Best You’ve Never Heard: That’s Him! That’s the Guy!

Their name suggests pinpointing a specific man in a lineup of many, and you can set the band apart from the rest of their peers in the same way. Although they’re only a duo, two smooth harmonizers are all they need. Instead of dividing duties among several members, Joseph Scott and David Martin equally contribute vocals and sounds.
“In terms of who plays what, since there’s only two of us David’s the principal song writer so he does most of the guitar work and the lead vocals,” Scott said.
Their friendship has survived the test of time – 14 years to be exact – but Scott and Martin have only been making music together for four years. Before signing with their current record label Jumberlack Media one year ago, they independently released their EP Help Me, I’m On Fire in 2006.
Their first major album was recently released on Jumberlack, entitled An Army Life, which they recorded in a year and a half. It will have two separate releases, including the physical release which was celebrated with a show at Scene Metrospace in East Lansing on January 26. The digital release will come sometime after that. Scott and Martin also have a 7″ CD in progress.
Country music of the 1970s and ’80s influences Martin’s styles, and it comes through clearly in sections of the music. A hint of a banjo can be heard in the record “For the Learned” from their An Army Life album. The vocals are soft and the old country undertone is definitely present in the easy flow of the guitar and (subtle) drums. “I’m sort of a sucker for cheesy ’80s country,” Martin said.
While most of their days are consumed with music, free time and time for outside activities is important. Video games are one good way to relieve stress. Scott is working on a doctorate in economics from MSU and David is currently a fine arts major at the College of Creative Studies in Detroit.
Although both Scott and Martin have gone through college, most of their spare time goes to music. Scott is currently part of another band by the name of Canada, which released its EP around the same time as Help Me, I’m On Fire was released. “It just kind of worked out, because right around the time that our EP came out Canada’s EP came out. We’ve kind of just existed in spurts,” Martin said.
Canada has more touring experience than That’s Him! That’s The Guy! (TH! TTG! has only done two official tours), but Scott and Martin aren’t shy when it comes to live performances. “We have a thing where, generally speaking, whenever we walk into a show it’s inevitable that somebody will point at one or both of us and say ‘that’s him, that’s the guy’,” Martin said.
No one said that at the CD release show on January 26, but their performance awed the audience anyway. Scott and Martin are incredibly in sync on stage, and it’s clear they don’t need any other members to bring the music to life. The number “Polish Lancers,” which can be previewed on MySpace, hypnotized the entire crowd and the melody was blended with smooth vocals and beats.
“They tackle some pretty serious issues for what might be called pop music or indie pop. They’re talking about like, divorce and alcoholism and dysfunctionalism. But not in an angsty way, more in a clear-eyed way,” said Peter Richards, director of Scene Metrospace.
“It sounds like, as personal conflicts they’re moving forward and not wallowing,” Richards said. “I think that’s what I like about it, as far as the song writing.”
While Scott started off playing drums (for the opening numbers), during the performance he switched to three different instruments, going from drums to bass and then from bass to acoustic guitar. Martin also switched instruments near the middle of the show, from acoustic guitar to bass. These switches came when Chris Bathgate and members from fellow band Frontier Ruckus joined Scott and Martin on stage. Although the vocals remained with Scott and Martin, the guest musicians knew well the music they were playing.
These are the only people who know as much as Martin and Scott do about their live shows, but they appreciate all the time they have with Scott and Martin, and their music. “That’s Him! That’s the Guy! music is some of the best music to play on mandolin because they always leave me just the right amount of space,” said musician Chris Bathgate, who plays mandolin with That’s Him! That’s the Guy!
“It’s what they’ve been doing lately live; there are some songs that are really, really flowing, some songs will be super choppy,” Bathgate said.
Help from fellow artists is usually sought after from Michigan-based bands, and as a duo TH! TTG! sometimes goes to a rotating line-up for live shows and recording. “If we didn’t record with friends I feel like we’d probably be blacklisted, no one would want to work with us,” Scott said.
They also join other artists on stage and in studio, which creates a unique sense of community among their local peers. “We’re fans of our friends’ bands and our friends are fans of us,” said Martin.
“I really enjoy the sparseness of it; it’s challenging to write a really sparse song. It’s easy to like, fill it up with as much poetry and melody as you can come up with,” Richards said. “Instead of doing that, they spread those ideas out over several songs.”
“They’ve come up with a really nice catalogue of songs. They don’t really have bad songs because of that,” Richards said.
Coasting on the harmony and then slamming a drum or guitar chord to bring the song home is a rock-solid theme in That’s Him! That’s the Guy! music. “It’s almost like I’m playing straight bluegrass. Then you have these sort of quieter moments or louder moments where there’s really open, long, long chords,” Bathgate said.
Although they have help performing and recording from time to time, Scott and Martin don’t see themselves formally adding any other members to the group. “We like how it is now, how we have people who can rotate in and out as the ideal. From the beginning it’s always been kind of a thing where the two of us have just been able to sit down and bounce ideas off of each other,” Martin said.
“If it works it’s because the interplay between the two of us is working, and if it doesn’t work it’s because the two of us or one of us or something didn’t quite click,” Martin said.
“I think that’s probably, in the end, why we’re able to keep working together. If things aren’t going well, there’s kinda just a sense of like, sit down and instead of playing music watch Red Dawn and play Guitar Hero and that’ll sort of calm things down,” Martin said.

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Another World

Throughout the fall, the MSU Department of History is putting on their second annual international film series playing films from all over the world. Professors in the history department hope the students will realize the importance of international cinema by having the opportunity to connect with it. “There were a few things that went into our thinking about it. The first was to allow students to experience foreign films. It’s a shame because there aren’t any theaters in the Lansing area that play films like that,” said Ethan Segal, history professor who coordinated the film series last year. “The second was because it’s practical. We only teach for 50 or 80 minutes a class period, so watching films can cut into two classes. This provides an easy venue to share them with the students.” Professors each have their own week during the series to present a film of their choosing that connects to what they are teaching in the classroom. The series offers several viewpoints from an array of countries including Japan, Argentina, the United Kingdom as well as historically significant films from the United States.
Although the professors choose the films based on coursework, students from outside the classes are encouraged to join the screenings. “I think it’s a really good thing in the sense that it’s something students can get into,” this year’s coordinator, professor Erica Windler, said. “It gets them out in realizing that there’s more to their learning experience and their university experience than what happens in the classroom. By doing that, they hopefully form a sense of community.”
The professors that host the films are often inclined to give a short presentation about the time period and the film and may hold discussions afterward with those in attendance. The movies they chose are often a favorite of the professors as well. “A lot of times it’s hard to go and look if you’re at Blockbuster or Netflix to pick something from this huge mess of films and know that it’s going to be good,” Windler said. “Where as you have these films that have been suggested by people that really know what’s going on, and they’re films we want to use to attract people. We hope that not only will they have intellectual content but that will be interesting for students.” While they offer extra credit to their students to go see the film, Segal and Windler both hope that the students will get a little more out of their experience than a few extra points.
They hope students will be happy to have experienced something they otherwise wouldn’t have. “It’ll encourage them hopefully to keep talking about things that they’ve seen and to think about also how film serves as an interpretation of society,” Windler said. “We hope that it will open students up, even for a brief moment, to cultures and time periods that they might not otherwise have exposure to.” Exposing students to a new culture is something relevant outside of the history department as well. Film studies students analyze movies from many countries around the world and media classes within departments use film to learn customs through film as well.
Maria Murdrovcic teaches one such class. Her media and conversation class uses film as a tool for both language-use and for learning about Latin American and Spanish cultures. Murdrovcic, a native Argentinean, thinks that Latin movies speak volumes to the culture and mindset of the Spanish-speaking world. “It’s a different way of picking topics, telling the stories, narrating what is going on,” Murdrovcic said. “And the difference at first is shocking and afterwards, it’s kind of, ‘Ok, how can we understand this way of telling us something we are accustom to seeing a different way.’” The films Murdrovcic shows in class deal with topics ranging from oppressive governments to homosexuality in the Latin American culture and often have more than one context in which characters deal with such issues.
Murdrovcic explained that Latin films use words and speech a lot more while American films use acting. Topics like love and comedy, while a key part in Latin cinema, take a back seat to bigger issues like history, culture and politics. “I like the movies that propose tensions between characters for different reason and how those tensions will allow me to talk about cultural issues, political issues, historical issues, esthetic issues,” Murdrovcic said. “I use the movie because I like it first, but also because it’s a good excuse to allow me to talk about realities that are far, far away.” Murdrovcic engages her students in projects and discussions dealing with topics expressed in the films. They get a deeper understanding of the characters, their motives and the culture.
While film students also learn other cultures through the use of international cinema, they are concentrating on a different aspect entirely. “I think you can really open up your mind to what film can be,” film studies senior Alex Reyme said. “Get rid of some prejudice. Expand upon domestic film. Doing anything or researching anything from a different part of the world is beneficial.” One of the main benefits is solely having something in common with people you didn’t have much in common with before through what you learn in a film.
Between the subtitles and the foreign language, watching an international film is a different type of movie-going experience all together, but the perspective you get from international films is something not easily matched in the US. “You see how much Hollywood movies follow a set pattern and there’s so much more the world of cinema has to offer than Hollywood can give,” Segal said. “Don’t get me wrong, Hollywood films are great, but there’s so many ways to tell a story with film.” Segal chose a Japanese film called Ran to host for the series this fall. Although it is fiction, he hopes the time period his students will come across more clearly as they see a different take on King Lear story based in Renaissance Japan.
The films from the history department’s film series may shy away from the typical Hollywood movie, but still gives credit to great American films like The Graduate. It shows the film world’s diverse points of view. “I would say that every country has its own history of film. Hollywood just has its own identity and it happens to be in America,” Reyme said. “A lot of times foreign films aren’t as streamlined. They’re always more about character development. I think that’s a defining factor for international art cinema across the world.” Whether art or a tool for learning, the films shown on MSU’s campus are beneficial to students’ academic and life experiences.
So will these films change everyone’s ideas about what makes a good film? Probably not. “It’s hard to compete with the familiar, with the effortless, with the predictability of a North American movie,” Murdrovcic said. “And the attraction and the beauty of it all.” Hollywood may have its appeal, but a free movie, some popcorn and becoming a little more aware of the world is certainly worth watching an international film.

The films are shown on campus in the Life Sciences building at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesdays. Visit _________ for further information.

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stereotyping piece

August 22. My first day as a college student in America. I entered my dorm room.
Dorm room, now that sounds nice. My roommate had yet to make an appearance, and I got to make the first choices. While cleaning up and putting everything in place I thought of how she was going to be; maybe she would not like my music, or my complete lack of putting things in order. Not knowing anybody and having only heard rumors about the state was pretty scary. I had only spoken with my roommate three times on the phone before coming here, and she was the only person I knew. During orientation, my parents were still in East Lansing, so it did not feel as lonely knowing that they were just a few blocks away. After they left I began to notice little things like many people came to MSU with their best friend or sweetheart, some even came with a bunch of friends or family, no matter how far away their home state. A couple of weeks past and I started to feel alone. My roommate had some friends with whom she studied or had worked with and I got to know them somewhat, but it was still difficult. WHERE IS INGRID FROM?
A big obstacle to overcome while in a new country or state, where you do not know anybody or cannot really speak the language, is getting to know people; and after having heard about all the stereotypes of cultures it makes it even harder for a person to adapt. Sung Hee Park, a tourism graduate student originally from Korea, told me that when she arrived to MSU it was very hard for her to make friends. Park has found students in MSU to be very conservative. She said that “people are more serious and never say hi,” giving her the impression that nobody cares about one another. “I lived in L.A. for a year; people are more happy [there], more active,” Park said.
Not only do out-of-state and international students have a stereotypical idea planted when they come to MSU, but Michigan residents do also. For Ileana Cortez, an interdisciplinary studies and community relations senior, the idea of stereotypes was all but unfamiliar. “Everybody thinks all Asian students are smart and people try to stay away from other with head wraps because of the terrorism incidents,” Cortez said. She also sees international students as privileged “since they must have the means to come study in the United States.”
“[Stereotypes] come from television and media in general,” Cortez said. These stereotypes result in the segregation of students; Cortez, a Michigan resident, said that “whatever friends people have will change their perception; people in Michigan are very segregated.” Oftentimes, people simply divide themselves into groups they feel more comfortable in, rather than being uncomfortable with other cultures. “People segregate themselves; they choose who to be with,” Lei Sung, a pre-med freshman from Michigan, said.
Stereotypes have probably erupted from the differences between students from different cultures. Park encountered for the first time someone who challenged her ideas and involved her in an argument. “People have totally different opinions here,” Park said about students at MSU. “The first time I disagreed with someone I felt I was being rude, I learned how to accept the different points of view.” Back in Korea, she learned from an early age that she should keep quiet when she did not agree with an opinion. At MSU she has had to grasp the concept of speaking her mind in public. Students at MSU have changed her personality. “Learning to speak my own opinion in public has made people in my home town think I’m getting rude,” Park said.
Stereotypes between cultures are not the only reason why students have a hard time adjusting. Some students like Ohnes find it difficult to be away from their families. Even though he is from a suburban area and finds MSU similar, he said, “I miss being apart from family and the environment is different.” Michigan’s changing weather is another big factor among students. “The weather is cold,” Park said. She believes that as the weather changes, people change with it, and that is when she feels more comfortable. “As the weather is getting better people are getting better,” she said.
As there are things that make the students uncomfortable, there are activities, different clubs and organizations that are meant to the benefit of students. Students like Ohnes find that the orientation week with all its activities is very helpful. Others like Park went farther out to look for friends; she joined a Korean Church and met some people there, also she started taking classes from other departments and joined study groups. There are also more than 550 registered student organizations like COMmunity Journalism Student organization; the Arab Cultural Society, which is dedicated to representing Arab students in the student government; the Greek community; the Multi-Racial Unity Living Experience, a residential living experience where students from different cultures live together; as well as the RHA and different residential programs that are dedicated to help make the college transition easier.
During the classes I began talking to people, or they began talking to me. I am still searching for some things to do, since I have noticed that social opportunities do not just appear out of thin air. It is all a matter of getting the leg up and looking for different clubs, organizations and groups, or talking to random people in the building. It is also hard, though, when you realize that your friends are not in the same state that you are; if I am bored or want to go somewhere my friends cannot just show up. These are things I had to realize and get over in order to focus on my studies and try to make a life over here. Even though I miss my family and friends, and the thought of having to start my own life all by myself is scary, this has been a great experience and I am glad I took the risk. Life is all about risks and you just have to throw yourself in no matter what.

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Best You’ve Never Heard: Sh! The Octopus

It’s not too often that one comes across a band who’s trying to silence you in the first part of their name. It’s also not too often that the same band has problems distinguishing themselves from another band because of similar titles.(THIS SENTENCE DOESNT MAKE SENSE–WHAT IS SHE TRYING TO SAY?) But such is the case for the up and coming, Detroit-based, classical alternative group Sh! The Octopus.REWORK LEAD
“We get asked that all the time,” frontman Randy Bishop replied with a chuckle when inquired about the origins of the name. “It actually came from an old movie; I have the DVD version of it. It’s a bad movie, but I was just really intrigued with it.” The movie matched the title of the band (“Sh! The Octopus”) and was released in 1937 with a small budget under the direction of William C. McGann.
To go along with the unique name their uniquely-titled debut album, released independently in mid-July 2007, was entitled The Carrot Chase. The actual recording time took a total of seven months, but when releasing independently there are extra factors involved. In terms of track life and length, there is a good amount of variation. Some songs were recorded three months before the album dropped, and others had been around since 2003.
One track that stands out on The Carrot Chase is “Apology,” which boasts harmonizing vocals and foot-tapping drum beats. The melody repeatedly switches from slower to faster and back again. Another notable record (DOES SHE MEAN TRACL?) is “Flaking Friends,” which has similar guitar style and vocals with a stronger drum track and a more constant fast beat.
(TRANSITION–THIS SOUNDS LIKE A LIST OF SONGS)“My Kicks” is also worth a listen – especially if you like shoes. The drums do most of the work in this song, and the vocals are shared by guitarist and vocalist Bishop and pianist and vocalist Christine Baxter. Bishop and Baxter also blend their voices together on “Come on Down,” incorporating more exotic sounds with softer guitar hues and little drumming. All four tracks can be previewed on the band’s MySpace page,
(TRANSITION OR CUT)“The Brunt of Our Jokes” incorporates the melody of “Come on Down” with the addition of Joel Pearson’s percussions. It has a beat on the fast side with soft vocals that still hit on every slam of the cymbal.
Although Bishop originally began his project as a one-man show in July 2003, he eventually recruited the help of bassist Chris Sesta in spring 2006, guitarist Andy Stachowiak and drummer Pearson in late 2005, and Baxter in early 2007, to make an alternative classical quintet. While Sesta, Stachowiak, and Pearson have all been members for at least a year, Baxter joined the line-up just months before The Carrot Chase was released.
“Just about everything was actually already done for the album when I came in,” Baxter said.
None of the members are novices at their craft either. Baxter has a classical music background and has been playing guitar for several years, Bishop and Stachowiak havebeen playing the guitar for more than a decade; Pearson has been paying the drums for eight years; Sesta has been playing bass since he was 17.
“I’ve only been playing piano since I was 21, but I can’t remember ever not singing,” Baxter said. “I have a degree in music education also, so I had to study voice and piano.”
Even though Baxter came into the line-up a little later than the guys, her talent is not underestimated and Sh! The Octopus still makes a pretty close (THIS SOUNDS LIKE SHE’S QUESTIONING IT), family-like band. “We’ve probably gotten along better than any other band – or even group of friends – actually has. We’re all really hard-working,” Bishop said.
Baxter also had to go on tour with the band right away after her addition. It was a quick process, but traveling for the band is something everyone enjoys. “We actually have an ‘Alphabet Game’ where we look for road signs,” Baxter said.
“When we were on tour it was just a lot of fun, joking around, playing shows every night, the people,” Pearson said.
DONT HAVE TWO QUOTES IN A ROW “There are a lot of sing-a-longs in the car,” Baxter said. “Joel drove the entire time and would not let anyone else drive.”
The band operates their touring and recording well, considering they are not signed to any record label. “Promoting can be a little frustrating,” Bishop said, “but an offer probably wouldn’t have helped that much anyway. But we wouldn’t turn down a record company’s offer now.”
The band takes the front seat with the group members, but all do things on the side as well. Sesta attends Wayne State University, where he will eventually get a teaching degree in special education. Baxter, on top of being a mother, teaches music to children grades K-5 in Alma, Michigan and also plans to attend classes toward a masters degree in the coming spring school semester.
Although she has pride in her work, Baxter does not think her music is appropriate for everyone. “I get a little worried because some of the lyrics are a little questionable for their age,” Baxter said about her children listening to her lyrics. The content on “The Carrot Chase” does tend to get a little on the mature side.
Despite their time going to other aspects of their lives, music is still number one. “The best part to me is when I take a song, write it on a quick think, show it to these other four people and they make it into something that I completely did not expect. That’s hands down the best part,” Bishop said.
“I think we like being able to experience music in a different way,” Baxter said. “I’m teaching music during the day and I’m rocking out some nights. It’s a really great outlet — a different outlet — for expressing myself.”

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A Minor Problem

[mug]I always imagined getting arrested for a noble cause, like Mahatma Ghandi with the Salt March, Rosa Parks with her public transit protest or Russell Crowe when he hit that maid in the temple with a telephone (she had it coming – the pillows weren’t fluffed). Despite this fantasy, the law and I clashed for the first time when I was caught drinking a beer, but I guess that’s what I get for minding my own business.
Sure, there were a few times where my actions should have landed me in the drunk tank: that time we stole that mop from Little Caesar’s, the fight in Gumby’s Pizza or any combination of the following words: Brody, beer cans, moving vehicle, broken television or third-story window. However, this evening was not one of those times.
I know this, because unlike most of the weekend galas I attended during college, I actually remained clearheaded. I only had five dollars in my pocket, which used to be enough for a No. 9 at Jimmy John’s (before they raised prices), and there was no way I was spending that on a cup for keg beer – the metal container would predictably run out before I got my money’s worth. There’s just one minor detail: I, like many of my fellow East Lansing partygoers, wasn’t 21, and the lack of that magic number is what got me in trouble.
After a few hours of watching meatheads wearing sideways baseball hats play beer pong and then seeing a woman fall face first into a trash can, I decided the blaring beats of T.I. coming out of the speakers at the house on Kedzie were too much. I went outside to make a phone call. It was raining pretty steadily, but I didn’t mind. I found a tree that provided enough cover as I stood facing the alley adjacent to the Evans Scholars House, my back angled toward the house hosting the party.[cup]
The phone conversation went longer than expected, since I was the honorary guest of some big party back at home. As the phone was passed from person to person, all I heard was how awesome the party was and how I needed to be there. Instead, I was stuck in East Lansing, making seven dollars an hour at an internship, living in an apartment with no air-conditioning, where the only solace was a comfortable couch near a fan. And now all I was hearing was how much I should be at home, as I’m chatting on my phone in a downpour. Great, guys. I really needed them to tell me I needed to be there instead of here. No sooner would I be given another reason to wish I were somewhere else.
People scattered, cups dropped, lights flashed – it was the cops. With my friends still inside, I had to make it back through the muddy backyard and in the side door before the boys in blue could.
Bad idea.
One night in jail, four months of probation, two court dates and five hundred dollars later, the MIP was dropped from my record. The prosecutor said I was lucky. But not by my standards. If I had been lucky, I wouldn’t have walked into that cop and I certainly would not have been arrested. Then again, we’re talking about East Lansing, where being a student is often like being a Detroit Lions fan at Lambeau Field in Green Bay – you just can’t win. Knowing this at the time of my police encounter, I figured I would be polite and honest to ease the situation. But it didn’t help.
Never mind that I had no alcohol on me, and my level of intoxication was so low (.10), that for a 21-year-old, two years ago, it would be legal to take the wheel. I still spent the next hour being harassed and embarrassed by a police officer who probably did so to raise his own self-esteem. His life as a cop with the universal understanding to serve and protect had turned into a job where he harasses and degrades, at least from my perspective.
[beer]Shortly after Officer Chad Pride of the East Lansing Police Department asked for my I.D., he asked me if I had been drinking. I responded with the truth, although, to this day, I’m not sure if I should have. Regardless, I still had my Fifth Amendment right, protecting me from self-incrimination, or so I thought. As it turned out, my admittance of guilt was all the arresting officer had on me, and it was apparently enough to put me behind bars. However, according to East Lansing Police Chief Tom Wibert, there is no process officers go though when determining appropriate circumstances to make arrests. “Regarding criteria an officer must follow when making an arrest, we don’t have a specific policy about what constitutes probable cause,” Wibert said.
The East Lansing Police Department does have a set plan when it comes to their principles of service. “ELPD has a Mission Statement: Quality Service, Protection and Safety – that sums up our philosophy,” Wibert said. “Our goal is to solve the problem, whatever it may be.”
Whether or not the officers actually follow this code is completely arbitrary, especially because the things the officers said to me on the night of my arrest exhibited no signs of quality, service, protection or safety.
During my rain-soaked evening, another officer eventually arrived on the scene. Moments later came the frisking – not enjoyable, but understandable – until the officer asked me if I had “pissed myself,” knowing full well I was soaking wet from the rain that had been pouring down for the last 20 minutes.
The jokes continued as the officer tried to give me a Breathalyzer.
“Do you want to take a PBT?” the officer chuckled
“Not unless I have to,” I responded. “Do I have to?”
“You have options,” the officer said, although I never heard about these options – which acted as a microcosm of my entire legal situation. Under a new ruling in the state, I never actually had to take a Breathalyzer – but they obviously never told me that.
“A recent court case in Bay City found that requiring a PBT when under suspicion for MIP is no longer legal,” Wibert said. “The police can ask, but we don’t demand.”
[police]They seemed pretty demanding to me, especially when they asked me repeatedly to take a PBT on site, and then when they practically shoved it in my mouth at the police station. I also had the option of getting a lawyer, but ASMSU wouldn’t provide one despite the fact that I was currently enrolled with three summer credits, had a summer job with the university and paid my ASMSU fees for the previous six semesters. I had the option of fighting the case, but that would have cost more money, and I would have risked missing out on the plea bargain. With a crowded docket, it also meant that had I actually gone to court and lost, I could have spent my 21st birthday and the months soon after on probation – paired with a nice blemish on my record – for something as petty as drinking a six-pack.
If anything, I’d say it was the arresting officer who “had options.” He could have let me go, because I know I wasn’t a threat to public safety. However, right now, reports through the police chief say the actions of the officers were justified.
“You say you weren’t a threat to public safety – I believe you now,” Wibert said. “But at 2 a.m. in someone else’s yard, in the rain, apparently hiding; if I was the cop, you would have my full attention. From what the officer describes, it sounds like you were more buzzed than you realize. It’s too bad that this didn’t come up sooner, because we could have pulled the video and sat down and watched it.”
This is the part of the night that confuses me the most. I only had a few beers before the party, along with some swigs here and there during some quick rounds of beer pong; how I looked that “buzzed” to the officers is beyond me, and unfortunately, it will have to remain that way. Wibert added the ELPD only has a 90-day rotation on video tapes, so my tapes have most likely been destroyed. Even if I had known about this option, the 90 days after the arrest were spent taking Breathalyzers, meeting with probation officers, taking alcohol awareness classes and working to pay off my large debt, $200 of which was from fines alone. The fact that a MIP costs an offender a total of $50 in the state of Tennessee only added to my dismay.
The EL officers never offered me a chance to explain; I would have told them I was standing under a tree talking on my cell phone. They never told me why they had to interrogate and arrest me in a classless manner, but to be honest, with all the tension between students and the ELPD, I can’t say I expected anything better.
Because the ELPD has been very helpful discussing the matter recently, it makes me angry I had to write this, casting them in a negative light; almost about as mad as it makes me when I remember the nightmarish summer following my arrest. But, I admit, the officer was right. I had options. I didn’t have to drink those beers and I probably shouldn’t have. But more importantly, I didn’t have to tell the truth when he asked me if I had been drinking. This is one case where honesty definitely was not the best policy.

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A Not-So-Sweet Sugar Problem- HOLD

[sugar]I am a type 1 juvenile diabetic. I eat sugar. I am not overweight. And I am not a member of the epidemic type 2 diabetes sweeping the United States.
Type 2 diabetes is a growing problem with the elderly, the youth and obese Americans. A huge assumption is type 2 diabetes is the same disease as type 1 diabetes. However, they are two separate diseases sharing only the same name.
“I know there are two types, one you’re born with and one you acquire. I think one has to do with insulin production and the other has to do with being overweight. I guess you give yourself insulin with one because your body doesn’t produce enough of it” criminal justice junior Joe Abhonen said.
Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90% of diabetes cases. The disease is called adult on-set diabetes even though children are at risk for the disease. When people say, “I am a diabetic,” this is the disease they are assumed to have.
Early stages of type 2 diabetes are insulin resistance. The cells reject or do not use insulin properly and gradually the pancreas stops producing insulin. Type 2 diabetes is associated with older age, race, obesity, and family history. Type 2 diabetes can go away over time with oral medication, a healthy diet, and exercise.
The other 10% of diabetics are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes or juvenile diabetes. This type of diabetes is the part grouped together with type 2 and ignored by the media. Type 1 diabetes is a disease that has no cure. Advancements like the Medtronic insulin pump make type 1 diabetes livable but there is no oral medication or meal plan to make the disease go away with time.
Dr. Bayer is an endocrinologist specializing in juvenile diabetes. He said diabetics using an insulin pump have the equivalent of a pancreas attached to their hip. The insulin pump siphons insulin into the body through a tube to balance blood sugar. The pump is a new technology for diabetics. Before the pump, type 1 diabetics injected themselves with a variety of insulin. Humalog or H is short acting insulin that immediately reacts and breaks down sugars in food. Ultralente insulin is long acting insulin that reacts to sugar levels over a series of hours. Diabetics not using the pump use syringes to inject insulin to manage sugar levels.
Type 1 diabetics manage blood sugar by using blood monitors. The blood monitors test the sugar levels in the blood stream. A well managed diabetic and a non diabetic will have blood sugars from 70 to 125. Poor managed diabetic numbers can range from 250-600.
[candy]When blood sugar levels fall below 70, a diabetic will feel disorientated and will not be able to control their behavior. If a diabetic does not drink a sugar substance or eat sugar like a candy bar, blood sugar lows can cause seizures and unconsciousness.
My freshman year at MSU, I had a low blood sugar reaction that caused me to have diabetic seizures in my dorm room. I lived in a quad with three people that I had met two months before. My roommates called the ambulance and I was taken to the hospital. At the hospital, an IV pumped my blood with sugar causing my blood sugar to rise above the desired blood sugar levels. After a couple of hours, blood sugars will level off with constant management after a blood sugar reaction.
When a diabetic’s blood sugar is too high, they will feel nauseous and will sometimes throw up the excess sugar in their system. When sugars are too high, a diabetic risks having excess amounts of ketones or acids in their system. Ketones are deadly and warn diabetics their blood sugar is out of control. Treatment for ketones is done in hospitals through concentrated management of blood sugars and diets.
Once a person is diagnosed with diabetes, they are diagnosed with numerous risk factors. When a non diabetic cuts their foot, a Band Aid and some Neosporin will fix the cut and prevent a scar. When a diabetic cuts their foot, the cut is also plastered with Neosporin but the cut must be monitored because if a diabetic’s foot becomes infected, amputation is not uncommon. Getting older and losing eyesight is not uncommon for healthy, fit people. However, a 13 year old girl with high blood sugar can go blind. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness and can cause cataracts and glaucoma.
When a person is diagnosed with diabetes, they are hospitalized and given an astronomical amount of books and pamphlets pertaining to diet and managing blood sugar. The person is not informed of the sexual side effects of diabetes. Many men with diabetes develop erectile dysfunctions as a result of high blood sugar damaging the vessels that supply the penis with blood.
A big assumption is diabetes is something a person “lives with.” However, many people die from diabetes. High blood sugar and lack of insulin in the system affects a diabetic’s limbs and ability to heal from a paper cut.
Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are both serious diseases. Unlike other diseases, diabetes is something that the patient can manage and take care of. Daily decisions about food, exercise, and social choices like smoking can terminally affect a diabetic’s lifespan. Diabetes is a single battle waged against being too lazy to take insulin, too busy to test blood sugar levels 4-6 times a day, and too ignorant to understand the risks that accessorize diabetes. So, the next time you see a person walking down the street with what looks like a beeper or pager in their pocket, take a second to realize that the person might actually be fighting the battle of their life.

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With financial and moral pressure greater than ever, college students have to cope with a different stress than our parents and grandparents had to deal with in their college years. Being a college student in the 20th century means pressure with drug and alcohol experimentation, increased competition in classes, and poor eating and sleeping habits.
[girl]Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness among Americans. Many experience the symptoms from childhood; due to stress, puberty, and lifestyle changes these anxiety disorders commonly appear in adulthood. About 40 million Americans, ages 18 and older are diagnosed with anxiety disorders every year.
Many anxiety disorders develop when young adults enter college. There is no doubt about the added anxiety and stress a person feels entering college. For many it’s adapting to a new niche and needing to find a new way to succeed and handle new challenges. In some cases, after considering I was experiencing symptoms involving stress and talking with a physician, I realized my anxiety was jerked by the change of scenery and my symptoms were not irregular for a college freshman.
There are many kinds of anxiety disorders, all which can be linked to stress of college life. Panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social phobia, and generalized anxiety disorder are all common anxiety disorders. The majority of these disorders develop nearly twice as much with girls than with boys. These have been proven to develop in accordance with substance abuse and depression.
Partying, binge drinking, and drugs are common happenings on a college campus. Because of the excess freedom that comes with entering college, these substances are abused at different levels than when living under a parent\’s roof. The increase in substance abuse provides a platform for anxiety disorders. This is not to say everyone who suffers from alcoholism has an anxiety disorder or vice-versa but they are factors which can influence one another.
Depression is another symptom of anxiety disorders. College is seemingly the time of one\’s life, but not everyone experiences the fun-filled memories that stereotypically appear in conversation with alumni. In fact, some people never learn how to adapt to a social scene and once they are out of their comfort zone, no longer feel like they have people to support them. These reasons provide insight to why depression rates rise with anxiety disorders.
Basic symptoms of anxiety disorders include irritability, fatigue, restlessness, headaches, and nausea. But if everyone has anxiety how are disorders easily diagnosed?
The process a psychologist uses after the symptoms arise, include close observation and a survey pinpointing the severity of the disorder. When I took the survey the questions seemed pretty basic. After talking with professor and counselor at MSU, David Novicki, he convinced me the process went much deeper than what is presented in the questionnaire.
It was explained that the questionnaire was the foundation to determine what may be the problem area. After this process, there is a typical check-in with teachers, parents, and other close relations who may have noticed abnormal behavior, or could pinpoint the problems a bit more. Peers are typically asked to provide observation information through a survey form.
There are common medical procedures such as checking blood pressure from the patient, but anxiety disorders are mostly determined through conversation and observing the patients’ everyday capabilities. Some disorders like OCD can be discovered through PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans, which are imaging scans to look at the cellular function of the body.
“There is really not a lot of room for error in clinical judgment.” Novicki assured when asked if overmedication and misdiagnosing took place. “Psychiatrists and clinical care doctors are concerned about people being over medicated; they don’t want them to get addicted.”
The difference between normal anxiety and anxiety disorders are differentiated when common events bring upon persistent anxieties. These anxieties are severe and do not go away. It is no longer a feeling of self-consciousness in a social setting, but it is now completely avoided; no longer is it just an occasional worry about an exam, and no longer can you sleep for multiple nights, having recurring nightmares. These are some of the lines drawn at normal anxiety and anxiety disorders.
[books]My experience with college demonstrated many normal anxieties; however sophomore nursing major, Kyle Barden, recognized her symptoms as more than just common anxieties. Before coming to college, Barden not worrying about her load of high school homework, and only getting worked up over big events such as her ski meets. Once entering MSU, the class loads started piling up, getting the best of her mind set. No longer could she continue her laissez faire lifestyle, she now was constantly worrying about something. Ever since her first meeting with her advisor, she was filled with anxiety of whether her entrance into the nursing college would happen or not. This worry, like many other everyday distresses for Barden, were years away, but she couldn’t shake them.
Barden’s anxiety became such a problem she couldn’t keep on track because she couldn’t focus. She became prone to constant headaches, had difficulty sleeping, was very irritable, and had constant fatigue. Barden couldn’t cope with her symptoms because they were getting in the way of her ability to be productive, focus, or be relaxed. Barden soon found out that she had Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
“It came to a point where I knew I needed something to calm my nerves. I talked with a friend who I knew had problems with anxiety as well, and my symptoms sounded about the same so I decided to get it checked out,” explained Barden.
After being diagnosed with GAD she was put on the anti-anxiety drug Xanax.
“I can’t say that I don’t have anxiety issues anymore,” said Barden, “However, I can now stay in the present and relax long enough to feel good about myself and get what I need to get done, done.”
Many anxiety disorders are treated with SSRIs. These are antidepressants that raise levels of serotonin in the system in order to work against depression and anxiety. Other common medications are antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and beta-blockers. Apart from medications, counseling centers are convincing patients to confront the fearful situations they have anxiety towards.
Antidepressants take two or four days to begin to work. The antidepressants cause nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, and dry mouth in the majority of people who are prescribed to take them.
Anxiety has also been treated with valium-like drugs that work like a tranquillizer to calm anxiety. These drugs are used for short term problems. Tranquillizers can be addictive and a person can suffer withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the medication.
Perhaps there are some inappropriate clinical judgments, but for the most part the difference between anxiety and having an anxiety disorder has a fine line. Normal anxieties may not be fun to deal with, but who’s to say they are just common anxieties? Everyone has to relax sometime, whether tensions can be eased independently or with the aid of medications. Either way, anxieties can be coped with; your body will tell you when you’ve had too much.

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Anxiety Attack

Your professor muttered the words you\’ve been dreading all week, “Alright class if you could please put your books away, we are now distributing and beginning the exam.” You can’t even focus – you\’re breaking your own concentration by the tapping of your pencil against your desk and the constant shaking of your leg. Wait. What is the definition of that again? What does it do? You\’re going to fail, you studied seven hours for nothing! Your thoughts have now shifted into panic mode. You\’re taken over by a butterfly sensation in your stomach and intense feelings of anxiety.
Everyone experiences anxiety, whether it’s a feeling of anxiety because there’s so much on your to-do list, because you’re about to go on a hot date, or because nothing really seems to be going right in your life. Students at MSU who have had these feelings or similar feelings have turned to places like the MSU Counseling Center to seek help. With the understanding that anxiety is not that uncommon of an issue, students who experience it, on minor or extreme levels, do not need to feel alone.
According to Professor and Counselor at MSU, David Novicki, only half of the student visitors have needed to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder while the other half have only been experiencing daily apprehension. Nervous sensations are going to take place, just as they do while taking tests. The best advice he gave was to not lose control and to live by the three F’s; Fight, Flight, or Freeze. There is an extent to which anxieties are taken to the next level. No longer can nerves be cured by pencil tapping, excessive gum chewing, or deep breathing. If dramatic attacks continue to occur, anxiety can be cured through medication, behavioral therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness Americans are faced with ranging in symptoms and episodes and including disorders such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Phobias. These anxiety disorders can impact a person’s life in various ways including the inability to concentrate on everyday things, damaging relationships with other people, creating feelings of hopelessness and can also lead to depression.
Taking a look at a sample questionnaire to determine whether someone should be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, it could be assumed that the processes of getting medication for something as simple as test anxiety would be very easy, and it could also be argued that overmedicating and misdiagnosing students could be a possibility. Questions such “How often are you distracted by activity or noise around you?” and “How often do you feel restless or fidgety?” seemed pretty basic, and fairly common to rate. However, Novicki said the process went much farther than what is presented in the questionnaire.
It was explained that the questionnaire is the foundation to determine what the problem area may be. Once answering each question, there are follow-up questions that help determine which type of anxiety disorder might be the one indicated by the previous answer. Each question then leads to another branch of questions. After this process, there is a typical check-in with teachers, parents and other close relations, who may have noticed some abnormal behavior or may be able to pinpoint the problems a bit more.
“There is really not a lot of room for error in clinical judgment,” said Novicki. “Psychiatrists and clinical care doctors are concerned about people being over medicated – they don’t want them to get addicted.”
The prescriptions for anxiety disorders are carefully chosen and are not typically stocked with an abundance of medications. For example, if someone had a phobic disorder that involved riding on an airplane and the patient was scheduled for a flight, then a small dosage to calm the nerves for the flight would be appropriate.
Geography junior Ryan Nolen, diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder at the age of eight, explained that in order to receive his medications he has had to go to the doctors’ office for a check up once a month or else his prescription would not be refilled. “I haven’t been there for a check up in a while, so I haven’t been able to receive any medication,” said Nolen.
Other anxiety disorders are treated with SSRIs, antidepressants that raise the levels of serotonin in the system in order to work against depression and anxiety, and Ritalin and Adderall are common prescriptions since they are not addictive. Adderall, mainly prescribed for those suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is sometimes overly used, however not only by those who have a prescription but those who have used it as a study drug.
Veterinary junior Sarah Taylor explained that she has used Adderall in the past even though she has never been diagnosed with an anxiety order. According to Taylor, she uses the medication when she has a big project due or needs to study for a big exam. “It makes me focus on studying and helps me concentrate so I don’t daydream or think about other things,” explained Taylor.
Novicki said the idea of taking Adderall for motives other than working with a disorder would be an extremely bad idea, describing the effect as “counter-intuitive,” and explained that Adderall will in the end have a negative affect on those misusing the medication. “It goes both ways,” said Navicki. “I’m pretty confident in clinical judgments; however they are under diagnosed occasionally and sometimes diagnosed inappropriately.”
Apart from medications, counseling centers have been encouraging patients to confront the fearful situations that cause anxiety. Once a person can confront and have cognitive exposure, the medications can slowly be taken away before an addiction to the medication has time to occur. There are also options to avoid medication completely and instead focus solely on individual therapy.
For the most part the difference between anxiety and having an anxiety disorder has a fine line. Although anxiety can be considered a serious issue, Novicki said things such as so-called “test anxiety” could be caused by having poor preparedness, and there is a big difference between people who have a serious disorder and people who are stressed.
“If you’re prepared for the circumstances there is no reason to be so anxious under such circumstances. Everybody gets anxious and has anxiety.”

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The Morning After

In a 2002 study more than 500 Michigan State students reported having an unplanned pregnancy or unintentionally getting someone pregnant while at school. According to the same study by the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, only 7 percent of students that year had used the morning after pill as a method to prevent pregnancy—a percentage dwarfed by the 53 percent who preferred condoms.

However, in August 2006, the Food and Drug Administration decided to allow emergency contraception to be available nation-wide without a prescription which may change they way students protect themselves.

While there are three different types of emergency contraception, the FDA’s decision pertains only to Plan B, a progestin hormone pill produced by Barr Pharmaceuticals. By the end of 2006, both men and women aged 18 and older will be able to purchase Plan B without a prescription from specially trained and licensed pharmacists.

The effect over-the-counter emergency contraception will have on college campuses is a concern to some because students tend to be highly sexually active.

Dr. Marsha T. Carolan, sex therapist and director of MSU’s Marriage and Family Therapy program, believes the college environment is a major factor in students’ sexual activity.

“Observational evidence [shows] that it does seem to increase during the collegiate years,” she said, “Perhaps due to the freedom from family and household constraints, the eagerness to make friends and fit in, the exposure to dis-inhibitors like alcohol and parties and the manic atmosphere that collegiate sports can incur.”

Sophomore Robert Devual agreed. “Sexual activity definitely increases. In college, there’s drinking and you become more outgoing. Everything just hits you at once and you have a lot more freedom,” he said.

But students are not always safe. In the Public Policy and Social Research study, 14 percent of students said they had been with at least three sexual partners that school year. Yet 37 percent of the students who said they had had vaginal sex in the month before survey had not used a condom in that entire month.

Some believe the students who frequently engage in unprotected sex will soon look to the morning-after pill as their primary method of birth control. But Lori Lamerand, the president-CEO of the Mid-Michigan Planned Parenthood Alliance says the pill was not created for that purpose.

“It should be used if a woman is assaulted or if her birth control didn’t work—it’s for something more serious than ‘I just didn’t feel like using birth control.’” She said.

Many do not believe that just because emergency contraception will be available over the counter, students will be able to get it whenever they want. Barr Pharmaceuticals said they will monitor prescribing patterns and that the over-the-counter version of Plan B will likely not be covered by insurance plans and will cost more. Plan B currently costs an average of $25-$40.

Still, others do not believe the company will be able to truly control pill distribution. There is no limit to the number of times a woman can safely use emergency contraception and skeptics state that cost and regulations will not deter women from getting the pill if they want it. Journalism major Rhonda Ross said high cost would definitely not stop her.

“If the occasion called for it, I would definitely pay,” she said, “I’m too young to have kids. I’m just not ready to have a baby.”

In addition, many independent pregnancy counseling centers offer the pill on a sliding cost scale so that patients with low incomes can still get it. Also, women are allowed—and often encouraged—to buy the pill in bulk so as to have it immediately available for future use. These extra stores, some claim, could quickly lead to a black market where the pill will be available to more people and for a much lower cost.

Yet support for over-the-counter emergency contraception comes from a variety of medical organizations, including the American Medical Association which has been pushing for the decision since 2000. Furthermore, several European countries and nine states in the U.S. (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Vermont and Washington) passed legislature allowing the morning after pill to be sold without a prescription well before the FDA decision. This leads many to believe there will be no significantly negative effects nation-wide. Carolan, for one, does not believe over-the-counter access to the pill will be a major factor in risky sexual activity on campus.

“Sexual behavior and unprotected sex are often due to the lack of decision making, sexual coercion, gender oppression, history of trauma or abuse, and use of substances,” she said, “Sexual activity should be a caring, compassionate, enjoyable activity that is mutually beneficial to both partners. It should be engaged in thoughtfully and with the understanding that sex between two individuals brings with it responsibilities and risks, as well as rewards.”

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