McKinney at Pokemon Tournament

New to Me, and Me New to You

Issue 18: October 11, 2023

Greetings, War Hawk Herald readers; my name is Aiden McKinney, but my friends call me McKinney, so you can too! I’ll be writing for the War Hawk Herald this year, so I figured I would have my first article be an introduction to me, who I am, and what I do.

I am a first year, although I will be classed as a sophomore next semester. I’m a BFA Theatre & BS Criminology double major with minors in Sociology & Creative Writing. Along with writing for the Herald, I am also presently a work-study for the Financial Aid office on campus, which has been good fun; being able to help students who need assistance is something I love to do.

As for other places you might see me on campus, I am the sitting Freshman Class President, Freshman Favorite nominee (thanks, flock one, you know who you are), Treasurer of the Sociology & Criminology Club, and the TRIO Student Leadership Organization. Otherwise, you’ll see me at the various Honors Program events. For instance, we were treated to Logan’s Roadhouse by Dr. LeMasters recently. I play eSports for the Smash Ultimate and Overwatch 2 teams and am very excited about the program’s 24-hour charity stream for the Children’s Miracle Network. I plan to participate by playing through every Borderlands game on stream with some other players. It will be on November fourth, on the McMurry eSports twitch channel. Our uniforms are super sleek, and I’m enjoying having a few times a week where I can just go and play games with a group of people as serious about them as I am.

On that note, if you google my first and last name (as future employers likely will), one of the first results is a picture of a chubby kid on crutches holding a trophy and a Bulbasaur plush. Yes, that is me; when I was nine through eleven, I had the opportunity to play Pokemon competitively. I was the 2015 VGC National Champion and placed 6th at the 2015 World Championship in my division. I wouldn’t take it back for the world, but it will always cloud my history anytime someone tries to find my LinkedIn.

As for my recent projects, I co-directed a condensed version of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing I translated and rewrote it to align with our vision, notably adding a sword fight and meshing the Claudio and Hero plot with the Benedick and Beatrice plot, which the script was sorely lacking. I was then in charge of choreographing a 4-minute fight scene, which awakened my love of stage combat so much that I am working toward my stage combat certifications.

Regarding my goals, I want to go to graduate school, which is a point of pride for me as a first-generation student. Whether I go for my MFA in Theatre or my JD remains to be seen(possibly both?). I would love to go through grad school without student debt, and I recognize that is a lofty goal. However, I believe that if you shoot for the stars, even if you miss, you’ll still land somewhere on the Moon.

The reason I am at McMurry with you today is because my high school technical theatre director recommended it to me. Taylor Compton, who is an alumnus of McMurry University and someone who I and likely many other of his former pupils owe their love of theatre to. I went to one of the honors previews and loved it, so here I am. As far as my impression of McMurry? I love it. The people are kind, the faculty is knowledgeable and teaches well, the financial aid is excellent, and I enjoy being in an environment where the education seems to be more tailored to me as an individual than it would be at, say, Texas Tech. Can you tell I’m from Lubbock?

Of particular note, I am very much enjoying Rev. Dr. Miller’s “Introduction to the Old Testament” class. As someone with a complex relationship with faith, I expected to encounter at least some friction following McMurry’s “Christian Tradition” graduation requirement. However, I am delighted to report that I was wrong. Dr. Miller facilitates discussion from all viewpoints. I have enjoyed his class so much that not only did I sign an Honors Contract with him but I also plan to take his Greek courses in my sophomore year to satisfy my foreign language requirement.

Thanks for reading, and Ala Cumba!