Archive for October 5th, 2018

Overcoming adversity: ‘Breaking Bad’ actor R.J. Mitte speaks about overcoming challenges in his life

Friday, October 5th, 2018

By Brenna Eller
Collegian Editor-In-Chief

When a child is asked what they want to be when they grow up, they hardly ever say sitting in an office all day or doing something they aren’t fond of. Instead they say they want to be a doctor, firefighter, singer, or even an actor/actress. The limits have seemed to change for college students who once had those dreams themselves.

Twenty-six-year-old actor, model, and cerebral palsy activist, R.J Mitte who spoke at the Ray and Stella Dillon Lecture Series on Tuesday Oct. 2 at the Sports Arena, explains that no one should limit themselves on what they can or can’t do. Mitte spoke about struggles he has faced with the condition and stressed the thought, “Can’t is a decision, and a mindset.”

Mitte is most known for roles in television shows, the main one being Walter White Jr. on AMC’s hit show “Breaking Bad”, who has cerebral palsy, same as Mitte, except in reality, Mitte’s condition is milder, so he had to slow his speech and learn to walk with crutches for the show.

Mitte, like others with CP, was born with the disorder where the brain lacks the appropriate amount of oxygen.  Mitte is also known for characters he played in “Switched at Birth”, “Weeds”, “Vegas”, and even acted in “Hannah Montana” and “Everybody Hates Chris”.

Still acting, Mitte helps with several charities on the side, such as Shriners Hospitals for Children, Special Olympics, ALS Associations, and many more organizations dedicated to helping others.

Mitte was born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana. From age 3-13, his mother took him to Shriners Hospital for many types of therapy and braces. Mitte was a “severe toe walker and his feet bent downwards, so he walked on the tips of his toes, so he had to go through a lot of physical therapy. During his lecture, Mitte described the casts he had to wear and shared about sticking frozen coins in them during the hot summer to cool his legs.

Despite his optimism, growing up with the disorder had its challenges. Even though Mitte participated in normal childhood activities like soccer and riding dirt bikes, he explained what it was like with bullies.

“People with disabilities don’t want to be labeled as disabled,” Mitte said.

He also explained how a lot of people stand by while bullying takes place.

“If you see something, say something,” Mitte said. “Everyone has the ‘someone else will take care of it’ mentality and we need to break it.”

Mitte followed that thought with a story involving a blind man on the same plane as him recently. The man was in need of assistance, according to Mitte, and got lost trying to figure out where he was going. Mitte decided to step up and guide the man, even though he was a stranger and several people were watching the blind man struggle, yet Mitte was the only one that took initiative.

From a young age, Mitte learned the importance of self-worth. His grandfather pushed the philosophy of “Can’t say can’t” and the idea stuck with him. When answering his grandpa, Mitte had two options, “Yes”, or “I wasn’t in the room, or didn’t hear you.”

His grandfather showed him that even though people told Mitte he couldn’t do specific things, that it was their decision, not his and wanted him to be the best he could be.

Mitte not only faced his own obstacles, but his family’s as well. When he was 12-and-a-half years old, Mitte’s mother was in a car accident that partially paralyzed her for seven years. His grandfather also suffered a stroke that left him fully paralyzed on the left side.

“Without challenges, where would we be in our lives?” Mitte said. “It’s those challenges that shape us.”

In 2006 Mitte’s family moved to California to support his sister, Lacianne, while she was trying out for an acting opportunity. That was also the time, Mitte was recognized and started going to acting classes just for fun and to meet kids his own age. Before he knew it, Mitte was pushed into the entertainment industry, or as he called it, “The Mob”.

The main focus of Mitte’s speech was to not limit yourself to the small things, but instead reach as far as you can, and then even further.

“It’s up to you how far you want to reach,” Mitte said. “Step out of your realm of comfort.”

When asked earlier in the press conference what the overall message would be to the Hutchinson Community College students, Mitte said, “Protect your brand and image, you are cultivating your business, jobs look at you as an individual on social media and what you represent.”

Mitte also wanted to inform students that being aware of who they are and not being afraid to show people their true self is important.

“The people around you set your tone, if you don’t stand up for something, then who will?,” Mitte said. “We only get one chance to show people who and what we are, so stand up for what you believe in, what we believe is all we have.”

 

 

Let’s get political: 2018 midterms

Friday, October 5th, 2018

By Jared Shuff
Staff writer

With midterm elections coming up on Nov. 6, it’s more important than ever to make your voice heard.

There are so many reasons why it’s important to vote, especially as a college student. This generation has the ability to shift the political balance, either way, if they would go to the polls.

Many students are disengaged from political issues, usually because of a distrust in the government or the feeling that their vote doesn’t really matter.

The votes of students are incredibly important. This generation will be the ones to live with whatever changes are made in our government. So, in an attempt to gain some interest before the registration deadline on Oct. 16th, here is a brief summarization of what a few candidates, who will be on the local ballots, stand for.

Kris Kobach (Republican Gubernatorial Candidate):

Education
Direct more money into teacher pay, book, etc.
Develop partnerships with trade schools

Welfare Reform
Provide hand up to less fortunate, not handouts
End welfare fraud and abuse
Create economic environment with high-paying jobs

Government
Enact term limits
Capping property tax appraisals
Low-tax and low regulation policies

Illegal Immigration
End in-state tuition for illegal immigrants
Stop providing welfare for illegal immigrants

Life
Protect, preserve, ensure culture of life in Kansas
Safeguard human life from conception to natural death

2nd Amendment
Safeguard right to bear arms
Preserve concealed carry

Laura Kelly (Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate):

Education
Invest in higher education, technical schools and job training programs
Fund K-12 Schools
Improve Student Mental Health

Economics
Support new industry that leverages our state’s strengths
Encourage rural growth and prosperity
Prioritize investment in Infrastructure

Government
Restore public confidence in Kansas government
Reinstating the Equal Protection for State Workers
Reversing the Adoption Discrimination Bill

Healthcare
Expand Medicaid
Reform KanCare (People over Profit)
Protect Women’s Reproductive Rights

Public Safety
Passing common sense gun legislation
Funding Public Safety

Paul Waggoner (Republican Representative of 104th District):

Education
Bring school financing to the vote of the people
More school choices for underprivileged students

Economics
Remove unnecessary regulations
Make Kansas a desirable place to start a business

Government
Reformation of Kansas Supreme Court Judge selection
Push for governmental transparency

Healthcare
Against Medicaid Expansion
Sanctity of Life and protection of the unborn

Civil Freedoms
Freedom of religious liberty and conscious rights
Freedom of self-defense/right to bear arms

Jason Probst (Democratic Representative of 102nd District and Hutchinson Community College alumus):

Economics
Create good climate for established local business
Find innovative ways to create jobs for neighborhoods
Make Hutchinson a great place to live, work, and start a business

Education
Adequately and equitably fund children’s education
Explore new teaching ideas that benefit students
Work with urban, suburban, and rural districts

Government
Elected Officials must listen to residents
tax policy must be fair and widely spread across the state’s residents
Redistricting must be handled by bipartisan committee

Healthcare
Medicaid expansion would have provided healthcare to 150,000 Kansans
Veto of the bill was “morally repugnant”
Expand Medicaid for families who can’t afford/employer doesn’t cover

Protecting Children
Programs designed to give children safe and stable environment
Investments will produce the next generation of Kansans
Take time now to help children so they prepared for the future