(All of which belong to me and are protected by Copyright)
Forward ( A poem)
I'm so glad to see
that number next to my name
In the hopes of a year
that's not the same
As the one that beat me up
and ripped me down
But now it's my time,
this is my town
Heavy is the head
that wears the crown
A hero isn't a hero
without a cross to bear
And I'm no hero
but I'm halfway there
Ferrara (A poem)
The crinkled foil was bright and the plastic box gave way easily to reveal the ball of orange-flavored chocolate.
Much like a real orange, my chocolate orange was unbending, defiantly refusing to split apart when it should have easily given in.
The lying picture on the box said it was simple to break the globe open.
Here I was, fighting with a chocolate orange on this Saturday morning. With onlookers in my side vision, probably wondering if I was really this stupid.
But the chocolate wouldn’t bust open. Not with the prying of thumbs or the pulling of fingers. It stuck to itself, safely impenetrable, in a sphere of frustration.
I giggled at myself and wrenched at it with a white plastic knife until, finally, one slice came tumbling out.
I cracked the code of chocolate and life and the smell of oranges drifted upward.
Retired Navy Petty Officer, Active Horned Frog
It may not be immediately apparent to everyone on Texas Christian University’s campus but there are over 300 veterans who have returned from duty and joined or re-joined the TCU community. One of these veterans is John Harvey who honorably served in the United States Navy for 20 years.
“I had a blast,” Harvey said when asked how he felt about his experience with the Navy. “That’s why I hated leaving it.”
Retired Petty Officer Harvey was assigned five commands during his time in the Navy including Commander, South Atlantic Forces; Office of the General Counsel for the Secretary of Defense; Commander-in-Chief, US Naval Forces Europe Support Component for NATO’s Regional Headquarters of the South Atlantic in Portugal; and Navy Recruiting District, Denver Naval War College in Newport, R.I.
Harvey’s personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal and various service and unit awards.
“Just as this is the end of one phase in his life, it is the beginning of another. So our gathering today also gives us the opportunity to wish him every success in the future as he looks forward to new challenges and rewards,” Master Chief Vaughn, the Master of Ceremonies at Harvey’s retirement ceremony said in 2010.
Once Harvey retired from the Navy and learned of President Obama’s Post 9/11 GI Bill that would help him get the education he desired, Harvey came to TCU. The bill however, only covers $17,500 worth of tuition for both semesters. “TCU is a yellow ribbon school. There’s an agreement between TCU and the VA to pick up the rest of the tab. TCU basically agreed to support a quarter of my entire bill while I’m here,” Harvey said.
Having gone to Paschal High School, less than a mile from TCU, Harvey had always wanted to come to TCU and made that dream a reality.
“The Navy is an organization built around ensuring an individual’s success so that the team succeeds. I never thought I’d find another organization like that. That’s why it was so overwhelming to come to come to TCU; because it too is an organization that promotes the success of their students.”
TCU is veteran friendly in that it is a yellow ribbon school and the support of the troops is evident by the veterans memorial that rests at the center of campus. At the moment, TCU offers veterans assistance through admissions and there are many organizations on campus in different departments that support the veterans.
“TCU could make an official veterans office and have people paid and dedicated to look at veterans issues. But TCU has always been military friendly. There is a veterans task force helping all the vets on campus and they’re doing an awesome job,” Harvey said.
Modern Public Relations
Serenity and stimulation meet in a space forged in concrete, glass and light that houses world famous modern artwork from a myriad of talented artistic personalities. When one thinks of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth so many visual and emotional responses may spring to life, but it is the behind the scenes work that allows for every experience.
Around the corner from a seven-foot sculpture there is an unmarked grey door that is the gateway to the Public Relations Department at the Modern. “I’m still kind of blown away that I’m getting paid to be at a museum every day. It’s a fantastic job, and the environment is incredibly stimulating. I feel like I learn/notice more the longer I work here,” Online Media Coordinator Andrea Duffie said.
Public Relations is an integral part of any functioning institute and is especially important for an organization that fully depends on the support of the community. The museum is an artistic staple in Fort Worth that touches many areas of the community in the hopes of generating and sustaining the appreciation of modern art.
“Our role isn’t any more important than any other role,” Media Relations Coordinator Dustin Van Oren humbly said. “Every department creates the brand, we just communicate the brand. The challenging part is that we have such an important international brand to maintain.”
Even with such an important job at hand, the atmosphere at the PR department is an positive one. “We have a great time working together and we all get along,” Van Oren said. “I can’t imagine working in a better environment.”
It is that positive attitude that makes the department that much more effective. Each employee in the PR department maintains a unique public relations angle. Duffie is responsible for the Modern’s Blog, Facebook and Twitter profiles, the museum’s presence on the internet and the designing of invitations/notifications among other things. Duffie became the full-time Online Media Coordinator in December 2010.
“I do whatever needs to be done, and because of that, I have my hands in a wide variety of things,” Van Oren said. Some of his duties include writing press releases, pitching stories, tracking attendance figures, collaborating with other departments and making sure that the museum has one collective voice.
Van Oren has come a long way since his start as a PR intern in 2002. After which, he took a position in coat check just to be able to continue working at the Modern. From there, Van Oren worked at the information desk then the Curatorial Research Assistant position upon his graduation. Van Oren has been working in the PR department since 2004 and his position has grown to include more responsibilities.
Although it is a small department, Public Relations at the Modern accomplishes a lot and is vital to the smooth functioning of the museum. “Museum PR is unique because, unlike a typical for-profit business, we aren’t trying to sell you Product X for $19.99. Instead, we’re trying to get you through the door and provide you with the best experience possible once you’re here,” Duffie said. “Rather than talking up the ways that our product can make you run faster / jump higher, I try to make my promotional efforts interesting, enlightening, or intellectually-provoking, in hopes that people will be inspired to visit.”
Drought Affecting Texas Forests and Their Visitors
What Campers Need to Know
FORT WORTH, Texas-Campers in the state of Texas must be aware of hazards such as falling tree limbs, fire bans, heat exhaustion and terrain changes.
“It is important that visiting campers know that they are still able to enjoy the great outdoors,” park ranger Andrew Saleck said. “They just need to be conscious of the special circumstances that have arisen due to drought.”
Since the vegetation is exceptionally dry, fire hazards are prevalent. Campers need to use extreme caution with campfires and flammable substances. It would be preferable if campers refrained from having campfires; check with your local park service.
Due to lack of water, plants have weakened, including large trees. Visitors should exhibit caution when walking beneath dead trees, as the limbs may fall off; be aware of your surroundings. Since it is especially dry, it is also very important for the physically active to remember to remain hydrated.
It is important to bring plenty of water supplies to your campsite. Never over exert yourself.
The Texas Forest Service was created in 1915 by the 34th Legislature as an integral part of The Texas A&M University System. This organization is mandated by law to "assume direction of all forest interests and all matters pertaining to forestry within the jurisdiction of the state."
For more information about the drought and Texas’ forests visit the Texas forest website at: http://txforestservice.tamu.edu/main/default.aspx