Monday, April 27, 2009

Study Review: Ihop is just a little too hoppin'

It's that time of year again. Finals week. I'm so excited. This means that I get to spend the next week hooked up to a caffeine IV while I pour my soul into papers and studying.

Where should I go to set out on my academic endeavors?

*Cue the collective Lee student body*

"Ihop, of course!"

Funny you should suggest Ihop. That's exactly where I am. But if you haven't noticed already, I'm not doing homework.

Here's why.

1. Hotcake Hotspot: I'm not opposed to other people. People live in community, because if we existed as isolated individuals, we wouldn't survive. However, where two or more are gathered together over caffeine and pancakes, studying is not likely to be had.

It seems that studious patrons have good intentions, settling into their stations and spreading all their books and papers and highlighters and laptops out with the greatest of care.

However, this is as far as the academic endeavors go. From here on out, all you will find is Sally Mae jabbering on endlessly about the perfectly matched outfits that she will be wearing for the next seven days, what Tiffany Marie told her about Ashley Sue, and each and every activity that she will be participating in for the next week, from flossing her teeth to "studying."

2. International House of Rock: Number 1 wasn't Ihop's fault, but the volume of the music is. When you have to talk out loud and squint your eyes together just to figure out what is going on inside your head, you've got a problem.

Ihop is not ignorant of the hip library-esque atmosphere it takes on after 10 p.m. I mean, the first question our waitress asked us was if we wanted to do homework for a while before ordering.

However, apparently Ihop is either unaware of or unconcerned about the effects blaring music has on its patrons. So much for that.

3. Catering to No One: Laptops are a must-have for students who are looking to get end-of-the-semester papers done. An essential part of having a laptop is having a power source. So when Ihop only has a few plugs available, located in inconvenient places to begin with, problems arise.

If the crowd and the noise weren't enough, the lack of outlets will do you in.

In Ihop's defense, the service is almost always good. The servers are pleasant, the food is pretty tasty I think, and the tables are relatively clean.

It's not a bad hangout late at night; it's great, in fact. But if you're hoping to do anything productive, you'd do better to just stay home.
Read More......

Sometimes even CNN needs a copy editor.

Read More......

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Lee promenade

Today was prom day.

At Lee.

Every year high school students and their parents and/or highly-paid professional photographers descend upon Lee's campus like a swarm of glamorous girls on the red carpet followed by paparazzi and boys in pink ties.

Don't get us wrong, we love our young visitors in their bright dresses and jet-black tuxedos, but there's just something a little lonely about it.

We'll never really have prom again. And here they are, parading it in front of us, with no respect for the college life that is about to be theirs.

Enjoy the froo froo while you can.

Now, I might feel just a little differently about it all if the ladies at Lee donned such royal attire and spent three hours curling their hair before class, and hey, I might even wear a tux if that was the case.

Lee University could use some high school prom elegance. On a daily basis.

But until then, I'm comfortable in my jeans. Read More......

Valeriya Musina highlight video

Check out other Lee sports highlights here.

Read More......

Highlights of all the Shenanigans

Did you miss the last improv show from Lee's improvisational team, Shenanigans?

Well, here's the recap, thanks to Jason Feliciano:

Oh, and there's another show coming up April 28. Read More......

NBA Playoffs 2009 Prediction



Eastern Conference

#1 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. #8 Detroit Pistons

Prediction: Cleveland in five

#4 Atlanta Hawks vs. #5 Miami Heat

Prediction: Miami in seven

#2 Boston Celtics vs. # #7 Chicago Bulls

Prediction: Chicago in seven

#3 Orlando Magic vs. #6 Philadelphia 76ers

Prediction: Orlando in six


Western Conference

#1 LA Lakers vs. #8 Utah Jazz

Prediction: LA Lakers in four

#4 Portland Trailblazers vs. #5 Houston Rockets

Prediction: Houston in six

#2 Denver Nuggets vs. # #7 New Orleans Hornets

Prediction: New Orleans in six

#3 San Antonio Spurs vs. #6 Dallas Mavericks

Prediction: San Antonio in five


Read More......

Friday, April 17, 2009

High hopes (and high costs) for Summer School

Upon checking my Lee mailbox this morning, I found a thrilling brochure all about Summer School courses.

I was about to throw this seemingly useless piece of paper into the recycle bin when I noticed four words that changed my attitude toward the advertisement: "Online or independent study."

I was actually really excited; there might actually be a way for me to get some of those pesky core classes out of the way without having to pay the extra money to live in Cleveland over the summer! Where can I sign up?

Then I noticed that one little detail was missing: cost.

I immediately decided to investigate further by visiting Lee's Web site. At the Business Office's page, I finally found an itemized bill for the summer sessions.

No wonder they didn't put the price on the brochure!

Thanks to the handy Lee University calculator provided on the Business Office page, I was able to compute that for me to take the two core classes I need that are available over the summer, I would be paying $2, 613. Not quite worth it to me.

What do you think? Is Summer School too expensive?

Read More......

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Latte Art = Delicious

Procrastination at it's best. I mean, just watching the 3-minute video allowed me to successfully not write the paper I should be writing at this very moment, but imagine how much time I could waste if I actually tried to recreate this latte art.

I have a feeling that buying Starbucks lattes, at $4.00 a pop, only to draw bunnies on the top of them would turn out to be a pretty expensive art form. Read More......

Ironman Charity Softball Tournament

Ironman Charity Softball Tournament: Sponsored by Alpha Gamma Chi

“Homeruns for Houses”

Friday @ 7: Free Pizza, Drinks and Carnival Games!

Saturday starting @ 12: Cookout, Restaurant give a ways, Games and More!

Come join us in support of Walter and Patty Ploetz. Many of you know Walter and Patty through Lee University service in East Cleveland. This years Ironman, “Homeruns for Houses,” is raising money for the Walter and Patty building fund. Games start at 5 p.m. on Friday evening and will go all day Saturday. This is surely an event you don’t want to miss! Read More......

Mix and match

I enjoyed the chuckle this morning of getting a JustReLEEsed e-mail that made little sense.

The subject: Epsilon's Farewell Party Friday Night!!

The content: Upcoming Service Learning Events. Read More......

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Where your 2008 taxes will be spent in 2009

Though this chart looks really confusing, it is worth taking a look at.

I know I've been ranting quite a bit about National file-your-flipping-taxes Day, but this is a visual chart that goes into detail about where you're 2008 tax money is really going to go to in 2009.

Happy hunting; you'll find that the closer you look at it, the more you'll find out and the more interesting you'll find the chart.

Click the photo for a closer view.

Read More......

2009 NBA Playoffs: Where amazing will happen!

Read More......

Easler, Russell sit down with LC sports

Bobbi Easler

Q) What do you think the difference from the first half of the season to now is?
A) In he first half, we were all getting to know each other and it takes a while for new girls to figure out how Lee ball is played. In the second half of the season, we are more in tuned with each other. we are all on the same page, that page is to win conference torney and advance to nationals.

Q)What steps do you think need to be taken to win the conference championship?

A) The conference championship will take all 18 of us as a whole working together and adjusting to situations. our biggiest problem this year has been adjusting to pitchers and i think we are doing a better job now, but that is what will have us carrying the championship trophy. Growing up and maturing together.

Coach Russell

Q)How do you feel the season has gone so far in comparison to how you expected it to go?

A) I actually expected the season to go a little bit easier than it did at first. We are finally coming into our own and things are getting easier for us... now if we can get the weather to cooperate! We have played a very competitive schedule and the team struggled to put it all together early in the season. I think they have made some big strides toward that at this point. We just have to finish strong.

Q)What have been the toughest challenges your team has faced?

A) Injuries and rain. We have had 3 kidney stones, 1 concussion, shoulder surgery, along with the normal illness and injury that you see in a season. We have rained out of 18 games right now. We will get to make up 10 of those. That has been stressful

Q)What are your team's strongest points?

A) We have a lot of depth at pitching and some strong seniors that are really leading the team.

Q)How do you expect this season to finish?

A) I think we will finish deep into the national tournament. We have some very important games coming up in the conference. If we can win regular season I feel that we will be on our way to a great finish.

Q)Do you have any favorite moments from the season so far?

A) We just had 2 great conference games a few weeks ago. We won both 1-0 on solo homeruns. It was great to see us play such close games and come away with victories. It was a great boost for us.

Q)Who are your team leaders or captains, on and off the court, and why?

A) We did not have captains this year. Bobbi Easler is a obvious team leader on the field. As the catcher is called on to be a vocal leader for this team. She is a motivator for the team in that she ALWAYS wants the team to play their best. If you watched a game you would notice her as a leader. We have players that lead by their playing on the field. We also have some that motivate by practicing with intensity each day and making their teammates stronger. Without those players hard work and dedication we would not be as solid as a team unit.

Q)For the players not graduating or leaving after this season, who do you see as being the most dynamic for the future of the team, and why?

A) It will be hard to replace Bobbi's experience. She has worked hard to get herself to this level where she can lead the defense and also work so well with the pitchers. That will be a big void to fill. Tiffany Walker has come in and nailed down third base. I do not have to worry about a ball getting past her. That will be a big place for someone to fill. These seniors are replacing kids that played and made huge impacts themselves. They came in and made that their spot and made their own marks. It is sad but exciting to see who the next great player will be. Brittany Rowe has been a great person to have on the team. She is a steadying force and has been a real benefit to the program.

Q)Since the year you began coaching at Lee, which team would you say has been your favorite (and why), and which one was the most talented?

A) I would have to say there were 2 years. 2004 we upset Union University to win our first conference tournament and later we won the region tournament to go to the National tournament. That was an awesome feeling and I love those girls for the commitment that they had to me and to the program. They were great because they were a true team with no real stars just solid and they believed in each other and stepped up to each challenge that they face together. 2006 would be another one...that was a special group of players. Just going over the lineup in my head makes me smile. We had so much talent and so much drive to win. That was a great record setting year. Those girls came in and took us to the next level. The players of today owe so much to the former teams and players... these two team in particular.

Q) Do you have any favorite specific quotes or coaching phrases that you like to say to your players?

A) "Did she go?" ok that is a joke. I say lots of stuff...Each girl or team probably has something that I say that they have made a favorite. A few years ago it was, "It's a great day for softball" and I said it on every rainy or cold day that nobody wanted to be at the field. I said it on good days too but it reminded us that this is a gift and we have to enjoy it each day. This year I have talked to the girls a lot about walls. We talked about how walls are put up not for us that want it but for those that don't want it bad enough. It just keeps us focused on overcoming things that happen... like rain!

Photos courtesy of Sports Information Read More......

1040EZ's make my brain hurt.

Happy Tax Day.

Time to measure what you've made in the past year and how you've spent the money the government gave you.

Now, I must say, I'm the best procrastinator to walk on the face of the planet. So when I got the time to work it into my busy schedule, at 12:47 a.m., I logged into "" in order to file my federal tax return.

I've pretty much had the most difficult time. First, I can't claim myself, my parents get to do that, and I've worked in Tennessee, but am a resident of Ohio, which makes for all kinds of confusion. So an hour and a half later, I submitted my e-return and tucked myself away into bed... after all I was too tired to work on the pile of homework sitting beside me waiting to be completed.

I woke this morning to find an e-mail saying my "e-file tax return has been rejected by the IRS."


Apparently to be able to file your tax return online you need your adjusted gross income from the previous year... which requires you to remember, from a year ago, where you put that pesky tax return paperwork... I can't remember that far back.

Therefore, I am now headed to the post office to tuck my 1040EZ into an envelope and put a price-inflated stamp in the upper right hand corner, in order to get it post marked on April 15, just to get my $58 back from the IRS.

Happy last-minute tax filing!
Read More......

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


By: Bill Simmons

A friend asked me this question last week: How many consecutive columns could I extract from Alex Rodriguez?

My final answer: 10. No modern athlete brings more to the idea table. He plays in New York for a team that stopped making the World Series as soon as he arrived. He has made statistical history but cheated to do it. He's our highest-paid athlete in a tanking economy. He's the star client of this generation's most despised agent. He's handsome and articulate, only his polished personality is so contrived nobody can connect to him. If gossip rags and blogs had a Thank God for This Athlete fantasy draft, he'd unquestionably be the first pick.

We love to question clutch; he's notorious for coming through in small moments and choking in big ones. We love shortening sports names into catchy monikers; "A-Rod" works perfectly. We love taking those monikers and turning them into catty jokes; "A-Roid" works perfectly. We love "what ifs?" and he's provided two classics: What if that trade to Boston had happened, and what if the 2004 Yanks had finished that sweep at Fenway and A-Rod had become a playoff hero?

We love to romanticize chemistry, because we don't understand it.
It's an embarrassment of column-related riches. A-Rod has even shattered the Tyson Zone: when an athlete's life turns so bizarre you become numb to any twist in his story. A-Rod allegedly broke up Madonna's marriage? I'm not blinking. A-Rod kissed himself for a magazine photo shoot? I'm unfazed. A-Rod is having a torrid romance with conjoined twins? If you say so. He's A-Rod, dammit. I'm prepared for anything.

My favorite current A-Rod story line is his allegedly toxic affect on his teammates. The Yankees left spring training with, by all accounts, their best team chemistry in years. Credit was given to congenial arrivals CC Sabathia and Nick Swisher. But there was an underlying theme pushed by the media: A-Rod's absence while he recovered from hip surgery resulted in a more relaxed atmosphere. This wasn't the first time he seemed to unite a team simply by disappearing: It happened when he left Seattle (the Mariners jumped from 91 W's to 116) and Texas (71 to 89). As the theory goes, the never-ending circus that surrounds A-Rod -- his constant craving for attention multiplied by the nonstop media focus -- eventually overwhelms teammates and affects their play.

There's only one problem with the theory: It's not true.

Of all the ways A-Rod has been described over the years, nobody has ever used "bad person." We hear he's awkward, needy, annoying, easily rattled, humorless, obsessed with his image, unsure of himself and unable to fit into a group dynamic. Jason Gay, who profiled him recently for Details magazine, claimed that, out to dinner, A-Rod made his order based on how he wanted Gay to perceive it, not by what he wanted. He's simply a strange guy, not someone you'd want to drive cross-country with, for sure. But he's not a bad guy.

Comparing him with Barry Bonds, it's no contest. Bonds hogged three lockers, disparaged teammates, antagonized media members and allegedly cheated to get an edge. He sounded like an unequivocal nightmare, a perfect storm of rudeness. Other notorious cancers (Carl Everett, Albert Belle, Jeff Kent, Ugueth Urbina) earned their reputations by being hotheaded or fighting teammates or barking at team employees. In the end, even Manny went to the dark side, becoming such a distraction that Boston paid the Dodgers to take him.

Now explain this to me: How did teams "miraculously" succeed with every player in the previous paragraph? Everett won a ring with the White Sox. Kent and Bonds came within bullpen collapses of winning one of their own. A famous goofball like Manny won two rings, played on 10 playoff teams and (very, very secretly) compiled one of the most successful résumés in baseball history. Heck, Urbina closed for Florida's 2003 title team and went to prison four years later for hacking two Venezuelan ranch hands with a machete and pouring gasoline over them. He hacked them with a machete and poured gasoline over them! Think this was a good guy?

Look, we love to romanticize clubhouse chemistry, mainly because we don't understand it, but also because it's a story line with legs. These guys didn't win because they were good, they won because they got along! They lifted one another, looked out for one another! They were a team! You know, the "Hoosiers" model. Does this apply to basketball, football and hockey? Absolutely. You can't succeed individually without help from teammates, and you can fail individually because of teammates. That fragile dynamic cannot be compromised.

But baseball … baseball is an individual sport masquerading as a team sport. You are a worker bee. You have a job, and it's up to you to execute it. Yeah, it's always better to get along, but couldn't you say that about any work situation? Ultimately, it's just you. You're the one pitching, you're the one hitting, you're the one fielding. If everyone is pulling for one another, fantastic. You can even win a division that way -- good karma invariably leads to goofy bounces and luck. On the other hand, the deliriously happy post-Manny Red Sox mustered just three hits in their biggest game of the season (Game 7, 2008 ALCS). At some point in baseball, talent trumps all.

Don't believe me? Read Sparky Lyle's "The Bronx Zoo" for the hilarious Reggie Jackson stories. Reggie made Bonds seem more saintly than the blind guy on "American Idol." There was no bigger jerk or attention hog. During an era in which ballplayers behaved a certain way (reserved, respectful, hard-nosed, unselfish), Reggie made his own rules. For that, his teammates reviled him. Actually, they probably wanted to strangle him.

They also won the 1977 and '78 World Series with him.

Throw in three titles in Oakland and Reggie Jackson -- the biggest clubhouse cancer of his generation -- won five rings in seven years. Which makes me think baseball chemistry is more overrated than Tim Burton. If that's even possible.

I will even go this far: There are undeniable positives to having one antisocial wild card in any close-knit environment. You know that one grating guy in your dorm hall or in your office? Don't you like bitching about him? You lob grenades at him as soon as he leaves the room. He's your running joke, an easy target. But he's also a galvanizing force, one of the few things that bring everyone else together: a mutual contempt for one human being that won't go away. You're stuck with him, so you make the best of it -- by belittling him.

It's a common bond of sorts. Even as you believe he's tearing your group apart, he's bringing it closer and distracting anyone from turning on someone else. He's your mean decoy, your Paula Abdul, your Newman. He's your necessary evil.

So yes, the Yankees might not miss A-Rod right now. But give them a few weeks. Every group needs an outcast just like every columnist needs a go-to guy for his column. The 2009 Yankees may not appreciate Alex Rodriguez yet, but I sure do. I won't write 10 A-Rod columns, but I could, and maybe that's all that matters.

For more of the Sports Guy, check out the Sports Guy's World. Read More......

NHL Playoff standings

NHL Playoffs

Playoffs begin April 15

Eastern Conference:

#1 Boston Bruins vs. #8 Montreal Canadiens

#2 Washington Capitals vs. #7 New York Rangers

#3 New Jersey Devils vs. #6 Carolina Hurricanes

#4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #5 Philadelphia Flyers

Western Conference:

#1 San Jose Sharks vs. #8 Anaheim Ducks

#2 Detroit Red Wings vs. #7 Columbus Blue Jackets

#3 Vancouver Canucks vs. #6 St. Louis Blues

#4 Chicago Black Hawks vs. #5 Calgary Flames Read More......

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dr. Connadian

In perhaps the most exciting display of patriotism for another nation on Lee's campus, President Paul Conn invited Canadian Lee students up on stage at Ask the President Chapel 2009 to sing the national anthem, "Oh Canada." Read More......

Friday, April 10, 2009

The end of the spear? No longer.

A student wrote in to request pickle spears during Ask the President Chapel this year.

Dr. Conn brought Sodexo general manager Michael Nagorka up on stage in the Conn Center to make sure that the deed was done.

And now, just a few days later, Sodexo delivers:
What confuses me, however, is that pickle spears were already available in the Deacon Jones Dining Hall.

I suppose some people just can't get enough of a good thing. Read More......

University should hold outdoor chapel services more often

Thursday, April 9, was one of my favorite chapel services I've ever attended at Lee.

It was the first chapel service I've ever seen held outside in Alumni Park.

Students all received e-mails from Campus Pastor Jimmy Harper that read as follows:

"Please join us for a wonderful outdoor chapel experience today, April 9, 2009 at 10:40 am. We have decided that the weather will be warm enough to take today’s chapel service outside to Alumni Park."

When I went out to the park to take pictures of the unique service, I immediately realized that this was the opportunity to get some of the best chapel photographs possible. There's color, there's light. After all, the shots aren't condemned to be the traditionally dull blends of orange and brick with a speaker's arms in the air or a student texting in their seat.

In reflection, however, I've recognized that the benefits of color and light stretch far beyond the photographer's camera.

The powerful combination reaches into the soul of worshipers and enhances the chapel experience more than anything that could be done on a stage in a dark room.

When Lee University students think of the physicality of chapel, the large but gloomy Conn Center and Dixon Centers come to mind.

The rooms are giant cavities held prisoner to artificial light, numbed and confined by ugly walls, cages of worship.

God created light, color, air, grass... and that environment is missing from the traditional chapel service.

Churches constructed in decades past place such an emphasis on light and color: stained-glass windows. The sun's natural light flows into the sanctuary and is further beautified by a prism that witnesses to God's goodness.

Conn and Dixon Centers were built without windows, and therefore without beauty.

Light and color welcomes. It invites. It encourages. It awakens. It breathes fresh life.

That's why I believe so many students were so excited to have chapel in the park on Thursday.

It wasn't change for change's sake. It was a return to a more natural worship experience – one that didn't feel contrived or restricting, but whole and beautiful.

I encourage you to show your support of outdoor chapel services when the weather permits.

Please e-mail Campus Pastor Jimmy Harper today at to encourage the university to hold larger chapel services outdoors when possible. Even if you're reading this months from the date of its publication, please take the time to let the chapel office know how much outdoor services are appreciated.
Read More......

Southwest knows how to design airplanes

I must admit, I've been really excited to go home for Easter. I mean, I love all of the things that home brings – home-cooked meals, shopping sprees, friends, family, and everything good. But this time, I had another reason to want to go home.

I've gotten into a habit of flying home, for the fact that it's quicker and it saves some miles on my precious car (which, by the way, we celebrated our 2 year anniversary on Monday).

But this time it was different, I was flying Southwest, for the first time.

Now, my Southwest experience was great. I've always flown with Delta or American Airlines or United, but I've always been jealous of the brightly colored airplanes that Southwest has.

But this time, when I boarded my plane, I got to fly in the brightly color plane. Too bad it's not that color on the inside too, talk about entertaining.
Read More......

Free bike at PCSU (A $1,000 VALUE!)

Ah, the humor on Lee's campus.

A purple bike with a sign labeled "$1,000" attached was stationed at the bicycle rack at the back door of the student union when I arrived Thursday morning.

The best part? The bike – Free Spirit – wasn't locked up in any way.

Either someone really wants their bike stolen, or a conscientious student is using an abstract way to draw attention to unprotected bikes.

Oh, and if you do decide to take the bike and leave the cash in its place via the honor system, you get an extra bonus prize: a black water bottle on the bike. Read More......

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Watch the WNBA Draft 3PM/ET ESPN2

Photobucket Read More......

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Bleed all About It!

It's that time of year again. The time when that big, ridiculous bus pulls up and camps just off the PCSU patio for a couple days, luring unsuspecting students in. Then, BAM! Before you know it, you're short about two pints of blood.

Ok, ok, the Blood Assurance people aren't evil at all. They're actually all, in my experience, nice people who like their jobs.

However, I have some complaints.

1. Timing: I realize that it would be economically inefficient for the Blood Assurance people to do the blood drive for more than a couple days, but two to three days just doesn't seem like enough.

It's like I walk out of my classes one day, see the "Magic School Bus"-esque transport sitting there, and think to myself, "Oh! It must be blood drive time!"

I'm always excited to give blood, but before I have a chance to fit them into my schedule in the next day or so, they're gone!

Problem: Now you see them, now you don't. They arrive on campus for four to five hours a day over a two or three day span, and that's it. This does not always give students, particularly commuters who may be less aware of the campus event schedule, the best opportunity to make it out.

Solution: Either Blood Assurance should get funding to extend the drive or Lee should promote it better, perhaps through quick chapel videos or fun contests. This may ultimately make the extra stay worth Blood Assurance's while.

2. Tall Order: It's true; Complaint #1 may be a little bit weak if you consider the fact that students who see the bus could, on a whim, go in and donate. However, the ladies are always sure to warn us to eat "a hearty meal" before giving blood.

And doesn't giving blood take a while? I'm no expert.

I'm simply doing the math. If I have a 45 minute break between my first class and my second and I'm required to eat a hearty meal before donating, and donating itself takes over 20 minutes, I'm going to have to squeeze that little stress ball faster than you can say, "I love the Lee Clarion."

It's just difficult to fit that demand for food into the schedule along with the donating part.

3. Shifts: The shifts are very strange. Last year, it was something like 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. then 2:30-5:30 p.m. I understand that those workers need to eat, but a solid shift would be at least easier to remember if nothing else. I always managed to come by right when they went to lunch. Bummer.

But this year, in my e-mail it didn't even tell me when the shifts were.

All this poking fun to say that I think the blood drive is important, because it is a way for us to easily save or change lives right here in Cleveland.

As stated in an e-mail by Mickey Moore, director of the Health Clinic, the economy has taken a toll on the amount of blood donated to Blood Assurance, so it's more important now than ever that students are making it out to give.

Today is the final day. I can't tell you when exactly, or how best to go about donating, but all you can do is try.
Read More......

Prospective student led on tour by Campus Safety

Lee student Kyle Philippi directed the above video for Lee Day about a prospective student who gets a Lee University tour led by two Campus Safety officers.

Philippi said the story was completely improvised.

"We had 30 minutes of footage that we trimmed down to six," he said. Read More......

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

2009 MLB season predictions

Major League Baseball has finally come. For the 2009 season I am going to make my official predictions for the season outcome. My predictions for the Division Champs and playoffs are as follows:

American League:

AL East: New York Yankees
AL Central: Chicago White Sox
AL West: LA Angels*
Wild Card: Boston Red Sox
ALCS: Yankees vs. LA Angels
AL Champion: New York Yankees

National League:

NL East: New York Mets
NL Central: Milwaukee Brewers
NL West: LA Dodgers*
Wild Card: Chicago Cubs
NLCS: Brewers vs. Dodgers
NL Champion: LA Dodgers
*denotes best record of American/National League

World Series: Yankees vs. Dodgers
World Champions: New York Yankees (in 6 games)

Read More......

Student director talks about Lee Day Batman video

Lee student Kyle Philippi directed, filmed and acted as the Joker in the Lee Batman video shown during Lee Day last weekend.

"People thought I was pretty crazy trying to direct them in clown makeup," Philippi said.

Just the shooting and editing alone took more than 70 hours, he said, not including all of the time spent setting up lights, getting in makeup, etc. Filming started during Christmas break.

"We filmed for 12 hours one day and it was only 20 minutes worth of actual footage," he said. "It took forever."

Philippi directed the videos for Lee Day in 2007 and has since directed the entire Lee Day program for the last two years.

He went into this year's program planning to make it the best as his final time at the helm, but Philippi said he's considering directing again next year.

"I told Phil [Cook], I said, 'Come mid-fall, if I've got some ideas, then I'll do it again."

All of the audio for the video was completely remastered.

"Jimmy Harper came to our house and did all the voice over work [for his scene]," Philippi said. "Everybody came to the house and did voiceover work."

The idea for the Batman video began last year, long before Lee Day.

"[Alan McClung] was going to have coffee mugs on a utility belt," he said. "...It was just luck of the draw that I turned out being the joker."

Philippi said that a heavy rain over Christmas break caused the creek in Schimmel's Park to run high, leading to the scene where a student gets rescued from the rushing water.

"I took the school's light kit and it was pooring rain when we filmed that," he said. "We had nine people out there holding umbrellas.... we had a firefighter there."

Even recording artist Jason Crabb made a cameo in the video.

Philippi said that he even planned an alternate ending for the video.

"It was going to show the Joker holding someone hostage on the Conn Center roof during the day when Batman doesn't come out," he said. "McClung was looking out the blinds of his office... in the next shot you see him just standing up there. Alan McClung versus the Joker and he just totally rips the Joker apart. He lets him have it as just Alan McClung with his coffee mug."

Another ending Philippi considered showed McClung putting on an Iron Man mask when the secretary from the opening scene closes his office door once more.

"We had six different Batmans," he said. "McClung was never in the suit except for that one shot when he put that mask on."

Philippi said that a sequel could be made in the future.

"There were a couple more shots we wanted to add; we just never got around to it," he said. "Parents seemed to really like it. Faculty gave it really good reviews. One of them told me it was the best they had seen in 15 years."

• The music for the Batman video was composed by Hans Zimmer for "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight".
Read More......

Monday, April 6, 2009

A broadsheet necktie

Here's another alternative use of the Lee Clarion: clothing.

In the shot above, Richard Yeakley poses with a Lee Clarion tie crafted by copy editor Sara Dawson.

• See other unusual uses for the Lee Clarion, or submit your own! If you've found a novel use for the news (after reading it of course), send in a photo and a description to! Read More......

Lee Clarion cameos in Lee Day sketches

If you were watching Life at Lee this year, you probably noticed some special appearances by the Lee Clarion.

In the Animal Planet scene posted above, you'll spot a mention of two Lee students reading the campus newspaper.

In addition, the paper was featured in a video where two campus safety officers lead a prospective student on a tour around campus. Read More......

Life at Lee 2009 was best in history

Life at Lee 2009 was the best and most comedic performance of the annual show ever produced.

The clip above shows a future where a robot Dr. Conn (RoboConn) takes over Lee and seeks to destroy students.

You can't get much better than that.

From the Animal Planet skit to the Alan McClung Batman video, it was all too perfect.

My only wish now is that the comedic sketch videos of Life at Lee from years past would be made available at online sites by the university. Prospective students know how to use YouTube, you know.

See more of RoboConn here. Read More......

King of the quick turnaround

DETROIT -- Jordan Ott is the video coordinator for the Michigan State basketball team. That's why he has a Diet Coke can in his left hand.

At this sleep-deprived stage of the season, caffeine is mandatory at every waking hour. And almost every hour is a waking hour for the guy in charge of the Spartans' famous preparation machine.

<== Chris Gardner/US PRESSWIRE

The Spartans are working on the last two-day turnaround of the year -- the last time Tom Izzo's particular brand of coaching genius is at work. Izzo is the king of the quick turnaround in the NCAA tournament: His record is 14-2 in rounds 2, 4 and 6, when the preparation time is condensed to a maximum of 48 hours. The science of that rushed prep exercise is why he's told his team throughout the three weekends of this tourney, "You get me through the first game, I'll get you through the second."

Which means Monday night is Izzo Time for the Spartans.

The coach's job is to find a way to reverse a 35-point beatdown suffered at the hands of North Carolina in December. He knows it won't be easy.

"If we play good and they play good, we're losing," Izzo said. "But we found a way to have some teams not play as good against us."

They've found a way against two straight No. 1 seeds, Louisville and Connecticut. And even at the long odds faced here against the Tar Heels, it's hard not to like Michigan State's chances of finding something in this 48-hour period that could allow the Spartans to shock the world.

If anyone can do it, Izzo is that guy. And he has the help of his assistant coaches and a tireless support staff.

Ott and his video coordinator predecessor, Kevin Pauga, refer to it as "a monster" built in the video computer room at Michigan State's Breslin Center. It is a driven and talented collection of video guys and managers -- annually in demand by NBA teams and other colleges -- who may be the best support staff in college basketball.

"It's almost become a brotherhood back there among the peons," joked Pauga, now a data analyst for the Big Ten. "There's no other teams that do it this way."

The "peons" -- Ott, two graduate assistants and 11 student managers -- tape every game that airs during the college basketball season. Yes, all of them -- roughly 1,800 games.

They are married to video during the season. Pauga, a journalism major at Michigan State with a number-crunching mind more suited to, say, aeronautical engineering, described his social life in eight years at the school as "nonexistent."

Pauga even devised a statistical scheduling model that allows teams to maximize their RPIs -- he calls it the "KPI." Former Izzo assistant Jim Boylen employed it in scheduling at Utah this year, and it produced a No. 9 RPI -- a number that helped inflate the Utes' worth and, ultimately, their seeding. (They were a No. 5, losing handily in the first round to Arizona.)

Pauga estimates that by the time he left last year for the Big Ten office, he'd spent 15 percent of his life in the Spartans' film room. Now Ott is in the same obsessive chair.

"Basically, you just work your ass off," Ott said.

The students work for free, doing it for "gear and experience," Pauga said. But Izzo is a loyal leader, getting to know each manager and his family by name and making sure his players treat them respectfully.

The video staff logs every game, breaking them down by baskets and categories. They've got the definitive video library on everyone. Former Izzo assistants Stan Heath (now at South Florida) and Brian Gregory (now at Dayton) have dispatched staffers to East Lansing just to gather tape on opponents.

Bob Donnan/US Presswire ==>

When Selection Sunday rolled around and Michigan State's name appeared in the bracket next to Robert Morris, Ott needed only to punch a few buttons to produce seven game films on the Colonials. And so on through the tournament.

Now State is in the midst of the great Carolina breakdown.

It is a succession of short, 20-minute film sessions and ballroom walkthroughs, with a couple of practices sprinkled in between. This is no time to subject the players to a marathon immersion for hours at a time; they need to keep their minds sharp by assimilating smaller information bites.

"It's only 15 or 20 minutes, but it could be as many as five, six times a day," Izzo said. "I think more soaks in."

They went to work Saturday night in a room at the team hotel, where Ott set up the four video computers the team travels with. When the Spartans returned from Ford Field after the first half of the Heels' victory over Villanova, the coaches were handed the first set of video splices by Ott's crew -- Carolina's vaunted transition game, which ran Michigan State off the court in December.

"Nothing else really matters," Ott said. "The transition game is what we need to stop."

The Spartans sat down together as a team to watch the transition cut-ups. Pizza was served -- "You could quiz the managers right now, and they'd recite what all 16 players want for topping on their pizza," Pauga said -- and a bucket of ice was set next to Izzo. He's a Diet Coke drinker who has to have a cup of ice with his drink, every time. A manager is always assigned to the ice bucket.

After 20 minutes and a few words from Izzo, the players were dismissed to their rooms -- though Travis Walton, the defensive stopper and a video junkie, got a couple more DVDs from Ott to watch on his own. One was the Carolina-Michigan State game from December, which he hadn't watched before. He viewed the first half and turned it off.

"I watch it more for kind of letting it go to rest," Walton said. "Sometimes you've got to lay that behind to go forward."

Meanwhile, in the film room, the coaches and support staff were just getting started. Ott has every machine up and running with Carolina film. Izzo and assistants Dwayne Stephens (who has the Carolina scouting assignment), Mark Montgomery and Mike Garland are viewing games. From time to time, someone will call out something they've found that they want the group to observe and consider.

The breakdowns are similar to the way football teams do it. If they need a splice of Danny Green transition three-pointers, Ott and video assistant Doug Herner can produce it quickly. If they want to show their post players that Deon Thompson likes to shoot over his right shoulder, they've got it. Carolina's trademark traps out of timeouts? Check.

Friends like former NFL coach Steve Mariucci and former Izzo assistants drop by to watch some tape, suggest an X-and-O alteration on the whiteboard, or briefly shoot the breeze.

"It's just this ultimate war-room feeling," Pauga said. "It's the best time. 'Iz' kind of lets his guard down a little bit. Everyone's kind of busting each other's chops."

Izzo likes to keep a packet of every opponent's box scores handy, flipping through them in search of something useful that could then be found on film.

The goal is to find an opponent that plays a style similar to Michigan State's, then see what that opponent did successfully and unsuccessfully against the Tar Heels.

Izzo thought he had something from Virginia Tech and Florida State -- until he realized the Heels' star point guard, Ty Lawson, didn't play in those games. So it was back to the film search.

Ott stayed at it until 3 a.m. Sunday. Then he was meeting with the team five hours later with a new day's worth of film.

Ott started off the Spartans' Sunday with a highlight tape of their tournament run to date, to get the juices flowing for the day. Then State ate breakfast and watched personnel splices on the Tar Heels.

Then it was across the hallway to a ballroom with a court taped on the floor, to implement what they just saw on film. (That's another managerial duty, taping down the floor.)
Izzo, staff shine when prep time is a precious commodity

After that, Michigan State headed to Ford Field for media sessions and a closed practice on the court. It will be radically different when the Spartans return Monday night to play before a massive State-favoring crowd.

In addition to the formal scouting report, there was to be more film work and walkthrough work Sunday night. Then one more round of film, walkthrough and practice Monday, the longest day of the year, before that 9:20 p.m. tipoff that decides everything.

"We're confident he's going to come out with a game plan and have something ready for us," Walton said. "That's why he's coach Izzo, and why he's a Hall of Famer one day. With one preparation day, the things he does are amazing."

Pauga doesn't know who will win Monday night. But he does know that Michigan State will not be surprised by much of anything it sees from North Carolina.

"I know it," he said. "I'm not even questioning it. If Michigan State gets beat, it'll be by a better team."

Pat Forde is a senior writer for Read More......

NCAA Championship tickets opportunity

I received this message in my inbox this morning. Just thought I would pass it along...

I have 2 tickets for Monday night NCAA final game, Ford Field available. Dead Center Court, Section 331 Row 10. These are in the upper Bowl, but great location. These were the more expensive face value tix, and are scalping around $350/seat. I want $400.00 for the pair. If you can use them, please text me tonight at 248-705-1073, or call me tomorrow.

I obtained better seats at a charity fundraiser, and am ready to let these fly. Great location, just a little far (like most seats in the house).

We will not be opening our store as originally expected, zoning and ordinance requirements by the city of Southfield placed requirements on the building owner that set back our plans by almost 10 months now. It is unlikely we will open at that location, and continue to consider options. We will keep you informed if we find a location that makes sense.

Next time you plan to purchase, please contact us via email or phone for bottom line pricing. No one can beat our prices. Email for details, or text us, or call.

Thanks, Sincerely,

SportsCard Central
Serving SportsCards to the World since 1977!
POB 252225
P: 248-705-1073
ebay seller americard Read More......

NCAA Championship tickets opportunity

I received this message in my inbox this morning. Just thought I would pass it along...

I have 2 tickets for Monday night NCAA final game, Ford Field available. Dead Center Court, Section 331 Row 10. These are in the upper Bowl, but great location. These were the more expensive face value tix, and are scalping around $350/seat. I want $400.00 for the pair. If you can use them, please text me tonight at 248-705-1073, or call me tomorrow.

I obtained better seats at a charity fundraiser, and am ready to let these fly. Great location, just a little far (like most seats in the house).

We will not be opening our store as originally expected, zoning and ordinance requirements by the city of Southfield placed requirements on the building owner that set back our plans by almost 10 months now. It is unlikely we will open at that location, and continue to consider options. We will keep you informed if we find a location that makes sense.

Next time you plan to purchase, please contact us via email or phone for bottom line pricing. No one can beat our prices. Email for details, or text us, or call.

Thanks, Sincerely,

SportsCard Central
Serving SportsCards to the World since 1977!
POB 252225
P: 248-705-1073
ebay seller americard Read More......

Favorite Frame: Putting the "dining" in dining hall

Don't be fooled, Lee Day parents.

Your precious children won't get to experience the treasures of salad and cheesecake in a cafeteria as ornately prepared as the one you see above.

In fact, this is Deacon Jones dressed in its best to impress... for a softball and baseball awards banquet.

How much more would meal plans have to cost to get Sodexo to bring out the good China for regular students? We may never know.

• Do you have an interesting Lee picture you'd like to submit for Favorite Frame? Send it to Read More......

Jimmy Harper turns 45 today!

Lee University's Campus Pastor has a big day today.

Only five more years until Jimmy Harper hits 50.

Add him as a friend on Facebook and wish him a happy birthday. Read More......

Cha, cha, cha changing.


The bulletin board by Jazzman's Cafe that hasn't been changed for five years (seriously), is now breathing new life!

Posters from 2004 had been hanging in the glass-enclosed notice case until just a few days ago. Those notices have since been replaced with Lee event calendars.

Only half of the victory has been won, however.

The glass case in the post office is still locked as tightly as it was over 1,000 days ago, a time capsule to humanity. Read More......

Ha! bits.... bits of my soul torn to pieces.

This time my suitemate has gone overboard.

Now I arrive home to the wide eyes of four lowly but powerfully intimidating hobbits.

Is this an improvement over the hobbitmobile I once had to ride in?

Neighbors laugh and point. Visitors gasp. Would-be-robbers turn away in fear for their lives.

Is this any way to live?

Why did I choose to stay with the man who moves the cardboard hobbits? Read More......

Friday, April 3, 2009

Nominate students, faculty and staff for Lee's Top Ten

As we come to the close of another semester, preparations begin to honor the top ten Lee University personalities.

You're invited to nominate students, faculty and staff who have had a tremendous impact on Lee during the semester.

Which students will you nominate?

Here's a hint: Newsmakers around campus. Those who have changed the status quo. The students who stand out for better or for worse. The freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors who bring something new to Lee University. That's who makes the list.

See last semester's TOP TEN here.

Which faculty and staff will you nominate?

Here's a hint: Newsmakers around campus. Those who have changed the status quo. The faculty and staff who stand out and make a difference. Those who bring something new to Lee University. That's who makes the list.

See last semester's TOP TEN here.

How to nominate:

• Send an e-mail to with the name and classification/title of the person you're nominating with an explanation of why in 100 words or less. Also include your name.

• Previous winners are eligible to be listed again. There is no limit on the number of nominations that may be made. Nominations must be sent by noon on April 15, 2009. Read More......

Listening in on the Lee Day conversation...

It's Lee Day.

And people are talking about it. Especially on Twitter.

Biggest news seems to be the poorly-designed handbooks. Read More......

Classroom building was once planned for Alumni Park

This campus map from the 1970's era of President Charles W. Conn shows some proposed buildings in a few intersting locations.

A student center, which would have been the equivalent of the PCSU, was originally destined to be placed in the field between the new Humanities Center and Walker Arena.

In addition, an L-shaped classroom complex was sketched for Alumni Park where the gazebo now stands.

The map also reveals plans for a botanical greenhouse that was never built next to the Beach Building and a maintenance building where the DeVos Recreation Center now stands. Read More......

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Adding color to the Lee Clarion

Working on a special painting?

Use the Lee Clarion to keep your furniture drip-free.

It's just another way that Lee University's student newspaper can serve readers via an unconventional function... after the paper was read, of course.

The photo above comes from the "Art for Change, Art for Aids" event in the student union this week.

• See other unusual uses for the Lee Clarion, or submit your own! If you've found a novel use for the news (after reading it of course), send in a photo and a description to! Read More......

No es cierto que

My Monday morning Spanish class was all about vocabulary regarding the media. We learned the words for "headline" and "reporter." It was right up my alley.

But it was the second half of class that caught my attention.

The professor wrote a list of true/false statements on the board regarding the Lee Clarion on the board and asked the class to answer:

Es sensacionalista? Falso.

Habla mucho de sexo? Falso.

Perpetua estereotipos? Falso.

Informa objectivamente? Cierto.

Tiene popularidad nacional? Falso.

Thankfully everyone in the class gave the right answers. Read More......

Favorite Frame: Piso Mojado Piso Mojado Piso Mojado Piso Mojado

We've had a few rainy days recently.

So of course it's the dining hall's job to pull out all the stops, ensuring that no one slips. After all, safety is the top priority.

But seriously? Four cones of slippery goodness?

Was it that wet? With the doors a hundred feet on the other side of the room and a carpet in the middle, I can't imagine anyone tracking in that much wetness.

Perhaps someone accidentally left the root beer running...

• Do you have an interesting Lee picture you'd like to submit for Favorite Frame? Send it to Read More......

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The prodigal hanger has returned!

It's back!!!!!

The stranger hanger that was apparently taken from the men's restroom at the Deacon Jones Dining Hall at the end of February has returned.

Only this time, it's a different hanger. Different color, same plastic.

We started following the navy hanger at the beginning of the 08-09 school year.

Today marks about a week that a new baby blue hanger has found residence in the Sodexo stall.

We who follow your adventures salute you, baby blue. Read More......

Who's the fastest faculty member?

The above chart represents the nine Lee faculty members who participated in the Great Strides 5k 2009.

To see the full list of winners, click here. Read More......

Happy April Fools Day!

You're no doubt trying to come up with a solid prank to play on someone today.

So maybe you're looking for a little inspiration, or perhaps you just want to steer clear of the past and do something totally original.

Either way, take a glance through the menagerie of Lee University prank stories included on this blog in past months. Read More......