Thursday, March 29, 2007

Where is Feminism Now?

The final event celebrating Women's History Month ending with a panel discussion answering the question, "Where is Feminism Now?" I decided that with this final event I would just sit and listen to the panelists discussion the issue of feminism and where it is going.

Currently, society is going through third-wave feminism and my thoughts is that it is cool. I'm learning so much about feminism itself that I know that I should have studied it more in high school. I have always told myself that high school never happened for me and it hasn't; to be perfectly honest. But having attended the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance meetings has taught me a lot and that's what I value the most.

There are misconception about feminism that I will have to say that it comes as no surprise. That is what Feminism Majority Foundation activist and writer Olivia Ortiz says when people hear about feminism; that it's only about man-hating people and its negative message. How untrue that is.

This is something that has happened before that is, people in hearing the word 'feminist' or 'feminism' think is just based on that man-hating thing. Coming back from the Journalism Association of Community College conference in Sacramento, I was talking to a student from El Camino College.

As soon as I said that one of the club that I have covered was the FMLA he said, "Why?" It's not that I was angry with that response but, it didn't surprise me. I mean, the thing is, is that the word itself IS out there. What are you going to do?

However, I was unmoved by what he said about feminism and I will continue to do so. I normally don't talk about things that go on at home but, I will make an expection here. I practice feminism at home and with no regrets.

Even my idol Madonna is a feminist. That's why I love her. I learned something today and I will keep on learning which, is a good thing. That's why I love the FMLA. Oh, I forgot to add one more thing, one of the members of FMLA told me I should do a story on this final event for March. That made me chuckle inside.

Note: Next week April 2-6 is Cerritos College's Spring Break, so I'll write the following week.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Just in:Project HOPE to be shut down?

I got the story on the Project HOPE program last night when I was here at Cerritos. ASCC Vice President Jason Macias gave in the insight details of why the program was going to shut down. He said it was simply the funding to keep the program alive as the single explanation. Also, he was passing out petitions and hopes that students would express that the program was important. I was in the computer lab working on something when Macias approached me.

He started saying that if I could do him a favor. He handed over a petition sheet and explained if I was willing to help out saying why the program should be saved. I thought about it for a minute. My head was like, 'There's a story here!' I had a second to think as to what to do. Then it hit me, duh! to be it on the web site. I started to write and afterward I sent an email saying that there was breaking news, and that this story about Project HOPE shutting down should be on the web site. I asked for help. I had no time to sit back and just wait.

I wrote the story in, I don't know, less than 10 minutes. I posted it on the web under Breaking News. My adrealine was pumping. I was nervous. I didn't know what to think I just knew I had to get the story up ASAP. And I did. Perhaps I shouldn't have put it up like I did, but what was I suppose to do? I could pass it up. I hope I did okay, if not let me know, will you?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Talon Marks wins General Excellence three times at JACC State Conference

Media Credit: Marisa Klug-Morataya

I've just returned last night from the Journalism Association of Community College's conference held in our state capital with 13 other Talon Marks people. The newspaper won three General Excellence Awards and they were for newspaper, Wings Magazine, and However, there was something else that happened that I have finally stuck to my guns with: I am NOT returning in any capacity to the newspaper; much less as editor-in-chief. The reason is simple I feel that, that's it. I have nothing else to say about anything. I have done too much and the end is near, and that's what I'm most grateful about. In addition, there is just too much going on within the newspaper, and they are details that I will not go into that led to my decision.

More than anything I'm just tired and out of energy that would have made this decision easier. I set a goal to be the one person that did a lot and I don't care what people say but I will and I have learned the value of what makes a newspaper work. That's what I value the most. Another thing is, if I was in charge of my own newspaper I would value those who are serious about what they had to do. I will value that more than anything. But I did have fun, and the thing that I love was the keynote speaker.

Student Designed Advertisement Photos by Ryan Edquist Photo Illustration by Tanya Bermudez

This bring-in of the Talon Marks made up of the X-Men series won first place. However, the decision of not coming back wasn't that hard but that I think is the right one. I still do. I have met different people with different points of view that I would hope that I have made a difference in the life of my adviser. I credit him for letting have the opportunity to write, to be there every day. I realize that I will not be at Cerritos forever, and that's another reason why this decision is the right one. I say, have someone else deal with the newspaper and do the work. There is no way that someone could work, go to school and write for a college newspaper at the same time. There must be commitment from everyone who will be involved. I hope I did that as well. But the end result is, I love it and will forever appreciate it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Talon Marks staff to visit state capital

The Cerritos College Talon Marks staff will be going to Sacramento this weekend for the Journalism Association of Community Colleges conference. Tomorrow, we leave at approximately 8:30 a.m. and to tell you the truth I'm nervous as hell. There are other times I don't want to go because there are so many interesting things going on, on campus that I want to be there for club events. But I know that I can't back out now. I will go through with it. For all of my support for the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance club I am not ashamed to say it. I don't know, I would try to focus on getting some sleep during the trip because I'm just getting an average of three hours of sleep during the week.

I hate it. I won't be at home either but, that's been the pattern this semester. It's making me wonder if I do exist at home. But then again, that's okay I have gone through these emotions before. As for why I am so enthusiastic about the club events I'll be missing tomorrow, I don't know and that's why I keeping saying that I need to be cloned 35 times over. However, there is another side to this. It will be the first time I will go to Sacramento since I was 10-years-old. I'm no strange to Sacramento. My mom, sister and I went the last time and being that I was a young tot with poor taste in clothing I dealt with a lot of ----. This is no expection. I have contemplated what I would do after the summer. I am lending toward no returning to Talon Marks after all. I know that I have been fighting with myself as to if I should come back. The other question is, I have reached my limit as far as writing is concerned? What's left to say?

Well, I don't know what to think or what to do but I still have time. Perhaps it will all be worth it again. Maybe not. Well, from what I hear there will be approximately 59 other community colleges attending and that's what's freaking me out. I do hope that people from Cerritos get awards for the outstanding work but again you don't know until you get there, right? My thing is, it's not about the awards it's about the experience toward the end. See you all on Monday.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Clothesline Project moved to Wednesday?

Media Credit: Norma

Well, this came out of nowhere today. It seems the Clothesline Project was not to be held today in Falcon Square. From what I understand one of the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance club member had to reschedule for tomorrow. It is unclear what happened but I think it had to do something with the Psychology Club's discussion on "Pro-life, Pro-choice" but that is probably not the case. The weather wasn't cooperating today it has been overcast and cloudy, and there was talk of rain today too. Anyhow, I don't know what to make of what happened today. There is something else to, and that is that there was, what seemed like more than 10 events happening at the same time. I tell you that I should be cloned so many times over so I can be at all of them at the same time. It is so unfair that someone like me can't do everything, but I have tried.

I know that talking about abuse is never easy. I know where these women are coming from. I myself have been a witness to abuse. It has been years since I talked about it but, it is true. Any woman or any man for that matter should not go through that type of ---- ever. I am so glad to see that events like this take place. I am not the only one.

In regard to the Pro-life, Pro-choice discussed sponsored by the Psychology Club first, I'd like to say that I was super late but I got what I came for when I got there. I was trying to be as accurate as possible but I don't know how I was because of the enormous pressure I was under. As a journalist I have faced this pressure before but I was like, now, I was under this ---- pressure that was impossible to bear. I don't know how people at the Los Angeles Times do it every day. I admire them as much as the next people. At least there was something that didn't happen; that being that nobody was at each other's throat. I mean as a journalist that is what I was waiting for. I anticipate that all of the time.

More thoughts later.

Monday, March 19, 2007

FMLA's and SACA's Clothesline Project

Media Credit: Tanya Bermudez

This photo is from last year's Clothesline Project. This is only a sample of the shirts that will be displayed when the event takes place in Falcon Square. This photos is only humbling but it is only part of the stories that women tell when faced with abuse of any kind.

Photo taken at Duke University

If you thought that the Vagina Monologues were intimate as well as informative about putting a stop to violence against women then I can't wait until I see the Clothesline Project sponsored by the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance along with the Sexual Assault Crisis Agency bare women from around the world express their thoughts on being abused by rape and incest and sexual slavery. I hadn't had the opportunity to cover the clothesline project before. I ran into one of the FMLA member this morning and she asked if I was coming to the event. I said sure. I had seen the event covered in the Talon Marks.

Here is what the different color shirts represent:

• White represents women who died because of violence
• Yellow or beige represents battered or assaulted women
• Red, pink, and orange are for survivors of rape and sexual assault
• Blue and green t-shirts represent survivors of incest and sexual abuse
• Purple or lavender represents women attacked because of their sexual orientation
• Black is for women attacked for political reasons

There are so many women out there who are going through a lot of ---- that I am glad that things like this exist at Cerritos. I know that the club goes through a lot of ---- itself and I know that people have this notion that the FMLA is something; that is man-hating people but on the contrary. There are women who are continuously are being abused and I am glad that this club is getting the message out there that it is going on, it needs to stop and if it doesn't women will be continuously murdered for speaking out against it. I'll see it tomorrow.

Anti-War Protest in Downtown LA on Saturday Preparing for ASCC Presidential Elections

Media Credit: Norma

There wasn't much to go on with today's Cabinet meeting but let me see if I can do what I can with what I have. Anyway, the ASCC is preparing itself for the Presidential Elections come April. I know, I haven't thought about running for President of Cerritos. But it seems like a cool idea. I admire those students who run because there is so much responsibility to go around this campus. I look at it this way, that person whether it is a him or her should run if they can make a difference on campus.

Note: More thoughts to come.

Media Credit: Tanya Bermudez

The Protest Builds
I went to the anti-war protest on Saturday in Hollywood on Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue and an estimated crowd of more than 6,000 people showed up. Included in the crowd were people from Cerritos College. There were so many interesting people. And guess what happened? Well, here's what went down; there were people from Act Now to Stop War and End Racism had signs to pass out and there were other organizations as well. And after that, there was this woman who decided not to carry a sign.

I get money, CNN gets yelled at
She gives her sign back to me and said that I could resale them. So, naturally I said yes. After maybe about five minutes two people asked me if I was selling them. I was, 'Sure, for $2 each' and so I walked away with $4 in my pocket. Anyhow, I met up with people from the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance and Students for Social Justice and it was cool. We walked from Hollywood & Vine to Cahuenga and turned in front of the Cable New Network Building shouting, "Shame on you, CNN!" "Shame on You CNN!" The reason being that CNN and other cable news networks refuse to give the details and report the truth about Iraq. Not only that but there are people in there that support President George W. Bush and his policies toward the country. That is so wrong.

Television coverage
Despite the fact that I wasn't covering the event there were so many local news vans everyone from ABC Channel 7, KCAL 9, CBS 2, FOX 11, NBC 4 and I saw that every so often a cameraman was in the way interviewing those who were there to protest the war. I saw the way in which, journalism has taken a beating for its coverage of things that happen and that is what upsets me the most. News in general, has gone away from what is important to the people. Things such as protest and anger and outrageous toward the treatment of individuals has taken a backseat and that why I'm upset that the media are focusing on Anna Nicole Smith and her death.

Better to focus on important news then Anna Nicole Smith
Like I said before, "So What?" The woman is dead, I tell you. So, leave her alone. I don't care but the media needs to stop this masquerade of telling about the lives of celebrities. Focus on news, and that's it.But the ---- with the media, you make me ashame of you as a whole. People when are you going to listen. There are more important things out there and it's time for the American people to get on President Bush's nerves. That's the bottom line.

The people have spoken and I will continue to support the outcry. This is America and I was glad to be there. By the way, my mom dropped me off at the location and I had no problem going back home. I am familiar wiht the area and took the Metro Rail Train back. The only downside was that I got sunburn in the process.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Male Feminists teach gender equality

Media Credit: Norma

Gender Role of Feminism
The Philosophy Club and Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance held the "Unmasking the Male Feminist" forum in the New Science Building again today and this time there was some positive dialogue exchanged throughout and what impressed me more than anything was that people had things to say about what feminism is. As you can see from the first photo members of the FMLA were present (and those are some beautiful people) and along with 25 other students were discussing ways that gender role plays a part in society. It plays a big role and I, myself understood that as I listened with intent.

As for my part as the journalist I have always maintained the honor of being accurate to those students who are here at Cerritos College. What I mean is that no judgement goes on my part and I leave out my opinion. My hope is that I have done that. But in this case, I have to admit that I am learning a tremendous amount of information about feminism. I spoke to a student Art Torres, music major, who said that he didn't understand what feminism was. I was the same way when I first heard the word. And Philosophy instructor Ted Solze said it for me that feminism is looked upon as man-hating and thank goodness it's not.

Media Credit: Norma

What is feminism?
There are many misconception about what feminism is. I mean just look at the word itself: fem. Yeah, it is referring to women but men can hold their own. I know that people such as English major Jonathan Mota are the people that should be admired. I mean look at him. He is a male feminist and that to me is cool. The men that I have come across would say that they are not feminist. But you know what they are. I have put into practice feminism. Actually to be exact is it my mom and I.

Media Credit: Norma

Companies perception of gender roles
It's true. I mean I will give you an example. My mom and my stepfather have had their share of disagreement and my mom has said that both of them should be equal. That was the bottomline during this discussion. I mean, I saw the way in which, all four speakers were honest. I mean how hard is that, people. I myself have asked myself that question, aren't we all equal in this world but again another point was society has stand its ground that the man is the bread winner and the woman is the sex object. That's what I don't like about the entertainment side and advertising on television. It has all led me to not watch television during the week. I can't because I am at school for the day. It's funny because my sister has asked me, 'How the weather going to be?' and I say, 'I don't know I don't watch television.'"

Media Credit: Norma

Audience speak out about feminism
I spoke to former ASCC Vice President Alex Armedariz afterward (in the picture with the striped shirt and glass) and said that what was impressive was the question from the audience. It was cool. I agreed. I thought the audience was intelligence and since I was there to be non-opinionated I had the same questions as those who were there. I know that with the turnout today I am sure that it will be held again.

Media Credit: Norma

What feminism should be about
Why not? I mean people were there to be educated and I would hope that more people will show up. I say that it's important for the rest of the Cerritos College community to open its mind up. IF not then what type of society and humanity are we?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Automotive winners, Hoe Down Days and Carmen Electra?

Media Credit: Norma

Here are the winners to the College College Automotive Competition held in February. The names are Nate and Jared. No last name needed. I was cool with the fact that these two were committed to the field of automotive. I mean seriously there is more to car dealership then just salesman. I have to admit that I am a little skeptical of salesman because I remember in my math class that our instructor had known the tricks of the sales pitch. The reason? He was once a car salesman. Funny ain't it?

Media Credit: Norma

This is Roberto Molina from the Business Accounting Club. As Hoe Down Days got underway yesterday and will continue today and tomorrow the object of the game was to test the knowledge of college student to that of a fifth grade question. I was listening in and yeah, it was hard at first. I had to think like a fifth grader. But it was fun just watching the people have fun before attending another class.

Media Credit: Brittany Cooper

Ah, the Mr. Cerritos contest today at the Student Center. Seven men came out and showed what they had and one had taken his shirt off. That's my turn off. But Senator Paul Manuel from the ASCC (pictured in the white robe) was cool. Anyone who can play the piano is a winner in my book. Sorry, the whole thing about taking your shirt off and dancing sexy totally turn off.

Media Credit: Norma

Thirteen people from the ASCC got to meet former "Baywatch" star Carmen Electra in Long Beach for CBS Early Show program. Originally filmed in New York City this was the stop on the show's All-Access Pass across America. Long Beach is one lucky city. Anyhow, ASCC President Joe Cobarrubio (pictured in the background) explained at the ASCC Cabinet meeting that those who went arrived on campus at 3 a.m. Yes, that is three o'clock in the morning and went to meet Electra. In addition, one of the Senator was lucky enough to get Electra to sign a $1 bill.

That's why commissioner of external affairs Michael Barrita (foreground left) and ASCC Vice President Jason Macias are laughing. There no further explaination. But I love the picture. Do you know how hard it's been to take a shot just like this? I've tried and I got it right...this time.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Male Feminists to talk again on Thursday

Good! The "Unmasking the Male Feminists" discussion will return this Thursday and this time it will be in the New Science Building. Your truly will be there to witness the action. From the first one that was successful and also a packed room there will be more of a way to move around the room this time. I wasn't surprised at the turnout but I was surprised because I didn't have a chance to move from one place to the another. But I will be there again. And again if I need to be.

What was it about February discussion? I don't know many factors came into play. The fact that men from Cerritos were not shy about what feminism means to them, to those who were there; to me. But the fact that they were there to begin with. I admire greatly the professors that were there, including philosophy instructor Ted Solze. Barbara Mueller. Ana Torres-Bower. Everyone in between. I don't care what anyone says I will be there. I will not stop and I will take video; audio; photos.

I do believe that the time that was given was too short the last time. There is so much to discuss in regard to feminism that I think students (including myself) could spend a whole day on. I don't know, does it seem to far fetched. I will see when I get there on Thursday but I am so excited that I'm about to pee in my underwear. Ha! Feminism rocks! Feminism is here to stay, and I can't wait to see what unfolds.

You see I am learning a lot about feminism...this is just part two. I know that when I first heard of the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance that I had misconception about what the club was about. It's true. When I walked into the classroom in which, the club was holding its meeting, I was nervous I didn't understand or appreciate what the FMLA was doing. I was after a story. How honest do you want me to get? But after realizing that the club wasn't what it was, I loved them because of what they represented. I still do. I will forever remember what they have taught me through the lessons of feminism. Again I can't wait to hear what's up. See ya on Thursday.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Film Festival: Maria Full of Grace

Media Credit: Norma

I just went to see the film, "Maria Full of Grace" at the Cerritos New Science Building. Let me tell you it was a great film. I missed it when it came out in 2004 but this time I wasn't going to miss it. The film is about a 17-year-old girl named Maria Alvarez who accept a business deal to smuggle heroin into the United States but realizes afterward that she is pregnant and will not return to Colombia to her former life as the bread winner of the family. This is happening everywhere in America and across the globe. Attention as been in Africa where children are losing their parents to AIDS and women are being tortured in Darfur.

How true. That's why I wanted to educate myself on this issue and feminism. Look, I know the boundaries that there are in journalism and I know when my personal views stand. I know what my job is when it comes to write for the newspaper. I have never let the emotions I feel for feminism, the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, Students for Social Justice and other politically active clubs get in the way of my writing. It something that I understand and will continue to learn about as I go into the field. If you have been wondering, yes, I support the FMLA and other clubs. All of the clubs matter. All of the clubs I am trying to cover because it is important.

I stress however the importance of what I do. I inform. I write everyday. I have gone by being honest and accurate as possible. I have done that in four's changed. There I said it. I have expressed myself through the first amendment of the United States. I will not let anyone, anything at anytime cloud my judgement. Yes, like I said before I support campus clubs but I will continue until the very end follow my motto. Thank you and I hope you understand where I am coming from.

Teacher TRAC gets award from Phi Beta Kappa

Media Credit: Norma

During the Board of Trustees meeting last night Teacher TRAC Director Sue Parsons spoke to the members about how proud she was about the program's success. Two Cerritos students who are in the program said that the reason why the program is appealing is because of the faculty and others who support them in wanting to be teachers. My thoughts about teachers is that all teachers across the globe should be paid more for what they do. What I mean is that the athletes get all this money; for example British soccer star David Beckman who's going to be paid $250 million in five years.

Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez being paid the same amount. I think that is wrong. I have always thought that educators, those who have committed themselves to teach and students becoming leaders make a big difference. I don't know, but this trend in the United States has to stop. What makes athletes better than teachers? Who's the one that taught them the skills? Teachers. Who are the ones who taught them to read and learn communication? Teachers. Should I go on?

People that work in the school district are cruel. I spoke to Parsons and she said that she was thrilled for the Teacher TRAC program as a whole and that the faculty, staff and students are the ones that make it happen; that is have students who are serious about being teacher, (even though they are way underpaid). But nonetheless, Parsons, and all teachers are the biggest heroes not the other way, where it is the students but everyone of them. I have always admired teachers and I will continue to do so. So, I say give all teacher a raise, DAMN it!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

MySpace is a concern and the ASCC's Recycling Program

Media Credit: Norma

Putting a Stop to MySpace:
Former Sergent of Arms Oskar Ruiz returned to address the Senate again today and this time it was about the problem in the computer labs about students accessing the popular web site MySpace. He said there must be a program as well as a solution to cut the number of students who log on to the site. I know that is it something that will take a while to NOT happen. Trust me I know what Ruiz is saying when stated that students have just hooked themselves into the site. I have done the same thing. When I attended college (and I've mentioned this before) the web site that everyone was on was Collegeclub.

That site has since been overshadowed by MySpace. However, my addiction to chat rooms, instant messaging was out of control before and after I decided to drop out of Cerritos. It was. That mentality changed when I met Michele Cassiano and Tina Zwegardt and walked into a life-saving and life-changing mentality that there was more to life than being hooked on checking MySpace 24/7. Cassiano, (who God rest her soul) was the one who made me change into the person I am today. Someone who is focused on a goal to succeed and of course with her sister I would probably be dead, but someone needs to say that MySpace is temporary and life is changing for something better.

Cerritos' Recycling Drive:

Well the ASCC held its recycling drive in Falcon Square and from what I saw it seemed like a success. I know that the ASCC is getting ---- about why it waited so long to have a recycling program but can I at least me sensible about this? I know that colleges that don't have recycling program are the ones that need to be paid attention to. Here is why: Those college who don't have recycling programs are the ones who don't care. Have you seen Al Gore's "The Inconvenient Truth?" Our Earth might as well not exist if global warming had its say.

For the last two years, yes, I know one thing it was because the former commissioner of vocational outreach did talk about wanting to have one BUT NO action was ever taken. It was not until the current commissioner Joelle Lai was honest, concerned and willing to take the TIME to do it. That to me spells D-E-D-I-C-A-T-I-O-N. And that is what she has done. I know that nobody else would care about what the ASCC is doing. I do. That's why I cover them! I can seriously criticize the amount of time it took but I can't because someone had the ----s to do it, that's the bottom line. And if people don't understand it seems that they don't care. This is only the beginning.

Also: Can I be honest for one minute? I started this blog in an efforts to be able to express my opinion about the story I am covering for Talon Marks. I am. I have and I will. I want to make that clear.

Finally I get to speak in an interview

I am sure that you have been wondering about the sound of my voice. Well, finally after a year-and-a-half on the Talon Marks staff, I, and I mean I get to speak. Yes, I am wearing a Madonna shirt but all of you will get to hear what I have to say. I felt weird but someday I knew I would have had to done it.

Norma Palacios aka forevermadonna aka No. 1 Madonna fan aka The Workhorse.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Looking back: I will never forget seeing Madonna LIVE

I can't believe that it was last May when I saw Madonna live at the Great Western Forum. I remember that day as if it were yesterday and I have to say that I still get chills when I see the photos and video on YouTube because I remember that I was there.

I have to admit that I thought I would never get the opportunity to see my idol live on stage and it was a complete shock when I did that for the next few weeks before the concert I had trouble sleeping. I did. All I would be doing is tossing back and forth between the sheets and I was like, 'I need to sleep before I pee in my underpants,' but it was to no avail. I was soooo excited that I pinched myself numerous times before I realized the it was true that I was seeing Madonna LIVE for the very first time. I was crying inside and out. I didn't know what to think because I was screaming at the top of my lungs.

I lost my voice the next day and I had a smile that wouldn't go away. I was that excited but I have to say something to the people, yes, those music critics that thought that Madonna was just a one-hit wonder and then she would go away. That was said more than 20 years ago and she is STILL here. Thank God. I love the fact that this woman is able to keep her head up and that she is able to keep everyone (including me) guessing as to her next look. Britney Spears has nothing on Madonna because frankly her name is not Madonna.

I love Madonna because she is a breath of fresh air and during the concert I saw the side of her that brought out her motherly side. That is bringing the attention to those children in Malawi, Africa. I was taken by that. I still am. But most of all I was taken by her voice that every time I hear it I know it's her. I love that her voice is recognizable by someone like me. What can I say? I love her to death and I am glad that I took the risk and saw her live. I will never forget it.

Moving the Commencement Date?

Media Credit: Norma

There is a possibly that the commencement date might be moved a week before finals for next year's graduates was talked about today. I thought cool, it's a possibly and students wouldn't have to worry about making the extra trip back. I thought that is cool. Why make the extra trip back after the end of the semester? I don't know, I'm a little biased against any commencement (or like high school says graduation) because of something that happened to me because it was my fault. I will never forgive myself for it. NEVER!

It's the first time I've talked about it since I left high school in 1998. I know that deep within my parents both have never forgiven me either and they shouldn't. Having been taught the mentality of finish school, finish school I wasn't able to participate in graduation back in 1998 because of one thing: I failed a math course. That's something I have never gotten over and maybe that's why I do what I do and say it's meaningless. I would have had the opportunity to participate if I wasn't such a stupid ----- for what I did.

I don't know, I do feel better however. I do understand the importance of graduation for any parent. I do, seriously but for me I know that if I graduate I would never want to see my parents there that day because I know that I failed at something and I could never make it right no matter how hard I try. That's the toughest part of dealing with this ---- almost nine years later. But to those that do graduate you deserve the attention, not me.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

The real truth about Hip-Hop

Media Credit: Norma

More than 125 Cerritos students gathered at the Fine Arts Building to hear about the truth about hip-hop music and its reason for being what it is. Essentially, what happened was eye-opening to say the least and I walked in thinking of the more that 100 people there that there was going to be an outburst of anger. However, that wasn't the case at all. Three professors from UC Irvine, USC and UCLA spoke their point of view of not only hip-hop, but queer studies at well. I thought that was the most sensible thing to do.

I have to give credit to arts instructor Julie Trager. The panelist that showed up to discussion hip-hop, the real hip-hop music were terrific. The panelist were: Steven Nelson, a professor from UCLA, Karen Tongson, a professor from USC, and Sohail Danlatzai, a professor from UC Irvine. Due to the fact that the people was so crowded like the "Unmasking the Male Feminist" I am glad that I switched side from these photos. You can see it but there were seats on the side of where Professor Trager is photographed in with the two students in the background.

What I was expecting to happen didn't happen at this discussion. That is what the fact that there has been this angle of women being viewed as sex symbol and the question of whether hip-hop is feminism rap. Nobody was there to cause a commotion. That is what I was expecting but that never happened. I am not saying that it is a bad thing but you can never tell as a journalist what is about to happened at any of this discussion. I spoke to the panelist afterward and all three said that they were pleased with the turnout because for all of them it was about thinking about what the genre means and understanding why it has become so popularity as of late.

But what I admired to most was Professor Trager herself. To have students from her Gender Sexuality, Black Image in Pop Culture and the Art of Being Human in one class spoke the biggest volume. Having her as the only instructor to teach this classes to Cerritos student no less means that she cares and having this event and having dialogue instead of debates is just the beginning of something positive. Bravo, I say.