GCCElVaquero G CC _ E l V a q
el.vaquero.gcc elvaq.gcc Wednesday, Mar. 27, 2019 Glendale Community College Student Newspaper
Volume 113 | Issue 2
California Senate Bill Pushes for More CollegeAid
Toby Graves-Morris Graphic Designer | Matthew Spencer Illustrator
New legislation supported by California Community College Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley is purported to increase funding to the state’s community colleges, providing additional aid on top of the state’s ‘Promise’ By Michael Dumansky and Marian Sahakyan A full-time California Community College student collects between $4,510 and $6,310 in financial aid per semester. This number actually “leaves these students $6,700 short of their total cost of attendance,” contends the California Community College Chancellor’s office, which bases those figures on research from the Hope Center. In hopes to minimize financial burden on community college students, State Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino), along with other state senators and assembly members, wrote and introduced SenateBill 291, which seeks to increase funding
for community colleges to provide extra monetary support to those who qualify. In an email interview Christina Jimenez, the public information officer of the CCC chancellor’s office, noted that this proposal is to make sure that more need-based financial aid is available to community college students beyond just tuition. In addition, “[it’ll] support students with basic needs such as food and housing insecurity.” To further muster up a supporter base for the push of SB-291, Eloy Ortiz Oakley, Chancellor of the California Community Colleges, hosted a teleconference during which, he shared important details about SB-291. “[The bill] would create a new student financial aid program specifically for
community college students to address the disparity between the current levels of financial aid and the true cost of college such as rent, transportation, textbooks and more” a statement put out by the Chancellor’s office read. If passed, the bill will give supplementary aid to full and part time students, all based on the cost of living in their colleges. “Just 5 percent of community college students received a Cal Grant in 2017-18. That compares to nearly 40 percent of undergraduate students at the University of California and approximately 36 percent of students at the California State University system,” the Chancellor’s statement further explained. Supporters refer to a Hope Center
report that suggests that the 19 percent — or about 399,000 of California’s 2.1 million community college students — have been homeless in the past year. [Continued on page 2]
In This Issue News. . . . . . . . . . . . 1-3 Features . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Opinion.. . . . . . . . . 5-7 Lifestyle . . . . . . . . 7 - 8 Sports. . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Entertainment..10-11
Wednesday, March 27, 2019 NEWS
The Hope Center is a policy and research institute that seeks to rethink and restructure higher education, including “ social policies, practices, and resources.” According to most recently available data from the U.S. Department of Education, 36 percent of students at Glendale College received an income-based federal Pell grant “intended for low-income students.” Anecdotally, El Vaquero staff has been in touch with students who struggle with homelessness and face food insecurity. “What colleges today are offering in the way of incentives including: financial aid, loans, grants, scholarships, are luring students from all financial backgrounds. So instead of going to work, many students are relying on these incentives to pull them (and their families through their college years). It creates a catch-22.” said Ellen Oppenberg, who runs the college’s Food Pantry. For some students, they expressed that they are forced to pick between a meal and bus-ride home. In addition, textbook and school supplies often take up much of the monthly budget of the student. That
could, in-turn, lead students to take out loans, or use their credit cards to make these purchases. One GCC student, who recently lost her car in a vehicle collision, said that she has faced economic insecurity as a result. “Without financial aid we cannot function, we cannot go without food,” said Regina Whitaker. ”Sometimes it’s a choice of travel to school or get food.” While a popular idea, many during the teleconference questioned if this was a realistic goal and tried to better understand the funding sources. “[It] comes from the state of California’s General Fund,” said Jimenez, adding that the “state legislature appropriates funds it has in its budget.” The Los Angeles Times found that in its first year, SB-291 will require an increase of $250 million from California’s general fund to go towards financial aid. By 2024, this budget increase will rise to a massive $1.5 billion. “My concern is that community college has long been an affordable way of getting a quality education,” said Rory Cohen, the
advisor to the Journalism Department at GCC and a policy writer. “By opening the door to putting a hefty price tag on a two-year college education and calling for greater federal funding through the Department of Education, we may be inadvertently raising the cost of a two-year education which is currently considerably low.” She added that there is a current California Promise which makes college free for a year and that the State Legislature is pushing for a second year being free as well. “Most students are currently studying for free, even without the California Promise. Some say that the California Promise doesn’t take non-tuition costs into account but they seem to ignore that a community college wasn’t built to operate the way a four-year dorming institution does. It’s built to help working parents, those with jobs on the side, and we’re the organization that welcomes non-traditional students, who in my experience have always been the most amazing, vibrant individuals.” Cohen expressed that as an instructor, she strongly believes in aiding students
BROADCAST ASSISTANT Jordan Henry
STAFF EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Marian Sahakyan SENIOR PRODUCTION MANAGER Hayk Rostomyan PRODUCTION MANAGER James Ojano-Simonsson PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Samuel Reynolds
COPY EDITOR Yesenia Thomson Elena Jacobson FEATURES EDITOR Samantha Decker OPINION EDITOR Hayk Martirosyan
STAFF WRITERS Allazhar Duisenbek Jake Denne Gabby Duga Afroditi Kontos Tatiana Pak Lilit Sedrakyan Martha Topete STAFF REPORTER Paul Kim
SPORTS REPORTERS Jonathan Vargas Elone Safaryan
Letters to the Editors
PHOTO EDITOR Dylan A. Bryant
ENTERTAINMENT REPORTERS Saryana Nazarian Eduardo Carreno
BROADCAST REPORTER Tyler Greene
who come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, praising the college’s Food Pantry as one initiative and colleagues that go the extra mile for their students. However, she added that there are already many state and federal programs that aid individuals who grapple with financial insecurity, such as through supplemental income or welfare, and through free health insurance. “I certainly don’t speak for the college, though I do speak on this matter as someone who has written about policy for more than 10 years,” she said. “Like other ‘nice in theory’ initiatives from Sacramento, such as the bullet train, I believe there’s a precedent to slow down and look at the long-term consequences in a country where we already spend more on education
SPORTS EDITOR Michael Dumansky
ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR Selena Reyes
LIFESTYLE EDITOR Kylie Shannon ILLUSTRATOR Matthew Spencer
Toby Graves-Morris Graphic Designer
FACULTY ADVISER Rory Cohen firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 240-1000 ext. 5214
GRAPHIC DESIGNER Tobias Graves-Morris
WEB EDITOR Alin Pasokhian
El Vaquero accepts story ideas in news, features, profiles, sports and entertainment from the public. Send an idea or article to the editor at email@example.com or call (818) 240-1000, ext. 3211.
Letters may be reproduced in full or in part and represent only the point of view of the writer, not the opinion of El Vaquero or Glendale Community College and its district. All letters must include the full name, address and phone number of the writer. You will be contacted before publication. El Vaquero is a First Amendment publication.
than every other developed country except for Luxembourg but have students that amass critical levels of debt in the process of achieving their educational goals. This is my concern — that we may be inflating the cost of a two-year education,” she said. “So far, I haven’t seen a single legislator actually address it and the implication is that if you do, you don’t care about students which is the furthest thing from the truth.” The CCC Chancellor’s office encourages all those in support of the bill to reach out to their legislators by emailing their concerns.
Michael Dumansky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Marian Sahakyan can be reached at email@example.com.
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1500 N. Verdugo Road Glendale, CA 91208 (818) 240-1000, ext. 5349 First copy free Additional copies $.25
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Helping Hands GCC’s Food Pantry needs volunteers to assist the high demand of needs from students
Alin Pasokhian Photo Credit
POST DELIVERY: Other than donations made by local stores, the Food Pantry depends on donations made by students to keep itself afloat.
By Alin Pasokhian Web Editor
Bringing in a truckload of food, Glendale Community College’s Food for Thought Pantry held its first delivery of the 2019 spring semester on March 5. The Food Pantry has only been around a short while. In fact, it’s only nearing its third anniversary this October, but it has played an important role in the lives of
students who may not have the financial means to buy their own food or items that are necessary for their day-to-day lives. Student financial insecurity is very common in community colleges and four-year universities alike, causing students to ration their groceries or skip meals all together in order to make their food last. Studies have shown that hunger dramatically affects students’ ability to learn. The negative effects reach much further than the
learning process, according to a study from the HOPE Center. The same report found that student health is compromised when they have to work more hours to make ends meet and shift their entire schedule. Sleeping, eating, and study habits are just a few of the things to take a hit as a result. “I had a student a couple of years ago who was falling asleep in my morning class. She was a good student and respectful, so we talked about it,” said journalism professor, Rory Cohen. Co-
hen added that the student was working a night shift three times a week. “She would go to work when most of us were going to sleep, and then she would come to school for six hours.” Cohen called this “unsustainable” and said it often made it difficult for the student to meet the requirements of her coursework. As mentioned by the journalism adviser, the student used the food pantry, as it helped her work less later on in the semester. The GCC Food Pantry Task
Force, which eventually became the Food For Thought Pantry, started as a method of alleviating financial and food insecurity for GCC students. The Pantry still manages to be one of the most important and useful resources on campus for all students. It’s a valuable resource, particularly because of how anonymous it is. That makes students feel more comfortable using their services. An essential organization on campus, the Food Pantry faces several obstacles that threaten its operations. These can be easily fixed with students offering to volunteer their time at the Pantry or simply donating necessary items. “While volunteering is the most straightforward way of helping, a pantry is little without food,” said Raymond Bryant Logan, a business administration major at GCC. “While there are weekly deliveries, the pantry is still very reliant on student donations for supply and funding. Food can be donated in a number of locations on campus, but the most accessible drop off box is in the Administration Building.” Other locations that are easily accessible are the Bookstore and the Food Pantry itself, which is located in San Rafael 134. The facility is looking for more people to help out. To volunteer, contact Ellen Oppenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alin Pasokhian can be reached at email@example.com.
GCC Celebrates Persian New Year The event became a memorable experience for those in attendance
By Dylan A. Bryant Photo Editor Being a multicultural hub, Glendale Community College’s Persian Student Association (PSA) and the Associated Students (AS) brought spring festivities to campus on March 21. This time around, they were celebrating the Persian New Year known as Nowruz. Nowruz, or “new day” is an ancient festival dedicated to the
beginning of spring, marking the rebirth of nature. Naturally, celebrated with fresh and green foods, Nowruz is a reminder that winter is not eternal. The party started with singer Varand Avanesian and keyboard player Sarmen Garibian— an impressive musical duo, who made sure that everyone was on their feet, dancing and having a good time— and most importantly, embracing the Persian culture. GCC student and artist Elahe Zareh was also in attendance, who
showcased beautiful art displays. The displays were hard to miss in the party room, showing people what the Persian culture withholds. All around the room, tables were set up, serving snacks and refreshments. Among those, was the Haftseen or a ceremonial table, which was decorated by Bahareh Beheshti, highlighting seven items, representing a the common message or value of spring— renewal. Beauty, good health, patience, fertility, rebirth, prosperity are all things that embody what spring is all about. After countless hours of preparations since the winter semester, PSA and other organizers felt that the event was a success, especially after seeing that every last chair was filled up. The event had a successful turnout with over 200 in attendance, dancing, singing and simply having a good time. Natalie Honarchian, president of PSA was among those to organize the event. “The turnout was
Dylan A. Bryant Photo Credit
NEW YEAR, NEW BEGINNING: Student and faculty celebrate.
great,” Honarchian said. “All of the people we expected to come, came.” Honarchian felt that the event could not have been pulled off without Club adviser Sharis Davoodi who coordinated the details by reaching out to entertainers and guests. “This year I felt a lot of faculty and staff collaborated together to make our students feel like home, and feel like they
can celebrate a wonderful event together,” Davoodi said. Davoodi went on to express her gratitude for the rest of the team who supported this exciting project. Among those were, Human Resources, Business faculty and Garfield Campus.
Dylan A. Bryant can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, March 27, 2019 FEATURES
Filipino Fiesta This two-day event will give an insight to the vibrant culture of the Philippines By Gabby Duga Staff Writer
Women in STEM Spotlight: Dominique Butler An astronomy student discusses her story of tenacity and inspiration NASA Courtesy Photo
STEM: Girl Scout troop 2612 members from Tulsa, OK take photos of one another with Google Glass at the White House Science Fair Tuesday, May 27, 2014. Avery Dodson, 6; Natalie Hurley, 8; Miriam Schaffer, 8; Claire Winton, 8; and Lucy Claire Sharp, 8 participated in the Junior FIRST Lego League’s Disaster Blaster Challenge
By Marian Sahakyan Editor-in-Chief
could take what I was learning in Astronomy and communicate it to our culture, my career path became clear.
To further encourage women’s involvement and interest in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Architecture, Math) arena, Glendale College’s annual Maker Faire will host a “Women in STEAM” speaker series, during which multiple females will speak of their experiences. Dominique Butler, one of the panelists at the event, is a full-time student, pursuing a career in astronomy and communications. She hopes to one day become a space science communicator within the popular culture. In addition, she is actively involved in educational outreach with numerous organizations and schools. She finds inspiration in the fact that she gets to choose her own path and form a career like no other, bridging the gap between pop culture and sciences. To understand what makes a woman scientist, El Vaquero asked a few questions in regards to Butler’s encounters and participation in the field. Here are her responses:
Q: What has been the greatest challenge in your work? What about the greatest triumph?
Q: How did you get into your current career?
A: Everyday for me is different. I’m preparing to transfer to Harvard Extension School to finish my degree online this summer, so my schedule is more open to fill with the work I do as a NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador. I go and speak to kids in schools all over Los Angeles about NASA and space exploration. They’re obsessed with black holes and of course,
A: I got really lucky, it sort of all fell into place once I went back to college. I changed my major to Astronomy, and decided early on that I wouldn’t be going into research. Most of my friends work in entertainment, so once I realized that I
A: The greatest challenge has actually been figuring out how to manage school, an Ambassadorship with NASA, and then finding ways to work and communicate space science to whatever platform I’m given. Creating a career as a space science communicator has been something I’ve had to figure out as I go along, and has constantly surprised me. I’m working towards having a space science children’s show, so each step of the way has been filled with successes and failures, or lessons learned. To be honest, my biggest triumph is still being on the path to finishing my education and creating my dream career. Every little success along the way is a triumph to me, it hasn’t been easy but I feel really lucky to be doing this work. Q: What does the average day look like for you?
aliens. I recently completed an internship at the Human Rights Watch advocating for children’s rights. Children deserve the best of everything we have, so my work revolves around finding a way to make sure I’m bringing that to light. Q: Can you give your top three tips for students entering STEM? A: Know that you belong here and your perspective is needed. Don’t let anyone tell you or make you feel otherwise. Get a good tutor. Eat, sleep, drink lots of water and surround yourself with people who support you and believe in you. Q: Is there anything you want us to know about you in particular?
Growing up in a Filipino household in America, my mom always cooks a lot of savory and delicious Filipino food, from breakfast until supper. Filipino food reminds us of our homeland and its rich heritage, which we have carried over with us to share with the those living in the United States. This year, Glendale Community College’s Filipino “Phamilya” Club partnered up with Filipino-American faculty and administrators to host the college’s third annual Filipino Fiesta. The event will be spread out between April 2 and April 3, showcasing the culture’s flavorful and vibrant spirit. To set the tone of a Filipino fiesta, lively music will play, with a jeepney parked up front. During the main part of the party, various delicacies and desserts from different parts of the Philippines will be offered to guests. A Filipino favorite, lechons-- roasted pig -- will also be offered, for everyone to taste the scrumptiousness and crispiness of the dish. In addition, the organizers will welcome a panel of Filipino-American entrepreneurs, business owners and individuals working in the private sector, who will share their experiences and success stories with the rest of the college. We hope to see everyone at the Fiesta!
A: At this point, I’m refusing to take no for an answer. There is more than one way to get to where you want to be, and realizing that my path isn’t going to look like anyone else’s has been liberating. I’ve learned that everything I’ve perceived as a setback has actually always worked to my advantage. I feel really thankful to be able to combine my love for Astronomy, the opportunity to work with children, and my passion for social justice into my education and career. As for something not too many people know about me, if I could come back in another lifetime, I’d be a Quantum Physicist. I can’t think of any job cooler than that.
Gabby Duga can be reached at email@example.com.
Marian Sahakyan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
James Ojano-Simonsson Courtesy Photo
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
University Combats Cheating Scandals By Legalizing Bribes Premiere institution now allows all students to provide financial incentive for acceptance SATIRE By Samantha Decker Features Editor In light of the newly exposed college admissions cheating scandal headed by Hollywood’s finest, the University of Southern California has decided to make bribes an accepted and valued part of the application process in an effort to sidestep public outrage directed at the Los Angeles-based premiere university’s already tarnished reputation. “We simply cannot stop accepting bribes from affluent people or the whole system would simply collapse. Therefore, in an effort to make things fair for everyone, we will accept bribes from all applicants,” Patrick Pockettliner, Senior Funds Manager at USC, explained when announcing the new policy. Regardless of the size, gifts to the school will now be considered a valid application credential. In addition to the standard application fee of $85, USC hopefuls are now strongly encouraged to add a little extra to grab the attention of the admissions office. This could be in the form of fruit baskets, large donations to the school, pre-signed blank checks, a large Instagram following with the promise to become an influ-
encer for the school, all-inclusive getaways, or the rights of the student’s first-born son. University officials predict that not only will this expedite the admissions process, but that it will make decisions simple, saving the school a great deal of man-hours. The new policy is set to be put in place by June 20, which is just in time for the next application period. “Anyone can make good grades and test scores, but that doesn’t guarantee their commitment to school spirit,” said Nick Stephanopoulos III, the interim president of the university. “These gifts will represent the seriousness of the student attending the school. This way, students don’t have to keep pretending like they are athletes that can compete at the college level, and we can get back to building winning teams.” Betsy DeVos, the United States Secretary of Education, was quick to express her enthusiasm in a blunt statement that conveyed her support of the new policy. “Despite what the liberals say, college isn’t for everyone. America’s preferred students are the ones who have adequate financial means and should always be a top priority. Bringing this system aboveground is a sure way to separate out the undesired candidates.” Her recent efforts have reinforced her belief that college is a hefty financial investment by pulling
Real Talk: A Scandal That Shocks No One Reports of systemic cheating have the public unsurprised By Rory Cohen & Marian Sahakyan Was anyone surprised that some of the children of the rich and famous lacked the merit to attend top-notch universities and bribed their way in (either knowingly or unknowingly)? In an informal poll of newsroom students (close to 30), the majority said they weren’t surprised. One student even said she was “shook,” that she has no idea that bribing one’s way in was actually a federal crime. Between 2011 and February 2019, William “Rick” Singer, a Newport Beach, Calif., resident was charged in a “racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and obstruction of justice,” according to the Department of Justice’s District of Massachusetts office. Singer has allegedly conspired with parents, coaches at top-tier universities, an administrator, and others. His scheme was so elaborate that it included two SAT and ACT test administrators who provided an unfair advantage in time for “elite” students, outright allowed cheating, or
changed test choices for students. If you want to read the full charges, El Vaquero has created a custom link: bit.ly/DOJMAS In a special podcast, we sat down to discuss the implications of the scandal, especially from a context of a college professor who graduated from University Southern California, one of the universities implicated, and a student who considered attending the university. Or, you can go to this custom link to listen to the full radio segment: http://bit.ly/2Tx9wuk Rory Cohen can be reached at email@example.com. Marian Sahakyan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scan QR Code to hear the podcast.
Digitonin Creative Commons
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIS: A top class institute has been in the midst of an unsettling fraud scandal.
the plug the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), which many loan-plagued students deemed a saving grace. “It’s time to stop the coddling,” DeVos said in a later response in an attempt to muffle the inhuman cries of student suffering. USC expects to benefit substantially from this new policy. Plans for renovations and technology updates are already underway with the new budget projections. The university claims this will only better the environment for their students, including the ones who were admitted on aca-
demic merit despite the lack of a donation. When asked how the new policy will impact academic honesty within the school, the university insisted it’s a new way to revolutionize higher education. “In the real world, bosses pay a skilled worker to do specialized tasks for them. Paying another student to complete schoolwork is now seen as a delegation skill and shows entrepreneurial potential,” said Copina Cattrell, the department head of Economics and curriculum supervisor for the university. However, applicants are still
barred from altering or falsifying certain personal information such as home address, high school attended, citizenship, parental identity or Instagram followers, unless a sizable gift is offered. “Everyone deserves the chance to become a new person when they go to college and leave the past behind,” said Stephanopoulos “We are proud to say this new admissions process makes that achievable.”
Samantha Decker can be reached at Samantha.email@example.com.
OPINION Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Letter to the Editor: Don’t Give Up Your Guns A lesson for Americans from the Armenian Genocide
By David Ter-Petrosyan Contributing Writer The Armenian-American culture inside California is very prevalent – especially in Southern California – and plays a large societal role. Other Americans enjoy our foods, appreciate our heavily religious culture, and benefit from our competitive businesses. Over the years, Americans of Armenian descent have also made many political achievements. George Deukmejian, former Republican Governor of California, was of ArmenianAmerican descent, as was Kenneth L. Khachigian, the chief speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan. Armenian-Americans hold their cultural values to a high standard – and it’s important to point out that our culture still stands strong over the course of thousands of years because of our cultural conservatism. There are many modern day controversial issues about which Armenian-Americans have a strong viewpoint. One of these issues is the constant war on our Second Amendment. Our Armenian ancestors learned the importance of firearm ownership and self-defense the hard way.
After the start of World War previous Turkish atrocities, I, the Ottoman Empire made gathered their necessities and Armenian citizens turn in their made their way to the top of the weapons. Armenians were told mountain. For 53 days, from that they needed to turn in their July to September of 1915, 250 weapons in order to help fight Armenian Warriors armed with the war. Being loyal to their their privately owned firearms, government, a majority of them protected 4,000 Armenian did as told. A move they would civilians from an army of about soon regret. 20,000 Ottoman soldiers. On April 24, 1915, the Ottoman While it is unknown Empire rounded up all the writers, exactly how many casualties educators, politicians, musicians the Armenians suffered, the and other important figures that Ottomans suffered heavy losses. the Armenians looked up to. In In September of 1915, Allied one night, 235 to 270 Armenian warships under the command of intellectuals of Constantinople Louis Dartige du Fournet spotted were arrested, were never to be the Armenian survivors and were seen again. The Armenians soon aware of the atrocities that were realized what taking place. The “The Armenians soon French and British was actually happening – the realized what was actually ships evacuated Ottoman Empire happening – the Ottoman around 4,200 was performing men, women Empire was performing a a systematic and children, my extermination of systematic extermination great grandparents of their Christian their Christian among them. A r m e n i a n They moved to Armenian citizens.” citizens. Damascus, Syria, In July of 1915 then to Erevan, the Ottoman forces reached the Armenia, where both my father mountain on which my great and I were born, and then, grandparents live, in one of blessedly, to America. Although six villages on the Musa Dagh the Second Amendment may mountain, located in modern be a big part of the culture for day Turkey, on the shore of the generations of Americans, that Mediterranean sea. The villagers, sacred right is a part of my history who were already aware of the as well and it is part of the values
David Ter-Petrosyan Stock Photo
HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF: A group of Armenian intellectuals pictured just before the atrocities against Armenians started to take place.
I try to uphold every day. The reason is pretty simple – if my great grandparents had given up their guns to the government, I would not be here today. I know my Jewish-American colleagues will empathize with me when I say that I will not make the same mistake some of countrymen did of turning in their weapons. Everyday I am grateful and proud that my greatgrandparents took a stand against their oppressors, and fought for their lives. After all, their slogan was “Freedom or Death,” not all that different than America’s
“Don’t Tread On Me.” So I implore my fellow Americans to learn the hard lessons of the Armenian genocide. In order to defend your birthrights and your families, you must defend the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. God rest the souls of the 1.5 million Armenians who were slaughtered. We can’t bring them back, but we can honor their memories by honoring our Constitution. Davit Ter-Petrosyan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Puerto Rico: Interior/Exterior
The GCC Art Gallery has a new exhibition that prompts conversation about colonialism, slow response and more
Carolina Diaz Staff Photographer
TAKING IT IN: Artwork vividly exemplifies how the Trump administration has treated Puerto Rico during the times of its disaster.
By Marian Sahakyan Editor-in-Chief Glendale Community College opened a new exhibit, Puerto Rico: Interior/Exterior, which examines the cultural, economic and political impacts of recent natural disasters that nearly decimated Puerto Rico. Following hurricanes Maria and Irma, Puerto Rico was without electricity and at the mercy of The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA. An August 2008 study found that 2,975 people died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane
Maria. U.S. government response was widely criticized as slow and inadequate. In one specific instance, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security did not waive the Jones Act for Puerto Rico, which ultimately prevented the region from receiving necessary aid and supplies from non-U.S. vessels. Criticism of FEMA is leveled in some of the art in display, with one painting that includes President Donald Trump tossing paper towels toward grateful natives with a media looking on portrayed as an angel passing gas. Another piece of art was created by Elsa María Melendez.
In her art, she deliberately utilized cloths from destroyed fabric shops in Puerto Rico, showing birds flying overhead. They’re not perfect, or event pretty, but she produces something aesthetically pleasing. Depending on the viewer, it could be unique, a little imperfect, or even beautiful. The art is meant to be controversial; to prompt further conversations about Puerto Rican identity, the concept of colonialism and exclusion, predatory debt, racism and more. The artists include, Adál, Awilda Rodríguez Lora, Elsa María Melendez, Erika P. Rodríguez, Frances Gallardo, Jo Cosme, Martín García Rivera, Patrick V. McGrath Muñiz, and Ricardo Rodríguez. The gallery is located in the college’s Library Building on the main floor of the library. It’s open to the public from Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free. The exhibit launched March 1 and will run through May 15. For more information, go to bit.ly/CollegeGalleryGCC. Carolina Diaz Staff Photographer
Marian Sahakyan can be reached at email@example.com.
REACHING HANDS: This three demensional art resembles the despair and devastation of Puerto Ricans in the aftermath of hurricanes Maria and Irma.
www.elvaq.com OPINION | LIFESTYLE
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Anger Manage(MEN)t Should women still contain their emotions after the realization they have more power now than ever before? By Tatiana Pak Staff Writer
He wouldn’t stop, he couldn’t stop. Why would he when he was used to always having the last word? It was a typical Tuesday at Glendale College, when I noticed that my journalism professor, Rory Cohen seemed bothered. I wasn’t sure what the cause of it was, but went on to ask her. She explained a colleague went into a rage because she told him he made her uncomfortable. He was getting a little too obsessed with her social media posts and it was creeping her out. You’d think that a man with a respectable career and multiple degrees would know better, but he insisted that it was her fault that he was “harassing her” on the internet. Although he had been ready to give his unsolicited opinion about everything she posted, he didn’t like being told to back off. After all, when she reacts to his harassment she is just “upset,” “angry,” or “exploding,” as he repeatedly told her. “I’ve become a very different
woman over the last couple of years and sometimes people don’t like it,” Cohen added. But why are people unhappy with who she has become? Not only is the blame for harassment on her, but her reaction will determine her reputation. She shies away because she’s “too naïve” or she defends herself because she’s a “total bitch.” It is no secret to history that carrying pairs of XX chromosomes come with unspoken rules that women learn along the way. Training their emotions to being “feminine” enough. Balancing being attractive but also modest about it. Being intellectual but also “playing dumb” sometimes. An invisible fine line on being too much or too less of her. There are also assumptions based on the color of their skin and behavior in their different cultures. Centuries ago, religion and history determined many of the present gender roles. Social construction somehow has surpassed biology ever since. We have come to the point where society quickly judges a woman’s behavior based on the length of her skirt or in the color of
her lipstick. I precisely remember are people too used to brushing my estranged father saying off the clear discrimination? my red lips were a “hooker” We are suddenly too angry, color, although I’m pretty sure crazy, or just PMS-ing when the lipstick name was “chili.” going after equal opportunities. We also have come to “Feminists are regularly the point that if a woman speaks characterized as angry [...] as up her mind she if anger is an is just “acting “He had been ready to u n r e a s o n a b l e out” of drama. give his unsolicited opinion emotion when Society is scared considering the about everything she posted, i n e q u a l i t i e s , of a woman in power of her he didn’t like being told to c h a l l e n g e s , own voice, back off. After all, when she violence and but why are reacts to his harassment she o p p r e s s i o n they so afraid? w o m e n is just “upset,”“angry,” The #MeToo the world or “exploding,” as he and Time’s over face,” Up movement Roxane Gay repeatedly told her. highlights wrote for the many socially constructed rules New York Times. and expectations. It is a big Women are portrayed as the relief that women are finally weaker sex that hates on men figuring out that not only is now, not as fighting for “the something severely wrong, but theory of the political, economic, that they can turn a lot around. and social equality of the sexes,” What they have been learning which is how a Merriam-Webster is that fighting for the same level search defines “feminism” to be. of rights as men brings a sense Cohen’s phone light kept of empowerment, sisterhood, coming back up. She was and independence, commonly still being bombarded with mistaken as aggressive, notifications. I could see how hysterical and dramatic. tense she was becoming and I Is feminism that complex couldn’t shake off the fact that that it still confuses society, or I knew exactly how she felt.
and even aids with lymphatic drainage and detoxification. Next time you’re in a drug store, keep a lookout for a soft bristle dry body brush. Plain Old Celery Juice Studies promote drinking at least 16 ounces of celery juice a day. The benefits include neutralizing and detoxifying the liver, aiding against bloating and even helping with digestion, per Parsley Health.com / Medical Medium.com. If one is beginning to feel sick, this may help fight off infection, as celery juice contains many antioxidant properties.
Kylie Shannon Lifestyle Editor
A guide on how to take care of your mind and body By Kylie Shannon Lifestyle Editor Flu season is still going strong, which means staying on top of our health should remain a top priority. From stimulating your mind to playing Tetris, there are a plethora of different tips and tricks to stay ahead without jeopardizing our health. Not only can we avoid getting sick, but we can implement new methods to help us feel better from within. For those that just want to stay on top of their wellness game, here are a few hacks to help our bodies thrive.
Whiskey for a Sore Throat Did you know that gargling
whiskey may help soothe a sore throat? Next time you’re feeling under the weather, try adding a spoonful of whiskey to a mixture of ginger, honey, and lemon and start gargling. This can help ease some irritation, according to Greatist.com. Here’s the 21 and under option: Mix lemon, cinnamon, and honey into two cups of boiling water and drink away. Tetris on the Brain Tetris can help you flex your brain. Consider a study that shows playing the simple game of Tetris may increase brain efficiency and produce a thicker cortex, per ScienceDaily.com / BMC Research Notes. The game
was designed in a way to keep your brain hooked, with a new pattern to solve every game. Did Someone Say Apples? Do you get claustrophobic? Apples may help. Next time you know you will be surrounded by people, try sniffing an apple or two. Studies show that apples may help reduce the stress associated with claustrophobia, according to Realbuzz.com. Dry Body Brushing Mindbodygreen com. explains that there are multiple benefits associated with dry brushing. It helps with increased blood circulation, exfoliation,
Himalayan Salt Lamp: Not Just For Hippies Not only do Himalayan salt lamps serve as cool lighting decor, they are specifically known for their purifying air qualities and helping promote a better nights sleep. The lamp releases negative ions into the air which can also help with allergies, as reported by Mindbodygreen.com. Plus, they are super visually appealing. CBD: Enough Said The non-psychoactive oil has multiple health benefits, like encouraging sleep, helping with discomfort, depression, anxiety, and even pain, according to Tonic.Vice.com. The oil can be incorporated into the body in a multitude of different ways. Next time you have a migraine and are of age, CBD might be a
It was office hours now and she could see that this individual wasn’t going to stop until he had the last word. I saw her shaky hands texting him back and her anxious voice while she talked to me. While my instinct was to tell her to block him – because I was afraid for her – she picked up the phone and called him. “I’m not going to let him have the last word,” she said. “Enough is enough, and he should be ashamed of his behavior.” She was determined. The phone rang and rang, and suddenly Mr. Hotshot didn’t know how to pick up his phone, so his voice mail did instead. She left him a message, questioning why he simply couldn’t stop after she politely asked him to leave her alone. Her voice was calm and collected as she stood up to the bully. “Do not contact me ever again,” she said. She closed the door on any polite friendship they had, because he no longer deserved her time. She is not going to stop. She can’t stop. Why should Tatiana Pak can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
good option to look into. Antioxidant Smoothie Kick If you’re ever in the mood for a smoothie, add a teaspoon of chia seeds into the blender along with a few fruits of your choice. Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber and have Omega 3 fatty acids. Not to mention, they can promote good cholesterol and heart health. Cold Showers Cold showers have long been connected to improving overall energy and immunity. Even as far as promoting healthy sleep and skin, according to Impossiblehq.com. Everyone should try it at least once. Aloe Vera: the Miracle Plant This plant is amazing for treating acne, dry skin, and even sunburns. Even if your skin just needs a little pick me up, aloe vera is a great affordable option for anyone to try. It is also rich in nutrients, which can help protect the overall layer of skin. Overall, there are multiple tricks and hacks for anyone to stay on top of their health. Being proactive about one’s well being is the first step to benefiting anyone from the inside out. From Aloe Vera to apples, there is something for everyone to try.
Kylie Shannon can be reached at email@example.com.
8 Wednesday, March 27, 2019 LIFESTYLE
What college students can do to better their welfare, attitude and over all life
Healthy Eating: The choice is yours. By Eduardo Carreno Lifestyle Reporter
The average college student who works, on top of their studies, is less likely to have time to socialize, go out and exercise, get regular sleep, and lead a more robust and balanced life, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a result of these time management issues, many college students don’t have the time to make themselves a well-balanced breakfast or make their lunch ahead of time. This guide will look at ways to combat some of the issues that plague today’s working student. Balanced Meals Students can go to their campus cafeteria and ask for a nice breakfast platter but are still functioning off of four to five hours of sleep. Summer will be here soon. We know you want to get fit but you have to start by eating properly first. Barnes et al., conducted an experiment where they took a look at 264 incoming college students, between the ages of 18 and 20. This was done so they can distinguish the kind of eating habits that students can develop as they begin their college career. They also took a look at the form of parenting style they were raised with. The experiment concluded with only 44 percent of students practicing the same habits since before starting college. Parenting style didn’t have much effect on college students compared to parenting a toddler.
of red meats and eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains and cooking all your food with healthy fats like canola or olive oil. Consider meal prepping the day, night, or week before. It will save you time and a considerable amount of money. A big, important last tip would be to begin every morning with a nice healthy balanced breakfast and give yourself time to prepare and Matthew Spencer Staff Illustrator enjoy.
It’s important to do your research, then distinguish what kind of foods you can eat to help reach your goals for toning up and getting help. Your plate should include mostly fruits and vegetables, according to Harvard’s School of Public Health. Avoiding fried food, too many carbs, and processed sugars are also linked to better health. This research study was conducted for the Memory and Aging Project. The project was conducted by Rush University that helps them to better understand the relation between the leafy greens we should eat and the hope to prevent aging problems such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Less red meat should also be a staple in anybody’s nutrition. It’s fair to not completely cut out beef, but try minimizing overall consumption. The death rate increases due to people eating more than two servings of red meat a day, according to a study done by Harvard Medical School. They studied onehundred and twenty-one thousand men and women for twenty-four years. The results showed that 12 percent of men who eat 2 servings of unprocessed meat a day, and 13 percent of women who eat 2 servings of unprocessed meat a day are more likely to suffer from high cholesterol or too much sodium. Moderate red meat consumption is crucial for good health, but one way to avoid all those problems is to adopt the Mediterranean Diet. The diet focuses on reducing the consumption
Get Out and Exercise Exercise is perhaps the most dreaded part of keeping a healthy lifestyle. However, everybody should make it a priority. The average college student gains 10 pounds during college, according to Chicago Tribune. The percentage of students in the study who became overweight or obese at some point during college rose from 23 percent to 41 percent, an increase of 78 percent, according to that same report. Exercise has been proven to relieve stress and improve mood, as well as boost brain cell development. It improves memory and improves concentration and focus both in the gym and in class. “Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anx-
ious,” according to Mayo Clinic. It will also boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem according to the same article. A simple 45 minute to an hour run or jog is sufficient enough to get someone into the habit and rhythm of exercise. Cardio is a necessary staple in everybody’s workout because it’s what can help you with reaching your goal, but you shouldn’t completely cut out weight. If the weights work more for you, keep it up. But if not, there are alternative ways, such as doing intramural sports, participating on the swim team or playing for your local club or league tournaments. As students of Glendale Community College, we are fortunate enough to have facilities that can help us get started on our fitness journey. We have an indoor basketball court, track field, soccer field/football field, and a weight room, as well as a fitness area where there are treadmills and ellipticals for student use. Of course, you must be registered in a class for access, but it’s a very easy one unit class. Sometimes walking can do much for an individual as well. The American Heart Association recommends an average person get 10,000 steps in a day. Catch Some Z’s Finally, the last thing that every college student habitually avoids: sleep. A good nights rest is what will determine whether or not we will make it through physics or forget to get off at the right bus stop.“Lack of sleep is associated with both physical and emotional health risks,” according
to the University of Georgia. To name some of these risks: a lowered immune system, stress overload, lower grades and grade point averages, depression, anxiety, and more. On average, “most adults need somewhere between 6-10 hours of sleep per night,” according to the University Health Center at Georgia University. Students will find themselves sleeping in for 2-5 hours more on weekends, and although you are getting an ideal amount of sleep during weekends, it just means that you aren’t receiving enough sleep throughout the week. To fix that, try aiming for 7-8 hours of sleep on school nights as recommended. Meditation yoga, 30 minutes before going to bed is one way to promote better sleep. “Over 55% of people who did yoga found that it helped them get better sleep. Over 85% said yoga helped reduce stress,” according to a national survey done by Harvard Medical School. You can also try documenting your sleeping hours or make a sleeping schedule. Nutrition, good sanitation, exercise, focus, and a good night’s sleep will make you an overall healthier person. It is normal for college students to forget the importance of all these things because they are no longer in high school where everything is done ahead of time for them. The more you forget about the 3 top important things for a healthier lifestyle, the more unorganized and unhealthy you’ll feel. Eduardo Carreno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Matther Spencer Staff Illustrator
Deep Sleep: The better rested you are, the more you will accomplish.
Sports movies to stream By Elone Safaryan Sports Reporter Sports films are about the human experience and perseverance; whether it’s about the kid who comes from humble beginnings and fights his or her way to the top, or about the boxer who defies all odds, they force the audience to take notice. Regardless of the perspective these movies are told from, fiction or nonfiction, people watch them because they find entertainment and inspiration. Here are the top five sports movies on Netflix. “Pele: Birth of a Legend” While some of us lack knowledge on soccer, many know about one player by the name of Edson Arantes do Nascimento. Otherwise known as Pele, he played for the Brazilian National team. He is often regarded as one of, if not the best, soccer player of all time. In an effort to get a better understanding of what made Pele great, “Pele: Birth of a Legend” sheds light on his story from his early life to the 1958 World Cup, where he made his debut in the FIFA World Cup. We learn a lot about the Brazilian
icon, including how he earned the nickname “Pele.” Despite growing up in poverty and not having access to equipment the rich kids had, Pele overcame hardship with his determination and his love for the sport. An inspiring tale, “Pele: Birth of a Legend” is certainly one of the more underrated films on Netflix. “Secretariat” Based on the real life of a thoroughbred racehorse, “Secretariat” is an inspiring and heartwarming story. Set in the 1970s, the film recounts the life of Penny Chenery, (portrayed by Diane Lane.) Chenery inherits her ill father’s farm of horses that are bred for racing, despite having a lack of knowledge on the matter. At her side is horse breeder, Lucien Laurin, (portrayed by John Malkovich), who helps guide her through the business. Complications arise as she needs to come up with the money to pay estate taxes on her late father’s estate. With the sudden arrival of a horse that has a lot of speed, Chenery sees this potential and oversees the training of Secretariat, also known as “Big Red,” who eventually became the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years. Secretariat is a feel-good movie for everyone and gives everything a person would hope for from a Disney drama.
Where are they now? Scan this Qr Code to check out Tyler Greene’s video report on former baseball players.
ADVERTISEMENT Students from all around the area, whether it is from the Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank, and Crescenta Valley area’s could choose to enroll at Glendale Community College. Some of these students are impressive students athletes from their respective schools. Most of these student athletes are lucky they can still play football, basketball, and baseball, among other sports, at GCC. There is a group of student athletes that are unlucky. Those athletes are the water polo players and swimmers. Water polo players and swimmers are out of luck because GCC no longer has a swimming pool and hasn’t for 32 years. That leaves these athletes with a decision to make over academics, convenience in proximity to school or prioritizing sports over the former two. The choices are to enroll at GCC and give
“42” “42” centers on the life of American baseball icon Jackie Robinson, portrayed by Chadwick Boseman. The film also stars Harrison Ford as the general manager of the then Brooklyn Dodgers, who broke the Major League Baseball’s color barriers by signing Robinson. The film explores racial prejudice in the 1950s and gives the viewers an idea of the kind of treatment Robinson had to endure throughout his career. Dealing with hate from audiences, other teams, and a few of his own teammates, Robinson showed immense restraint and perseverance by not allowing any of the negativity to affect his performance or behavior, as he knew that any altercation could possibly ruin his future. Boseman and Ford both give outstanding performances in their respective roles.“42” is a clear indication of racism and prejudice that existed in the 50s. “Miracle” In the 1980 Winter Olympics, a young and inexperienced United States men’s hockey team beat the Soviet Union, a team which was heavily favored by fans and four-time defending gold medalist. This became known as the “Miracle on Ice.” The movie does an admirable job of recreating one of the biggest
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
upsets and greatest moments in sports history. It also focuses on the man who coached this team to victory, Herb Brooks. While the U.S. captured the gold medal after they defeated Finland two days later, the silver medal goes to Kurt Russell who delivered a phenomenal performance as coach Brooks. The film is superb when recreating the hockey scenes too. “Miracle” is a beautiful retelling of the hard work and dedication that was instilled in the team as they went for the gold medal. “The Fighter” Arguably the best boxing movie since “Raging Bull,” “The Fighter” is perhaps one of the better known movies of 2010 as well. The film focuses on the real-life story of former boxer Micky Ward, (portrayed by Mark Wahlberg), and his rise to the top, as well as his struggles with
Hayk Rostomyan Senior Production Manager
his family. “The Fighter” was nominated for seven different categories, including best picture and best director. Not many movies receive many Oscar nominations for no reason, unless it’s “Black Panther.” The film also stars Christian Bale as Ward’s drug addict brother and trainer, Dicky Ward who was once a promising boxer. Melissa Leo depicts their domineering mother, Alice Ward who happens to be Micky’s manager as well. The excellent performances of Bale and Leo earned them Academy Awards for bestsupporting actor and actress. The film itself has a few clichés, but it’s an entertaining watch and holds the spot as one of the best boxing films of all time.
Elone Safaryan can be reached at email@example.com.
What Happened to GCC’s Swimming Pool? The lack of aqautic programs at the college raise questions By Jonathan Vargas Sports Reporter Imagine being really good at something, but due to circumstances out of your control, that one thing is taken away. Students from all around the area, whether it is from the Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank, and Crescenta Valley area’s could choose to enroll at Glendale Community College. Some of these students are impressive athletes from their respective schools. Most of these student athletes can still play football, basketball, and baseball, among other sports, at GCC. But, there is a group of student athletes that are unlucky. Those athletes are the water polo players and swimmers. Water polo players and swimmers are out of luck, because GCC hasn’t had a pool for 32 years. That leaves these athletes with a decision to make over academics, convenience in proximity to school, or prioritizing sports over the former two. The choices are to enroll at GCC and give up the sport, enroll at Pasadena City College for the swim team, or enroll at Los Angeles Valley College to participate in both water polo and swim. I personally, had to make one of those choices. Although I was recruited by the swim coach from PCC for their swim team, I had to decline. Due to transportation limitations, it would be very difficult, if not impossible to commute to PCC’s campus day after day. Therefore, I was left with GCC as my only option and unfortunately, had to give up swimming competitively as a result. My younger brother recently decided to enroll at LAVC even after I tried to convince him to attend GCC so we could go to the same school and carpool to the campus. He was adamant about playing
Water Polo. I asked him if GCC had a water polo and a swim team would he have enrolled at GCC. He said “of course,” as he would be “saving gas [money].” At one time, GCC had a regulation size pool adequate for aquatic sports training and hosting sporting events. The location it used to be has since become a parking structure. “Bad pool conditions had led to the pool being torn down in 1987,” said Alex Leon, the sports information director for GCC. The reasons why the pool was torn down were because “The pool leaked 2,000 gallons of water daily through cracks and faulty pipes,” and, “Repairs would cost $1.5 million,” stated In a LA Times Article titled “Verdugo Pool Closed Permanently: Worsening Decay, Decreased Use Made Repair Unfeasible.” It has been 32 years since that pool was destroyed and the GCC campus has changed. A parking structure where the pool used to be was built, another parking structure built behind the campus, a basketball court torn down, an addition to the gym, and a new administrative building built. All these finished and ongoing projects, yet a new pool just is not in the agenda. It begs the questions: has the academic board at GCC thought of making a new pool to add a water polo and swim team to their athletic programs? Or is the city of Glendale not providing the money needed to schools for that type of a project? With the impressive water polo players and swimmers from around the Glendale and even the LA areas, it is a huge disservice to the athletes and the GCC sports program. Imagine how successful a GCC water polo and swim team would’ve been, sadly as of now imagination is all that’s there. Jonathan Vargas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Ballet: A Unifying Force
Art helps to paper over poor international diplomacy
Alexey Yakovlev Photo Credit
NEXT UP: Yekaterina Shipulina, a Russian principal dancer of the Bolshoi theatre performing “Dying Swan” from “Swan Lake.”
By Allazhar Duisenbek Staff Writer Blisters and blood, strict technique, merciless competition, endless affairs between noblemen and ballerinas who become so rich that they eat diamonds for breakfast - welcome to the world of the Russian ballet. Despite the viciousness of the training involved in the process, ballet somehow beautifully aligned with Russian culture and grew into its own independent being. Not so long ago, just a century before the collapse of the Russian Empire and creation of USSR, the public in the West and in America especially, was spoiled by neverending tours of famous Russian ballet companies. Western audi-
ences developed a special taste for ballerinas, such as Avdotia Istomina, who was one of the first ballet dancers from Russia that wowed the European public with her exceptional talent, and ballet impresarios, like Sergei Diaghilev, that turned the art of ballet into a fairytale. It seems that Western democracies and Imperial Russia finally arranged a working system of cultural trade and came to a mutual understanding, yet it was too early to rejoice. Being involved in the First World War, Russia lost its empire. Almost like an orphan, she was deprived of its own religion and culture. There was no way to have a conversation and the negotiation table was broken. That is until Russian bal-
let took over. Just like a mythical phoenix, ballet escaped the grasp of tyranny through art manifested by Maya Plisetskaya and Mikhail Baryshnikov. They slowly unlocked the door of the iron curtain. Who knew that the 21st century had more challenges in store to surprise us and make the process of reconciliation “ribtickling,” to say the least? Politics, unfortunately, can be quite deceitful nowadays and we must keep decidedly moving forward. However, the American public is interested in Russian ballet now more than ever before. They now have a less stereotypical image of Russia and cultural exchange via this beautiful form of art flowing in both directions. “The American public can allow themselves to show their appreciation during the very performance when there is music playing and people dancing,” said Svetlana Zakharova, a prima ballerina with Bolshoi ballet in an interview for Russia 24. “I remember when I was dancing La Bayadère in New York and carried out a développé and my famous six o’clock,” she recalled. “[The] public started applauding. It irritates some people, but I think it is rather inspiring that they express their feeling so innocently.” Indeed, with every single visit of the Bolshoi, Mariinsky, or Mikhailovsky ballet companies, people buy tickets in advance. Russian ballet, after all, is regarded as one of the most prestigious in the world, and people expect nothing less than excellent choreography. It can be argued that the strong desire to reach Russian levels of ballet perfection, has brought enthusiasts like Michael Fokine to found an American Ballet Company based on Russian training in 1924. This in its turn encouraged Mikhail Barysh-
nikov to start dancing with the American Ballet Theatre, where he partnered with Gelsey Kirkland from 1974 to 1978. “Arts teaches us not to look at everything from left to right, it makes us more self-investigative,” said Victor Robles, the department chair of the dance department at Glendale Community College. He claims that ballet, unlike professional sports, has nothing to do with competition and winning—it is more comforting and easing, and people come to enjoy it as a whole. Usually, when watching ballet, we don’t wish for one of the ballerinas to slip and fall down or to ridiculously embarrass herself. Dance doesn’t have to be combative or divisive, instead, it teaches us to be open to the experience. Could it also serve as a cultural bridge that would someday break the old stereotypical image of Russia? Perhaps it could, but for ballet to really bring light and wash the prejudice away, it needs to be accessible for greater numbers of people. Unfortunately, for now, ballet in the U.S. is highly under subsidized by the government and supported mostly by private organizations, which is obviously insufficient. Inadvertently, it makes one ponder whether ballet in America is just for the amusement of higher echelons of society. “I don’t know why it is like that, but there is inaccessibility of higher arts among the general public in this country,” Robles pointed out, citing that there is decreasing interest in ballet from young people. He said that students at GCC are more interested in contemporary dance movements, and only a few do Russian ballet. If things will not change, the ballet will remain out of reach and foreign for the majority of American people.
Those people who ultimately learn and watch Russian ballet have a clearer understanding of Russia and its culture. Good and bad, elegant and distasteful, intricate, and sometimes even incomprehensible parts of Russian culture can all be beautifully explained in the course of a single ballet performance. After spending a few hours watching Nutcracker or Swan Lake, even the coldest glance of the scariest man somewhere from Siberia would for some reason, feel warmer. Ongoing student exchange programs and the increasing amount of American students who visit Russia to particularly experience and learn classical techniques, be it Vaganova that emphasizes dancing with the entire body or Cecchetti which allows arm flow and blend of positions, slowly, yet properly join two cultures closer. “Russia is very often misunderstood,” Joy Womack, an American student in The Bolshoi Ballet Academy said in her interview for Russia Beyond. “I think that people have to come and experience it. When I see it in their eyes that they’ve seen it and experienced it, they completely change their opinion and this is a wonderful place and it is not wellknown to my family, friends, and background.” Indeed, people’s knowledge of Russia in America often is very superficial, which inevitably makes their opinion banal and preconceived. As Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev once famously stated, “You cannot understand Russia relying only on your common sense, she does not fit into existing units of length, she is an exceptional figure, you can only believe in it.”
Allazhar Duisenbek can be reached at email@example.com
Netflix’s Russian Doll is a Binge-worthy Experience Show expected to be the first major hit of the year for streaming service By Alin Pasokhian Web Editor Leading 2019 with what is believed to be the first hit tv show of the year, Netflix’s “Russian Doll,” created by Amy Poehler, Natasha Lyonne, and Leslye Headland, draws the audience in with its absurdly vague trailer. What seems to be yet another “Groundhog Day” gone wrong, or a far more cringe-worthy version of “Happy Death Day,” the trailer opens with the lead, Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) staring into the mirror in her best friend’s bathroom. What is supposed to be a celebration of her 36th birthday, quickly turns into a quest of discovering the reason why she keeps dying and “restarting” her life back at her birthday party. Though the trailer does not give away anything other than the continuous loop of various elaborate
deaths, watching the show itself, reveals that Nadia is not stuck in a mere purgatory. Rather she may not be the only one affected by all the actions committed in this loop. The reason behind this vague trailer is only to showcase the genius behind the work of Poehler, Lyonne, and Headland; they want
the audience to go into this series with as little knowledge as possible, just as Nadia does. The trailer does nothing other than giving the audience the premise in which the show takes place. Though “Russian Doll” was meant to originally be a drama, Nadia continuously dies in comedic ways, providing comic relief
to the audience in an otherwise grim storyline. This showcases yet another one of Poehler’s, Lyonne’s, and Headland’s talents as writers—with the ability to create a very sober tale of how our actions have very serious consequences while also fitting in some humor to keep the story fresh and interesting. Despite the wide range of praise received from critics and audiences alike, the show’s biggest achievement that is often overlooked, is that it is created by women, with strong female characters, who do not overshadow their male counterparts. Though the male characters may not get as much screen time or significance, each one of their stories still proves to be essential to the main plot of the show. Cleverly created, this show also introduces several hidden gems of information that slowly gain significance as the story goes
on, and the supporting characters gain traction. This constantly keeps the audience at the edge of their seat, not knowing what little piece of information they need to remember, and which will gain importance later on in the show. By doing this, the audience should take the advice of the creators (as well as mine), and watch this show with as little knowledge as possible because it will only enrich the experience of going through the quest alongside Nadia. The point of the story is to not only help the audience figure out what happened with Nadia but to also help the audience analyze their own actions, constantly second-guessing themselves and how it will affect them in their own purgatorial loop.
Alin Pasokhian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, March 27, 2019 ENTERTAINMENT
Anthem: Doomed from the Start Or how I accepted the inevitable collapse of Bioware By Hayk Martirosyan Opinion Editor Indulge this exercise: imagine a game that is set in a postapocalyptic future and prompts the player to explore destroyed environments, while facing off against mutated or alien lifeforms, occasional robots and has a very light touch of story. Depending on who you present this scenario to, they described “Titanfall 1 & 2”, “Warframe,” “Borderlands 1 & 2,” “Destiny 1 & 2,” or one of a half-a-dozen “Call of Duty” games set in the future. The point is, this is a saturated genre of games. In a market that is heavily stuffed with blockbuster action games, non-action games stand out more than ever. BioWare as a game developing company had made its name on games that are heavy on storytelling, player choice, and good writing. For the longest time, this is what kept BioWare popular amongst other gaming companies. Their Mass Effect and Dragon Age series focused greatly on the story of the game, with combat being a more tactical ordeal. For these reasons, they stood out on the backdrop of the many action shooters. However, after the recent failure of Mass Effect: Andromeda, worry has struck fans of BioWare. After all, if the newest installment of a series that always boasted solid storytelling fails, then we must brace for worse yet. We did, indeed, with the publication of Anthem. Released on Feb. 22, Anthem
Comics Beat/Stock photo
DERAILED TRAIN: The hype that Anthem tried to build prior to its launch was ultimately unable to save it.
is a third person, open world, multiplayer shooter game, set in the post-apocalypse. Players take the roles of explorers, named in suits of armor equipped with all sorts of unique abilities, that they then use to explore the large open world. In addition, the game lacks any density in its content. Its maps are wide and empty. Its combat, while not terrible, fails to fully engage due to being driven by repetitive collect-a-thon style tasks and having enemies take far too long
to be brought down. What further hurts the game is the complete absence of a storyline. BioWare, a developer that made its name on writing for video games, now has produced a video game where the story is so shallow that it may as well not exist. Where BioWare’s past titles created an interconnected web of choices the player could make to come to one of many endings, in Anthem the case is less so. The mere concept of the story only exists in a gated
off area in the game, that is exempt of any other gameplay, besides walking and talking to non-player characters (NPCs). The result is a game that is obvious in its lack of expertise, as BioWare’s strong writing isn’t allowed to shine. Instead, the developer has focused on the action/exploration mechanics, something they do not have any history with. Observing Anthem, it is hard to not get the sense that someone took all the games mentioned above, stripped them
of all character, charm, and fun, proceeding to parade the skeleton left behind as a new game. With Andromeda being a failure and Anthem piling on, it seems BioWare is going to have to try harder on their next Dragon Age game if they wish to survive in the competitive gaming market.
Hayk Martirosyan can be reached at email@example.com.
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Wednesday, March 13, 2019
In this issue of El Vaqeuro covers Senate Bill-291 and the controversy behind it, stories about the school Food Pantry, the celebration of P...
Published on Mar 26, 2019
In this issue of El Vaqeuro covers Senate Bill-291 and the controversy behind it, stories about the school Food Pantry, the celebration of P...