Working on My Roar: Let The Good Times Roar?

If you were out and about during Lions Roar 2013, you may have seen me running around, “capturing the roar.” I’ve become a unique blend of freshman-like participant and observer. And it’s been a blast!

While some of the other events may be getting their own posts later on, I have recapped portions of the past couple of weeks for those who missed out and those who already want to reminisce.

Rise & Shine Breakfast – Aug. 28

Rise and Shine Breakfast

I’m no morning person, but I made sure to be up and at ‘em for Career Development’s Rise & Shine Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. The spread included scrambled eggs and peppers, bacon (which was devoured quickly), sausage, fruit loaves and more. While I was expecting a presentation early on in the breakfast, the event was more of a chance to relax and chat. Students were able to learn about programs and services offered by the Career Development office by watching the slideshow that was playing in the background. Resume consultations, mock interviews, and job shadowing opportunities are just a few of the ways in which the office can help you excel at A&M-Commerce and after.

While the event was informative—and there was free food, which I realize must always be noted to draw students in—the room was not packed with people eager to learn about how to get ahead in their career planning. Maybe the “Rise & Shine Breakfast” should become the “Now That You’re Up Brunch” ? While there were some freshmen in attendance, it would have been great to have a roomful of them as well as students from every class because it’s never too early or too late to try to map out what’s next.

After meeting the director, Tina Boitnott, I am certain that students have no reason to avoid this on-campus resource. She is warm and welcoming and stopped by to visit with each attendee of the breakfast. And that appears to be the standard for the staff. If I were a student, I would add visiting Career Development to my to-do list.

Journalism Building Hot Spot – Aug. 28

After rising and shining on Wednesday, I volunteered for the Hot Spot outside the Journalism building with three superb sorority girls, including your SGA Vice President of Senate Affairs, Maha Rizvi. Unfortunately, this wasn’t one of the most trafficked locations, and frequent gusts of wind kept blowing away our flyers and “No Excuses” stress dumbbells. While there were points when we talked Pretty Little Liars and college life to pass the time, there was no need to dig for conversation topics when this (un)lucky freshman arrived:

Unlucky Freshman

We were lucky to have him in that he provided a solid block of entertainment. But he’s been unlucky in that after having been at A&M-Commerce for a mere week, he has already pulled a few all-nighters and has been an integral part of a couple of faux kidnappings gone awry. And that’s not even 1/16 of the freshman experience he’s had thus far. The kicker, though, is probably the fact that one of his textbooks is printed upside down with the lines running right to left.

If you know this Class of 17er, please have him get in touch. I’d love to follow his year!

I Got Lucky – Aug. 28

Wednesday was quite a busy day, but I still had time to get Lucky:


I just had to wait in line a while to get him. And unless you were there at 10:45, I imagine you did, too. However, long lines do often make for fun times:

I Got Lucky Line

…even when that line curves all the way around into The Club.

In other words, this event is not to be missed, and everyone knows it. I Got Lucky is all about building up your school spirit and having fun—creating Lion camaraderie. Freshman Priscilla Reyes told me that everyone had been very nice to her, and that she was having a really good time here so far. However, my favorite comment came when I asked another student if she was a freshman: “No, I’m a senior. I’m here because this is one of the coolest things to happen here.”

No Excuses – Kyle Maynard – Aug. 28 (Yep, still Wednesday.)

You must know by now that Kyle Maynard is a dynamo—even if you missed his “No Excuses” presentation. I’ve written about him here and here. And now I shall write about him here because he’s awesome, and I try to use that word sparingly.

By chatting with Kyle during a meet and greet before his presentation, I learned things about him that are far more important than scaling Mount Kilimanjaro or being on Oprah—like the fact that the current thing standing in the way of him completing his goals is an addiction to Starbucks! Jokes aside, the most important thing I learned in talking with Kyle is that he wants to help people truly transform their lives in more significant ways than he can through an hour-long speech.

However, Kyle said that he undoubtedly intended for his speech to be the catalyst for introspection in our lives; I believe he was a definite success. There were many highlights in what he had to share: “Nothing in this world is still,” “Every person on this campus has a disability,” “Not dead. Can’t quit.” However, my favorite was that Kyle strives to “do something that’s worthy of other people criticizing” him. Shouldn’t we all?

Kyle and I

Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity – Aug. 30

I’ll be honest: When I saw, “Space is limited so please arrive early!” in the space under this on the event calendar, I thought that there was no way the Planetarium would be packed. I was wrong, wrong, wrong. The Planetarium was filled with people wanting to learn about black holes. But before we got to that film, we were able to test our knowledge of constellations. So if you need to know what Aquila, Cassiopeia, Hercules, or Draco looks like in the night sky, I may be able to help you with that. Maybe.

As for Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity (2006), there’s nothing quite like Liam Neeson eerily telling you that you are about to go past the point of no return into the center of a black hole. While the Planetarium doesn’t achieve the immersion feeling of an IMAX theater, it certainly does draw you in. (Staying after the film to view the “rollercoaster” bonus feature of what I believe was Saturn’s rings made me aware of how immersive—and dizzying—it could be.)

Most importantly, there was quite a bit of information to absorb. Learning about the Swift Telescope’s recording of high-energy bursts of radiation—the supernovae that leave black holes behind—led me back to information on glitches in neutron stars, something I had been researching for a story.

Even if you think a virtual journey into the Milky Way and beyond is “not your thing,” you’ll be more than pleasantly surprised by a trip to the Planetarium!

Blue & Gold Field Day – Sep. 4

…where you run to the (free!) ice cream truck so fast, one of your shoes disintegrates! And the students defeat faculty and staff in a pie-eating contest. Plus, you have the opportunity to chat with our accessible and encouraging university president, Dr. Jones!

Block Party – Sep. 6

A definite highlight of the week was the Block Party. Prior to it, I was unfamiliar with NexCyx, Svet, Bowling for Soup, and Dillon Garcia. Perhaps I’ve been under a rock. If you’ve been under an adjacent rock and that’s also where you were during the Block Party, I can tell you that these acts are great! Dillon Garcia kept us laughing—sometimes at our neighbor’s expense. NexCyx, a band from Barbados, performed covers of summer jams like Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” in addition to songs that will probably always be hits like Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack.” The crowd was up and dancing throughout their set, which also included solid original songs. That good energy carried over for Svet, a hip-hop violin virtuoso who performed classic covers and a couple of his own exceptional songs as well. Headliner Bowling for Soup took their fans back to the early 2000s, and later on that night, I found the video for a new favorite old song that I’m not sure I’d ever heard before, “1985.”

When students weren’t down in front of the stage enjoying the live music, they were getting henna tattoos or being sketched…

The Block Party was a good chance to meet people and have a terrific time. So @KrisC10, although I saw that you said you were standing in line alone for the Block Party; I hope that you were able to make some new friends out there!


Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend every program, but you can see more photos from the ones I got to and snapshots other Lions were able to catch by checking out @tamuc on Instagram. If you have stories or photos from Lions Roar 2013—especially from the events not yet covered here—please post a comment below! And other A&M-Commerce firsts stories are welcomed at all times. Email me or send a reply to @tamuc on Twitter.