THE PIANO PLAYS PERFECTLY IN TUNE

by Glenn R. Wilson.

Daily Cougar Staff

Although some people every year find themselves disagreeing with the great minds at the Cannes Film Festival, especially with the choices for Best Picture, this year's selection, <I>The Piano<P>, is a hauntingly beautiful movie and a well-deserved recipient of the Palme d'Or.

This is the story of Ada (Holly Hunter), her nine year-old daughter Flora (Anna Paquin) and her piano (Itself), all of whom arrive to an arranged marriage in the remote bush of 19th century New Zealand.

Her new husband Stewart (Sam Neill), meets her on the beach to help carry her belongings to his home, with the help of some Maori tribesmen and an Englishman living among them named Baines (Harvey Keitel).

Her necessities provoke no argument from the men, but all agree that it would be impossible to carry her piano through the bush.

This is unacceptable to Ada, who is a mute unable to communicate in any way other than through her piano. Enter Baines.

Upon striking a deal with Stewart for the piano, Baines offers it back to Ada in exchange for a bizarre request. She can receive one black key for every lesson she gives him.

However, these lessons quickly turn kinky, as Baines discovers that he really likes to listen.

This sets into motion an elaborate love triangle involving Ada, Baines and Stewart, with the piano at the center of it all.

The original music written for Ada to play is incredible and certain songs will remain with you long after the film is over.

Holly Hunter is nothing short of brilliant in a role that actually calls for no real dialogue. Hers is the best female lead performance this year and deserves notice from the Academy around Oscar-time. She makes it easy to feel her loneliness and passion without using any words.

Harvey Keitel is his steady, constant self, giving another one of his patented intense performances. Sam Neill is wonderfully awkward as the husband who never really learns to understand the wife he never even knew until after they were married.

The supporting cast also deliver impressive performances, especially Anna Paquin as Ada's very precocious 9-year-old daughter.

Jane Campion's direction is solid throughout and she never loses control over the story. Her script is witty and filled with great cinematic moments to remember.

If the film has a problem, it's the climax, which isn't clear at first and requires a lot of afterthought to decipher what exactly happened.

Regardless of this tiny flaw, the film as a whole works and is filled with overwhelmingly beautiful sights and sounds. A must-see!

 

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RESEARCHERS GET MILLIONS FOR AIDS, DRUG PROGRAMS

 

Local school districts will soon get UH's help with AIDS and drug use prevention programs for minority students.

The University of Houston Social Psychology/Behavioral Medicine Research and Graduate Training Group has been awarded two major grants for more than $3.8 million dollars.

The grants, from the National Institutes of Health, acknowledge the Research Group's standing as an internationally recognized university-based research and development group.

"We expect to have a significant positive impact in the Houston area, which like the nation as a whole, is experiencing the effects of teenage drug and alcohol abuse, along with an increase in the incidence of AIDS among adolescents resulting from at-risk sexual behavior," said Dr. Richard I. Evans, a psychology professor and director of the Research Group.

The first of the two grants is directed toward drug abuse prevention among middle school students, and is funded with a $2,192,583 grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The second is a $1,670, 544 grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. It is directed toward AIDS prevention for high-schoolers. Approximately 35 thousand students in grades 6 through 12 will take part in both five-year programs.

The most widely recognized project of the Research Group is the "Just Say No" program created in the mid-70s.

"While we are pleased it received wide acceptance, we are concerned that over simplification of the concept renders it useless and counter-productive. We are now on record that 'Just Say No is Not Enough,' while we continue developing and testing further programs," Evans explains.

The new efforts are designed to help students recognize various social influences, such as peer pressure, which may lead to drug and alcohol abuse, and risky sexual behavior. Then a series of sophisticated social pressure resistance skills will be taught.

One of the unique features of the research is that it seeks to determine the relationship among various self-destructive behaviors so prevention programs can be developed to address several at once. A crucial part of the research projects will be a rigorous evaluation of the impact the programs have on participating students.

The research projects involve a multi-level approach including teacher development training, classroom teaching units, and an organized program of parent-community involvement.

The UH Research Group will work with advisory committees made up of parents, teachers and administrators from the four participating school districts.

"This allows us to be directly responsive to feedback from the community as various ideas and concepts are developed," said Evans. "The results of our research will undoubtedly be of great interest to school systems throughout the country."

Working closely with Dr. Evans in implementing the projects are Bettye Raines, associate project director and research assistant Professor Dr. R.L. Garner, who serves as Coordinator of the Research Group.

 

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CAMPUS THIEVES TARGET LITTLE THINGS

Seems it's the little things that are getting people at UH in trouble.

A student was arrested in M.D. Anderson Library Nov. 15 for stealing two journals. The student received a student life referral because the district attorney rejected the charges.

A staff member was arrested the same day in the E. Cullen Building on outstanding warrants for writing bad checks. Three days later, the police carted off a student from Cougar Place for the same offense.

However, the most prevalent problem the past two weeks has been petty thefts, which have occurred when items such as bicycles, bookbags and purses weren't being watched.

• Nov. 8 - Purse stolen from Social Works Building

• Nov. 15 - Bookbag stolen in M.D. Anderson Library

Nov. 15 - Bicycle stolen outside of Taub Hall

Nov. 15 - Small glass figurine and man's watch stolen from a study carrel in the M.D. Anderson Library

• Nov. 16 - Radio stolen from Communications Building

Nov. 16 - Property stolen from a Moody Towers room

Nov. 18 - Clothes in laundry room stolen from Cougar Place

 

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STUDENTS OF MANY FAITHS JOIN TO GIVE THANKS

by Tiffany Vaughner

News Reporter

A multicultural and multi-denominational group of UH students celebrated an early Thanksgiving Tuesday, demonstrating the need to give thanks transcends cultures.

The Campus Wide Interfaith Thanksgiving Service is an annual event to remind students of what they have and of those less fortunate.

The service, sponsored by the Campus Ministry Association, is a 12-year tradition to express thanks through the arts.

The Musical group <I>Shed<P> performed what they called "a song about struggling to find faith."

Artist Wendy Aldwyn created a sculpture during the service while pianist Joe D. Kapusta performed a medley of seasonal songs.

Asian cultures were spotlighted at this year's event. The Vietnamese Catholic Student Organization performed a short play about recently canonized Vietnamese martyrs.

At the end of the service a "reverse offering" of $1 was given to everyone in attendance.

Campus Ministries Director Hugh Sanborn, urged the audience to remember the homeless and those less fortunate when receiving the money.

"Use it creatively, any way you choose, in the service of your god," Sanborn said.

 

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SOCIAL WORK PROF EXCELLS

by Joy Williams

Contributing Writer

Using a combination of personal and grassroots politics, Robert Fisher is trying to help educate people about social change.

This laid-back and easy-going professor of social work was born in Newark, N.J., and as an undergraduate attended Rutgers University. Later, he ventured on to New York University where he received his master's and Ph.D. in History. He has written several books, including <I>Let the People Decide: Neighborhood Organizing in America<P>, due out in February.

He credits "the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, and having a college professor who was somewhat of an activist" with touching him so deeply that he decided to pursue the field of social work.

Fisher will soon be going to Austria, where he plans to spend the spring 1994 semester at the University of Graz. Graz is the second largest city in Austria and is 75 miles south of Vienna.

There, he will do a comparative study of social change between the city of Houston and some European cities. This will be a return trip to Austria by Fisher, who was a Fulbright Scholar in Innsbruck from 1986-1988. He says the visit "is an interesting opportunity to evaluate various urban problems and policies."

In addition to the work he plans to do in Austria, Fisher is also involved here at UH as the chair of the Political Social Work program for people who are interested in studying the different dimensions of political activities.

The purpose of the program is to educate social workers in grassroots, electoral and personal politics. Grassroots policies involve the aspects of organizing in community development; electoral politics involves lobbying, advocacy and campaigning; and personal policies entails all forms of counseling and therapy.

Fisher explains that social work is an applied social science. Students interested in the Political Social Work program have several opportunities. They can do field work or internships at different centers like the Shape Community Center in the Third Ward area, as well as the Chicano Family Center. This program gives students professional training in activism and social exchange to prepare them for specific jobs and mainstream jobs like the United Way.

Fisher said he hopes more people will become interested in social work and realize there are opportunities in other fields besides medicine, law, and engineering.

 

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COUGAR BASKETBALL SQUADS EARN SPLIT

by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

Houston finished their exhibition season unbeaten with a 91-90 victory Tuesday night over Arkansas Express in Hofheinz Pavilion.

The win gave Houston a 2-0 record in exhibition games, including a 98-78 drubbing of the Latvia.

Jessie Drain took an Anthony Goldwire pass for a layup with 24 seconds left to give the Cougars the lead for the first time all game at 89-88.

Arkansas forward Derrick Owens then missed a jump shot in front of the basket, and Goldwire, who had a team-leading 28 points, grabbed the rebound, going end to end for a layup and a 91-88 lead with 14 seconds left.

Johnny Bell drove the ball to the basket to try and draw a foul, but the Cougars left him untouched as the ball fell through for a 91-90 finish.

"This game is very important because we're going into the season opener with a good feeling on our team," said Houston coach Alvin Brooks. "That's good for the psyche."

Houston's defense took a turn for the worse. The Cougars were outrebounded 23-14 on the defensive boards and rarely dominated in the low post. But they tightened the noose when it was needed.

"One of our goals is not to lose in Hofheinz," said Drain, whose off-night produced only 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting. "We're trying to prove we can be a team to beat."

Houston was down by as many as 14 points but showed the ability to make a comeback despite a poor offensive effort.

"Offensively we didn't play that great but we still made 91 points," Brooks said.

In the earlier game, the Lady Cougars had the bottom fall out in an 89-57 loss to the Houston Flights.

Freshman Pat Luckey, who had a subpar first half, came back to register 16 points and nine rebounds.

The Cougars passing was atrocious and they shot a miserable 30.5 percent from the field (25-of-82). Coach Jessie Kenlaw kept her team in the locker room for 25 minutes after the game.

"We weren't into the game mentally," Kenlaw said. "This is a very good team we played. It was a good test for us but we certainly didn't pass."

 

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SA APPROVES ALTERNATIVE TO BOOKSTORE PRICES

by Rivka Gewirtz

Daily Cougar Staff

Students could be saving money on textbooks now that the Students' Association has created a student-run textbook exchange system to help students purchase books from each other.

The bill creating the system was proposed last April by Humanities and Fine Arts Senator Justin McMurtry and passed at Monday night's SA meeting.

The list collected by the system will include used books, the seller's name, phone number and asking price.

Books that have been sold, or that have been in the database for longer than 120 days will be eliminated from the system.

McMurtry said entering a book into the system will be free in the beginning of the process, but may cost $1 as the system progresses.

A director for the Textbook Resale Information Service will be hired through SA to collect the information and hang database lists around campus.

Database lists will be available in PGH, the UC and the Satellite.

McMurtry said he created the bill in reaction to students' complaints about high bookstore prices.

The bookstore's contract makes it possible for them to buy back used books at 50 percent of the original price and sell them back to students for 75 percent.

"The near-monopoly currently enjoyed by the campus bookstores on the market for used textbooks must be broken," said McMurtry.

"I didn't really care what the bookstore said about it," he said.

Marcia Gerhardt, director of administrative services, said the database will not affect UH's contract with Barnes and Noble. She said SA members would not be in violation of the contract unless they sold books and collected money through their offices.

The database system is expected to start in time for the spring semester and will be advertised through campus fliers.

The program is not without precedent. Texas A&M's plan for a similar textbook exchange failed, but UT's plan has grown.

Regis Guillory, assistant programmer for the Texas Union, said UT's program started out two years ago with about 75 book entries and has increased to about 200 entries.

Russell Langley, speaker of the A&M Student Senate, said their program was not accepted by the Senate because the proposal asked to buy and sell books and hold a book inventory.

"There was not enough space to hold books. The infrastructure got in the way," he said.

Students who are interested in participating in the Textbook Resale Information Service should look for fliers on campus or contact the SA office.

 

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THANKS GIVING A TIME TO APPRECIATE LITTLE THINGS

by John Pope

Students, faculty and staff, I invite you to join with me in the spirit of Thursday's holiday by paying tribute to the genuine meaning of Thanksgiving: giving thanks.

Let us give thanks for the many blessings that we might otherwise take for granted. As members of a higher learning institution, we are fortunate to satisfy our hunger for knowledge while others claim a hunger with a much more immediate meaning.

Let us give thanks to the gathering of family and friends around a warm hearth in the spirit of unity and acceptance. There will be no such luxuries in some places as many people will endeavor to make it through another holiday alone.

Let us give thanks for our health. As students, we are all too familiar with fatigue, anxiety and sleepless nights. This fact shouldn't keep us from remembering that this is our own choice, and we will eventually reap benefits from our decision. There is no such light at the end of some tunnels.

Let us give thanks for the simple things that we fail to notice in our rush to get ahead, such as the majestic beauty of the changing seasons during a walk across campus.

Let us give thanks for the fellowship that has brought us together in search of academic achievement en route to career opportunities. People from all races, ethnic groups and religious backgrounds share this common vision in the United States. Few other places in the world do.

For these reasons and others too numerous to mention, let us recognize this Thanksgiving as a time of meaningful acknowledgement and appreciation for all the things that we seldom identify.

Happy Thanksgiving!

John Pope is a senior marketing major.

 

 

 

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