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Mt. San Jacinto College

t h e TA L O N

October 2014

By students, For students

Volume II Issue II

The Open Mic Night Legacy Continues by Shawnees Peacock

Current and former MSJC students gathered on Sep. 25 to relax from the stressful school days by attending a student coordinated Open Mic Night. The event was held in room 805 at the Menifee Valley Campus, and was one of the many Honors’ Enrichment Program events to come this Fall semester. This exciting evening featured an array of artists who were eager to let their craft be known to the local community. The performances included both covers and original music from soloists and bands, as well as several talented poets. Student Akleema Bey presented a powerful peom regarding the subject of selfimage. Akleema’s poem read as an open letter to her body and how she fails to appreciate it. Poems entitled “Old Soul” and

“Pillow Talk” were also presented by student Terri Thomlinson, English major. She has been writing poetry since she was in elementary school. “I’ve always had a strong affinity of words, language and intonation” said Thomlinson. Music wise, the psychedelic/ folk/country band known as The Curtain Called Oz performed original songs titled “Self Fufilling Prophecy” and “Aokigahara (sea of trees)”. Philosophy Professor Brett Sealander also surprised the audience with an acoustic guitar cover of “Blue Monday” by New Order. Open Mic Night is an event that was coordinated last year by former MSJC

student Danielle Perez, English major, as her honors mentor event. The honor mentors are experienced students of the Honors Enrichment Program who serve as leaders by mentoring newer honors students and by coordinating events that the entire community can become involved in. Conitued to Page 6

MSJC International Food and Arts Festival By Tabitha Hwang


national flags decorated the quad in front of the San Jacinto campus’s library on Oct. 4. MSJC’s International Food and Arts Festival ran from 11am-4pm, and offered a venue for vendors and clubs to experience diverse cultural traditions. MSJC Sociology professor and event coordinator, Millie Baez, collaborated with the Diversity Committee and the Human Relations Counsel to create an event that embraced and celebrated the rich diversity within the community. Continued to Page 7

Females of all ages perform a popular Indian folk dance called Giddha

Menifee Birthday

PG 3

Local Ghost Hunting

PG 15

Jazz and Wine Festival PG 2

Local News MSJC’s Foundation Hosts Sunset Jazz and Wine Festival Honoring Local Veterans by Danielle Carter Tripp


n a lunar Friday Oct. 10, 2014, the Mt. San Jacinto College Foundation hosted the community event A Celebration of Service during its Sunset Jazz and Wine Festival. Local Veterans were presented at the Menifee campus with motorized chairs in partnership with All From the Heart (AFTH), a local organization of Temecula, California. those honored by the reception of a motorized chair included Perry Roth, 90, who served the U.S. Navy in WWII as a Medical Corpman Pharmacist and Ernest Trinci, a former member of the U.S. Marine Corp. AFTH representatives, Judy Harter and Joan Sparkman were integral in obtaining motorized chairs donated by the Auxiliary SouthWest Healthcare System and the Temecula Valley Hospital’s Doctor’s and Staff. All together four chairs, each with a cost of about $300 to refurbish were donated. Judy Harter, President of AFTH explained, “Our organization is all volunteer, and all donations go straight to the veterans. We have helped Veterans pay their rent, if necessary.” According to Judy, “the motorized chairs will positively change the lives of the honored vets and their families.” Dr. Jeremy Brown, a MSJC Music Department Professor and Chair, conducted the Menifee Valley Jazz Ensemble as they graced the gathering with impeccable renditions of classic


jazz throughout the night. Listeners were delighted when the ensemble shared a cut from their HOPSCOTCH CD, entitled ‘Baby Brown,’ a musical selection Dr. Brown wrote to celebrate the birth of his first child. The Lake Elsinore Unified School District’s Lakeside High School’s Jazz Ensemble was also featured, under Director Chris Fossmo. The high school students were applauded for their professional conduct and charming melodies. The Garage Brewing Company & Pizzeria of Temecula, CA offered excellent local wine and beer choices to compliment the cuisine and music. The night’s event honored the service of veterans. Proceeds from the Jazz & Wine Fest are to be utilized to create a MSJC Foundation Veteran’s Scholarship Fund. MSJC Superintendant/ President, Dr. Roger Schultz stated that the Jazz & Wine Fest has been increasingly successful over the last 3 years, having changed from being a Jazz Brunch, initially. Last year’s event was enjoyed by over 100 participants. Many participants from the Veteran community, MSJC Board and Staff, current and alumni students, and the community at large were in attendance to support our local vets. The MSJC Veteran Center was largely furnished by AFTH.

Local vet, Ernest Trinci was honored at the Jazz and Wine Fest with the reception of a

A photo of Perry Roth was proudly displayed for festival goers

If you are interested in covering local events, contact The Talon at

Local News The MSJC Veterans Organization started with 50 participants and now includes more than 1,354 vets. AFTH invites everyone to join

“Our organization is all volunteer, and all donations go straight to the veterans.” them in the upcoming holiday season ‘Support Our Troops XI Event,’ on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 from 11 a.m. through 2 p.m. in which thirty active military families will be honored. There will be children’s activities and a Santa visit.

Menifee Valley Jazz Ensemble entertains the crowd with a preformance of songs from their HOPSCOTCH CD

Contact for upcoming foundation scholarship events. You can sponsor a current MSJC Veteran for $30 by contacting to donate to MSJC Vets or call at (951) 290-VETS (8387). Contact for future event dates or interest in obtaining ‘Hop Scotch,’ the CD.

Blazing Birthday Bash By Serena Rose Steele

On Saturday, Oct. 4, MSJC hosted Menifee’s 6th Annual Birthday Bash in sweltering 110 degree weather at the Menifee Valley campus. Despite the heat, an assortment of local vendors pulled out their E-Z Up tents and company banners to promote their new and longstanding businesses. Small crowds filed in around 4pm and were invited to stroll through the multiple rows of vendor booths set up in the parking lot. The free and familyfriendly event gave the locals the opportunity to spin the wheel for prizes, savor tasty treats, and connect with other community residents. Live musical performances took place on the main stage by bands such as the Temecula

based group, The Counterfeits, and headliner act, Halfway. For a more alternative form of entertainment, visitors were beckoned to watch Gale Webb’s Extreme Air Show featuring the rider’s notorious bold maneuvers. With gravity defying tricks and spins, the young skaters and BMXers wowed the crowd. When asked what he liked most about the Extreme Air Show, Jacob Serrano, age 12, said, “When I see those bikers out there doing tricks, I feel inspired to go out and be active like them.” It may have been a hot day in Southern California, but live entertainment and a festive celebration couldn’t keep Menifee’s community at home.


Club News

Psychology Club’s Garden of Secrets Photo by Renzy Reyes


Submit all club flyers, blurbs, or event dates to OR

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The Open Mic Night Legacy Continues “Back when my older sister was in high school, her school had this type of event going on” said Perez. “I was twelve at the time and was completely amazed at the entire thing. So since then, I’ve always wanted to organize one of my own.” Perez added that, “Every time the event would end, I would have goose bumps and would leave completely inspired by hearing other peoples voices both musically and poetically.” Since Perez has transferred to UCLA this fall, students Sandi Colby, History major, Trisha Felix, English

and History Major, and Jess McMeans, English and Anth major, have taken the reigns of coordinating this event. “I am truly amazed at what Danielle created and the thought of it simply dying when she transferred was sad to me-it would have been a shame to let it end. Also, the historian in me just loved the idea of creating a legacy at MSJC!” said Colby, an honors mentor. One of the reasons why this event is so successful is due to its ability to connect students to each other in a unique manner that the classroom setting doesn’t always allow. “It is a great forum for people to share their talents with other students and faculty. In an English class, I would never know the guy sitting next to me played guitar or that the girl in the

“Pillow Talk”

She would not

leave him alone.

Day and night, night and day, calling him, calling him, absolutely relentless in her pursuit of his company. Even now, he could hear her voice, wheedling, coaxing, eroding his resolve to stay away. Tired, so tired of her persistence, his resistance crumbling so that he always returned to her and was thankful to do so. Just this morning it had happened again. “Stay with me,” she declared a he rose to leave. “You know you want me.” “No, no, I can’t, I’ve got to go to work,” he replied, shaking his head in denial. “I’ve got obligations to fulfill. I can’t stay with you any


corner writes poetry for fun. We have incredibly talented students and it’s fun to see them do their thing” said Colby. Although Open Mic Night is sponsored by the Honors Program, the events are open to all MSJC students, faculty, and friends. The next two Open Mic Nights are scheduled for Oct 23 and Nov 20. Doors open at 5:30pm, with performances starting at 6pm and running until about 8pm. For questions, to reserve a performance spot, or to get involved in another way please join our Facebook community MSJC Open Mic Night or email event coordinators at :

By Terri Tomlinson

longer.” He pulled his clothes on and searched for his shoes. She lay on the bed, so soft, so inviting, so certain of her power over him. “Don’t deny it. You were all but drooling on me when you got here last night. Don’t try to tell me that you can just get up and leave me here, that it doesn’t bother you. I know how much you need me.” “Yes, yes, I do need you, I admit it! But I can’t forget about the rest of my life for you. I have responsibilities that I can’t just walk away from. You know that! How do you think I bought that silk you’re wearing right now? I had to earn it. You’ve got to let me go.” Even as he spoke, his head moved, almost of its own volition,

to rest once more upon her firm curves. So much peace. So much desire. She lay beneath him, cradling him in her comfort. “That’s it. Doesn’t that feel good?” she crooned. “What you really want is to stay here, in bed with me. Call in sick. We can lie here all day and just be together. You know you want to.” He wrenched himself away from her. “No. No! I’m not going to let you control me like this! I can’t! I do love you, but I can’t!” As if in fear for his life, he leapt up and out the door. He ran to the car, started it, and pulled out of the driveway. He cursed as he checked the clock. “Damn that pillow! I’m going to be late again!”

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MSJC International Food and Arts Festival “It is important to empower those that are not heard,” said Baez in an interview. “When my community embraced me while growing up,” Baez continued, “I felt empowered to continue my education when the world was telling me as a minority that I could not” Some of the live performances by local artists included folk dances and music representing Native American, Pacific Islander, and Indian cultures. The Red Tail Spirit Dancers illustrated Native American song and dance traditionally performed in social situations. The making of the musical sounds were made with instrumental rattles and spiritual chanting. such as games or relocating villages. “We always like to give our respect to our elders who passed these social songs down to us,” explained a member of the Red Tail Spirit Dancers, “because at one time these songs were almost extinct.” The popular folk dance originating in Punjab India called Giddha, allowed Indian women to fully express their feelings without fear of being reprimanded. The dance can be associated with what are “two common traditions of India” said Raji Sandhu, member of the Punjabi Giddha group. “One is arranged marriage and the other is uniting families. [In India] the mother-in-law is the queen of the house and everyone has to listen to her.” As Sandu explained, if a woman felt dissatisfied with her in-laws she could use dancing as a form of emotional catharsis. The palates of festival-goers were exposed to new international flavors.. Authentic dishes included Mexican pork and green chile tamales, Native American fry bread, and Indian Chana Masala. “The food was delicious,” said Phi Theta Kappa president Angele Salas. “I ordered BBQ sticks, pancit, lumpia, and thai ice tea.” The Food and Arts Festival was a great opportunity for students to learn about their own heritage as well as experience cultural traditions from around the world.

Event coordinator Millie Baez & HRC member

Lolesio Family Tongan dancers performing traditional dances from the South Pacific Islands.

Redtail Spirit Dancers performing Native American songs and dances Getting involved is easy because “anyone can volunteer” said Baez. “We’re always looking for volunteer participation, especially if you have a specialty in dance or act”. For more information on volunteering Millie Baez at

Stuffed Tamales by Tamale Road Catering

The UCR Medical Brigades serve food from the Hemet Asian Market

To contribute the Arts Page email




with Rick Hoffman By Jeana Robbins

“It may not be you or your children who are going to the college, but those working on your cars or treating you at the doctors are going to be trained at MSJC” -Hoffman Mt. San Jacinto alumni, Rick Hoffman, first attended MSJC in 1972 when tuition was free. When life circumstances interrupted his education, Hoffman took a break from school only to come back and graduate in 1992. From MSJC, Hoffman transferred to the University of Redlands, where he earned a BS in Business. While pursuing his masters at Cal State University San Bernardino, Hoffman began teaching vocational courses on water technology at MSJC. 12 years of teaching and an AA degree that set the foundation for his education have ensured Rick Hoffman’s support for the college. As a community member and an MSJC Alumni, Hoffman reveals to The Talon his experiences with MSJC and why he supports the passing of Measure AA in the upcoming Nov. 4 election.

What is the value of a Community College Education?

“A few years at a CC can take a big chunk out of the financial burden carried by many graduates,” Hoffman said. “MSJC offers students an opportunity to be able to begin their education at a reasonable fee and acquire skills and hours of experience that are needed for their desired career. “Beyond helping students to transfer to a four-year institution, MSJC offers training and degrees that will benefit individuals looking to secure a job in areas such as nursing, vocational trades, performing arts, and theater tech. All of these are great degrees in fields that you don’t necessarily need a 4 year degree to secure a job in.”

How different does the San Jacinto campus look now, as compared to when you were a student here?


“The college has done a great job with the facilities they have, especially considering that a number of the buildings were meant to be temporary and intended to be used for only 10 years. They are well beyond their useful life. “Also, the campus and the city of San Jacinto have seen tremendous growth. There are not enough classrooms to keep up with the growing need for an education at the community college level.”

How has your time at MSJC impacted you? “MSJC has assisted me and others, who return to school later in life. I was in my late 30’s when I came back to college, and going back to school at a four-year university would have been very daunting. MSJC allowed for me to return to school and ease into my education.”

How could the passing of Measure AA affect the Community at large? “During performing arts events (plays or concerts or dance recitals) the halls at MSJC are filled with people from the surrounding communities. The college has provided people reasonably priced family entertainment. The bond measure would ensure the continuance of these community friendly events and provide the college with proper facilities to practice and perform.”

What economic implications are associated with Measure AA? “The passing of the bond would be attractive for industries that might want to move into this huge and booming area. With the proper funds, the college can adapt quickly and provide trained employees for employers. The economic opportunities are endless.”

Who else will benefit from the passing of Measure AA? “Returning Veterans”. “There is a need to train and educate veterans who want to develop job skills to reintegrate back into society. Many of these skills, a community college can provide at a very reasonable price. As we continue to see more veterans return from overseas, this need is only heightened. “Veterans have a tremendous amount to offer our society, but we first must be able to offer them upgraded educational facilities and extend our VA programs. The passing of this facilities bond would allow for MSJC to expand the veteran’s services on both campuses as well as to expand outward to the potential Wildomar campus.”

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Important things to do before you By Ivelisse Porroa-Garcia


This means you can request that the library at MSJC bring you a book that is located at a different school’s library, such as UCR or even Berkley. Yes, this is possible! And it saved my life several times. Request the book at least a month in advance though; they may take a while to arrive on campus.

Present or volunteer at the Student Research Conference


If you are part of the Honors Enrichment Program, one of the many perks is the opportunity to participate in the Student Research Conference. It is organized by the Honors Transfer Council of California and hosted by the UC Irvine. You get the chance to present the research you have done for one or two of your honors courses, and you also get to visit UCI! Plus, you are assigned a mentor, who is usually the professor you took the honors class with. For more info contact Honors coordinators: Christina Yamanaka or Erik Ozolins.

Attend/participate in a sharedgovernance committee


This is the best transfer workshop I ever attended at MSJC. The Transfer coordinator showed a video of what a personal statement for a four-year university should be like, and even helped me to write the first line of my own. Of course, I changed that line later; but at least, it gave me confidence to start writing it!


Request an inter- librarian loan

Attend a personal statement transfer Workshop

Meet the college President


Dr. Roger Schultz is the very kind and approachable Superintendent and President of the college. The Student Government Association (SGA) organizes several luncheons, or meetand-greets, where students of different organizations are welcome to have a conversation and share their educational concerns with him. These events are an opportunity to network and let your voice and hard work be acknowledged!


Organize an event

There is a difference between participating in an event and organizing the event you have always wanted to see on campus. Some great positions to plan events are that of an honors mentor, or a club officer. Personally, I found the honors mentor position to offer the best opportunity to organize events. You learn time-management skills, advertising strategies, and interpersonal communication skills. I enjoyed the experience so much that I ended up organizing 3 events the following semester.

Committees consist of administrators, faculty, staff, and students who participate in the decisionmaking processes of the college. In brief, as a student, you get to sit with the big kids and have a say in measures that directly affect students. Beyond the opportunity to represent students, you get to network with different professors and administrators who may later help you with your educational goals. Moreover, it is always interesting to see the human side of your professors as they advocate what they feel is best for students.


Become a student

mentor or a peer tutor The college has amazing resources for students. However, after you have figured out your way through the jungle of community college, it is time to give back or pay it forward. The student mentor position is offered by the Department of Matriculation and Outreach, while the peer tutor position is offered by the Learning Resource Center. Both are greatly rewarding experiences that would also look fabulous as an extracurricular on your transfer application. Ivelisse Porroa-Garcia emigrated from Peru to the U.S. in 2011 to pursue a better education. From MSJC she transferred to UCLA where she studies Political Science as a Transfer Alliance Program Scholar.

Want to contribute to The Talon? All current and former student are welcome!



Small Tax, Big Impact

Why I support Measure AA

By Deidre Barriger

I am proud to be part of MSJC, and I consider my years spent as a student here to have been influential on the course of my life. My experiences at this school have taught me a considerable amount about the community, tools for success, and an understanding of the world. Although I may not know where I will end up in 10 years, I recognize the importance in leaving behind something for the next generation of students, as a token of respect and appreciation. After just a few semesters at this college, I began to see that the campuses, especially that of San Jacinto, are in dire need of repair. Our San Jacinto campus is comprised of temporary buildings from the 1960’s, many of which have leaky roofs, asbestos, and deteriorating gas and sewer lines. Not to mention, the infamous RM 1206, with the miniscule desks that leave students cramped and uncomfortable accompanied by a painstakingly familiar stench of outdated and stained carpet and walls.

Room 1206, San Jacinto Campus Beyond the student perspective, the college is a reflection of the surrounding communities, as it echoes how much we wish to pay into and support the education of future generations. For the school to provide the optimal experiences for students and the community, needs must be met financially. I believe that by supporting Measure AA, the facilities bond which has been placed on the quickly approaching Nov. 4th ballot, we are getting closer to attaining the repairs and upgrades we need to succeed as an institution and keep this community thriving.

This measure is not something that simply happened over night. Every aspect of the proposal had to be weighed and measured carefully to ensure that MSJC can continue to provide career training and support for more than 18,000 students a year in the massive 1,700-square-mile district. The measure is estimated to cost households $13.20 a year per $100,000 home value; roughly about $2 a month or $16 a year. No funds from the measure would go toward salaries or pensions and all funds are required to stay local. This is small tax, with a big impact. The passing of Measure AA would expand facilities for career training. Currently, it is difficult to get into programs such as nursing or law enforcement because there are so many people applying. With larger buildings and more courses available, students will be able to enter the work force quicker without having to struggle to get a seat in high demand classes. Beyond opening up courses, the bond would be extremely important to members of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) program. If MSJC can offer students updated math and science labs with cutting edge technology and better lab equipment, students who are in a STEM major will be provided with greater opportunities to further their education. Measure AA will also assist MSJC in helping returning veterans, and their dependents, to meet their educational and career goals. Upgrades and expansions of the Veteran Centers will ensure that they will get the resources they deserve for their heroism. As a college that serves a diverse student population ranging from veterans and refugees, to high schools students and elderly students, MSJC needs to ensure different programs and facilities remain accessible to everyone. By voting yes on Measure AA, I feel that students and community members can make this positive impact on the future generations by providing them with the facilities that foster growth and learning.

Feeling Festive and Hungry? Check The Talon out on facebook for a delicious Holiday recipe:

Favorite Pumpkin Cupcakes


Science Faculty Feature By Professor Mason

MSJC, like most other educational institutions in America, has embraced STEM, Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, as a major focus of our academic efforts. As a professor of Biology and Environmental Sciences that is a very welcomed emphasis. The British writer and futurist, Arthur Clarke, is known for his Three Laws (of prediction). His third law, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic ,has been a favored quote in my lectures for many years. Although science and non-science scholars have disputed his Laws they still have relevance in modern society. For centuries, science has helped uncover mysteries and debunk magic. Long before Galileo’s time mathematicians and engineers were advancing human technologies to, “let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26. In the last 100 years or so many of the mysteries of the universe are unfolding through the efforts of scientific investigation and discovery. From DNA technology to the “god particle” discovery of the CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, science is chipping away at the magic of the universe. Science is not the only human endeavor that gives us understanding of mysteries in our lives. One of the goals of the college experience here at MSJC is to introduce students to a variety of disciplines and endeavors that humans use to make sense of the world around us. The arts, humanities, social sciences all provide tools for interpreting, investigating, comprehending the mysteries of life. I am somewhat envious of the philosophers and poets that can do their work with a glass of wine in their hands and the magicians that amuse confuse and amaze us. Non-the-less it is a very exciting time to be a teacher of science.


Science He went nameless and unidentified for nearly 126 years… He stumped both police and criminologists for ages… He was one of history’s most notorious serial killers...

He is Jack the Ripper By Gabriel Garcia

In the Whitechapel district of London, England, during the late 1880’s, a vicious killer chose unsuspecting female prostitutes as his victims. The killer cut their throats and mutilated their abdomens—leaving behind a trail of at least 5 unsolved murders. Police, at that time, had 6 solid suspects, but no one was ever charged with the crimes. There have been hundreds of theories about who Jack the Ripper really was and what his motivations behind the killings really were. But modern science may have finally solved this decades-old-case. According to a recent article, “Jack the Ripper Unmasked: How Amateur Sleuth Used DNA Breakthrough to Identify Britain’s Most Notorious Criminal 126 Years after the String of Terrible Murders,” published on the Daily Mail online news site, 2 men have finally solved the mystery of who the infamous serial killer really was. The two men responsible for the discovery are businessman and author, Russell Edwards, and DNA forensic specialist, Dr. Jari Louhelainen. In 2007, Edwards purchased a blood stained shawl that was supposed to have been found at one of the murder scenes--that of Catherine Eddowes. In 2011, Russell teamed up with Louhelainen to try and authenticate the shawl. Using cutting edge science, they were able to extract enough mitochondrial DNA to run a comparison against the DNA of a female descendant of Eddowes. The samples were a match!

During the testing of the blood sample, Louthelainen discovered a second sample which he believed to be seminal fluid. With the aid of Dr. David Miller, the team found some usable epithelial cells. Using a process called genome amplification they were able to copy the DNA which allowed it to be profiled. Now that they had a sample of the killer’s DNA, all they needed was something to compare it to. When Edwards first purchased the shawl, he became so intrigued by the murders that he became an amateur detective in the search for Jack the Ripper. After many years, he became certain that Aaron Kosminski, a Polish immigrant, was the man they were looking for. Unfortunately, Kosminski did not have any descendants; his sister, however, did. The team was able to track down a female descendant from her line and compared the samples. The results came back as a match. The team was then able to ascertain the ethnic and geographical background of the person belonging to the 126 year old DNA. The sample was “of a type known as the haplogroup T1a1, common to people of Russian Jewish ethnicity.” They were even able to establish that the suspect had dark hair. Jack the Ripper had finally been identified…but who was he? Aaron Kosminski was an immigrant who had fled to England from Russia to live with his brothers and sisters. He was not royalty, or special, but serial killers rarely are. Kosminski was a

hairdresser in Whitechapel and lived in the same district the murders happened. He was known to be mentally ill and was believed to be “a paranoid schizophrenic who suffered auditory hallucinations” and “a misogynist prone to ‘self abuse’—a euphemism for masturbation.” At the time, police did not have enough evidence to convict Kosminski, despite identification from a witness. They did, however, continue to keep him under 24-hour surveillance until he was committed to mental asylums for the rest of his life. At the age of 53, Kosminski died from gangrene while living in the Leavesden Asylum. Case closed…or is it? Although Edwards and Louhelainen were able to prove that Kosminski killed Eddowes, there are still other scientists who do not believe he is the Ripper. There just is not enough evidence linking him to the other murders. The Ripper case has fascinated millions of people for well over 100 years. The story has been told through books, movies, and even video games. However, over the past 126 years modern science has evolved to the point where we can now identify characteristics of a killer such as ethnicity or even hair color. So what do you think? Is Aaron Kosminski the infamous Jack the Ripper or is there more to this story than meets the eye?


Do You Believe in the Paranormal?

The Talon staff asked MSJC students if they believe in the paranormal and if so, to tell us of any encounters they have had with it. Here are a few of our favorite responses.

Samantha Tarnutzer Undeclared

“I believe in the paranormal because I have had many paranormal encounters throughout my life. A few of which, when consulting pastors at my church, were considered demonic. I have also been told that I have a special gift that helps spirits cross over. To be honest, I am still skeptical because paranormal stuff creeps me out and I don’t want to believe it- but I’ve had too many experiences to be completely ignorant to it.”

Morgan Dulak Public Relations Major

“Believe? Not so much. It just seems silly, but I wouldn’t be super surprised. Definitely not buying the Ghost Hunters crap. Paranormal experience? Nope, though my neighbors are pretty spooky and abnormal, but that probably doesn’t count.”

Joseffyne Robinson Art Major

“I definitely believe in the paranormal. I had this tree cutter named George that came to cut our palm trees once a month in front of our house. One day his wife called and told my dad that George had a heart attack and passed away. We were devastated, and attended his funeral a week later. A couple weeks passed after his service and I was chilling on the couch when I heard the doorbell ring. I got up to open the door and there was George. In broad freaking daylight! I kept calm and called my dad and said, ‘Look who it is, dad.’ My dad’s face turned pale and I got MAD goosebumps. I heard George say, ‘I apologize, Mr. Robinson. I can’t work for you anymore. Sorry if there is any inconvenience.’ My dad said it was okay and George just left. I was freaking out and my dad got the salt. After this event, I have no doubt that the paranormal exists.”


Veronica Vargas English Major

“I do believe in the paranormal. Since humans are made up of energy, I do not think that we stop existing after death. The energy must convert into another form.”

Tyler Ring History Major

“No, I don’t believe in paranormal activity because I’m a more logical person. Things like the Bermuda Triangle or ghosts are either a made-up hoax or a scientific phenomenon that hasn’t been studied or proven logically yet.”

Devin Flannigan Theatre Arts Major

“The paranormal? Not really, but it’s fun to suspend disbelief and get into spooky things like Ouija boards or ‘haunted’ places. Most fantastic things are just fantasy, but who knows, something might be out there. Probably not, but you can never be 100% sure.”

Samia Ghandour

Business, Hospitality, and Marketing Major “I don’t believe in the paranormal for the majority of the time. However, sometimes I would freak out about something after I watched a scary movie!”


Beaumont ghost-hunting group captures unsettling moments By Sandi M. Colby

A woman inspired by ghost-hunting shows has created her own amateur ghost-hunting group in Beaumont called Paranormal Sightings. “I wanted to understand what happens next, to see if there is any way to communicate with those who have passed on,” said Dawn Bledsoe, the group’s founder. “I have always been interested in the paranormal, and it was shows like ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ and ‘Ghost Adventures’ that really hooked me.” Since its inception in 2011, the 25-member group has met to investigate local cemeteries, abandoned houses and buildings, memorials and markers of people who died in accidents on the road, and various properties with haunted histories. One place stands out especially for Bledsoe. Her favorite place to investigate is an abandoned house in Beaumont she calls the First Street Manor. “The first time we went to investigate it, there was a lot of activity: noises, touches, lots of movement out of the corner of the eye,” she said. “We captured some good evidence that night and want to go back there again soon.” Another example that many locals might know is the old Oak Tree property in Beaumont. A favorite hangout spot for the high school crowd, the Oak Tree has long known to be haunted by a floating, mist-like apparition. Some evidence the group has either personally experienced and/or recorded includes hearing disembodied voices, seeing full body apparitions, feeling touches when nobody else is near, photographing orbs, and recording electronic voice phenomenon, which are sounds that resemble speech. “It’s always amazing to hear something — either in person or later on a recording,” Bledsoe

said. “To get an intelligent response from something when no one else is around — it gives me the chills.” The group is still in the process of adding equipment to its arsenal, but so far the basics seem to be coming in handy. Digital cameras and voice recorders are musts for any ghost hunter, and Paranormal Sightings has been fortunate to capture evidence with both equipments. Group members also use an app called Ghost Radar that is available for most phones and devices. It works in a similar fashion to the old spirit boxes, which contacted spirits using radio frequency. Additionally, one of the newest members brought a night vision camera to the group, and Bledsoe recently acquired a video camera that she can’t wait to use. Group members are encouraged to bring whatever equipment they have to investigations. The Paranormal Sightings group is open to everyone, and new members are always welcome. “We don’t have regular meetings, so we use Facebook to plan our investigations,” Bledsoe said. “That way, old and new members all know what is happening and can join us whenever they want.” The only requirement is that members are respectful to each other and to the deceased. “We just want to communicate and learn, not make them angry by taunting or provoking,” she said. For more information, look on Facebook under ParanorMal Sightings or email Bledsoe at


Has stress taken over your life this semester? If you are anything like me, then the college lifestyle often involves long and sleepless nights spent drooped over textbooks, accompanied by the guzzling of coffee like it is plain water. Surviving college is all about finding a balance of priorities and figuring out what study routines work best for you.

Student Rachel Hutch studies for her exam in the LRC at the SJC

Time management can be an obstacle, let’s face it, finding the TIME to study isn’t always easy. Don Arvin Cruz, Mechanical Engineering major, said “I go to the Learning Resource Center in the library to study after work and study on my lunch breaks.” While Cruz may not procrastinate as much as the rest of us, it is all too easy for students to fall into the mindset of, “if it’s DUE later, I’ll DO it later!” Dr. Jeremy Brown, an MSJC Music professor, tells his students to be “active readers” ahead of class time. He emphasizes highlighting, outlining and summarizing the key points of the material before coming to lectures in order to reinforce the concepts. Reading before your lecture reduces the possibility of cramming for your exams later on. It’s also a great way to impress your teacher with questions and comments.

A Classified College Study Survival Guide BY Isabel Catalano If you find yourself spending your time unwisely, remember to evaluate whether or not your habits match-up with your priorities. So, if you find yourself in a situation in which you must choose between watching the new episode of The Walking Dead OR studying for an exam, realize that you can probably record the show and watch it after you take your exam. It’s a win/win situation! Be careful though. If you

stay up too late studying, you might end up looking like one of the “walkers” from The Walking Dead when you arrive to class.

Once you have committed the time to your academics, settling into the right environment is crucial to having a good study session. Rachel Hutch, Theater Arts major, said, “My first step is to make sure I am comfortable. I like to study with everything surrounding me so I know where everything is. This way, I do not have to go through my

folder and flip through things fifteen million times. I also need good music playing.” For those with Mac computers, one extremely helpful way to study is to block your distractions, literally. The app, SelfControl, is a free tool that allows you to block your own access to websites that might distract you. Simply set your desired time period, and you will be unable to access those sites until the timer expires. If you need further assistance avoiding distractions, another common study option is to find --or create-a study group in your class. Does it involve more time commitment? Maybe. But, is it effective? That depends on you. Some students prefer to study in groups, while others would much rather study alone. Then again, have you heard the saying, “two heads are better than one?” Study groups allow you to learn new concepts you would not have thought of by yourself. When you develop efficient study habits, midterms and finals may not seem as daunting and strong coffee might become an option, and not an absolute necessity.

A special thanks to all who have made this paper possible

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October Issue  

Presenting the October Issue of the TALON, proudly created by the students, for the students of Mt. San Jacinto community college.

October Issue  

Presenting the October Issue of the TALON, proudly created by the students, for the students of Mt. San Jacinto community college.

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