Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Sp0rts Bl0g

Welcome back Lee students! I'm sure your summer was as great and eventful as mine; but don't worry, if it wasn't, the sports world's summer certainly was.

This new blog will be the basis of all things sports and whatever opinion I may have about them. Occasionally, Lee sports might be the topic of the blog as well.

This blog being a recap of the summer's events, it will slightly differ from the others in the future. But that's enough of formatting and logistics, lets get on with the recap.

The summer started fast with the Los Angeles Lakers defeating the Orlando Magic in 5 games to capture their 15th NBA title. The championship also thrusted future Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson into the number 1 spot for most NBA titles, as a coach, with 10. It sure helps when you have Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant on all your championship teams though.

Major League Baseball (MLB) was also getting into full swing. On June 4th, Randy Johnson collected his 300th career win when the San Francisco Giants defeated the Washington Nationals 5-1. Johnson became the 24th pitcher in MLB history to reach the remarkable feat; just the 6th left-handed pitcher.

The Giants weren't done making history however, as another left-handed pitcher, Jonathan Sanchez, thrust his name into MLB record books with a no hitter. Sanchez, 26, was looking to solidify his spot in the starting rotation as his last few starts were sub-par to say the least. He showed the Giants pitching coaches why he should stay in the rotation with the first Giants no-hitter in 33 years. To make the story even more special, his dad, a native of Puerto Rico, was able to be in attendance to watch history being made by his son. It was the first time the father was able to watch Sanchez in person; only God could plan that.

Not to be outdone, just 12 days later, on July 23, Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox achieved the ultimate greatness for any pitcher - throwing a perfect game! Buehrle became just the 18th pitcher in MLB history to get every single batter out that faced him. No runs. No hits. No walks. Nothing. Perfect.

Unfortunately for Major League Baseball, the scandalous performance enhancing drug (PED) situation continued to rear it's ugly head this summer. David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, two of the top sluggers in baseball, were newly connected to testing and using PEDs. Now, this doesn't mean they are 100% guilty, but the fact that they were connected casts another dark shadow upon the best players in the game today.

As the summer rolled into August, training camps of the National Football League (NFL) began. Quarterback (QB) Brett Favre decided yet again he was not done playing football, and after weeks of behind the scenes negociating, Favre decided he would play for the Minnesota Vikings. Since then, Favre has only taken 8 snaps from under center in a pre-season game. The Vikings success and season with their new QB should be watched closely this season.

Another QB made his return to the NFL this summer... but through a much different route. Michael Vick finished serving his 23 month jail sentence in July; for being involved in a dog-fighting ring. After being reinstated back into the NFL, the Philadelphia Eagles took a chance and signed him to a 2 year deal. Vick is playing his first NFL football, since being in jail, in a preseason game tonight, August 27, against the Jacksonville Jaguars. This is another interesting story to watch throughout the year.

Another popular news story in football this summer came from the former Super Bowl Champ wide receiver (WR) Plaxico Burress. The former New York Giant WR was indicted and is about to spend 2 years in jail for carrying a loaded gun into a New York night club. Oh, by the way, the only reason they found the gun was because Burress shot himself in the foot by accident. Ouch... although I'm not sure what hurt more: his foot, or his pride.

Also, the
6'5 freak of nature (and I mean that in the most respectable way possible) from Jamaica, Usain Bolt made sports news this summer. He broke the 100m and 200m world records in track and field just a few weeks ago in Berlin. This guy is NUTS! I encourage you to YouTube some of his races. It looks like he's jogging out there. A great story.

All in all, it's been a great summer of sports. Plenty of other important stories, Steve McNair's shocking death, Tiger Woods not winning any of the 4 majors this year, and the US men's soccer team failing to lock up a early spot in the World Cup by losing to Mexico, were prominent to the sports world.

I'm sure there are other sports stories that were worth mentioning, but these are the most significant stories to me. And that's the Sports Blog for ya...




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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A bit of practical advice

Tomorrow morning, hundreds of students will fill Lee's classrooms to begin a new semester of learning.

As most freshmen and transfer students have already found, though, the learning actually began the moment they stepped on campus.

Now that orientation is over, the parents are gone and the new students are free to do what they want, I'd like to share a few practical pieces of advice that maybe the orientation packet didn't quite cover.



1. Pedestrians do have the right of way.
Drivers, this means that sometimes you will have to stop (especially during class changes). Please don't run us over.
Walkers, as tempting as it is, don't just dart out into the road assuming that the driver will stop. I know it's not always convenient to use the crosswalks, but if at all possible, please do!

2. Beware the golf carts.
Most of Lee University's carts are safe to drive on the roads, but a few are still limited to sidewalks. And they do have a tendency to take up the entire sidewalk. Just be a cognizant walker and don't let one sneak up on you. (Bicycles also tend to do this, but they can more easily pass.)

3. Get used to waiting in line.
Registration is like a boot camp for line-waiting. Once you make it through this week, you will be a seasoned veteran. Which is good because 10 to 1 you will be waiting in another line very soon. Whether at a free food event or just trying to get your card scanned after chapel, Lee students receive a lot of practice in the art of waiting.

4. Free food is a blessing.
Meal plan or no meal plan, college kids flock to free food events. I am pleased to report that, for the most part, all of the free food around here is quite delicious! My personal favorites are when the diversity clubs such as International Student Fellowship put on events; be sure to check those out!

5. Carry a jacket if you tend to get cold.
Lee University seems to have this odd equation for regulating indoor temperature: if it's really hot outside, it has to be exceedingly cold inside. This is great when you're just passing through a building on a hot August day, but when sitting through 50-minute classes, it can be a bit bone-chilling. If you like staying warm, just stick a sweater in your backpack.

6. Always carry your ID card.
Those of us living on campus need them to get into our dorms. But you also never know when a Campus Safety officer might just walk up to you to make sure you have proper ID on your person. Trust the voice of experience, save yourself the lecture and carry the card.

7. Use your chapel skips wisely.
Always plan on going to more chapel services than you have to. That way, if something comes up (or maybe one day you just don't feel like going), you can evade probation for one more month. Thankfully, we can now check chapel attendance on the new Portico system.

8. Ask questions.
If you don't understand something, don't know where something is or can't figure out why or how something happens, just ask! Lee University is one of the friendliest communities you'll ever live in; take advantage of it! And don't be freaked out if someone comes up and asks if you need help; it probably means you have a dazed and confused look on your face and you should have asked about an hour ago. Hopefully none of you will get to that point, though!

9. When it comes to service hours, just do it.
Ten hours each semester really isn't that bad. The projects that the Leonard Center arranges throughout the semester are actually really fun! The worst part is having to write the 2-page paper, and even that isn't as bad as it could be. People at the Leonard Center are there to help you if you need to get jump-started. And the sooner you write it, the sooner you can get back to whatever you were doing before. You might just catch the service bug and volunteer all semester long!

10. Study hard, but take breaks.
It is scientifically proven that study breaks improve the quality of study. Take a 15-minute break every hour or so. That's plenty of time to run to Jazzman's to get a drink or just chat with a friend down the hall! Some of the best learning experiences happen outside the classroom and the study room. Just be sure to return to those books!

Most importantly, though, don't forget to pick up a copy of the Lee Clarion when you see a new one on stands! The Lee Clarion is published every other week with the first issue hitting stands Aug. 21.
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