Is America Keeping Its Promise?
Elizabeth Liney (left) receives her first ever massage from Therapist William Bright (right).
Kymber Lee Taylor
Therapy relieves season’s tension
Kymber Lee Taylor
For students, December is a
month of dread with worries of
final exams, financial obliga- “
tions, and the approaching holi
day season adding to tension,
that for many procrastinators,
has been building since August.
But for 15 glorious minutes stu-
dents, faculty and staff were
able to escape the commotion and
relax with free body massages given
by certified massage therapists.
Jacquelyn and William Bright,
a husband and wife team who owns
Unique Touch Massage Therapy held
sessions from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
in the University Center on Dec. 3.
Al Belly, the first black massage
therapist in the area and cousin of
William Bright, encouraged the
couple to pursue a career in mas-
“Anything that you can do for your
body that is natural, you should do.”
sage therapy. After a six-month class
at the Virginia School of Technology,
Jacquelyn earned her certification
and prepared to open her own busi
“It’s a good experience,”
Tyrone Knox, a sophomore Physical
Education major, said. “It loosens the
muscles up, so I’m not as tense, it’s
a luxury few people experience.”
Benefits of massage include
____ improved circulation of
blood, reduction of swell
ing, and tension and stress
“There are parts of
my body that are more
alive,” said Elizabeth Liney,
administrative officer for fa
cility, management. “Anything that
you can do for your body that is natu
ral, you should do.”
The event, sponsored by the
Office of Commuter Service, at
tracted over 60 members of the uni-
Written by Shianne Dance
lone tear silently rolled down my cheek, as I cried
m/l~ for the sixth grade child that could not read. So
many students are going to school, passing classes,
and being promoted to the next grade without meet
ing the criteria. “Great Public Schools for Every
Child,” is the promise that America has given par
ents, students, and teachers across the nation.
How is this promise to be upheld, when students
that need special attention are not receiving it?
I am currently a volunteer at the H.L.
Trigg Alternative School, where I assist i
teacher in a program that is similar to I.S.S.,
which is In School Suspension. These stu
dents come from different schools in the
community in which they have been sus
pended from. This program keeps the children
in school during their suspension term, to keep them from staying home
in a more relaxed environment. While assisting with this program, I have
to question America, and the promise that has been made to provide
America’s children with access to a great public school.
I carefully observed one of the male students during his stay in
the program. The young sixth grader never seemed to do any work. I
decided that this must be the reason why he is constantly in trouble. In
stead of doing each assignment, he would laugh and joke with the other
students. It wasn’t until I sat down beside him, to assist him in his work,
that I discovered that the child could not read. I didn’t want to embarrass
the student, so I helped him without making it obvious to the other stu
dents of his illiteracy. After the bell had rung, I poured out my heart to the
director of this program. I wanted to know why this child was in the sixth
grade, with a reading level of a second grader: aren’t there state man
dated tests that these students have to pass? Seeing my anguish, the
director told me the truth. He informed me that these students are the
students that are removed from the class during the time of testing, and
are given special instructors to coach them throughout the exam. Is America
keeping its promise?
During my first semester of my sophomore year, I had decided to
major in English, with a minor in Secondary Education. I have a burning
passion to make a difference in the lives of these young children that are
being neglected. Many of the students that are perceived as a problem
child, are usually ignored, sent out of class, or enrolled in a permanent
alternative school. I have observed that all children are willing to learn;
they just need to be loved and nurtured while in the classroom surround
ing. Once that environment is created, the students will respect the teacher,
and have an attitude that is conducive for learning.
At this time I do not believe America is holding up its promise to
provide children with access to great public schools, but it doesn’t mean
that this goal cannot be achieved. It’s up to the educators to make the
school a better place. When the teachers decide to stop working for a
paycheck, and instead realize that the betterment of our children’s educa
tion is more important, then will America uphold its promise.
Meditation soothes and relieves students’ stress
Cory Alexander Hunt
Meditation is a centuries old rem
edy that not only eases the strain of
being a student but it also increases
As a student I have found my
self full of stress and anger Medita
tion has been the one thing that got
me through my trials and tribulations
as an undergraduate. Even though me
diation has benefited millions, to some
it is a difficult idea to grasp, but it is
actually very simple.
First, find a quiet place with
few distractions, and get comfortable.
This aids in the concentration element
of meditation. The belief is that medi
tation is a matter of zoning out, but it
actually increases brain wave patterns.
A person’s thoughts are divided be
tween numerous activities, therefore
when the mind concentrates on a
single word or one’s heartbeat the brain
can truly focus with a higher and stron
The notion that to truly meditate
and become centered a person had to
twist themselves into uncomfortable
positions is false. The easiest position
to meditate in is referred to as
“Imhotep's position” in reference to the
Egyptian god of medicine. Sit in a chair
with your back straight and your feet
planted firmly on the ground, and
hands resting on your knees. Close
your eyes and banish all thoughts; fo
cus on nothing. This idea is confusing,
but to focus on the nothingness of the
mind releases you from thought. Revel
in the quiet and deprive yourself from
anything that might stimulate the
Continually empty your mind and
visualize it as a river As thoughts rise
to the surface let them float away.
When you are focusing on nothing you
can then move fon/vard to the next step.
Once your focus is achieved you
should remember not to get lost in this
state. This is where people get lost,
zone out and fall asleep. That would
be taking a nap, not mediation.
At this point you can personalize
your mediation technique. You can now
let thoughts flow again and create a
focal point. It can be an image, a word,
a heartbeat, or one’s own breath. Now
use your mind as if it were a recorder
Whatever was chosen to mediate on,
run it in your thoughts as if it were on a
loop. Let it repeat and concentrate only
on this. Remain mindful of your breath
ing and take deep breaths at a steady
Some practitioners of medita
tion put their tongue on the roof of the
mouth, in the belief that in doing so
energy pathways are connected and
will raise the level of inner energy.
This is referred to as “Ki” or “Chi,"
while others refer to it as “Prana.”
People believe that this life force
keeps the body healthy and alive, and
that meditation is a way to foster and
increase this energy.
There are various methods of
meditation. Tailor your mediation to
your life and your schedule. Choose
what is best for you.
This fictional story follows the Journey of Ezia Parker, a college senior embarking on her future and
finding herself along the way.
1, Ezia Parker, cannot complain about my life. I didn’t grow up poor I didn’t grow up
ich either My parents aren’t divorced. My family isn’t abusive. Sure, my brother and sister and
have the usual fights that include mandatory name-calling and the occasional assault, but
ley-that's our purpose and duty as siblings!
When I went away to college I was homesick at first, but I made some of the best friends
Ve ever had and have done pretty well in my classes, if I do say so myself! But for some
■eason I was under the illusion that when I finally earned my status as a senior, my last year
would be go-with-the-flow and pretty chill.
I pictured myself breezing through the few classes I have left and spending the rest of my
ree time, which I thought I would have plenty oi, hanging out with friends, deejaying at some of
:he parties on campus, catching up on the latest issues of my magazines, and basically being
Somewhere around the beginning of this semester I was forcefully b#*ch slapped out of
Tiy fantasy and brought back to reality. I have done more work this semester in my classes,
/vhich is only four, than my three previous years combined.
Since there is now only one week of classes left before winter break, I am starting to see
:he light at the end of the tunnel. I didn’t think this semester would ever end! To celebrate, I
grabbed my friends fora girl’s night out. There are only three bars to hang out at in this sleepy
college town, all in walking distance, but as usual, we took 45 minutes deciding on which bar
:o go to. The Attic was our destination for the night. It’s a quiet little bar tucked away a few
Diocks from campus. It’s the perfect place to go to and relax.
The interior is painted a vibrant purple with silver trim. Plush red velvet couches lounge In
the corners near TV. sets. A beaded curtain separates the game room, which is home to a few
pool tables and arcade games. Since it is almost Christmas, sparkling garland and blinking lights
are strung around the inside of the entire place. The bar area is lit up with dangling white icicle
lights, which stay up all year long.
My favorite part of The Attic is the stage, where local bands play almost every night of the
week. Tonight a band called Down Spiral is playing. My friends don’t like rock music too much,
but they put up with it whenever we come here. Especially tonight, since the lead singer, Rayne
Morales, is in one of my classes and the group is my favorite local band.
After we got our drinks we took over one of the couches and talked, laughed, and listened
to the band. It is turning out to be a great night, just what we all needed after this semester.
When the band’s last set ended we decided it was time to go home, so we grabbed our
coats and headed toward the door Just as we were about to leave, Rayne came over and asked
• if we wanted to hang out with him and'the band. My friends were ready to go, but I really wanted
to stay, so they made sure I would be okay getting home, and left.
Rayne said the rest of the band had already headed home (they all live together) and that he
was left to haul the van full of their equipment home. For some reason I had a bad feeling about
something, but I shook it off. When we got outside I climbed into the passenger seat of the large
van and we drove off. It had a musty smell to and I glanced around and noticed that there was no
equipment in the van at all. Thafs when my life drastically changed...
To be continued.