‘Rambler’ vows to continuously improve

by Jake Hawkins

The Rambler is an important, integral part of the Transylvania community. We bring news to your attention, ask important people important questions, highlight outstanding organizations, and, on the opinion page, weigh in on important campus issues in an effort to provoke further thought.

We can always be better.

We have a talented, diverse staff representing multiple majors and many backgrounds. They work every day to plan, interview, write, research and edit. We meet often to hash out ideas and capitalize on our team synergy.

We could use more people.

In the past, we’ve broke stories to you about land acquisitions, administrative transitions, new programs and more.

We’ve missed some leads.

At The Rambler, we epitomize the spirit of ‘kaizen,’ a Japanese concept of continuous improvement and change for the better. Every year, every semester and every issue our biggest goal is to improve. To get better. Without a journalism program, we’re self taught and self driven. We learn by doing, asking and reading.

We want to learn more.

We’re challenged, as students of the liberal arts, to connect and integrate knowledge and to question everything. What better medium to put the liberal arts in practice than journalism?! Throughout the year, we’ll strive to ask important people important questions, tell engaging stories, highlight unique events and inform you of vital information. Every story you read in The Rambler will be accurate, relevant and engaging. If something goes wrong, we’ll take swift action to correct it.

We absolutely guarantee that.

We are a student newspaper at heart, and for this heart to beat we absolutely have to have more students. We need a large, versatile staff of writers and photographers to keep stories printing. Being on staff is a valuable experience that teaches many skills, and it is an absolute blast.

We love what we do.

We also need your input. We have a Facebook, we have a website, and we have an opinion page. For The Rambler to exist, we need you to ‘Ramble On’ and contribute to all of these. Is there an important story that you think we missed? Tell us. Are you angry about the way people at Transy treat a certain issue? Use The Rambler as a medium for your voice. Ultimately, The Rambler will be what students make it, what we make it. We are limited by the passion of our student body, our kryptonite is your apathy.

Help us make The Rambler a true pioneer in student journalism.


Brock signs off: Lessons from TU

This is the seventh year I’ve worked on a student-run publication—and the last. I’ve done a lot of different things while I’ve been at Transylvania, but a core part of my life here has been dedicated to The Rambler. It will be hard to say goodbye to the life of a student journalist, but it will be somewhat of a relief to no longer have such responsibility on my plate all day, every day (Good luck, Jake!). So for the last column you all have to endure, I thought I’d share some of my kitschy wisdom with you.

Transy taught me who I am, and what I want in life. Have I sometimes felt like graduation couldn’t come fast enough? Yes, often. The past four years have put me through some incredibly awful times, but they have held some of the most amazing experiences, as well as provided me with an incredible support system of friends and mentors. Transy taught me how to deal with the highs and the lows in life by giving me the tools to cope with the bad, to appreciate the good and to have confidence in myself and my abilities. I know that the future holds both good and bad, and I’m OK with that—because Transy taught me that I am capable of battling whatever comes my way.

Good journalism isn’t easy. If it was, everyone would love The Rambler—and clearly, that hasn’t been the case during my time here. After spending hours every week helping to put together this publication, or scrambling to post a breaking story online, someone always has to spot a blemish. Sometimes, it really gets me down, but critics have just as much of a right to have their voices heard as we have a right to put our opinions on this page. Still, it would be nice if complaints were housed in logic and thought instead of half-cocked critiques, as is all too often the case. We put together this paper for this campus, and as long as we do the best we can with the  oh-so-limited resources of one journalism class, a quarter-credit practicum, and a part-time adviser, we’ve succeeded—30 statewide awards this year alone prove that. Hard work and doing the right thing do pay off; thank you, Terri McLean, for teaching me this important lesson.

A liberal arts education is attractive for many reasons, with which we are all familiar. Before I came to Transy, I was led to believe that such an education would leave me better prepared for a job in the “real world”—but that’s not always the case. It seems that experience is what companies want, and so an education that leaves you well-rounded is great, but just not enough. While we are led to believe that coming to a college like Transy (and paying nearly $30,000 in tuition alone) will put us miles ahead of the competition, we need to realize that the burden of securing internships and jobs in our desired fields falls on us; we can’t ride on the coattails of a Transy diploma in this day and age.

“It will look good on your resume” isn’t a sound enough reason to commit yourself to doing something. Transy students are notoriously over-involved, either because we feel like if we don’t do it, no one else will, or we want to pad our resumes, or we genuinely care about a couple of the causes we involve ourselves with. I’ve learned that committing time to a cause is only worth it if you will really enjoy it, because if you enjoy something, it shows, and you can utilize all sorts of skills with one organization rather than joining 20.

You can only eat so many chicken fingers from the Raf until you start to suffer from malnutrition. We all know that Transy cuisine isn’t the most exciting food we’ll ever eat, but it has gotten a lot better in the four years I’ve been here—with the exception of the nixing of the 1780’s cheese bread, which I still miss. I’ve often wished that we could use our Crimson Cards at restaurants around town like UK students can. But, then again, going to McDonald’s wouldn’t be the same as visiting Eugene in the Raf or talking to Rosie, Cortez and Vic in the 80.

Sometimes, authority figures don’t utilize their positions or behave in ways you agree with, but there’s nothing you can do about it. Throughout life, we will have to work with, befriend or even tolerate people of every temperament, background, mindset, etc. It’s a fact that you won’t agree with everyone and they won’t agree with you, and this is especially true for people who are socially or organizationally above you. It’s been said that you can do what’s right all the time, or you can be successful. It’s a hard choice, but sometimes you have to pick your battles.
Procrastination isn’t necessarily evil—actually, it’s like most things in life: good in moderation. I have written hundreds of pages of papers during my time here (actually, I’d rather not think about it) and I wouldn’t have survived without those random trips to Walmart for Cheetos at 3 a.m. or spending hours making Memes or playing Sushi Cat with my roommate trying to avoid that 10-page paper. These seemingly inconsequential nights are the ones I’ll remember best.

True friends are few and far between and that’s why you should NEVER take them for granted. Sometimes, people can be truly awful. But sometimes, they can surpass every expectation and hope imaginable, so when they do that, appreciate it.

Writing, Rhetoric and Communication is the most useful major at Transy because it is the epitome of a liberal arts education—it forces students to take information from different disciplines and integrate it into tangible products that encourage others to think outside of the box. Gary Deaton, Martha Gehringer and Dr. Scott Whiddon are incredible professors who truly care about their students and their futures. Without their support and encouragement, I wouldn’t have been accepted to three academic conferences, nor finished an extensive senior seminar project, nor done the good work of a writing center (with the immense help of Becky Mills), nor had a rewarding internship at Business Lexington, nor would I be attending a top-rated Master’s program in Rhetoric and Composition in the fall, and most importantly, I wouldn’t love and appreciate Transy’s academic culture. WRC deserves the respect of this campus and should be placed in a position where it can grow—and I think that’s a battle worth choosing.

Lane, Calipari coach with passion

Last night, I was lucky enough to have a seat in the press section at Rupp Arena—something I never thought would happen to me. And while most people were watching the action on the court, I was more intrigued by the coaching styles. As an athlete of many years, I’ve been coached by varying personalities with different styles, and watching the coaches last night was an experience.

While John Calipari and Brian Lane are both college basketball coaches with talented players and skill as coaches as well, they showed last night that they are two different coaches with two different approaches to the game.

With his Wildcat-blue dress shirt (sans tie) and dry-erase play board, Coach Cal started out the night with calmness and precision. He got his team together before the tipoff, going over strategy and plan.

Coach Lane stood his ground with his crimson tie, equally calm, surveying the court. But when game time arrived, he let his players orient themselves on the court rather than huddling them up just before tipoff.

The beginning of the game turned out to be misleading, however, when it came to the coaching attitudes. While both coaches were involved and animated, they each showed different attitudes and body language.

Head coach Brian Lane is No. 3 on the all-time wins list at Transylvania.

As opposed to his initial release of the players, Coach Lane was constantly out of his seat, pacing back and forth on the sidelines, watching the game unfold and offering looks and gestures to his point guards consistently. While he didn’t appear aggressive, he was definitely assertive. When one of his players did something Lane didn’t like, he stayed silent, rather than yelling across the court; but when a player did something praise-worthy, he was more than willing to cheer them on.

Lane also substituted many more players than Calipari, and more often, sometimes subbing in three or four players at a time. This allowed the team to stay fresh, as opposed to the Wildcats who seemed to tire out quickly at the start of the game.

He advocated a strong defensive style, as the Pioneers pressed hard against their opponents. But the team also progressed competitively on the offense, attempting a grand total of 38 3-pointers and making 12. Overall, Coach Lane stayed centered and supportive of his team, consistently offering direction.

On the other side, Coach Cal’s coaching style was more sporadic; at times, specifically when the Cats were up by a significant amount, he was sitting back in his chair, watching his players navigate the floor. But when one of his players lost the ball or there was a call by the referee he disagreed with, he was significantly more forceful in his gestures and words. While I never heard Lane’s voice way up on press row, I heard Calipari’s words several times.

Calipari’s philosophy for his team’s defense was man-to-man, representing an aggressive strategy in an effort to keep the Pioneers from scoring.

Coach John Calipari took over the UK men's basketball program in 2009.

The huddles during timeouts were significantly different for each team as well, even in their basic composition. UK’s huddle made almost a perfect circle around Calipari on the court, while Transy’s players formed a closer, more intimate semicircle, allowing for the players on the court to sit courtside for a break. Calipari also seemed to make the board a central part of the strategy during every meeting, gesturing to it quite often. While Lane used the board with his bright orange dry-erase marker, he exercised much more eye contact and vocal expression.

During halftime, the teams disappeared into the locker room; when they returned, the two teams and coaches did exactly the opposite of what they had done before the game: Calipari kept to himself and let his players get situated on the floor, while Lane huddled up and strategized.

However, the start of the second half did bring a more consistently aggressive Calipari, who was suddenly out of his chair and directing his players. He sat for short periods of time, but was usually back up on the court again within 45 seconds — until the Cats had a lead of about 20 points. Then he calmed down, and sat back in his chair.

The timeout with 16:08 remaining in the second half produced a significant example of the difference in coaching styles between Calipari and Lane. Lane allowed Assistant Coach Nate Valentine to take the lead and direct during the huddle, something I never saw Calipari allow.

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Educated opinions fit for printing

Issues in the past several weeks have arisen that have gotten me thinking about the articles in this paper, and what particular requirements each page has for its content.

The Rambler’s purpose is to provide the student body with unbiased information and entertainment. However, each page has a particular set of requirements that each article must fulfill.

The news page typically consists of hard-news stories, with the occasional feature story that runs. The Etcetera page is for entertainment of a light-hearted nature, while Campus Life runs stories about particular events on campus, written toward a magazine style. The sports page covers, obviously, sports, and Arts and Entertainment keeps up with art, music and theater on and around our campus.

And on each of these pages, there are columns. And yes, columns contain opinions, but these are opinions about music, food, books and the like — not explicit views on serious issues around our school.
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Empty Complaints Don’t Fix Anything

by Grace Chambers

Let me let you in on a little secret: working for the Rambler can sometimes feel like a thankless task. Here is an example: Read more of this post

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