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The Cyp ress

Chronic

le

D Comikaze 2015 was out of this world!

Study tips

for finals P. 8

E lection +

results

What has become of Measure J? That and more on local elections, P. 22

The Divergence Pet Showcase! P. 33

D IS FOR

DAZZLING Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo 2014 was a dazzling display of costumes, celebrities, and comics. P. 9

DIVERGENCE MAGAZINE Vol. VII Issue 3 | November 2014

CYCHRON.COM


NOVEMBER THE CYPRESS CHRONICLE

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16

Chargers Basketball’s starting off fresh this season, with a new coach and a new attitude.

IN

THIS

“Grow some lady balls!” - Rachel D.

ISSUE

Remember when the most stressful part of your holiday season was the agonizing countdown until Christmas morning? It was a simpler time. But now you’re in college and it seems like fate itself is conspiring against you to make the last few months of the year as hectic as possible.

sanity (mostly) intact.

Feeling suffocated by the crushing weight of finals? You probably have no idea where to even begin sorting all of the information you need to cram into your brain, and that’s where we want to help.

This month’s issue also has a super-sized Firelord’s Library, some helpful holiday guides and recipes, and even Divergence Pets.

Our writers have compiled lists of their best study tips and tricks to help you get through the last few weeks of the semester with your

You know what else is cool? Conventions! We love that shit here. Some of our writers attended Stan Lee’s Comikaze over Halloween weekend, and put together a huge photo essay with some of their favorite cosplayers.

We hope you make it through finals with enough of your vitality intact to enjoy the holiday season to the fullest, and we’ll see you next semester.

DIVERGENCE / Rachel Dick


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DIVERGENCE MAGAZINE

33 FEATURES 08 Finals Study Tips

Jenny’s got her top 5 study tips, and Celsa’s got her top study apps.

09 Comikazee 2014

From fabulous costumes to celebrity guests, Comikaze had it all.

16 Sports Feature

An interview with the new Chargers Basketball coach, plus the upcoming games sched.

20 Taboo Topics

The ins and outs of dating apps. Are they right for you?

32 Divergence Picks Reviews for our staff’s favorite books, movies and television.

33 Divergence Pets

Meet the pets of The Cypress Chronicle staff!

MONTHLY 05 Editorial

We really wanted to show off our pets... and so we did. Check out Divergence Pets, page 33.

Students need to fight for their education.

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06 Street Buzz

Homemade or retail?

Check out our photo essay from this year’s Comikaze Expo!

14 Fun with the D

It’s not what you think it is.

18 Dirt Roads

The continuing story of a girl named Maria.

24 Firelord’s Library Creative writing from students and staff.

THE COVER D is for dazzling, and Colleen Crews of Peachy Pie Cosplay looks absolutely glamorous as Super Mario Galaxy’s Rosalina during day one of Comikaze. Check out more photos, page 9. Photo by Gerard Avelino

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Maria’s adventures with that lost little girl are finally coming to an end... or are they?

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Are hookup and dating apps for you? Swipe to page 20 for Taboo Topics!


Batgirl flashes a warm smile as she strikes a pose for us. Batgirl has had many iterations over the years, but this particular costume was first worn by Stephanie Brown in Batgirl #4 (2009). Check out the rest of our Comikaze 2014 coverage starting page 9.

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The Cypress Chronicle / Divergence


EDITORIAL It's no secret that we of The Cypress Chronicle newsroom has been having issues with our hours, and how long they are allowed to be in the actual room without the presence of Professor Robert Mercer. Mercer already gives us more than enough of his time because he wants us to learn and take the full experience away from being part of a legitimate newsroom, and any student can see this if they were are a part of any of Mercer’s classes. However, that is not the question that's going through all of our heads. The question is, why is the rule being enforced now, and what is the exact policy? The Cypress Chronicle is tired of having to worry about whether or not we are going to have enough time to finish producing shows or whether or not we're going to need to work on deadline off of campus. So, we have decided to get to the bottom of it and have a word with Cypress College President Bob Simpson, who took his time to explain to us what exactly is going on. When asked if there were any documents stating that our advisor needs to be in the room with us while we work, President Simpson stated, that there isn't any legal document stating this. Although he did say that one of the main reasons for this “policy” is student safety. The Cypress Chronicle has also heard that Associated Students were having the same problem. They have not been able to get things done without their advisor, David Okawa, being in present. However, when this similar issue was mentioned to Simpson, he responded that he was unaware of what was going on because as far

as he knew A.S is open from 8 a.m. till 9 p.m. He did not say it wasn't happening, but he was just as confused on the matter and wants A.S to talk to him directly if there are any issues. Simpson stated that, “It's not our intention to keep the students from getting what they have to done.” His main concern is to keep the students safe. “There is a lack of understanding of what the policy is and that there is a solution for the issue. It is not our intention to preclude the work that needs to be done.” Simpson does want to help in finding a solution for this issue and stated that if Mercer could give him a calendar or a list of dates of when staff members absolutely need to be in the newsroom he could help find extra help.

nal deadline day for this issue of Divergence Magazine. We pushed press back to the next Monday to make our voice heard. The faculty needed to know that this was not Mercer’s issue, but an issue for the students. This actually benefitted us as it showed the severity of our dilemma, a point that our instructor made while speaking of the issue. While our professor poured his soul into his speech, several members of the faculty spoke up in support of fixing this issue in a way that would be not only in our favor, but also in the favor of the school in keeping us and other faculty safe. Although the problem was not completely resolved in Senate, we were finally able to move forward with the issue as plans were made to form a committee solely to discuss this topic. We have ef-

According to the President, one of the possible solutions is that we could hire an instructional assistant to be present during those hours. Although we were given plenty of solutions to the issue we realized that other departments were having a similar problem. Theatre and speech are also under the same guidelines as journalism and we realized that the only way to get this problem solved is by making sure it is known throughout faculty and staff, so we took this issue to the Cypress College Academic Senate Meeting. During the Senate Meeting held Thursday, Nov. 13, the entire staff of the Cypress Chronicle was present, as we were not allowed to be in the newsroom to finish layout because Mercer would be attending the meeting. Do note, Nov. 13 was our origi-

fected change. (The video of this Senate Meeting can be found on the Cypress Chronicle Media Network’s Youtube page as well as on Cychron.com.) The fact that The Cypress Chronicle got this done begs the question: Where is Associated Students? Where are the students from all the other areas affected? Students need to learn that the college experience includes standing up in front of the policymakers on campus and demanding change. Mortuary Science was there two Senate meetings ago when they needed support for the advancement of the Baccalaureate Pilot Program. Daniel Lutz was there to protest the lack of clarity in the Measure J campaign. You have rights, students of Cypress College. Use them.

Editor-in-Chief Victoria Cardenas Associate Editor Jeff Lopez Managing Editor Gerard Avelino Divergence Editor Rachel Dick Creative Writing Editor Kyo Okamuro Tech Consultant Erik Lucas Cychron.com Manager Jean Poincelet CCMN Manager Jhovani Estrada CCMN Asst. Manager Jamal Bostick Copy Editor Jessica Canales Staff: Alexia Delgado, Frankie Genera, Leslie Gonzales, Celsa Maldonado, Jenny Mun, Conor Watkins, Keenan Wright Faculty Advisor Robert Mercer Mailing Address Cypress College, 9200 Valley View St., Cypress, CA 90630 Email: info@cychron.com Phone: 714-484-7269

©2014 The Cypress Chronicle unless otherwise stated; all rights reserved.

November 2014

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streetbuzz INTERVIEWS BY | Frankie Genera, Keenan Wright, and Leslie Gonzales PHOTOS BY | Alexia Delgado

T

he Holiday Season is once again upon us. As the autumn wind blows, and the orange and yellow leaves fall off the trees, as students of cypress college are getting ready for the Christmas season, the one big question that all students have in common is “What do we want for Christmas?” Several students have answered the topic question for this edition’s Street Buzz: “Do you prefer retail or homemade gifts?” Here’s what they said:.

Adam, Major: Theater I choose retail. It’s a lot easier and it beats the guesswork of trying to figure out what to get for Christmas.

Jan Austin Major: Psychology I choose homemade. It’s from the heart. It takes creativity and heart to make a homemade gift, rather than just buying a gift card. Anthony Major: Mechanical Engineering I choose retail. Although homemade gifts are nice, in this day and age, it’s a lot easier to buy a gift rather than make one.

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The Cypress Chronicle / Divergence


Dan, Major: Culinary Arts I’d prefer homemade. I think that it’s thoughtful and that it’s better than money bought presents and gift cards. Dominick Major: Animation and Film I say retail. It’s nice and that they choose the right gift and that it’s something that they would like rather than a homemade gift. You can’t really tell them what their present is, so it’s better to get something from the store.

November 2014

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FiveStudyTipsforFinals STORY BY | Jenny Mun

With final exams merely

weeks away, an impending sense of doom is dawning upon apprehensive students all across campus. As a student laden with 16 units, I wholeheartedly empathize with the struggle of juggling multiple classes, which gets significantly more chaotic during finals week. Consequently, I’ve compiled a list of effective study tips that will hopefully be of valuable help to my fellow pupils who are also encumbered with schoolwork. Here are my top five study tips: 1) Resist

the tempta-

tion to procrastinate.

This advice is always easier said than done, but is truly beneficial when heeded. When studying for comprehensive finals that encompass material from one semester, it is crucial to start early to avoid pulling all-nighters packed with last minute cramming. For those who have already started studying for finals, props to you! For the others who haven’t, it’s definitely not too late to start now. Plan and organize your study schedule ahead, and tackle your most difficult class first in order to avoid unnecessary panic and stress. 2) F orm

an effective

study group.

Study groups can either be very productive or dangerously detrimental. Study with people who will help you stay focused and who are intent on learning and reviewing the subject matter at hand. If you get easily dis-

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tracted with your friends, then the study group can be counterproductive. This is not to ban all laughs and fun, as short breaks are much needed, but it is important to stay focused the majority of the time. 3) Take

advantage of

flash cards.

Many college students may scoff flash cards, which seem like archaic tools used only in elementary school. However, flash cards are one of the most effective ways to ensure success on exams, as they quiz the brain repeatedly. You can also designate them into separate piles as you test yourself until you completely master the deck of cards. Their portable nature also makes it convenient to take virtually everywhere. Whenever you have down time, whip them out and run through the stack of cards, even if it’s for a few minutes. Repetition goes a long way. 4) Review old material. Review all homework assignments, quizzes, exams, handouts, and lecture notes from your class. Chances are several quiz and test questions will be featured in the final exam. Even if they’re not, your time spent studying the past material will not be in vain, as you are essentially studying for the final by reviewing old information. 5) Study at several different places. Try switching up your study locations from time to time, whether it’s at the local or school library, coffee shop,

friend’s house, or a room in your own home. By alternating study spots, your brain subtly links background sensations and the study material at hand, which ultimately creates a more effective studying technique than frequenting the same spot every time. For the day of the final exam, I have a couple of concluding tips. After (hopefully) getting a good night’s sleep, do not skimp on breakfast the next morning. Try to eat a light but nourishing meal that will fuel your brain. Make sure to dress comfortably, as you don’t want to be distracted by uncomfortable garments that can hinder your concentration during test taking. If you can, quickly look over your notes prior to taking the exam to refresh your memory and to also instill an extra boost of confidence. Other items to bring are extra writing utensils, erasers, a calculator (if needed), water, and scantrons/blue books. Remember to study smart, not hard! Professor John Payne, an English instructor at Cypress College, encourages anxious students with comforting advice, “Prepare well and relax; go in and think about past successes.” Good luck to everybody on preparing for their finals, and remember that as long as you did your absolute best, then that’s all that matters. D

The Cypress Chronicle / Divergence

HELPFUL APPS STORY BY | Celsa Maldonado

Download these apps to help with your studying sesh:

Flashcards+ Long gone are the days when you had to buy flashcards and practically rewrite all your notes. This app is super easy to use and create flashcards. The great thing about it is that you can create multiple decks for all your different classes and they are all stored on your phone or tablet. You’re also studying while you type your notes into these flashcards so it’s a win-win situation. myHomework

Student Planner

This is a great tool to get you organized and plan out your classes. It has a tab for all your courses and what homework you have due. A calendar is included to help you visualize everything. You can also turn on notifications to let you know when you have something due or when you have an exam coming up. All the procrastinators out there should download this app asap.

Simplenote This app is so simple to use. All it really is made for is notes. You can quickly jot down anything you’re thinking of or any reminders you might forget later on in the day. The layout of this app is so clean and its hassle free.


S t a t u o s k ee g l soca

ummer has come and gone, and with it the pop culture mecca known as ComiCon. For those of you who were not lucky enough to participate in the marquee geek event of the summer, there are always smaller comic book conventions to attend such as Comikaze. Here at Stan Lee’s annual multi-media event, we see more and more people every year. More well-known actors, directors and cosplayers attended this year than ever before. There were more vendors to choose from and more signings going on all weekend. It draws in a greater demographic that doesn’t only include the most hardcore of nerds and geeks, but casual pop culture fans as well. It becomes a family tradition where they’ll cosplay as the Guardians of the Galaxy or Jedi and Sith. It's amazing how much time and effort is put into the outfits and makeup that transform someone into their favorite pop culture being. The atmosphere is very energetic and vibrant, and everyone is so passionate about their surroundings; heads turning to admire the cosplay-

TEXT BY | Celsa Maldonado and Erik Lucas PHOTOS BY | Erik Lucas, Celsa Maldonado, Jeff Lopez, and Jhovani Estrada

Watch the video on CCMN:

November 2014

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ers they encounter with every step. There is something for everyone at comikaze, from anime to video games and back to superheroes; the variety is never-ending. It can make the youngest attendee fall in love with the geek community and encourage them to pursue their inner geekiness. It’s hard not to be constantly wowed by the costume work while walking around the Los Angeles Convention Center floor, but some outfits stood well above the rest in terms of accuracy, attention to detail, or just plain awesomeness. We asked several of the attendees to pose for us, and you can take a look at the culmination of their geeky creativeness in the following photo essay. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did, and like Dr. Peter Venkman once said, in the classic film Ghostbusters, "We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!" D

RIGHT: Even the proud Thrandruil can’t help but stop and pose for his adoring fans. The Elven King appeared in both The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013), and can be seen later this year in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. BELOW: Of course you can’t have a comic-book convention without toys and collectibles, and these little Sailor Moon figures were just too adorbs to pass up.

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The Cypress Chronicle / Divergence


FAR LEFT: The fabled Slenderman peers down at the passing crowd. The lore of Slenderman originated in an internet forum back in 2009. LEFT: A weeping angel attempts to send us to the past and feed off our energy. Luckily, the Doctor arrived to save us just in time--pun intended. The weeping angels first appeared on Doctor Who in the 2007 episode, “Blink”.

Wonder Woman shows us a grim reminder of why it’s not a good idea to cross a Amazonian princess, displaying the severed head of Mera. While Wonder Woman is usually a more heroic character, she did kill the underwater queen during the DC Comics Flashpoint event of 2011.

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RIGHT: The beautiful and fierce Hawkgirl takes a moment to pause for her fans. Hawkgirl, whose alter ego is Shiera Sanders Hall, first appeared in Flash Comics #1 in 1940. BELOW: Mystique, Azazel, and their baby, Nightcrawler, take some time out of their Sunday stroll to pose for us. Mystique has appeared in multiple Marvel comics, and most recently in the film XMen: Days of Future Past.

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The Cypress Chronicle / Divergence


LEFT: Aikuro Mikisugi tries desperately to convince us of the evils of clothing. Mikisugi is a member of Nudist Beach, and appears in the anime series Kill La Kill. BELOW: A growing trend at this years Comikaze was the influx of pop-culture stars and celebrities, including the cast of True Blood. From left to right: Tara Buck, Kristen Bauer van Straten, and Stephen Moyer.

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fun W I T H

recipe

by Celsa Maldonado

T H E

D

Welcome to the another actionpacked edition of Fun With The D, a collection of light tidbits for your enjoyment. If you’ve got some apples, try Celsa’s holiday recipe. Check out your horoscope (or not), and get some advice from Fabulous Frank’s friend, Not-SoFabulous Nathan. Enjoy!

With thanksgiving coming up dinner is stressful enough as it is. So why not make dessert quick & easy? Making apple crust is not difficult at all & only takes about 20 minutes of preparation. The only tedious thing is to peel & slice the apples. But after that it's easy as pie!

apple krispy! Ingredients: 4-6 Granny Smith apples 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons granulated sugar Strudel: 1/2 cup uncooked oats 1/3 cup all purpose flour 1/2 cup light brown sugar 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick of butter) of unsalted butter 1/8 teaspoon salt Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a round 8x8 pan. 2. Peel, core & slice apples into small slices. Try to make them all the same sizes to allow them to bake thoroughly. 3. Next, throw all the apples into a large bowl. In a small bowl mix the granulated sugar,

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salt & cinnamon. Then add the contents into the large bowl with apples & shake the apples around to get em all covered. 4. Throw the sliced apples into the greased pan and spread them evenly. 5. In the same large bowl, mix the oats, brown sugar, flour & salt. Mix all the ingredients well. Cut the butter into small pieces & add it to the mixture. After about 2 minutes of mixing, the strudel will be clumpy & ready to top the sliced apples. Try to spread the strudel evenly to cover all the sliced apples. 6. Pop the pan into the oven & allow it to bake for about 3545 minutes. 7. Let it cool for at least 30 minutes. Best served fresh with a scoop of ice cream!

The Cypress Chronicle / Divergence


horoscopes

f

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO

SAGGITARIUS

PONPON 出して しまえばいいの ぜんぜん しないの つまらないでしょ ヘッドフォンかけて リズムに乗せて WAYWAY空けて あたしの道を Every Day PON Every Time is PON

ARIES

LIBRA

You are esoteric and maybe fun. We don’t know what that means, but that’s what the stars said.

Dragons. Your fortune is dragons. Just dragons. All the time. Dragons. Also don’t pass around STIs. :)

TAURUS

SCORPIO

Your challenge for this month is to do something you’ve never done before. Just don’t sue us if you die.

Do you know a Libra? Buy them Popeye’s. Also Popeyes, like the cartoon. Chicken and sailors. Yum.

GEMINI

SAGITTARIUS

Stop being a nerd. Take a shower. (Who doesn’t love showers?) Don’t get the herps. Trust us.

Your lucky word for this month is Shmagittarius. Your lucky color is blood orange. (It’s fucking red.)

CANCER

CAPRICORN

The Fault In Our Stars is terrible and you should not aspire to have cancer. Why would you even do that.

Eat lots of corn during Thanksgiving, unless your name is Jamal. Remember that time at the theaters? Yeah.

LEO

AQUARIUS

If you find a penny on the ground, keep it. It’s not lucky or anything, but we can guarantee you will be one cent richer.

This is your time to shine. Be spontaneous. Eat a lot of cupcakes. Don’t feel shame. You deserve it.

VIRGO

PISCES

Watch out for white boys that can spit. What the hell. Hahaha hahahaha. Ha. Ha. Hahahaha. Haha.

Step away from being basic this month. We believe in you. You’re much more than you think you are.

(Mar. 21 to Apr. 20)

(Apr. 21 to May 21)

(May 22 to Jun. 21)

(Jun. 22 to Jul. 22)

(Jul. 23 to Aug. 22)

(Aug. 23 to Sept. 23)

(Sept. 24 to Oct. 23)

(Oct. 24 to Nov. 22)

(Nov. 23 to Dec. 21)

(Dec. 22 - Jan. 20)

(21 Jan. - Feb. 19)

(Feb. 20 - Mar. 20)

frank ask fabulous

Dear Fabulous Frank, So I met this guy on Tinder, and he claims to deliver weed. What I’m concerned about is whether this is a legitimate dealer or some cop who is undercover and engaged in some sort of sting operation? It’s $5 for a brownie, and he’s hot. Help. -PSLWhiteGirl21 Dear PSLWhiteGirl21, Fabulous Frank isn’t in right now, please leave a message after the beep. Beeeeeep. But seriously, that’s just paranoia talking. If he’s hot, go for it, but maybe pass on that weed. There’s better, less shady, actually legal places for you to get that stuff. Just look at the back of OC Weekly or something. Secondly, really? PSL? Drink something new. It’s time for winter holidays. It’s all about peppermint mochas nowadays, not pumpkins. Hope this helped! :) -Not-so-Fabulous Nathan Have a question for Fabulous Frank? Send an e-mail to fabulousfrank@cychron.com

DISCLAIMER: Seriously, if you believe any of these, please re-evaluate your life choices. These horoscopes are provided for entertainment purposes only. The Cypress Chronicle and its staff are not responsible for any actions taken due to the above column. Just please don’t do anything stupid, for your own sake.

November 2014

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CYCHRON SPORTS

On the Court with

Coach Drew STORY BY | Jamal Bostick

T

he Cypress College men’s basketball team is back this season with a brand new attitude and a brand new coach. Drew Alhadeff is a promising young coach and is very optimistic in his first season with the chargers despite a slow start but look towards a bright future with his team.

information director here who’s is very supportive of the team. All around this is a great school and I love being here.

How is the team looking right now?

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reflects on what you do on the court. What’s the team chemistry like and what’s the teams pregame mindset like?

These guys are very positive What is your philosophy they all understand that this is We’re struggling right now we as a coach?

have a lot of new faces with 11 freshmen on the team so we’re making a lot of immature mistakes because of the youth, but we are getting better game by game.

How is your experience at Cypress College so far? W hat does the future look like at Cypress ColIm loving it here. The staff lege? is very welcoming and kind, the students are great, the campus is beautiful and I love the fact that we have a full time sports

can only get better, these guys are going to get stonger, more mature, and all around better as the season goes along. I mean we’re already making bounds of improvement so we should be okay.

It looks bright. We have 11 freshmen on the team and we

I’m a defensive guy number one and that’s an area of the game we’ve been struggling at so its frustrating a little bit. I believe in getting stops and not giving up lay ups and on the offensive end not hurting yourself and turning the ball over which is something we need to work on as well. Its also the structure of the team I believe in discipline and doing things right be respectful I believe what you do off the court

The Cypress Chronicle / Divergence

a process. They love each other and always hang out and bond really good. Its my job as a coach especially being down this early in the season is to keep them together and that this is a process that’s not going to change overnight and we have to change the culture of the program.

What would you consider a successful season? Realistically a .500 season es-


Sports Schedule COMPILED BY | Jeff Lopez

Men’s Basketball:

pecially at the point we’re at now we just have to get better every day I think its really hard for me in my first year to worry about wins and losses. We as a team have to worry about changing the culture, and the philosophy just taking baby steps and the wins will eventually work itself out. We cant expect to win if we aren’t putting the work in to win.

How is your coaching staff working with the team? I have two young assistant coaches who have played for me before so they know what to expect. They do all the scouting on opponents helping key on teams best players and stuff like that, these guys are awesome.

ABOVE: Assistant Coach Blake Touchard strategizes with his team before a practice scrimmage. BELOW: Coach Drew Alhadeff explains how a play is supposed to be run correctly.

The men’s basketball team has taken a huge stumble right of the bat, as they are 0 – 3 at the beginning of the season. As of now the team has lost to: El Camino, West LA, and Long Beach City college their closest game being of that against LB City. Expectations were high with new coach, Andrew Alhadeff, but evidently the team has not gain anything so far as they continue a losing streak carried over from the previous season. Their next upcoming games are against Chaffey College on the 19th of November and Rio Hondo on the 25th of November. Chaffey College is on a 6 – 0 streak so far having played in the Cuesta, and Fullerton tournaments, and won against every match up meaning that the team has their work cut out for them. Wishing them good luck on future games we hope to see the team play their way out of this rut and into the winning spotlight.

Women’s Basketball: Unlike their male counterparts, Women’s basketball is off to a better start this season winning their last three games against: Lassen, Merced, and Fresno during the Merced tournament. Last season, the women’s team was on and off as they lost close to as many times as they won, it’s probably too soon to tell how their season will go this time, but as of now they have a good start. Their next games are against Mt. San Antonio on the 21st of November and LA Southwest on the 5th of December.

Women’s Volleyball: Although both men’s and women’s basketball is just beginning, women’s volleyball has been playing since early September and has been on a hell of streak going 18 – 4 in the season. Out of their last three games the women’s team won two and lost one, winning against Riverside and Saddleback, but losing against Irvine Valley. The team only has one more game before going into regionals and then the championships. Their next match up is against Santa Ana on the 19th of November. With the winning streak that the women’s team is on we are pretty sure they will make far and end up on top.

November 2014

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Continued from last issue...

Dirt Roads ART BY Cesilia Gutierrez


To be continued...


Grindr and Tindr and Growlr, oh my! W

hen people date, usually they meet the person at a party, or in one of their classes or even at work, but there is another place that not many people actually want to talk about because they are afraid of the judgment that is going to come with it.

Hook up apps or dating apps, depending on what each person wants to call it, is a way that has become very popular for many to meet people, date, hook up or even become friends. Taboo Topics is back for some quick advice: if you’re using any of these apps or any other ones that

aren’t listed. It’s okay, ignore the judgment. There is nothing to be ashamed of. A couple of these apps include OKCupid, Grindr, Tinder which you can only sign up with, with your Facebook information, and G r o w l r. T h e r e are tons of these apps but these are the most popular ones. These apps are meant for people to put up profiles similar to their Facebook o n e s, b u t t h e majority of people put their interests on there and whether or not they want a relationship, friendship, relationship or all of the above. But what is so Taboo about these apps that make people frown upon them? Erik Sandoval, 23, Engineering major said

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that he had never really used any of the other apps but Tinder and that’s only because the majority of his Facebook friends were on it and he was curious to see how exactly it worked. “Tinder seemed to be really easy, you could upload pictures and write a biography about yourself. When you liked someone you swipe right against the picture and if you don’t like someone you swipe left. When you’re matched with someone the app will tell you and it’s your choice If you want to send them a message or not. You can only send messages to the people who have liked you and vice versa.” If it’s so simple and so many people who have Facebook have the app, why is it so frowned upon? “I don’t know,” Sandoval said. “I honestly think it’s because no one’s dating the old fashion way anymore. It’s all about how social media has let you meet people through the internet and

The Cypress Chronicle / Divergence

you’re putting all this trust into this one profile on the app. In a way it is kind of shady.” That’s one of the key reasons why so many people frown upon the app, because you never know who is actually telling the truth on there. You don’t know if they could be lying about their age, sex, location or if the picture is even there’s. “With Tinder, it’s more trust worthy because you do have Facebook, as a back up source. But whose to say that someone didn’t create a fake Facebook account just to create a fake Tinder account? I don’t really want to be cat fished.” Sometimes on these apps you have to just use your own judgment. “I have used OKCupid and another app called Whisper and to be honest they aren’t that bad,”


Have you heard of these dating apps? STORY BY | Jeff Lopez

Scruff Scruff is basically Grindr for those who are into otters, bears, hairy guys and slightly hairy jocks. At least that’s what I encountered when I had the app for about a whole three months. And just like Grindr, you shouldn’t download the app thinking that you’re going to find your special someone for the rest of your life.

shared Jessica Vasquez, 21, Biology major. “I mean, of course you’ll never know really who the person is unless you actually meet them, but that’s kind of the thrill isn’t it? I enjoy meeting someone completely new. I like knowing that they probably don’t know my group of friends or people I hung out with. It’s a new slate.” Vasquez does make a good point. “As long as you’re safe, that’s all that should really matter. If you want to use the apps to hook up with someone, go ahead. If you want to actually date someone on there go right ahead. It’s no one’s business but your own.” Vasquez also shared that she thinks the reason people shouldn’t be judgmental about these apps is because not a lot of people still believe in dating. She shared that she doesn’t know many people who will go to a bar and meet a random stranger and think they’re good enough to go on a date with, and if they are there probably

isn’t a second date. “Everyone is on their phones anyways. These apps are just an easier and faster way for people to meet other people and seeing if they are worth it, instead of spending time and actually going out on a first date and realizing they aren’t worth it,” Jennifer Ware, 23, Mathematics stated. “I never really tried any of these apps but I do know a couple people who use them, and I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I just think everyone has their own way of dating and seeing people and this is one of the more faster and shyer ways because when it comes down to it, you don’t really need to say anything on these apps, all you need to do is type.” So are these apps really taboo to some people, or have they already become apart of the dating world that so many people are used to already? Let Taboo Topics know your opinion at TabooTopics@gmail.com.

This isn’t a gay fairytale, pun intended, where it’s that easy although you should still have that small glimmer of hope that you might be the luckiest guy on earth and actually find the one. Like all those other apps, you’ll encounter a bunch of thirsty guys asking for your XXX pictures even though their own profile is blank with no profile picture claiming to be DL or down low. I mean come-on, it’s 20-fucking-14 your smartphone has a camera, also you’ll find a lot of guys on there trying to act smart and all analytical by having some witty quote or some quote stating how they don’t care about having the app and are only on when they’re bored, bitch, please you’re the thirstiest guy on there.

Hot Or Not Now, Hot or Not is basically Tinder although I’m not sure which came first and both have the same format. You’ll be presented with a picture of a guy or girl, and you’ll have the option to either deny them with an X or Not, or approve of them with a check mark or Hot. And then you’ll go through the whole process of looking at their profile and going through their pictures while being able to chat with them. I’ve had both apps although I didn’t know I had one of them, which came completely out of nowhere. I made a profile for Hot or Not and believe you’ll know you have it since you’ll receive countless notifications from it, which become increasingly annoying. Tinder however, will apparently make a profile for you, as happened with me. My friend basically told me, “Oh hey I didn’t know you had tinder” … I didn’t have it but lo and behold I downloaded it and logged in automatically. Well, it’s nice to know that the universe has my sexual life in mind because come on we all know it’s used for hook ups.

November 2014

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Elections 2014: The winners, the losers, and the aftermath. STORY BY | Gerard Avelino

E

motions always run high during Elections in the United States, and this year’s was no exception in California. Incumbents were unseated, conservatives won big, and Measure J is hanging on the edge of passing. Take a look at the winners, the losers, and the aftermath of the 2014 elections: Measure J

Democrat Sharon Quirk-Silva unseated Republican incumbent Chris Norby in 2012 by 4 percentage points, turning a historically red district blue in a major upset. However, rookie Assemblywoman’s two-year term has come to an end, and Republican Young Kim cinched the 65th district of the California State Assembly.

The Cypress Chronicle has kept tabs on Measure J results since election night, and it has been nothing short of nailbiting.

45.4%

Quirk-Silva (D) Kim (R)

“We fought hard, we worked hard, but tonight is not our victory,” said Quirk-Silva on Twitter, in concession.

Associated Students representatives aimed to endorse Quirk-Silva before the elections, but representatives say they were discouraged to do so for fairness’ sake.

22

Simpson also appeared at Academic Senate, Nov. 13, to give an update on Measure J, during which he said, “I remain optimistic, but cautiously, after the disappointment of election night.” Indeed, as results came in from polling places, Measure J was just under the 55 percent required to pass. It was only after additional vote-by-mail and provisional ballots were counted after election night that results looked more promising. Interestingly, in the Orange County portion of NOCCCD, Yes passes with a 0.11 percent margin. However, in the Los Angeles County part of the district, it fails by almost 4 percentage points.

Totals

The 65th Assembly District includes parts of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton, Garden Grove, La Palma, and Stanton.

“This does not mean we will prevail,” says Cypress College Bob Simpson in an e-mail to the campus, Nov. 17. “But the chances are now much better than they appeared a week ago.”

LA County Portion

54.6%

As of press time, 3 p.m. of Nov. 17, Measure J is hanging on at 55.005 percent. The measure requires a 55 percent supermajority to pass.

Measure J Unofficial Results Orange County Portion

Quirk-Silva Out, Kim In

82,751 67,418

1,949 1,865

84,697 69,283

55%

required to pass

55.11% 44.89%

51.06% 48.94%

55.005% 44.995%

Source: Orange County Registrar of Votes, County of Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder.

The Cypress Chronicle / Divergence


Measure J: A Recap What does happen if Measure J passes? Let’s have a quick recap of the outlined provisions:

$574 million

Propositions Pass

Voter Turnout

Proposition 1, a $7.12 billion bond for California’s water system, passed easily, garnering 67.16 percent of the statewide vote. Supporters of Prop 1 say the measure will “ensure a reliable water supply for farms and businesses during severe drought,” which comes at the expense of more debt added to taxpayers’ bills.

Disappointingly, California-wide, voter turnout stands at just above 40 percent. However, this is still better than the nationwide total turnout of 36.4 percent, which the Washington Post says is the lowest since World War II.

Proposition 2, which increases California’s rainy day fund from 5 percent to 10 percent of the General Fund, also passes at 69.21 percent. P r o p o s i t i o n 4 5 , wh i ch p u t s health insurance companies under the purview of the California Insurance Commissioner for any rate changes, failed with 59.13 percent voting no. Proposition 46, which increases medical negligence lawsuit damage assessments to over $1 million, also failed, with 67.07 percent voting no. Proposition 47, reducing the classification of nonviolent crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, passed at 59.27 percent. Nonviolent crimes such as shoplifting, grand theft, forgery, fraud, and illegal drug use, will now receive the much lighter misdemeanor sentencing instead of felony charges.

Turnout is usually lower during midterm elections, when the US President is not voted on. Orange County did better than the statewide average, at a 45 percent voter turnout. National Balance

of

Power

Republicans are confir med to take the US Senate, as well retain control of the US House of Representatives. With the GOP controlling both chambers of Congress, and with Democrat President Obama as chief executive, Americans can expect either more gridlock in Washington, or a greater deal of compromise between party lines. D

to be raised in general obligation bonds

$14.90

the amount taxpayers in the NOCCCD area pay per $100 thousand worth of real estate they own

Building Renovations NOCCCD says that the bond will fund “facility improvements, upgrades, and repairs” for Cypress College, Fullerton College, and the School of Continuing Education. At Cypress, improvements are slated to be done to: Science, Engineering and Math Building Fine Arts Building Veterans’ Center

Oversight Measure J requires an oversight committee to ensure that no funds go to administrators’ salaries, and that the money raised will be spent correctly.

2050-51

Proposition 48, which would have allowed the North Fork tribe of Mono Indians to, according to Ballotpedia, “build a casino on land in the Central Valley,” failed with 61.02 percent voting no.

the year that taxpayers should expect to finish paying for Measure J November 2014

23


Blame... from page 33

because she lives in a bad area, which she confirmed isn’t true.

the dog. Your train the dog not to attack, not to bite, and the dog will listen. It is not imbedded into the dog’s brain to be an attacker.

“I grew up with Pitbulls since I was born; they are such great family dogs. I will always be a Pitbull mom because they are literally the best.”

Jessica Astorga, 23, major undecided, has a blue nose pitbull as well as an American red nose mix. Her blue nose, named Marley, was a gift from a family friend. Her red nose mix, Coco, was a gift to her nephew but she wound up just living with Astorga. With owning two pitbulls, of course, there is going to come the negativity of the stereotypes that many people believe. Astorga was able to share some of the stereotypes she’s heard: “ They say ‘They [the breed] are super aggressive; they aren’t family dogs and are only meant to be fighting dogs. These dogs will turn on you no matter what and apparently only gangsters have these kinds of dogs.’” Does the human race realize that any dog can be aggressive, and that, if trained, any dog can be a fighting dog? Astorga shared that many people think the only reason she owns two Pitbulls is

With a breed as demonized as pitbulls ,of course there are rules that are being enforced around the United State; there are laws in specific states, and in certain cities banning pitbulls from being owned. 43 states in the U.S either have an ordinance of mandatory sterilization meaning dogs of this breed need to be fixed or neutered, or they have an ordinance of restriction which means that breed is forbidden in that area, which one can find a list on dogsbite.org. “I think these laws are ridiculous. It’s not about the breed. It’s about how they are raised,” said Astorga. “It is about the environment they grow up, just like people. Any breed can be dangerous. just because pitbulls are the dog people choose to make fighting dogs doesn’t mean they should be banned. Any breed can be aggressive. We shouldn’t blame them for the mistakes the human race have made.”

CC-BY-SA-3.0 Dwightlathan77 via Wikimedia Commons

Joseph Martinez, 25, English Major is also a proud owner of an American pitbull terrier and he had nothing but good things to say about this breed. “I can understand why many people see this breed as a fighter, but it doesn’t make it right,” he said. “That’s like saying some guy has a muscular body, he should be a wrestler. Even ‘Oh hey, that girl is in great shape, let’s make her a model.’ It’s the same

thing when it comes to this dog.” Martinez said he couldn’t imagine what it must feel like watching his dog fight with another dog just for money or some other gamble. “These dogs, just because they aren’t human don’t mean they don’t have feelings. This goes for all animals and I’m more annoyed with the judgmental looks I get from people whenever I take my dog to the park. They are quick to pass judgment on a dog but when someone passes judgment on them, they are quick to defend themselves.” I’m not saying every Pitbull is perfect, because that’s ridiculous. I’ve experienced my fair share of aggressive Pitbulls at the shelter and I’ve seen how fast they are and how much damage can be done just by a bite. I was able to interview Linda Ardian, 21, broadcasting major, who was able to share her side of the issue. She believes this breed can be vicious because of personal experiences. “When I was younger my mother got me a pitbull,” she said. “I don’t remember what kind she was but I do know she was already a little older; she wasn’t a puppy anymore. She was okay for the first couple of weeks, she would play a little rough but I figured it was just because she wasn’t outside enough. So I took her outside and she wound up knocking me down and biting my hair and she wouldn’t let go. My father came out and took the dog to the pound; he told them the dog was aggressive. I never really knew what happened to her but I’m assuming they put her down since he didn’t come back with her. “I’m not saying that every Pitbull is vicious,” she continues. “My encounter with one though is what made me afraid of them. I do believe any dog can turn on

their owner, antagonized enough. I mean they do have feelings and they run out of patience just like we do, but the only real way to show they are annoyed is if they snap, unlike us who can actually speak. So in a way I don’t blame the dog, but am I about to go and adopt a pitbull if I had the chance? Probably not.” Ardian was very honest, but she isn’t the only one who has had a bad pitbull experience and it’s usually because they are already taught to be aggressive before being adopted. Once again, not the dogs fault. Not all pitbulls are vicious though, many people own the breed and not for fighting. Ian Somerhalder, actor from Lost and The Vampire Diaries owns a precious pitbull whom he gloats about all the time on his social media. Kaley Cuoco, actress from The Big Bang Theory adopted three pitbulls herself. Norman Reedus aka Daryl Dixon from The AMC’s The Walking Dead owns a pitbull mix, and Jessica Alba as well as Jennifer Aniston are also guilty of adopting this specific breed. What it comes down to is that this breed is judged off of stereotypes and what everyone else in the human race says about them. No one ever really takes the time to consider why the dog is the way it is. Once again, any dog is capable of snapping and lashing out, but because Pitbulls are much bigger dogs and many people are more afraid of their appearance they are of course one of the most abused breeds. So maybe the question isn’t why is it people shudder every time they hear the breed “pitbull.” Maybe the question is whose fault is it really for giving the breed such a bad reputation, because the last time I checked dogs didn’t talk and the human race were the ones raising these animals. D


I don’t want to be that creature up on that pedestal you built for me where that winged beast stands looming over us with claws draped over your shoulder I don’t want to be that distorted thing that is so high up in the stars that I’ve lost my face in places you’ve taken me where we cannot possibly breathe or see that what you have dreamed me up as is not a celestial lover or utter goodness but what you do to me in your skin is contort me into the monster I promised I always was because when you take away the fake white feathers and the bright golden eyes of someone you think you love I sit at the foot of the pedestal your heart in my hands, curved horns and dirty red eyes, ashes and bone beneath me saying, sorry, I’m so sorry I didn’t want to hurt you, no, I just wanted to love you the way that I was but that wasn’t good enough and now your angel warrior couldn’t even be human anymore, and then I suppose You never saw me as human anyway

Firelord’s Library Creative writing by students and staff Curated by Kyo Okamuro

Art by Christian Moreira, christianmoreira.com


Creative Writing Exercises

Firelord’s I Library H appy H olidays, and welcome to Firelord’s Library, a compilation of various creative writing manifested within Cypress College. It’s our last issue of the semester, and we’re about to return to ashes. We’ll arise again in the spring but for now, here’s what we have burning for the fall. Have a nice stay, and keep on writing.

And so forth. You take these t helps to think of cresentence starters and see what you ative writing as a muscle, come up with. and for any muscle to become strong it must be exAlternatively, you can also ask ercised. Creative writing re- creative questions. Such as: quires practice—and heaps of it. To exercise this muscle Was that the sound of a in simple and easy ways, you woman screaming? can follow prompts and simply allow them to flow. Was it a knife being sharpened? For example:

Who is coming around the corner? What is their secret? What are they carrying? Take this simplistic outline and run with it, it doesn’t have to be some elaborate planned out adventure, it is merely meant to get you started, to stretch your muscle and if you’re diligent, get sweating. You can also do something like:

Conner violently turned the door handle but it was locked; now he had no escape from... Cesi read Jamal’s diary and discovered... G e r a r d l o o ke d d ow n the... Rachel climbed the tree and...

Where did the cat go? Why did the man turn the corner? And finally, you can try creating something from a single word. What unfolds after you read these words?

Rain Gentle Infestation Green Potato These sorts of easy exercises can get you practicing with minimal thought or pressure, without demeaning the benefits of practicing. Don’t trick yourself into thinking you’re stuck or can’t improve. All you have to do is keep practicing.

The plane crashed because Erik... 26

Firelord’s Library


Just Another Bad Pop Song I met you for only a second, and then my whole world was turned upside down. For years you made my head spin, and my stomach flutter with what I wanted to believe were moths but I knew the truth. Butterflies beating inside of me every time I heard your voice. Emotions that didn’t make sense became clearer. Songs that I questioned the lyrics to, were no longer questionable. You gave me that hope to feel again. To feel alive. I was no longer walking around with an empty, cold heart inside of me. I could feel it beat, just like I could feel yours every time we were chest to chest, lips to neck, and hands on waists. There was a fire inside of you and like a moth to a flame, I was drawn to you. You gave me a thrill, so much more experience than I’ll ever have. Looking back now, I can feel my stomach drop with every memory that flashes in my head. It’s like a cliché movie that’s so horrible but you can’t look away or a bad pop song with horrible lyrics but there’s something about the beat that draws you in. You were my bad pop song, my one hit wonder, and my number one song every week. Until you weren’t. The downfall of a bad pop song, eventually you can’t stand it and it got to the point where I couldn’t stand you. Your smile was no longer intoxicating, your laugh was no longer contagious and I finally took a step back and saw you. The real you. Just like the pop song, with its repetitive, shallow lyrics I noticed your repetitive pattern and your shallow personality. You gave your heart away and I took mine back. I was finally done listening to your cliché words and your addicting touch. And just like any other over played pop song it was time for you to fall off the charts and be put down in memories. I’ll always remember the times that you played in my head and came into my life, but listening to your cliché lines and feeling my heart break. I think it was time to move on and realize that you weren’t that great of a song and maybe it was all in my head.

A sparrow’s song I still feel you lurking in the darkest corners of my mind; the walls you broke through are twice as strong now I’m trapping you inside you will be my prisoner and in the empty chambers of the mess you left behind you will rot as summer fades to autumn you will be long forgotten and trapped inside those walls you shall remain. By Bria Stone, 24, Creative writing major

By Victoria Cardenas, 21, Veterinary science major

November 2014

27


An Endless Playground Do you remember that night, you and I? There on the swings. I see it when my eyes close, every time the world goes dark. It’s your hand. Warm. Squeezing the paint right off my fingernails. The chains pinch our arms but still we hold hands because there is no grass below. Beneath our feet is an ocean with furious waves, an abyss— no land to be seen. We pump our legs in attempt to reach heights that we probably can’t. What lay above? A mystery we don’t care much to solve. Fear is our fuel. Fear is our lion’s hearts. Our vulture’s eyes. Our lemming’s brains. Love is something else. Kisses don’t matter in this moment, this sky. Sex is forgotten, packed away in boxes marked with a sharpie scribble: “Save this for later.” You and I are lost up here. Trapped on pendulums piloted by our affection. Well,

Lines Lost Between Mouth and Ear child can you hear me? it's nights like these that take you back back to where you swore you'd never go. keep your eyes from facing the mirror, try to keep the nightmares from haunting all the time. this isn't where you thought you'd be. all truth is lost and still, child can you hear me? it's so hard to forget the pain you felt every time they left you lying on the ground. still, you'd pretend like nothing changed. how ever did you trust again? a soft whisper flows into my ear singing I’m so sorry for this mess I’ve made. I’m spinning in circles around all this doubt, it's so much like you to walk away as if you never knew my name. now I’m left choking on everything left behind but I won't be the one to cover up your lies. so, tell me was it worth all the torn skin on your wrists? was it worth all the loss and love you so casually dismissed? your world comes crashing down; leaving you breathless under the wreckage. child, are you listening? I’ll scream for you until this world goes deaf. By Bria Stone, 24, Creative writing major

An ode for no one

Time is wasted all the time What you want is what you get and that is nothing Faith in others is trash. Destroy your mind, your heart, your body, and your soul. When you are left with nothing you have nothing to lose Scratch your face with calloused hands. My message is for those that dare to heed an imbecile. Forever ever comes never ever. There is no amount of daggers small enough to pierce their heart.

we put up a good fight. I wouldn’t trade this view for even the softest of floor By Amanda Ader, 21 Creative writing major

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Give up Give in Tune out, blackout. You can’t win. By Geovany Denicia, 20, Business administration major

Firelord’s Library


An Unfortunate Meeting

Do you think that you’re safe from me? How amusing.

Drip, drip. The noise echoed in her mind, a monotonous sound. Over and over. At the front of the class the teacher sat perched upon his desk, speaking aloud to his students of the lesson at hand and yet the words were nothing more than a mere buzz within her ears, a faint humming behind this prominent and repetitive dripping. It did not matter how hard she tried to focus, to tune out the noise or rid herself of it. Drip, drip, drip... The sound remained. It was taunting her. "Did you hear about the boy who died?" This sort of chatter stirred between lessons, when the students had more freedom to talk and gossip amongst themselves. Lyla shifted uncomfortably as she stood by her locker, her hand frozen from reaching in for the notebook as the conversation began to unfold beside her. "Yeah, I heard he was from a school local to here." Her fingers twitched, swallowing hard as her throat began to dry. Drip. "Some people thought it was suicide, but the news said it was murder! Can you believe it? It's scarier with it being so close to home." At first only her hand began to shake, but soon even her arm was trembling as Lyla tightly closed her eyes. Drip. "Who could kill a kid like that, though?" Drip. "They don't have any clue who did it, right? And as far as they know there wasn't any witnesses around at the--" Lyla slammed the door to her locker suddenly, hurrying away from the group who had been holding the conversation. That abrupt action had interrupted the discussion, yet Lyla didn't stick around and scampered down the corridor, finding

her way to the nearest bathroom. The way she burst in startled a couple girls who were in there, and she muttered an apology before tucking herself inside one of the cubicles, locking the door behind herself. Was she on the verge of a panic attack? It felt like it. Her breathing was labored, her heart pounding so hard in her chest that it felt like it might bruise her rib cage, or break free from it.

By the time Lyla had calmed herself all those who had been within the bathroom were gone. She was alone there. She couldn't even be certain whether the bell had chimed to signal the next lesson, because between the harsh beating of her heart and that maddening dripping in her head, she hadn't been able to hear anything. Making her way toward the sink she did not glance at her teary expression. The boy who had died, it had been by murder. Lyla knew this for certain. She knew because... A whimper sounded from her as she twisted the faucet on, allowing the cold water to rush into her cupped hands and splashed that against her face. In the midst of her closing her eyes to do this, the lights in the bathroom had flickered and something moved. As Lyla lifted herself up to gaze toward the mirror, she flinched at the sight. Rather than the clear water, there was a dark red substance painted onto her skin. Her eyes began to widen with terror, averting that attention to the running water. Or what she had hoped to be. Instead a crimson liquid was rushing out, it was thick and had a familiar scent to copper; blood. "No, this... it can't be, this isn't real, it can't... this isn't happening..." Lyla muttered shakily, taking steps backwards as she stared toward the mirror, wishing for the reflection before

her to alter and reveal this as nothing more than a nightmarish daydream. Something other than reality, maybe an elaborate prank or trick of the mind. Something... Anything... Moving away abruptly ceased as her back met with an object, one might assume it to be the cubicles but this was softer, yet eerily chilled. This was made all the more surreal as her sights had not strayed from that mirror, and she was unable to see what was behind her. Drip, drip. That sound no longer felt like it was confined within her own mind, it felt like it was more open and a quick glance confirmed that it was not a dripping from the faucet she had used. Lyla's skin crawled as a breeze tickled past her ear, literally jumping forward from her place and spinning around to face what was behind her but their was nothing. No one was there, and yet at the same time she could feel something with her. But what was it? Lowering herself into a crouched stance, her head tilted so that she could look beneath the cubicles between the floor, and that small space where the door stopped. Lyla still saw nothing, no one was here with her and she couldn't hear any shuffling from maybe someone hiding on one of the toilets. So why-- Another shiver rushed through her as she heard a whisper within the air. The words themselves were inaudible, but somehow she knew that something had been spoken, that someone was saying something. Lyla lifted herself back up, glancing around the room to locate the source of the voice. It did sound as if it was resonating from a far off place, however she still felt that it was coming from this room but where? Her feet carried her back toward the

November 2014

sink, switching off the faucet to help her hear. Staring at the mirror- that whispering- it seemed like it was actually coming from inside of it. How was that possible? And then it became silent. Their wasn't even any noise from beyond the exit, it was like their was literally no one in the school at that very moment. Lyla leant closer, her ear poised toward the mirror. It was a small cracking sound that made her flinch at first, and then an agonizing screech. Perhaps a scream? Words were shouted, the voice distorted and at the same time, filled with panic. He's coming, run! All the mirrors there shattered from the intensity of the sound. The girl let out a stifled scream, not hesitating to do that. To run. Who was coming? Truthfully she hoped that she didn't know but a horrible feeling was beginning to rise in her chest. Lyla had to run, she had to get out, to escape. If he got to her... Swallowing hard, she abandoned her bag and simply fled. Throwing open the door to the bathroom and not bothering to stand around as it fell to a close, one foot after the other, her pace quick but soon began to steady into a jog, and then a walk until eventually she stopped. Lyla wasn't getting anywhere. Every time she passed through the door into the following corridor, it was like she was looped back to the very one she had already come from. The trembling of her body became obvious, frantically searching around in thought. What could she do, where could she go? And how was she supposed to get out of here? "So you noticed," A voice cooed out, his tone velvet laced and even the chuckle that accompanied those words was inviting to the senses, a beautiful

29


melody of a noise. Lyla almost felt lured in by the sound, but all that had happened prior to now reminded her that she was not okay there, that this was dangerous. Quickly looking around to be certain that he was not there to see her, she pulled open a locker and climbed inside. Fortunately the lockers weren't too small, and with the size that she was she could just about fit inside of them. Or so she thought. Lyla had closed the door, her hand moved to cover her mouth. "What do you think you're doing?" The voice asked with a playful curiosity. But it was the hand that reached out to touch at her head which startled her the most, her tear ridden eyes opening wide with the shock. The locker in which she had confined herself, it was no longer boxed around her. This couldn't be real. Her head tilted, allowing her to look beside herself. Lyla was in the middle of the corridor, simply curled up as she sat crouched upon the floor there. Falling back in her haste to be out of his reach, she crawled as those tears finally began to trail down her cheeks. "This... this can't be... I... I have to..." Rolling herself over, she staggered back to her feet and clumsily began to run forwards only to slam into something. Or someone. That same sound graced her senses, that laughter. How had he moved so quickly? It wasn't possible! Sniffling, she lifted her head. Daring to actually look at this individual, and see him for herself. Most of his general appearance appeared normal; their was nothing out of the ordinary about his attire, nor of the piercings or tattoo's that he had. Although his skin was pale, bordering a porcelain shade, from what she had seen he did look human. Or at least, he had

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at first. Suddenly she noticed something swaying behind him, a long and slender short haired black tail which became bushier at the tip with burnt orange edges. His warm smile revealed the peril beyond those lips, as she could see the sharpened fangs that protruded from both his upper and lower mouth and yet, she still felt enticed by that charming grin of his. His ears were pointed, elven-like but not too large and above those, poking out from his hair at either side of his head were a set of jet black horns, both curved on top with a pointed edge. But it was his eyes that captivated her the most, the whites of them were sunk into a black canvas that seemed to spread out around it and faded into his skin. It would be much like staring into an abyss had it not been for those magnificent, shiny moonlit eyes that stared toward her. Lyla couldn't move, and barely twitched as she felt his hand cup beneath her jaw, blackened claws gently pressing but not enough to actually break the skin there. "Do you think that you're safe from me? How amusing." Leaning forward, he placed a delicate kiss to her forehead. "Pl-Please... Please, d-don't kill me... I won't... I won't tell any one, I- I swear, bbut..." Lyla pleaded, his thumb stroking as he began to hush her. "Now, now~ Don't be too afraid, okay? I had no intention of directly killing you." Without paying too much attention to the way that he had phrased himself, that could almost sound reassuring and for just a moment, she had thought of it as such and then a sort of realization sunk in with her that made her heart drop. Retracting his hand, the floor slowly began to tilt. All things

that were not tied down slid with this angle, moving steadily at first but the more it inclined, the faster things went. Crashing against each other as they descended and she was no different, her feet were beginning to slide but she fought against falling, walking against it, trying desperately to grab at something and eventually, her hands gripped at the beings clothing as he was the only one not affected by this obscure change. "WhWhat's happening!? Why... are you doing this?! How..." There were many questions that she wanted answering, but were any of them important right now? He had no intention of explaining anything. Reaching out, his claw lightly tapped at her chest and a shock-wave that pulsated through her body forced her muscles to ease, her hand releasing him. Lyla fell, with no hope of catching herself from this descent. Drip, drip. The noise echoed in her mind, a monotonous sound that broke through what had felt like a endless silence. Opening her eyes, her hazed sights could see someone standing over her. "I'm sorry, I wanted to save you but I couldn't... I couldn't stop him..." The voice whispered. "Wh-Who are you and where... am I?" She asked; what had happened felt like a vague memory, something her mind was attempting to recover but it was just out of reach. However, she was aware of a heavy weight on her chest and a blackness which surrounded them. Eyes wandered to look around this place, yet their was nothing to see. Nothing but shadows, as if they were trapped within a starless sky. "I'm Max... Max Asherton," Wait, wasn't that the name of the boy she had seen killed? "And you... you're in Limbo," The voice stated with an evident sorrow. "The world

Firelord’s Library

between life, and death." No, that couldn't be true. Lyla couldn't remember dying, could she? No, it couldn't be... That fall... "Did you see all the police? I heard someone jumped,� A student muttered amongst a small group, "Yeah! I think someone said it was that Lyla girl?" Another added. "I'm wondering if she had something to do with that other kids death, me and Jessa were talking about it earlier and she totally freaked! It was so weird," A girl explained, which stirred some thoughtful humming from the others. "Now that you mention it, I think I heard one of the cops say something about some unknown blood, maybe--" A new voice chimed in to them before they had the chance to continue, "It's disrespectful to speak ill of the dead, you know~" That velvet lace was honey sweet, gathering the intrigue of the group. "Did you know her?" One of them asked, sounding almost sympathetic now. "Only for a brief time, it saddens me that she had to die like that." The oddities to his appearance had vanished, the whites to those eyes returned and the once moonlit optics now a metallic coal as he stared between the youths. "Would any of you be willing to keep me company for a while?" He asked, "I'm sure we could find something fun to do." The smile that tugged at his lips was genuine, only barely revealing the tips of fangs which were concealed within. Oh how he wanted another game to begin and hopefully this time, it would be something that he could truly get his teeth in to. By Taylor Watson, 23 Creative writing major


tangents views & reviews

Untitled maybe if I smoke until I throw up, I’ll feel better. maybe I can purge myself of you by clawing and scraping and bleeding and crying and screaming until you’ve been expelled. until you’ve unsunk your teeth from my heart and it finally continues to beat without you. By Bria Stone, 24, Creative writing major

My World You cannot tell me not to raise my sword against monsters, or that I should not flee from the onslaught of a zombie hoard staggering toward me. You have no right to claim this as an unrealistic world, if I am content to dwell within a dream then leave me be as I do not need you to fight with me. You may think that the world outside is a far better place but I will not allow you to push those

ideals onto me. not now, not ever. I am a creature who thrives on the magic of imagination in whatever way it may create or twist, I see color vividly splashed here within this world. So if you feel the need to stand against me in this way, then prepare yourself for a bloody battle as you will become my enemy and I will not fall to you.

By Taylor Watson, 23 Creative writing major

Anime is a medium that relies heavily on clichés. It’s not always a bad thing, but seeing the same tropes re-used over and over again can become tedious. But every so often, a series will come along that truly revitalizes the medium and proves that anime can be taken seriously as a legitimate art form. And this year, it happened to be a show about ping pong. Masaaki Yuasa’s Ping Pong the Animation is truly a different animal. It may be about a sport, but calling it a “sports anime” implies that it relies on the actual ping pong matches to create suspense and advance the action, which is not the case. This is a character-driven story, through and through. At the heart of the story are two drastically different childhood friends, both of whom are naturally gifted at ping pong. While “Peco” is a charismatic smartass with Olympic-level dreams, “Smile” is stoic and apathetic, seeing the sport as little more than a way to pass the time. However, their talents don’t come without a price. Peco’s ego is too fragile for his own good, and Smile lacks the ambition to win. The driving force of the show is the two of them learning to overcome the emotional baggage that keeps them from not only growing as players, but also maturing as young adults. Because of the characterdriven nature, Ping Pong moves at its own pace. Even in a short runtime of 11 episodes, even minor characters are fleshed out in a true-to-life way, giving them a

November 2014

sense of realistic relatability that is quite rare in this medium. I cannot write about Ping Pong without mentioning the animation. It’s rough and abstract, with a sense of kinetic energy that brings characters and environments to life in a unique way. Moments of magical realism turn simple matches into breathtaking action sequences, making Ping Pong as pleasing to the eye as it is to the mind and the heart. ~ Rachel Dick

Do you have a story to share with the Firelord’s Library? Send an e-mail to kyo@cychron.com

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D I V E R G E N C E

P I C K S In about six months, the Marvel Universe as we know it is going to end. At Marvel Studios, Jonathan Hickman and the others in charge of writing and illustrating the graphic novels following the Avengers will be throwing readers eight months into a Jonathan Hickman, et al. future that is strikingly similar to REVIEW BY | Conor Watkins The Third Reich.

Avengers

A word to readers that have not caught up, there are few spoilers ahead. It seems as though The Avengers have separated into three separate factions. Steve Rogers has taken leadership of S.H.I.E.L.D. in a constant quest

Interstellar Christopher Nolan

REVIEW BY | Erik Lucas

From the unique mind of director Christopher Nolan comes the space epic known as Interstellar. The movie tells the story of a farmer and his family struggling to feed the earth's population, which has dwindled since most of the crops have died out. The first half of the movie sets up the purpose of the journey: humans must find a new home in which to live, and to do that they must travel through a wormhole. The cold reality is, that the travelers will most likely never return. Cooper ( M a t t h e w M c C o n a u g hy ) and his daughter Mur ph must eventually deal with the unwanted situation him spearheading this unwieldy mission. Since this movie seems to

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to keep peace in the world and to find the Illuminati, a seemingly expanding group of former Avengers led by Tony Stark. In previous issues, the Illuminati (composed of Beast from the X-men, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Black Bolt, Bruce Banner, Namor, Tony Stark and Mr. Fantastic) fought to save their world from oncoming incursions events from other universes. The third faction, which includes the Almighty Thor, seems to have no affiliation with either side, but they are also working to find a solution to the oncoming end to their world.

be getting widely panned by critics because of the movies running time, allow me to bring some clarity to the second half plot (without spoiling anything of course!). After the transition through the wor mhole, the movie takes a sharp turn from traditional storytelling to a series of smaller stories—almost mini-movies. These instances intertwine, and culminate in an ending that does a great job of portraying the gravitas of this daring movie. Audiences will no doubt make connections to other beloved sci-fi films, such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Gravity, with high-brow science jargon and gorgeous visuals. Speaking of visuals, Interstellar is a masterpiece in

The Cypress Chronicle / Divergence

With all this division among the Avengers, readers are left anxious to see what is going to happen in six months. How did Thor lose his arm? Why are Steve Rogers and S.H.I.E.L.D. acting like control freaks? Where are Tony Stark and the Illuminati? Where is Black Widow in all of this? How is it all going to come together in the end? From now until the spring of 2015, we’re hoping the answers to these questions and more are revealed. Check out your local comic book store and dive into this gripping storyline. You can also dive in by visiting Marvel.com.

this regard, with amazing portrayals of space and time literally bending and lensing. The music is appealing as well, with the celebrated Hans Zimmer putting his distinct touch on the score. This movie is a delightful mix of factual science and sci-fi fantasy, with philosophical ideas and metaphorical instances. It’s an ambitious, intergalactic trip through time and space that deftly blends the human emotions of love and loss with a cornucopia of science and science fiction. Nolan is famous for saying he loves to explore all the aspects of human emotion, and this movie does not fail in that regard. A great watch for the everyday moviegoer, and a must-see for any true movie-lover.


CYCHRON OPINION

Blame the breeder, not the breed

by Victoria Cardenas

Pitbulls: why do many feat this breed of dogs?

I recently adopted a blue nose pitbull, she is two months old, and I was triggered with anger when I took her to the store to get her food and the first thing the lady did was scowl when she realized what kind of dog I had. Another stranger told me, “They’re so cute when they’re little but when they get bigger they’re just dangerous and scary. That’s usually when I turn them into the pound.” I don’t think this lady realized how many dogs are actually sent to the pound, let alone pitbulls, because people are too scared to handle them. But what is it about this breed? Is it because of their sharp teeth, or the fact that they are larger dogs; maybe

it’s because they have a temper and are willing to protect what they love because of how far their loyalty goes. Maybe it’s the fact that Pitbulls’ as well as their closely relative breeds such as the American Bulldog, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Bully, are responsible for 75% of “all reported canine-inflicted human deaths in the past decade,” according to dogbitelaw.com. There may be proof of these deaths, but people who are against this breed never stopped to take a look at the bigger picture. These dogs attack people, but where do they learn their aggressive behavior from? They have to have learned it from somewher. Just like a toddler with a who parent teaches them what is wrong from right, a dog will learn what it’s taught if it’s drilled into their head enough times.

Stock photo / public domain

For Pitbulls, they don’t have much say in what they learn, and this breed has been one of the most abused breed out of all. They are made for a purpose, and that is to fight. Pitbulls are the one of the major breeds of dogs taught to be aggressive. With their heavy body mass, their muscle structure and their sharp teeth, which any dog does have, these dogs take on the perfect picture of a fighter. This breed is used for protection and for gaining money, leaving many of the dogs injured. Because the owner of these dog ‘fight clubs’ don’t give the dog the

Marley, Jessica Astorga's blue nose pitbull, likes to hang out in the dirt to keep cool since his body is much thicker than most which adds more body heat. Photo courtesy Jessica Astorga.

proper care, the dog will usually be useless to them and left to die or sent to the pound where it will most likely be euthanized. Coming from someone that volunteered at the Downy Animal Shelter for a year and a half, I can safely say that many Pitbulls that I had seen come in, never really came back out or got adopted. No, those dogs get sent to the back building where there is a veterinarian waiting to euthanize the dog. The sad part is, it’s not the dog’s fault. One of the first rules about letting a dog actually stay at the shelter, is they must pass their temperament test, which means the animal is tested to be aggressive or not. The majority of the dogs brought in were pitbulls and the majority of the dogs that

November 2014

didn’t pass the test were pitbulls, but it’s not their fault. So many people teach these dogs to be aggressive and when they are no longer any use to the owner they toss them to the pound, not thinking twice. It’s not fair that these of dogs lose their lives because of what the human race decides to teach them. It is not fair that because humans use this breed for their personal gambling use that these dogs now have a bad reputation. I have had my pitbull for about a month already and she’s a puppy, so of course she bites and wants to play. But she is a sweetheart and the most damage she’s done is rip up the majority of my shoes. The key is, you train BLAME / continued page 24

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Pet Showcase The Divergence Magazine

L

et’s face it: behind every great person is a great pet. The Cypress Chronicle staff would not have gotten through this year if not for their beloved pets (or, in our adviser’s case, the humor derived from llamas--or alpacas--wandering into his property in the Oklahoma panhandle). Here are some of our favorite staff pets:

Harley Quinn is her name, she's about two months and two weeks old and she is a blue nose pitbull. Harley came from a litter of eight and if she wasn't going to find a home she was going to be sent to the pound. She's been nothing short of amazing and has broken any stereotype of pitbulls that people have created. How can you not love this face? ~Victoria Cardenas

y

Harle

ns Mitte

My cat, Mittens. He's a 9 month old tuxedo type, and is constantly perplexed as to why I take so many pictures of him. ~Erik Lucas

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The Cypress Chronicle / Divergence


just charged straight at the trucks and broke free. And they spit. The owner was ill and couldn’t come get them. But he assured me Itchy and Scratchy are the best thing that could have happened to me. They protect the herd from coyotes, he said. Llamas even killed a cougar up on the river, he said.

Scratchy Itchy

&Scratchy

Itchy

The Llamas (Alpacas?)

I

tchy and Scratchy are the Oklahoma panhandle’s only free-range llamas. Or are they alpacas? The man who said he owned them calls them llamas. Neighbors just call them pests.

Itchy and Scratchy spent the summer at The Free Puppy. On my land, they enjoyed the spring rainblessed prairie grasses and a windmill delivering 120 gallons of water an hour. There were no cattle on the place with which to compete. They had jumped a six-strand, 48-inch-high barbed-wire fence to live in llama paradise. (Alpaca heaven?) They saw no reason to leave when I asked. They showed up in the county in the spring, jumping neighbors’ fences one after another, just looking for a home. Itchy and Scratchy are fearless. We chased them in a pair of pickups across the treeless plain, cornering them against a fence. They

November 2014

In the meantime, folks were asking, as the llamas were acting like deer, did fish and game had a llama season, too? When I left to go back to teaching in August, Itchy and Scratchy did not even look up from grazing. In September, a new herd of cattle was moved onto The Free Puppy. Itchy and Scratchy, Oklahoma’s only free-range llamas (Alpacas?) shortly thereafter, moved out, unobserved. Older, wiser stockmen have told me that by naming Itchy and Scratchy, I now legally own them. That can’t be right, can it? ~ Robert Mercer

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Kiba and Penny, eight month old Siberian husky and a ten year old mutt. Kiba is 100 percent a sass master and Penny is the most lovable creature alive. ~Kyo Okamuro

Kiba

y

Penn

Chloë

My sister found Dusty covered in dust and cobwebs, hence his name. He’s terribly naughty, but loves everyone. He bites out of love. Chloë, on the other hand, is more aloof; but that doesn’t stop her from meowing through the night. She was given to us by neighbors who had to move out of state. Fun fact: I like taking unflattering photos of my cats. (They’re still cute though.) ~Gerard Avelino

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Dusty

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Divergence November 2014  

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