Carpenter

For movie buffs, the month of October means one thing: 31 days of horror movies. With tons of horror flicks to choose from, The Daily Texan is going to be providing a daily horror recommendation. Whether you prefer ghosts, zombies or stark explorations of the human condition, we’ll be featuring horror films of all flavors. Check back every evening for the movie of the day. On our last day, we recommend, of course, John Carpenter’s “Halloween.”

Simplicity is perhaps the defining quality to John Carpenter’s 1978 horror masterpiece, “Halloween.” Even the most iconic element of the film, the famous theme music, is a simple melody; you can play the rhythm with one hand after only a few minutes of practice.

Everything about the movie has a feel of purity to it; “Halloween” created the slasher film and as such it is not bogged down by the need to redefine or reenact genre tropes like so many of its less contemporaries. While “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” introduced the indestructible horror villain who slaughters teenagers with abandon two years before, “Halloween” is credited with creating many of the conventions that would define the slasher film.

It’s a refreshing rarity to watch a horror movie that doesn’t feel the need to bog itself down with backstory or explanation for why its killer does what he does. Carpenter’s “Halloween” doesn’t waste time by trying to qualify what Michael Myers is. Dr. Loomis’s explanation is as too the point as a characterization can be: “He is evil. Pure evil.” Michael Myers is force of death, and the only thing that matters to Laurie (a young Jamie Lee Curtis) is getting away from him.  I’m a fan of Rob Zombie’s remake of “Halloween” from a few years ago but that movie could easily be twenty minutes shorter. At a tight ninety minutes, “Halloween” doesn’t have time for anything but pure horror. There is no occult subplot that characterized the later, lesser entries in the series, and no Josh Hartnett either. There is just a monster with a mask and a knife and a couple of stupid, sex-crazed teenagers.

It is impressive, given how short the movie is, how well Carpenter builds the suspense. We don’t get to the actual “night he came home” until almost halfway into the movie. Carpenter takes his time to unnerve us in the day by showing us glimpses of Michael as he stalks Laurie on her walk home from school. The unbroken stare behind the dead eyes of the famous mask can’t foreshadow the horror to come, but it isn’t a stretch of the imagination to know that it will be bad. Even after the sun sets, Carpenter draws out the suspense; there are a number of moments where you are sure something awful is about to happen, but nothing does. The character walks out of the dark room or hallway or backyard without a scratch and none the wiser that death is imminent. The red herrings give you just enough to get comfortable again for Michael strikes. You knew it was coming, you knew that he was somewhere in the house, yet you still jumped in fright when he finally made his move. It’s that kind of plotting that’s able to make the viewer scream even when they knew what was coming, that marks true skill in directing a horror movie.

For me, the most lasting impression from watching “Halloween” is the walk. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s” Leatherface was possessed with a frenetic energy. He ran after his victims, swinging his chainsaw with abandon. Myers doesn’t run. He doesn’t need to. He walks with purpose, his mind set on the relentless pursuit of his victims and you the viewer know that even though he has adopted a slower pace to that of his prey, he will find them. He doesn’t need to waste the energy to run because, in the end, he will catch up. The slow walk is matched by Carpenter’s camera, tracking its villain and its teenage stars with a slow menace, as if the camera itself knows what will soon befall its subjects.

The original “Halloween” is a contradiction because it happens to be a great movie, while many of its descendants in the slasher genre would define themselves as “so-bad-its-good.” “Halloween” manages to stay horrifying while working with many of the genre conventions that would evoke laughs or eye rolls in later years. 35 years later, “Halloween” still stands as one of the first, and best, slasher films.

 Costume idea: Do I even need to say it? Get a worksman’s suit, a plastic kitchen knife, and that dead-eyed William Shatner mask and you are good to go as Michael Myers. 

As it's October 31, the Daily Horror Movie has posted its last entry. Thanks to all of you who read this series, but an even bigger thank you to everyone who helped it happen. This series wouldn't have been possible without the wonderful writers and editors of the Life & Arts and Copy departments here at the Texan, and their efforts were highly appreciated throughout the month.

University Sign Shop assitant supervisor Matthew Carpenter explains how letters were cut out of a piece of plasitc in order to make a sign. On any given day, the University Sign Shop is processing 2 to 10 work orders for the university. 

Photo Credit: Charlie Pearce | Daily Texan Staff

In a small metal building on the outskirts of campus, a large format printer with ink cartridges protruding from its side like machine gun clips meticulously prints a 30-foot-long burnt orange banner. The mixed smell of adhesive, ink and paper wafts throughout the building’s weathered walls, giant wooden tables and sheet metal sheer.

It is in this compact space that assistant supervisor Matthew Carpenter and his team of two operate the University Sign Shop — a service offered by Project Management and Construction Services that provides full-color signs, banners and graphics for University-related use. 

Carpenter left his illustration and graphic design studies at a Manhattan design school to seek work. When he moved to Austin, Carpenter landed a job at the at the University Sign Shop through his pastor, who worked at University Construction Services full time. Carpenter has been working for the University for 18 years. 

“I kind of stumbled into the job,” Carpenter said. “Though it might not have been exactly what I had planned on doing, the job had an artistic angle to it. There were enough design and creative aspects of the job that I thought I could come here and do something good and make a difference.” 

Giant “Texas Fight” banners from Saturday’s OU game all bearing tiny black streaks are hung on the walls, serving as a reminder that quality control is one of the main focuses of the shop. Carpenter said there are more than 40 years of design experience between him and his staff, and that each project they work on is treated with a laser-focused attention to detail.

“We are all highly critical of the work we do and the quality of the finished product,” Carpenter said. 

For the skilled team, the job isn’t as hard as it is busy. The shop is currently overseeing 60 work orders, including a series of painted wood renderings of the Tower showing energy savings at various University buildings. Carpenter said fulfilling all of the orders to the standards they demand of themselves can be difficult with their limited staff. 

“At times, it can be difficult due to our small facility and manpower, but we try our damnedest and put a lot of heart into what we do because we know the projects are important to our clients,” Carpenter said.

In the past, the shop has facilitated many designs and banners for the athletics department, numerous colleges in the University and even had a hand in designing the look of UTPD’s squad cars. 

The shop also helped create designs for University Health Services, said Joshua Cook, assistant director for Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.

In December, their office will be relocated to a larger space within the facilities building. Landscape Services will move into the shop’s former space.

“The plan at this time is to have some part of Landscape Services occupy the current location [of the sign shop],” said Laurie Lentz, business and financial services communications manager. “There may be modifications to the building but [there are] no current plans to reconstruct the building.” 

Photo Credit: Amy Zhang | Daily Texan Staff

Gail Collins, New York Times columnist and author, outlined how women’s roles in society have changed over her lifetime in the 2013 Liz Carpenter Lecture on Monday evening.

Collins primarily discussed the changing rights and roles of women in society and said she is still in awe of the fact that the majority of these changes took place during her lifetime.          

“This change took generations of women who were not afraid to be laughed at or to fight,” Collins said. “I came one second after them, and I saw the benefits of their persistence.”  

Michael Stoff, director of the Plan II Honors Program, introduced Collins and discussed the history of the Liz Carpenter Lectureship, which was established in 1984 to commemorate the life and accomplishments of Liz Carpenter, a trend-setting journalist, feminist and political adviser. The speaker is selected every year by the Carpenter Lecture Committee.

Collins spoke about one of her books, “When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present.” 

“The Carpenter lecture traditionally has been about news makers, people who are prominent in the news and society today,” said Phillip Dubov, the staff coordinator for the event and Alumni Relations and Development specialist of the Plan II Honors Program. “We want to bring these people to our campus for our students to interact with.”

Journalism sophomore Will Cobb said he was surprised when Collins admitted she faced very few challenges as a female journalist.

“I expected her to talk more about issues she faced,” Cobb said. “I was surprised when she said the real work was done before she came into the business.”

Business freshman Samira Nounou said she attended the event as extra credit for her sociology class, but a lecture she heard earlier in the week had her interested in experiencing a different viewpoint. 

“I was interested to hear a speaker with a liberal perspective, because I recently went to another lecture and the speaker expressed a more conservative opinion,” Nounou said.

Collins also spoke about the future of journalism and what young journalists can expect from a constantly changing industry.

“I firmly believe that when there is a drastic change in the physical way people write, it changes not only the facility in which you write, but they way you write,” Collins said.

Before nursing students can begin their clinical classes in the spring, the UT School of Nursing will require them to pass a drug screening next month as part of new compliance standards.

Clinical programs are one of several types of classes required in the nursing curriculum, and nursing students participating in clinical programs next semester will need to complete their testing between Dec. 1, when the University-approved vendor will be ready, and Jan. 14.

Linda Carpenter, assistant dean of the School of Nursing, said the foremost reason for the new policy is to ensure the safety of patients treated by students and to standardize drug testing for all students in a way that meets industry guidelines.

The new policy had been expected for a decade, Carpenter said, but was finally instituted this year after the Health Industry Steering Committee reported new industry standards requiring standardized drug testing for students working in Central Texas hospitals.

The committee, a local industry-lead regulatory group, circulates industry guidelines from medical accreditation agencies to medical employees in Central Texas, and includes nursing and pharmacy schools.

“The bottom line is [that the new policy] is for patient safety,” Carpenter said. “You can’t have people working in health care settings, being responsible for peoples’ lives, if they are under the influence of anything.”

Nursing junior Tiffany Torrence, networking officer for the Hispanic Nursing Student Association, said the hard work put in by students to enter into the nursing program should already demonstrate the quality of the students at clinical agencies.

“I don’t think we need to have stricter drug testing for students,” Torrence said. “You’re already going to be tested at any of the sites you’re working at, and if you have made it into an upper-division program, you’ve already showed that you are an upstanding student and that your academic and social career can be balanced.”

Some clinical agencies already test students enrolled in their programs, including St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, but the new policy requires all students to receive testing through the University-approved vendor, PreCheck Inc. Each screening will cost students $41.14.

Ana Mejia-Dietche, director of the Health Industry Steering Committee, said the committee and the School of Nursing sought to require the least restrictive guidelines necessary for students in nursing.

Professional nursing involves high levels of regulation and testing, Mejia-Dietche said, and the policy is meant to partially prepare students for the career path they are entering.

“We are thrilled to have new nurses in the program and we know how hard it is to get to this point,” Mejia-Dietche said. “But [nursing students] are going to go into a world that is heavily regulated and this is just another step along that path.”

Students who fail drug screenings will not be allowed entry into their clinical classes, but will be able to continue enrollment in the nursing program, Carpenter said. Depending on individual circumstances, students may be able to wait to take a second screening or may have to show proof of treatment for substance abuse before screening again.

Additional screenings will not be required for students after passing their initial test, although an individual clinic could mandate repeated screening.

The new guidelines will also apply to other universities in the Central Texas area, although Texas State University and Texas A&M University-College Station already require drug screenings for admitted students. Texas Tech University does not require drug screenings and has no plans to start them because the hospitals its students work at are regulated by different groups.

Printed on Thursday, November 29, 2012 as: Nursing clinicals to require drug testing

2011 World Series

Adrian Beltre admires his game-tying homerun on one knee in the sixth inning. Two innings later, Mike Napoli broke the 2-2 tie with a bases-loaded double as Texas beat St. Louis, 4-2. The Rangers are now one win away from winning their first-ever World Series championship.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

ARLINGTON — Mike Napoli hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth inning against Marc Rzepczynski, and the Texas Rangers rallied from a two-run deficit to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 on Monday night and take a 3-2 World Series lead.

Solo home runs by Mitch Moreland in the third and Adrian Beltre in the sixth off Chris Carpenter sparked the Texas comeback. Michael Young doubled off loser Octavio Dotel leading off the eighth.

Darren Oliver got the win in relief of C.J. Wilson, and Neftali Feliz finished for his sixth save of the postseason, striking out Albert Pujols as part of a double play when Allen Craig was caught stealing second.

Colby Lewis starts Game 6 for the Rangers on Wednesday in St. Louis, trying to wrap up their first title. Jaime Garcia starts for the Cardinals.

After Young’s double, Beltre struck out and Nelson Cruz was intentionally walked.

Dotel relieved Rzepczynski and David Murphy reached on an infield single to load the bases and Napoli doubled to deep right field, making it 4-2.

Pujols drew three intentional walks, including a pass with two outs and none on in the seventh. The St. Louis slugger then nearly used his legs to put his team ahead.

Pujols was running hard on a 3-2 pitch that Matt Holliday hit for a single to left-center. Pujols chugged around the bags and third base coach Jose Oquendo initially waved him home, only to put up a late stop sign.

Would Pujols have been safe on shortstop Elvis Andrus’ wide throw to the plate? Maybe. But it became moot when Lance Berkman was intentionally walked to load the bases and David Freese flied out against Alexi Ogando.

Beltre and Moreland hit solo home runs off Carpenter, helping Texas come back from an early 2-0 deficit.

Beltre made it 2-all with two outs in the sixth, dropping to one knee after following through on a meaty cut. He connected on a big curve from Carpenter, who had easily handled Josh Hamilton and Young to start the inning.

Beltre’s other homers this October came in a bunch. He hit three in a first-round playoff game at Tampa Bay.

Napoli almost gave Texas a cushion later in the inning. With the crowd standing and chanting his name as “Nap-Oh-Lee” flashed on the scoreboard, the catcher’s bid for a three-run homer was caught on the warning track in right-center field, just shy of the 407-foot mark.

The homer let Wilson avoid becoming the first pitcher to lose four times in a single postseason. The eccentric lefty who alternates red and blue gloves between starts had another uneven outing, working around five walks.

Wilson walked six while losing Game 1 to Carpenter and the Cardinals.

Moreland atoned for some glove woes with a home run in the third, hitting a drive halfway up the second deck in right field.

The Cardinals scored twice in the second, cashing in two leadoff walks sandwiched around a wild pitch.

Yadier Molina notched his fifth RBI of the Series with a single that left fielder David Murphy overran and fumbled for an error. Skip Schumaker followed with an RBI grounder to first that Moreland boxed around, preventing any chance at a double play.

Murphy made a diving catch to end the inning, denying Nick Punto a run-scoring hit. Punto carried his bat all the way to first base and tried to break the wood by bending it over his right thigh.

Already ahead 2-0, the Cards threatened in the third after Wilson slipped coming off the mound trying to field Rafael Furcal’s leadoff bunt and made a poor, backhanded flip that skittered past Moreland. But with runners at the corners, Wilson got Holliday to bounce into a quick double play. Not so surprising, really — Wilson induced the most DP grounders in the majors this year while St. Louis hit into an NL-record 169 double plays.

Holliday flied out with the bases loaded, after an intentional walk to Pujols, to finish the fifth.

Printed on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 as: Rangers take 3-2 World Series lead

Jeanne Carpenter will retire as vice president and director of University Health Services after 37 years at UT on September 1, 2011.

Photo Credit: Trent Lesikar | Daily Texan Staff

After 37 years of working for the University Health Services, Jeanne Carpenter will retire to spend more time with friends and family, she said.

The Division of Student Affairs announced Thursday the University Health Services Associate Vice President and Director Jeanne Carpenter will retire Sept. 1. Chris Brownson, director of the Counseling and Mental Health Center, will take her position as associate vice president of student affairs and look for a new director of the center.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with dedicated, professional staff who are really looking out for the best interest of the students,” Carpenter said. “From the other side, I have the opportunity to interact with student leaders and Student Health Advisory Committee members and have had a wonderful working relationship with so many students.”

Carpenter praised Chris Brownson as a good choice to replace her as associate vice president of student affairs who also oversees the Counseling and Mental Health Center, the Sanger Learning and Career Center and University Health Services.

“He is an excellent speaker and communicator,” she said. “He has had experience working in all four areas that will be in his portfolio and he’s well respected by the staff of each of his units.”

Juan Gonzalez, vice president of student affairs, said Carpenter was a true professional and a joy to work with.

“She was held in the absolute highest regard with absolute fondness,” Gonzalez said. “She’s a kind person. She has great people skills, always treated people with dignity and respect.”

Gonzalez praised Carpenter’s work as director of University Health Services, a position she has held since 1997.

“She helped implement a modern electronic records system,” he said. “Her health center is regarded as one of the most well-run university health centers in the nation.”

Brownson said he is sad to see Carpenter retire.

“She has been an excellent supervisor and mentor, and a friend,” he said in an email. “She always makes decisions based on what is in the best interest of students on our campus.”

Stephanie Manjudano, Student Health Advisory Committee officer liaison, said she was impressed with the interactions Carpenter had with students at committee meetings last year.

“She wanted to know what we thought about University Health Services, what our opinions were, what our concerns, what our opinions about every aspect of Health Services was,” she said. “She was also very personable and we feel like she really tried to get to know students.”

Printed on 07/18/2011 as: Administrator of UHS to retire, coworker to take over position