Osprey fall 2020

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OSPREY fall 2020

humboldt state university

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Black Lives Matter The Digital Mobilization of Citizen Journalists

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editor’s note

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF E mi ly Mc C ol lu m

LAYOUT EDITOR L i nds e y Gr au l O r i n n Kro on

PHOTO EDITOR O r i n n Kro on

COPY EDITORS Nanc y G arc i a R obi n Fre ib e rg


Ju li e Nav ar ro Sy lv i a Mont gome r y


R obi n Fre ib e rg Sy lv i a Mont gome r y

DIGITAL DESIGNER Ni chol as L ouvar


Jess i e Cre t s e r - Har te nste i n


Ospre y Mag a z i ne c/ o D e p ar t me nt of Jou r na l is m 1 Har p st St . Arc at a , CA 9 5 5 2 1

Osprey is a biannual magazine. Views expressed herein do not represent that of the adviser, faculty, administration, or Associated Students of Humboldt State University Board of Trustees. OSPREY | 4

Storytelling is an ancient practice that is so pervasive in our everyday lives, most of it goes unnoticed. Storytelling maintains a connection, it helps us relate to one another, share understanding, and not feel so small in a growing world. It’s okay to feel miniscule, it’s okay to be afraid but it’s not okay to stay afraid. Realize that we live in a moment that has never previously been experienced by anyone, anywhere, at any time. We are experiencing a moment where information has never been more readily available. Realize that finding a voice, being heard and uplifting someone else to be heard as well, is a virtue. Fear is a puddle that festers insecurities, harbors ignorance and allows a decaying environment to flourish. It stagnates. When one lives their life through a fearful lens, preservation supersedes improvement and forward movement

becomes the furthest thing from focus. Progress is a river, it is ever flowing, always continuing toward the path of least resistance. Progress is not comfortable. Becoming better requires recognition of what needs improving, acceptance of that fault and actively utilizing steps to progress from that. Self-improvement is community improvement. Fear can be the main factor in stagnation, both group and individual. Finding comfort within that fear can be the fatal blow to a dynamic future. Moving forward and collaborating with one another will ensure progress for us as well as for future generations. Our collective ability to overcome adversity and adapt to change is what brought us to this very moment. So, while the world seeks normalcy in the midst of drastic change, this edition of the Osprey wants to provide a perspective that goes against the grain, and allows diverse perspectives on important issues in order to knock down socially exclusionary spaces. Osprey Fall 2020 hopes to portray a collective understanding of the reality that we are living in while also making room to discuss the other issues of our time, raising awareness and giving a voice to the unheard.

E m i ly McC ol lum


On the front cover: In Los Angeles, California, a Black Lives Matter protest is underway; featuring unnamed, masked protesters marching through the streets. Photo by Julie Navarro, 2020.

osprey staff

Nanc y G arci a COPY EDITOR

Ni chol as L ouv ar DIGITAL DESIGNER

L inds e y Gr au l LAYOUT EDITOR

Sy lv i a Mont gomer y PHOTOGRAPHER

Robin Freib erg COPY EDITOR

Ju l ie Navar ro PHOTOGRAPHER

Or in n Kro on PHOTO EDITOR OSPREY | 5

Passivity of the American Mind Story by Orinn Kroon Photos by Julie Navarro



t a small school in the Democracy has called the Anderson Union School ticket of the American populous District, deep within the many times before, and each time heart of Northern California, a they have risen to the task to preyoung man walks through the front serve not just the Union, but also doors. The lobby that normally each other. Recently, this “American would greet him with the sound of Unity” that has been the envy of students chattering away was silent. the world for generations has been He looks around at everyone’s faces up against its biggest threat yet, the and without a word, he simply people. understands. Some were still puffy The American government eyed, some hadn’t slept, but all of is set up with a system of checks them hurt. The date is Nov. 9, 2016. and balances. The most widely They all were wondering what the known are the three branches of next four government: judicial, executive, years would and legislative. It was set look like. As “I DON’T THINK up this way to prohigh schooltect from corruption THE COUNTRY and injustice. From ers, only a couple of the varying term lengths SURVIVES IF seniors could to appointed positions TRUMP GETS vote, but needing confirmation every single another branch, ANOTHER FOUR from one of them it was made very hard YEARS” knew just how to corrupt all three much it would impact branches. Unless, of them. As the day progressed, course, you corrupt students began to talk more and the most important piece to demore and as they did a recurring mocracy; the people. The passivity theme appeared—fear. Being a of the American mind has allowed small school with a relatively large foreign influences to inject lies and LGBTQ+ community, many who conspiracy theories into American had just become comfortable society through social media and enough to express themselves freely fake news sites. As if that wasn’t bad feared for their safety. For those not enough, the sitting U.S. President already out, they feared they might at the time, Donald Trump, has never be able to actually be themshared and expressed support for so selves. Many students who relied on many conspiracy theories that there free meals from school as their only is actually a Wikipedia page dedmeal for the day, feared that they icated to listing all of them. These might have to go hungry if the free conspiracy theories range from meal program was cut. Pizzagate to claiming that Osama James Keenan, a young Bin Laden was never actually killed. adult who lost his job due to the The best example is the QANON ongoing pandemic, was one of theory, which alleges that the Unitthose students. Four years later, that ed States government is just a front fear is stronger than ever before. and society is actually controlled “I don’t think the country by a deep state cult ring of liberal, survives if Trump gets another four cannibalistic, pedophiles. years,” Keenan said. That should sound asinine,


but support for the theory has been growing rapidly since it first popped up around 2017. It all cen-

ters around Donald Trump, who the theory says is the primary enemy of this deep state cabal. Allegedly, Trump is fighting back and plans to arrest thousands of these deep state members in a day of reckoning referred to as “The Storm.” It is a story so outlandish that no author should have to take it seriously. Yet in August, Facebook released an internal

investigation showing that pages for the theory had millions of followers. Twitter came to a similar conclusion and they both took action to slow the spread further. Facebook has since banned all pages relating to QANON. Since this theory all revolves around Donald Trump, it would be easy for him to dismiss it. Considering the theory has been proven to be completely baseless and the FBI determined that it has serious potential for domestic terrorism, it would greatly benefit the American people to dismiss the

theory. Yet, Trump himself refuses to dismiss it because the theory holds him as a savior. When pressed on the issue he simply told reporters, “I don’t know much about the movement, other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate.” Keenan connects it to the war tactic of “dehumanizing the enemy [to make it] easier to do or say horrible things about them.” It is a shining example of just how important and how different the 2020 election has been.

It is a time where voting seems more important than ever and the push for voting has never been stronger. The generation of 18 to 21-year-olds that are voting for the first time are more passionate than ever before. Nolan Stratton, who is studying to become a teacher at Shasta College, is going to be voting for the first time in this election. He recalls what made him so passionate about voting. “The 2016 election was so infuriating, I knew then and there I had to vote this year,” Stratton said.



Being sidelined is a theme that feels common among younger generations on both sides of the political aisle; a trend that will hopefully continue the push for voting. For Rylie Marcuz, who is 17 years old and cannot vote this year, that means “doing everything I can to encourage my peers and young people who can vote, to vote.” “The younger generations have the power to change the course of this election so I continue to spread awareness and promote people to vote in this election as much as I can,” Marcuz said. Marcuz is just one of the many young people that have become invested in today’s politics. The young generations of today spend more time online and are exposed to more information than ever before. This exposure to our youth is why it is important to spread credible information and combat the spread of misinformation. This is where the passivity of the American mind comes in. The invention of T.V. transitioned the processing of information out of the hands of Americans and into the hands of news producers. In 2011, Business Insider reported on the Nixon-era plans to create a news network with the goal of promoting GOP ideas. Stratton stated that he believes “all major news companies have an agenda and are purposely dishonest to benefit their beliefs.” Keenan agrees with that sentiment and goes one step further by stating, “they aren’t interested in anything but ad revenue. Inspiring hysteria and delusions is a great way to do exactly that.” The use of news to spread biased, and potentially wrong information is not new. In fact, many OSPREY | 10


news networks today show inherent bias towards one of the political parties. It is up to the people to interpret the news they receive. This can be done in several ways, but most effectively by gathering information from multiple sources. “Most things you have to fact check an absurd amount—the news is mostly inaccurate, or at least played down or exaggerated to fit their agenda,” Keenan said. Skepticism of the news has been growing in recent years. This reasonable skepticism is pushing people to be more analytical in the news they read and is helping people, such as Keenan and Stratton, in becoming more properly informed. However, if allowed to grow too much, this skepticism can create outlandish conspiracy theories such as the QANON theory mentioned earlier. An example of why it is important to understand the credibility of the information you read. With this push for a more educated society, there is also a nationwide push for voting that is going on in the United States. Marcuz, Stratton and Keenan are just a few names of the millions of people

pushing for high voter turnout. This is because the vast majority of people are rational human beings. While there are those who can succumb to conspiracy theories and lies, they can easily be overcome by just pushing for people to take the time out of their day to go and participate in the democratic process. The push for voting is a selfless task. You are not asking for more power, you are not looking to better yourself, you are pushing for a more properly represented society that more accurately reflects the values of the people of this nation. The shattering of early voting records has been exciting and unprecedented. This is a trend that must go further than this past election. Complacency will only bring us downfall. No matter what age you are, what gender you are, what ethnicity you are or what party you support, it is quintessential that you go out and vote every year in every election. “It’s one of the only times that people actually get to participate in politics and see the change they want to see,” Keenan said. If you are unhappy with the people representing you, vote someone in who represents your views better. If you are happy with them, then vote them back in; otherwise someone else may vote them out. At the end of the day, the responsibility is on you.



any students come to college looking for more than just a degree. As we enter the workforce, it is important to have learned experience and a variety of skill sets. Such could be volunteerism. Ines Morales, a fifth year environmental studies major at Humboldt State University, is the lead program consultant of the Y.E.S. House. “The Y.E.S. House is our

campus student volunteer organization. We are a student led, student run volunteer center on campus, and we offer a variety of different volunteer programs that students can join,” Morales said. “And every program has a different mission, so they focus on different kinds of inequities and social and environmental issues that folks in Humboldt County might be dealing with.” There are nine programs

currently active: Art Recreation Theater (ART), Environmental Education (EE), Golden Years (GY), Hand in Hand (HnH), Juvenile Hall Recreation Program (JHRP), Puentes, Queer Mentoring Advocacy Program (QMAP), Study Buddies (SB), and Youth Mentoring Program (YMP). All programs are being run virtually for the time being. There are a total of 83 students involved in Fall of 2020.


Looking To Volunteer? Story & Photos by Lindsey Graul

Students can earn one unit or participate in a program as a service learning course for certain majors. Volunteers must attend weekly one hour meetings for each program they join. Each of these programs has a mission statement for what their role in community engagement is This can be found on the Y.E.S. House website. The ART program sets out to boost children’s creativity in regards to art, recreation and

theater activities. The EE program “explores nature and environmental issues with children/community groups through workshops and activities.” The GY program works on building connections and companionship with local senior citizens. The HnH program “engages in fun, enriching activities with children living with foster families.” The JHRP program is about establishing connections with youth who are incarcerated through games and

activities. The Puentes program “bridges the cultural gap between Spanish and English-speaking communities.” The QMAP program empowers support for queer youth and allies. The SB program hosts “free one-on-one or small group homework help.” The YMP program encourages volunteers to “be a positive role model through one-on-one mentorship with a local child.” There is also a virtual Pen

Pal Project where you can engage with some of the youth and the elderly in Humboldt County. In recent years, the Y.E.S. House volunteers used to be able to visit classrooms, juvenile centers, and senior assisted living centers in person. The Pen Pal Project is working to continue community engagement during the pandemic. The ART, EE, HnH, Puentes, and YMP programs are participating in the Pen Pal Project with local fifth through eighth grade students. The GY program is writing letters and virtually connecting with the elderly in Eureka. The JHRP program is doing research and virtually communicating with local incarcerated youth. The QMAP program is having zoom sessions with the McKinleyville High School Diversity Club. The SB program is virtually tutoring children at the Jefferson Community Center in Eureka. Melea Smith is the full time staff program coordinator. Every other position is completely student run. Smith is inspired by the work done by students and helps to connect and train all the programs and services. “One of the most gratifying parts of my role is seeing YES alumni secure jobs in their chosen career fields after graduating from HSU. Working closely with student leaders, I see firsthand all the effort, dedication, grit and heart that students pour into their YES roles as they balance their academic courses and personal commitments. I am always so proud of alumni as they launch out and work towards their goals,” Smith said. The Y.E.S. House is a very credible resource to include on resumes and to help build future careers. OSPREY | 14


Amanda Ramirez-Sebree, a Y.E.S. Alumni and recipient of HSU’s Outstanding Student of the Year Awards for Co-Curricular Contributions in Spring 2018, shared an update about the usefulness of her volunteerism in her career. “After graduation I’ve been using everything I learned at Y.E.S. more frequently than what I learned in my academic courses,” Ramirez-Sebree said. “I have been teaching for the last two years. I am now in grad school, attending National University to earn a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and a Masters of Arts in Inspired Teaching. My time at HSU was so valuable and amazing because of Y.E.S. I have never felt so passionate about what I’ve done, and I carry those feelings with me all the time as a source of motivation.” The Y.E.S. House is also an open environment for communication and collaboration. Professional experience, as well as friendships, can be gained through these services. Margaret Maestretti, a third year social work major at HSU, is also a program consultant for the Queer Mentoring Advocacy Program (QMAP) and the Golden Years (GY) program. Maestretti speaks highly of the Y.E.S. House as a place that helped her get out of her shell and meet plenty of new friends. “I used to have really bad social anxiety and Y.E.S. was just like a way for me to come out of my bubble a lot more,” Maestretti said. “It’s a very accepting and open place.” Morales had a similar experience that she is worried won’t be replicated in the virtual aspect of volunteering. But she wanted to make it

clear to any new people interested in joining the Y.E.S. House that now is the time that people need the most help. “We know that volunteering and engaging with your local community virtually isn’t ideal and isn’t really the way that a lot of us would like to go about it, because there’s something about that in person connection that you create with our program participants, that I just don’t think a virtual engagement project will ever really match,” Morales said. “So with that in mind, I would just like to say that covid has really impacted a lot of the vulnerable populations in Humboldt County and a lot of the populations that we work for. And in this kind of time, for community members, having a Y.E.S. volunteer can offer another source of support.” There are moral benefits to helping those who need help. Morales talks about how the feeling of volunteering fills her up inside. When a program participant smiles, Morales smiles. Maestretti also has an overwhelming love for the Y.E.S. House that she would like others to experience through volunteering. “I just fell in love with my program, and the mission of Y.E.S., and the environment of Y.E.S.,” Maestretti said. “I loved everything about it.”



s nationwide mistrust of police grows, Humboldt State University (HSU) students have been organizing to call for overdue changes to the University’s Police Department (UPD). While UPD has been tasked with the job of law enforcement on campus, it also has been trusted to ultimately protect the safety of students. However, this duty is not reflected in its history of incompetence, nor the attitudes of those it is allegedly protecting. In its quest to enforce laws and create a sense of safety, UPD has hosted multiple occurrences of inappropriate and/or abusive police behavior. Student safety and concern has been undervalued by UPD, causing students to wonder if a dysfunctional police force is the best use of thinly stretched university funding that is already being directed away from student resources. In Humboldt, tensions seemed to reach a breaking point during the reign of former Police Chief, Donn Peterson. Accusations against Peterson ranged from racially motivated taunting in the workplace, manipulation of crime statistics, labor union suppression and creating a hostile work environment. These accusations have since led to a vote of no confidence from his department, multiple


investigations of UPD, and his retirement. In 2015, UPD was investigated by President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. They then complied with its recommendation to ban the use of the carotid control hold, a physical technique involving an officer compressing one’s carotid arteries on both sides of the neck to restrict blood flow. UPD faced investigation once again in 2020. This time by an independent group from the Office of Independent Review (OIR), which ultimately identified issues of internal division, poor communication and internal dysfunction. Following this investigation, the California State University (CSU) released a joint statement from the Chiefs of Police from each of its 23 campuses. Their statement addressed the task force’s findings and included a pledge to implement the recommendations of the Obama-era task force nearly five years prior. This 2020 report reaffirmed beliefs that Peterson was not alone in contributing to the hostile environment that surrounds UPD. Within this protective organization, multiple officers have been accused by students and community members of abuse of power and police brutality. Among these are officers

Justin Winkle and Delmar Tompkins. In 2007 as part of the Oakland Police Department, Winkle attacked Martin Frederick Cotton II with pepper spray, police batons and hand-to-hand violence. Winkle and other officers involved denied him medical attention for these injuries, which would lead to Cotton passing away in his cell that night. As part of UPD Tompkins was involved in the brutal 2012 arrest of Casey Ardnt, who was allegedly pulled over on the side of the street near the Humboldt State campus before being detained by multiple officers for expired vehicle registration. After being handcuffed, he was beaten to a point of unconsciousness and directly prevented from receiving medical attention. It is worth noting at this point that Ardnt’s case resulted in a settlement with HSU paying 135 thousand dollars but UPD providing no admission of wrongdoing. Now, HSU students are facing the presence of a police force they rightfully distrust with increasing budget cuts to student resources in the wake of COVID-19. This concern, as well as attitudes related to the national issue of police brutality has further motivated students to distance themselves from UPD. Many of these students

Watchful Eyes: Empty Promises of Police Story by Sylvia Montgomery Photos by Julie Navarro & Sylvia Montgomery



question why a police force with Emily Grace Goldstein, a such a firm history of violence and candidate for Arcata City Council large settlement costs as a result, who has attended and spoken at would be more worthy of funding Abolish UPD protests, has elabothan student-centered programs. rated on this. “Right now, we live In response, HSU students in a society that in general focuses and community members have on policing and punishment over banded together in a movement to access to the things we need to surdefund and abolish UPD. Student vive and thrive,” said Goldsetin. protester, Klara Hernandez, said, Compared to UPD, where “Methods include promoting events students do not believe their best and knowledge on social media,” as interest is being served, Goldstein well as, “Creating events that bring commended more student-centered people together and show real proof ways of betterment and protection. that this message “Programs such as CHECK is real.” IT work to change “The “THE MOVEMENT’S cultural norms movement’s mesand prevent harm MESSAGE IS TO FUND before it occurs.” sage is to fund programs and resources PROGRAMS AND RE- This echoes the that will actually SOURCES THAT WILL movement’s help the people and focus on underACTUALLY HELP THE normalize calling lying cultural them instead of the motivations PEOPLE.” of violence. police,” Hernandez Goldstein consaid. tinued; “We need more support and While this may seem funding for this type of program, radical, it is being approached by that actually works to improve the supporters as a community driven push toward real student safety and lives and safety of HSU’s students. more appropriate use of funding. While tension has been building between HSU’s student Resting on the distrust of police, body and police for a considerable the movement’s long term goal is amount of time, the movement abolition, meaning complete disbehind police abolition has a long banding of UPD with no on-camhistory, as Hernandez explained. pus police. However, protestors believe “The movement has been active defunding to be the first step on the since the times of slavery really, road to leaving UPD behind. The they just were able to keep silencing group posits that once funding is them by filling up the prisons or redirected to deserving student orjust murdering them” said Hernanganizations and programs, it canbe dez. This builds on the moveutilized to create a system of safety ment’s understanding of policing more reflective of and responsias founded on violence and racism bly able to serve the community, toward Black, Indigenous, and meaning that financial backing People of Color (BIPOC). “Police taken from UPD would be used to enrich the community it is current- are trained to be racist and violent towards BIPOC community,” ly claiming to serve as it employs remarked Hernandez. consistently violent officers. OSPREY | 18

While toppling a system so deeply rooted in our culture and legislation may seem impossible, Goldstein expressed that “Reimagining an Arcata without police is something that is entirely do-able.” Since the departure of Donn Peterson, UPD has been on the hunt for a new Chief of Police, to the behest of the movement. After selecting several candidates in September of 2020, HSU hosted a series of virtual Zoom events for students “to choose which police we want so we can be happiest,” explained Hernandez, “but we don’t want any at all.” After an attempt to arrange an interview with interim Chief of Police, Scott VanScoy, VanScoy claimed that “it is difficult for me to provide many specifics as to my approach in helping the university police department build and strengthen the relationships with its community,” considering he was hired so recently. Following this exchange and the series of Zoom events for potential candidates, it was revealed by Chief of staff and Interim Vice President for Administration and Finance, Sherie Cornish Gordon, that “these candidates did not demonstrate the leadership needed for our campus.” Therefore, the search for a “permanent” Chief of Police at UPD will remain underway. While Humboldt State has expressed its intent to remedy the damage revealed by the investigation of Donn Peterson, it hasn’t publicly addressed this resulting movement or the history of brutality amongst its UPD employees. The concerns of students have been continuously overlooked and these actions do not reflect UPD’s responsibility to serve or protect

HSU students. When asked how potential supporters of this movement should get involved, both Hernandez and Goldstein emphasized the importance of gaining knowledge on the underlying issues of policing. “I believe that education is incredibly important in this movement,” Goldstein remarked. Hernandez, who manages multiple social media accounts that inform people on these subjects, gave more specific encouragement: “You don’t have to know it all to show up,” she began, “No one can know it all, they’ve been erasing history and knowledge for centuries!” While the movement’s protests have paused, the deadly and deeply rooted issues that prompted them continue. As HSU continues its search for a new Chief of Police, and attempts to fulfill their pledge of instituting real change, programs that shoulder students’ trust are being starved of the financial backing that is well deserved. “Studies have shown over and over again that police do not prevent crime; the things that prevent crime are housing, healthcare, and mental healthcare access, and having access to employment and education,” explained Goldstein, “Funding should be going towards support networks to ensure that these things are available and not punishing those that do not have access to these vital resources.”




The Digital Mobiliza



ation of Citizen Journalists Story & Photos by Julie Navarro



any issues that have been bubbling beneath the thin facade of American society have exploded to the surface in the year 2020. The unlawful murder of George Floyd at the hands of Derek Chauvin lead to historically large, global demonstrations against police brutality. The issue of having marginalized communities living in fear because of institutionalized racism in our country has caused collective hindsight to be just

that—2020. Videographers, photographers, and documentarians have been essential in keeping people informed about what actually happens during these protests through digital mediums. These citizen journalists are capturing the protests, while simultaneously capturing the public reaction to their newly discovered presence. In Los Angeles, despite facing violent adversity from state and reactionary forces, citizen journalist Sean Beckner-Carmitchel

(Instagram@acatwithnews) remains determined to use his video work to amplify Black voices for the movement. “I’m a white person. I grew up white, I had a rough upbringing but I was white,” said Beckner-Carmitchel. “When I was in the streets, I didn’t have to be afraid that something would happen to me like what happened to Tamir Rice. I never had to worry about being ‘respectful’ to people of authority”. Sean’s



description of a white childhood exemplifies the difference in experience compared to Black and Brown lives. Recognition and acknowledgement of white privilege is a key component to his acceptance as an ally to the movement, as it is a bare minimum concept to better understanding race relations in the U.S as a white person. Journalism is one of the most virtuous activities a person can do to participate in the betterment of society because a society can only function as well as its community is informed. The population with access to factual news coverage will be better informed to make wiser decisions than the population without access. It is the duty of the journalist to provide the public with the accurate information they need in order to make the best possible decisions for their lives, communities, and societies. Many mainstream media networks, either intentionally or not, tend to perpetuate a perspective that confirms bias instead of providing impartial information. In Los Angeles, a city

famous for its cameras and news title of journalist drops, so too does cycles, mainstream media outlets the average quality of the content. seldom cover the daily protests that According to a Michigan Institute occur across all sides of the city. of Technology study, false news Notable coverage only occurred at spreads six times faster on Twitter the very beginning of the prothan factual news, causing a demand tests, when rioting and destrucfor trustworthy information. tive protesting was at its highest. Social media platforms such The last major coverage on The as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter Black Lives Matter Movement have fundamentally changed the (BLM) by a mainstream news way we communicate as well as the source was during a shootway we consume news for better and ing involving two Compton for worse. This change has paved sheriffs. On September 12th, the way for citizen journalists. These KPCC reporter Josie Huang, journalists have been documenting reported on the scene of the news in a first-person narrative style crime before being violently inspired by Gonzo journalism. This arrested. For many activstyle of journalism has a greater ists, their only source of emphasis on emotion and personal reliable, neutral news relating experiences. Directly contrasting to the protests comes from a handjournalism’s traditionally detached ful of journalists & photographers style and reliance on the “on-thedoing the work out of pocket. These record” facts, this alternative form anti-profit citizen journalists docof journalism has allowed activists umenting the Black Lives Matter to effectively display the movement demonstrations have proven that factually and in real time. a movement is only as strong as its Activists like Beckner-Carmedia outreach & documentation. mitchel, and his ally Vishal Pratap Singh (Instagram@vishal.p.singh The evolution of communicative or Twitter@VPS_reports), have technology mobilized social has transplatforms “BEING INVOLVED WITH media formed like Instagram journalism. BLM ON A DAILY BASIS into anti-profit Where news outlets MADE ME REALIZE anyone prioritized on with access THAT THE PROBLEMS documenting to the inprotests from ARE WOVEN INTO ternet and the first-person a smartTHE FABRIC OF WHO perspective of a phone can frontline protestWE ARE MORE THAN I be a jourer. This means nalist. Now PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT” filming the audiences police as often can turn to the world wide web for as possible to their news, no longer having to rely provide video evidence on police on scheduled televised programand protester interactions, as well ming. This is both a blessing and as evidence to dispute false claims a curse in the search for truth, as made about protesters, the police, the standard for who can claim the or the protest itself. This digital OSPREY | 23

inclusion has proven invaluable for protest documentation and for disseminating that information by the protestors and for the protestors. By keeping the LA protests consistently on people’s news feeds, the protestors provided unedited and transparent videos that provided a varied perspective on the protests. While conventional media outlets highlighted the violent scenes of “rioting,” protest live streams showed the much calmer reality. On Oct. 16, 2020, Los Angeles sheriffs shot and killed 25-year-old Fred Williams, a young Black man from the Willowbrook neighborhood. The following weekend, a vigil and protest was held in his name, calling for murder charges against the officers involved. Organizers, community members and others marched alongside William’s family. Beckner-Carmitchel recorded the whole thing. An anonymous protester, covered head to toe in solid black clothing, identified only as “Lucky,” passionately explained how Beckner-Carmitchel’s work has influenced his involvement in activism. “Following Sean and Vishal has kept me up to date with pretty much every major protest there is in the area. If I don’t get to make it to a protest, and I’m worried about how it’s looking because I have comrades there or I wanna see how police are reacting, or even if I just want to hear what speakers are saying, I can trust that everything I missed will be online for free,” Lucky said.

“We can’t take that for granted. Sean and others like him are the people I tell non-activist

threatened, arrested, and shot at, not just by police, but also by white supremacists, such as The Proud Boys. Although the dangerous and draining nature of the work has changed his life in various ways, Beckner-Carmitchel remains passionately dedicated to using modern-day technology to amplify Black voices and keep the fight alive. “I was a more active frontline protester until I realized that the BLM narrative was being switched. There’s skepticism when Black, Brown, and Indigenous people speak up about their issues,” Beckner-Carmitchel said. “There’s a bigger burden of truth that’s put upon them. I realize that is something that during protests, I can correctly assist with. I’m a firm believer in BLM having Black voices lead rather than using my own, so I’m gonna uplift them.” He explained how making BLM a part of his life had expanded his understanding of racism to greater levels, even as someone who had always acknowledged racism in the U.S. “Being involved with BLM on a daily basis made me realize that the problems are woven into the fabric of who we are more than I previously thought,” Beckner-Carmitchel said. “And I realized we can’t go forward without a reconciliation of the history of this country. This country was started on a genocide, built on a genocide, became a superpower on this genocide, and it continues it to this day. Just because



friends of mine to follow immediately because they capture what it is like to be a protester from the first-person video perspective. When I tell my friends that the police were shooting rubber bullets at innocent people, it doesn’t elicit as much of a reaction as a video of someone getting shot would. We have to see things for ourselves in order to truly understand it sometimes. If George Floyd’s murder wasn’t caught on video, a lot of people wouldn’t be fighting for Black lives right now,” said Lucky. Sean and others like him are using the camera to its fullest potential. Due to Beckner-Carmitchel’s open stance against police brutality, he has been harassed,


it’s in different forms and in the shadows doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist and isn’t still occuring.” Beckner-Carmitchel’s work is inspired by both contemporary and historical activists that paved the way for today’s citizen journalism. The alternative forms of media and methods of activism utilized during the 1960’s would go on to provide a blueprint for the future history of resistance in the United States. “I’m a big fan of the Yippie movement of the 60s. I think Abbie Hoffman was a genius. A counter-cultural revolutionary in the 60s who believed in using pop culture iconography and humor to shine a light to the system,” Beckner-Carmitchel said. “He’s one of the first people to really start organizing the Yippie movement...Changing it from pockets of “smoke weed” to live-ins, dine-ins, became a common talk show guest… Rueben Salazar is also a big influence on me.” Reuben Salazar was

a civil rights activist and reporter for the Los Angeles Times. He was also the first Mexican-American journalist from mainstream media to cover the Chicano community. Salazar was killed by a tear-gas projectile fired by LA county sheriff deputy Thomas Wilson during the National Chicano Moratorium March against the Vietnam War on Aug. 29, 1970 in East Los Angeles, California. “Salazar is a bigger influence on me now. I didn’t expect it but there were definitely some emotional moments during the Chicano Moratorium anniversary. That hit me personally realizing that ‘oh shit, that could be me for sure’,” Beckner-Carmitchel said. He states how journalism has evolved and that one does not have to be completely “neutral” to display



truth.“I am an antifascist. That doesn’t mean I’m not showing the truth. I am not trying to do what Associated Press or writers are doing, I don’t think that’s all the world needs,” Beckner-Carmitchel said. “When you’re capturing the police consistently beating people and consistently oppressing people’s First Amendment rights, I don’t think that it’s biased to say that’s wrong. There’s no balanced way to write about an imbalanced thing. If you’re killing someone unarmed, I don’t think there’s a second side to that.” He detailed some of the violent reactions he had faced, with the worst not coming from the hands of law enforcement, but instead an assault by right-wing extremists in Beverly Hills, to which police offered no aid or response. “The scariest day of my life was at Beverly Hills. They brought bear mace, I was totally blinded. Getting hit on the head with that baseball bat. I realized I could be killed,” Beck-

ner-Carmitchel said. “I was arrested three weeks prior to that for filming a peaceful protest. I must have been 10 feet away from the police and I got arrested. And [The Proud Boys] can beat and mace me, and get no charges.” This incident was certainly traumatic, but the experiences of citizen journalists are not always so horrific. Beckner-Carmitchel’s journey has also included a wealth of gratitude for the positive moments he has been able to witness along the way. “The best memories happened at Black Unity Camp. Seeing people cooperate, seeing birthday parties. Seeing people dancing at night. Seeing moments of joy. Some of the most powerful moments are people leaving jail when I volunteer for jail support. A crowd of people clapping, realizing that they did something powerful. Every once and awhile we’ll

see a kid saying, daddy or mommy. Seeing their child not understand everything but being proud of their parents is powerful in and of itself,” said Beckner-Carmitchel. Sean’s unique experience as a citizen journalist fighting for Black lives has provided him plenty of wisdom, allowing him to hone his craft and improve his methods. He generously shares his knowledge with anyone looking to get involved, especially those looking to follow in his footsteps. “Outside of frontline journalism, we need rural people,

we need people in colleges in rural cities. We need them to be active in their communities. It is crucial. We need them to know BLM is more than just the major cities, Yorba Linda, Riverside, Humboldt... We need them everywhere,” Beckner-Carmitchel said. “It lets America know that it’s not just west coast liberal elites protesting, it’s people who care about their community from all over.” “Tips for frontline journalism would be, as much as possible, be sure to introduce yourself to the people you are filming. Make sure




they are okay with being filmed. Keep the camera on the police as much as possible because they’re more likely the ones who need to be captured. Especially in rural communities where they don’t have body cams,” said Beckner-Carmitchel. “We need conversations. I don’t care who you are, there’s a perspective you don’t know or don’t have that you need to know about. We need to have dialogues, even with evil. Evil doesn’t do well against dialogue. There are prob-

lems that Black and Brown people face that I may not even be aware of. There are cultural issues that white people may be themselves perpetuating and not even be aware of. We don’t have a culture of educating ourselves, of accepting new opinions, admitting that you were wrong. We all have a responsibility to become more educated and to actively seek out information,” said Beckner-Carmitchel. Without quality journalism that upholds truth, justice, transparency, and accountability above all else, civil rights that many citizens have today

would not exist. Information that is considered public knowledge would have been swept away and forgotten if it was not for individuals dedicated to the betterment of society taking the time to inform the general public. Brave and resilient frontline citizen journalists like Beckner-Carmitchel have played a vital role in maintaining awareness in Los Angeles. They have provided a blueprint for effectively filming the police and protests for the benefit of all. Activists are leading the way for aspiring citizen journalists in lesser-known communities.


The End of The Dam Age:

Indigenous Perspectives for a Fruitful Future Story & Photos by Emily McCollum






The Yurok tribe recently extended human rights to an ecosystem--The Klamath River. This acknowledgment of innate rights to life gives the Klamath ecosystem legal standing in a tribal court of law, but this isn’t the only big news about the Klamath River. The Klamath dam removal project proposes the single largest fish restoration project to ever happen in the world. The dams on the Klamath primed for removal are owned by the Berkshire Hathaway foundation and PacifiCorp, these dams are outdated and have been due for relicensing. PacifiCorp, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Yurok and Karuk tribal councils, and multiple independent organizations have been working

together to remove these dams and restore the Klamath river ecosystem. Regina Chichizola is co-director of Save California Salmon Foundation and has been personally involved with Klamath river water issues consistently. “We’ve been working on this dam removal project for sixteen years now,” said Chichizola. The Klamath dam removal project has been a long time coming. The original plans proposed deconstruction to start in 2020 but bureaucratic stalls have periodically paused the process. Should everything fall into place with the federal approval of licensing, the deconstruction, and the restoration plan, we will see preparations and work beginning in 2022. Dave Meurer, community liaison for the Klamath River Renewal Corporation is hopeful.

“Right now, the state of California, the state of Oregon, PacifiCorp, the Yurok tribe, and the Karuk tribe are meeting and trying to hammer out a pathway forward,” said Meurer. On November 17th, 2020 the main players within this historical project proposed an agreement to directly address FERC’s concerns. Proposing that the California and Oregon governments become co-licensees within the dam removal process with Pacificorp and the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC). This collaboration hopes to continue the forward momentum on the dam removal project, but it still needs federal approval before construction finally starts. The Klamath dam removal project sets out to restore the ecosystem while the rights of the

generations. The project is putting indigenous perspectives on the environmental map, advancing the conversation on climate change and placing indigenous cultural values and innovation at the forefront of environmental issues. The Yurok and the Karuk tribes are leading the conversation for environmental restoration, management and policy changes within California. The indigenous prerogative towards amicable treatment of ecosystems is gaining attention with climate action policy. The Yurok tribal law now recognizes the legal personhood of the river, this recognition is precedent setting and arrives just in time. Dr. Cutcha Risling Baldy, professor and department chair of the Native American Studies department at HSU, has lived around the Klamath all her life.

“The Klamath Dam removal became this righteous call to action, the only way we are going to be able to save this world is through these types of actions that rectify a settler colonial system that was set up only for profit,” said Risling Baldy. As time moves forward dams are only growing more dangerous and costly to maintain. While some dams are necessary for water diversion, they greatly disrupt river ecosystems. Alternative energy sources are also making Western water management a technology of the past. This change places responsibility on us to remove the shackles of capitalism’s past and create new concepts about our environmental relationships. “When people are not the center of the decision making, then we make very different decisions about what that means for our policy,” said Risling Baldy.

YUROK CREATION STORY Environmental stewardship is everyone’s responsibility. Ideally, it is a progressive movement forward, maintaining or repairing the environment for those who come after, so they too may live comfortably. This responsibility transcends species. Take care of the world and trust it will take care of you. Recognize where you fit within the landscape, respect nature and receive that in return. In the traditional Yurok creation story, Earth starts life as a lonely rock floating within the universe. Its tears became the oceans and, from this, the world was created. The Yurok creation story states that Spirit People constructed the earth and the ecosystems. The Spirit People provide salmon for the Klamath to sustain the Yurok and to ensure a prosperous environment. “Yurok people, Hupa people,



Karuk people -- we identify ourselves as river people, as salmon people,” said Kaitlin Reed, an assistant professor at HSU and a Yurok tribal member. Within the formation of the Earth, the Spirit People create a relationship between the Yurok and the salmon. This relationship promotes coexistence and harmony within the ecosystem. The importance of this relationship is stressed within other Yurok teachings, warning of the consequences of imbalance should the Klamath be altered or neglected. “There’s this thing called natural law, there are rules that you have to abide by within an ecosystem or the ecosystem collapses,” said Reed. The Yurok people believe that if the salmon perish then there is no need for Yurok people. As long as the Yurok take care and protect the river for the salmon, the salmon will provide prosperity for the Yurok. This message emphasizes the importance of sustainable living practices to ensure a prosperous ecosystem that provides life for all. HISTORY OF THE KLAMATH RIVER ECOSYSTEM The Klamath River stretches across the border of Northern California and Southern Oregon with over two hundred miles of clear flowing water connecting the Klamath Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. This river system provides life to the Klamath National Forest which houses over one hundred thousand square miles of the world’s old growth forest. This river system is the second largest in California and, historically speaking, the Klamath river was the third most productive salmon river OSPREY | 34

system in the United States. The ebb and flow of the Klamath river cuts a pathway through coastal forest, making room for life, a home for numerous species of flora and fauna. There are a large number of other species, both plant and animal, that live and contribute to this ecosystem. The Klamath River’s historically large salmon runs transport an abundance of nutrients from the ocean to the mountains, and provide the foundation for the development of old growth forests. Old growth forests have a varied structure, they produce numerous canopy layers which house and increase the amount of biodiversity. These forests create topsoil instead of eroding it, providing more habitat for mycelium and other, smaller organisms. More greenhouse gasses are retained in old growth forests than any other wooded area. These forests’ multilayered structures are also responsible for improving water and air quality. But old growth forests aren’t a thing of the past, they can also be restored like any other ecosystem, just not in one lifetime. Ecosystem restoration is an essential part of climate action, one that indigenous peoples have always valued and continue to advocate for. Indigenous stewardship of the Klamath and the lands they inhabit has been proven effective. But for the last 150 years Indigenous culture and way of life towards land have been suppressed and replaced with Western land management practices. These practices contribute to increasingly devastating climate change, including the California Wildfires. “There’s a lot of reasons

why we’re having a lot of horrific fires in California, most of it has to do with this history of land dispossession of Native peoples,” said Risling Baldy. Emphasizing the need for a new perspective and stable organization when it comes to environmental relations. A CALIFORNIA ORANGE BELLIED NEWT KLAMATH, CALIFORNIA

INDIGENOUS LAND MANAGEMENT The Yurok and Karuk have coexisted with the Klamath since time immemorial, managing the land and ecosystem to support their livelihoods. The Klamath sustained civilizations for centuries, providing abundance for all. In return these people cared for and protected the land for future generations to enjoy

its prosperity. “We think of economy as something with paper currency. We had an enormous economy, literally millions of salmon came through that river system every single year, enough to feed everybody,” said Reed. The Yurok and the Karuk have maintained a relationship within this ecosystem and it is deeply rooted within their culture. This emphasizes the protection of the Klamath, the water and the salmon, and in doing so, their way of life. The

Yurok and the Karuk have extended their viewpoints to include and legally recognize an ecosystem’s personhood within tribal law, aiding in the fight for Indigenous environmental management and resource regulation. This foothold has given Indigenous people the attention of the public when it comes to their perspectives towards the land. The voices of the Yurok and the Karuk people have set a precedent for climate action and ecological restoration that is heard all over the country. “It’s not even giving, it’s


acknowledging that these rights exist and saying what is our responsibility to those rights,” said Risling Baldy. WESTERN INVOLVEMENT/ CURRENT STATE OF THE KLAMATH The Klamath sustained civilizations for centuries before Western involvement, determined to electrify and industrialize society, left the river choked up and barren. The ecosystem disruption within the Klamath is far reaching, and its connection to Western land management practices is ever present. While resources were once viewed as expendable, perspectives have changed. “Control and commodification of water doesn’t allow for a healthy ecosystem. It prioritizes the needs of profit-based extraction



over traditional subsistence fishermen and, of course, salmon,” said Reed. Dam removal and the ecosystem restoration will be foundational to correcting past mistakes, directly benefiting future generations. This profound development will repair relationships, both human and otherwise, in the process of moving forward. Western mentality dominated and extracted resources for financial gain. People who built the dams were profit hungry, making the land work for them and achieving financial success in the process. The dams largely act as concrete colonial monuments, dominating mighty rivers, stopping ecological flow and creating problems unforeseen by the creators of the dam. While dams provide hydroelectric power and divert water for human use, they also inhibit the

river’s natural flow. During low water years this lack of water causes a loss of habitat for fish populations. This brings fish in closer proximity to each other, heightening the competition for resources which creates an ideal habitat for disease to spread. All of these factors have resulted in the steady decline of salmon and other fish populations within the Klamath since dam construction. One cannot pursue serious restoration of the Klamath river without addressing foundational issues such as dam removal. Lack of water in a river contributes to toxic algae blooms, declines in fish population, and other ecological losses. The fish are so absent within recent years that this marks the first time that tribes are unable to legally fish in the river even for personal use. “What Yurok elders say is that as long as the river is sick the

people will never be healthy,” said Reed. The Klamath has closed its fish runs and the Yurok people have canceled their ceremonies. The water within the Klamath has grown stagnant and the salmon have not returned to spawn. It’s time to give the water back to the river. THE IMPORTANCE OF SALMON The Yurok and Karuk see the importance of maintaining healthy salmon runs as inherent within indigenous culture and knowledge. The indigenous people are stewards to the Klamath. Their way of life depends on the Klamath’s sustainability and vice versa. Indigenous people see it upon themselves to protect the river so the salmon can live and migrate, feeding multitudes of creatures. Salmon and other fish are keystone species, meaning that these creatures influence the survival of other wildlife. Salmon populations are largely depended upon by other animals for food. As these populations continue to dwindle the entire ecosystem is affected by the absence of a vital part of the environment. Diminishing fish populations have caused the Klamath River ecosystem to change drastically. “As Native people they always refer to us as the miners’ canary. What happens in Native communities is the warning about what’s going to be happening on a much bigger scale if it continues the way that it is,” said Risling Baldy. ELWAH DAM REMOVAL One example of ecological restoration is the Elwah dam

removal, a project in Washington approved in 2011. The Elwah river had two dams built within its waters during the 1900’s to support settler towns. These dams clogged the natural arteries of the planet and the ecosystem began to decline. Much like the Klamath, the Elwah also produced historic runs of fish, providing nutrients for the ecosystem. With the introduction of the dams, these fish runs were reduced to nearly nothing and the ecosystem greatly suffered. The first dam was removed

“GIVE THE WATER BACK TO THE RIVER” from the Elwah in 2012 and the second dam was removed in 2014. While each dam removal only took around six months to complete, the space in between removal allowed for sediment to flow freely without becoming concentrated in higher than ideal levels within the river. The release of this sediment has changed the look of the estuary and restored long lost hatchery habitat within the mouth of the Elwah. The summer steelhead were thought to be basically extinct be-

fore the dam removal began. Eight years after the project took place and the necessary steps were taken to ensure the healing of the river system, scientists saw the summer steelhead unexpectedly resurge within the Elwah. Numbers recorded suggest that The Elwah river now contains the largest population of summer steelhead among all of Washington’s coastal river systems. HUMAN RESPONSIBILITY AND ECOSYSTEM RECOGNITION Just as dam construction was necessary during industrialization, dam removal will be this century’s progression towards a third industrial revolution. It is hopeful to think indigenous perspectives will be leading the discussion behind climate action and ecological restoration. When the Klamath Dam Removal and subsequent restoration project comes to fruition, we will see the revival of an ecosystem that has been obstructed for over a hundred years. With this deconstruction process we will finally begin to tear down the walls that clog up not just rivers but the lines of communication that discuss ecological relationships. Humboldt County has a long-standing indigenous foothold and, within the last few years, has been one of the first regions within the United States to recognize and begin reparations toward indigenous relations. The acknowledgment of rights for all living entities, big and small, creates a shared moral foundation in which confluence provides solutions for future generations to come, ultimately healing the deep wounds that manifest destiny has inflicted. The Klamath river ecoOSPREY | 37

system is one of reciprocity. This foundational principle recognizes the inherent rights to life that we all share, plant, animal and ecosystems alike. Yurok and Karuk value systems are reflective within their

tribal law. This innovative perspective changes conversations around environmental relations. This change can begin the process of healing between not only humans and environments, but indigenous



and western relationships. “We’ve been taught from the very beginning of our creation that we have a responsibility and that’s what humanity is, a responsibility, not a right,” said Risling Baldy.

“That’s What Humanity Is, A Responsibility, Not A Right”


foraging in humb WARNING


If you’ve spent a good amount of time in Humboldt, you’ll know that blackberry bushes are just about everywhere. A lot of the blackberries found here are Himilayan blackberries which are actually an invasive species native to Armenia and Iran, but they are still safe to eat and delicious! The stalks of these blackberry bushes tend to be a deep red color with lots of thorns and the leaves are heart-shaped with serrated edges. Berries can be seen starting around April to July.

This spread is strictly informational and is not intended to be used as a guide. Learning how to forage safely is a skill that requires practice, especially for mushrooms. Always forage in clean areas without agricultural runoff. Clean all your foraged goods thoroughly. Licensing may be required when hunting or fishing so be sure to acquire the appropriate paperwork before engaging in. Be sure to forage or hunt in areas that you are allowed to as well as clean areas that won’t have any change of agricultural or pollutant runoff that may affect the quality of the foods being foraged.


golden chanterelles:

There are many different species of chanterelle mushrooms and they all mostly grow around the summertime, after it rains. They grow on the forest floor and are easy to spot because of their vibrant yellow-orange hue. They often grow as individual mushrooms. If you look at the underside of one, you’ll see that they have thick, forked ridges; not true gills. These ridges run down to the stem of the mushroom, which is a good way to identify that you have a golden chanterelle and not a look-alike. They have a fruity apricot-like aroma to them and the edge of its cap is wavy.


Huckleberries are small and round in appearance and their color ranges from red to black. The red berries tend to be more tart in flaver, while the darker berries are usually sweeter. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, huckleberries are in season between mid-August to mid-September. In mid-August, they start to grow clusters of small, bell-shaped, white and pink flowers. The Western huckleberry grows in shady areas in lowlands and mountain valleys. It’s leaves are evergreen and glossy in appearance, some leaves also have splotches of red.


Story by Nancy Garcia & Imagery by Nicholas Louvar

boldt county


Cat tails are a kind of reed; they have flowering spikes and brown, tube-like, fluffy seed heads with flat leaves that grow around it. They can be between 3 and 10 feet tall. Cat tails are most common around lakes, ponds and rivers, and they mainly grow in temperate and colder climates. They can grow yearround but they’re more plentiful in the fall and winter. The stock and roots are all edible!

butter clams:

Butter clams are oval shaped and their shells have fine rings. They tend to be lighter shades of brown and yellow, but some of them can be darker. They can be found in rocky, sandy, and muddy areas 6 to 12 inches under ground. Clamming season happens from July to September; while a regular shovel can work, a clamming shovel is highly reccomended. There are rules and regulations for clamming and in California you are required to have a sport-fishing license. It can be messy, so dress appropriately.

salmon berries:

golden chanterelle

Salmon berries, also know as Thimble berries, are similar to blackberries in their physical appearance but they tend to be orangish-yellow in color when they’re ready to be picked. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, these berries like to grow in moist coastal forests, near streams, bogs, and shorelines but they can also be found in woodland edges. Salmonberry bushes bloom magenta flowers and its stalks are covered in fine prickles. Its leaves grow in groups of three with a larger leaf in the center and two smaller leaves on either side. The berries grow



Behind the Zoom Screen:

Virtual Classrooms in the Cyber Age Story & Photos by Robin Freiberg


oseph Freiberg sits alone at his computer teaching a math lesson to his class of 3rd grade students. Each child inhabits one of thirty different video boxes in the gallery view on his screen. In one of the little boxes in the upper right corner, Freiberg notices one of his students jumping up and down outside. The child is on a trampoline. “Josiah, where’s your mom?” Freiberg asked, clearly frustrated. Most people are well aware by now that the COVID-19 pandemic has been threatening the health of billions, leading schools across California to transition to an online format. Teachers from elementary to the collegiate level have had their careers completely change. With challenges of learning new online programs and connecting to students through the screen, teachers have adapted to the online world and are working hard to simulate the classroom environment to the best of their ability. Teachers across the spectrum, working in different subjects and with different age groups, are now faced with similar obstacles, beginning with their shift to the online learning spaces and adapting to new technology. After learning online platforms teachers are still finding it difficult to connect with students; however, a few months into the online school year, teachers have been led to a positive realization about themselves and their place in the uncharted territory they’ve been forced to navigate.



Overall, many teachers are staying positive and assimilating to the online, exemplifying the strength and compassion people can have when faced with inevitable change. Similar to students, teachers have grown accustomed to using Zoom, a video conference program, and Canvas, a web-based learning management system. Unlike students who showed up on the first day of school ready to learn, teachers spent endless hours training over the summer and learning how to navigate their platforms, while building their normally in-person classes from scratch. Early in the school year, Freiberg was surprised by the screen time data his computer had collected. “I remember telling my wife one day after school, ‘I’ve spent 391 hours on Canvas,” said Freiberg. Kurt Ruth, a high school P.E. and health teacher found himself online for hours at a time, rewatching the same Canvas tutorials, unable to grasp the online platform. Eventually, he sought out support from his colleagues to learn Canvas as a group. “I literally needed someone to take me through it where I could see it happening with step-by-step visual instructions,” said Ruth. For a physical education teacher who normally teaches outside away from screens, Ruth has seen a major shift in his teaching methods. He has students input their exercise in fitness logs and uses class time to discuss sports and health since he no longer has the ability to be physically present during exercise activities. After becoming comfortable with their online platforms, most teachers create an organized weekly template, allowing them to

follow a similar weekly schedule for their students. This weekly structure invites the ability to copy and paste repeating information, which saves a lot of time that was spent earlier in the year on the basics of Canvas. Humboldt State University English professor Janet Winston includes an abundance of content for her classes. “I had used Canvas before but never to the extent that I’m using it now by creating these whole narratives every week for my students,” said Winston Whether on Canvas, in Zoom meetings, or responding

“SOMETIMES, I’M SITTING IN MY CHAIR IN FRONT OF MY COMPUTER FOR LIKE 14 OR 15 HOURS A DAY.” to emails, teachers spend most of their days online. Sean Hausner is a teacher, bartender, and student, working on his teaching credential in high school chemistry. With both schooling and teaching, he is online more than 10 hours a day. After his work day online and at his parttime job, Hausner de-stresses with videogames, which he admits is not the best way to get a break from screens. “Sometimes I’m sitting in my chair in front of my computer for like 14 or 15 hours a day,” says English professor Winston, who finds herself in hyperfocus mode at her home office. Elementary school teachers,

Freiberg and Gallina were given the opportunity to teach at their schools in empty classrooms, which helps them separate work from home. With such a peaceful work space at school, Freiberg and Gallina are able to better focus without the distractions of pets and family members in their homes. Winston, who works from home, expressed an out-of-the-ordinary distraction that happened to her one morning: a herd of cows loudly moo’d while passing outside her window as she worked on Canvas. With the luxury of staying in the quiet classroom, Gallina even put together a spot to take naps on her breaks with a blanket and pillow set up in the corner of the room. Even with naps, Gallina is mentally and physically drained by the time she gets home. “It is utterly exhausting so I crash real early when I get home. I get up very very early in order to get to school. So I’m in bed by 8:00 and up by 4:00am,” Gallina explains. John Byun, a choir conductor at Riverside City College, has had an especially unique experience teaching online, as directing a choir does not trans late well to virtual learning. With sound glitches and only being able to have one speaker at a time on Zoom, singers cannot perform live together. Instead, Byun has his students record their singular parts and he mixes the recordings together to create harmonies. “I was definitely not meant to teach music technology that’s for sure, that wasn’t my training. It’s like a whole different job,” said Byun. Although the transition to online has been an exhausting process, teachers are making the best of it, feeling fulfilled and happy OSPREY | 45

to see their students. Interacting sense of community. Teachers have names as spectators, teachers feel with students both young and come up with creative strategies to as if they are talking to themselves. old is refreshing and uplifting to help students feel a connection to To bring back a sense of connection teachers. Without their jobs to keep the teacher and their classmates. to his audience, Hausner finds it them working toward a goal, the With her college students, Winston important to look at his chemistry pandemic would have been much utilizes class discussion. class as a group of individuals rathmore devastating. Even over video, “I’m implementing this idea er than a mass of boxes to lecture Gallina feels close to her 5th grade of the flipped classroom. I’m really at. class. asking students to “To build community “I have to keep focusread and engage names are really important. I think ing on the fact that and make conthat’s what I’ve been learning is IAN JUL E 3) I’m doing this nections and that you want to make sure you get D ING (GRA ARN DA E L for the kids watch everyeveryones name right and call them IN NE DK NLI N O D A and I’m putthing before out by their name as much as posD NK OO THI GOO Y IT’S G TAY I A ting the kids they come to sible. Just so they’re acknowledged S IND WA TO IS K ONE U GET OUR . Y first so my high class. Then and they feel seen,” said Hausner. D O ND BA SE Y YA WAY U A E A is when I can what we do Engaging elementary D ’T ON BEC E ALL ER, CAN T U M R see those kids’ on Zoom school students requires a little YO HO HO SON IS S USE PER E faces and I come is very more creativity. Children have a DAY D BECA ER IN B BA T TO Y. ACH E E G up with creative student hard time sitting still and listening, T IT’S ’T DA THE DON S ALL U SEE ways to keep them centered. and instead have to be regularly S YO CLA ND E A H engaged and to keep The stuasked to accomplish a task in order HT WIT them going,” said dents are in to hold their attention. Gallina Gallina. breakout rooms creatcomes up with new fun activities ing slides to present to the other for her students every week. One of Hausner the activities involved learning how highlights what Zoom shows about students what they learned from their independent reading and their to make a ‘pop’ sound with their students that the classroom does conversations with each other,” said mouths after singing “The Lollipop not. Winston. Song” by The Chordettes. Gallina “I think it’s fun when had students record themselves students do show their screens, Zoom fails in the social aspect using a program called Flipyou know, sometimes they will be DA of personal teacher grid in order to sitting on their bed with their cat (GRA VID and student conshare their or like you see little posters behind I KI DE 3 NDA ) L new skill them in their room and you kind of nections. In the I DON K ’T L E IT AN T H I KE I classroom setting with the get a glimpse into their home life,” DK E BA IND T BE A PLA D NEW C teachers can pick class. Galsaid Hausner. A U S IS AND Y WITH , WE SE, When asked what keeps her up on physilina’s newest O CAN TH U ’T DON E GOO R FRIE NDS positive, Winston gives a heartfelt cal indicators classroom DN ’T H EWS AVE IN S CHO IS W MU response. like a nod or activity inCH TO TIM E STA OL AN “I’m always positive. I do a smile that volves fitness. D E Y OUR WE HOM GET MO EA MS feel uplifted by teaching and by my “I just helps show N BRO DK A N THE ISS D H students and so that even being on came up with if a student RS A UG O ND STU UR Zoom, the classroom makes me this thing called understands FF. happy. I feel like my students are so or if the student ‘Surprise Exercompassionate with each other and is engaged. Without a recise’ which means with me,” said Winston. when I call on a sponsive audience, teacher’s cannot While teachers are fightstudent they have to come up build off the energy of the students ing to maintain a positive outwith a warm-up exercise and lead in Zoom like they would in the look, something very important is the class. It’s really difficult to get classroom. Rather, when presented lacking in the online classroom: a kids motivated to get up from their with multiple black squares with OSPREY | 46

seats. So getting them to stand up and move around got the kids pretty excited. They were showing me things like Burpees and Jumping Jacks and I give them points if they can motivate all the other students to stand up and do it,” said Gallina. Teachers have utilized strategies to build community, yet they have come to the unfortunate conclusion that nothing comes close to an in-person setting. Technological glitches and the inability to observe their students or have chatter amongst the class are a few ways the classroom atmosphere is lost. Winston explains the limits of the screen. “I know there’s a lot of teaching philosophy and techniques about creating community online but I don’t think it can replace the face-to-face social aspects of learning,” said Winston. Hausner misses the little

one-on-one conversations that are relationships through a Zoom call,” said Ruth. easily had in the classroom setting that build up trust Another aspect that is lost between the stuis the easy ability to remind MIC dent and teacher. students of due H ( GRA AEL I DI Checking in dates and to D E 3) SAG BEC REE W with a student check in with AUS ITH BOR E J I ULI to ask how students who A GET NG CA IT IS K IND N USE TO they are doing are falling A IN P SEE YO YOU D is one of the behind. Sure, O E UR DON R FRIE N’T ’T R SON A N best ways teachers can THE EAL ND DS Y L HAV CLASS Y GET OU to build up send emails and RO TO E SEE (FRE TO SEE OM. A trust and announcements, LL I YOU BERG) A IS JUST WE keep a but notifications ND YOU SIT W A B student on for emails and HER ND ORI I NG AND T’S JUS E track. Ruth important messagLAM T E. doesn’t even es are easily lost in know what most of his the abyss of an inbox. students look like and would not Because of this, the recognize them if they were walkresponsibility of keeping track of ing down the street at his side. assignments has been enhanced in an online setting. Doing work “I think most of us are esoutside of class is another repecially into building relationships sponsibility that has grown. This with students, you know, It’s very is especially noticeable in Byun’s difficult to build those really solid




their own. Winston agrees that her college choir class. “They’re learning new students have to be more aware of things. They’re learning songs and their own schedule and deadlines, sight reading and the one-on-one juggling many classes and assignments and having to keep track voice lessons go well. So we are without as many doing things but it’s just not “choir,” it’s not a group of people in-class reminders Y E from their profescoming together R AUD E 3) and making sors. D (GRA E N I good sound “I’m really L N O together. looking at E G I LIK ARNIN BE They’re more my students LE I CAN Y training on as agents in A E S D their own to be own CAU E ALL THAT their a better musilearning, ” HOMAFTER H TV cian and training said WinC to be a better ston. AND N WAT Y. A A singer. It’s a lot of C D I ALL individual assessThis inabilment and a lot of ity to verbally individual teaching,” remind students of upsaid Byun. coming assignments and having Winston has her students little to no power to monitor the prepare for class by reading and focus of students is an extremely looking at lecture material on debilitating obstacle at the elemenOSPREY | 48

tary level. Young children are extremely dependent in their learning and without a teacher or parent beside them to keep them on track, elementary students are susceptible to falling behind in online learning. Annie Bush, mother of 6-year-old Raven Bush, was aware and concerned about this threat to her daughter’s primary education. Rather than letting Raven face the wrath of online learning, and having time to be home due to her jobs closing down from COVID-19, Bush decided to take the homeschool route. Bush expresses her concerns about public online schooling. “Sometimes a problem with public school, and no fault to the teacher at all, is that they’ve got 30 kids and you don’t know who’s going great in English and who’s failing at math and you try to put kids in boxes but it’s crazy, you know,

we all have different techniques of learning,” said Bush. After contacting the California Department of Education (CDE), Bush was able to pull her daughter from Lafayette Elementary School in Eureka CA and formed “Raven’s Nest School” consisting of just one 1st grade student, Raven. Bush trained herself to teach her daughter first grade, utilizing many websites including TimeforLearning.com and the CDE Core Concepts with the grade requirements, as well as many workbooks that help keep complete records of Raven’s achievements. Bush feels Raven is receiving a fuller, more personalized education and is excited about all the subjects she is teaching. “She’s getting art lessons, we just got done studying plant cells and the leaf structure so it’s pretty cool. I’m really enjoying it,” said Bush. Although she awaits the day when public school’s open again, Bush cherishes the moments she is spending with her daughter. “I’m watching my daughter do amazing stuff. A lot of parents don’t get to see what kids do at school and they don’t have that one-onone and it’s really beautiful to watch her blossom. I’m learning too at the same time,” said Bush. Bush expresses how Raven even surpasses her in different area. ”Now we’re learning Spanish together. It’s so cool how fast she’s absorbing it and she’s correcting me on my pronunciations which I love. Maybe by the end we’ll

be halfway to fluent,” said Bush. Even though most parents are unable to homeschool their children and have kept their children in public online school, every parent has had their routines changed by having to keep their kids focused and on track sitting

at their screens while learning at home. Freiberg and Gallina appreciate the extra efforts parents have been putting in. Amongst the learning of their new craft whether it be homeschool or public, the online experience has led teachers of all levels to take a step back from their individual lives and focus on the events in the world around them. Many of the teachers describe this change in their career as a humbling experience, having to be more flexible and empathetic to situations students have been put in. Winston’s heart goes out to the college students that were unable to join this year. “I’m very concerned about my students that aren’t here right now that have dropped out of college or can’t actually engage in the live sessions because they’re working two jobs or they’re taking care of a family member who is sick or their younger siblings so I worry about that. The digital divides and economic divides and racial divides are just heightened right now so that’s OSPREY | 49

what I’m missing in a sense that all the students at Humboldt State who want to be learning are not necessarily in our classrooms online right now,” said Winston. 2020 has taken many careers, homes, and families and turned them upside down. Our institutions have had to quickly react to the pandemic and no solution created feels the same. Rather than reminisce in the good old days of and complain about the failures of 2020, it is important to stay in the present and look at current affairs as a learning experience for a better future. Ruth embraces the abnormal. “People act like they expect it to be normal. Like, how can you expect it to be normal right now? This is something that hasn’t happened in our lifetimes. So, of course it’s going to be strange. Let’s go with it and make the best of it,” said Ruth. Every person tries their best to have an outlet for positivity among their struggles. Sometimes it is distraction through television or music, or chatting on the phone with a good friend. Teachers hope their classes are a safe space for students to stay in the present and enjoy little interactions with others in the same dire

situation. Less rigorous elective classes especially serve as an escape from the stressful responsibilities students face. Byun uses his choir class as a safe outlet for his students to recharge before their more challenging classes. “I’m doing the best I can and I think the students are hanging on. I know some are stressed and some are not dealing well with the pandemic and hopefully I can be there for them and help them cope through this whole thing,” said Byun. Throughout 2020 and continuing into 2021, teachers have gone through an arduous digital journey of online teaching with much frustration and time

spent online. This effort helped teachers build relationships through the screen that led them to adapt and overcome the current climate, spreading positivity and making the best of the situation. After looking into the lives of teachers across California who teach many different grades and subjects, there is a connecting feeling of compassion for their students. Teachers and students are learning to live in this online classroom together. Teachers with over 30 years of experience like Winston, Freiberg, and Byun were able to become students again by reforming their entire way of instruction, showing just how resilient our society can be. The effort and care teachers have put into the virtual classroom shows how selfless and community based they are and we owe it to them to return such efforts as students. As we all sit alone at our screens, connection online has become more meaningful than ever. Something as simple as turning on your camera or asking how they’re doing might lift a teacher’s spirits. Online learning can often feel like a monotonous chore, but it is helpful to remember that our teachers love their jobs and are driven by their students even on a digital landscape.