A few questions for you?

I was thinking about what to write about this evening and to be honest, my brain just wants to sleep. Been one of those “feeling like crap, headache, not really with it” days so please bear with me.

Anyhow, I was looking over a few of my previous posts to see if there was anything I needed to follow up on and there was only one thing I  saw that I should follow up on a bit and that is we have received the official word that HCC has in fact suspended the football program indefinitely, which is a whole can of worms I won’t get into again. I said my peace and will leave it at that so we don’t start beating the proverbial dead horse here at 150 North. Life goes on although sometimes not the way you would prefer it to go….such is the way of things.

The only other thought I had while glancing back at my previous posts was that recently I have posted quite a few movie opinion and feedback on the movies I have been seeing lately. I love movies. I worked at the theatre for about 5 or 6 years and there are times I miss working there a little bit just because it allowed you to be really on top of all the new shows coming out and all of that. Although at this time I am still enjoying the perks of working there, including free movies/pop/popcorn, without actually having to work there. That is a pretty sweet deal and I am very thankful and appreciative to my former boss, QB herself, Stacey.

Anyhow, back to the main topic here. I have just a couple questions for you.

#1) What movies have you seen recently(within the last year) that you just loved?why?

#2) What movies have you seen recently (within the last year) that you absolutely hated?why?

#3) What upcoming movies are you really looking forward to seeing?

This is my favorite question because we all have to base our answers on nothing more than what we have read or seen in previews, etc… It is fun to go back after the movie has actually come out so we can see if we were accurate at all in predicting a good movie.

Anyhow, those are the questions I wanted to ask so please answer any/all here in the comments!

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Epic Movie

It wasn’t really all that epic.

In the same mold as the Scary Movie series, Epic Movie sets out to parody some of the recent block buster smash hit epic movies. They take on films such as The Chronicles of Narnia, X-Men, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, etc….

To sum it up nice and neat for you here. I liked the concept, as I have with the past movies, although it is a concept that is pretty tough to pull off anymore. It’s been done many times and probably never as well as the first time with the original “Scary Movie”. I was mildly entertained throughout the 85 minutes of the movie and there were a couple of scenes worth a laugh, but overall it just missed the mark. The best part about this movie for me was the “Where’s Waldo” effect, which is just sitting back and trying to identify each and every movie that is being parodied within this film.

Bottom line….Epic Movie is not really that epic….worth a rental, but see something else at the theatre when you go.

WE ARE…..MARSHALL

Just saw this movie tonight. Another great job of telling a truly touching story.

I admit it, I am a sucker for a good football movie, but it was still a really good movie. I can’t imagine what that must have been like for that town, school and all the families that lost so many of their loved ones. Truly heartbreaking.

A couple of real quick comments about it. #1-Very nice job of recreating life at Marshall University during such a difficult time. #2-I don’t know why but Matthew McConaughey has two little things in this movie that he does all the time that drove me nuts. He kept using this wierd hand gesture whenever he was talking to someone (which was the whole movie). It was like pointing at someone with all of your fingers instead of just the first finger, and then he would actually pull the first finger in under his thumb. Almost like when you make the “OK” sign. I found a picture of the hand gesture he used all the time over at the IMDB. CLICK HERE TO SEE! The second thing he did all the time was always talking out of the side of his mouth..like he had a permanent half grin. I haven’t been able to find a picture of that yet. If I do I will add a link to it!

Those were the only two bad things I can say about the movie though, and they are very minor details that for some reason just bothered me! It was a very good movie, really tugs at the old heart-strings and leaves you feeling very inspired.

Heck, it almost made me want to go enroll in school at Marshall just so I could say I was a part of that school’s history!

In other HCC News…

I have been asked to serve as a member of the Curriculum Advisory Committee again this year. Our annual meeting is coming up at the end of February, which should be interesting because by then we should know the fate of the Football Program. I am very curious to see if it is going to cause big changes in the program. I should clarify here. This is the Curriculum Advisory Committee for the School of Business at HCC. That includes the Business and Administration programs as well as the Sales and Business Management programs. This will be my 5th year serving as a member of this committee, so I am pretty pumped about that.

Meanwhile, ha-ha I just love saying that. Meanwhile, I have not heard anything further about the fate of the HCC Football Program. There was some local news coverage both on TV and in the Paper’s but nothing that we had not already heard. There were a few great points made in one of the newspaper articles. An instructor at HCC, Mr. Brown I believe, spoke at the meeting the other day and basically reinforced what I was saying here. He agreed that the low GPA was a problem, but also that there are ways to correct that without having to cut the program and punish those who are doing well and working hard in order to play. I guess it all boils down to what good old Mr. Simberg decides to do.

It’s unfortunate though because I feel like he has already made up his mind, as April said in the comments, and he is just basically going through the motions trying to make it look like he wants the community involved and all of that.

There was one statement made during the meeting the other night that really seemed telling to me. I can’t remember if it was Mr. Simberg or Mr. Sertich that said it, but the statement basically said that “Provost Simberg has kept a close eye on the grades of students in the football program for the last five years, and he has seen them steadily decline to a point of unacceptable levels.” That is not the exact quote, but a summary of what was said. Now the problem I have with all of this is if Mr. Simberg really has been sitting back and watching the GPA’s continue to fall and he never said anything or did anything to correct it, he is the only one that should be held accountable. Well, I’m not saying that the students shouldn’t be accountable as well, but as far as making sure steps were taken to correct the problem….it’s all in Mr. Simberg’s lap.

Here is a pretty good analogy. If I am the head of a big construction company and I keep a close eye on my employees performance, only to notice that little by little every day they are getting more and more sloppy with their work. Well, when that day comes and the work is at such a poor quality that the house they build falls down a month after they build it, injuring or killing the family living inside, do you really think that the only ones responsible in that situation are the workers? Of course not, I would be just as much responsible, if not more so because I saw the performance degrading steadily but I did nothing about it. So why should it be different for Mr. Simberg and his staff at HCC?

HCC to Cut Football program??

HCC Cardinal Athletics

In recent news , Hibbing Community College Provost Ken Simberg is looking to suspend/drop the Cardinal Football program starting with the 2007 season.

He gives this as his reasoning:
“The academic performance of the members of the football team is poor, sub par,” he said. “Particular to last year’s team and this year’s team, we’ve seen these students experience even more academic struggles. Some students are even having trouble with developmental courses.”

The average grade point average (GPA) of an HCC football player over the past five years has been approximately 1.8 (on a 4.0 scale), according to Simberg.

“The football program is the only athletic program that we have that has an accumulative GPA of below 2.0. All of our other programs are between 2.3 and 2.8,” he said. “It’s also noteworthy that 90 percent of our football players take at least one developmental education course.”

To me this seems like nothing more than an excuse and it raises a couple of questions for me. The biggest question being how is it possible for the team to have an average grade point average of just 1.8? When I played in 1996 the rules were pretty cut and dry. In order to be eligible to play and be a part of the team, any sports team, you needed to maintain a grade point average of at least 2.0. We had to have weekly and sometimes daily reports filled out by our instructors that showed how we were doing and if we dipped below the expectation lines we simply were not allowed to play until we fixed our academic status. What this whole thing says to me is that somewhere along the line the “student athletes” have been allowed to skate by without having to maintain any sort of standards. The have gone from being “student athletes” to just plain “athletes”. The only way that could have happened is if the rules were bent or special rules/standards were put in place so that they could keep the players here and have a chance at a winning organization.

The Cardinal football program has been around since 1920 and now that the fine folks that head up the college have created the mess they are in, they are going to punish the current players/students and potential student athletes by yanking the program. What should happen is that the rules that have been in place for as long as I can remember should just be enforced. If these football players aren’t cutting it in the classroom, they don’t get to play ball. It’s as simple as that. But don’t pull the plug on the whole program and basically punish those that are maintaining their grades and working hard. Maybe it’s time someone takes a good hard look at the quality of work Mr. Simberg does? If he was doing his job and really keeping an eye on things, there wouldn’t be a debate about this at all because the grades of the student players would have been at least 2.0 or above.

I personally feel that he has no clue what he is doing and that he is just looking to push the blame onto the players and the program, when in reality it should fall squarely on his shoulders and trickle down from there to the other staff that are responsible for making sure that the players are held accountable for thier classroom performance as well as on the field performance. If he sends the message that HCC is looking for high quality student athletes that can excel in the classroom first and on the field second they would attract those types of students. He needs to truly believe in that otherwise we see the Pygmalion Effect take hold as it has already.

The best part about all if this is when Mike Raich, the HCC Dean of Students, was asked to explain what they are planning to do to both recruit and retain students if the program is cut his response was this.  “We hope to take action to counter the effect if the football program is suspended,” said Raich. “Some examples of what we are considering include more program-specific targeting recruiting, like for nursing or engineering, and looking into offering other activities, such as a soccer club.”

Now I will agree that the program specific recruiting is not a bad idea, but shouldn’t they have been doing this all along? The part that makes me want to run headfirst into a wall is when he says that he is looking to replace the football program with other activities, not even other sports teams just activities, such as a soccer club. Seriously? Do you really think that you are going to convince someone to come to your college because you have some fun “activities” for them to do. Including a soccer club. A soccer club that will probably do nothing more than what these potential students can do already, play in the local community leagues. Newsflash! These kids don’t need to pay the tuition and come to school at HCC to be involved in a Soccer club! What other activities do they have in mind? How about a internet blogging club, that should get them flooding to HCC.

The public meeting was held this afternoon at the college and the fate of the program is probably being decided right now, so I guess it is just a matter of wait and see. But as a former football player and graduate of HCC, this news is very upsetting. There are a few people at that school that are top notch instructors and top notch people. They care about their students and do everything they can to see them succeed, but they are only allowed to do as much as their leader lets them. In my opinion, it’s time for a new leader because this one has done nothing but create a mess and then proceed to attempt to blame and punish everyone else for his mistakes. This makes the football program look bad, the school look bad, but more importantly it makes the members of every HCC football team in the last 5 years look bad. Sure, sometimes there are just some lazy students out there that could care less about anything other than playing ball, but isn’t that why the college is supposed to have standards for the players? So that the lazy students who aren’t willing to even try and don’t want to be in school in the first place are able to be separated from those that really do work hard to be there.

Disappointed and Mislead

Tonight I went to our local theatre to see a movie that I have been waiting to see since the first trailer aired. The movie was called “Primeval”. Here is the synopsis from the Mann Theatres Web Site.

Synopsis:

In one of the most remote places on earth, a bloodthirsty serial killer has claimed over 300 victims, and is still at large to this day. Now, inspired by the true story of the world’s most prolific killer, comes PRIMEVAL, a nail-biting horror-thriller that follows an American news crew determined to capture this terrifying murderer alive. The danger begins as producer Tim Freeman (DOMINIC PURCELL, “Prison Break”), cameraman Steven Johnson (ORLANDO JONES) and their rag-tag team set out on a journey up-river in search of their subject. But the deeper they probe into the mystery of this elusive assassin, the deadlier their trip becomes.

Sounds pretty interesting to me. A good horror/thriller about a mass serial killer, I’m in. The previews also added some nice and appropriatley creepy footage of this mystery killer….how misleading.

So I go in, grab a seat and settle in for a good horror movie. The previews built up the anticipation with some potentially great looking horror movies coming up in the next 6 months and then the screen goes dark and “bam” the movie starts. The opening scene shows a female forensic scientist at a mass grave site in Africa and she is determining the cause of death for all the people in the mass grave. So far so good.

So the woman and some local military guards wander off to a nearby river bank where there was another fresh mass grave. So she grabs her shovel and sinks it into the fresh dirt mound and all of a sudden the ground starts shaking, something big is coming through the dirt and in a flash the woman is dragged off into the nearby water amidst a hail of gunfire from the local militia guards. The last we see of her is a dismembered arm come floating up to the surface for just a moment, only to be pulled back under violently. That is where the movie became exactly what I wasn’t expecting. So much different than what I was expecting that I wasn’t able to really even enjoy the show because I just kept thinking about how “this wasn’t the movie that the previews said it would be”.

You see, if you haven’t already guessed, the prolific serial killer that is still at large today is in fact just a huge crocodile that the locals have named “Gustave”. Yes, this movie was nothing more than a Jaws ripoff that takes place in Africa and has a crocodile instead of the shark.

I think if I would have known that it was about a huge killer croc’ ahead of time, I probably would have enjoyed this movie more. It was fairly well done, albeit very predictable. There is a little sub-plot about a nice fellow named “Little Gustave” and his reign of tyranny over the local people living in the “bush” in Africa, but that is pretty minor to the main focus of big poppa Gustave and his hour and a half long feast. There is even the nicely wrapped moral message in the movie. One of the main characters has a moment of clarity after half of his companions have become croc’-chow and goes on a brief monologue about how we as human beings have created our own monsters. He understands this now because he figures out that this croc got so large and aquired the taste for human blood because of the huge amounts of killing done by “Little Gustave”, with all of the bodies being tossed into the river to be washed away with no trace of evidence.

All in all if you take this movie for what it is, a Jaws knock-off, then you will most likely find it to be an entertaining hour and a half. But if you are tricked, like I was, into thinking this is a new “Silence of the Lambs” type serial killer thriller, this movie will most likely come up short for you and leave you feeling cheated.

That is my Movie thought for today. It’s just my opinion, but I hope it helps you enjoy the show!

I can dream…

Right now the temperature is 4 degree’s below zero. The high for today is listed online as a chilly 1 below zero. The high for tomorrow, not much better, only a high of zero. So just this once I am going to hope, wish and dream that maybe the weather service is wrong….but I kind of doubt they are…

Oh well, at least I have my long johns to comfort me!