No divers, no problem DVC’s swim team breaks records See Page 5.
Student Voice of Diablo Valley College
Volume 85 No. 6 Summer 2014 www.TheInquirerOnline.com
Teachers look to integrate site into classrooms. See Page 2.
Long distance love? See Page 9. Wearable technology on the fritz See Page 7.
GUSTAVO VASQUEZ/ The Inquirer
• News 2, 3, 4 • Opinions 7, 8, 9 • Sports 5, 6 • Editorial 7 • Arts & Features 10, 11, 12 • Campus Buzz 7 • Calendar 2 • Police Beat 2 • Staff Information 2 • Copyright © 2014 The Inquirer - Diablo Valley College
news 2 Summer 2014
calendar May 17 and every Saturday Off the Grid, 1 1 a.m. - 3 p.m., 1975 Diamond Blvd., Concord May 27- June 13 DVC’s early summer short-term classes June 6 (every first Friday of the month) First Friday Concert Series, The Uptown Night Club, 1928 Telegraph, Oakland (free) June 10 Oakland Active Music Series: Improv Jazz Concerts, The Uptown, 1928 Telegraph, Oakland (free) June 13 Free SF Giants Post-Game Fireworks Show, AT&T Park June 14: $1 Book Sale San Francisco Public Library, Mission District, 300 Bartlett St. June 16 DVC’s summer classes begin. Late enrollment- space available basis with instructor’s signature or late add code. June 21 New Wave Dance Party, The Cat Club, 1190 Folsom St., San Francisco ($7) July 4 Firecracker 5K Run, 8 a.m., check-in at clocktower on Crescent Drive, followed by a community parade from Cleveland to Boyd Avenue, Pleasant Hill Fireworks, College Park High School, Pleasant Hill. July 24 DVC’s deadline to file AA/AS degree or certificate August 15 First day of instruction for DVC fall semester
correction In the print edition of May 1, the Veteran’s Alliance story incorrectly identified a group and the location of the meeting room. Group’s name is Blue Star Moms and the correct club meeting room is SB - 202.
Instructors learn to like Wikipedia REGINA ORTANEZ Arts and features editor
In a workshop on how to properly integrate Wikipedia into the classroom, instructors were forced to ask themselves questions like “Who invented the 7-10 page research paper anyway and why do I adhere to it so adamantly?” The executive director for the Wikipedia Education Foundation, Frank Schulenburg, spoke at Diablo Valley College on May 6 about the benefits of using the online collaborative encyclopedia, which is often banned from classrooms, to the teacher’s advantage. The Wikipedia Education Foundation, a rather new addition to the Wikimedia Foundation, has been successful in integrating Wikipedia in 400-plus classrooms in the U.S. alone. Schulenburg cited schools such as Harvard, U.C. Berkeley and Virginia Tech as some of the many universities that have been receptive to this collective effort for media literacy. "I think for the teachers, you have students that are motivated as never before," he said. "For the students, while having fun because there is a fun aspect to it, but you learn a lot, you learn a lot about Wikipedia and if that's one of your main information sources on the web then its important thing to know more about it." English instructor Anne Kingsley has been a pioneer in implementing this. Kingsley helped guide students in her critical thinking class through editing existing and creating new articles in Wikipedia, to prove they are capable of being more than consumers of information, but producers, as well. Kingsley said that her thought process towards using Wikipedia in her own classroom began with a set of questions: "Can I make meaningful pathways between my students and the world beyond the classroom… Could I do something different, design a different concept
GUSTAVO VASQUEZ/ The Inquirer
Frank Schulenburg, executive director of Wiki Education Foundation, demonstrates ways to use Wikipedia in class to DVC instructors. of research in the classroom?” She was especially interested because the peer review system used by traditional academic journals "can also prevent histories from being told." Evan Smith, 21, was one of Kingsley’s students who was successful in not just composing edits on Wikipedia, but also in generating a new article on the Harlem Renaissance. "I felt like it put me into a bigger community outside of the classroom and that was sort of a big thing," Smith said. "Normally, you do classroom stuff and what happens in the classroom stays in the classroom."
One of the attendees, English instructor Erin Holzer, said she hoped to do something similar to Kingsley next fall: "I think it would be a really interesting aspect for my students to engage in that process of becoming one of the people who contributes to that source of information, so that they can have a better understanding of what it takes to become a credible source in a way, with the research that you have to do in order to be completely knowledgeable on a topic." Contact REGINA ORTANEZ at rortanez@TheInquirerOnline.com
Service matches students with odd jobs RACHEL ANN REYES Editor-in-chief
When 21-year-old DVC student Ryan Homer started to look for a few part-time, local job in the Bay Area, he stumbled upon an online job marketplace just for college students. Homer has found 10 to 20 short-term jobs since the start of the semester, from helping people move couches to bar-tending a wedding. Founded in San Francisco by Justin Ohanessian and Joey Toboni, College Labor helps connects college students, around the Bay Area, with jobs like moving, event work, gardening, errands, and courier services. According to Ohanessian, many of these jobs earn students $20 or more per hour.
THE INQUIRER Diablo Valley College 321 Golf Club Road, H-102 Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 The Inquirer is published Thursdays during the school year by the Diablo Valley College journalism students. Unsigned articles appearing on the opinions page are editorials and reflect a two-thirds majority opinion of the editorial staff. Signed columns and cartoons are the opinions of the writer or artist and not necessarily those of The Inquirer, Diablo Valley College or Contra Costa Community College District.
First launched in Sept. 2012, the platform was intended for students who needed help paying for college. High school friends, Ohanessian and Toboni found that it was hard for a couple of under qualified students to gain jobs. However, they found success after posting a few moving ads one summer. Ohanessian said that they made, “a bunch of money doing odd jobs.” They continued to work every summer, getting more jobs and earning more money doing small tasks. After graduating college, they decided to go back to this simple idea, especially after learning that people like hiring college kids. Using their experience working these jobs and this knowledge,
they created College Labor for this purpose. Ohanessian explained that to work for this online marketplace, students need to apply and get interviewed, like other jobs, before being accepted. Customers can then submit a job to the website and get a quoted rate for the task. Students will get a text and if they are interested in the job, they can claim it and pay a small finder’s fee. The customer pays the student when the job is finished. 23-year-old Phillip Welden has worked for College Labor since last winter and has had fun with the odd jobs he’s done. While these jobs typically pay well, the fact that most jobs are based out of San Francisco makes it harder for students to get jobs.
Editorial Board EDITOR-IN-CHIEF MANAGING EDITOR ONLINE EDITOR NEWS EDITOR OPINIONS EDITORS ARTS & FEATURES EDITOR PHOTO CHIEF COPY EDITOR
Rachel Ann Reyes Benjamin Davidson Tyler Elmore Collin James Sasan Kasravi Regina Ortanez Gustavo Vasquez Amrita Kaur
Welden admits that some jobs are, “barely worth it,” when considering the time spent traveling to get there. While Ohanessian admits that their San Francisco business is more established, College Labor has already expanded to the East and South Bay to help with accessibility for a wide range of students. Homer thinks that it’s great that this marketplace is only for students, and that he can choose which job he wants to do, based on his own schedule. He also likes the independence, flexibility and receiving about $15 to $20 an hour. “You get paid really well for these jobs,” Homer said. Contact RACHEL ANN REYES at rreyes@TheInquirerOnline.com
Staff STAFF MEMBERS Andrew Barber, Josh Bradshaw, Aurora Byrne, Wesley Ihezue, Allan Kew, Ayaka Matsuno, Vivian Natalia, Tara Tashayod INSTRUCTIONAL LAB COORDINATOR Julius Rea ADVISER Mary Mazzocco
• Phone: 925.969.2543 • Email: email@example.com • Website: www.TheInquirerOnline.com • Printed six times per semester •
news 3 Summer 2014
End of construction is in sight
GUSTAVO VASQUEZ / The Inquirer
By July, students should be able to use the new cafeteria and food services building. The cafeteria is expected to be operational by the fall semester.
Access for students will still be an issue COLLIN JAMES News editor
DVC is ready to begin a new round of construction upon the completion of the new cafeteria building. But in the meantime, disabled students will get little relief while getting around campus. With the cafeteria on the verge of completion, DVC is preparing for a final phase of construction on campus that will include a massive landscaping project in the center of campus. Chrisanne Knox, the marketing and communications director of DVC discussed the upcoming construction plans, including some of the paths that disabled students would have to take. Knox acknowledged the troubles that Disability Support Services will face in getting students around campus. DSS runs carts across campus to assist disabled students in getting to their classes. “This is going to (be the) biggest challenge of the project,” Knox said. For all students, the routes between the upper and lower sides of the campus will be limited to the pathways between the Math Building and the Music Building. This area will also be the gateway for equipment and vehicles, which will pass through Lot 1. The Student Union Building, despite being adjacent to the construction site, will always be accessible. A path for disabled students has been ordered to be maintained at all times, according to Knox. "[Disabled] students will not
be cut from the Student Union Building.” Jensen David, 22, a student worker in the Student Union Building, had concerns about maintaining the building so close to construction. “We have a lot of people coming in, especially DSS students," David said. "Construction will be taking place right outside the main entrance to the Student Union Building, making foot traffic more difficult to navigate to this already busy building. It will take a lot of time getting used to finding an alternative path." As demolition and construction begins this summer, this will hinder many of the paths for students getting around near the parking lots where certain paths will be cut off. Parking Lot 7 will remain open with its numerous handicapped parking spots available next summer and fall. Construction of the new cafeteria building will be finished by this June. The cafeteria is expected to be fully operational by the fall semester. The current cafeteria is set for demolition and a landscaping project will begin this summer to finish off the larger commons project. The first part of the landscaping project, the new north entrance, has just been completed. The construction project is expected to continue at least until January 2015 with a new quad put in place for students to gather.
Contact COLLIN JAMES at cjames@TheInquirerOnline.com
news 4 Summer 2014
Repeatability restrictions proves hard on arts classes where they need to be the best, now they’re going to have to go one, two, three, four in order,” DVC’s new policy on repeatabil- he said. "Everybody’s different. ity is causing frustration and con- Some people, that might be fine; fusion in the music, art and drama some are not going to be ready. departments. Basically, you’re cutting out the While the policy change was an- lifelong learners.” nounced in 2012, it took effect this Peppo also fears that the new past academic year. limit of taking four courses within Previously, many of the three a designated family will exclude departments' classes could be re- some students. peated by students who wanted to The course family system dicimprove their skills. tates related courses that are orThis year, the ganized into departments “Some people that groups of had to reorgafour. These nize their course might be fine, some are groups constructures into not going to be ready. tain entire families of sections of tiered courses Basically, you’re cutting departments, that can only be out the lifelong encouraging taken once. specialization learners.” While the and forced fosystem changes cus on specific ~BRET PEPPO were known to course direcMusic department chair administrators tions. and professors However, for at least an entire year, students when four courses within a sinhave been faced with challenges gle family are taken, the family is they did not fully expect. closed and the student may not Music department chair Bret register within any of the prePeppo noted that students in skill- scribed course family sections. building courses like piano, guitar That leads to a perception that and vocal are some of the most students have a lessened to diveraffected. sify their studies in a given field. “Instead of taking the time Art department chair Kristen ALLAN KEW Staff member
SWIPE TO INVADE
Graphic illustration by BENJAMIN DAVIDSON
Supreme Court may re-define privacy AMRITA KAUR Copy editor
Is digital technology subject to a warrantless search or is it protected under the fourth amendment? That is the question currently debated in the Supreme Court. The case that sparked the court conversation is that of the Riley v. California case, where a San Diego man was arrested during a traffic stop and his smartphone was searched without a warrant. The information found by the police on the smartphone was later used in court as evidence against the suspect. According to a detailed article published on April 29, in The New York Times, justices had varying points of view. “Smartphones do present difficult problems,” said Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., asking, “so how do we determine what the new expectation of privacy is now?” Several justices noted that modern smartphones contain troves of private material, including bank and medical records, personal emails and hundreds of personal pictures and private text messages. Jeffrey L. Fisher, one of Riley’s lawyers, warned the justices to think hard about a decision he said could fundamentally change, “the nature of privacy that Americans fought for at the founding of the Republic and that we’ve enjoyed ever since.” Much of the argument concerned whether or not immediate searches were required to keep police officers safe and to prevent the
destruction of evidence. The smartphone generation feels an uneasiness when presented with this debate. Belinda Novoa, a 21 year-old radiology major, said that there has to be a major probable cause, seeing something that would give the police reason to search a person’s phone. “They should have to go through a proper process and get a warrant before searching through someone’s phone,” she said. Some students like Robert Benson, a 25 year-old communications major view the warrantless phone search as an infringement of their privacy. “It’s personal. Who are they to be inside your lives? They are not supposed to control us, this is just an excuse for them to get into our lives. They can’t go into our Facebook and Snapchat,” said Benson. The Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. Sarah Hutchison, a 22 year-old civil engineering major, says the amendment is there to protect the average, innocent civilian from government overreach in privacy matters. “Later on other laws will be passed that would allow them to regulate the system and allow them more access to our private lives. Phones are a lot more personal.”
Contact AMRITA KAUR at akaur@TheInquirerOnline.com
Koblik said the repeatability restriction "is really geared towards getting students in and out of community college." Students moving through the college on a rapid schedule may not suffer directly, she said. "But they are suffering indirectly because repeatability is cutting out a lot of the students who are doing this for the general love of art. … I think that impoverishes the atmosphere of classes." However, Beth McBrien, department chair for drama, emphasized that while the transition for older students would be difficult, new students would be faced with more opportunities in a newly organized system. McBrien believed that drama had not been negatively affected in a large degree, as the department’s students typically have a high transfer rate. She thinks that this is a transitional challenge, and will be something that would only be temporarily problematic. As Peppo declared, “you’re always learning something new, and you’re building on what you know.”
Contact ALLAN KEW at akew@TheInquirerOnline.com
Sports 5 Summer 2014
Records fall at State Championship BENJAMIN DAVIDSON AND RACHEL ANN REYES Managing editor and Editor-in-chief
The swim team’s season ended with broken records and a multitude of awards. DVC’s women left the California Community College Athletic Association Championship in early May as the number one team in the state. The men’s team finished fifth. State Swimmers of the Week were Allison Gargalikis and Kelsey Leonard. Coach Rick Millington won his own award, Coach of the Year. Millington said the women’s relay team set new state records for the 200 and 400-medley relay, smashing the 400-medley relay by an almost-unheard of 4.5 seconds. On the relay teams were Gargalikis, Leonard, Alexa Tchekmarev and Laura Woods. “Everybody who went scored, all our women scored,” he said. “So it was a great team effort and they did exactly what they needed to do.” After being second for the past three years, Millington finds “being first so much better.” “Three years ago we lost by two points, we were close, and that was a really hard thing to take but it all came together this year and it was one of those years where the right things happened for the team. Everything fell into place.” DVC athletic director Christine Worsley was astonished at how well the team did at the state championship. To win without any divers on the team is “unheard of,” she said. Some of the team’s motivation grew out of the death of former DVC student and swimmer Lauren McCullough. McCullough lost her battle to Ewing’s sarcoma in February. Emily Saccullo, the women’s team captain, said the team
“became a big family” after attending McCullough’s memorial service, with the motto for the whole season being “swim for Lauren.” “Her mom, dad and brother came to conference and watched us swim,” Saccullo said. “I think it was a reality check for a lot of kids on the team. ... Nobody expected it to happen” Millington agreed that the team embraced the idea of being “Lauren Strong” throughout the year. “At the State meet, before finals, they actually had a moment of silence… I know that it meant a lot to the coaches and the team,” he said. Worsley noted, “They were swimming, not for themselves, but for each other and they were swimming for Lauren.” Results released by Robert Lewis, meet information director: Women’s 400-yard Medley Relay Champion: Diablo Valley, 3:48.45—new state meet record Women’s 200-yard Medley Relay Champion: Diablo Valley, 1:45.09—new state meet record Women’s 50-yard Butterfly Champion: Allison Gargalikis, Diablo Valley, 24.67—new state meet record Women’s 50-yard Breaststroke Champion: Allison Gargalikis, Diablo Valley, 28.19—new state meet record
ATTITUDE IT’S AN
Kelsey Leonard, above, and Allison Gargalikis broke records at the meet.
Contact BENJAMIN DAVIDSON at bdavidson@TheInquirerOnline.com Contact RACHEL ANN REYES at rreyes@TheInquirerOnline.com
GUSTAVO VASQUEZ / The Inquirer
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Sports 6 Summer 2014
GUSTAVO VASQUEZ/ The Inquirer
Diablo Valley College track and field team members Emma Shoenstein, Scott Lindsay and Joel Timbrell, running cool down after training on at the DVC track.
Track athletes advance to NorCal finals crosse player during the spring time, so we were lucky to snatch him up.” Scott Lindsay, 19, chose to keep in shape This past season, the DVC track and field by running track. team has displayed some excellent abilities “I never had any expectations, so when I and determination. made it to finals I didn’t really know what DVC sent 15 athletes to the Northern to think," Lindsay said. “It was just pretty California trials and four moved on to finals cool.” to compete to go to the State ChampionShoenstein admits that motivation was the ship. hardest thing about training for the events. Joel Timbrell, 19, made first team All“Definitely keeping a positive mindset, NorCal but did not meet the minimum especially when you’re running something marks to move on to state championships. like the 5-kilometer it’s hard to keep pushing Florence Carroll, yourself because you 18, was the only pole- “...when I made it to finals are just running in cirvaulter competing for around the track” I didn’t really know what cles DVC in the finals. Shoenstein said. “I have been doing to think. ” Timbrell and Lindtrack since my junior say both find that the year in high school, so hardest part for him is ~SCOTT LINDSAY this would be my third DVC Student being consistent with year,” she said. training. Besides just pole"Making yourself go vaulting, Carroll threw both the javelin and and run every day is hard,” Timbrell said. the hammer this past season. “The pull-ups were really hard, it took The three others who moved on to the fi- a lot for me to get to do as many as I can nals are all distance runners. now,” Carroll said. Emma Shoenstein competed in both the All in all, this track season has gone very 1500-meter and the 5-kilometer races. well. “I have done basically the same events, When asked why there weren’t any home in high school I ran the 1600-meter and the meets, Pierson said, “We don’t have home 3200-meter which is the 1 mile and the 2 meets because we do not have a hammer famile,” she said. cility for that event, so we cannot host. This Timbrell has also always run distance. is a very sore subject as there has been little “I started running the 400-meter which is support to rectify this issue here at DVC.” one lap, in eighth grade," he said. "Then in high school, I started running the mile.” The last runner who was in the finals had Contact TYLER ELMORE at DVC track and field team pole vaulter Florence Carroll trains in preparanever run track before. telmore@TheInquirerOnline.com Coach Shelly Pierson said, “He was a lation for NorCal trials. TYLER ELMORE Online editor
opinions 7 Summer 2014
What advice would you give to students hoping to transfer?
Now you see me
YILANG LIN, 20 Spanish
“Make multiple appointments with the counselors and keep track of all your emails.”
ELIZABETH BOMAN, 36 Nursing
“Make school your priority. Get it done. Other things can wait, but this is your future.”
WESLEY IHEZUE / The Inquirer
CJ YUDELSON, 24 English
“Even if you get discouraged from school, keep at it if it’s what you want to do.”
WALTER MUNOZ, 26 Political economy
“Don’t get distracted by things other than education because it is going to be a key that is going to open a lot of doors.”
CAROLINA ROVERSO, 38 Psychology
“Learn how to manage your time, especially if you’re a returning student and you’re a parent.” Interviewed by: REGINA ORTANEZ Photographed by: RACHEL ANN REYES
Wearable tech costs us our privacy and the privacy of others Businesswire has surveyed the rate by which consumers are taking to wearable technology — the first such survey it has ever conducted — and they have come up with some notable findings. In a report issued late last month, the organization found that Americans are ready to share their personal health data and that interest around wearable technology is high, given the transition of tech culture out of the smartphone era. “81 percent of consumers would use a wearable health device,” Businesswire said. “90 percent of consumers would share health data in order to help researchers develop or better understand a disease, or improve treatment options.” The growth of wearable technology means that in the not-sodistant future, the concept of personal privacy will be re-assessed. Standard recording devices will become obsolete, information can be accessed in half the time that it takes currently, and keeping people from recording content will become harder or impossible to control. And though there are many
benefits to the recording of com- something that is of a rising conmunication, sleep patterns and cern, as Google Glass has already fitness routines, it is worth noting been seen on our campus. that there is a privacy trade-off “The main concern is about that comes with it. privacy use in the classroom, the Still, it is clear that major resis- glasses were being used by the tance to the devices have already student, and it just arose quesdeveloped, tions in terms predominateof how we use ly with the technology in buzz emanatclassrooms,” “The world is ing around Vazquez said. approaching a shift Google Glass. “We can’t be As Google in eras that will be out- recording in Glass begins classroom lining and defining the awithout to slowly make perits way out mission — in traditional view of Google’s the classroom of privacy and just top secret it is sort of like Research & how much the public that public/ Development private divide. values it as such.” labs and into The people are the hands of there for inconsumers, struction, not outside app to be there for developers, the press and even taping and release on YouTube some lucky members of the gen- the next day.” eral public, it is eliciting many Google Glass aside, wearables charged reactions. can also be sported on various Obed Vazquez, instructor and parts of the body. The head, updean of the social sciences di- per body, wrists and feet — all vision at Diablo Valley College of which entertain smartwatches, voiced that how people are using biometric monitoring devices and technology in the classrooms is wearable cameras. These are just a
small glimpse of the new wearable era that is fast approaching. All of these conjure up the concern of conflict and privacy. Yes, the technological industry needs to be encouraged to develop software that shares information, but to a point where ethics are involved. People should be well aware of their privacy, or lack thereof, that comes when purchasing wearable technology. The world is approaching a shift in eras that will be outlining and defining the traditional view of privacy and just how much the public values it as such. Tom Buehrer, senior vice president at TNS puts it well, “The main challenge lies in convincing people of its value and developing a device with mass appeal. The future of computing will be wearable, the question is, which kind of computers will people actually wear?” Technology has connected millions over the past several decades. Now, rampant growth with a lack of privacy awareness threatens to undermine the concept of privacy itself — and wearables may be the approach that re-defines it entirely.
opinions 8 Summer 2014
The prevalence of memes hurts our humor and our thinking Imagine that you’re at a party or any other for one heartbeat before they flatline. But large gathering of people and someone gets that by no means makes them uncommon. everyone’s attention because they have the What the popularity graphs measure is best idea. the interest in seeing these memes, not the They start to speak, then have to stop rate at which they’re still being produced. A themselves to get the giggles out, and they Youtube search for Harlem Shake filtered try again to announce their hilarious idea: by upload date brought up several pages of let’s make a Harlem Shake video. results just in the last 24 hours, almost all of If your imagination, and social circle, is them with no views. anything like mine, you’re imagining an awkEven the least funny, least relevant memes ward, drawn out silence. No one wants to like Arrow to the Knee are still being submake a Harlem Shake vidmitted to image boards in eo anymore. No one even droves. wants to watch a Harlem Looking at the massive Shake video. amount of recent submisThat’s what happens when sions of a long-unfunny a meme has run its course, meme as they keep comand memes are more and ing, joke after joke that was more often setting track reunfunny before it was even cords, going from hilarious said, reminded me the scene to awkward-if-mentioned in in the Disney “Hercules” less time than ever before. movie where the dead would In the case of the Harlem fall like rain into Hell. Shake it exploded in popuThe problem with memes larity, showing up in 100 isn’t primarily that they’re news headlines in March annoying or get played out 2013 and the plummeting quickly: more than anything, SASAN KASRAVI down to nothingness in just the problem with memes is Opinions editor over a month. This is by no that they make unfunny peomeans unique to the Harlem ple think they’re funny. Shake. While the memes that become popular KnowYourMemes, a catalog that fea- are most often thought up by clever, funny tures popular memes complete with simi- people, the function of a meme itself makes lar graphs of their popularity and most of it so that the average person can, without them, especially the newer ones, come with much effort, use the meme to get a laugh, or popularity graphs that look like a single at least a polite smile and half-chuckle. heartbeat on an EKG machine. How often do you hear people actually Memes like Arrow to the Knee and Sur- talk in memes? I’d venture to say that peoprised Patrick are hilarious to most people ple only use phrases like, “Dat [insert any-
WESLEY IHEZUE / The Inquirer
thing here];” “Do U even [insert anything here];” and “One does not simply [you get the idea]” in conversation as often as they do because of they like the small fragment of time where they feel funny or related to. The problem is that this kind of interaction deincentivizes most people from at least trying to be witty and it scripts our interactions so that we have the same conversations over and over. With that being said, it’s not even in the interest of those just trying to get a quick laugh here and there to rely on memes to help them. The popularity of memes rises and falls so quickly now that by the time most people are aware of any given meme, it’s already run its course and has stopped getting laughs. There’s few things less funny than someone enthusiastically telling a bad joke and waiting for laughter that never comes. Cliche is the mortal enemy of wit, of hu-
mor and of creativity. And that’s all memes really are: cliches. It used to be the standard part of the curriculum for writers to be taught to avoid cliches, to never write your ideas using someone else’s words, but that it seems like that lesson is slowly being forgotten. Only the most showy, inkhorn publications now even bother to try to avoid cliched metaphors and figures of speech. Most media is aimed towards young people, and as long as young people speak, joke and think in cliches, then everything aimed towards them will follow suit. I don’t look forward to a media where looking a year back to anything would feel as embarrassed for what I’m seeing as being asked to Harlem Shake. Contact SASAN KASRAVI at skasravi@TheInquirerOnline.com
Young first-generation Americans often struggle to find cultural identity
Growing up with my parents, I’ve often gone to many generation Asian Americans speak the language of their I think that it’s important for the children of these immiFilipino bakeries and restaurants. Familiar with the environ- country of origin very well, while 33 percent say they speak grants to understand that it will be a struggle to assimilate ment and food, I see no problem in making a quick stop a little of the language, and 26 percent say they don’t speak to a culture that isn’t completely their own. for lunch. the language at all. I think it’s imperative for change to happen if we want But something I notice that happens quite often is that Both my parents are fluent in different Filipino languages, to keep our native cultures alive, while remaining a diverse a Filipino cashier will speak to another Filipino in front but they didn’t think it was important to teach me or my country. of me in line in Tagalog, the main language spoken in the sister how to speak their native languages. So often I feel that parents who immigrated to the U.S. Philippines. When it’s my turn, I walk up and as soon as While I understand most of what my parents say to me encourage their kids to have a better life than their own; I say, “Hi,” the cashier’s tone and demeanor automatically when they speak in native tongue, I’m for them to excel in things that will only changes. not able to speak it back, further their success. They know. I don’t speak Tagalog, or any other than a few words. I’m grateful for the opportunities that other Filipino language for that matter. They thought it’d be eas“The role of language living in the U.S. has brought to me and And suddenly I feel like an outsider. ier to speak to us mostly my family. The stories of my mother plays in a person’s As a child of Filipino immigrants, I find in English, because it’s growing up in a poor life in the Philipthat it’s difficult for other second-generation the primary language in pines has humbled me in ways that I cultural identity is Americans to have a sense of cultural idenAmerica. don’t think most Americans—that have underestimated by tity because they don’t quite fit in as AmeriThe role language plays been here for many generations—would cans whose families have lived in the U.S. for in a person’s cultural understand. parents trying to generations. identity is underestimated However, if parents didn’t conform assimilate their kids to all societal norms and chose to teach Yet at the same time, those first generaby parents who are trying tion Americans don’t feel as attached to the to assimilate their kids into American culture” their kids native languages and tradiculture of their parents either. into American culture. tions, there might be a stronger sense of According a Pew Research study on By not learning to cultural identity for second generation second-generation Americans from Feb. speak my parent’s naAmericans. 7, 2013, 34 percent of second-generation tive Tagalog or Visayan, I’ve felt distant to One day I hope to walk into a Filipino store and not feel RACHEL ANN REYES Asian Americans think of themselves as the traditional aspects of my parents’ native different. Someday I want to have my own family and I want Editor-in-chief very different from a typical American. country. them to know their roots, rather than hearing faint stories It is an ongoing dilemma in finding a culDespite Filipino blood running thick of the past. tural middle-ground in identity. through my veins and possessing a deep sense of ethnic Future generations need to make an effort to preserve I agree with this wholeheartedly, as it is something that I roots, I feel like the American culture that I’ve been im- their culture before it’s gone. struggle with. I never quite feel 100 percent Filipino, nor do mersed in, has me viewed differently than others of the Contact RACHEL ANN REYES at I feel 100 percent American. same ethnic background. rreyes@TheInquirerOnline.com The Pew study also found that only 4-in-10 of secondAs more and more people are immigrating to the U.S.,
opinions 9 Summer 2014
Should we try a long distance relationship? Dear Answers, I have spent 3 glorious, yet difficult years here at DVC, but now I am about to open a new chapter in my life. I have been accepted to a high profile university back East, and as thrilling as that is, it means leaving my long-time boyfriend behind. He still has another year here at DVC and even then, who knows where he will end up transferring to. We have always imagined building a life together, but spending years apart will be really hard. I don’t know if I can handle the heartbreak of ending it, but I also don’t know if it is fair to expect us to be faithful, and withstand the temptations of being 3,000 miles away from each other. Should we stay together or break up? -On to 4-Year Dear 4-Year, The good news is that with today’s technological advancements, couples that are geographically far apart, can still stay emotionally close. Yet despite the advent of gadgets and video chat, you are right to be trepidatious about embarking on a long-distance relationship. Long-distance relationships require an immense amount of trust, honesty, and communication. My advice to you is, that if you truly love each other and you’re
both willing to give it a go, try it out. However, keep an open mind and recognize that things may change with the two of you being so far apart. You may decide that it’s just too hard to miss each other all the time, or one of you may indeed meet someone else. For that reason I think it is of the utmost importance that you both commit to being absolutely honest with one another, even if the truth is that a long-distance relationship isn’t making you happy. Now that we have the doom and gloom out of the way, many
WESLEY IHEZUE / The Inquirer
people have very satisfying and successful long-distance relationships. One couple I know plans a dinner date each week where they eat together over Skype. You can also share photos and details of your lives with one another, using mobile instant chat apps, Facebook and Instagram. Also try to plan occasional visits as often as you both can afford. Many couples even find their
relationships strengthened by the time they’ve spent apart, as distance can make the heart grow fonder! When you have to make the most of your interactions in the little time that you do get to spend together in person, it forces you to focus on what is really important to you both, and you are likely to really develop your “best self ” when it comes to your relationship.
I personally think there is no harm in starting out with the best intentions, but be sure to re-evaluate from time to time, and encourage your significant other to do the same. Thank you for sending in your questions. This is the last edition of Asking for Answers for Spring 2014. For further information on Asking for Answers email email@example.com
Capital punishment needs to halt for review
The latest debacle concerning the institu- on all national executions. tion of the death penalty requires a review This stay of all executions should remain of the processes of capital punishment. until the three-drug cocktail has been meOn April 29, Clayton Lockett was ex- thodically tested and its efficiency is proven, ecuted by the state of Oklahoma in what or until the discovery of a new source for has been described by many as a ‘botched’ acquiring the single-chemical drugs is found. procedure. President Obama has since called for a During the execution, Lockett’s vein in his review of the national system. However, groin collapsed, causing him to experience a this review will be limited as executions are heart attack during the execution. administered by state governments, not the Witnesses noted Lockett lifted his head federal government. several times and convulsed, eventually dyYet many experts are also calling for a reing 43 minutes after the beginning of the view of the state system as well. execution. According to Paul Lewis of the GuardControversy surrounds ian, the Constitution Projthis execution, not only for ect, a think-tank based out the manner in which the inof Washington D.C., has dividual was executed, but in published a 200-page report the procedure and compocalling for the re-institution nents that occurred before of single-chemical administhe execution. trations. Namely, this pertains to The moderate think-tank, the three-drug cocktail now comprised of opponents used in place of the singleand advocates of the death drug administration in the penalty, argued that the pospast. sibility for “inmate pain and This new method evolved suffering” is of a higher risk from the growing scarcity of when the three-drug cocktail single chemical drugs prois administered. duced by European comThis is evident from the panies, which are now colexecution of Lockett, and a ALLAN KEW Staff member lectively refusing to sell for string of executions before usage in executions. him, as listed by Guardian This poses a problem. writers Ed Pilkington and Single-chemical drugs have been tested, re- Alan Yuhas. peatedly, in executions for decades and have This list further includes other forms of stood the test as being a relatively non-cruel capital punishment from the past that “went method for capital punishment. wrong.” However, these new three-drug cocktails There needs to be a review of the system have not been thoroughly tested to prove of capital punishment, as the sentence altheir efficiency in completing the act. ready teeters on unconstitutional. More so, some states do not reveal the If the execution includes some form of drugs involved in their cocktails. “cruel or unusual punishment,” as quoted Regardless of the arguments for or against from the US Constitution, then the act is the institution of capital punishment, there explicitly unconstitutional. should, for the moment, exist a moratorium Disregarding value judgments on capi-
tal punishment again, the smoothness and humane quality of a single-chemical drug administration for capital punishment does not fall under unconstitutionality. The Supreme Court has demonstrated in its rulings in the past. According to the BBC, Charles Warner, the other inmate in Oklahoma who was to be executed the same night as Lockett, has
been given a six month stay of execution. Hopefully six months’ time will be enough for Oklahoma, and the other 23 states that use three-drug cocktails, to review their processes of capital punishment and come to a more efficient and humane system of administering executions.
Contact ALLAN KEW at akew@TheInquirerOnline.com
arts & features 10 Summer 2014
DVC students ‘Inspire’ with Oakland art challenge
A DEGREE OF POSSIBILITIES
REGINA ORTANEZ Arts & features editor
Two of DVC’s own digital me- pursue graphic design as a cadia students were winners in a reer,” Bratton said. design challenge presented by the "Overall, Inspire Oakland has non-profit Oakland Digital Arts been a great opportunity to start & Literacy Center, better known building a portfolio and to develas Oakland Digital. op as a designer,” she said. “My Inspire Oakland is in its fourth design is inspired by the unity of year of being Oakland Digital’s the people of Oakland, which “workforce development pro- I believe is the key to the city's gram that provides professional prosperity." development for community colFirst place winner Andrew lege and state-level students pur- Warren will also have his design suing a career in the competitive showcased on a billboard in Oakgraphic design job market,” as land, as well as being featured as cited by Oakland Digital’s official the current cover image of Oakwebsite. land Mayor Jean Quan’s FaceShaun Tai, founder and execu- book, having been hand-selected tive director of Oakland Digital, by the mayor beforehand. spoke on how this challenge is Warren, 21, says he is actively more than a in pursuit contest, “it's “...the huge opportunity of an AA in about proArt Digital of possibly having a fessional opMedia-Digibillboard of my design tal Imaging. portunities in the design Of his acmake thousands of world.” complishpositive impressions a ments with He said this program the Inspire day really drove my aimed to Oakland desire to be one of the challenge, supplement what DVC Inspire Oakland winning he spoke on graphic dewhat motidesigners.” sign instrucvated him to tors taught participate. ~ANDREW WARREN by, "bridging “My mothe opportu- First place winner of Inspire Oakland 2014 tivation nity divide." behind the Among the colleges in partici- contest started from when it was pation are Laney College, Cali- announced in class by Oakland fornia State University East Bay, Digital founder Shaun Tai," he McClymonds, and Berkeley City said. "His passion for the projCollege. ect and the huge opportunity of Each year, students are asked possibly having a billboard of my to create a billboard design that design make thousands of posirelays the question, “What about tive impressions a day really drove your city inspires you?” my desire to be one of the Inspire Alexis Bratton, 18, was a grand Oakland winning designers.” prize winner in Inspire Oakland, As a part of the Inspire Oakdescribed as, “a collaborative land program, Oakland digital billboard design program,” or- also brought several DVC stuganized by Oakland Digital who dents to a site visit of the Clorox partnered with the City of Oak- Company to meet with the head land, Oakland Museum, Twitter creative director of their large and many more for this challenge. design department, as well as Her design will be featured on awarded paid internships to sevmultiple commercial billboards eral of these DVC graphic design throughout Oakland and East students. Bay, according to the press re"I'm excited and honored that lease. DVC has been a part of Inspire As a first time graphic design Oakland since the beginning," student in her first semester at said Tai. DVC, Bratton spoke on how her To view the winning designs recent achievements has helped and for more information about her in setting her career and aca- Oakland Digital, visit www.odalc. demic goals. org. “I was not sure what I wanted to major in beforehand, but the Inspire Oakland design challenge Contact REGINA ORTANEZ at rortanez@TheInquirerOnline.com has definitely encouraged me to
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arts & features 11 Summer 2014
Wildlife thrives on campus
COLLIN JAMES News editor
DVC is more than a place of learning for people. It is its own micro ecosystem with the duck pond serving as a watering hole, hunting grounds and home for a wide variety of animals, from snails and crayfish at the bottom of the food chain to turtles, frogs, minnows, geese and the famously friendly mallards. Troy Ricard, the senior grounds worker gardener spoke about the wildlife that inhabits DVC. Ricard and four other grounds workers maintain the ponds as a healthy habitat and allow these animals to live a prosperous life despite being in the presence of thousands of students. Here are some of the fauna that make DVC’s ponds more than a relaxing spot to study and peaceful escape from the stresses of college life.
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Two geese rest near the edge of the pond. The Canadian geese are a nuisance during migratory seasons, and on occasion are territorial during mating season, according to Ricard. A small flock of them have taken permanent residence on campus and often socialize with ducks.
A mother duck watches over a nest of ducklings on the edge of the pond. A total of 11 ducklings were counted this season and the absence of predators will likely mean these ducklings will live a long and healthy life.
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Bullfrogs can be found in the three ponds near the ATC building. Ricard reported a large bullfrog out break a few years ago got out of control with dozens of frogs hoping across the upper campus.
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arts & features 12 Summer 2014
DVC after dark BENJAMIN DAVIDSON Managing editor
Scholastic thouroughfare by day, and peaceful haven by night, Diablo Valley College’s nightlife is a thing of beauty when the sun sets on campus. The planetarium is one of the college’s larger structures and is still used for classes, but is ideally used at night. It is pictured above, around seven o’clock at sunset. The bookstore, as pictured on the right is open later, from 7:45 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday. But be that as it may, the lights are kept on into the night – illuminating the walkways and other areas that students or staff may need to get to if they are on campus after nightfall. The bookstore is pictured on the right around nine o’clock p.m. Surprisingly there is a lot of low key activity into the night in terms of the groundskeepers and janitorial staff. The two gentlemen pictured below were covering the pool around 9:45 p.m. The pool deck,
which is just one of the many illuminated areas around campus, is not open, but still shines its lights onto the walkways around it brightening up the paths, and making for a nice landmark of lower campus. Night classes are not as popular as the day classes, but the people who do take night classes – especially in the Spring – have no issues with the weather into the night. “We’re just taking a break out here because it is a nice night out, and the weather is great right now,” said Mike Sevick a student who was enjoying the evening as he stood outside the Humanities building with two of his friends. “We have class from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. but we don’t mind,” Daniel Buera said, as they stood outside and enjoyed the sunset on a class break. Not only does DVC offer a wide variety of places to go on campus to relax, but the nighttime views are awesome to say the least. Contact BENJAMIN DAVIDSON at bdavidson@ TheInquirerOnline.com
Photos by BENJAMIN DAVIDSON / The Inquirer