Author Archives: Alexis

Something New I bought

Last night, I tried a Chicken Chalupa from Taco Bell for the first time. A new meal needs a new drink, so I also tried the Cherry Twilight freeze.

When I had to think about something new to try, I wanted to try something new from a fast food place I go to regularly. Taco Bell came to mind. I’ve tried most things on the menu, but not the Chicken Chalupa.

The Chicken Chalupa alone is $3.19. There is the option between steak or chicken. I chose chicken, because I like it better, and it is cheaper. The Chalupa looks like a taco with a pita bread-like shell with tomatoes lined up like a rainbow. The shell is nicely floured and tasted just the right amount of sweet. The chicken was chopped up perfectly, but there was too much sour cream that took away the flavors of the lettuce, cheese, and chicken. I might order the Chicken Chalupa again, but I would get rid of the sour cream. The Twilight freeze also is not my favorite.

I have drank three different flavors of Baja Blast freeze: Strawberry, Mountain Dew, and now Cherry Twilight freeze. Strawberry remains my favorite flavor. The blueberry and cherry did not mix well together in the Twilight freeze. It smelled and tasted as if I bought a slushy from Kum&Go. However, it looked pretty. Red and blue colors mixed together with highlights of purple. I will not be buying the Cherry Twilight freeze again.

My experience with this taste test inspired me. I would like to try the same entree from different restaurants and decide which one I like better. My next stop will be Qdoba where I will decide if I like the Qdoba burrito or the Chipotle burrito better.

The Morningside Women’s Swim Team looks forward to the 2021-22 season after the previous National Tournament was cancelled due to Covid.

The Morningside women’s swim team was successful in the 2021-22 season, even though the girls knew there would be no National Tournament. In the KCAC tournament, the team never finished last. On day 1 of the tournament, they finished fifth out of eight. On day two, they finished fourth of eight. And on the last day, they placed third of eight.

The season began at St. Ambrose University on October 8th. The girls finished fourth out of four. They hold their heads high as they have a whole season ahead of them, and more importantly, a NAIA National Tournament.

I spoke to three girls on the swim team who are roommates. Grace Holzerland is from Sioux City, Iowa and knew the Morningside Swim coach prior to going to Morningside. He was her coach for her club swim team. She started club swimming when she began middle school, but her parents started her off doing swim lessons at a young age. Morningside was the place for Grace.

“Morningside was an easy choice,” said Grace. “I already knew the coach and I knew I was not going to a division one school.”

Holzerland speaks highly of her first year on the swim team, despite breaking her foot and missing the second half of the season.

“I slipped on ice and the next thing I remember is waking up in the snow,” said Grace. “My teammate, Rachel, was there to save me though.”

All three roommates mentioned how close they are with each other. Grace Holzerland and Maddy Slaughter, her roommate, swam on the same club team before college. Grace’s fondest memory of the swim team is driving back on the bus together from the Conference Tournament in Fremont. Rachel Roose’s favorite memory is of Grace breaking her foot.

“Grace breaking her foot is not my favorite memory of my first year,” Roose said, “it’s the best memory of my life. I was holding her in my arms and she was knocked out.”

After a friend convinced Roose to join the swim team in sixth grade, she loved it and stuck with it. Her first year at Morningside, Roose received the All American title and now holds the record for fastest 50 free time. However, she is not satisfied with just that.

“My first year was not what I wanted it to be,” said Roose. “Yeah, I did earn All American, but I did not get a personal record.”

Teammate and roommate, Maddy Slaughter, was happy with her first year. Although she did not break any records, she was excited to see improvement in her back stroke. Considering Slaughter has an older sister on the Morningside swim team, she wants to put the rumors to rest.

“Coming to Morningside had nothing to do with my sister.” said Slaughter. “Covid took my last season of high school away, and I wanted more.”

The 2021-22 swim season started at St. Ambrose University on October 8th. Holzerland, Roose, and Slaughter are clawing for personal records, but would be content with dropping time on their strokes. Holzerland hopes to complete the season with no injuries, while Roose hopes for another life long memory. Slaughter wishes for success for her and her older sister.

The next Morningside swim event will be on October 30th at Gustavus Adolphus. The next dual hosted at Morningside is November 5th against St. Ambrose at 5pm. There are no restrictions due to Covid, so come to Morningside University, find the Hyper gym, and cheer on the Women’s and Men’s Swim Team.

Is it News? (Oct 7th, 2021)

Caroline Matthews and Connor McCarthy had the perfect wedding after meeting at Stanford. They went on a retreat in the Himalayas and fell in love. The two started a business together to help children get an education. Sounds like the perfect couple.

Love stories are written much differently than other news stories. The tone is much more calm and and even hopeful. I enjoy reading love stories. However, this love story is not news. Although it might strike emotion in many, it is not relatable. Not many people go to Stanford. I also believe not many people go on Buddhist retreats. And to be completely honest, I don’t think it’s a good idea to work with your spouse. I read this and thought aww that was sweet but it does not aspire any real benefit to me.

Former correctional officer, now professor at Morningside University was pen pals with unabomber, Ted Kaczynski.

Prior to becoming a correctional officer, John Gonsler was a police officer. The politics of the job drove him away from the profession. A friend of Gonsler’s dad worked with a corrupt. The sheriff framed his friend’s dad, and was caught and not fired.

“That sheriff is dirtier than a pig’s dick”, said Gonsler.

After his police officer days, he worked as a correctional officer for six months. He worked in a medium to maximum security prison surrounded by criminals outnumbering him 160 to one.

With only the protection of pepper spray, handcuffs, and a radar walkie, Gonsler’s job sounds terrifying. He is in charge of 160 prisoners with three things to protect himself. Speaking of terrifying, he saw a prison mate bench 405 pounds multiple times. A prisoner once put 3 dead birds in the hot pot (pot of water to make tea). Later on, Gonsler investigated and found the prisoner had a suitcase full of dead birds.

One day, a prisoner was asking strange questions that did not make sense, and Gonsler found drugs in his suitcase. The prisoner threatened Gonsler, but a gang of prisoners did not like that. The gang beat the prisoner up violently; his face was messed up. That’s when Gonsler realized the correctional officers do not rule the prison, the prison gangs do.

Within these six months, Gonsler reached out to unabomber, Ted Kaczynski. Kaczynski sent bombs through the mail and killed 3 people and injured dozens of others. Kaczynski received Gonsler’s letter and wrote back to him. He was the only serial killer out of 25 to write back to Gonsler.

“If you want to be pen pals with a prisoner, you have to find an in,” said Gonsler. “Find out whatever topics interest them.”

Gonsler and Kaczynski were pen pals for awhile, and it ended badly. One wrong question and Kaczynski had enough. Gonsler was put on a federal security list for seven years.

“I ended up pissing off the unabomber, and he told his, shall we call them groupies,” said Gonsler. “I received some hateful letters.”

In 2011, Gonsler juggled the idea of being a professor. He taught at Flindt Community College. Gonsler earned his masters from Indiana where he also taught. Morningside stood out to him with its up and coming Criminal Justice curriculum.

His colorful personality, dozens of tattoos, ability to hold a room, and experience with people makes him a different professor. A professor that many students enjoy learning from. This is only his third semester teaching at Morningside University.

“I want to expose my students to the good and bad of all these positions, so they know what path to take.” said Gonsler.

Being a police officer and correctional officer is thrilling and an important responsibility. That being said, Gonsler finds himself responsible for the education of his students. Being a professor is just as thrilling to him.

“I really like teaching the Criminal Justice Intro class,” said Gonsler. “Having that tangible experience of a student saying “I enjoyed your class” is special.”

My Last Conversation. (Oct. 7th, 2021)

Last night at 11pm, I walked with my boyfriend to Dimmit where he lives. As we were walking up the steep hill, he said to me “You walk slow.” I do have small strides and short legs that make me walk slower.

I looked at him and said, “Why do I need to walk fast? I’m not in any rush.” Then we got into his room and all his friends were in there, so I left. There is not enough room for eight people in a dorm room.

Is it News? (Sept. 30th, 2021)

In this story from New York Times, Daniel Craig is asked questions about his 15 years of playing James Bond and what he will be doing next. You find out that Craig is reserved and humble.

I love Daniel Craig. He is a talented actor and from a female’s side, he is ruggedly sexy. He has been on S.N.L, he plays James Bond, and stars in Cowboys vs. Aliens. Because I am a fan of his, I would consider this story news. I am of the target audience, because I have seen and enjoyed his movies.

The majority of the story is an interview between Daniel Craig and a NYT reporter. The reporter asked things like: What will you miss about playing James Bond? How does it feel to play such a strong character? Do you think your children will be impacted by your movies? Craig is clearly experienced with the media and knows how to give thoughtful answers without sharing anything too personal.

I thought the interview was great. He told the reporter he feels no connection to his characters, which I respect. I loved the quote about Denzel Washington. Craig said “God forbid I was ever in competition with Denzel Washington. Jesus. I don’t consider myself worthy.” I am also a huge fan of Denzel Washington, so hearing this from another great actor makes me smile out loud.

I force myself to look in a different perspective, because I am biased, and when I do, I don’t believe the story is news. It does not affect a large population of people. It is interesting to hear about his life, but it is not emotional enough to be news. Daniel Craig is also not a name this is known worldwide. many people won’t know who he is by only seeing his name.

Daniel Craig, if you are reading this, I love your movies and your acting is even better.

Covid at College

The first year since Covid was announced has come to an end. The year of 2020 was unlike any year college students have seen. A sophomore from Morningside University, Zach Norton, recalls his year dealing with Covid.

Covid affected Norton as soon as his first football game of the year.

“I missed my first two games as a Morningside football player, because I had to go home and quarantine,” said Norton.

Norton also mentioned the traveling team became a lot smaller due to social distancing. Less people were able to suit up for games making it more challenging for the players to have a spot on the team.

It was not all bad for Norton, however. He mentioned some perks of living in a pandemic.

“It gave us more meal swipes at the grill,” said Norton. “Might have been the only good thing about Covid.”

Students at Morningside were required to wear masks to class and encouraged to wear masks around campus. It was Norton’s first time having online classes. Switching from in-person class to online learning was a challenge for many, however Norton liked staying in his room for class.

Zach Norton is now in his second year of college and Covid regulations have since changed. Students no longer have to wear face masks in class and in-person classes have started up again. Now, Morningside University and the students can be prepared in case of another pandemic.

News Comment Sept. 23, 2021

Health officials stormed the FIFA game between Brazil and Argentina to suspend four Argentine players from the match. These players apparently did not follow quarantine protocol when entering Brazil. The game was suspended within minutes of the first half.

Brazil health officials have a rule that says if a person has been in Britain before entering Brazil, s/he has to quarantine for fourteen days. Players and coaches from Argentine assured the authorities they did not break any quarantine rules. Argentina had been in Brazil three days prior to the match. Why authorities waited until the game started instead of addressing the situation beforehand, I do not know.

The intended audience of the story is everyone. This article shows how quarantine and health regulations are taken very seriously. If you do not follow the rules, whether you are a professional athlete or me, there will be consequences.

However, the story is not news. I do not have to worry about quarantine regulations of Brazil unless I leave the country. It is also not news, because a cancelled soccer match does not impact a large portion of the population. The game will be rescheduled and all will be well. What the author wants the reader to remember at the end of the article is that it is crucial to follow health guidelines.

Scavenger Hunt

Sophomore, Nayely Godoy manages her time between UPA club, homework, and her four year old son.

With all these responsibilities, Nayely is happy to have successfully completed her first year at Morningside University. She is planning on participating in a local May Term this year and possibly an overseas May Term her Junior year.

The flower Cassie drew

“I have to manage my time wisely for my four year old son,” said Godoy. “I like to finish my homework at school, so I don’t have to do it on my commute home.”

I found Cassie in the Business department of Lewis Hall. I asked her if she liked to draw and her answer was ‘yes’. I then presented her with a notebook and pencil for her to draw a doodle. She drew a flower.

When I asked her why she drew the flower, she said, “It’s the first thing that came to mind.”

E-Cigarette Companies Eagerly Wait for A Decision

Alexis Spier Sept. 20, 2021

The F.D.A. issued their first denial order for 55,000 vape products. However, the F.D.A. put off making a decision whether big E-Cigarette companies can continue selling their products in the United States.

On Monday, Sept. 6, Juul paid a lawsuit of $40 million to North Carolina for targeting a young audience. Juuls and any other vaping device cannot be advertised in the United States.

The judge gave the F.D.A. a year to approve or reject the application presented by Juul, but when the year ended, they had not made a decision.

The F.D.A. considered approving 500 small e-cigarette companies if they can prove their products are not harmful. In an article published by NPR, the F.D.A. said, “We continue to work expeditiously on the remaining applications that were submitted by the court’s deadline, many in which are in the final stages of review.” There still is no definite answer.

Tobacco expert from Georgetown University Law Center, Eric Lindblom wants an answer. “They still haven’t made any tough decisions,” Lindblom said to The New York Times. “I expected a little bit more, and I’m not an optimist.”

Juul appreciates the time the F.D.A. takes to come to a decision. Juul said to The New York Times, it “respects the central role of the F.D.A.”

The president of Tobacoo-Free Kids, Matthew Myers, is eager for an answer as well. “The decisions the F.D.A. still has to make are more important than the ones they’ve made already,” Myers told The New York Times. “If they don’t commit to making them promptly, then we have no choice but to ask a court to intervene.”

Juul companies were no doubt advertising to a younger audience with its modern technology and plethora of exotic flavors to smoke. By 2019, 27% of teenagers admitted to smoking e-cigarettes. The F.D.A. has put a ban of selling any flavors but menthol and tobacco and they’ve also lowered the nicotine percentage to 5% and 3%. Juul disagrees with the notion that they were seeking a younger audience. They stopped marketing vape products in the United States entirely.

To take it another step further, Juul, gave the F.D.A. a 125,000 page application proving their products have helped people stop vaping. The judge gave the F.D.A. a year to approve or reject the application, but when the year ended, they had not made a decision. Although the company presented evidence proving people smoked cigarettes less when they use their products, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network told the F.D.A. to reject the application.

The F.D.A. continues to review the application.