Today is Black Friday. It is a day when Americans are out shopping early in the morning time to get merchandises that is on sale for a cheaper price. Many would stand outside the stores in the cold for an average of 5 hours until the stores open to get that particular merchandise before someone else does.
Crazy things happen on that day. An example would be someone pepper spraying another person in order to get in the front of the line or fighting another customer in order to get that particular merchandise. During this time over the years, many people have been arrested for fighting over a product. A few have been trampled by an onslaught of customers trying to get that particular thing that is important to them.
Personally, I think that it is ridiculous that people would wait out in the cold hours before the store opens in order to get a specific merchandise. I understand that it is on sale for that specific weekend, but that same particular product will be on sale either before Christmas or the week after. It is not worth it to get into fights or even go to jail just to get that specific product because it will follow you for the rest of your life.
Thanksgiving is a holiday that is celebrated in the United States and Canada. It is a time when families come together to give thanks for all of the blessings that was bestowed upon them.
In the United States, the history of thanksgiving began in 1621 when the English arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts. They prepared a feast and celebrated by thanking God for keeping them safe in their journey from England to what is now the United States.
To all my readers, happy thanksgiving and I hope that everyone finishes the year on a high note.
Sam Houston State University student Mark Denman’s ambition is to use his skills to help people in time of need or crisis. The junior biology major took the first step in that direction as he spent two months in the Republic of the Philippines during the summer of 2010 and spent the first six months of 2011 in Mali through the organization “Go Now Missions,” based out of Arlington, Texas. Since then, he has been involved with the International Programs as a volunteer in helping international students to adjust to the culture of the United States and to campus life. We caught up with Mark to get his perpespective on his trip.
What’s The Word: Can you tell us about the time when you first went overseas? What was that like?
Mark Denman: The first time I went overseas was last year in the summer. I traveled to the Republic of the Philippines for two months backpacking with six other Americans in a rural island setting, a very non-tourist area. We set out to backpack these trails to discover villages and the people that live there. We did some ethno research to see what languages they spoke, where they lived and mapped out communities. I had a blast doing it and was a very awesome experience.
WTW: How did you find out about the trip?
MD: I am an active participant in the Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) and a friend of mine who spend a year living in Ethiopia teaching English. He had a great experience and told me “It seems that you like to meet people of different races and cultures. Why don’t you check out this program?” So I found out about “Go Now Missions” and I signed up and filled out an application and they allotted funds for me and that is how I got there.
WTW: With that in mind, what was it like living in Mali?
MD: Well, I had a blast. I spend six months in Mali, living in a rural setting among the villagers. They was no electricity, running water, or plumbing. It was just farmers who plow the land to get food. They speak their own language and we did not have translators. Our purpose was to develop relations with the people and to experience their culture and to learn the language. Though it was challenging and difficult, we persevered for the sake that it would impact their lives in ways that other Non-Government Organizations (NGO’s) couldn’t.
WTW: One of the things that you encountered was the fact that they were dependent on the West and are not self-sufficient. Why is that?
MD: They are a lot of speculations. The West feels more generous because we have abundance and we see pictures of Africa and go over there and see that the people are impoverished and don’t have things that we have. So we feel obligated sometimes to give them stuff which is great, but if we do not understand the culture, the ramifications behind what we are doing causes more damage than good. It has been noted that philanthropist who have gone to Africa and donated millions of dollars for AIDS relief and water wells. Two to three years down the road, no work has ever been done because the West call it a “mismanagement” of funds. But the African mentality doesn’t think it is mismanagement , but is how they handling the money to take care of things that is more important than water wells.
WTW: How has this experience changed you when you return to the States?
MD: Coming back as a student, I have become more compassionate about people. To me, the village of Mali, West Africa is a neighborhood on Sam Houston Avenue. It becomes real to me when I meet international students from Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and Senegal that are here in Huntsville, Texas. I can pick up on that, not because of the language, but the clothes they wear, their style, the way that they walk and have an outlook on life that is different.
WTW: Globalization is happening all around us. What do you think that students need to do to be prepared for the 21th century workforce?
MD: I think the greatest thing that we can do is to get involve and befriend international students here on campus. I know 75 students from all over the world that are coming here to either get degrees or to learn English for a semester. They really love to practice English with an American and to learn the culture of the United States. They can also connect with the world through studying abroad, NGOs, Peace Corps, etc. in order to learn a new language and a new culture.
Tomorrow is National Career Development
Day and as part of the National Career Development Week, the Career
Services Department at Sam Houston State University is allowing
students to ‘walk-in’ and speak with career counselors between the
hours of 9-12 and 1:30-4 p.m for mini-sessions of 15-20 minutes to
discuss the services they offer.
Today, we spotlight Samantha McKinley,
a freshmen who is majoring in general business. Like many others, she
did not know what she wanted to study. So she decided to go to the
Career Services to find out what major would help her to succeed in
school and to discover her career dreams.
We caught up with Samantha to find out
what Career Services has to offer.
What’s the Word: How did you come to
the decision to major in general business?
Samantha McKinley: I started out with
music and then with education. Then I decided on business because I
felt that I have a lot of options. Because I am starting out with
general business, I can get into the higher classes and can decide
specifically on what I want to do with business.
WTW: How has Career Services helped
SM: Career Services have been such a
great help. I made my first appointment really early in the semester
and did their online test to assess my skills and strengths. Then I
went in and met with Ms. Carranza and she reviewed my results with me
and gave me a lot of information about different majors that I may be
good at or things I could do with the majors that I might enjoy.
After the meeting, I received that information and met with her again
to discuss more specific fields that I might be interested in and
gave me some suggestions on what I can do to learn more about this
WTW: What would you say to students who
are in your position who don’t know what they want to major in?
SM: Meet with the Career Services as
fast as you can if you don’t know what your going to do. Even if you
go in there and you say “I have absolutely no idea of what I want
to do with my life,” they can at least give you a starting
direction. Based on that point, you can research for yourself of what
you might want to do. From there, you can discuss specific careers
that you might want to learn about and they can give you different
tips on where you can go and what to look for when you’re researching
As part of the National Career Development Week, the Career Services Department at Sam Houston State University is hosting a week of activities in order to promote the importance of lifelong career development and the personal empowerment of all people. Various activities will be held throughout the week of November 14th -18th .
The theme for this week is, “The Five P’s to Pursuing Your Career Dreams.” The activities are geared to help encourage students to explore their interests and various majors that may be related to a career that they are dreaming about pursuing in the future.
Monday will kick off the week with “Finding your Purpose.” Career counselors will have a table outside in the LSC yard from 11a.m.-2 p.m. Students can stop by the table to find out about the requirements for the 46th Annual Poster and Poetry Contest. They can also pick up a short activity on the 10 types of meaning to help clarify purpose and priorities.
Tuesday is “Following your Passion.” Students can stop by the ABIV lobby from 8-10 to learn more about The Five P’s. Counselors will be handing out free hot chocolate and will be available to answer any questions students may have related to career decision making and following your Passion!
Wednesday is “Exploring Possibilities/Walk-In Day.” Career counselors are usually available by appointment only, but Wednesday is the exception! Students can Walk-In or “Pop In” for some popcorn and speak with a career counselor about their career dreams. Counselors will be available between the hours of 9-12 and 1:30-4p.m. for mini sessions of 15-20 minutes.
Thursday is “Identify/Research Career Paths.” The career counselors and the graduate assistants will have a table in the lobby area at Old Main Market from 11-2p.m. that will provide various resources about different majors, Career Paths of Distinct Professionals, and strategies on how to reach Career Goals. Students can stop by to ask any questions they may have and learn about the career decision making process.
Friday is “Develop a Plan.” Students can call in to schedule an appointment to meet with career counselors or career services specialists to discuss next steps toward fulfilling their Career Dreams.
For students who are interested in participating in the 46th Annual Poster & Poetry Contest, please remember to submit your entries by December 1st to the Career Services office. Entry forms can be picked up at the office and/or at any of the events throughout the week.