Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Emily on 09-12-2012

For I am not ashamed of the gospel ; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith…. -Romans 1:16

One reason I enjoy being a part of Oasis is that I get to play my violin, Ozgood. I get to play great songs that honor God. When I experience fellowship with my Oasis friends, God’s presence feels very near to me. It is so fun to be a part of something that has a positive effect on my fellow students’ lives.

For the past few years, we have gone to the Gospel Mission to perform a worship service for our last Sunday before Christmas break. It is quite a humbling experience to worship for and with people who have had difficult times, but still seek to fill their spiritual hunger.

I ask Cendejas how the Oasis group got started. “It’s been around for about three or four years. Jackie Lincoln and Alyssa Filipek, who have both since graduated, started the group. They felt there was a need for a new worship group on campus,” says Cendejas.

Since January of 2012, Cendejas has been the worship leader for Oasis. He took over after Filipek graduated. When asked about the goal of Oasis, he says, “The purpose of Oasis is to establish a place where people can worship Jesus Christ freely, where they can grow spiritually, and have a fellowship experience. We hope that the sense of community people feel at Oasis will go beyond the church walls and into other parts of their life, like school and home.” Oasis currently meets at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday evenings at Grace United Methodist Church, next to Morningside College’s science building.

Cendejas hopes to reach those who are spiritually confused or lost. “We want Oasis to encourage people in their relationship with Jesus Christ. When we come to worship together, we are the body of Christ. We hope to grow in our faith by using the talents God has given us. People want to serve, whether musically, technologically or by speaking at Oasis.” There are many musicians that contribute to Oasis: guitarists, a violinist, singers and even a beat box drummer.

Paige Potter attends Oasis frequently. She says it reminds her of growing up in the church. “I always went to church on Sunday. My parents dragged me even when I didn’t feel like going. I’m really glad they made me go, because of all the great music and message. Since Oasis is on Sunday nights, I don’t have to get up early in the morning.”

Director of Campus Ministries, Kathy Martin, says that Oasis has not always been at Grace Methodist. “We started out going from dorm to dorm every week. Then the church decided to let us open the church on Sunday nights. It was a great opportunity, because there was more space.”

Martin talks about how the name of the group came to be. “The word “oasis” means a place of refreshment in a dry place. It is a way to get revived in “the desert,” she says. “Oasis is intentionally spiritually refreshing. It is a time to focus on our relationship with God and experience fellowship with other people. For me personally, it’s been really good to have Oasis. I want to have a worship experience that is unique from a church setting. Oasis is a lot more laid back.”

Although Oasis has been successful in the past years, Martin and some members of the worship band believe there needs to be a change for next semester. There is not as many people attending Oasis as there used to be. “We’re going to have new hours and a new location. We plan to meet on Wednesdays at 11:35 in the Olson Student Center. It has been a wonderful experience, but we have new students and they need something different,” says Martin.

Hopefully, the changes will reach more students and Oasis will continue to change people’s hearts.



Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Emily on 06-12-2012

In the library, there is an abundance of student art, particularly photography. For this review, I chose to compare and contrast two photographs close to the periodicals section on the first floor.

Krystal Carlson’s piece shows the bright lights of a city, with an emphasis on traffic moving quickly through the night. The lights are able to show the speed of the nighttime drivers, the way the lights blur together as if they are all one long line of bright light. There are three different sections of traffic showing these speedy lines. One of them is thiner, and bright red. Unlike the other two sections, which are bright white, like a flashlight, the red lines appear to disappear in the night. The middle line is long enough that it seems to link itself to the small, faint lights of the big buildings. The shortest section ends abruptly with what appears to be from cars coming from the other direction. When I look at the piece closer, the long, white lines resemble spaghetti. Some of the spaghetti is short and splits at the end, and another noodle is very long and slightly wavy.

The bright lights and buildings behind them do not tell us their location. One of the buildings is amber and yellow brown in color. It is one of the tallest in the picture. Another building has a UFO looking shape at the top. It is white, silver white, with more cool tones than the lights on the the late night road.

Like Carlson’s photograph, the setting of Spencer Eiseman’s piece is nighttime. The object in the photograph is ambiguous, although to this reviewer, it looks like an amusement park ride at night. Carlson and Eiseman also share their use of bright light as the main focus of their pieces. Spaced like a spider web, the long lines stretch out and look like a strand of pearls. The pearls compete with the gold and dark yellow unclosed circles and lights in the piece. There is use of repetition with the yellow “C” shaped objects. Few other colors are present other than yellow and bright white. Another difference between Eiseman and Carlton is the direct the picture is going. Carlton’s is forward into an blurry distance, while Eiseman’s seems to be taken from the side view.

I think photography students and enthusiasts would appreciate these pieces. I think it would be interesting to have some background information about the photographs too, such as when the picture was taken, what was the artist’s idea or intent and in Eiseman’s case, what it is the audience is viewing. Students needing a break from a study marathon might enjoy perusing the small collection of pictures.

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Emily on 02-12-2012

How can a book about something so grotesque be engaging and humorous as well? Jessica Snyder Sachs writes of maggots, rotting flesh and rigor mortis in her book Corpse: Nature, Forensics and the Struggle to Pinpoint Time of Death. The book explores the science of determining time of death. There are three traditional methods for determining time of death. Rigor mortis is the amount of stiffness in a corpse. Lividity is the amount of blood settling and pooling in the body. The third method, or “post-mortem clock,” is body temperature.

According to Sachs, movies and television have created the myth that determining time of death is an exact science. The stiffness of rigor mortis is caused by the biochemical adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The amount of ATP at the time of death depends on whether the person was physically active. For example, a person who died in a struggle would develop rigor mortis at a different rate from a person who died in their sleep. The stiffness gradually goes away, so using rigor mortis as an indicator of death would not be helpful. Lividity is very subjective, because it depends on describing the shade of a person’s skin color. It is also difficult to distinguish colors if the corpse’s skin is not white. Body temperature is a very inaccurate measure of time of death because it is affected by so many variables, such as weight of the person, material of clothing, and climate.

In the 20th century, three new areas of science began to develop additional tools for determining time of death. In anthropology, a scientist can estimate time of death from the way a skeleton becomes disconnected and bones lose their marrow and gradually break down. The area of entomology can measure time by the rate that insects swarm to a body. A biologist can find clues to the time of death in plant material under a body or accumulated on top of a body. Biology can reveal information through the way vegetation covers a body.

Jessica Sachs is an award-winning science writer. She has a degree from Columbia Journalism School and has taken graduate courses in immunology, microbiology and infectious disease. For many years, she was an editor of national science magazines.

Corpse is extensively researched. Sachs includes many historical details. For example, she explains the origin of the word “coroner”, the history of the acceptance of autopsy as a valid scientific technique, and tells the story of individuals who developed certain research methods. There are many case studies in the book, actual murder cases in which time of death was important to finding a defendant guilty or not guilty.

Despite the gruesome details in the book, Sachs successfully engages her audience. She gives character and relatability to the scientists in her story. She breaks up the morbid details with bits of humor. Sachs describes a study of how blowflies would reproduce on the clothing of a corpse. The research used pigs, so the researcher requested donations of underwear at her university. The story got out to the media and the researcher was afraid her project would be shut down. “There are some things you just can’t find at Goodwill.” Sachs comments, “But if pigs in black net stockings and spike heels would further crime science, so be it.”

Many parts of the book had wince-worthy descriptions of insects and maggots munching on dead bodies. This book is not for those with weak stomachs. However, the stories of the actual murder cases would probably be interesting to readers who enjoy true crime stories. The book could be a good resource for defense attorneys. Corpse did a good job of making science readable.