by Daniel Scholl

Daily Cougar Staff

When Shawn Livings went to school Monday morning, the last thing he ever expected was to save someone's life, but that is exactly what happened when he performed the Heimlich maneuver on a choking victim.

Livings, a sophomore physical education major, was walking to work in the Admissions Office with his work-study supervisor, Evelyn Batiste, when she swallowed a peppermint. She began to choke and had become convinced she was going to die, she said. That was when Livings came to her aid.

"There were people just looking at her, like they were shocked," Livings said. "I was just screaming for help."

But while he was doing that, he was also performing the Heimlich, which, after about 40 seconds, dislodged the peppermint from her throat. The UH Police Department was called, and both an officer and paramedics arrived on the scene. Batiste was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons, but was fine, she said.

"I know for a fact if he hadn't been with me, I would have choked to death," she said. "I owe him my life."

But Livings maintains she owes him nothing.

"I'd do that for her again," he said. "I'd help anybody I'd see choking."

Both Batiste and Livings said the event has changed their lives and made them rethink the way they see life.

"I could feel a definite change," Batiste said. "I think about it a lot. I find myself crying just thinking about it."

Livings also thinks about Monday a lot.

"It makes me realize that life can be taken just like that," he said. "I thank the Lord every day I have another day to live.

"You never know when an accident will happen."

But if an accident like this should happen while a student is on campus, Dr. Charles Heider, chief of medical service at the UH Health Center, said the Health Center is not adequately equipped to handle emergencies and that the fire department should be called.

In a case of choking, Heider said there are some things a person can do to help. First, one must decide if a person is choking. The best way is to ask the person if he or she can breathe. If the answer is no, the victim should shake his or her head. Heider said this way of communicating is international.

Once that is established, if someone knows the Heimlich maneuver, it should be performed. It is usually done by standing behind the person choking, clasping your hands beneath the sternum and doing quick jerking movements.

A person can choke for no more than 10 minutes before death occurs, Heider said. He added that if the blockage is not removed in two to three minutes, the fire department should be called.

If the Health Center is called in an emergency situation, Heider said they would respond, but there are limits on what services they can provide.

The fire department can be reached by calling 911 or 222-3434. UHPD can be reached at 743-3333.






by Bobby Summers

Daily Cougar Staff

In a recent interview, Tatcho Mindiola Jr., director of the UH Mexican American Studies Program, said the key to increasing Hispanic enrollment is for UH to be more aggressive in recruiting students from Houston and the surrounding area.

Mindiola came to UH 20 years ago and became the director of Mexican American Studies in 1980. He said the number of Hispanics attending UH has slowly, but steadily, increased.

"Progress has been made," Mindiola said. "There are more and more Hispanics going to college, and I expect that to continue to increase. The general trend is positive, but it's not moving fast enough."

In 1976, only 6 percent of the students enrolled at UH's central campus were Hispanic. Nine years later, in 1985, the figure was still 6 percent. For the fall semester of 1994, Hispanics made up 13 percent of the total enrollment, a little more than double the previous figures.

Meanwhile, the Hispanic population of Texas, and Houston in particular, is growing at a much faster rate. The 1991 U.S. Census shows a 30 percent Hispanic population in Harris County. The report also says Hispanics account for 26 percent of the state population.

Mindiola said the increased percentage of Hispanic students shows UH's recruitment efforts are paying off.

Fifteen percent of the total number of students attending classes on the four campuses of the UH System last fall were Hispanic. The System figure is higher than the main campus percentage because Hispanics make up 30 percent of UH-Downtown's enrollment, the highest percentage on that campus. David Fairbanks, assistant vice president for Planning at

UH-Downtown, said Hispanic enrollment has shown a marked increase over the past several years.

Dan Bowen, UH-Clear Lake's director of communications, said he has seen similar increases over the same period.

Mindiola said there are many reasons Hispanic students do not go to college. He said those students face a unique set of problems.

"The issues are continuous and interrelated," he said. "There is a large immigrant population who have linguistic, cultural and educational problems to overcome.

"For example, I would venture to say that of all the students enrolled at Austin High School (Houston Independent School District), 65 percent are the sons and daughters of immigrants, if they themselves are not immigrants, so you have a large mono-lingual Spanish-speaking population who may not be able to interact as well with the schools. The number of bilingual, Spanish-speaking teachers in HISD is not very large. It doesn't even come close to reflecting the population.

"Finally, they are in a school district that is not geared to dealing with those kinds of issues. I think the inner-city schools are not servicing anybody very well, whether they be Hispanic, black or white."

Mindiola said the dropout rate of Hispanics, while still high, is falling.

"Back in the 1940s, the dropout rate was about 75 percent who didn't complete high school. That's now down to about 45 percent. We are always looking for ways to speed up that trend."

Mindiola said UH is making a strong effort to identify and recruit college-bound students. Mexican American Studies features two programs aimed at these students.

The first, the Hispanic Family College Project, began in 1989 with a group of 86 eighth-grade students at Jackson Middle School in HISD.

Program Coordinator Eduardo Elizondo said the students were encouraged to stay in school and take academic-related courses to prepare them for college. The students also had access to mentors, tutors and counselors.

Mindiola said UH offered those 86 students $1000 renewable scholarships if they successfully completed the program, stayed in school and gained admission to UH. The students graduated from Austin High School in 1993.

According to Mindiola, about 55 of the original 86 are now enrolled at UH's central campus or UH-Downtown.

The Urban Experience Project is a two-year pilot program with two components, a Mexican-American and an African American component.

Project Director Laura Murillo said the program selects 30 students each year. The students receive scholarships worth up to $2500, plus free room and board at UH, paid internships in their field of study and private tutors.

In exchange, Murillo said the students are required to maintain a 2.0 GPA. They are also required to put in at least six hours each week in study hall or with tutors.

According to the UH Fact Book, students in both the Hispanic and African American Urban Experience Projects posted considerably higher grades than other Hispanic and African American students during the fall 1994 semester.

Mexican American Studies also offers five Career Days each year at UH. Mindiola estimates 1,000-1,250 Hispanic students visit UH Career Days each year and have the opportunity to explore many of the career choices available to college graduates.

"Overall," Mindiola said, "It will take an all-out concentrated effort to really increase the enrollment of minorities at UH, but it has to be a cooperative effort. The elementary schools, the middle schools, the high schools, they all need to be involved in it. Highly committed teachers and staff are needed at each level, and the resources have to be available."

According to Mindiola, the competition to recruit college-bound Hispanic students grows tougher each year.

"We go out to the local schools and try to identify college-bound students," Mindiola said. "But we're getting a lot of competition, not only from our downtown campus, but also from the extensive community-college system in the area.

"On top of that, we get a lot of competition from the big schools. The University of Texas is opening a recruitment center off the Southwest Freeway in Houston. Their primary goal is to identify and recruit Hispanic and black students."

Mindiola said Texas universities now recognize the changing demographic trends in Texas.

"The Anglo growth rate is declining, the black rate is stable, while the growth rate of Hispanics is sharply increasing," Mindiola said. "They are smart to try and pay attention to this."

Mindiola said he attributes some of the UH growth to a change of attitude on the part of UH's administration.

"I think we have some administrators now who are doing more than just giving you the standard, 'Oh, I'm really concerned that we need more minorities,' and then they never back it up with any action or funds," Mindiola said. "The administration is now putting resources into the program."

Mindiola said much has changed in the past 20 years at UH, but he is pleased with the progress and the increased enrollment.

"I was very idealistic many, many years ago, and I thought we should push the university to do more and more," he said. "Finally, I got a chance to do more, and I discovered it's just not that easy. You have to catch students very early in the pipeline."






by Lady Oliver

Daily Cougar Staff

African American music is not only a part of history. It tells history -- the history of a race’s sorrow, fear, hopes and dreams. As the music genres of slave chants, spirituals, gospel, blues, jazz, rhythm and blues, and rap have settled into history’s bosom, so have the musical legends that gave them life.

After being brought to America and enslaved, the African eased his mental and physical pains through rhythmic chants, which rang through plantations with lyrics of the only thing they knew: the life of a slave ... chains and pains. The beats of the chants helped them keep time in the field.

Spirituals came from work songs, which were based on religious references, often right from the Bible. Bible verses were put together to deliver the intended message of hope, strength and rest for the weary.

One of the most popular spirituals that is still known today was born in the heart of an old slave woman who saved the life of a young slave girl and her baby. The young slave girl was distraught because she was going to be sold away from her baby. She took her baby to a river with intent to drown herself and her baby to avoid them being separated from each other.

Before she could carry out her intention, an old slave woman called out to her, "Wait, let de Chariot of de Lord swing low, and let me take de Lord’s scroll and read it to you," according to the December 1993 issue of Rolling Stone magazine.

This old slave woman gave the world a song that has survived many decades and has planted itself deep in the soil of history.

From these mournful spirituals came gospel music born from Thomas A. Dorsey. When he mixed blues flares with spiritual music, the result was gospel. Blues, which was also known as "the devil’s music," was Dorsey’s first love, according to African American Review.

He was a blues pianist who had played and traveled with Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, a blues singing legend.

Dorsey had a hit blues tune called "It’s Tight Like That" and was called "Georgia Tom." He died wearing the title of "father of gospel." He wrote famous songs like "Take my Hand, Precious Lord." This song was written after the deaths of his wife and child.

One of his many contributions to the gospel music world was a group he formed called The National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses in 1932.

Dorsey was an inspiration to other gospel legends like Mahalia Jackson, The Ward Sisters and James Cleveland. The Black church was certainly inspired and changed by Dorsey’s contributions. Ministers even began to sing their sermons.

The blues circuit was also touched by gospel when shouts of "Amen" and "Preach it" came from audiences while they listened to the blues. Even Ray Charles incorporated songs like "I Got a Woman and Hallelujah I Love Her So." His style of combining secular lyrics and the sounds of gospel pioneered the emergence of soul music.

Gospel music is reaching new heights today by crossing over to rhythm and blues charts with contemporary artists like The Sounds of Blackness, Take 6 and The Winans. Rap music has even acquired religion through artists like Hammer. Rap was first showcased with gospel when Teddy Riley rapped alongside the Winans on the Soul Train Music Awards.

As mentioned earlier, blues was already on the scene with "Ma" Rainey, who was probably one of the most influential classic blues singers. Rainey had a theatrical style and a big voice that she carried on the road with a minstrel show called The Rabbit Foot Minstrel Show.

While touring with the minstrels, she discovered a future blues legend. Rainey took the young girl under her wing and mentored her to become a famous blues singer. This young girl was Bessie Smith.

She was probably the most famous of the five Smith women who sang the blues. Of the five Smith women (Mamie, Bessie, Laura, Clara and Trixie), Mamie was the first blues singer to make a record. "Smith" was a popular name for blues singers then. The name almost guaranteed a successful blues singer.

Although blues singers provided the beat, life and society provided the lyrics, which were poetic in structure.

This poetic language of the blues conjures up thoughts of an old, black man in the country, playing the guitar and singing a sad tune about hard times, a lost love or some other misfortune.

One of America's most famous blues singers was born in 1925 as Riley B. King. Both King and his father were born on a plantation.

His farm boss loaned him $30 to buy his first guitar, which he ordered from a Sears catalog.

He and his then-nameless guitar headed for Memphis with only $2.50 in his pocket. He worked by day, but at night, he hung around on Beale Street, listening to the pros like T-Bone Walker.

When King got his break and began working for the only black-managed radio station, he needed a catchy name. He adopted Beale Street Blues Boy. Later, it was shortened to Blues Boy King and finally became known as B.B. King.

After King rescued his guitar from a burning building, he named his guitar after the woman the men were fighting over who started the fire. He and Lucille have spent more than 40 years together.

Although King’s audiences pack the house to hear him sing "The Thrill is Gone," he does recognize the importance of the message in the music and history that come along with it.

The blues is not something a person can know. Blues is an expression of experiences.

Bobby Summers, a UH journalism major, has been playing the blues for 35 years. "All music comes from the blues. I'm glad it made a resurgence. It's the only real American music," Summers said.

Dialogue taken from August Wilson’s play <I>Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom<P> best describes what blues is and how it relates to African American culture when Rainey said, "White folks don’t understand about the blues. They hear it come out, but they don’t know how it got there. They don’t understand that’s life’s way of talking. You don’t sing to feel better. You sing 'cause that’s a way of understanding life."

She went on to say, "The blues help you get out of bed in the morning. You get up knowing you ain’t alone. There’s something else in the world. Something’s been added by that song. This be an empty world without the blues. I take that emptiness and try to fill it up with something."

An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education sums up the blues by saying, "If one is knowledgeable about Afro-America -- its history, its traditions, its geography, its verbal and visual codes, its heroes, its demons, its ever-changing styles and its spiritual side -- then one knows the blues."





UH notebook



by Richard Kroger

Contributing Writer

The Houston Cougars tennis team will begin the spring season with a pair of matches in San Antonio this weekend.

The Cougars take the court vs. New Mexico State Saturday and Texas-San Antonio Sunday.

Head coach Stina Mosvold's team is led by senior captain Karen Dasprez, who brings much needed experience to a young team that includes three freshmen.

A tough schedule awaits the Cougars, who have been plagued by nagging injuries, but the team is hardly worried.

Mosvold has an ace up her sleeve in Susanne Andersson, who is hardly a secret among the Cougars' competitors as she posted an impressive 15-2 record this fall. Her gritty play led to her being ranked No. 28 in the nation.

As the team starts its schedule, aspirations are high thanks to some aggressive recruiting by Mosvold. During the Christmas break in 1993, Mosvold returned to her native Sweden where she recruited both Andersson and Linda Gillner.

Team unity might be the key for this group. Mosvold said her team is a tight-knit group.

This closeness extends off the court and into the classroom. Mosvold said she stresses academics first and tennis second.

"I don't want my athletes to forget they are here not only for tennis," she said.

She backs this up with the highest team GPA among UH athletes, according to the Athletic Department. Mosvold said she feels her younger players are better prepared mentally for tennis if their academics are in line.

"When my players go to a match and play from 9 (a.m.) to 7 (p.m.), by the time they get home and eat dinner it's tough to start studying," she said.

Injuries might decide the Cougars' amount of success this season, however. Gilner and Kristin Paris began to suffer elbow and shoulder injuries, respectively, following a tournament at Florida State this fall when the team was forced to play four matches in a single day.

The Cougars were the only team in the tournament that drew four matches and Mosvold's pleas for fairer scheduling fell on deaf ears.

Fields jumps into the Garden

Houston junior Sheddric Fields will participate in the Milrose Games open indoor track meet at Madison Square Garden Saturday in New York.

The 6-3, 195-pound Dallas native will compete in the long jump against a field of international track stars.

<B>Cougar sports services contributed to this report.<P>







by Jason Paul Ramírez

Daily Cougar Staff

Until Wednesday night, the Houston Lady Cougars had beaten the Texas Lady Longhorns just once in 51 prior meetings.

But who better than Stacey Johnson to make sure Houston would not be denied again?

The Cougars junior guard burned Texas for 37 points on 15-of-26 shooting as Houston (10-9, 4-3 in the Southwest Conference) dealt the Longhorns (7-10, 3-3) an 82-67 defeat before 1,454 in Hofheinz Pavilion.

For the Cougars, it was their fourth win in a row and third in a row conference play.

"She is incredible," Houston head coach Jessie Kenlaw said of Johnson. "I can't say enough about her. She was not going to be denied tonight."

Of Johnson's 37 points, 24 came during the second half and helped Houston overcome a 31-29 halftime deficit.

"I felt like I could basically do what I wanted tonight," Johnson said. "Their guards seemed to be a little slow and I was able to take (the ball) to the hole."

Probably more amazing than Johnson's 37 points was the way in which she scored them. Several times, Johnson was seen shooting the ball while falling away and, at times, without looking.

"The question now is not 'what can she do?' " Kenlaw said. "It's 'what can't she do?' "

To break out of their two-point halftime deficit, the Cougars were fueled by a 15-2 run to take the lead at 44-37 with 15:35 left to play.

"We were up and down in that first half," Kenlaw said. "We weren't playing with a whole lot of intensity, but I felt like we executed when we had to."

However, Texas once again gained the lead at 54-53 following a Tracie Swayden jumper at the 9:44 mark.

But the Longhorns never led again as Johnson continued to take over, scoring 12 of the next 16 Cougars points to give Houston a 69-60 advantage.

Then with Houston up 70-63, Johnson delivered a crucial block of the Longhorns' Erica Rout's shot, which led to a 72-63 Cougars lead following a layup by Johnson on the very next possession.

The rest of the way, Texas shot themselves out of the game and made just 43.9 percent of its shots from the field on the night.

"We didn't show patience, " Texas coach Jody Conradt said. "We didn't take advantage of (the game) when it was going our way. And we didn't box out or put a good effort on the boards."

Houston out-rebounded the Longhorns 46-33, 21 of which were offensive.

Sophomore forward Pat Luckey led all players with 11 rebounds and scored 16 points.

Houston won the rebounding battle despite having its three starting frontcourt players (Luckey, forward Jennifer Jones and center Rosheda Hopson) playing with three fouls for much of the second half.

Jones committed her fourth foul with 8:57 left to play, prompting her removal by Kenlaw.

"Coach told us that we needed to get smarter on defense," Jones said. "And everyone seemed to step up."

But despite Jones' foul trouble, she and Hopson combined to pull down 16 boards.

The Longhorns were without sophomore shooting guard Danielle Viglione (leg injury), who led Texas in 3-point field goals last season. Thus UT went 0-for-4 from behind the arc.








Photo by Gabriela Brandenstein/Castle Rock Entertainment

Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy play two travelers who meet on the Eurail in <I>Before Sunrise<P>.

by Sean Fitzpatrick

Daily Cougar Staff

Richard Linklater is my new hero.

<I>Before Sunrise<P>, written (with Kim Krizan) and directed by the Austin homemade film maker gone big-time, fulfills the eccentric promise of his last film, <I>Dazed and Confused<P>, and succeeds in feeling lived-in.

Smack a label or two on this, and you come out with what on paper looks to be corporate drivel. First of all, it's a "romantic comedy," that La Brea tar pit of a genre where dinosaurs like Meg Ryan live and roam (O.K., <I>When Harry Met Sally<P> was cool).

Then, of course, there's Ethan Hawke, who did this shtick last year with <I>Reality Bites<P>. So we've got that whole alienated, my-life-sucks-"twentysomething" thing going. Shave the moustache, man.

But Linklater dodges formula date-movie traps and gets sensitive without getting sentimental. <I>Sunrise<P> boasts two fine performances by Ethan Hawke (the aforementioned <I>Reality Bites<P>) as Jesse, and Julie Delpy (<I> The Three Musketeers<P>, <I>Killing Zoe<P>) as Celine, and one fine script.

Linklater's plot is almost nonexistent: Jesse and Celine meet on the train. Jesse and Celine talk on the train. Jesse coaxes Celine to get off with him in Vienna and talk with him all night while he waits for a 9 a.m. flight back to America.

Another notable absence is lush musical scoring for that knee-jerk emotional response. <I>Dazed<P> sported one of the coolest soundtracks in years, but it was used as color and never intruded. Likewise, Linklater's uses music only when Jesse and Celine encounter it, not as an emotional cattle prod.

Linklater obviously wants the audience's response to be genuine, and almost goes too far in stripping away big-movie tricks. Two very early scenes, one in the train's club car, the other on a Vienna bus, are shot without editing or even moving the camera. Each takes close to 10 minutes, and hangs everything on the strength of the dialogue. He gets what he's shooting for, though: genuine clumsiness and insecurity. Jesse and Celine jump out as fully-formed characters whose occasionally witty repartee feels real and earned.

I have it on the best of authority that Ethan Hawke is a hunk. In <I>Sunrise<P> he's greasy and scraggly, like he's gone for a couple days without a shower. Julie Delpy, likewise, is all slackered-out, with matted hair and pale skin. No pretense here.

America has been sucking up prefab Hollywood fantasy for way too long - Julia Roberts' Cinderella hooker made her career and had not one iota to do with reality. It's nice to spend two hours with characters you might just as easily find in your 8:30 a.m. Lit. class.

<I>Before Sunrise<P>

Stars: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy

Director: Richard Linklater

Four stars


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