Athlete of the Month: Zach Robbins silent star on court, in kitchen

Men’s basketball center Zach Robbins is not a man of many words, so he spoke through the game when he helped bring in the recent triple digit-win against Pacifica University.

Robbins not only posted 12 points and seven rebounds for Dixie State College’s record-breaking game on Jan. 2, but he also averages about 19 points and 3 rebounds per game.

Robbins, a sophomore business administration major from Upland, Calif., is fresh off his LDS mission and is continually getting faster and more enhanced in each game.

“I really didn’t know Zach when he first played here,” said junior forward Dalton Groskreutz, a communication major from Santa Clara. “All he was known as was the quiet kid on the team. I never heard him hardly say anything.”

Robbins is nicknamed “The Librarian” because of how quiet he is.

“He is the most mysterious guy on the team—in a good way,” Groskreutz said.

This silent but deadly athlete came back to Dixie being an underground hero, and today he helps lead his team to victory.

“He is just tall,” said guard Kimball Payne, a junior business administration major from Alpine. “If you give [the ball] to him anywhere on the floor, he can score. He is a good looking jumper.”

Payne said Robbins is good enough to easily elevate over someone and get the ball in the basket.

“He is just so good,” Groskreutz said. “He is really consistent with his shots, and he usually takes really good shots, too. He doesn’t ever make a bad shot.”

Robbins takes full advantage of the court, and he is one of the players to keep an eye on.

“He is a threat anywhere he is,” Payne said. “And on defense he just blocks everything. I know I can pressure my guy because I know that if he gets past me, Zach will be there to stop him.”

Robbins was announced Pacific West Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the second time on Dec. 12 after making a career-high of 26 points and 18 rebounds against Fresno Pacific University. This made Robbins one of DSC’s most valuable players.

“Zach is continually working up to perform better and better,” head coach Jon Judkins said.

But this 6-foot-10-inch center doesn’t only stand out in the game of basketball—Robbins happens to be an Iron Chef in the kitchen.

Believe it or not, a couple of his many qualities are cooking and humor.

“I think he’s an all-star because he often comes over to my house and makes dinner for me and my wife,” Payne said. “He usually is the one that makes the great meal.”

Groskreutz said out of anyone on the team, Robbins probably has the best sense of humor.

But humor like that doesn’t come cheap.

“You have to sit down and talk to him to get it from him,” Payne said.

Payne said Robbins doesn’t talk very much, but whenever he does, it is something valuable and funny.

“So just be ready for it,” he said.

Album Analysis: Local Natives lack niche

If Grizzly Bear and Fleet Foxes hadn’t meshed psychedelic keyboards and acoustic guitar before, Local Natives would be on to something.

“Hummingbird,” the indie rock band’s sophomore album, expands upon rhythmic patterns that made 2010’s “Gorilla Manor” too predictable. Constant use of pounding drums and jangling strings give the album a central theme that ties the songs together.

Deploying an almost Who-ish technique, each chord receives a single strum under the lyrics of “You & I.” The song ends with a collection of screeches until the chorus claps reigning through “Heavy Feet” resonate.  Track two’s minimalist bridge seems like the end.

Soon drums kick so hard the floorboards cave.

The album’s first four songs follow one-after-one in a way that makes differentiating difficult. Listeners who enjoy beats strong enough that lyrics hide under them will admire this aspect; appreciators of impressionable words will fall asleep out of boredom. If anything, a disregard for lyrics separates Local Natives from Fleet Foxes and other prominent, contemporary folk acts.

“Breakers” is the first single for a reason. The chorus is top-40 worthy and a gorgeous, spacious instrumental break follows. “Gorilla Manor” featured nothing as exciting, and this song moved me unlike any of Local Native’s other work; with “Breakers,” “Hummingbird” gains momentum.

The five emotive, manic ending songs contrast entirely with the album’s first five tracks in a wonderful way. Guitars produce power chords where they sent slow, organic noises before, and singer Taylor Rice releases all that built up in his lungs during early, calmer songs.

Eventually Rice’s words are even audible.

Yes, vocals unheard for nearly eight songs appear in “Woolly Mammoth.” “In the summer, vicious summer/this is nothing like I thought it would look,” Taylor belts. A bass riff on par with The Black Keys’ latest toe-tappers accompanies decent lyrics, and a guitar solo—rare for indie rock—captivates and makes “Woolly Mammoth” as solid as “Breakers.”

However, the ambitious solo shows one thing Local Natives lack: a niche.

Although many prominent alt-indie bands sound similar, the exceptional acts specialize in one area that makes them memorable. Animal Collective dabbles in exotic genres of music; Deerhunter lets loose slaphappy bass. Local Natives sit stuck in the confines of atmospheric tones that sound good in doses but make an 11-song album a daunting listen. Even indie music can be as generic as chart-topping pop when trends arrive.

“Hummingbird” ends as it began, with dramatic builds, and anyone who hasn’t fallen asleep may feel déjà vu. With the exception of “Bowery,” the album’s second half is strong, and rearranging the songs for mixed tempos would’ve been nice, rather than stacking similar-sounding songs together.

Local Natives must search. Hints in regards to enhancing their repertoire may lie in uncovering new instruments, experiencing for songwriting or finding entire genres. Without some sort of boost, they won’t be remembered because “Hummingbird” is forgettable.

Final Rating: Three out of five suns

Tech Sassy: Project Glass has author on edge of seat

I have never been as afraid, and yet so excited, for a piece of technology as I am for Project Glass. 

The rumors of Project Glass, also known as the Google Glasses, have been floating around the Internet for at least a year. Up until now, though, everything has been hearsay since the developers have been pretty tight-lipped on the matter.

The cat is finally poking its head out of the bag after Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, was seen wearing the prototype glasses on a New York subway Jan. 20, 2013, according to an article on abcnews.com.

Project Glass is essentially Google’s way of making the computer even smaller. We have gone from desktop to laptop to tablet to smartphone and now Project Glass is the smallest and most hands free device on the market. It takes your computer screen and puts it right in front of your eyes with a pair of glasses that border on the science fiction.

The entire reason the concept frightens me is simple: There is already a nationwide problem with texting and Facebooking while driving. What’s going to happen when the entire Internet is literally in the line of sight?

I will agree the ability to motion with one hand and have the screen projected on a pair of glasses move with your hand is amazing; the concept just seems a little bit ill-conceived. The initial problems that seem to be present with project glass may be something the developers will work out before general release, but only time will tell.

So far the glasses are only able to do things like take pictures and record video. As Google releases developer versions, which are available for $1,500 they have also released promotional videos of what they hope will be possible as the technology is molded further. The videos include things like interactive social media platforms and text messaging services.

As the developers test out these glasses, I hope safety features become a priority with the budding technology–even though any one with the money can be a developer as Google furthers the project.

As technology gets more and more advanced, my hope continues to be that people will only use the technology in the safest of situations.

If there is anything I have learned, however, it is that there will always be those users for whom warning labels are made. My hope is to see a safety feature go into the Google Glasses that can recognize things like speed and location to disable capabilities in vehicles.

Overall, Project Glass is an exciting advancement in the world of personal technology. My only hopes for the official release is to see safety features and affordable pricing for the everyday tech enthusiast. I know I will be waiting in the wings to get my hands on the final product and see if it really has been worth all of the anticipation.

Feminism not about bra burning

   Bra-burning. Man-hating. Lesbian. 

   To many people, these phrases are what it means to be a feminist. I’m here to tell you those people are wrong. 

Feminism does not mean you hate men. Feminism is a movement that means wanting equal pay, rights and opportunities for everyone, regardless of race, creed or sex .

A feminist is someone who believes that, even though you’re not a white male, you deserve equal and fair treatment without being seen as a ball buster.

Many people think women already have equal treatment when compared to men. But, when you get statements from government officials saying that women should be home from work in time to cook dinner, or that women don’t get the right to control their own reproductive organs, I beg to differ.      

Politicians this past year have tried to pass laws banning abortion, cut the funding of organizations like Planned Parenthood, and defined a woman being pregnant as two weeks before pregnant. That is not equal treatment. 

If women were truly in equal standing, issues like abortion wouldn’t actually be an issue. We wouldn’t have men redefining rape every five seconds. Women would be able to be CEOs of major corporations without being deemed too masculine.

I’m not saying that every woman wants to become a big-shot lawyer or CEO. Staying home and raising a family is just as respectable, and I know plenty of feminists who do just that.       

However, if we do choose to raise a family, that should be our choice and not someone else’s.

Feminism gets a bad rap for its extremist sects–what people stereotypically call the “man-haters.” And some feminists hate men, this is true. However, not all of us do. Personally, I respect a good number of men; what I’m standing for is not for a statement of female superiority, but for an admission that women are not treated equally and for that wrong to be righted.

Think of your mothers, your sisters and your daughters. Think of yourself. Would you want to be denied rights based on a biological difference and old-fashioned societal gender roles?

Hopefully, many of you said no. If you did answer no, you are a feminist. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman; if you believe in equal rights for both men and women, you’re a feminist. 

Stand tall. Be proud. Being a feminist means you hope to achieve a world where everyone can coexist without one group of people being socially and economically superior to another.   

A feminist wants to achieve a world where fathers can stay home and take care of the children while mothers work; a world where being a man, or a woman, doesn’t make you better than anyone else.

So, I ask you to do something about this. Every time some one’s rights are questioned, every time someone is oppressed, change that.   

Vote in politicians who won’t oppress masses of people. Oppose the laws that deny people rights. You can do something to ensure equality. Treat people like your equals, no matter what their race, sex or ideals are. If we all do this now, in the future none of those things will matter and humanity as a whole will truly be equal.

Women’s games lack fan support

She shoots. She scores. Nobody sees, cares or cheers.

According to Dixie State College’s athletic webpage, the Red Storm men’s basketball team ranked third in overall game attendance for the 2011-2012 season among Division II teams.

So why do people not attend women’s athletics?

Some say it is because the games are low-scoring. 

When people go to a sporting event they want to experience an action-packed high scoring game.  

The Dixie State College women’s basketball team scores an average of 72 points per game, according to Dixie State Colleges’ athletic website, while the men’s team averages 79.

 This proves that this is an invalid point, and women can score just as much as the men can.

Another reason may be because they are not as aggressive, which is valid. It’s not that women are less competitive than men, it’s just that men show it more while they are playing.

During a women’s game, you can hardly touch another player without being called for a foul. While in men’s games, players can practically shove their opponent and continue playing.

The more fouls that happen, the longer the game lasts–and not longer in the, “We are in five overtimes” way, but longer in the “Someone is getting fouled every 15 seconds” way. This can be very boring if it continues. Whether women’s sports have stricter rules than men’s sports, I don’t know. I do know they get called more, especially in a soccer game. Take University of New Mexico player Elizabeth Lambert, for example. She made national news when a video of her pulling an opponent’s hair was shown. Lambert was suspended indefinably for her actions. 

The No. 1  reason I personally do not attend women’s athletic events is they are just not as exciting. The number of fouls in a women’s game takes away from the flow and rhythm.

 I have also never seen a woman dunk a basketball. The court lines are even smaller than men’s courts, making for closer shots. The extreme tricks or spectacular plays do not exist.

Women also seem to take fewer shots in games. Whether it is basketball or soccer, the shots taken are significantly lower than the shots taken by men. 

I feel bad for the women on the teams because I know how much time and effort they put into the sport. The problem is that the games are just not exciting enough for viewers. 

Women athletes should try to make things more exciting, and then maybe more people would go to support them.


College life changes nutritional habits

Considering whether or not students are meeting their basic nutritional needs might be food for thought. 

It’s commonly known that college students tend to change their eating habits after leaving the comfort of home. Those attending Dixie State College are no exception, and the cause of this change is more than a lack of parental guidance.

Miranda Cameron, a sophomore general education major from San Diego, said time is a major factor for her not eating as healthy as she would wish.

“I just cram a lot of classes into a short amount of time, and sometimes eating’s just not that big of a priority,” Cameron said.

Alex Burrows, a freshman general education major from Mapleton, said a combination of time and money was a large factor preventing him from getting the best nutrition.

Although time seems like a major cause of students not meeting their daily nutritional intake, registered dietitian Beverly Knox said a change in environment could impact a student’s diet.

 “It’s classic for students, especially if they’re away from home for the first time, to drastically change their diet from the way they were eating at home,” Knox said.

Students can be inexperienced and don’t know how to prepare food properly for themselves, Knox said. However, if students are educated and prepared, time shouldn’t be a problem.

 “[You] can’t leave your nutrition to chance,” Knox said. “You have to plan ahead,” 

Doing simple things such as cutting up vegetables and fruit beforehand can help students make better choices for their nutritional needs, making the healthy food more convenient for him or herself, rather than the bag of chips. 

Eating breakfast can also help students reach their nutrition needs, as well as help in other aspects of their lives. Knox said eating breakfast feeds a person’s brain, so it can engage in thinking and problem solving.

Kourtnie Tisdale, a sophomore general education major from Hurricane, said she believes getting the proper nutrition is important and would advise those trying to change their diet to take things slow.

 “Just start a little bit at a time,” Tisdale said. “Don’t just jump into it, because I think the more you jump into something the harder it is to continue.”

Burrows said making a meal plan for the upcoming week is another idea for those struggling to get their daily nutrition. Students who plan meals out and how they are willing to spend time will help them stick to an eating plan.

 “Don’t really try to wing it or else you’re going to end up eating fast food,” Burrows said.

Shawn Adams, a sophomore general education major from Cedar City, said despite knowing that fast food is not the most nutritious choice, he still eats it regularly because it’s convenient. 

“It’s easy. It’s fast,” Adams said. “I don’t like spending a lot of time [cooking].”

Proper nutrition is something students should take into consideration now rather than later, because it could prevent a lot of health problems down the road.

“They don’t really understand how important it is, especially for the long run,” Knox said.

Addiction recovery options available to students

Recovering from an addiction may be difficult at best, but it doesn’t always rule out the pursuit of an education.

A common thread between drug addiction and youth are sports injuries. Often a person is prescribed a narcotic for pain for a limited amount of time and becomes addicted long-term.

Angie Graff, a clinical mental health counselor at the Southwest Behavioral Health Center, has been working in the field of addiction recovery for the last 15 years.

“The route we see, especially with the young male group, is they get a sports injury and are prescribed Lortab for a short period of time and find themselves addicted to it,” Graff said. “They can get Oxycodone or Lortab on the street easily and then they transition to heroin.”

Because of the sensitive nature of addiction, people getting sober are encouraged to remain anonymous. An alias has been used in reference to the following Dixie State College student.

John Doe, a sophomore English major from St. George, is a student who enrolled at DSC after graduating from drug court three years ago.

“I was prescribed Ativan for anxiety, and when those stopped working, I moved to Oxycodone and then eventually to heroin,” Doe said.

Addiction often comes with serious consequences such as legal problems, the loss of interpersonal communications, and the death of a loved one.

“It wasn’t until my best friend committed suicide that I took addiction seriously,” Doe said. 

Watching younger siblings follow in his footsteps was also an influence in bringing him to recovery.

“They were exhibiting behavior that was close to mine, and it scared me,” Doe said.

It was when he got his first DUI that he was sentenced to drug court.

“I attended group therapy and Prime for Life at Turning Leaf,” Doe said. “It was very useful, because I learned about addiction and myself.”

Getting sober is no easy task. It often means changing everything.

“I knew when I lost the respect and support of my family something had to change,” Doe said.

Being in treatment means studying the effects of getting high and also the personal consequences. It’s an education with textbooks and writing assignments.

It was after learning and studying for six months that Doe knew his ambition and goal-oriented attitude would be helpful in carving out a future in education.

“I realized that I could channel my ambition into something I’m still passionate about,” he said.

Many people getting sober are women with children. Graff oversees an inpatient program for mothers with substance abuse issues.

“We try to give them all the information possible for whatever route they want to take,” Graff said. ”We refer them to Vocational Rehabilitation and the Department of Workforce Services.”

These resources provide clients with all the information they need to transition into society as productive members. Whether it is finding a job or getting an education, there are resources available.

Though addiction is a large problem in St. George, it is not surprising.

“I had access to as much as I wanted,” Doe said. “I would go to Vegas and straight to the guy who had it.”

St. George is viewed as a gateway to larger metropolis such as Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. Often the traffic stops here and the residual effect is viral.

“It’s not so much that it gets worse, it just changes,” Graff said. “In the 15 years I have been here, our program has doubled in size, but so has our population. Has the problem gotten worse or do we just have a bigger population?”

Being on the front lines of recovery it’s easy to see the problem. 

“I wear substance abuse goggles, so I think that we have a problem here, because I am around it all the time. Other people might not think that,” Graff said.

Getting clean and sober is attainable. An honest approach to recovery is what’s needed in order to succeed.

Drug addiction exists in St. George, but so do the resources for recovery. 

Request Robby: Live life vicariously

What do you do?

Commonly, the third question one individual will ask another person is what he or she does for a living.    

Whether the intended answer is for work, school or leisure, the question is ridiculous and only invites a short, vague answer.

What do I do?

One of my favorite quotes comes from former Notre Dame football coach, Lou Holtz. He said, “If you’re bored with life, if you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things, you don’t have enough goals.”

I went on a spirit journey last year to find myself and experience something different than the norm.

Evolving from this adventure, I want to start a column journeying into your aspirations.

People tend to always express dissatisfaction toward the things which they fill their time with.

It is usually difficult to explain what I do because I, like anyone else, do “a little of this and a little of that.” I’m frustrated when I hear people say, “I [insert verb relating to current life situation], but I wish I could [insert lifestyle of characters in favorite movie].” I am also guilty of saying this at times.

Wishful thinking with no real intention is the definition of comfortable. Besides, attempting to accomplish anything out of the ordinary will only attract society’s eye of scrutiny. The world punishes and challenges those who set out to experience more than their menial tasks.

Society tells individuals: “No, you can’t. No, you won’t.” And, even after the adventure is completed and a job is well done, people’s reaction to the news is first, “No, you didn’t.”

Experiencing a lot of foolish things, I have bragging rights to the term spontaneous. However, whenever new acquaintances catch wind of bits of my life, it is very common for them to disbelieve. For instance, the unfortunate circumstances that led to my extended stay in Europe, sleeping on the streets and bouncing from train to train, baffle people.

I love my memories of eating McDonald’s out of dumpsters and not showering for a month. I set out to travel across Europe, and I not only did that, but I saw a side of adventure no one else will understand except my friend Kip because he too was there.

I am personally extending an invite to anyone who has a ridiculous dream. Fulfill it. I’m not saying to shoot for the moon, and if you miss, then land among the stars. I mean to shoot for the moon over and over until you hit the darn moon.

You don’t believe me? Challenge accepted.

In fact, I am offering the opportunity for anyone who would like a good laugh to request a task I should undertake. I will attempt to do whatever you ask, and then write about it. I would only ask you to be respectful and don’t ask me to do anything that could harm other people.

I can try building something interesting you’ve seen on Pinterest. I can sing a love song to a stranger in a public place. I will eat foods you’ve wanted to try but were too scared you would be dissatisfied.

Some of my stranger life experiences also may serve as an example. Some of which I’ve included, such as living in the wilderness for three days in search of a spirit animal and sleeping on the streets as a homeless person.

I also spent last semester at Dixie State College on the cheer squad. It was a new experience, as I’ve never done anything like it. I grew up with wrestling, football and band. I experienced every part of the stadium except cheer, and now I have the utmost respect for the cheer squad and what they do.

Don’t be afraid to get creative in your requests. However, I expect the things you request should also be things you would be willing to do. You’re simply allowing me to test the waters, so you can try it out with confidence that, whatever it is, it can be done.

Students’ taste in music as diverse as love

A person doesn’t have to be in a relationship to appreciate a good love song.

Tastes in music and artists vary as much as tastes in people, and there seems to be specially tailored love songs for almost every genre of music. Even people who prefer the deep beats of techno can muster the courage to admit there’s a love song they love.

Megan Durbin, a freshman health science major from Granite Bay, Calif., said she’s not a fan of music genres that usually produce gushy, affectionate tunes.

“There’s a reason I’m single,” she said jokingly. “All the music I’m into is alternative. It’s dance music. I like Beats Antique, and I’ve never heard any love songs from them.”

But given a moment or two to reflect, Durbin was able to come up with a few exceptions to her no-love-song play list.

“I’m an ‘80s fan, so a lot of the ‘80s (love) songs are just classics to me,” she said.

She said almost every ‘80s classic is a love song. From “Always Something There To Remind Me,” to “Never Gonna Give You Up,” it’s fair to say a person can’t rattle through a list of catchy chart-topping ‘80s tunes and not come across a majority of love songs.

Durbin also said Celine Dion is a go-to artist for the stereotypical love ballads. 

“And there’s always that classic ‘My Heart Will Go On’ from ‘Titanic,’” Durbin said.

Other students said a love song doesn’t have to be slow and melodic to convey the point.

Lexie Colter, a freshman undecided major from Reno, Nev., said she prefers songs and bands with a little more pop.

She said “Animal” by Neon Trees was her favorite song about love, or rather, getting busy.

“It’s a sex song,” she said.

Children of the ‘90s sometimes latch onto a particular group or song and hold to it forever. Kenneth Ochoa, a sophomore business major from Las Vegas, is one of those. He said he couldn’t pick out a particular song, but he at least had a favorite band.

“I have to go with the band Sugar Ray,” he said. “I would think ‘Every Morning’ (counts as a love song). That’s probably the only one.”

There can’t be a discussion about love songs without the country genre being thrown into the mix. From Taylor Swift to Carrie Underwood, it’s obvious that country carries with it a lot of romantic angst.

Sterling Elliot, a junior integrated studies major from Katy, Texas, thinks country produces the best kind of love songs. And as far as those songs are concerned, he’s particularly fond of one that reminds him of home.

For Elliot, that song is “She’s Like Texas,” by Josh Abbot.

“It’s such a good song,” he said. “I like country music.”

Paul Morris, a sophomore general education major from South Jordan, is on the same page as Elliot when it comes to the love song style of country music.

He said “Whatever It Is” by Zac Brown Band is the best country love song he can think of.

But, despite there being a wide array of heartstring-tugging tunes, there are also people who simply don’t like, and refuse to listen to, a good love melody. Patrick Kelly, a junior integrated studies major from St. George, said picking a favorite love song would be impossible for him because he simply can’t stand them.

“I don’t have one,” he said. “Not at all. We don’t need a song to make ourselves feel better. They make me depressed. They’re ridiculous. I have a girlfriend, but [love songs] make me sad. I get sad and cry.”

Durbin, who had been contemplating additional love songs for some time, thought a little more about “Titanic” while her friend Kelly talked about his disdain for the music.

“The door was big enough for the two of them!” She said. “They could have survived!”

So what’s your favorite love song? Take our poll at Facebook.com/DixieSunNews.

Awaiting warmer weather includes movies, shopping, games

During the time between the holiday season and the warm weather of spring, students are searching for almost anything to do.

Students might think the only thing to look forward to is classes. The weather is colder than usual and it feels like there are less students hanging around outside. St. George seems to close down during the cooler winter months.

Most students are looking forward to the warmer weather that the St. George spring brings.

“[This time of the year] is boring because it’s cold but not cold enough for snow, so there is not a lot of outdoor activities to do,” Upward Bound adviser Toni Tuipulotu said. “[During this time of year] we watch television and movies and play games [for fun].”

Most students will agree there isn’t a lot to do.  Some will do nearly anything for the warmth; others will do anything for a little bit of snow to make things more exciting.

Students will definitely want to keep warm, and what better way to do so other than wrapping oneself in a blanket and watching a good movie?

“I like to go to the movies and hang out with friends,” said Randi Hulet, a freshman biology major from St. George. “Shopping is always fun. Plus, basketball is going on right now, so I watch the games.

Being around friends seems to be a student favorite, because no matter how cold or hot it is outside, there is always something a group of friends can find to do.

Barbara Tortella Balbas, a sophomore special education major from Palma De Mallorca, Spain, said this time of the year is not boring because there is so much to do. She is working for the International Student Services and is taking 19 credits.

“The important thing [I focus on] is school,” Balbas said. “I [also] try to talk with my family every week when possible.My friends are also important.” Balbas said.

Balbas seems to understand what is important and how to stay focused. Family can be one of the top things in a lot of students’ minds. 

Balbas said it is difficult to be in an entirely different country for school not only because of the obvious language differences but also for being so far away from family and friends.

Schooling can also be something very important when it comes to getting a job.

“Things just bug me if I don’t get them done,” said Abigail Covington, a freshman general education major from St. George.

Chances are that most students want the weather to warm up at least a little bit so that they can do more things: fishing, hiking, rock climbing, play sports or just be outside.

“Things will be looking up next month.” Tuipulotu said, without hesitation.