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Arianna Huffington

Proudly speaking and representing the Huffington Post co-founder and editor in chief Arianna Huffington expressed her feelings and the issues that are the most influential on this year’s Presidential election.

Huffington had much to say on Tuesday night at the Givens Performing Arts Center, Road to 2008: Presidential Politics Today was the kick to this speech. Throughout the speech is was easily noticed that she was not a fan of John McCain and Sarah Palin but actually didn’t show much interest towards Barrack Obama’s campaign either.

Informative and yet entertaining Huffington expressed many issues that seem to be looked past during this year’s election period. The issues that America really needs to focus on, such as offshore drilling, bringing our soldiers home and taxes and not just the question that everyone seems to be asking; “where did Sarah Palin get her glasses from?”

83 million eligible voters did not make it to the polls in the 2004 presidential election, a shocking amount of people that could have actually changed the future and outcome of the United States. The swing voters are the ones that the candidates should be paying closer attention to, many of the dedicated republicans and democrats have made up their minds at this point, and the candidates can rely on their vote.

The eligible voters who did not vote are more then likely under the age of 25, and they are still trying to figure out for themselves which is the best party to represent themselves and their country. The younger people are the ones that need to be reached out to, to persuade them to vote for McCain of Obama in November.

“If the people are still undecided then all they have to do is take a look at how the past seven and a half years was run,” said Huffington, “if they cant decide after President Bush then they have not been paying attention.”

Huffington also spoke much about Sarah Palin, and her influence on this year’s campaign. She referred to her as the Trojan horse; she is being used to draw in the female voters that Hilary Clinton would have grabbed for election. The public has been distracted by the visual image versus what she is really saying, and what is really going on. She mentioned how Barrack Obama is being criticized for not having enough experience in Washington D.C. which has been McCain’s focal point, however he has been in D.C. for the past two years preparing.

This year’s election is going to be a close call between candidates and as close as the polls seem to be, it will be a shocking surprise to see who is actually elected as our new President of the United States.

Pembroke Day

Pembroke Day

From the excitement beaming from the wanderers to the smiling faces of the vendors and the smell of delicious food floating around, it looked to be another successful year for Pembroke Day held on the campus of UNCP.

Not only were the happy faces walking around a give away for a wonderful event, the sign of everything running smoothly gave it away. A large crowd came out for the festivities even though it looked like a possibility of rain for that day. People proudly displayed their artistic creations, while selling to anxious buyers, while organizations in the community publicized upcoming events that they were holding.

A great turn out for the students of UNCP, notably a large amount of student body organizations set up and proudly gave out information to the large number of people that walked by. Many of these clubs were able to use Pembroke Day to raise and gain awareness as to who they really were and what they were about.

Other tables consisted of items for sale such as, handbags and jewelry. “My sister is the one who makes all of these, she is in Tennessee right now, but I am sure proud to be here today displaying her wonderful work.” The sister of the maker from Kreations ( a jewelry exhibit) said.

Although some classes in Old Main experienced a slight disturbance with the noise that was beaming from the stage with singers and entertainers, overall a great day was had with people socializing from the campus to the outside community including the Lumberton area. “It is so hard for me to concentrate, I’m so curious to know what is going on outside and to watch the singers perform as oppose to just listening up here” Said Meghan Goddard of Mr. Harrison’s 12:30 Case Studies course.

For the first time for a few students viewing this event, it will surely not be their last, and for those who come every year are already looking forward to the next.

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Rambling with thought…

There has been entirely to much on my mind and after making a blog I figure why not use it to let off some steam coming from my head, so here it goes…

The obvious, I have not yet clicked back to my old self, I don’t feel as personable with people, I don’t feel as if I am myself in a class setting and I don’t think I have been giving the 100% that I usually do. The reason- I have recently just dealt with a death in the family, and to me this was not an ordinary passing away, this was not a grandparent that passed from old age, this was a little girl, 3 years old, who was beautiful, energetic, and had a smile that would melt your heart.

My 3 year old cousin, Arden, was diagnosed with stage IV high risk Neuroblastoma last October ( one month before her 3rd birthday). When I got this phone call while I was at school I of course panicked because this is the last thing you want to hear, especially for a child to have to go through this. I made my best effort to come home and see her more often, and every time I saw her we became closer and made a connection that never failed to warm my heart.

The very first time I saw her in the hospital she played with my jewelry, she ate her lunch with me…which was a big deal since no one else could get her to eat that day, and I never wanted to leave her side, I wanted to give her the world, and I wanted to know that she was okay, and that she was going to be okay in the long run.  I wanted to run outside with her, I wanted to show her my tiny dog, the one she lit up about every time I would show her a picture. I wanted so much for her, and I admired her for her strength, and the ability to put a on a smile even while in a hospital.  She had charisma, she was adorable, she was my cousin, she was Arden.

This past summer I was helping out her family (her mom stayed at the hospital during the week, her husband worked and then went in on the weekends, and all the while they have an 18month old boy who I was watching) During the time I stayed there Arden was able to come home for a 2 week period and I was never happier to see her up and about and able to play (as much as she could handle at this point) I played dress up with her, we read books together, she was excited that I was there with her, she was able to do some of the things that she had missed doing while in the hospital.

Recently (for about the past month) Arden was not doing well in the hospital. Medication after medication to fix one problem after the next, she was sedated and was not breathing on her own.  I saw her for the last time in the hospital right before I came back to school and I believed that she was going to be okay and pull through because she is that tough. I believed her mom when she hugged me and told me that it was okay, Arden was okay.

On August 30th, 8:34 pm, Arden took her last breath, and I have never hated cancer more in my life, I hated it for defeating her and stealing another life.  I understood before what an awful, terrible, evil thing it is, but I have never had anyone directly effected and now that I have it is hard to put into words what I feel about it. My heart goes out to anyone that has had to watch a loved one go through chemo, stem cell transplants, hospital visits and the constant watch of your body to make sure this demon does not overcome you.

I have never cried harder in my life when I heard the news about Arden. I couldn’t breath and didn’t want to move from the puddle that surrounded me. I don’t want to believe that this happened, and it is hard to come to terms with everything going on. I am sad, I am angry, I am confused and distraught, I feel guilty and selfish. I know that she is in a better place, out of pain and I know she is playing with all the other angels that surround her, but I wanted so much for her to be okay, I wanted her to have a childhood and grow up and have this as a darker memory pushed aside.

I sit here now with tears in my eyes, but look up to see a picture of her staring back at me, smiling and showing me that life is more precious then we will ever know. Her funeral service was beautiful, with more then 300 people coming to show their support, and a church surrounded with memories of Arden Quinn Bucher…

Sports Fanatic

“I love sports,” were the first few words that came from Markus Franklin. An all American sports fan whose passion and desire solely revolve around anything you can watch on ESPN.

Franklin was born in New Jersey but quickly moved to North Carolina to grow up. That didn’t stop him from keeping the New York Mets his all time favorite baseball team. Among many other sports and teams he would drop anything to watch them play.

“I have only seen them (The Mets) play twice at their stadium, and both times they lost,” said Franklin. “I would never miss a game on T.V though, and they seem to do much better when I watch a game that way.”

A senior broadcasting and journalism major at UNCP who dreams of one day working with ESPN, or even the Mets themselves would be a dream come true for him. Markus is presently the assistant sports editor of the Pineneedle and is pumped about having eight full pages to work with this year.

Franklin use to play soccer, baseball and basketball and is still a strong supporter of each one, including many more in and out of the seasons. He looks forward to where his future falls and strives to seek more experience writing about sports.

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Convocation

Convocation

With an auditorium filled with new faces and an elaborate sense of enthusiasm bursting from the crowd, it was a pure sign that a new school year had just begun. The professors proudly spoke amongst the students to introduce the great campus of UNCP.

“ You know you are getting old when you let regrets take the place of dreams… fear should never stop you from what you want do to in life.” Andrea Mosby-Jones said in GPAC on that hot Wednesday morning. Gleaming from stage, she continued with her speech about determination and the power to strive for more powerful things in life.

Reflecting on the hard times that were overcome, and the hard times that have yet to be faced, Jones continued to provide a strong speech about her will to thrive for a better life and her motive for furthering her education.

Jones not only provided information to use towards an education, but she added in many details to pursuing a successful life. The struggle to raising a son did not stop her from accomplishing anything she originally intended to do.

From a bachelor’s degree in Business from The University of Denver to a Master’s degree from University of Colorado, nothing could possibly stop Andrea Jones from accomplishing her goal as becoming a talented speaker, and a defined educator of many communities.

“Don’t tell me I don’t know how to raise ‘em’ ” Jones said. Referring to her son on Valentines Day when he had brought her chocolates and flowers. She very proudly spoke about her son, who has seemingly been her rock in concurring all of life’s hardest milestones. As a speaker, an educator and as a mother, she proudly portrayed a challenge as a simple obstacle in life, and a simple “fear” to concur.

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