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life. and how to have one.

DECEMBER 1, 2011








December 1, 2011 // volume 9, issue 14


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The University Daily Kansan 2000 DOLE CENTER 1000 Sunnyside Dr. Lawrence, KS 66045
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Not much beats knowing you’re making a lasting impact on another person’s life. When I was 19, I thought it sounded like fun to work as a camp counselor. Getting paid to play tennis, hang out at the pool, water ski and camp? Sign me up. That fun came with the company of 36 12-year-old girls — granted, I only ever had 12 at one time. I quickly became more than just an authority to make sure no one fell into the campfire, that no one snuck candy into the cabin and see to it that no girl’s shower exceeded two minutes. These girls looked up to me, confided in me and even after camp, kept in touch with me. As the youngest sibling in my family, I never knew what it felt like to take on a mentor role. Spending a summer with those girls gave me a

renewed self-worth, fresh perspective and — I’d like to think — made me a better listener. Whether it’s volunteering in a a third world country, spending a summer working at a children’s camp, helping out at a homeless shelter or getting involed with something like Big Brothers Big Sisters, mentoring and volunteering offer far more than meets the altruistic eye. It’s something to truly find purpose in. Check out Taylor’s story on page six to see more about what it’s like to be part of Lawrence’s Big Brothers Big Sisters. As much as those 36 girls might have learned from me, I’m positive I gained more from hanging out with those 12-year-olds — I mean, one of them even taught me how to sail.



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thing,” and that something is a product of the trust and intimacy I mentioned earlier, then your friend has been busy dedicating much of his few years as a sexual explorer to courtship and relationship development. I’m pretty sure he’s had a few short-lived sexual encounters, perhaps as short as one night. This leads me to believe he is trying to save face and justify his increasing number of sex partners, fibbing about his sexual experiences or attempting to conform to the idea that sex and emotion must occur together. Now, on to you. If you are using the “meant something” theory, then the sex you desire is within a long-term relationship. If the only sex you will ever want to have is with a long-term dating partner, great! If not, that’s OK too. Don’t let fear of ridicule or judgement prevent you from satisfying your sexual exploration and development as a sexual being. With that being said, I want you to pay attention to this next statement: You must be responsible with your sexuality. This means not only your physical health, but the sexual safety and protection of you and your partner’s emotional well-being as well. Having an intimate connection with someone feels amazing. However, you’ll never get there if you’re too worried about what others will think. Don’t concern yourself with how many sexual partners may be too little or too many. Take your sexual development by the horns, find the path you want to take, and make it your own. Email any quEstions to no topic is taboo.

> Tackling the sticky world of relationships.
QUESTION: Recently, I was talking to my 21-year-old boyfriend about how many sexual partners was considered “too many.” I told him how there was a 21-year-old guy friend who says he’s had more than 20 partners, but they had each meant something to him so he didn’t see a problem with it. He goes on to say multiple partners are only a problem when you have meaningless sex. What do most people consider to be too many partners and at what age? MICHELLE ANSWERS: Having sexual experiences (which could be with one or more partners) is necessary for the development and understanding of sexual satisfaction. Sex is so much more than penile-vaginal intercourse, anal sex, oral sex, etc. Sex includes seduction, selflessness, passion, trust and intimacy. Fully developing the aforementioned cannot occur during a one-night stand, or within a few weeks of dating. Let’s consider your 21-year-old friend’s theory. If each of his 20 partners “meant some-

Contributed Photo Michelle MacBain is a graduate student in psychology from Kansas City. She studied sexuality and communication studies at KU and The University of Amsterdam.


> A weekly peek at a fish in the KU sea.



> All great relationships had to start somewhere.

an idea something was going on. “He would fake propose all the time, but I knew it was real once he started to tear up,” Megan says. The couple plans to move to Germany or Dallas for Aaron’s job once Megan graduates.

Contributed Photo Year: Senior Hometown: San Antonio Major: Environmental Studies, Anthropology and International Studies Interested In: Men Hobbies: I like being outside and hiking, relaxing at Clinton Lake or going on adventures. Serving on the executive board for KU Dance Marathon is also very important to me. Turn-ons: I like when a guy is outdoorsy and appreciates nature. He also has to be passionate about what he wants to do with his life, have

Love and basketball are two words that dean open-minded personality and like to do charity work. Tattoos that have meaning are also a scribe how Megan Adams, a senior, and alumnus Aaron Whitesell’s relationship started. turn-on. In January 2004, Aaron and Megan, both Turn-offs: I don’t like cockiness or guys who are from Spring Hill, started texting. Aaron had heard about Megan, and decided to ask their lazy and don’t like to take care of themselves. high school basketball manager, whom he Her strangest quirk: I like snakes, bugs and liz- knew was friends with Megan, for her number. ards. I really want a bearded dragon as a pet, “When he texted me and said, ‘Hey,’ I was like, ‘Oh my God why is he texting me right now? Did because they have so much personality. he even mean to?’” Megan says. A week later, they went with some friends If she had a million dollar, she would: I’d put a little bit toward my savings. The rest I would to see the basketball movie “Coach Carter” in use to go to different countries and find ways to theatres. Megan admits she didn’t pay attention to the movie because she was so nervous help villages and communities. being around Aaron. They made their relationFavorite day of the week: I like Thursday best ship official, and when it was time for college, because you can look forward to the weekend. they headed to the University of Kansas. In April 2011, Aaron decided to take their You’re almost finished with classes, so you’re relationship to the next level. He rented out focused on what you need to get done. the top of The Oread and had Megan meet Her ideal date: I would like a date that starts him there for dinner and so he could propose. with dinner at an exotic food restaurant, like In- When Megan arrived and called Aaron, he told dian or Thai. Then doing something outside, like her the hostess would take her to him. “She got impatient that there was a line to get to the going to a lake and having a bonfire. hostess and hung up on me,” Aaron says. Once she reached the top floor, Megan had | CHRISTINE CURTIN |


Slam dunk: Megan and Aaron saw the basketball movie “Coach Carter” on their first date, and then came to KU together.


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> If you’re going to do it, be smart.



Wine has caught a bad rap for being a bit expensive and causing stains, but once you realize the health factors and acquire your taste buds, it may completely void those two negatives out. While more research is done on wine, many are beginning to realize how necessary one glass a day can be for you. Red wine is the healthier of the two options because it contains resveratrol, according to Beekman Wines & Liquors, a winery in New Jersey that is willing to educate people over the health benefits of wine. Other benefits of wine include slowing of the aging process and Alzheimer’s disease and reducing the risk of pancreatic and colorectal cancers. Some students have decided that if they are Photo by Bre Roach going to drink, they might as well do it for the quality and effect, even if that means splurging From the Vine: Acquiring a wine palette could lead to better health with just one glass a day. on a $5 glass. “I think it’s more of a taste thing than anything else,” says Vicky Stadler, a junior from Overland Park. “I also feel like a ‘wine drunk’ is milder.” | BRE ROACH |

> Sometimes it’s hard to tell.


Although we splurge the extra cash for cozier sheets, we may be wasting our money instead. “The biggest misconception with thread count is that the higher the thread count the better the sheet. This is simply not true,” Young says. As the thread counts go higher, the sheets will feel thicker, but Young says that “thick” sheets are actually not desirable. That hasn’t stopped Eileen Oberley, an Contributed photo alumna from Salina, from buying sheets with a Unbeweaveable: Your sheets’ thread count may high thread count. “I pay more for higher thread not be all it’s cracked up to be. count sheets because low threat count sheets “Egyptian cotton with 1,000 thread count” won’t soften up, despite several washings,” she sounds more like a math problem than a guide says. to buying sheets. This advertising leads people Young offers advice to those still spending to believe that the higher the thread count, the their money on high thread count sheets. “I softer and more luxurious the sheets. suggest 100% cotton in a sateen weave. SaIn Europe, thread count doesn’t exist. In- teen weaves create a smooth top side since the stead of looking at the quality of the fabric, we weave consists of multiple threads up to one are drawn to the number on the package that under,” she says. Fiber content, construction of indicates the more threads, the merrier. Thread weave (such as sateen) and finishing are other count is the number of threads (referred to as ways to determine the quality of a sheet. warp and weft) in one square inch of fabric, according to Heather Young, a buyer for New Verdict: Wasted money. Bad for you. York City’s online retail store, | BRE ROACH |

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Birth Control Pills:
| CHRISTY NUTT | Victoria Renn was only 10-years-old when her family told her she would never be able to take birth control pills. The decision had nothing to do directly with Renn, a senior from Lathrop, Cal., but was made because of a serious complication that happened to her sister. At the time, Renn’s sister was 26 and living in San Francisco. After a fun night at a Giants game, Renn’s sister woke up and knew something was horribly wrong because her face was numb and droopy and she couldn’t feel her left hand. A friend drove her to the hospital, where a variety of tests were done. The results were shocking. Renn’s sister had suffered from a stroke in her sleep. And the stroke was caused by a blood clot attributed to her birth control pills. Although Renn says it’s hard to tell her sister is a stroke victim 11 years later, there are long term effects. “Some things are still hard for her to do, like carrying bags with her left hand,” Renn says. “If she is tired or stressed, her hand gets weaker and her face droops.” Renn’s sister takes aspirin daily to thin her blood, and before taking new medications, she must carefully look at the side effects. In late October, federal health officials reacted to results from recent studies by publicly acknowledging that the risk of blood clots appear to be more prevalent with use of newer birth control pills than older medications. The FDA will review the risks and benefits of new birth control pills on Dec. 8. Although the risk is serious, it’s relatively rare for women that have no medical history or family history of blood clots.

A risk worth taking?

Most birth control pills use two hormones, estrogen and progestin, to prevent pregnancy. Newer birth control pills, such as Bayer’s Yaz and Yasmine, use the synthetic progestin hormone drospirenone instead of the older progestin levonorgestrel. A study funded by the FDA and released in late October reviewed 800,000 women’s medical history who took different birth controls between 2001 and 2007. The preliminary results showed that women taking birth controls that use drospirenone had a 75 percent greater chance of developing a blood clot than woman using older, levonorgestrel birth control pills. Birth control pills are one of the most frequently studied drugs, says Sue McDaneld, advanced registered nurse practitioner at the Lawrence Health Department. McDaneld is in charge of family planning and STD services. She says despite the recent studies, birth control pills are safe for healthy woman with no concerning medical history. In fact, there are greater health risks involved in being pregnant than using birth control pills. “Women who are pregnant are 10 times more likely to have a blood clot than woman on birth control,” McDaneld says. When taking an oral contraceptive there is also the risk of suffering from gallbladder disease or experiencing liver problems, McDaneld says. But these risks are rare. More commonly, people experience what she described as inconvenient side effect. “More often people notice things like weight gain or moodiness after starting a birth control,” McDaneld says. These inconvenient side effects may be reason enough to stop taking birth control pills. Because all medications have side effects, it’s important to look at your medical history in regard to specific medicines, McDaneld says. “When in doubt, set up an appointment with your health care provider to discuss all of your options and really ask the questions you have about the risks,” McDaneld says. The FDA posted a disclaimer on its web site for woman currently taking birth control pills that contain drospirenone to talk to their healthcare provider before discontinuing use.

Why the pill?
Oral contraceptives or birth control pills are the most common form of contraceptive used by college students, says Sue McDaneld, advanced registered nurse practitioner at the Lawrence Health Department. She says the pill is popular because it’s easy to access and people are familiar with it. Birth control pills can also have some non-contraceptive benefits, such as manipulating a woman’s menstrual cycle to be lighter or more regular, help relieve symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder and treat moderate acne. However, these benefits often come with a cost. When a medication alters a woman’s natural hormones, it also alters her sexual experience, says Ginny Ramseyer Winter, an alumna social who worked as an educator at Planned Parenthood in Knoxville, Tenn., for more than four years. This can sometimes make a woman lose her libido. It’s important for woman to know their bodies so they can detect changes caused by medications, Ramseyer Winter says. Women must also know what they want out of a birth control and what side effects they’re willing to put up with. “Research shows that women who choose an [birth control] option that fit their own personal needs experience contraceptive failure less,” Ramseyer Winter says.

Photo illustration by Ashleigh Lee Risky Business: Medical studies link negative side effects, like blood clots, to birth control pills.


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Big Love
Photos by Jessica Janasz Bigs in Schools: Sarah Hutton, a junior from Colorado Springs and Bigs on Campus activities chair, visits her Little Sister at school. I examined my chipped fingernail polish as I sat nervously in the offices of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Douglas County, a match-based mentoring program. I was there for my first round of interviews to become a Big Sister, and was criticizing everything about myself. Would the caseworker care that I had a hot pink strand in my hair? When she examined my driving record and saw my fender bender, would she deem me unsafe to transport a child? I wanted to become a Big Sister so badly that I was convinced that she would find something wrong with my application or with me. An hour later, my anxiety was put to rest. The caseworker had complimented me on my hair and told me that my minor car accident could happen to anyone. She assured me that I would be fine through the rest of the interview process, and, sure enough, she was right. A few weeks later, I got a call saying I had been approved. Approximately 150 University of Kansas students have received the same call, giving them the news that after six weeks of interviews and background checks, they had been accepted as a Big Brother or Big Sister. Big Brothers Big Sisters is a nationwide organization that matches adult mentor volunteers (Bigs) with children (Littles) who are between the ages of 5 and 17 from a single-parent household. Currently, the Douglas County office has 350 to 400 active matches and 95 children on a waiting list. It’s not uncommon for the children in the program to live below the poverty line, have an incarcerated parent or have experienced some form of abuse. “A lot of the kids may not have an adult in their lives who’s a positive influence,” says Cathy Brashler, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Douglas County. “That’s where a Big can really fill in.” Bigs have two options when applying for the program: Bigs in Schools or the commu-

Students’ challenges & priceless rewards of volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters

nity-based program. With Bigs in Schools, volunteers meet their Littles at their school for 30 minutes to an hour per week to have lunch, play outside, visit the library or simply hang out. Bigs must receive permission from the organization’s local office to take their Littles off school grounds. The community-based program asks that Bigs devote two to three hours each week to their Littles. Matches aren’t confined to school grounds; they’re able to take their Littles out for a variety of activities. Every week that I hang out with my 11-yearold Little, Sina, for three hours, I can let go of my college-student stress. When we go to the

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park, I ignore the fact that I’m 20 and instead focus on how high I can swing. During our girls’ nights when we make s’mores and watch chick flicks, I’m unconcerned with the number of calories I’m consuming and am instead engrossed in Sina’s latest sixth-grade gossip. As any Big can tell you, volunteering with the organization comes with its ups and downs. The time commitment can be a problem for some volunteers, but giving to the Lawrence community in a way that transports you back to childhood is a definite plus. Brashler describes volunteering with the organization as a “feelgood” activity. She’s seen matches grow and Littles open up to their Bigs about their lives. “You do get the impression that you begin to matter to this person,” she says. “They look forward to seeing you, they look up to you and they begin talking to you about things that they wouldn’t talk to their parents about.” A strong match can benefit the child. Every year, the organization surveys the children and their parents to better understanding how the match has affected the child, Brashler says, and 50 to 75 percent of the time, Littles have grown from the experience. Their personalities have developed, their communication skills have improved and they have better self-confidence. For the children with Bigs in Schools, their teachers are surveyed, and they say they have often seen an improvement in the child’s grades as well as attitudes, and overall, the kids relate better to their teachers and peers. Emily Lubarsky, a junior from Shawnee, has been a Big with Bigs in Schools for a year and a half. Each week, she meets her Little, Haylee, at school where the two play kickball, make crafts or their personal favorite, paint pictures. When Haylee switched elementary schools last year, Lubarsky moved with her, easing the transition to a new school and proving that she would be a constant figure. For that reason, she is now comfortable enough to ask for advice when it comes to school or friendship problems. “Some of these kids have so much craziness in their lives,” Lubarsky says. “This is just a way to give them one steady thing that’s going to happen every day.” Similarly, Kelsey Nelson, a junior from Springfield, Ill., has seen her community-based match progress. When the two were matched one year ago, her 6-year-old Little, Aliyah, was so shy that she wouldn’t even look Nelson in the eye. Figuring out activities was a guessing game for Nelson, who at times questioned whether or not Aliyah was having fun. “Now, if we’re in the middle of doing an activity and she’s not having fun, she’s like ‘I’m bored; I want to go’,” Nelson says. “She feels totally comfortable.” Comfort in a match is ideal, but there are times when that comfort poses an obstacle for the Big. Hilary Collert is a junior from Oklahoma City who has been matched with 14-year-old Senia for almost a year and a half. When applying for the community-based program, Collert requested an older Little because she wanted someone old enough to come to her for advice. But when Senia asked her about dating, Collert found herself searching for the right words. “I didn’t really know how to respond to that because my parents were strict about me dating,” Collert says. “A lot of the kids I grew up with were dating at 13 or 14, but I wasn’t allowed to talk to boys until I was 16. I just tried to tell her my experience and let her decide from there what she wanted.” The time commitment can be another challenge. Brashler says that volunteers will often be eager to apply for the community-based program, but after a couple of months, they realize that it is a bigger time commitment than they anticipated. For this reason, college volunteers are encouraged to start off with Bigs in Schools. There is a set schedule and it requires a maximum of one hour per week. Luke Noll, a senior from Nortonville, says the time commitment of the community-based program is worth it. His little brother, Don’na, is a 6-year-old with excellent manners, an inquisitive mind and a passion for learning. The two like to hang out at parks, have been fishing and swimming, and have even made a trip to the Topeka Zoo. “Sometimes, it’s hard for me to get up and go across town and say, ‘I’m going to hang out with a 6-year-old,” he says. “But the second he gets in the truck, I get excited. You think you don’t have time for this, but when those two hours are over, you’re glad you did this.” Surprisingly, Brashler says that the agency sees few behavioral problems within matches, despite the wide range of ages of Littles. Typically, she says, the kids are so excited to have someone to spend time with that they don’t want to do anything to disappoint or disobey their Bigs. But volunteers should remember that the kids are still kids. Ethan Hrabe, a junior from Olathe, has been matched with his 6-year-old little, Antonio, for five months. Although he’s not a difficult child, Antonio will at times become upset about his 6-year-old problems. Rather than disciplining him, though, Hrabe will let him have his moment. “You have to remember that he’s still a little boy,” Hrabe says. “You just have to roll with it and as an adult, understand that they’re going to deal with it how they’re going to deal with it.” Although the majority of the children don’t have behavioral problems, during the lengthy interview process, volunteers specify what conditions they feel comfortable working with. After attending an orientation session, volunteers fill out an application where they share their own interests and state who they’re comfortable with, whether that be a handicapped child, an abused child, a child with learning disabilities, etc. After that, volunteers are brought in for an interview to give the caseworkers a better sense of who they are. Four references are required for the community-based program and three for Bigs in Schools. Five different background checks are performed and your driving record is examined. For community-based Bigs, a caseworker then comes to your home to make sure it’s a safe environment and administers a second interview. This interview consists of a series of hypothetical questions to see how you would react if placed in a problematic situation with your Little. After the interviews and background checks, your file is given to a team of volunteers with experience in mental health, child services and law enforcement for one final examination. Once approved, the agency finds files of compatible Littles for you to pore through and determine your best match. After I was approved, I went in to see that my caseworker had extracted three files of potential Little Sisters for me to look through. The first two girls seemed great, but it was the last profile that caught my eye. Her name was Sina. She was 10-years-old and had been Big Sisterless for a while. She was quiet but funny, and we had a lot of the same interests. Perhaps reading too far into the signs, I excitedly noted that our dads shared the same name and that one of my elementary school best friends was named Sina. Without any hesitation, I told my caseworker that I would love to have Sina has a Little. Sixteen months and an inseparable bond later, I know that I made the right choice.

Bigs on Campus
This school year marked the birth of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Student Club. The club gives Big Brothers Big Sisters’ 150 student volunteers a place to meet, share their experiences and brainstorm group activities for the club members’ Little Brothers and Sisters. “There’s not really that much of an involvement between the Bigs, and we just wanted a way to interact with each other,” says two-year Big Sister Sarah Hutton, a junior from Colorado Springs and the club’s activities chair. So far, the club, which meets once a month, has organized a campus scavenger hunt and a trip to a pumpkin patch for members’ Littles. The group plans to attend Lawrence’s Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade on Saturday.


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> In case of emergency, read quickly.
Stuck with a jacket that won’t close or pants held together with a safety pin? Sewing on a button is one of the most basic sewing skills you can do in a few quick steps. Ashley Darnell, a junior from Haviland, enjoys sewing and always repairs her own buttons. “You want to match the replacement button and thread to the original button, otherwise it will look silly.” Follow these steps to secure a button that has come off: 1) Thread needle with a matching color thread and knot the two ends together, doubling the string. 2) Check the other buttons to see how they are threaded. Most follow a crisscross pattern or two straight lines. “I like to use a crisscross if it is just for me, because it holds stronger,” Darnell says. 3) Starting from the back of the fabric feed the needle up and down through the holes in the button following the pattern the other buttons use. 4) Repeat at least three times to make sure the button is secure. 5) To tie off the thread, feed needle down

Photo by Katie James Sew Simple: Replacing a broken button or sewing one back onto a garment is easy to do yourself.

through the button to the back of the fabric and tie a double knot. Heavier fabrics, like those used in coats, need a little extra attention to keep their buttons secure. “With coats, you want to leave a little space between the fabric and the button so it has a little give while you move,” says Kim of Kim’s Alterations, located at 2201 W. 25th St. in Lawrence. “Sometimes with leather you can put another button on the back of the fabric as well to make it sturdier,” says Kim.


> Absence makes the heart grow...?
I’ve thought about becoming vegetarian, but never actually gone through with it. So I did some research on the different types of vegetarianism and decided vegan was too strict for me, but lactovegetarian, which still includes dairy, would be a good fit. I was really unsure whether or not I would like this experiment. My shopping cart contained foods I wouldn’t normally buy: tofu, soy cheese, and Morningstar veggie burgers. One of my main concerns, besides the worrisome texture of tofu, was making sure I was getting enough protein. But soy products, as well as nuts, seeds and grains like quinoa are full of protein and are good for you. “The vegetarian lifestyle is much lower in saturated fat because the food isn’t as processed, and the fats come from plants, so they’re healthier,” says Kylene Etzel, a dietitian for Hy-Vee stores in Lawrence. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the Morningstar burgers. They didn’t taste like fake meat, and are a quick and easy lunch. I also made tofu stir-fry with carrots, snap-peas, water chestnuts, broccoli and red bell peppers. The tofu was what I was most reluctant to try, but I was also surprised at how much I liked it. Tofu pretty much tastes like whatever you put it in, and has a texture more like an avocado than the mush I was expecting. With any major change in diet, baby steps are a good way to ease into it. I may not become fully vegan but this week I felt a lot healthier. This change may just become permanent.


Photo by Katie James Vegging Out: A meatless diet requires high-protien foods, such as tofu, nuts and soy products.

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>The tweets people are talking about.
| NADIA IMAFIDON | TweeTs: @DonaldGlover: My mom gave away my stuffed giraffe (with my permission). Then said, “Keep up the good work.” Beautiful morning. @DonaldGlover : Playing real life fruit ninja. @DonaldGlover: Homeless man just looked at me and gave me a knowing “woah.” I hope he’s not God. @DonaldGlover: The series “Reboot” is now streaming on Netflix. Run. Don’t walk. @DonaldGlover: We should probably make out to relieve all this twitter sexual tension. Contributed photo #YOU’REMOREDRUNK @DonaldGlover: What do you call it when who: Donald Glover you’re playin music in your car and it syncs whaT he does: A music artist and up with the way little kids are walking in the songwriter from Brooklyn. street? TwiTTer handle: @FakeJoeDooley @DonaldGlover: Whenever they try to why: “I follow him because he is one of “sexy” Rihanna up, she looks like an angry my favorite rappers,” says Myette Simpson, orphan. Mona Lisa doesn’t need touch ups. sophomore from Lawrence. “I listen to him on a daily basis.”

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> Feel free to swoon.

group has been making music together for a year and a half now and they find their influences from bands like Bon Iver, Arcade Fire and Thrice. Currently, Honest Cowboy is writing and recording its first full-length album. So far, they’ve recorded at Surmount Studios in Lee’s Summit, Mo., All Out Studios in Independence, Mo. and will be recording more tracks in Topeka at Rundown Studios, says Isak Anderson, backup vocalist and keyboardist. The band is excited to release new music and Tyre Brown, bassist, says he believes they’ve “only just scratched the surface of each of our abilities.” Honest Cowboy is releasing its new fulllength record, Motives, in early spring of 2012. For more information on the band and their upcoming shows, visit HonestCowboy. | DREW WILLE |

At one point during the War on Drugs show at the Jackpot on Nov. 1, my cohort and I excused ourselves to grab a breath of fresh air outside. After about 15 minutes, we reentered to find the front of house packed as four dudes from Pennsylvania started to set up. This story might be symbolic of Lawrence’s reception to Philadelphia’s War on Drugs, whose newest album, Slave Ambient, has been sending waves through indie record stores and music blogs. After several years as a musical entity, the group, led by singer and guitarist Adam Granduciel, has released a coherent, comprehensive record that captures his band’s sound–dense yet shimmery, washing over the listener like a tide coming in. The most important thing about Slave Ambient is that the band knows what its doing. The sound is thick, layered and atmospheric. What makes the music impressive is that there’s a clear goal in mind. The songs have beginnings and ends; as easy as it would be for the band to jam on these tracks for all time, drummer Steven Urgo keeps things

>Hollywood hits, indie flicks and everything in between.
grounded. This gives the songs the power of brevity. It’s a sound that fits the four-piece well. When performed live, songs come and go like bursts of static over a radio. The band members often swap instruments, moving between various 6 and 12-string electric and acoustic guitars, organs and horns. Despite the variety of sounds, the band is out to explore, every song successfully sounds like a War on Drugs song. | BEN CHIPMAN |

Contributed photo Musical Maturity: Honoest Cowboy’s five members’ individual musical backgrounds diversify the group, enriching its sound. Honest Cowboy, a five-piece band from Kansas City, Mo., produces music with intricate orchestration and complex, eclectic lyricism. Each member has a unique musical history, which shows through the band’s diverse sound. “Honest Cowboy is indie rock and roll, and our sound comes from a youthful foundation in pursuit of musical maturity,” says Jordan Thompson, vocalist and guitarist. This young

Contributed photo

Scene and Heard // DISC GOLF COURSES > New places, new faces.
There are two public disc golf courses in Lawrence and they have at least one thing in common: they’re free. Centennial park, located at 6th and Rockledge, and River Front park, located at the intersection of North 2nd and Highway 24, both feature 18-hole disc golf courses. Disc golf is the counter-culture alternative to golf, the sport that, because of the expenses associated with it, is inaccessible for many college students. “It’s the perfect sport for college students,” says Lawrence resident James Jerde. Jerde has been playing disc golf for 10 years, and says he’s been lucky enough to play many of the courses in Kansas. “Centennial is a great course,” he says. The object of the game is to get your disc in the basket in as few throws as possible. It’s a leisurely sport that can be played alone or with others. And as with golf, part of the appeal comes from being able to spend time outdoors in scenic areas. Of the the 3,000 courses listed in the United States, 87 percent have no walk-on fees, according to The only expense in disc golf, for the most part, is buying

Contributed Photo Free Flying: Local disc golf courses give the Lawrence community a free place to play. discs. In Lawrence, Sunflower Outdoor & Bike has the widest selection. The price varies depending on the disc, but a beginners set of Innova discs, which includes a driver, a mid range disc, and a putting disc for close range shots lists at $23. Xavier Garcia, an alumnus, began playing at Centennial park his freshman year. “Disc golf is great because it’s so leisurely, and it’s a lot less stressful than regular golf,” he says. “It’s fun to go out and just toss the disc around, and to just be out on the course.” | JEFF KARR |

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And I Quote
I can still remember calling my mom the afternoon I was hired to cover the Kansas football team for The University Daily Kansan. You couldn’t have removed my smile with a jackhammer. None of my parents, grandparents or siblings had ever graduated from college, and here I was, officially a Jayhawk and officially writing for thousands of eyes. As I approached my vehicle, one of the signature pink parking violation envelopes rested under my windshield wiper. It didn’t matter. I was exuberant. The childlike enthusiasm and optimism had consumed me. But as uplifting as the day I was hired was, my downfall would be 10 times as devastating. One foolish mistake took everything away in an instant, and my life has been a journey in redeeming myself ever since. The job took its toll on me those first few months. Writing one, two or sometimes three stories a day was taxing, but the pride I felt when I saw someone reading my work on the bus or on campus was worth it. I was in awe of the gorgeous view from the press box at Memorial Stadium that first home game. I barely paid attention to the action on the field, choosing instead to take in the sights and sounds of that game day. Then, only three months after it all began, it ended. The workload caught up with me and I made a careless mistake. In a story about coach Turner Gill’s strange rules prohibiting player interaction with the opposite sex at night, I used a quote from senior punter Alonso Rojas that I first read on a story published by another reporter at the press conference earlier that day. Unfortunately, the quote in question was not spoken during the press conference itself but rather in a one-on-one with a reporter from The Lawrence Journal-World. This, of course, is plagiarism. And this did not once enter my mind when I was writing the piece. But the day the article printed, my boss gave me a rare day off. The next day, I was summoned to the Kansan offices for a mysterious meeting. I should preface this by saying I have a slightly paranoid personality. I always envision the worst possible scenario in every situation, and this was no different. I was in full-on freakout mode. The situation only got worse when I arrived and my editor moved our meeting into a closed-door room. He had a hard time even making eye contact with me. What could I possibly have done wrong? I was asked about the quote and I gave an honest answer. Suspension, the editor said, was the only course of action from there. Devastated, I accepted my fate, left the newsroom and began praying. My prayers were not answered, because less than an hour later my phone rang. It was my boss telling me I needed to resign or be fired, and he needed an answer within the next 30 minutes. Now reduced to a

One writer’s journey from resignation to redemption
| MATT GALLOWAY | crying, pathetic mess, I told him that I’m not a quitter. But after consulting some of my closest friends, I determined resigning was the best course of action. On Oct. 7, 2010, I officially and reluctantly resigned from the Kansan. The weeks following my resignation are a blur of resentment, shame and depression. I resented staff members at the Kansan. I felt they refused to even lift a finger as I selfdestructed. I almost obsessively looked for mistakes in subsequent football articles to make me feel better about myself. Most of all, I resented the University of Kansas itself and all of my peers. I contemplated everything from transferring to another university to changing my major from journalism to marketing. There were other less visible scars. Where I used to feel pride and accomplishment when I saw someone reading the Kansan, I now felt shame. A short story about my resignation was printed the day after I left, and in what was likely an overinflated sense of self-importance, I figured everyone knew. Showing up for class right across from the Kansan offices proved to be a nerve-wracking experience. Looking back, I think I was most ashamed because I felt I had let everyone down. I knew how hard everyone worked to make the Kansan happen, and through my own carelessness, I felt I unintentionally betrayed them. The depression, and I don’t use that word lightly, contributed most to why I call that time period a blur. I found myself sleeping upwards of 16 hours a day when I could. I sank under my covers and took lengthy breaks from the problems of the real world. My weight ballooned to an all-time high as I carelessly shoveled down any food that would comfort me. And my heart sank every time I heard or read a story relating to the football team. Thankfully, I do think I was able to at least partially pull myself out of the enormous hole I was in. Through the Kansan’s adviser, I was able to reconcile with the writer at The Lawrence Journal-World. My banishment was lifted and I was able to work for the summer edition of the Kansan. Flashes of the youthful joy and enthusiasm I had the previous summer returned slowly but surely, and this fall I was brought back to cover the volleyball team. Getting fired by a friend sucks. At least when someone you dislike shows you the door, it can be blamed on jealousy or pettiness. But when a good friend tells you to pack your bags, you know you’ve really screwed up beyond repair. The road to redemption hasn’t been easy, and I know it’s not over yet. But I can feel better about the man looking back at me in the mirror. One of the many coaching clichés I’ve heard in my years covering sports is “adversity builds character.” But in my case, I think it revealed it.

Contributed photo Road to Redemption: Matt Galloway, who formerly covered KU football, has worked to maintain his passion for journalism after a plagiarism incident last fall.


12 01 11

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