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Archive | October, 2011

Who is Khaled Hosseini?

Posted on 31 October 2011 by Samantha Severo

photo/Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini has written and published two books that have secured a spot in history. “The Kite Runner” and “1000 Splendid Suns” are his two masterpieces that both earned their honors as New York Times Best Sellers. The two stories are about life in Afghanistan, both the good and the bad, to tell the rest of the world about the lives of the Afghans.
Incoming freshman classes at the university have been required to read both of his works as a part of an orientation class. These assignments have both taught the students as well as inspired them to know more about Hosseini and Afghanistan.
Hosseini came to speak at the annual Schooler Lecture at the University of Mount Union on Thursday. He was more than willing to answer the questions that the Mount Union community had for him.
Aside from wanting to know more about the inspiration for his books, everyone wanted to know more about his opinions on Afghanistan.
He knows that the literacy rate is a large problem in Afghanistan. The fact that a majority of citizens are not able to read weighs down on factors that one might not realize. How can these people vote in the democratic process if they are not even familiar with the political issues because they cannot read? Hosseini is very optimistic about the future, however, stating that education is a bright spot on the road to Afghanistan’s stability.
“Contrary to popular belief Afghanistan is not stuck in the thirteenth century,” Hosseini stated. “If you go to Kabul, you will see booming enterprise, businesses, people involved in IT. It is a very young nation; 65 percent of the country is under the age of 25. A lot of these young people are very energetic and enthusiastic about the future of their country. So I think that is one misconception. Also, Afghans are not a nation of warriors; they are sick and tired of war. They want their country to have a peaceful resolution to these cycles of wars that have been going on for 30 years.”
The audience learned that his books were written for multiple reasons. He doesn’t have a specific message that is being sent out through his writings; he wants each of his readers to pick up their own messages. However, he does want his readers to realize that we no longer live in a world where events that affect us are those in our zip code.
“The first step towards expanding and growing,” Hosseini concluded, “is to understand what it means to live in a community.”
The audience also learned about how Hosseini became a writer.
As children, Hosseini and his friends had to find fun things to do. After getting bored with causing the usual mischief, his circle of friends would all tell each other stories that gave him what he referred to as an “intoxicating feeling.”
After finding that writing held a special place in his heart, Hosseini continued this hobby all the way up until he decided to go to medical school. He had always wanted to be a writer but never thought he could make a proper living by doing so.
To make his family proud, Hosseini went through medical school and soon became a doctor, pushing writing aside. He settled with the fact that he was a studious, patient person and that being a doctor would probably be his best fit.
“It was a sense of sacrifice,” said Hosseini. “It seemed ridiculous to just be a writer after everything my family went through, so we pushed for medical school for rational reasons. It was kind of like a love affair; being a doctor was like an arranged marriage while writing was my high school sweetheart.”
Hosseini went on to fulfill his hobby and he started to write The Kite Runner but only for himself, never having the thought of being published cross his mind.
Once The Kite Runner was published, he realized how important it was that he informed the world of life in Afghanistan. He had a moment where he knew he wanted to change his career path to writing, but he still waited for a sign.
One night he was watching Jeopardy and his name was the answer to a question. He took this as the strongest sign that could have been sent and he took a year off from his career as a doctor and from there he stumbled into his life as a writer.
“We all want to be better,” Hosseini explained. “We all want to pursue happiness.”

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Photos from the Schooler Lecture

Posted on 28 October 2011 by Katie Proch

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“Horrible Bosses” isn’t so horrible

Posted on 27 October 2011 by Archil Pashalishvili

“Horrible Bosses”, the black comedy hit of the summer that involves three friends and their eponymous employers, played at the Mount Union Theater on Friday, Sept. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 1.

The story involves hilariously awful bosses who torment the protagonists Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day), pushing them to plot the murder of their bosses. The comic gravity of the situation the three find themselves in at the beginning of the film paired with their utter failure to kill their bosses make the film both funny and dirty. In fact this ineptness on the part of the protagonists helps make them likeable, despite their criminal intent.

The first boss we meet is Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey), Nick’s egoistic superior, who derives pleasure from humiliating his employees.

Next we meet Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston), a sexually predatory dentist. She sexually harasses Dale, resorting to blackmail to break his fidelity to his fiancée. This is perhaps one of the most original roles Aniston has ever played.

The third boss is Bobby Pellitt (Colin Farrell) a drug-addicted amoral chief, whose incompetence threatens to destroy the business he just inherited.

Not with standing the accusations that the jokes are at times racist, misogynic and homophobic, the film is agile and candid in its portrayal of often ignored subjects: not many films acknowledge the possibility of a female boss sexually harassing a male employee. Nor do they typically address the racial stereotyping as directly as Horrible Bosses does when Jamie Foxx’s character mocks Dale for mistaking him for a dangerous criminal (“…you are a moron. Look, you don’t go into a bar and hand a guy $5,000 [out of fear] just because he [is] black”).

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Author to speak at the School Lecture

Posted on 27 October 2011 by Callie Livengood

photo/Khaled Hosseini

Author Khaled Hosseini will be featured at the Schooler Lecture at the University of Mount Union on Thursday, October 27 at 8 p.m. in the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex (The MAAC). The lecture will be in the format of a moderated discussion led by Dr. Doug Hendel, professor of theatre at Mount Union. Hosseini, a native of Afghanistan, is the author of two New York Times best sellers – The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Complimentary tickets are available by leaving a message on the Schooler Lecture ticket line at (330) 829-6120 or filling out a ticket form at

Hosseini, a native of Kabul, Afghanistan, earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Santa Clara University in 1988 and a medical degree from University of California-San Diego’s School of Medicine in 1993. He completed his residency at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles and was a practicing internist from 1996 through 2004. While in medical practice, he began writing his first novel, The Kite Runner, in March of 2001.

Kite Runner is about the unlikely friendship of two boys growing up together in Kabul, Afghanistan. Amir is the son of a wealthy man, whereas Hassan is the son of Amir’s father’s servant and a member of a shunned ethnic minority. According to Hosseini’s website (, Kite Runner is about the bonds between fathers and sons, and the power of their lies. When the Soviets invade and Amir and his father flee the country for a new life in California, Amir thinks he has escaped his past. As the story progresses, Amir cannot leave the memory of Hassan behind him. Kite Runner has spent more than five years on The New York Times bestseller list, with more than six million copies printed in the United States and published in 42 different languages. It was also the 2007 LS 100 summer reading assignment for incoming freshman at Mount Union.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is told through the voices of two courageous Muslim women who are swept up in the social and political turmoil happening throughout Afghanistan. Mariam and Laila are both varying ages, but as the escalating dangers continue, they form a sisterly tie and a mother-daughter bond. According to Hosseini’s website, he confronts head on the effects of Afghanistan’s volatile history and evolving ideas about women. It has been published in 40 countries, and is year’s LS 100 summer reading assignment for incoming freshman.

Hosseini was named a U.S. Envoy to UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency in 2006. Most recently in 2007, he founded The Khaled Hosseini Foundation to provide assistance to the people of Afghanistan and help alleviate suffering and build healthy communities.

For more information about Hosseini, visit

The Schooler Lecture Series was established in 1988 with grant funding from the Schooler Family Foundation. The Foundation’s philanthropy has enabled Mount Union to provide a dramatically enhanced opportunity for young men and women studying at the institution and for residents in the greater Alliance area to experience the breadth and depth of American culture.

Past Schooler lecturers have included the late former U.S. President Gerald R. Ford; former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop; former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger; the Rev. Jesse Jackson; former hostage Terry Anderson; Schindler’s List author Thomas Keneally; the late holocaust survivor Leopold Page; Apollo 13 Commander James Lovell; former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; environmental conservationist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.; the Archbishop Desmond Tutu; the late and former moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press Tim Russert; political analysts James Carville and Mary Matalin; writer and commentator Fareed Zakaria; humanitarian Greg Mortenson; and astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson.

For more information about the Schooler Lecture, visit

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Movies to view this holiday season

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Katelyn Chef

The holidays are fast approaching, meaning malls will soon be crowded, grocery stores will be ransacked and cinemas around the country will be enticing audiences with their 2011 holiday blockbuster movie commercials.  Don’t get those jingle bells in a twist, here is the best of what the box office has to offer this holiday season.

He is cute, cuddly and he is one feisty kitty—he is Puss in Boots. November 4 marks the debut of the Shrek franchise spin off called Puss in Boots.  Antonio Banderas reprises his animated role as Puss in the movie, Puss in Boots. According to, the story is set in the fictional land of Far Far Away, focusing on Puss before he encounters a certain green ogre and a gabbing donkey. In the movie, viewers will see the background of Puss as he was raised in an orphanage and his progression into the lands most notorious feline outlaw. offers the synopsis, “Taking destiny into his own paws…the outlaw Puss faces the adventure of a lifetime as he discovers the road to redemption is paved with old enemies, new friends…” It is a movie perfect for families or Shrek fanatics alike.

On November 11 Adam Sandler will be pulling double duty in the premier of his anticipated comedy, Jack and Jill. Thanksgiving is a time of reflecting on the positive things in life and Jack (Sandler) does just that. He has a loving family, adoring wife (Katie Holmes) and the dream job, but the spirit of the season brings someone to his front door that he dreads—his twin sister, Jill (also played by Sandler). With Sandler playing both roles expect many laughs and a few fits around the dinner table this Thanksgiving.

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part One is hitting movie theaters November 18; expect the ticket lines to start forming about now. Twilight book fans know that there is a wedding and a baby on the way in part one of the film. Kristen Stewart gives her insight into Bella’s state of mind in the fourth movie, saying, “There’s just something about marriage that [Bella’s] apprehensive about and it comes from the way she was brought up…” The hype of the film has movie goers turning pages in anticipation. More of the vampire actors are coming forward leaking information about the saga like Twilight vamp, Kellan Lutz. He dishes that the fourth installment is more mature and has a deeper context. Lutz says, “There is a lot more skin…it’s for a more mature audience. Our audience has grown up with, and we have grown along with them.”

Expect to see fangs, blood, werewolves and a baby Bella/Edward when Twilight Breaking Dawn: Part One hits the silver screen.

New Year’s Eve, out December 9, is sure to be a crowded box office since 18 of Hollywood’s biggest names will be appearing in the film. Halley Berry, Aston Kutcher, Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert De Niro and Jessica Biel are a few of the 18 starlets in the enormous cast. New Year’s Eve is directed by Gary Marshall (Valentine’s Day) and the film follows character’s tangled lives while they celebrate New Year’s Eve in the Big Apple.  Romance, heartbreak and a kiss from Justine Bieber awaits.

Robert Downy Jr. and Jude Law are reprising their suave English characters for the third time in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. The dark plots dancing around the death of Austria’s Prince who was found dead, but Holmes suspects foul play.  Together he, Waston (Jude Law) and new character, a Gypsy (Noomi Rapace) will figure out what secrets lurk in the shadows.

Skip those daunting mall lines and head to the cinema; Tis the Season.

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Purple Raiders crushes Crusaders 27-7

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Billy Hassinger

For the second week in a row Mount Union looks impressive on the road defeating Capital 27-7 in Bexley.

After another slow start offensively, Mount Union reeled off 24 second-half points in route of Capital.  With weather conditions ideal for football, Capital’s defense played outstanding in shutting down a very powerful rushing attack by the Purple Raiders.

After a Tyler Almeida field goal in the first quarter Mount took a 3-0 lead in at halftime.  Senior linebacker Arthur Smith had an interception in the third quarter which he returned 40 yards for a touchdown to make it 13-0.

With the offense struggling early on, the defense stepped up and made some big plays holding the Capital offense, which ranked number one in the OAC in passing, to just 78 first half yards and scoreless until the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Charles Dieuseul had nine tackles and two sacks for the defense.  Nick Driskill recorded eight tackles and a pair of interceptions.  Overall the defense forced four Chase Carris interceptions to help lead the team to another win.

Junior running back Jacob Simon emerged for 169 yards and a score.  Jeremy Murray finished with 19 carries for 44 yards after injuring his knee during the game.  The passing game struggled as combined Neal Seaman and Matt Piloto went 9-21 for 85 yards.

Along with Murray getting injured, Smith and wide receiver Jasper Collins were also injured.  Smith suffered an injured shoulder and Collins injured his foot.  For the second half Collins was on crutches on the sideline with ice wrapped around it.

With the win Mount Union extends its regular season winning streak to 60 games and its regular season road winning streak to 103 games.  Mount will return home next week to take on the Otterbein Cardinals coming off their first conference win of the season against Muskingum.

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Habitat for Humanity brings opportunities for students to give back to the community.

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Kelsey Tomlinson

On Saturday October 22 Mount Union students braved the chilly weather to help Habitat for Humanity with some of their recently built houses. Getting muddy in the name of service was an experience for everyone involved.

Students in Service headed to Salem to add the finishing touches to one of Habitat’s houses. Their work included moving rocks and dirt around the base of the house, clearing out the area where a sidewalk will be added, painting and laying out the groundwork for a garden.

Habitat for Humanity volunteer Marti Wendel expressed gratefulness and joy at the student’s presence. “I am so thrilled to have them here today. It’s amazing what they can get done in such a short amount of time. This would have taken me four weeks to do by myself.”

Along with the group was visiting professor Father Saji Thengumkudiyil. He is here at Mount as an exchange professor, coming from Christ University in India.

The hard work and dedication of Mount’s students impressed him. “This is certainly a wonderful experience,” said Father Saji. “It is nice to see they have programs for service here in the USA. The attitude for service is universal.”

The students returned to campus with callused hands and muddy boots, but also a smile and a sense of having accomplished something good.

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Facing death as a student

Posted on 25 October 2011 by Reita Silvis

This is my sophomore year at Mount Union. As a seasoned student, I was sure this year would be easier than the last. It started off roughly with a falling out with my friends, misfortunes at home and getting used to tougher classes. The cherry on top was my ex-boyfriend’s death.

Stephan and I were not close after our break-up and we were not on good terms when he died, which made me feel worse about his passing. I tried to contact him to make amends and be friends again, but he never responded. What made it harder was that he was in Germany and I could not check in on him by going home. When I got the news, I was shocked but the sadness did not set in until hours later. The guilt of not knowing until then or being able to attend his funeral was overwhelming.

Everyday tasks became a challenge. I regretted taking nine ‘o clock classes because every night was restless. I managed to get there on time or a couple minutes late and turn in every assignment when it was due. I joined a handful of clubs and took positions I did not have, but made, time for because I would think of Stephan and feel more depressed. I was proud of all this work because I felt I owed it to him by not skipping classes or meetings. It took me until recently to realize what I was doing was unhealthy. I never took the time to let myself grieve.

When my cousin Aaron died five years ago, my aunt started writing poetry for him as therapy. She said it soothed her heart and kept her going. It made me think I should start writing again too. Writing was always my greatest passion but I had become so busy I had no time for it anymore outside of newspaper and research for class. I have not had the chance to write Stephan a poem, but I will give myself the time to do so. I will let myself grieve.

Whether you are a student who works through pain to distract yourself from your sorrow, or you are someone who needs to get away and take a few days off, all that matters is how you heal. Letting yourself grieve helps you with your endeavors in school better than ignoring your emotions, even if you must arrange something with your professors to grieve off-campus. Finding an outlet for those feelings is always another good thing to add to your regimen, whether it is writing, running, drawing, baking or meditating – anything that makes you feel good again. You will find yourself on the other side of this situation much quicker and recover easier, too.

Other things to remember when coping with loss:

*Let loved ones in – they can help you with your everyday business, keep you company and get you back on your feet.

*Take care of yourself – rest well, eat well, and let yourself relax.

*Get outside help – try the counselors on campus. Contact them at (330) 823-2886.

*Treasure the memories – by looking at photos or telling stories, you will feel closer to the one you lost.

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Summer course study abroad opportunity for Mount Union students

Posted on 12 October 2011 by Anh Hoang

Nine Mount Union students travelled to Beijing, China for a three-week travel seminar hosted by Peiking University.

Dr. LiangWu Yin, director of Asian studies, and Mark Bergmann, the station manager of WRMU, took Mount Union students to Beijing during summer session one. The students took Elementary Chinese in the morning and attended field trips to Beijing historical sites. Such sights included the Great Wall, Tianmen Square, Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, National Museum, 2008 Olympics Park and Bird Nest Stadium.

“I am so impressed by the Great Wall. You can’t find such structure like that anywhere else. Besides, knowing about the history of it, about how and why they built it, was just amazing,” Bergmann said.

The trip was an opportunity for Mount Union students to learn more about Chinese culture, including Chinese literature and calligraphy, as well as history, people, cuisine and customs.

“Seeing is believing,” said Yin. “We can read or watch things on TV about foreign countries, but when you actually go to a foreign country to see things with your own eyes and talk to the people there, you will understand things insightful and profoundly.”

Beijing is the capital of China, with many modern skyscrapers, as well as historical ancient structures. Many people describe Beijing as the crossroad between the past and the present. If there were two words appropriate for Beijing, they would be “big and exciting,” said Yin.

Peiking University, where the students stayed and studied, is a comprehensive and national key university in China. It is located in the western surburb of Beijing, near the Summer Palace. The school campus is known as “Yan Yuan” (the Garden of Yuan) with the design of a park and a total area of 2,743,532 square meters.

The trip was sponsored by the Asian Studies Program and the Center of Global Education.

Every year there are many opportunities for Mount Union students to travel and study abroad. Next year Mount Union students will have a chance to travel to Japan for 13 days and receive 3 credits. Students will visit famous places in Japan such as Imperial Palace, Tokyo Tower, Akihabara, Harajuku, Kiyomizu-Temple and some Japanese universities.

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The Secret life of a Theater Major

Posted on 12 October 2011 by Kelsey Tomlinson

I’m on a mission to showcase different majors here at Mount and give you readers the scoop.

I’m sure you’ve all heard that some majors are really difficult. It’s not uncommon to hear, “Oh, you’re a [insert major], that’s rough!” But seriously, what do we all know about each other’s majors anyway? Being a person with friends in a wide range of majors, I can honestly say that none of them sound like a cakewalk and they’re all unique.

So here’s to investigating and getting to know the majors available here at Mount. Starting with the Theatre major, I’ll be examining, exploring and reporting back each week.

So I’m standing with a bunch of theatre majors after the play this weekend. (Seriously, go see the shows they offer here. There is no good reason not to). Anyway, standing around with the theatre majors. We’re looking at all the photos they have on the walls of past shows and reminiscing about theatre in general. Each show holds memories, laughter and tears.

This major holds a dedicated bunch of students who love the stage. If they’re not acting in a show, you can be sure they have some hand in the stage, costumes, lights or sound. Day in, day out they’re thinking of lines, measurements, and cues.

There are so many opportunities for them to partake in the thing they love most. Stage design, stage make up, costume design and theatre history are all classes you can take at Mount. Do they have labs? Not so much, but that doesn’t mean they’re doing any less work than a science major. Three-hour rehearsals every night for six weeks is nothing to scoff at.

And the reward is great. I can see why theatre majors picked the major they did. The love of the stage, the thrill of a spotlight hitting you, the honor of performing great works for any crowd—it all sounds great. The “A” you get for any of your hard work stands for applause.

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