Sunday, January 31, 2010

No stall left unturned: College uses 'reading time' to educate

Telegram Staff Writer

Toilet stalls have a pretty specific purpose.
You go in, let nature run its course, wash your hands and go about your day, right?
There's not much else to do in there, unless you have a book or cell phone at easy access.
At least, that's what I used to think.
A recent trip to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton changed my mind. I took a bathroom break that gave me a giggle and taught me a few things about studying habits and sleep patterns.
It wasn't a joke or cheat note scrawled on the stall wall.
It was what every UMHB student and professor sees when a potty is needed: the latest issue of the Stall Street Journal. Its trademark is its icon, a human-like toilet that's got a wide grin on its face.

Cancer's no match for laughter, love

Telegram Staff Writer

She was 39 when the doctor told her she had breast cancer.
'I was like 'OK,' ' said D'Anne Willis of Lampasas, the luncheon speaker for the Feb. 20 Day for Women program at the Frank Mayborn center in Temple. 'Let's do what we need to get it fixed.'
The professional musician and comedian said she was a good patient.
'I sailed through it,' Mrs. Willis said. 'I passed with flying colors.'
That was in 1997.
'The second time the doctor told me I had breast cancer is a completely different story,' Mrs. Willis said. 'It was several years later in 2001, and I thought I had paid my dues.'
She was angry.
'I was like, 'What's the deal, God?' I questioned my faith and held Him accountable for everything that was going wrong,' Mrs. Willis said. 'I got very sick, I withdrew from all my friends and left my job. I was a hermit.'

Saturday, January 30, 2010

La la la menopause: Group sings, laughs and prays about 'the change'

Telegram Staff Writer

Night sweats, mood swings and headaches.
Menopause is a bother.
'But it sure can be funny,' said Cheryl Morrison of Katy.
She's one of three Hot Flashes who travel the state with Minnie Pause, singing and joking about 'the change' that every woman eventually endures.
Billed as Minnie Pause and the Hot Flashes, the group's got a Feb. 6 date with First Baptist Church of Temple. The ladies will give a concert they say the town will never forget.
'We are so excited,' said Marci Gaglione of Temple. 'I hope they are as funny and uplifting as they sound because we all could really use that right now.'
Like so many others from the congregation, Ms. Gaglione is still recovering from the shock of the Jan. 19 fire that destroyed FBC's sanctuary.
'So this comes as welcome program,' Ms. Gaglione said. 'It'll be a good chance to let go a little bit and have some fun.'

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Patriotic pastime: Woman crochets American flags

Telegram Staff Writer

Just give her a hook and some yarn, and she's set.
'I love to crochet,' said Ethel Slusher of Belton. 'I've done it all. You name it, I've crocheted it.'
Her list of accomplishments includes a crocheted christening gown for her great-grandson and a crocheted version of the nativity scene.
But this month it's the American flag that has her attention. For the last few weeks, she's been creating a full-length afghan that sports all the beauty and grandeur of Old Glory.
'Red, white and blue, it's all there,' Ms. Slusher said.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

God bridges gender, race gap

Telegram Staff Writer

Race and gender do not define African American women.
'More than anything, it's faith that binds us,' said Shirley Walker, a 17-year social work professor at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton. 'As a group, spirituality is something that is very much a part of us. It goes all the way back to slavery. The ability to get through it came from God.'
That's the premise of an article she wrote for 'Advances in Developing Human Resources,' a publication of the Academy of Human Resource Development, a professional organization for scholars and business people.
Published in the October 2009 issue, her piece was one of eight that spoke to the theme of 'African American Women in Leadership.'
'The other articles dealt with the scholarly definitions of leadership and the practical applications in the work place,' Ms. Walker said. 'Mine focused more on what leadership is to me as an African American woman.'
She listed the abilities to communicate, manage and persuade as common attributes to successful leaders.
'Those things are important, yes, but it's not what leadership is,' Ms. Walker said. 'It's God, and it's faith. He presents a door of opportunity to you, and if you have faith in Him, you open and walk through it.'

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Plants are at the root of Fort Hood history

Telegram Staff Writer

Soldiers aren't the only ones who roam the grounds of Fort Hood.
There are ornithologists, botanists and archaeologists too.
'They are professionals who study and document the kinds of life at the Army post,' said ornithologist Gil Eckrich, outreach spokesman for the Fort Hood Natural Resources Division.
Sometimes it's an animal species that catches their attention.
'Winter's a prime time for bird watching,' Eckrich said. 'That's why I work Sundays this time of year, so I can come out and take pictures of them.'
But more often, it's the plant life that intrigues Eckrich and his co-workers in the Natural Resources department.
'Especially the plants that aren't native to Fort Hood,' Eckrich said. 'We can't help but wonder where they came from and how they got here.'

Saturday, January 9, 2010

1880s photograph sets professor on the trail of a feminist Muslim

Telegram Staff Writer

The professor loves to read, but it wasn't a word that caught his attention.
It was a picture of a man and his wife.
'Obviously staged,' said George Gawrych, a history professor at Baylor University in Waco. 'But what it showed was striking.'
The photo was of an Albanian couple, dated to the early 1880s.
'The way they are posed, it shows equality and respect,' Gawrych said. 'That notion was rare and controversial at that time.'
Intrigued, the professor researched the lives of the couple: the Albanian Semseddin Sami and his Turkish wife Emine Veliye. He learned they were Muslim.
'But her head is uncovered,' Gawrych said. 'That's a subtle but definite statement on how that man felt about his wife. To him, she was his partner. Her unveiled face puts her on even ground with him.'

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Local men mix up a hobby of the mind, palate

Telegram Staff Writer

There's nothing like a good hobby.
'It gives you something to do,' said Earl Soudelier of Gatesville. 'And it keeps you foucsed and active.'
From gardening to woodwork, anything can be a hobby.
'Whatever it is, it's got to interest you,' said Charles Smith of Temple. 'And then as you pursue it, the hobby becomes an individualized art.'
For Smith and Soudelier, wine is their hobby.
'It's such a beautiful thing to make,' Smith said.
'Yes,' Soudelier said. 'And, for me, it's an endorphin rush when I have people over and they specifically ask for something I made. It's a real ego boost.'