CBA STUDENTS MEET GLOBAL CHALLENGES

by Samaria Jones

Contributing Writer

Preparing students to meet the challenges of an increasingly international business community is the goal of the University of Houston's College of Business Administration.

One way the CBA hopes to accomplish this is by implementing new minor requirements. The new undergraduate business program will be the first in the state to require students to minor in a foreign language or an international area of study.

This new program, effective Fall 1995, will require students to complete a minor of 15 semester hours in a foreign language of their choice, or 18 semester hours in an area of international studies. Students under the CBA's current curriculum will not be required to comply.

Minors in international areas include African, Asian, European, Latin-American and Russian studies. Some of these minors were already university-approved. Many, though, were newly created for this new requirement. CBA received a great deal of help from other departments, like the College of Humanities, Fine Arts and Communication, as well as the College of Social Sciences, in creating many of the international studies curricula. These new requirements were approved after a review of the CBA undergraduate curriculum by faculty and college advisers.

"This change to the curriculum is designed to enable our students to respond more quickly to changes in international business strategies," said Sara Freedman, the CBA's associate dean for Academic and Research Programs.

"Concentrating on one particular region of the world was not the ideal. Encouraging students to gain experience and expertise in at least one international area would make a student sensitive to other areas and develop skills that are easily transferable," she added.

The CBA has also developed other internationally focused programs, like the dual-degree program with the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird) in Glendale, Ariz. UH also shares a link with European, Middle-Eastern and African divisions of the Compaq Computers Corp. For the past two summers, Compaq has hosted 55 executive MBA students from UH's CBA at its European headquarters in Munich, Germany.

With the opening of trade with Mexico and Canada through the North American Free Trade Agreement and the recent ratification of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs, as well as the expansion of world markets in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, more business opportunities than ever exist in the international arena. With these new CBA initiatives, graduates are better-prepared to take advantage of these global opportunities.

 

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CBA STUDENTS MEET GLOBAL CHALLENGES

by Samaria Jones

Contributing Writer

Preparing students to meet the challenges of an increasingly international business community is the goal of the University of Houston's College of Business Administration, according to Sara Freedman, the CBA's associate dean for Academic and Research Programs.

One way the CBA hopes to accomplish this is by implementing new minor requirements. The new undergraduate business program will be the first in the state to require students to minor in a foreign language or an international area of study, Freedman said.

This new program, effective Fall 1995, will require students to complete a minor of 15 semester hours in a foreign language of their choice, or 18 semester hours in an area of international studies, Freedman said. Students under the CBA's current curriculum will not be required to comply.

Minors in international areas include African, Asian, European, Latin-American and Russian studies. Freedman said some of these minors were already university-approved. Many, though, were newly created for this new requirement, she added. CBA received a great deal of help from other departments, like the College of Humanities, Fine Arts and Communication, as well as the College of Social Sciences, in creating many of the international studies curricula. These new requirements were approved after a review of the CBA undergraduate curriculum by faculty and college advisers.

"This change to the curriculum is designed to enable our students to respond more quickly to changes in international business strategies," Freedman said.

"Concentrating on one particular region of the world was not the ideal. Encouraging students to gain experience and expertise in at least one international area would make a student sensitive to other areas and develop skills that are easily transferable," she added.

The CBA has also developed other internationally focused programs, like the dual-degree program with the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird) in Glendale, Ariz. UH also shares a link with European, Middle-Eastern and African divisions of the Compaq Computers Corp. For the past two summers, Compaq has hosted 55 executive MBA students from UH's CBA at its European headquarters in Munich, Germany, Freedman said.

With the opening of trade with Mexico and Canada through the North American Free Trade Agreement and the recent ratification of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs, as well as the expansion of world markets in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, more business opportunities than ever exist in the international arena. With these new CBA initiatives, Freedman said, graduates are better-prepared to take advantage of these global opportunities.

 

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SI OR NO? GROUPS TAKE SIDES ON ISSUE

REMOVAL OF MEXICAN-AMERICAN MURAL IN COUGAR DEN EVOKES DEBATE

by Jessica Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

and Robert Schoenberger

News Reporter

The Hispanic Students Association's protest against a proposal to remove a mural in the Cougar Den is premature, said Julianne Robbins, chairwoman of the University Center Policy Board.

In its UC renovation planning, the board is considering ways to change the theme of the Cougar Den, including one to remove the Mexican-American mural, Robbins said.

The mural has been in the Cougar Den since 1973.

A coalition of Hispanic students wrote a letter to the editor, which ran March 27 in The Daily Cougar.

The letter protesting the proposal read, "The mural represents not only the Mexican-American experience in America, but also represents our own spirit created by the Chicano Movement of 1973."

HSA President Russell Contreras said that the Mexican American Studies Program and the HSA show the mural at "every event we have in the Cougar Den, every Career Day we have for Houston-area high school students and every freshman orientation."

Contreras urged all "Latino, Latina, Mexican-American, Chicana, Chicano and Hispanic students to attend the UC Policy and Planning meeting."

The March 29 meeting was postponed because several board members were unable to attend, Robbins said.

Robbins said the UCPB's April meeting will be Friday at 3 p.m. in the UC Congressional room. At this meeting, a regular agenda will be followed.

The time for the meeting to discuss the mural is yet to be determined.

Former SA President Angie Milner met with UC Assistant Director Grace Blair to discuss the UC renovations because Milner was unable to attend a March meeting in which the Cougar Den's remodeling was an agenda topic. Milner told Blair the Cougar Den should be thematic. She suggested that the Den's walls should promote school spirit, not limited to athletics.

They agreed that the mural needs preservation.

According to Milner, the mural is deteriorating because the paint used for the mural was not well-preserved and looks "ugly."

She said that Blair had art experts estimate the cost of preservation of the mural, but it was beyond the UC's budget.

"We're not the Taj Mahal," Milner said.

If removing the mural was possible without damaging it, Blair said, it would be moved to the Blaffer Gallery or given to the Mexican American Studies Program.

"Robert Salas touched up the mural recently,"said Tatcho Mindiola, Mexican American Studies Program director. He said the mural is in excellent condition.

Robbins said she discussed the matter with Contreras and she encouraged him to invite all interested HSA members to the next meeting.

"At this point, I'm anxious to hear from the students," Robbins said. "I wanted Russell to get his groups involved. I want to hear their concerns."

She said there was never any intention of "getting rid" of the mural, which the letter implies, and the matter has "gotten out of hand."

Robbins said the board has been sensitive to issues discussed in its meetings throughout the academic year.

"I don't expect them to act differently than they have all year."

The mural was painted in 1973 by former UH students Mario Gonzales and Ruben Reyna, with the assistance of other Mexican American Youth Organization members.

According to Mexican American Studies Associate Director and former MAYO member Lorenzo Cano, Chicano students "hung out" in the Den.

Cano said the mural was painted to reflect the Chicano struggle for equality and justice.

He said the Council of Ethnic Organizations as well as international, Asian and African-American students supported the artistic symbol's existence in the Den.

"This is not the first time people have tried to get rid of the mural," Contreras said. "We want to catch this one early."

Mindiola said Vice President of Student Affairs Elwyn Lee assured him that the mural will not be removed.

 

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QUICK! FILE THOSE TAXES -- AND FILE THEM CORRECTLY

by Michael P. Martin

News Reporter

If one of your new experiences at college is filing your income tax return for the first time, what your parents didn't tell you can cause you big trouble, according to Chuck Weiner, a certified public accountant with Kell and Weiner.

"The most important thing for you to do is make sure you report all your income," Weiner said. "And if your parents have savings accounts or other investments in your name and under your social security number, you better report the interest or dividends they may earn as part of your income, or there could be trouble."

Savings institutions and investment firms are required to report account earnings to the Internal Revenue Service. Investors are notified of the reports made on a 1099 form, Weiner said.

"If you are going to file your own return, ask your parents if there are any of those forms coming to them in your name," Weiner said. "If there are, report that income on your own return."

Another pitfall for young taxpayers, according to Weiner, is moving and forgetting a small balance in an interest-earning account, or failing to notify a bank of your new address after you close an account.

"If the bank or other institution doesn't have your address, they can't send you the 1099, but you can bet they're reporting the interest income to the IRS," he said. "If the IRS numbers and your numbers don't agree, you'll have a problem."

Many students work as waitstaff in restaurants, and, according to one such student who requested anonymity, some choose not to report all their tips as income. "I was told to report either all my credit card tips, or 8 percent of my total sales, whichever was larger," the student said.

Weiner disagreed. "It may hurt, but it's best to be as honest as you can," he said. "You must pay your income tax and your self-employment tax, and when you're just starting out is not the time to run afoul of the Tax Man."

If you work as a contract laborer and are paid in cash or by check, Weiner said you should be especially careful. "Taxes are not taken out of your pay," he said, "but despite what your employer may tell you, he may be reporting your earnings to the IRS. You're better off paying tax on that income now than taxes and penalties later if you're caught."

If you find yourself owing more in taxes than you can pay, don't panic, Weiner said. "File your return, send as much as you can, and enclose a letter explaining the situation and asking to be put on a payment program. "You won't be the only one doing it, and you might be surprised to find that the IRS will work with you on the problem."

The deadline for filing your 1994 income tax return is midnight Monday, April 17. Tax forms are available on campus in the M.D. Anderson Library, at most off-campus public libraries and at all post offices.

 

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UH BASKETBALL HONORS PLAYER ACHIEVEMENTS

DREXLER, LEWIS DISTINGUISHED GUESTS AS COUGARS ALREADY PLANNING FOR NEXT SEASON

by Jason Paul Ramírez

Daily Cougar Staff

Some past members of the UH basketball program got together with some of its present members to talk about what is in store for the future.

Former Cougars players Clyde Drexler and Otis Birdsong and former coach Guy V. Lewis were just some of the honored guests as the athletic department held its annual basketball awards banquet, sponsored by the Cougar Cager Club, at the UH-Hilton Wednesday.

Together with current Houston coach Alvin Brooks, the guests talked of their expectations regarding the Cougars taking the court next season and beyond.

"You got to get great players to be a great coach," said master of ceremonies and former Cougar Bill Worrell, who is also the Rockets' play-by-play announcer on the Prime Sports Network. "And Alvin is doing that (getting top basketball players)."

It was only fitting that the banquet be held on the initial day of the collegiate athlete national signing period.

But, as of the banquet, Brooks said that the Cougars, who finished 9-19 last season, had yet to receive any verbal commitments or letters from players on their intent to play their collegiate careers at Houston.

"As soon as this banquet is over, I'm going to go get on the phone," Brooks said.

The Cougars did, however, receive a commitment from one player that Brooks said he was unable to name. But Houston has yet to sign him, either. All Brooks would say was that the player is a 6-8, 275-pounder.

"Tim (Moore) said that he wasn't going to stay (for his senior season at UH instead of opting for the NBA draft) unless I signed some big people," Brooks said.

But the Cougars do know that Greater Houston Player of the Year Omar Sneed, out of Beaumont Westbrook High School, will join them next season. Adrian Taylor, formerly a student at Houston's Booker T. Washington, has also been cleared to play at UH in 1995-96. Both Sneed and Taylor signed with UH last year.

As far as the players honored at the banquet for what they accomplished <I>last<P> season, forward Tim Moore took the Elvin Hayes Team Most Valuable Player Award.

Senior forwards Jesse Drain and Hershel Wafer both shared the Coaches Award, presented by Drexler. Junior center Kirk Ford won the Hakeem Olajuwon Defensive Player of the Year Award, while freshman guard Damon Jones walked away with the Guy V. Lewis Most Spirited Player Award, given by Lewis.

Other awards handed out were the Theodis Lee Most Dedicated Player Award (freshman guard Tommie "Tank" Davis), the Otis Birdsong Most Improved Player Award (freshman center Galen Robinson), the Ken Spain Athletic Achievement Award (junior center Jermaine Johnson) and the Rookie Dickinson Faculty Award (Prof. Larry Pinski).

 

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DAILY COUGAR DECLARES WAR ON DANGEROUS OBSESSIONS; CHARLIE BROWN OK

Scott McMillan

Contributing Writer

With the OJ case gaining momentum, obsession has become a key issue for the prosecution, as well as the media. This is an important issue -- obsession can be a serious problem and should be addressed.

So, just how far will obsessed people go to locate their victims? Halfway across America, in one woman's case, Houston psychotherapist Peggy Salinas said.

"This lady left her husband in Washington State. She took an assumed name and told no one where she was going. She and her kids moved to Houston. She found an apartment in what she thought was a safe area.

"She gave pictures of her husband to security people at the apartment complex so they'd know what he looked like. But one day her daughter called me in a panic and said, 'My dad is outside beating on the door!' This story is not terribly unusual," Salinas said.

Salinas, who estimates she has counseled 2,000 women in similar circumstances, said people with obsessions think the objects of their fixations are their property, and they're not going to give them up.

Salinas said she attributes this attitude to deep dependency needs of the pursuer. She said she traces such needs to the mother-infant relationship.

"In infancy, we look for nourishment," she said. "Mother provides that nourishment, but breaking away from her is hard to do. (Obsessed people) want a 'back-to-the-womb' experience, so they look for it in a partner. Partners are all-nurturing and all-loving. They're everything to (the obsessed)."

Clinical psychologist Dr. J. Ray Hays said, "Egos are bound together in an obsessive relationship. The walls between the self and the other person break down. When a separation occurs, the person with the ego-boundary problem lashes out. They think, 'If my world crashes, so will yours.'"

Hays, a psychiatry professor at the University of Texas' Houston medical school for 10 years, said psychologists think guilt about failing internal standards drives obsessions. He added that obsessed people do things to alleviate anxiety or guilt, and that accounts for their persistence.

He said obsessions like Charlie Brown's infatuation with the Little Red-Haired Girl are perfectly normal. "Devotion is okay as long as it's accepted by the other person. When someone won't take no for an answer, then you've got a problem."

Crisis counselor Susan Goldsmith, who works in the Houston Police Department's Family Violence Division, said other warning signs of a potentially obsessive relationship include one partner exhibiting extreme jealousy, a desire to get the relationship going quickly and a wish for constant togetherness.

Pivot Project Director Toby Keith said, "At first, in a relationship, the attention is marvelous and may seem very flattering. But eventually it becomes smothering."

Keith, who counsels men deemed criminally culpable for battering, said abusers range from illiterate men to highly-educated business executives. She added, "But they all have this sense of entitlement, like, 'I'm in control and I get to make the rules.'"

She said a common cycle of control in abusive relationships begins with pouting, then progresses to abandonment threats, accusations of infidelity and possible violence.

Hays warned potential victims of an obsessed person, "Protect yourself. Try to get the other person to understand 'no.' Don't give them any hope. For example, don't ask a crank caller 'Who is this?' It's positive reinforcement for them."

Goldsmith said someone who feels threatened can file a warrant. If such a measure fails to discourage harassers, criminal courts can issue a protective order. She said that order is frequently confused with a restraining order, which originates in civil courts.

Salinas said people who think they're being stalked should keep a written log of encounters with their suspected pursuers. She also advised those being stalked to carry small cameras in their cars.

Salinas, who left an abusive husband years ago, said she understands complaints that stalkers shouldn't deprive their victims of their right to mobility.

"But I ask the victim, 'Are you interested in what's fair or being safe?'"

 

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DAILY COUGAR DECLARES WAR ON DANGEROUS OBSESSIONS; CHARLIE BROWN OK

Scott McMillan

Contributing Writer

With the OJ case gaining momentum, obsession has become a key issue for the prosecution, as well as the media. This is an important issue -- obsession can be a serious problem and should be addressed.

So, just how far will obsessed people go to locate their victims? Halfway across America, in one woman's case, Houston psychotherapist Peggy Salinas said.

"This lady left her husband in Washington State. She took an assumed name and told no one where she was going. She and her kids moved to Houston. She found an apartment in what she thought was a safe area.

"She gave pictures of her husband to security people at the apartment complex so they'd know what he looked like. But one day her daughter called me in a panic and said, 'My dad is outside beating on the door!' This story is not terribly unusual," Salinas said.

Salinas, who estimates she has counseled 2,000 women in similar circumstances, said people with obsessions think the objects of their fixations are their property, and they're not going to give them up.

Salinas said she attributes this attitude to deep dependency needs of the pursuer. She said she traces such needs to the mother-infant relationship.

"In infancy, we look for nourishment," she said. "Mother provides that nourishment, but breaking away from her is hard to do. (Obsessed people) want a 'back-to-the-womb' experience, so they look for it in a partner. Partners are all-nurturing and all-loving. They're everything to (the obsessed)."

Clinical psychologist Dr. J. Ray Hays said, "Egos are bound together in an obsessive relationship. The walls between the self and the other person break down. When a separation occurs, the person with the ego-boundary problem lashes out. They think, 'If my world crashes, so will yours.'"

Hays, a psychiatry professor at the University of Texas' Houston medical school for 10 years, said psychologists think guilt about failing internal standards drives obsessions. He added that obsessed people do things to alleviate anxiety or guilt, and that accounts for their persistence.

He said obsessions like Charlie Brown's infatuation with the Little Red-Haired Girl are perfectly normal. "Devotion is okay as long as it's accepted by the other person. When someone won't take no for an answer, then you've got a problem."

Crisis counselor Susan Goldsmith, who works in the Houston Police Department's Family Violence Division, said other warning signs of a potentially obsessive relationship include one partner exhibiting extreme jealousy, a desire to get the relationship going quickly and a wish for constant togetherness.

Pivot Project Director Toby Keith said, "At first, in a relationship, the attention is marvelous and may seem very flattering. But eventually it becomes smothering."

Keith, who counsels men deemed criminally culpable for battering, said abusers range from illiterate men to highly-educated business executives. She added, "But they all have this sense of entitlement, like, 'I'm in control and I get to make the rules.'"

She said a common cycle of control in abusive relationships begins with pouting, then progresses to abandonment threats, accusations of infidelity and possible violence.

Hays warned potential victims of an obsessed person, "Protect yourself. Try to get the other person to understand 'no.' Don't give them any hope. For example, don't ask a crank caller 'Who is this?' It's positive reinforcement for them."

Goldsmith said someone who feels threatened can file a warrant. If such a measure fails to discourage harassers, criminal courts can issue a protective order. She said that order is frequently confused with a restraining order, which originates in civil courts.

Salinas said people who think they're being stalked should keep a written log of encounters with their suspected pursuers. She also advised those being stalked to carry small cameras in their cars.

Salinas, who left an abusive husband years ago, said she understands complaints that stalkers shouldn't deprive their victims of their right to mobility.

"But I ask the victim, 'Are you interested in what's fair or being safe?'"

 

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FOR EASTER, GIVE A HOOT, NOT A DUCK

by Valérie C. Fouché

Daily Cougar Staff

For many children and adults, the Easter holiday conjures up images of fluffy bunnies, adorable ducklings and fuzzy baby chicks. Because these small, furry creatures are often associated with this special holiday, it is not uncommon that they find their way into an Easter basket or two.

This year, however, the Houston Humane Society is urging everyone to resist giving live rabbits, ducks or chickens as gifts for this Easter holiday. These cute animals may make for warm-hearted gifts, but more often than not, after the hoppla has passed, they become forgotten.

Each year following Easter, the Houston Humane Society receives several abandoned or neglected animals who have outgrown their cuteness and novelty.

The Houston Humane Society suggests that there are more appropriate gifts that celebrate the season, such as stuffed animals, animal books and animal-shaped candy. These items still keep with tradition, but do not compromise these vulnerable critters' lives.

These small creatures require special care and attention that many people do not have time for these days. Indoor, or house, rabbits require frequent check-ups and have very sensitive digestive tracts. Ducks and chickens also have requirements that are different than the usual housepet.

If you are set on giving a pet for Easter, be sure the recipient is able to give the animal the proper care it deserves. And just because it is Easter does not mean that a cute puppy, dog or cat is not an option. The Houston Humane Society has many such animals that would be happy to have a new home for Easter.

If you are the recipient of an unwanted Easter animal or unable to care for it, contact the Houston Humane Society at 433-6421.

The Houston Humane Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating cruelty, abuse and the overpopulation of animals. Located at 14700 Almeda Road, just seven miles south of Loop 610 near the Astrodome, the Houston Humane Society cares for over 20,000 homeless cats and dogs each year. The Houston Humane Society relies solely on donations and receives no state or federal funding.

 

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WAITING TABLES FAST-PACED, BUT REWARDING

by Robert Schoenberger

Contributing Writer

A plate of fajitas sizzles in her ear. She has to get more drinks for this table, greet the new one, make change for a third, and check up on a fourth. How can Leslie Sanches even think about whether or not she can get off in time for class?

"The pace is really fast here," the paralegal student said. "When you're on the floor, it's go go go."

"I was working late lunches last semester," Sanches said. "I'd have to rush straight from work to class, and by then I was tired and it was hard to pay attention.

"The worst part (about waiting tables) is when you don't get out until three or four in the morning, and you've got a.m. classes," physics major Christian Schronk said.

"I'm a manager in training, so I work about 50 hours a week as a waiter and a manager, and I'm taking 15 hours this semester," Schronk said. "We have one guy here who's taking 18 hours and works about 35."

Schronk is willing to spend the long hours at Birra Poretti's, 1650 Post Oak, because waiting tables is "fast money and a lot of money."

Waiting tables is a great job for students, Pat Garza, general manager of On the Border, 4608 Westheimer, said. As well as the money, waiting tables gives students "life experience and teaches them responsibility and teamwork."

Time management, communication skills and crisis intervention skills are some of the extras that Sanches gets. "Waiting tables is going to give you the problem-solving skills that other employers are going to want," Sanches said.

Even if they are not planning a career in the restaurant business, people can make contacts waiting tables. "I've met a judge that told me to call him when I get my paralegal degree," Sanches said.

Students make up over half of the waitstaff at Little Pappasito's, 2536 Richmond, where Sanches works. "We set our schedule by semester to cut down time conflicts," Sanches said.

"At any given time, we'll have 40-45 percent of the staff as students," Schronk said. "The management likes to hire students because they have made a commitment to better themselves."

Students tend to be more intelligent, have better presentation skills, more discipline and a more professional appearance, according to Garza, whose 35-person waitstaff contains 11 students.

Schronk may not be the only waiter with a future in restaurant management, according to Garza. "We like to promote from within, and as we open more stores, we have more opportunities for our eisting people."

Waiting tables is not for everyone, Sanches said. "The pace that we work at surprises most people.

"I worked at a law office this past summer, and every five minutes they were telling me to slow down. I couldn't explain that this was the pace I had to work at for the past six months just to stay above water."

 

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<I>JEFFERSON IN PARIS<P> A DULL DRAMA

by Joey Guerra

Daily Cougar Staff

The filmmaking team of writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory has enchanted audiences with critically acclaimed motion pictures, including <I>A Room With A View<P>, <I>Howard's End<P> and <I>The Remains Of The Day<P>. It seems only natural, then, that their latest film should continue down that prestigious path, right?

Looks like somebody made a wrong turn.

<I>Jefferson In Paris<P>, the first Merchant Ivory film distributed by Touchstone Pictures, fails to live up to expectations. While the movie hints at the greatness it could have attained, it ultimately fails because of poorly developed storylines and a sense of impersonality.

Billed as a historical drama, <I>Jefferson<P> chronicles the years 1784-89, which Thomas Jefferson (Nick Nolte) spent as the American ambassador to France. This was a restless time for France, when the Revolution was ready to explode. Jefferson urged reform, but also kept company with French high society. A widower for two years, he was accompanied from Virginia by his eldest daughter, Patsy (Gwyneth Paltrow), and James Hemings (Seth Gilliam), one of his slaves.

Up to this point, <I>Jefferson<P> seems like a real stinker. The historical aspects of the era are awkwardly introduced, and the whole thing is really confusing. Only with the start of Jefferson's romance with Maria Cosway (Greta Scacchi), a beautiful Anglo-Italian painter and musician, does the film pick up slightly. Its shortcomings soon materialize, though, brighter than ever.

First, Jefferson's relationship with Maria is underdeveloped and forced. The romance is illustrated in snippets and boring voice-overs, with no real connection ever apparent between the lovebirds. (It doesn't help that Nolte's accent comes and goes without warning.) While Scacchi gives a radiant performance, Nolte seems stifled and takes a long time to get comfortable playing the future president.

More trouble occurs with Jefferson's daughter Patsy, who is in a Parisian convent. Since her mother's death, Patsy wants to be everything for her father -- mother, wife and perhaps even more. We never see that, though, because it's all just words. Sure, they hold hands and have "deep" conversations, but nothing more occurs.

Nevertheless, credit must be given to Paltrow, whose Patsy is a fearful child not mature enough to assume adult responsibilities. Paltrow's facial expressions are marvelous and keep the scenes interesting.

Another interesting aspect of the film involves Jefferson's relationship with Sally Hemings (Thandie Newton), nurse to Jefferson's young daughter Polly (Estelle Eonnet). Sally is the sister of James, and both were among the slaves Jefferson inherited from his father-in-law, who was their father. An intimate relationship develops between Jefferson and Sally, who comes to her master's room at night to deliver clean shirts. They talk, dance and eventually become lovers. This causes great strain for Patsy, who lashes out at Sally with the excuse of "disrespecting your mistress." This is also the cause of Maria's departure.

As Sally, Newton gives the movie's best performance. With her childlike manner of speaking and wide-eyed innocence, it becomes obvious why Jefferson is attracted to her. Newton's Sally is an explosive woman-child, unaware of the effect that results from simply brushing her hair back. Alas, this relationship also suffers from the now-infamous crime of underdevelopment. Where it should have been the movie's centerpiece, it is relegated to sidebar status.

At its core, the movie's main problem lies in Jhabvala's screenplay. It jumps from history to romance to history to ... you get the picture. This would be fine, but the transitions are abrupt. Nolte also settles into his role a little too late in the film. By the time he got comfortable, I really didn't care what happened.

<I>Jefferson<P> does include magnificent costumes by Jenny Beavan and John Bright. The photography by Pierre Lhomme is also quite breathtaking. There are splendid scenes in this movie, but there really isn't a splendid movie within those scenes. The makeup is also quite atrocious. For all its ball gowns, royal processions and high-society grandeur, <I>Jefferson In Paris<P> is really just a lot of hot air.

Jefferson In Paris

Stars: Nick Nolte, Greta Scacchi

Director: James Ivory

** stars

 

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<I>TONNAGE<P> A HEAVY ALBUM

MATT JOHNSON OF THE THE IS JUST ONE OF THE MANY ARTISTS FEATURED ON THE EPIC RELEASE <I>TONNAGE: A COMPILATION<P>, WHICH OFFERS A VAST MUSICAL SELECTION RANGING FROM BLUES TO ALTERNATIVE.

Photo by John Sleeman/Sony Music

by Joey Guerra

Daily Cougar Staff

Compilation albums often suffer from a lack of spice and variety. They usually encompass one type of music, performed in exactly the same manner by a handful of similar artists, or they suffer from an awkward mix of conflicting styles. Luckily, the Epic release <I>Tonnage: A Compilation<P> falls into none of these traps. The album overflows with a variety of artists and musical styles ranging from alternative to blues to pop.

Rage Against the Machine roars into gear with "Freedom," a live song recorded in British Columbia. The song is an ode to Native-American freedom-fighter Leonard Peltier. Rage takes slight pauses within the song for variations in music, but the group never strays from its trademark hard-driving sound.

Also contributing is early '80s group The The, with a slight twist on old-fashioned country music. Its version of Hank Williams' "Honky Tonkin'" comes complete with country twang and hee-hawin' background vocals. In this country-punk mode, one can just see lead singer Matt Johnson with cowboy hat and boots in tow.

After taking a complete 180-degree turn, Oasis appears with its previously unreleased single "Fadeaway." Currently the "hot" alternative group, its confused, chaotic sound has been described as a Beatles/Sex Pistols combination. The sound is nice, and the lyrics center on the fact that childhood dreams sometimes just "Fadeaway." The high energy-level is kept constant throughout. All that's missing is a background of screaming fans.

Yet another highlight is the lush pop ballad "Crawling" by Danielle Brisebois. Her vocals are identical to those of on-again, off-again Go-Go Belinda Carlisle, and her throaty singing works well with the folksy arrangement. This beautiful love song is an odd inclusion, but it shines through like a ray of light on a gloomy day.

Keeping the light feeling going is blues singer Keb'Mo', with his song "Tell Everybody I Know." Keb'Mo's rich, soulful vocals are impressive. The fact that this is actually a happy blues song could be considered an oxymoron. G. Love and Special Sauce also contribute a blues number, but it offers an interesting twist. Described as "acoustic blues rap" in the album's liner notes, "The Things That I Used To Do" sparkles with the flavor of New Orleans. Cuts like these serve to illustrate the incredible amount of variety on <I>Tonnage<P>.

While it may seem that this eclectic collection approaches perfection, it does have its share of problems. Cuts from Devilhead, Shudder To Think, Mother Tongue and Prong are interchangeable and immediately forgettable. It's not that these songs are bad, it's just that there is absolutely nothing to distinguish them from the hundreds of other alternative bands on the scene. It seems as if they all read from the same Grunge Guidebook and planned accordingly. Maybe next time their motto should be "Dare to be different," instead of "Different? Don't you dare!"

Definitely taking that advice is Sandra Bernhard (yes, that Sandra Bernhard). Her contribution, entitled "Manic Superstar," fuses Jimi Hendrix's "Manic Depression" with Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Everything's All Right." This perky song flips from the light, springy sound of Webber to the guitar-heavy sound of Hendrix from one second to the next. While she ain't no Madonna (who she probably wouldn't wanna be anyway), Bernhard's song is, nevertheless, a fun addition to the album.

All in all, <I>Tonnage<P> is a great CD for those who want real variety. The album is also an excellent showcase for up-and-coming new bands and lesser-known, more established acts. Oasis and Brisebois come to mind as potentially major stars who can benefit from this exposure. For a ton of great music, definitely pick up <I>Tonnage<P>.

 

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SCHOOL OF THEATRE SERVES UP DELICIOUS EVENING

Photo courtesy of UH School of Theatre

Roxanne Raja and Daniel Magill each play 8 characters in the UH School of Theatre's production of A.R. Gurney's <I>The Dining Room<P>.

by David Bell

Contributing Writer

For its final offering of the '94-'95 season, the UH School of Theatre has successfully produced A.R. Gurney's hilarious and bittersweet 1981 off-Broadway hit, <I>The Dining Room <P>.

<I>The Dining Room<P>'s brilliant concept is a mixture of <I>Our Town<P> and a really good, recent Robert Altman movie. In this play about the decline of the WASP lifestyle, the audience is led through a series of interrelated vignettes, occurring in a single dining room, which answer any questions you might have had about the lives of this self-proclaimed American royalty. Youth, marriage, success, parenting, aging and death are all presented: No milestone is left unturned.

What makes this play even more interesting is that there are more than 50 characters but only eight actors. Each performer must assume six or seven different characters, ranging from WASP children to WASP elders. About 15 minutes into the production, after all the performers have appeared at least once, much humor is derived from the novelty of anticipating who these actors will play next.

This finely tuned ensemble cast works very well together to create some memorable families and characters. Rebecca Tindel's portrayal of a nerdy mother wanting to sit down to a nice bowl of cream-of-celery is truly hilarious. The elderly mother with Alzheimer's disease, who doesn't recognize her own children, is given a painfully real performance by Michelle A. Edwards.

The cast members do have some difficulty in totally shifting their personas six or seven times. Becoming characters very different from the actors' own personalities appears to be much easier for the actors than assuming characters "closer to home." I was totally absorbed by the fully developed characterizations of the elderly and the children, but many of the young-adult and middle-aged personalities seem to repeat themselves throughout the play.

However, Roxanne Raja stands out as being the performer most adept at creating a fresh and new person each time she appears on stage. From an Irish maid to an elderly aunt extolling the merits of finger bowls, she charms the audience with her punctual comic timing and her own cast of characters.

The costumes, which scream, "I am rich and white, so stay away from my chandelier!" certainly help to define each individual in this swarm of Wasps. Designer Joel Ebarb provides eight basic costumes and plenty of accessories to top them off. It's amazing what a couple of barrettes or a knitted shawl can do.

The actual dining room, successfully designed by Arch Andrus, and framed in blackness and shadowed with the hint of French windows by lighting designer Kelly Babb, is elegant, sterile and, most importantly, "Waspily" generic.

This production is smartly directed by recently tenured professor Carolyn Houston Boone. Much humor and emotion lie in the busy "real-life" activities found in her staging. Be prepared for a wonderful ending, and make sure you credit it to Boone's direction.

If you're a WASP, come see this great production and visit your Aunt Harriet or Uncle Henry. If you're not a WASP, come and enjoy this great production and dine on the delicious satire found in Gurney's dialogue and a curious mirror hung on the wall, whose reflection reminds the School of Theatre's subscribers just who this play is about.

The cast also includes Matthew Carter, Peter T. Lieu, Daniel A. Magill, Monica Rial and Michael Kyle Sturdivant.

<I>The Dining Room<P>, at Lyndall Finley Wortham Theatre, concludes this weekend with Friday and Saturday performances at 8 p.m. Tickets are $6 to $8. For reservations or more information, call 743-2929.

 

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GET <I>LUCKY<P> WITH PETTY TRIBUTE ALBUM

THE ALBUM <I>YOU GOT LUCKY<P>, A TRIBUTE TO TOM PETTY, INCLUDES SUCH ARTISTS AS EVERCLEAR AND ENGINE KID.

Photo by Robert Sebree/Warner Bros

by Terri Garner

Daily Cougar Staff

Timeless music, innovative sounds and underground bands -- rock-and-roll doesn't get any better than Backyard Records' release of <I>You Got Lucky<P>, which pays tribute to one of the great American rock-and-roll singer/songwriters, Tom Petty.

This 12-track compilation, which features bands from coast to coast, is not only a tribute to Tom Petty, but serves as a reminder of how rock-and-roll ought to be: loud, hard and innovative.

Everclear, from Portland, Ore., opens with an updated, grittier version of "American Girl," followed by Engine Kid (Seattle), which sticks with Petty's original hypnotic vocals for its rendition of "Breakdown." The Midwest is equally well-represented, with Cincinnati's Thorneberry doing "Here Comes My Girl."

The stand-out tracks on this album are undoubtedly "Even the Losers," by Chicago's Nectarine, and "Listen To Her Heart," by the alternative quartet Truck Stop Love. These two bands not only have their own distinct interpretations of Petty's music, but also have a deep respect for the original versions of these classic tunes.

However, the compilation's most disappointing track is the Windy City's own Loud Lucy with Louise Post, and its version of the Tom Petty/Stevie Nicks duet, "Stop Dragging My Heart Around." While the music is good, the vocalists, primarily Louise Post, do not have the vocal talent to carry a song as powerful as this. Some things just can't be tampered with.

All in all, <I>You Got Lucky -- A Tribute To Tom Petty<P> is a great tribute to one of America's great rockers. It adds new flavor to some classic Tom Petty songs, and is the perfect marriage between mainstream rock-and-roll and underground sound.

However, if you want to see the real thing, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers will be performing Tuesday at the Woodlands Pavilion.

 

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SPB BRINGS JAPANESE ANIMATION TO UH FANS

by James V. Geluso

Daily Cougar Staff

Fans of Japanese animation, or anime, will be overjoyed – maybe – when <I>Macross Plus<P> plays tonight at the UC.

<I>Macross Plus<P> is the first real sequel to the 1982 Japanese series <I>Super Dimensional Fortress Macross<P>, which was brought to the United States as the first segment of the <I>Robotech<P> saga, which aired in 1985. <I>Macross II<P>, which was shown theatrically in Houston in 1993, is a sequel to the theatrical feature <I>Macross: Do You Remember Love<P>, a beautifully animated but substantially altered retelling of the TV series.

<I>Macross Plus<P> features mecha designs by Shoji Kawamori, one of Japan's top designers, who was responsible for most of the mecha in the original <I>Macross<P>, including the Valkyrie fighter planes and the giant transformable battleship SDF-1. He also designed the Gundam units for <I>Mobile Suit Gundam 0083,<P> which was shown on campus in 1993 by the Association for Japanese Animation.

The reason for the "maybe" above is twofold. First, <I>Macross Plus<P> is being brought to the United States by Manga Entertainment, a company committed to bringing anime to mainstream American audiences – even if that means alienating the fans. Although this is Manga's first American release, past attempts at Americanization have included rewriting the script to eliminate cultural references, which often results in "dumbing down" the movie. Manga's president, Marvin Gleicher, added fuel to the fires of controversy last year when he declared in an interview that his company would go as far as having U2 or the Beastie Boys produce new music for an anime film. And, of course, <I>Macross Plus<P> is dubbed, not subtitled as most anime fans prefer.

Second, Manga is showing <I>Macross Plus<P> on a big screen, even though it was produced for a direct-to-video release. Whether the animation will hold up remains to be seen.

Whatever the problems with the American release, <I>Macross Plus<P> promises all the standard <I>Macross<P> elements: planes transforming into giant robots, a really big spaceship, alien invaders and a really obnoxious idol-singer who will use music and love to fight off the aliens. (Well, obnoxious to Americans. The Japanese seem to have a strange fascination with idol singers, sort of like the French with Jerry Lewis.)

 

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