Wednesday, February 28, 2007

FMLA's version of Vagina Monologues

Media Credit: Norma

I just watched the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance's version of Eve Esnler's Vagina Monologues and boy, do I have to say that I was so inspired by female empowerment. I have got to say that it was great watching all these women talk so open about something that I know that women would NEVER and I mean NEVER talk about. Knowing that this Monologue was out there has just been inspiring.

As an audience one has to forget that there is explicit content and that to me is what I left at the door as soon as I walked in. I said, no, just be open and honest about yourself about your vagina. Be open about the sex life you have or don't but most of all, I had the opportunity to watch and listen to the women of FMLA want to make people think and care about what not only happens to women but to everyone and that is why these Monologues are important. Damn it!

I do feel that the FMLA is the most misunderstood club at Cerritos College, that why I took on the assignment and I am glad I did. I wanted to educate myself about who I am, who I will be and who I will be remembered. That was accomplished today. As for what the women the were wearing, I was impressed with the black clothing. I thought that all of them looked sexy. Oh, my gay side is out. Oh, well, I hope all of the FMLA members don't mind. But I totally laughed myself to death and I was to the point that my abs hurt too much. For students afterward the performance that stood out for them and for me was philosophy major Gredma Casasola's moaning (at the right standing behind the screen). I was turned on. Oh, ---- I'm red! But she is sexy. I love my vagina!

Two Senators get appointed

Media Credit: Norma

Relief. That's what newcomer Melissa Singh said after her appointment to the Senator today along with the other. I know it must be hard to face your peers about why you want to make a difference within the college. I know that if I had the opportunity again to go back to high school everything would have been different. However, there is something that really, really bothered me today when the question and answer period came from Senator Alyssa Huerta.

She dared to ask would both communicate to the students in their class about events that are going on at Cerritos! Wait, a minute! Oskar Ruiz, former ASCC Sergent of Arms said that there has been NO communication between students and senator so I have to say, How dare you ASK that. What have you done lately? Have you honestly communicated to the students about what is going on at Cerritos? Have you? How can you ask a question about communication when you haven't done it yourself. That's why Ruiz was there last week, giving you his thoughts. What a ----- this was. I was so furious I was almost tempted to slap her in the face.

I'm serious, I was about to let her have it. I, along with another staff writer were just in disbelief when Huerta ask that. Yes, a double standard. And no, she didn't know better that to open a can of worms from my point of view. I have always tried to communicate about what I do as a journalist, why it is important and that feedback is also important, and even if I was one of the Senator I would communicate even BEFORE taking a Senate seat. Ruiz was right when he commented that there has been NO communicate and for someone to claim they have communicated to the students of activities, shows me how little education they have. So, the next time she dares to ask that question, the next time I will nail her about it.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The concern over MySpace at Cerritos

Note: More photos will be uploaded soon.

Cerritos College is having a huge problem with the website MySpace. As the college began the ban in the fall of 2005 there has been no re-enforcement of the ban. To be honest, it is the person who first started MySpace and it has continued to grow that's the problem.

Yeah, you heard me right the person who started the MySpace craze is the one at fault and students are second to blame for being the followers of this madness. I seriously think that people need to focus on education instead of worrying about who wrote back to them on their MySpace. That is why I refuse to have one. I am not saying that I haven't been tempted. When I volunteered at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, would you believe that those who getting paid to work there would actually be on MySpace while on duty? YES! I am sure you are saying but it's true!

I would be told to get a MySpace account because, "everyone's got one!" and I thought oh, God. Back in 1998 when I first attended Cerritos it was all about Collegeclub a similar website to MySpace but its popularity soon died with the creation of MySpace. I have been following this story for a while since I joined the staff and to be honest nothing has changed. Nothing will! It is true when one students told that it doesn't matter what the Dean of the Library tries to do anyone can still access the website or for that matter pornography too.

I agree, but it is sad that everyone who has a MySpace are being followers of a craze that will go away, instead of being and developing into being leaders of the United States of America.

Stories, stories and more stories for Talon Marks

Media Credit: Norma

Last Thursday and over the weekend I had worked on stories for the Talon Marks. Seriously, I think that it is said that the newspaper will be 10 pages and the first five can be news pages. And the reason? Here is Javier Romo, Cal State Fullerton student and electrical engineering major and Andre Khamati, Cerritos student and marketing major. They are known as L.I. Crew, (L.I. means Legendary Icon). Both came to the house for an interview. I have to say that they were honest about why they wanted to change the perception of hip-hop music. I look at this way, I know that hip-hop is popular and when I met this group at the Spoken Word event last November the music was different, but I have an open mind.

Ah, Black Student Union Club held its fifth annual Fashion and Talent Show. Cool, I say. I was actually the only Hispanic there among all the students and parents. But the fact that people can have fun, the color of your skin doesn't matter to anyone. I had fun. That's the important part of the story for me. Yeah, that's right the color of your skin DON'T matter.

The Cerritos College Music Department faculty showed off its talents yesterday with a Gala concert. I had taken piano class before and here is the picture of the crowd and the majority of the more than 60 in attendance were from the Applied Music Program. It doesn't look like there are more than 60 but I have to estimate the crowd at this point. I enjoyed myself at the concert. I know that be instructors aren't the only talent the Cerritos faculty have.

Well, the news about the Cerritos College Cheer Squad win third place at the Collegiate level in Las Vegas is awesome. I spoke to the co-captians Linsday Cox, and Linda Chavez. I did I mention that they were nice women. My God, I didn't realize that Chavez had been in a music class until I saw her. She said the same thing. Anyway, I was proud of them and one of the things that they told me was that cheerleading wasn't about short skirts and pom-poms. It is a commitment to a sports and yes all of those who are on the team are athletes.

About time someone said that. One of the things I used to do when I was in high school was observe the cheerleading and color guard times at the music department. At that time there were more than 60 women on the team but I also went to Pioneer High School in Whittier and the team was more than 75 women on that time. However, both were very committed to what had to done to be successful at the sport and hours were spent practicing with injuries involved and I have had a respect for those who are on the team for a long time.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Male Feminists are revealed and Board members looking to help students gain gas money

Media Credit: Norma

I loved attending the "Unmasking the Male Feminist" Forum discussion today in the Social Science Building today at 11 a.m. and boy, was there tension in the room about what the role of the woman is. First, let me start by saying that the room was so crowded that there were student literally sitting on the floor and standing against the wall. I could not move from one place to the other. I was just standing there the whole time. The discussion was sponsored by the Philosophy Club and the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance.

There was so much going on during this discussion that there is no way that I could go through it all, but essentially what the goal was, was to educate students about what feminism is and what is it not. However, the discussion turned heated when one of the Senator question the economic aspect of feminism. As you can see from the photos I took there was no way from me to get everyone in the photos. That would have been a miracle if I could have. But instead, I have to say that I am satisfied with the results of the photos itself.

I know that students really enjoyed themselves with this event and there is talk of holding the event again this semester. Cool, I thought! I know that I want to be there again and again and over again. Why not? I have been educated and I want to be educated! My arendline is pumping, pounding and can't get enough of it. I know there is a movement, that the third wave of feminism has ended, yet and that cool. Keeping with the fact that Cerritos had this event, and hoped to do it again that to me send the message of keeping the movement of feminism alive. Excellent!

Cerritos students got an education today and so did I. The blindness of what I have heard through media, magazine about what the thought of feminism was has now been thrown out the window by me. And I will continue to look toward reading more material and continue to have this in mind.

Hence, I keep learning more and more about the things that the Board of Trustees wanted to do to effect change. (Mr. Cameron is that right?) The premilary thing is that there is talk of developing a program like a program that is currently being done at Rio Hondo College called, "Go Rio" is that students from Rio Hondo will receive a free bus pass to ride public transportation witht the Metropolitian Transportation Authority and local bus carriers as well.

There is too much car traffic here at Cerritos, but I admit that it's something I don't have to worry about because I don't drive. But for those who do at least you will save gas money. Gas, now is no longer under $!! GET IT! So, if people take advantage of the opportunity than people will not be complaining about losing money and putting miles in its car.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Breaking News ASCC Senators receive wake up call from former member

Media Credit: Norma

Well, this comes as no surprise to me as a journalist. Former Sergent of Arms Oskar Ruiz addressed the Senators today about the lack of communication between those who are representatives of the students and the students themselves. He said there is so much lack of communication that all of them, all 25 Senators need to stop focusing on going in and out that he is there needs for someone, if all of them to look closer in the mirror. Isn't that we at the Talon Marks address when we wrote about student apathy during the Jan. 31 issue? The answer is yes.

I believe that the only reason Ruiz said all that today is because he had read the article itself. There was no way that he would have not read it. But in a personal standpoint we all say that thank God for Ruiz because there is absolutely no communication what so ever. And not only that but Cerritos students don't give a rat's ---- about what is going on in college. I know that from just meaning students during the four semesters I have been on staff. My God, I know that just as a journalist I would have been able to say that to them. The message should get across now! And ---- if it didn't because I'm sure that Ruiz would say the same thing again, if given the chance again.

However, I do think that all of the colleges across the United States and overseas are doing this to every single students who has attended its college. The mentality of knowing that a student has to complete college in an X amount of time is bull---- and that to me as a student and journalist is what makes students not enjoy being in college. When is it going to stop? If it doesn't stop now, it never will.

But I have a question for you? Have you ever thought about it? I am not saying that I have been perfect. My parents have dug that mentality of 'You have to finish! When are you going to finish?' That is what I had to do in high school and that's why I never participated in student government. And it ------ me off. But again we as parents, faculty, and others in between have to seriously look at ourselves and what we teach.

Breaking News The next Spoken Word to be held off campus

I just received word that there is a possibly that the next Spoken Word scheduled for March will be held off campus instead of on campus at Cerritos College. I talked to the Master of Ceremonies from the Spoken Word event Erik Herrera and said that the reason is this: Those who work in the Student Activities didn't support what the Students for Social Justice club was trying to do. That means that what members of the SSJ were looking for was equipment that lacked before the event took place. See, what was weird for Herrera was that an additional request form had to be filled out for the equipment. For the entire event there was only one microphone without the cable. That led for additional members of the SSJ to get the extra equipment from Cafe Kashmir in South Gate.

Furthermore, Herrera said there was energy of the students who attended last Thursday's event and feels that those who attended the last one last November had the freedom to be themselves. I understand that too. I felt that those who were there weren't sure what to make of the event itself and many of the more than 40 people there weren't accustomed to hearing explicit content either. But I have to ask myself why. The excuse of 'Well, we are on campus' is not a good one. There was nobody there to say that we couldn't express ourselves the way we did. However, I do realize that a majority of students spend endless hours of school and have never seen a event like Spoken Word before, and to be honest that trend needs to stop!

There is another side to this to, and that is Cerritos students need to wake up, use the first amendment of the United States and to the clubs that were involved I don't think you should be discouraged by what has happened, and the clubs that were involved were:

Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance
• Sociology Club
• Puente Club
• M.E.Ch.A. Club
Writer’s Anonymous

I am hoping that the clubs will never stop and I know that all the clubs will NOT! Cerritos students also have to be open-minded about Spoken Word. What the event is, is that it gives students the opportunity to express what they have wanted to say through poetry, music and dialogue. Don't you see? That where people need to take advantage of the first amendment. Otherwise what the ---- are the clubs holding this event for. Yeah, that's right I'm angry, and you ever wonder why students don't know what is going on, on the campus?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Cerritos students get health educated about their bodies

Media Credit: Norma

The Student Nursing Association of Cerritos College was holding a health awarness day at Cerritos today. Everything from sex education, to stress to cholestrol was addressed to every student that walked by. Those with the SNACC said that it was important to let those students know about what effects the body. I know that as I have been told over and over again. I am actually a danger to myself. Why you ask? because when I first met my yoga teacher I had weighed 180 lbs.

At the time I knew that I had to lose the weight to feel better about myself. However, I did it the wrong way. I would go days without eating and seeing what I did to my body it was a bad idea but let me say that it was my decision to deal with what I hated the most: that is looking in the mirror and seeing a fat person reflected back.

I know it doesn't make sense but that what I did and I don't have regrets about it. But in light of seeing this event can I be honest if I may it didn't affect me that much. I know what I have done and will continue to do. I made a choice when I got older and that will not change.

What was funny is that everyone who was at a booth was offering a prize. I like freebees. Anyway, it is not that I didn't learn anything, I know I have to pay attention to my body and this was just one way to do it.

I'm no longer a virgin because I did it

Media Credit: Tanya Bermudez

Greetings everyone! Yes, I finally performed at the Spoken Word 2007 last Thursday and let me tell you, it was one of the most satisfying things that I have ever done. Being that it was my FIRST time ever I can now say that I'm no longer a virgin because I did it. (I'm at the right with the black shirt with Madonna on it) I don't know what came over me but beforehand I was so nervous I didn't know what to do. I was trying as hard as I could to calm myself down. Pacing back and forth between the stage and looking out toward the crowd (beforehand) there was a pounding in my heart. However, once it was my turn I turned off the fact that there were people in the room and said what I had to say. The event was hosted by the Students for Social Justice club. The clubs that were involved were:

Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance
• Sociology Club
• Puente Club
• M.E.Ch.A. Club
Writer’s Anonymous

Amazing, I say. I don't know what happened but I said I did it. Afterward, people said that I didn't look nervous and I thought, well, you know what I was just focused on the fact that I had the spotlight for a few minutes and then it was over. That was it! Are you kidding me? I was just focusing on what I had talked about: my yoga teacher and me coming out of the closet. Yes, I had waiting 27 years of my life to say that I'm gay and proud of it. Yes, I have waiting years to air out my frustrations that I have been holding onto for years. SO, I did it.

I felt that the 27 years I had been holding in my anger against everything and all the things that I have seen has finally been lifted from my shoulders. But there is something else. I am still dealing with the sudden loss of my yoga teacher who passed away on Jan. 24. That has also contributed to my anger and sadness for this life. I can't believe she is not physically here. That's why I wrote the untitled poem I did because of that sudden loss of her.

The following is part of the poem I read:
She was the reason I had a reason to live
She was the reason I had a place to go and see things
She was the reason I loved my life again
because without her I don't know what I would have done to myself

However, her life was altered beause of something that had controlled her body
It is a word that I wish to ------- God I had the chance to get rid of
I don't know, it ------ me off when I found out she had to deal with it herself

She was the reason I knew my life meant something
Her name was Michele and her life had been cut short
because of that six-letter word

I wanted to ------- kill someone because of what happened to her
She didn't deserve to ------ deal with the ---- that happened
She was a good woman and I only blame the six-letter word called cancer

Michele meant a lot to me for those of you who don't know. She was my yoga teacher
Who helped me through the difficult times I had seen
I knew her for five years and I learned a lot from her as a student
She taught me the meaning of life and she was also my sunshine

In addition, people were so supportive of what I did that I have said that I would do it again. And I plan on it. However, there was a down size to it: it was the energy of the crowd and I do think that holding the event off campus would be best. I just spoke to the MC of the Spoken Word and he said that, the clubs are looking into it. Cool, I thought. I would do it again like I said and this time all of it will come out.

Again. The first time is always the hardest but I got that out of the way. The funny part of the show was with Axayacatl Nevarez our Talon Marks cartoonist, who lit a dollar bill on fire. He said that he forgot his poetry and didn't know what to say but that the value of money was always something that people fight for. Or it's something like that. True, I say. True. Well, like I said before I have finally done it, and I'm ready for the next time...this time it will be rated R.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Update: Student denied Senator appointment

Media Credit: Norma

I just received word that Gerardo Jimenez Valdez was denied an appointment as an ASCC Senator yesterday because he did have the grade point average of 2.25 requirement. Hmm. I knew it! Somehow, before he went up there I had a bad feeling yesterday about this gentleman. I'm not psyhic but it was just something about him that was not a good feeling. Anyway, the staff writer that was covering the Senate meeting said that he would only said that he didn't meeting the GPA requirement and that was it. His GPA is a 2.0. In the end, B-A-D.

Hmm. but to me it spelled out he refused to say anything else. That's how I see it. If you ask nice enough to those who are there at the Senate meeting one of the things that you must do, I think, is ask for reaction afterward. There is another side to this too. I noticed that in the resume that he his GPA was low. Either he didn't know or someone didn't explain the requirement to him. So, you see I see a double standard here. Someone should have definitely told him or Valdez was perhaps thinking that nobody would have noticed. Either way, he was denied so, he should hit the books, pronto!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Senate appoints two more, talk about MySpace, Presidential Procedures, recycling and Clubs have fun on Valentine's Day

Media Credit: Norma

Two more come
Two more Senators were looking to be appointed to the Senate today and I was very struck by something. You, see the gentleman who is there named Gerardo Jimenez Valdez, he wanted to write a guest column for Talon Marks and when I saw him there wanting to be a Senator I could only shake my head. Hmm. I however, had a different point of view of what he said, that of what was very brief. I didn't feel the sincerity in his voice. I don't know I tend to listen to someone voice and if I am not struck by you, you lose me. That's exactly what happened here. But with the other one who was running for Senator I understood the position she was in.

Trust me when I say that when my mom came to California from El Salvador she was not able to speak a word of English and wanted to learn how to speak it. So, for that I understood the position that Senator Syntia Hadiningtias was in.

MySpace Problem
MySpace was another concern for Senator today and rightfully so. When a MySpace survey was taken last semester 89 percent had a MySpace account. I on the other hand, don't have MySpace and I will never be drawn to it. Everyone who has MySpace can do what they please but I'm a leader not a follower.

Presidential Measure
Senator Jaime Sandoval and Raymond Abudeye were bringing forward a Presidential legislation concerning Elections code with the fact that the sale of popcorn or other items will have a time limit afterward. That there will be fines for those who are running for Senate or President. I like the idea and go with it.

Recycling Begins Journey
ASCC President Joe Cobarrubio pictured at right address the Senate about the recycling drive and to me love the idea and that what the ASCC is doing is good for the environment. Ends global warming, so I suggest bring those bottles, cans, plastics and whatever else is needed to save Mother Earth.

Love in the Air
'Want to get lyed?'
In honor of Valentine's Day today clubs were out to get students to buy for that special loved one. The sales were of everything from roses to teddy bears to candy by the Pacific Islanders Club.

And candy that was in the shape of vaginas as the promoting for the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance's presentation of the Vagina Monologues. I love it!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

GodSpell auditions and the Spoken Word rehearsals

Media Credit: Norma

Last night I went to the GodSpell audition at the Cerritos College Burnight Theatre. There were only eight students who auditioned with seven of them being men. That's cool, when I was at the Automotive competition on Saturday I was surrounded by men too. No problem. I am use to have men around as I have done the stories but the auditions last night were fun. Each had the opportunity to sing and dance for a part on the play. I greatly admire those who have the talent to be in front of a crowd to perform. Makes me wonder how I am going to do Thursday night at the Spoken Word event. Like I said it will be my FIRST time ever doing such a performance.

However, there is something that I have asked myself and wonder why anyone would ask, and it's not that I mind but I am the media. I was asked last night if I'd like to audition for GodSpell but I decline for the simple fact that it's a conflict of interest. It's much the same way when I gave the Spoken Word story to another staff writer since I'm performing in it. I draw the line in order to not to step in anyone's toes. Anyway, last night there were some great performances and two of the men had really great singing voice too. I actually think that they should consider recording an album. Also, I thought that I was actually on Broadway in New York City. I do think that those who showed up last night will go far in a stage career. So, many celebrities have tried to show their talents in other areas. Julia Roberts, Matt Damon and of course (my idol) Madonna did it two years ago. And that's what I see for these people.

I, on the other hand, am better off at what I do best: write! No, way, shape or form do I see myself on a Broadway stage because I don't have that kind of talent for it. I have never taken a theatre course during my time at Cerritos, and I don't plan on it now. I need to focus on getting out of here.

Media Credit: Norma
Members of the Students for Social Justice and other campus clubs came together to figure out the line-up for the Spoken Word this Thursday at the Student Center. Since my poems deal with self-identity I will be near the beginning; I say All right! I am actually excited and I can't wait to go on stage for the first time in my life. It will be a great feeling to see my name called and I will be ready to sweat it out. I saw within this group the love for this and how important the message is to them to get it out to others.

Even when I was taking pictures flyers were being passed out and I was like, "Coool!" I was like no problem. Actually Adriana Cervantes, journalism major, said saying that I should stop acting like a journalist for a minutes to figure out what I was going to read. I laugh.

I know that you are asking what "The Hill" is and as you can see from the photos (I hope) that there is a hill on the Main area and that is where people just hang out with friend and talk, or just, "chill" so students love "The Hill." I know that it's 10 to 20 years from now it is a possibility that the main area could be changed and when of the things that students hope won't go away is that hill. I hope so too. I tend to sit there and think from time to time. I hope it won't.

Oh, well, I got the pictures I wanted didn't I? Well, I will go over my poems again because I am repeating myself with, "She was," or "She is," and I don't want to repeat myself. I hate that. But anyway, I will see what I can do about it. Fix the damn poems I say.

See ya all Thursday night!

Monday, February 12, 2007

More than 900 students are on academic probation

Media Credit: Norma

Christopher Olivares, commissioner of budget and finance (pictured at the right) announced today that at least more than 900 Cerritos students are currently on academic probation and commented that, that number is surprising and that something needs to be done. I say, that's true but I know what it's like to be on academic probation. Why do you think I left college the first back in 2000? that's is because I was on academic probation, that's why! I know that it's hard for students to focus on education and even if they are trying as hard as they can to get good grades nobody in this world is perfect.

If you ever find someone who is perfect, have him or her e-mail me. I made a huge mistake back in 1998 when I first attended Cerritos College and that was when I enrolled in five classes all at once. And if you don't remember I said that the first class I took was at 6:30 a.m. That's right, 6:30 in the morning, people! I was stunned if not at the college at the crack of dawn and I thought that I was made of steel and could handle all of the classes that I enrolled in. From that day on, I will never, ever, ever do that again because there is no way to cram so much information into the human brain. But there is the other side of the argument about those who are in academic probation, and that group of students are the ones who think just because they are free to do what they want that attending class is not important. My brain is what got me into bigger trouble with my parents about be lazy.

It took me three years to gain the trust of my parents back and let them know that I wasn't going to fail again. It was one of the most difficult things I had to do as not only a daughter, but as a student as well. My mom would give me the lecture of what the hell I was doing in school and saying that she trusted me when she thought I had gone to school; I wasn't. However, I do think that is still going on. I don't think that my parents do trust me and that everything I do is meaningless. I have taken my education seriously since returning to Cerritos in the spring of 2003. Mine you, I'm a slow learner and that's why it has taken me so long to finish. I can go into details about it but I'll be honest. I had to have private tutoring for my math course in elementary school until the 8th grade. Math has always been my worst subject, and that's where my attention span quit.

That's why I thought at the time attending college wasn't important, and then just a lot of other ---- happened. So, if that helps you understand where I'm coming from or you know what I'm talking about then you know how I feel about that. All this about importance of finishing college and getting a degree; I get it. I understand it. And I'm doing it. No need to lecture me on it every day until I die. Sometimes I do wish that my mom was in my shoes to see the things that I do for the Cerritos Talon Marks newspaper. She doesn't understand and I wished she did. But no matter how hard I try there is nothing I can't do about it. I just know I do what I have to do to succeed, and stay off academic probation.


How did I cover three stories in two days?

Media Credit: Norma

How did I cover three stories in two days? First, I like to say that I have NO idea how I did it but I did. I as a journalist covered the following stories: a mental health forum with U.S. Rep. Grace Napolitiano (D-CA), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and Jack Armistad (R-MN), and this was a good forum to listen to because I didn't realize the importance of this issue where health insurance companies have refused to cover people suffering with mental illness or a drug addiction. As the people who were there in a panel describing their personal stories of how the insurance companies have refused to cover for treatment in both the mental health and drug addiction scenario, I thought of what I put my mom through with all of the ---- I did when I was a teenager.

Growing up, I had seen a lot of abuse during my time and to be nakedly honest it was during my first seven years of life. I have heard that the first seven years were important for a child because what they have seen and learn through parents it would affect the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, for me it was the cause of the mental status that I am sure at one point made my mom think that I should have been admitted to a mental institution. I am sure of it. Whether it was something that she had thought about I don't know the answer to that, but one day I will muster enough courage to ask. I, at one point did want to end my life because of what I saw, but I am unfortunate enough to say that I am still here, living and breathing the life that I still have. In the end, it was good to know that the issue of those dealing with mental issue are fighting to have their voices heard.

Following the mental health forum, I was covering the Automotive Southern California High School Competition in the Automotive Department. How cool was this? I have not thought of the automotive business as a booming industry but there has to be a time when someone has to know about cars. I have to think about reading up on it. Anyway, 15 high school from in and around SoCal came to Cerritos College to compete, and the farthest was Palmdale High School. That commitment from the duo who showed up. The competition was based on points earned at nine station in the Automotive Dept. yard. Each duo from the high school had a 12 minute time limit to figured out the problem with the car or shocks and other items, with the addition of a three minutes lapse.

Media Credit: Norma

Also, the students' mathematics skills were put to the test. As I went around each station to take pictures all of the students were focused and the overall winning team will be announced this week. You would believe what they get. First an all-expense paid try to New York City to be at the Auto Show, and the school will also receive a 2007 mustang. I have to admit I am so --------- jealous I wanted to say take me with you to NYC! And a mustang too! Damn! Afterward, all of them said that there were some of the station that were easy and others that were hard but that they were confident their school had won. That's exactly what the high school instructors said beforehand and that they were their for support and high expectations. There was no doubt its high school was going to win the trip to NYC. Ah, the competition was in the air!

Lastly, yesterday I went to the Project HOPE health fair in Anahiem were more than 60 volunteer from the program were representing Cerritos. Everything from physical, to a check of high blood pressure were offered for free to Anahiem residents were of low-income families and families that can't afford to pay for a doctor's visit. Arriving around 10 a.m. me along with another staff writer got to work as I was looking for people to talk to from Cerritos and those residents in Anahiem.

Media Credit: Brittany Cooper

There was at least a crowd of 1,000 people and the effort was to make residents aware that there was help for them according to exernal affairs manager John James Nicoletti. He added that more that 35,000 flyers were distributed to every elementary school and homes in the city. I was like, "Whoa!" Amazing I say. I also noted that among those in the crowd were from the Hispanic/Latino community. I spoke to a couple of them and the reason why they were there was to get a check-up on their health. That to me was the most meaningful.

There is always someone in need. I could relate to being a person in need, or in this case my mom at the time. I have seen a lot of things in my life. I remember one time when we needed a place to stay because my mom being a single mother with me was kicked out of the apartment in Sherman Oaks. However, my mom is a self-employed housecleaner and she had known Richard Runyon for more than 10 years. Out of the goodness of his heart he helped us out and we stayed at the Van Nuys airport for a time. He died on Nov. 13, 2001 from a airplane accident. But despite his death I have not forgotten what he did for us. My mom now and then remembers what he did for us. She misses him she has told me. I do too. I know that throughout this life someone is always in need and if you can help that person will never, ever, ever forget.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Norma to debut at Spoken Word on Feb. 15

Media Credit: Norma

I have an announcement to make. I WILL be performing at the Spoken Word event next Thursday at the Student Center at Cerritos. I am so excited and nervous that I don't know what to do. I will do a part that I like to call "Finding My Own Identity." I wrote some poetry last December when we were not in session and I thought that perhaps I could share the feelings I have wanted to express for years. I have always been looking for a fourm to let out all of my anger and when I attended the Spoken Word event last semester I said that I have finally found the place that I could come to.

Media Credit: Tanya Bermudez

I finally found a place that I could come to and I would hope that the jitters will go away once I get there. I admit this is the FIRST time in my life that I will reveal who I am and why I have kept silence for so long, and there are so many reasons that the list would be longer than the state of California. Above is the flyer that will be distributed around the campus. I am such a klutz and I decided I had the camera and I took a shot. So...tell me what to you think? Anywho, how do I feel about it. Considering that the lineup is the same I can't wait to hear what these people have to say. I know that all those who will perform will have something different to say and that's what is so appealing about this event itself.

Honestly, I would have not thought of myself in this situation as a student and for that night I will not be the campus correspondent like I have been since being on Talon Marks but I will be the news. Ha! Anyway, I am sure you are wondering what I mean by "Finding My Own Identity." Well, I can't go into too much detail but trust me, when I say that it will be an eye-opener and I will speak about things that I have never shared with even my own parents. Dude, I can't wait. When I was young and writing a lot I used to write everything and anything I was feeling and I thought, what the ---- am I thinking this makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Who will be willing to listen to what I have to say. I have struggled for years with how to express myself. I still do. That's why I want and need to be at this event.

Again the Spoken Word event helped me realize the fact that I can speak my mind. At this point I won't know how to feel afterward and when I do it. But my hope is that, that I will finally NOT be afraid about who I am and why because like I said before I know that this is my first time doing this type of thing. I keep things inside until I explode and that is not good. I know better. So, I will see what happens, how I feel and the liberation I feel as a feminist! I will let you know how it went. Thank God for the first amendment.

I just wrote a Madonna CD/DVD review and then...

Here is the review I wrote:

Her concert was the highest grossing ever for a female artist in 2006 and now fans can relive the "Confessions" tour with the release of the Confessions Tour Live CD/DVD (Warner Bros. Records).

Yes, it is Madonna with her follow-up to the "Reinvention" Tour live CD/DVD. What makes this better than the previous one is her vocal range.

Having the opportunity to attend the concert last May, I realize now why her concerts sell out fast; it's the fact that fans will get a spectacular show from beginning to end.

In the DVD, that is what you get when she sings the track "Future Lovers" as Madonna channels her love of horses. Shot by famed photographer Steven Klein in June 2006 for W magazine, the 48-year old is shown in dominatrix wearing gear.

You think to yourself how can she look like that and you are jealous. But what impresses you the most is her vocal range as she sings the song itself.

There are four themes throughout the concert; the first is the horse-riding equestrian, next Jesus, James Brown and finally disco.

The only down side to having the audio CD is the fact that you have to imagine what happens with each song performed and that is where you have to say, thank goodness for the DVD.

Directed by Jonas Akerlunk, the entire concert is beautifully recorded. There is no need to worry about commercials getting in the way of you watching the concert tour like it happened when it aired on NBC.

However, the most exciting part of the concert is when Madonna performs the track, "Erotica/You Thrill Me" because essentially, the same music is kept but what changes are the lyrics to the 1992 hit single.

"You are who you are/and I wouldn't want to change a thing/in spite of/All the pain that love can bring/Tell me what can I do? I'm so in love with you/You thrill me/Surround me you fill me/You send me/You put me in a trance you thrill me/Inside me you take me?/You thrill me/You put me in a trance," she sings and you can hear it in her voice that she has developed into a singer.

Critics said Madonna wouldn't last in the music industry. That was 25 years ago, and look at her now. What do those critics have to say now?

What benefited Madonna the most was the fact that her voice was transformed during the production of the musical "Evita" in 1996 and it was noticed when she released "Ray of Light" in 1998.

In addition, Madonna has a way with spectacular choreography during her concerts and this was no exception. During her performance of the single, "Music," she channels Saturday Night Fever as well as inspiration from the Sweden band ABBA. That is where the leotard comes into play.

Amazing, I say. John Travolta has competition. So, what are you waiting for? You know you should pick up this CD because it is great and Madonna the ever-evolving, and fashion icon that everyone tries to emulate, there is only one Madonna and she has never sounded better.

Here are the comments that were posted on the Talon Marks website when I just wrote a CD/DVD review of Madonna's Confession Tour for the Feb. 7 issue. What I didn't realize is that it would start a debate between who is most famous Marilyn Monroe or Madonna. My God, people it was only a review not a debate as to who is more famous.

Take a look:

posted 2/07/07 @ 12:51 AM EST
I couldn't agree with this review more...Madonna's masterful command of the stage once again comes through in this CD/DVD combo. It contains extra footage not aired on NBC as well as great features and behind the scenes footage. I thought it was spectacular, and definitely a "must have" for the new year.

posted 2/07/07 @ 1:46 AM EST
This isn't a review. It's a concert summary written by a fan. As such, it's fairly worthless.

So what if Madonna has been in show business for 25 years? Marilyn Monroe has been dead for over 40 years and is more famous world over than Madonna is.

Longevity does not necessarily equal possession of talent.

I've heard Madonna sing live, and she can't hit some notes.

BTW, most Americans don't agree with the reviewer's high opinion of the COAD tour:

The televised COAD tour - aired on American network NBC - came in last in the ratings. The COAD televised show also failed in Britain.

posted 2/07/07 @ 10:52 AM EST
Originally posted by
This isn't a review. It's a concert summary written by a fan. As such, it's fairly worthless.

So what if Madonna has been in show business for 25 years? Marilyn Monroe has been dead for over 40 years and is more famous world over than Madonna is.

Longevity does not necessarily equal possession of talent.

I've heard Madonna sing live, and she can't hit some notes.

BTW, most Americans don't agree with the reviewer's high opinion of the COAD tour:

The televised COAD tour - aired on American network NBC - came in last in the ratings. The COAD televised show also failed in Britain.

Well living in Britain i know that it was more succesful than programmes that are usually shown in it's time slot. And the fact that 'most americans' don't have such a high opinion of Confessions Tour says more about Americans than Madonna! Both the Tour and the Album were HUGE in every single other country. It is already her fifth best selling album ever in the UK and it's only been out for a year and a few months! Americans should realise that not one other country in the world has any respect for its music and most of it is usually just a big flop in the UK. How many number ones has mariah carey got on the UK charts?????

Jose Nungaray
posted 2/07/07 @ 2:43 PM EST
I would like to remind "FLEA" that Marilyn Monroe was famous during the 50's and early 60's. And she has remained famous because of her mysterious death. But Marilyn has been famous as a sex symbol only; on the other hand, Madonna has gone beyond this stereo-type and Madonna has remained famous based on her creativity. Madonna is extremely talented and she has proved it time and time again. I like Marilyn alot but Madonna is extremely unique to be compare with Marilyn or any other sex symbol in the history of show-business. Thank You.

posted 2/07/07 @ 4:49 AM EST
Marilyn who? Should we really care much about her? She's not relevant at all. She's just an image, a poinless enigma that is non-sense to discuss. How could you admire someone who has not loved her own life? Madonna has proven that you can be resilient, you can be everything, and love life! She's the only person who can say 'been there, done that' because she has been through a lot. As for Marilyn, I hope that she's resting in peace and that women will follow the path that she took. Both women suffered abuse during their younger years but amrily choose the way of destruction but Madonna chose the road to success, liberation and the search for the meaniong of life.

Board meeting last 40 minutes

The last time a Board of Trustees meeting was under an hour was back in 2005 when I first wrote of the Cerritos College Talon Marks newspaper. But somehow I have to make a story out of the little information I got out of it. I was surprised to say the least last night when I walked in. However, I should have known better when I saw that the people I normally see were not there.

But that's not to say that I didn't have a story to write. You see the Associated Students of Cerritos College will be having a recycling program implemented that will help promote and help the environment with saving material. That was announced at the ASCC Cabinet meeting on Monday. I thought that is so cool. I was wondering myself when that would happen because I can relate to this.

The good thing that I have to say is that most cities now have three seperate trash can for recyclable material, green material and trash itself. In the city I live in that requirement was about four years ago where it was now mandatory. Remember back when everything, even the stuff that was reusable would go in the trash. No wonder the landfills were bad.

Now, with the changing of idea that not everything is trash and can be recycled I know that it will continue. Just as I learned the importance of the Pacific Ocean whe I volunteer it is important to keep this planet. If only that were the same for global warming. President George W. Bush are you listening?

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

A new Court chief justice and five Senate seats left

Media Credit: Norma

A chief justice has been appointed after two semester of not having one today at the ASCC Senate meeting. I say YAY! I know that when former chief justice Joe Cobarrubio was elected as ASCC President he hoped that the position would be filled. Well, now it has been with the appointment of Kanneaka Sin who has been on court for four semesters. Cool! But you know what I like the most is the fact that the Senator will give her a chance. Besides she has been acting like the chief justice anyhow. Cool!

Well, I wish that the U.S. Supreme Court that does have a chief justice had this kind of access to the public and I don't know if you heard but former court justice Sandra Day O'Connor said that she would have stay longer if she could have. I was sad when she left because I am inspired by women, like my mom too. And now there is only one left. But with the appointment of Sin for the ASCC I love the fact that a woman is in the position. Again I'm inspired my women.

Afterward, I spoke to ASCC Vice President Jason Macias and he said that it is great that Sin will serve the term and I agree. There wasn't many questions for her that I thought that there was going to be. The only question was what are the responsibilities of a chief justice but other than that it not much was asked. I was glad.

Another thing is there are five seats left on the ASCC Senate and the deadline to turn in applications is this Friday. And that is great because it was a different story at the beginning of the semester when there was only 12 Senators. Not anymore, and I actually love that. I was in shock at first about the people that left the Senate after last semester and the director of student activities, Holly Bodganovich says that there is still appointment of Senators to consider next Wednesday. I admire that about this group. I'm telling you man, I love this group.

I look at it this way, I was never active in student government when I went to high school and I had my reason for it. I was considered the unusual one in high school and I felt that everyone I met was afraid so I had to act defensive all the time. I hated that about myself but it was only because of insecurities about who I was and why I was put o this earth for.

Now, as I look toward finishing what I started and should have finish a long time ago, and with the year just getting started I know the importance of success. There is so much I am still learning about myself that at the age of (almost) 27-years old I still don't understand things. I really don't but what I have learned is to respect everyone and that's it.

I have so much respect for those who are here in the ASCC that I am shocked that they would consider me like them. Do you ever wonder why I don't let anyone hug me before. It's foreign to me but I talk all about the things that happen and what I read and I would hope that someone would listen and that has happened; with this group. I am totally in debt to all of them.

Cerritos College is No. 1 during Blood Drive

Media Credit: Rosali Castillo

On Feb. 13-14 Cerritos College is going to hold its annual Blood Drive and the college is the No. 1 blood donor in the state. I spoke with the coordinator of Project HOPE that is seeking volunteers to help out with the blood drive. Anyway, I took the angle of volunteer being sought during the 8 a.m.-8 p.m. in the Student Center because I have to be honest that I had no idea that Project HOPE was the program who sought help from students.

Now I am aware that I say that is something that is cool. I am glad to hear that a program like Project HOPE is doing this kind of thing. I will have to check it out. But there is something that I liked to say, I know a thing or two about volunteering your time with a program or an organization, if you will. I, at one point volunteered my time at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA until last October. I know the commitment that one makes when he or she is giving the time. And one must have the time to do it. Volunteering at a place may not be same as volunteering to give blood but it is worth it at the end.

In my case, however, it didn't work out the way it should have but the nearly 600 hours (592 hours to be exact) when I started in March 2005 I put into volunteering at the Aquarium was worth it because it gave me the opportunity to educate the public about the Pacific Ocean. That to me is the biggest reward. That to me was the biggest benefit for every single person that walked the Aquarium itself. Sure, at one point I thought that volunteering was a waste of time but it wasn't. Here is a funny thing that happened before I was a volunteer. Well, I had the schedule time to arrive at the Aquarium for the orientation and information about training and such. I walked in and the manager of volunteer services had taken role and when she called, "Norma" I said I was here and asked if she had received my e-mail I sent.

Next, there was a interview process after the orientation and I was sent an e-mail by someone with the department saying that would become a volunteer at the Aquarium, however, what I didn't know was that the "Norma" who had to be there was someone ELSE and NOT me! I had done the interview for someone else!! Between e-mail exchanges I had to notify the Guest Service Dept. that I was Norma but not the Norma in the application. It was a shock to me and to those with the department but they had let me stay. I don't know what it was. I asked if people have wanted to volunteer and than back out. It happens all the time, I was told. God must have been watching that day or something.

I was in the other Norma was out and for the next year and a half I came. I made the sacifice to come on the Metro Rail Train that took me an hour and a half to get there to Long Beach and back home again. Unfortunately, that sacifice was just too much for me and nothing more was there and I walked away last October. But I have no regrets I did what I did, and there will be others that will be committed as well, so I don't worry about it. Volunteering is great because one day will be able to say I did that and help educated not only myself but the public.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Male feminists will get a chance to speak

Feminism rocks! And why do I say that is because I love the fact that the Philosophy Club is going to hold an event that is called, "Unmasking the Male Feminist" on Feb. 22. I went to the Philosophy Club meeting today and I was so happy to hear that those who were there three philosophy instructors and I guess you can included me and three other people who were in attendance had the opportunity to hear that this event was taken place. I, for one, was extremely happy and I am aware that students as well as faculty will be able to hear from the men at Cerritos College.

It has to do with the fact that I wanted to understand and know what is feminism all about and as the dictonary states it feminism is: The issue of rights for women first became prominent during the French and American revolutions in the late 18th century. In Britain it was not until the emergence of the suffragette movement in the late 19th century that there was significant political change. A ‘second wave’ of feminism arose in the 1960s, with an emphasis on unity and sisterhood.

Women rock too! Women like Susan B. Anthony were driven and wanted women to have rights just as men; that to me was cool. I know, I know it sounds like I'm defending the feminists; maybe so but is that a problem? Yeah, I admit I have wanted to know what feminism was last semester and I had the opportunity and I still have the opportunity to if I allowed too. Look at it this way, I know that feminist groups get a reputation for being, "man-haters" but that is far from true and again it goes back to the first amendment of the United States of Amerikka. I suggest reading Inga Muscio books, 'cause that where I got the spelling of Amerikka.

Well, anyway, I love it.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Anti-war Protest video from Jan. 27

Here's the video from the anti-war protest on Jan. 27 in Downtown LA. I saw this video the other day. Look, closely and you will see my real name is there. So, pay attention.

Breaking News: Spoken Word event to be held Feb. 15

I just received word that the Spoken Word WILL be held at the Student Center at Cerritos College from one of those who will participating in it on Feb. 15. I'm on the case and I will cover the event for Talon Marks and I can't wait to be there. I will no doubt have fun covering this event again last I did last semester and I will do what I did last semester, that is be fair and accurate as possible.

There was a point where there was a petition to have the Spoken Word here I was concerned and I was keeping a very very close eye on the events that lead to this announcement. But I say thank God that it is going to happened. I also just got word as to which, clubs will be there.

They are:
Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance
Students for Social Justice
• Puente Club
• MEChA Club
Writer’s Anonymous
• Sociology
• Black Student Union
• Psychology Club

This IS great. I can't wait for next Thursday, 'cause I know this event will be good and it will have more students who couldn't attend the last one. There is a God! To have a different setting and on campus no later means that I don't have to go that far to travel. It will be worth it, every word, every second, every hour and every word I type will be there; and with the addition of photos too. See ya all on Feb. 15 and will a full report.

ASCC looking quite full now

OK, so I wasn't there at the beginning but I did get there to shoot some photos. I like this one. I love the lightning aspect of it. But from what I got from the meeting was that there are currently 25 students in the Senate. I say thank goodness and now, you can't see it in the photo but I do think that the ASCC needs a bigger table for those in the Cabinet. I mean, look at all the people there now so much small space that it is literally making people take chairs from the back where I sit.

Anyway, I like the people, they all love me because I am there, and I saw the reaction from those in both the Senate and Cabinet that they all love me to death. And they are doing what I would have hoped would of happened at the beginning, they are giving the Talon Marks stories to cover. Thank goodness it would give us more content to put in the paper and I love that.

I no longer need to introduce myself to anyone on student government it is now, just Norma this, Norma that. How funny. I love that about the ASCC itself that all of them who are currently in the either Cabinet or Senate or both have not look at me differently because I can honestly tell you that I am real bad with names and I know that I can act like an airhead sometimes but I try to remember as many names as possible. It's hard though when you have 21,000 other students who walk around this campus and at least 89 percent of those students spend time on MySpace.

Do you know I'm still trying to figure out what is so special about MySpace but there is some special about being involved in student government instead. I mean, that's the way I look at it. MySpace no! Student government better. One of the things that former commissioner of information technology and current ASCC President Jason Macias did is a survey about MySpace and the percentage was 89 percent of the students had one. How about have those 89 percent being interested in being involved in student activities within the campus? Just something to think about.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Update: Spoken Word event

Coming this week, I, along with another editor will very well follow up with the what is going on with the Spoken Word event that the clubs on campus wanted to hold this semester. Again, as of this point there is not a number and it is unknown how many clubs this time around with participate in the event. However, from the club members I have spoken to the likelhood is that the event will be held off campus, either in South Gate, CA or in Whittier, CA. I DON'T know but I am looking forward to finding out what the students of Cerritos College have to say about this.

I am actually nervous if not prepared for the backlash that this might create but like I said in the previous blog entry I more than welcome the criticism of what I am about to get myself into. It has happened before. Well, right now I am watching or in my case, listening to the Superbowl game as I am writing this and reached halftime with the score Indianapolis Colts 16 and Chicago Bears 14 and I am thinking of what is going to happen this week, with the following of what has or has not happened. Anyway, I am antsy in my pantsy for the coming week. I am following the Spoken Word as closely as possible. I am commitment to looking for accurate information and wanting to know what happens.

I also like to thank the person who saw the blog entry about the Spoken Word event not having a place to hold it. I didn't expect that response from him. I am just doing my job as a journalist and I am just waiting for tomorrow to be here all right. As the rest of the planet is watching the Superbowl and waiting on the performance of Prince during halftime, I just waiting for stories to be posted for this week's paper and there are only 10 stories posted. I kinda expected that considering the Superbowl taken over the homes of everyone in the United States. But what can I do but just wait until Monday.

Like I said before information will be coming in for the Spoken Word event investigation for this week. Norma, I know that I am going in with a objective to be honest and accurate as possible