Archive for February, 2013

Snowpocalypse 2013

Posted: February 27, 2013 in News, Uncategorized

Snow days can mean many different things for college students. Some spend the day getting ahead, or perhaps catching up, while others do absolutely nothing.

The Hy-Vee on 6th Street in Lawrence, Kan. has many young employees who happen to attend the University of Kansas, so here’s the perspective from the workplace of those who might have had to brave the elements to make it to work.

In talking to about ten workers, mostly cashiers, the responses were fairly common and vague. So, three were chosen.

A couple of them preferred to remain anonymous. One of them, a young cashier named Nicolas who didn’t want to reveal his last name, didn’t make it too far outside his home, but he did his good deed for the day.

“I stayed home because my car doesn’t work in the snow,” Nicolas said. “I went outside and made, like, 40 bucks shoveling the neighbor’s driveway.”

Others weren’t so productive, which isn’t hard to do it all when living in a winter wonderland.

The anonymous young man said he ‘drank heavily’, but opted not to go sledding due to how cold it was, combined with the extortionate amount of alcohol that he, his friends and what probably amounts to thousands of students in Lawrence did on their day off from class.

“We also were going to make an ice luge, but that failed,” the source said.

But that was just the first snow day, which was announced Wednesday evening, before any of the perfectly white elements fell from the sky in the middle of the night. On Thursday evening, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little made the decision to close campus on Friday, making a four day weekend for the entire university.

Class resumed Monday, but another large winter storm was anticipated to bring another 8 to 12 inches to the area, nearly doubling the accumulations already on the ground after barely giving city crews time to clear all the roads off in town.

Snowflakes began falling again as early as Monday afternoon, with campus becoming a ghost town and many professors letting their classes out as much as 30 minutes early to ensure that students could get home safe before the worst of the storm.

Mari Ramirez, junior, took advantage of the campus located on top of Mount Oread that’s well known for being filled with hills.

She and her friends walked the short distance from her home between downtown and Memorial Stadium to go sledding down the steep hill behind J.R. Pearson Hall, the former dorm and now-turned school of education building on the west side of campus.

Once again, Monday night, there was yet another important announcement. The conditions created a situation where the university had their hands tied due to liability issues with students possibly getting in car accidents, and classes were cancelled yet again for Tuesday.

More snow was expected on Tuesday night, but no further announcement was made regarding Wednesday classes. While many students might skip Wednesday classes, it’s probably best to make sure priorities are straight and academics come first.

Thursday and Friday, February 21 and 22, was the first time campus shut down for two days straight since February of 2011. Tuesday marked the fifth time in a six day period that there wasn’t class.

An extended weekend was in the cards for all students, and every single one of them did exactly what they wanted to do.

Advertisements

Intramural Sports Report

Posted: February 20, 2013 in News

If you’ve never been in an intramural league and like playing sports, here’s a good place to start.

Recreation Services at the University of Kansas offers a number of different intramural sports. The most popular one, by far, is basketball.

One rec league team in particular, the Red Scare, is more dedicated to the leagues than most.

“We’ve been a team for all four years, ever since we were freshmen,” senior Ryan Carney said. “So this is our time to shine.”

The Red Scare play in two different leagues, open and non-competitive. The open league, in which anyone can play, is where the team thrives, sitting at 2-0 and in first place out of 18 teams.

“It’s worth all the sweat and energy we spend, even when we lose,” said Ben Donovan of the Red Scare, also a senior at KU.

Each intramural league has a 20 dollar entry fee per player, with one game per week in each league. The games are played at the Ambler Student Recration Center, located across the street from Allen Fieldhouse and Hoglund Ballpark on Naismith Drive.

Being a part of a team made up of the same players creates unity. In fact, this is so true in this case that four of the eight players on the team happen to be roommates. They even carpool to the games.

There are no official statistics, but the Red Scare players like to keep track of their numbers in their heads to remember their accomplishments.

Putting into perspective just how serious this team takes their basketball, the Red Scare provides their own jerseys. Most teams don’t.

It’s important to come prepared. Playing in the games is a workout in itself. Regulation is 40 minutes, with two 20-minute halves.

The officials use a running clock, so the action is continuous and fatigue becomes a factor.

“I work out once a week,” Donovan said. “I’ve played intramural indoor and outdoor soccer too, but this is my main form of exercise.”

Carney says the team has finished in first or second place several times, but their best finish in the playoffs has been a second round exit.

The Red Scare will look to change that after the final game of the regular season this Sunday.  They sit in perfect position for a playoff appearance and possible run in the playoffs, which start next week. More information on all intramural leagues can be found at ku.athleague.com/leagues.

Celebrity Journalism: Things Have Changed

Posted: February 17, 2013 in News

Accomplished sports writer Frank Deford visited the University of Kansas to accept a prestigious award and weigh in on various topics.

Deford

By Andrew Curtis

Imagine waking up 50 years from today and preparing to give an acceptance speech for a particularly prestigious award.

Being able to do this is a privilege and the result of a successful career in which you have worked hard through different eras of whatever field you may be in.

In any event, this person I’m talking about is longtime Sports Illustrated writer and acclaimed novelist Frank Deford, who was in Lawrence, KS this past week to accept the William Allen White Foundation’s National Citation at the University of Kansas.

Deford is someone we would all like to model ourselves after, especially myself. My dream is to be a successful sports journalist. Whether that will be on the national level or not, I’m not sure, but the best thing I can do is take Deford’s advice.

Deford has seen times change in his time as a journalist and says it’s more difficult to interview celebrities today due to smaller circles and more money involved.

While finding time to attend many public events celebrating this tremendous honor for his hard work, Deford made in appearance in my journalism “Current Issues: Media and Celebrities” class and had some interesting things to say regarding how difficult celebrity journalism has become.

“Today, you have to go through PR people,” Deford said. “Celebrities don’t want to be interviewed as much anymore. They view it as a pain.”

Deford has extensive background with covering and interacting with celebrities and gave an interesting definition for the term.

According to Deford, a celebrity is somebody who is famous for something other than what they do. An example of this, he said, would be that Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens is a celebrity for what he has or has not done off the field. However, his teammate Joe Flacco is not.

Celebrity status takes away the fun and unique part of journalism.

“Intimacy is tough, because a lot of times, they (the athlete) will have someone next to them,” Deford said. “It’s not one on one anymore.”

Richard Clarkson, a KU alum who has a master’s degree from the University, is one of the best sports photographers of the past half-century.

He gave time out of his busy schedule last week to interact with some students following one of Deford’s interviews.

Clarkson, who has a brand new room in Stauffer-Flint Hall named after him, has seen plenty of celebrities during his time in the industry and believes that the media must be flexible.

“As our world changes, the media will have to be able to adapt to the way that’s best,” Clarkson said.

Gone are the days where smoke filled locker rooms across the country and women were nowhere to be found.

As men like Deford and Clarkson near the end of their storied, prestigious careers, they can truly say that they have been through it all, good and bad. But they will end on a note where celebrity status in sports is at its peak.

That’s the new era of journalism, where celebrities have taken over. Look for this trend to continue to grow for the next half century.