    A new water park called NRH2O opens in North Richland Hills. The giant wave pool attracts attention of park goers.
    Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols bomb the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building. The disaster kills 168 people including 19 children.
  • 1996
    Bomb mars Summer Olympics games in Atlanta, killing two and injuring more than 100.
    Prince Charles announces he and Princess Diana will divorce.
    Dr. Ian Wilmut and his team clone the world’s first sheep from adult cells, “Dolly,” born in July.
  • 1997
    Princess Diana, 36, dies in automobile accident in Paris.
    Mother Teresa dies at 87.
    Timothy McVeigh receives death sentence for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
    Hale-Bopp comet is the closest it will be to Earth until 4397.
    Heaven’s Gate cult members commit a mass suicide in California.
  • 1998
    TCC students can now earn an associate degree from their living room through computer delivered instruction via the Internet.
    President Bill Clinton is accused of sex scandal with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
    Legendary crooner Frank Sinatra dies of a heart attack at 82.
    Terry Nichols is sentenced to life for his involvement in the Oklahoma City bombings.
    TCC students respond to the piercing and body art craze. Students’ navels, tongues and eyebrows become a few of the most popular body parts adorned.
  • 1999
    Potential Y2K computer glitch alarms companies and citizens throughout the world.
    Judge declares Microsoft a monopoly.
    Two students go on shooting spree at Columbine High School in Colorado, killing 15, including themselves.
  • 2000
    First Lady Hillary Clinton officially enters the race for U.S. senator for New York.
    Vermont approves same-sex unions.
    Richard Hatch wins $1 million for being the last player standing on Survivor, the first reality TV show.
  • 2001
    George W. Bush is sworn in as 43rd U.S. president.
    Terrorists attack United States, hijacking and crashing commercial airliners into both World Trade Centers, one into the Pentagon and another 80 miles outside of Pittsburgh.
    Various media and government officials receive anthrax-laced letters, killing several people who handled the letters.
    Timothy McVeigh is executed for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombings.
    Tiger Woods wins the Masters tournament, making him the first golfer to be reigning champion of all majors simultaneously.
    Napster, a file sharing network, is court ordered to block all copyrighted music files.
    Enron Corp., one of the world’s largest energy companies, files for bankruptcy.
  • 2002
    The NW Campus unveils its $17 million Firefighter Training Center. It is the largest computer-controlled, gas-fired (natural gas and propane) training facility in the world.
    The Trinity Railway Express opens, transporting commuters between Fort Worth and Dallas.
    Open-container-law goes into effect, making it illegal for passengers to drink alcoholic beverages in a vehicle.
    Snipers prey upon D.C. suburbs, killing 10 and wounding others.
    Euro currency debuts in 12 European countries.
    Queen Elizabeth II marks 50 years as British monarch.
    MTV’s first unscripted cable TV show features heavy metal musician Ozzy Osbourne, his wife Sharon and their two teenage children, Kelly and Jack. The show averages six million viewers an episode.
  • 2003
    U.S. troops capture Saddam Hussein.
    Space shuttle Columbia explodes over Texas killing seven astronauts.
    Bush signs 10-year $350 billion tax-cut package, the third largest tax cut in U.S. history.
    California elects actor Arnold Schwarzenegger governor.
    Lance Armstrong wins the Tour de France; this is Armstrong’s fifth straight year to win.
  • 2004
    Indian Ocean tsunami devastates Asia; at least 225,000 are killed.
    Hamid Karzai is inaugurated as Afghanistan’s first popularly elected president.
    Summer Olympics take place in Athens, Greece.
  • 2005
    George W. Bush is officially sworn in for his second term as president.
    The New York Times reports that in 2002, President Bush signed a presidential order to allow the National Security Agency to spy without warrants on Americans suspected of being connected to terrorist activity.
    About 11 million registered voters (70 percent) select the first permanent Parliament since Saddam Hussein.
    Hurricane Katrina destroys Gulf Coast killing more than 1,000 and leaving millions homeless. TCC opens its doors to evacuees.
    Pope John Paul II dies; Benedict XVI becomes the next pope.
    Pennsylvania judge rules teaching of intelligent design in biology is unconstitutional.


Copyright © 2006 The Collegian - All Rights Reserved.

April 05, 2006

First-time students finding way through college maze

by Charity Montieth, Bitty Reilly and Susan Tallant

   (Part two in a three-part series on freshman facing their first semester in college.)
   Many college freshmen find themselves clueless, roaming the campus in search of their own path.
   But halfway through the first semester, they often find themselves gaining comfort in their new surroundings.
   Halfway through the semester, Andria Blake, a South Campus student, braces herself through the rough moments and tests in her first semester at college.
   Her advice to other students is to keep a planner.
   “ It is so easy to get overwhelmed with all of the homework. If you keep a planner, you can decide how many hours you are going to work; that way you have a schedule,” she said.
   Planners offer other benefits.
   “ It really does relieve stress, and it gives you a sense of accomplishment once you’ve completed a task,” she said.
   Blake is still taking her original course load of nine hours on the government’s tab, with thanks to her five-year service in the Army. Her three classes include English composition, math and art.
   She said her challenges are increasing, especially in English where her instructor pushes them to learn, gives tough tests and requires a lot of writing.
   “ I was expecting my classes to stay the same or get easier, but that is not the case. It seems like they are getting harder and harder, and the work load has definitely increased,” she said. “But I am hanging in there.”
   Even with all of the effort in keeping up with the classes, she said she still wishes she had not been so hesitant when it came to taking courses.
   Over spring break, Blake entertained family from out-of-state and had fun relaxing before coming back for the rest of the spring semester.
   In addition, she has made a few new friends at the college. They stay in touch between classes.
   “ Some of the people in my art class are so interesting,” she said. “I love talking to them.”
   Blake looks forward to this semester’s end and beginning again with summer classes.
   After completing half of her first semester on SE Campus, Regina Thompson said making transition back to the classroom has gone pretty smoothly.
   “ Really my classes have been a lot easier than I expected,” she said.
   Thompson, 51, who is currently enrolled in speech, micro-computer applications and human relations, works during the day and attends classes at night.
   She said one of the biggest surprises is that the age difference between her and other students is not as great as she expected.
   “ When you think of college, the first thing that comes to mind is a bunch of kids who want to party all the time, but I was surprised to find that there are students of all ages,” she said.
   Thompson has enjoyed the interaction with other students.
   “ It’s a different environment; it’s much more relaxed than the workplace,” she said.
   As far as her studies are concerned, she knew it would be difficult balancing her family, work and school and believes she has done well.
   “ [Studying] really is more time consuming than I thought,” she said.  “It seems like all of my professors schedule tests and projects at the same time.”
   Thompson reminds herself that being able to attend school is a blessing from God. 
   “ My goal is to own my own business,” she said. “Along the way there will be trials and tribulations, but as long as I persevere, I know I will be able to claim that blessing.”
   Thompson, who was looking forward to spring break, was shocked that it would not be a break at all.
   “ It seems like I had more homework over the break than I would have had if we had class,” she said.
   But at the same time, Thompson understands that her professors do not want students to get out of the swing of things over the break.
   “ I have kids, and I know how difficult it is to get them motivated to go back to school after the vacations,” she said.
   Thompson has learned information that will not only help her in her career, but also in life.
   For example, she thought speech would cover only public speaking.  She said the class goes much deeper, examining how to effectively communicate with others. And she believes her human relations class has opened her eyes to a whole new perspective.
   “ This information is not only making me smarter, it is making me a better person overall,” she said. “It will ultimately help me to become a better wife, mother and friend.”
   College life for Matt Mancuso is getting harder, but he thinks he is handling it pretty well.
   “ I just stay on top of my game and keep on keeping on,” he said.
   Mancuso had to drop a class but is still taking nine hours.
   “ I dropped government because it was too much,” he said.
   Mancuso said tests are okay as long as he has time to study, but working 40 hours per week, he worries about not studying enough.
   “ If I don’t pass my classes, I will not be able to get financial aid next semester, and I will have to pay back what they gave me this semester,” he said.
   The most challenging classes for Mancuso are the ones in the emergency medical technician area on NE Campus.
   “ EMT takes so much more time than just class time,” he said. “We also have to do 80 hours of clinical rotations in hospital ERs, ambulances and fire departments.”
   Mancuso said his EMT class is dropping in size, but he has no plans to quit.
   “ I’m ready for my final in EMT to see if I can really make it to the next level,” he said. “My class started out with 36 students, and I think there are about 20 left.”
   Mancuso is staying focused by doing the opposite of what he wants to do.
   “ I am young, and I make a lot of stupid decisions,” he said. “Some days I really want to go out and party. But if I do, I will get in the habit of it, and I am not willing to flush all of my hard work down the toilet.”
   Mancuso was supposed to go to Vegas during spring break but had to cancel. He ended up working, but he went to a club once or twice.
   “ I guess I will have a lot of catching up to do this summer,” he said. “Summer is so close, yet so far.”

Stone Kim/The Collegian

Matt Mancuso, NE Campus student, completes homework. Mancuso works 40 hours per week and attends classes for the EMT program.

Stone Kim/The Collegian

Regina Thompson, SE Campus student, studies in the library. Thompson works during the day and attends classes at night.

Copyright © 2006 The Collegian - All Rights Reserved.

March 01, 2006

Snip and Save
Budgeting major cuts major savings with coupons

by Bitty Reilly
south news editor

   While some people go to Vegas to rake in money, one South Campus student heads to the grocery store and goes home a winner.
   Brandi Clingerman, a second-semester budgeting business major, is a coupon shopper who gets the most grocery value for her money.
   On two days of a recent weekend, Clingerman’s purchases totaled $567.91. She paid $27.30.
   One weekend each month, Albertsons offers a special coupon sale.
   Clingerman takes advantage when the store doubles the coupon’s face value amount, up to $1 and triples up to 75 cents. She said the double sometimes goes up to $2.
   A coupon for $1.50 off razors would equal face value on the regular coupon specials, but would total $3 off on the double-up-to $2 weekends.
   “ You have to strategically save your coupons over $1 because they expire,” she said.
   Albertsons discounts can include preferred savings, bonus buy savings, manufacturer coupons and store coupons.
   On this recent shopping expedition, Clingerman watched over the shoulder of her cashier for the multiplied coupon, which is when the coupon is doubled or tripled.
   “ That one didn’t double,” she said to the cashier.
   “ Store coupons don’t double,” the cashier said. “Manufacturer coupons do.”
   Breaking down her receipts make the savings areas evident.
   Her store coupons totaled $230.88. This amount included multiplied coupons and in-store coupons like the ones that print out of the register or come from aisle dispensers.
   Manufacturer coupons totaled $253.66. These come from the companies who are trying to sell their product.
   Her bonus buy savings were $1.40 and her preferred savings were $54.67, which are from the free membership card that provides special prices for Albertsons customers.
   The maximum amount of coupons per checkout is 75, so Clingerman just makes many trips.
   On Saturday, Clingerman spent five hours at the Benbrook Albertsons, bagging $266.09 for $8.94 and traveling through the checkout line four times. She said she cannot make $250 at her job in five hours, so the time is well spent. She blamed that $8.94 on Seattle’s Best Coffee.
   “ I don’t have a coupon,” she said. “Otherwise, it would be free.”
   Anica Johnson, a Dannon demonstration representative, had a store display to give away coupons and samples. She was allowed to give away four coupons per customer.
   “ If they ask for them, I can’t tell the customer no if they want more. The customer can have a coupon if they buy the product,” she said.
   “ My job is to give away the coupons. I didn’t know today was coupon day, and I wondered why I got bombarded this morning,” she said.
   Clingerman did ask for more coupons. She made three trips getting 48 Dannon yogurts, which totaled $0, and Johnson got to go home early.
   “ I’m out of product!” Johnson said, smiling. “There is nothing left.”
   Clingerman explained the process using Mahatma rice.
   “ It’s 49 cents. I have a 35 cent off coupon. Double 35 and that’s 70 cents off,” she said.
   “ The Prego is a good deal because I have a coupon,” she said. “It’s not free, but the product sale is buy one get one free.”
   Both jars would end up costing Clingerman less than the one.
   At $1.49, she leaves the spaghetti sauce and moves to the next special.
   “ [While checking out,] wait until you’ve scanned the groceries to scan the preferred card because the [store coupon] machine prints out the coupons while you are scanning the groceries,” she said.
   “ It prints out the coupon for the $5 off Cokes when you buy $20 worth of Coke products, but with the preferred card, your Cokes don’t cost as much,” she said.
   Other patrons of the store noticed Clingerman’s shopping techniques. Bonding with “coupon” people in the aisles and checkout, they compared coupons, checked out totals and even swapped unneeded coupons for more useable ones.
   Clingerman’s bookkeeping methods include a flower print purse, crazy head pen that rattles, a calculator, a used coupons envelope and a coupon box. The box contains dividers, which separate hundreds of coupons by product type.
   Throughout the month, Clingerman clips coupons out of her paper at home, from her relative’s newspapers, out of any Sunday paper lying around and from printouts on the Internet.
   Some Web sites offer weekly e-mails with coupons. Most coupon sites like newcoupons@couponsurfer.com, provide a downloadable “coupon printer,” an executable file that retrieves the coupons with the bar codes and information, that enables them for scanning.
   Clingerman’s totals this trip required more than one trip outside. In the freezing rain and temperatures on Saturday, she said she had to hurry, concerned about the sodas that might freeze before she finished.
   Clingerman stayed at the same store Saturday for all of her shopping, but she often store hops from one Albertsons to another.
   During trips through the check out line, members of the staff often awaited her totals with some wishing out loud that they could be that good at shopping.
   Clingerman is quick to share her secret strategy: grab a pair of scissors and start clipping away.

Photos by Stone Kim/The Collegian

Brandi Clingerman, South Campus student, uses her coupon clipping skills to save money on groceries. Above: A cash receipt shows a total savings of $125.54 during a recent shopping trip .

Copyright © 2006 The Collegian - All Rights Reserved.

February 26, 2006

Freshman year offers range of experiences, awakenings

by Charity Montieth, Bitty Reilly,
Susan Tallant and Elizabeth Weeks

   (Part one in a three-part series on freshman facing their first semester in college.)
   Clueless unfortunately describes many new students attending their first semester in college.
   Students often register for classes and expect their college experience to be much like high school.
   But seasoned students can attest that the freshman year is a proving ground—a make-it or bust-out experience that will influence a student’s chance at succeeding in college.
   A new student on each of the four TCC campuses has agreed to participate in sharing all things good and bad as a college freshman.
   Alberto Anguiano thought college life would be fun, exciting and even thrilling.
   But the NW Campus student now has a different viewpoint.
   “ The truth of the matter is that college life is not that much fun or thrilling,” he said.
   After graduating from North Side High School in May, Anguiano took a semester off to work and pay off his car. He knew he eventually needed to return to his education.
   “ You have to go to college to be successful in life,” he said.
   Anguiano is taking four courses this semester—reading, basic college math, business computer information systems and English.
   He said his classes have been easy overall, but his computer class has been a lot of work.
   Anguiano said his college experience has been surprisingly busy.
   In addition to his classes, he is working full time at a Lowe’s hot dog stand.
   Because of his busy schedule, Anguiano has not had the opportunity to utilize all of the campus facilities.
   With classes in the evenings, Anguiano is on campus Monday through Thursday 7-10 p.m. He has used only the library, gym and math lab facilities.
   Anguiano is impressed with many of the features on campus although his math lab experiences have left him disappointed.
   Anguiano has been surprised at the mundane feel of college life.
   “ Going to college requires lots of hard work, and working while going to school leaves hardly any time for relaxation,” he said.
   As a night student, Anguiano has had more than his share of parking problems.
   “ I believe night students should get closer parking for safety reasons,” he said. “It would be so much more convenient for us when we come out of the school at night.”
   Anguiano has found college to be a difficult but rewarding experience. He has made many new acquaintances and is looking forward to the rest of the semester.
   Matt Mancuso grew up in Fort Worth working in his mom’s Italian restaurant, so he knows hard work and determination is required in order to succeed.
   Instead of running the family business, he is now a freshman on the NE Campus studying to become a firefighter and paramedic.
   Mancuso is taking 12 college hours, including classes necessary for an emergency medical technician certification, which is a requirement to enter both the fire academy on NW Campus and the paramedic program on the NE Campus.
   He is one of many new students finding out that life in the first semester is both gratifying and tiresome.
   “ Enrollment for the EMT entry was lengthy,” he said. “You have to have a CPR certification, drug screen and background check.”
   Mancuso also said the financial aid process is somewhat confusing.
   “ Studying is also hard right now,” he said. “A lot of people come from high school where you don’t really have to study. Then when you get to college, you have to crack down.”
   Mancuso learned about college difficulties when he enrolled in college right out of high school and quickly dropped all of his classes.
   “ I feel good about this,” he said. “I like coming to school to do something I enjoy.”
   Mancuso is also finding college brings other benefits, including the opportunity to work out in the gym for free.
   “ You can’t beat the gym,” he said. “There is no better deal.”
   Mancuso criticized the expense of purchasing textbooks..
   “ The cost of books is ridiculous,” he said.
   His overall experience so far has been a good one, and Mancuso is adjusting well to college life.
   Finishing her fifth week of classes on South Campus, Andria Blake is acutely aware of the challenges and opportunities of college life.
   After five years in the Army, Blake is now a first-semester student. She spent time in Italy and Iraq, and the GI bill pays her tuition.
   Blake has not decided on a major.
   “ Right now, I just want to learn … everything,” she said.
   This semester the freshman is taking nine hours of core classes.
   “ There aren’t many challenges in math, but English [composition] is stimulating, and art appreciation is starting to get fun,” she said.
   For her first semester, Blake is taking a light course load.
“ I wanted to slide into the educational environment this semester, but next semester, I would like to go all out,” she said.
   Finding out about student facilities and services such as the library, computer lab and student clubs and organizations, has been slow for Blake, who has a library very close to home where she lives with her parents for this semester.
   Frequently, she reads The Collegian while she waits for an English seminar. She would rather wait near the classroom, instead of sitting in the Student Center or snacking in the cafeteria.
   This semester she has decided to become familiar with campus life before thinking about going to work.
   Many new college students find themselves nervous as they enter their first semester, but one SE student says that just wasn’t the case—even after a 32-year absence from the classroom.
   In fact, Regina Thompson views her 32-year hiatus as an advantage.
   “ I have been out of school for a long time, but [in life] I have gained experience and knowledge that will only contribute to my success,” she said.
   Thompson, 50, is pursuing her associate degree in small business management and would like to use the skills gained at TCC to open a home-based travel agency.
   “ Going to college has always been one of my goals,” she said. “I believe that God has finally given me the opportunity and the time to pursue my education.”
   After graduating high school, Thompson enlisted in the U.S. Army, where she had the opportunity to travel the world and explore new cultures.
   She also met her husband David in the Army, and after serving their country, they settled down and had three children.
   Thompson says her children and grandchildren provided the primary reason she decided to go back to school. Her youngest two children, 16 and 19, will also be college bound in the near future.
   “ I hope to be an example to them,” she said. “I am an avid believer that education should not be taken for granted. I only hope that they will follow my example.”
   Thompson says the biggest problem she had was familiarizing herself with the campus layout. Everything was unfamiliar at first, but she attended an orientation for new students, which guided her in the right direction.
   “ The orientation was refreshing and informative. I was very excited to get started after that,” she said.
   Many students find the registration and financial aid process to be taxing, but Thompson said it was much easier than she expected.
   “ I wasn’t afraid to ask questions, and the entire staff, especially Karen Simmons, was very helpful in ensuring I got all the proper paperwork done,” she said.
   Thompson is currently enrolled in three classes: speech, microcomputer applications and human relations.    She hopes that each of the classes will help to enhance her communication and business skills.
   “ I really enjoy all of my classes. My professors seem like they are very helpful, and so far each of my classes has been very interactive,” she said.
   Thompson realizes that balancing her studies with the demands of a family and part-time job can be a challenge, but she says she is up to the task.
   “ I am just so excited to be using my brain in an intellectual function again,” she said. “I can’t wait to get started with my studies.”

Photos by Jana Boardman, Stone Kim and Charity Montieth/ The Collegian



Copyright © 2006 The Collegian - All Rights Reserved.

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