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San DiegoCity College Spring2020 Edition
City College student helps the homeless during pandemic
Physical geography professor adjusts course amid COVID-19
Vicky Pineda Co-Editor-in-Chief Diangela Veras Co-Editor-in-Chief Melisa Cabello-Cuahutle ManagingEditor Lacey Stefano Social MediaEditor Isaac Limon MultimediaEditor Scott Gardinier BlogTeamEditor, CopyEditor
LEGENDSTAFF Marlena Harvey, Orrin Iverson, Luz Jaimes, Christopher LeFall, Uyen Pham, Gabriel Schneider, Sophia Traylor, Elisabeth Vermeulen, Valerie Vizcarra
Nicole Vargas Adviser DEAR LEGEND READER, CONTACTINFORMATION: City Times&Legend SanDiegoCity College 1313 Park Blvd. | SanDiego, CA92101 Newsroom: L-117 E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org June1, 2020 | Spring2020 Edition PublishedasTheJay Sees(1945-1949), Fortknightly (1949-1978), City Times(1978-present). IncorporatingnewspapersTecolote, Knight Owl &Flicks. DISTRICTPOLICYSTATEMENT: Thispublicationisproducedasalearningexperienceunder San Diego City College?sDigital Journalismprogram. All materials, including opinionsexpressedherein, arethesoleresponsibility of thestudents andshouldnot beinterpretedtobethoseof thecollegedistrict, its officersor employees.
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I'm not someone who expresses ... well, anything often. Even writing this note to you readers, I'm having trouble finding the words to describe how I'm feeling in this moment. So I'll say this ... What you are about to read is a collection of work created by a remarkable team of hard-working journalists. Each of these pieces took hours upon hours, edited to perfection with pictures and designs to match. I am lucky to be working beside this team and I am very glad that we are able to bring you the Spring 2020 Legend magazine. The work shown here really shines through and I hope you stick around to read some more. Thank you to the subjects of these pieces for sharing your thoughts and experiences not only to us, but our audience as well. It's voices like yours that keep the conversation moving and growing. Thank you to the Legend staff for all your hard work and effort into making this a great magazine. This is one of my favorite projects to take part in to date and it was all because of you. A publication is nothing without its staff and I'm grateful to have you all here. I can't wait for us to create some more together. While I had hoped this magazine could be shared with you under different circumstances, I hope the stories you find inside are inspiring and helpful as we try to navigate the new world we are living in. Stay safe, Diangela Veras Co-Editor-in-Chief
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COPINGWITH THE NEW WAY OF LIFE
PAGE 22 | LEGEND | April 2019
Gabriel Schneider | Staff Writer
Paula Quinonez (in purple) and her troupe performBallet Folklorico in March. Joining her, fromleft, are dancers Victoria Rodriguez, Heather Ruiz, Maestra Viviana Enrique, Clarisa Hueso and Grisel Lucas. J&RPhotography photo
or the past seven years, San Diego City College student Paula Quinonez has been performing in a Ballet Folklorico troupe. However, like most gyms, the dance studio where Quinonez practices is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Ballet Folklorico is a traditional Mexican dance that emphasizes local folk culture through ballet characteristics, which include pointed toes, exaggerated movement and highly choreographed moves. ?Why I dance, is because that is one of the ways I honor my culture,? Quinonez said. ?It came to me very easily.? Prior to the quarantine, she would practice with her group twice a week. Now the Folklorico troupe meets once a week on a zoom call to talk and dance. But practice at home is difficult, Quinonez said. She uses
shoes that have nails on the soles which can only be used on special surfaces and her practice skirt is humongous. ?It is not the same,? Quinonez said. Due to COVID-19, schools have been shut down and stay-at-home orders have been issued all across the globe. ?I have slacked a little bit,? Quinonez said. ?Being at home, there is more room for slacking off.? Quinonez is a City College student majoring in psychology. She was born in Tijuana and moved to San Diego back in 2009. Quinonez worked at the Marriott hotel before the pandemic, but with so many cancellations, half of the staff was laid off, she said. ?I am living off my savings,? said Quinonez.
?Why I dance, is because that is one of the ways I honor my culture. It came to me very easily.? - Paula Quinonez
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Along with her, many Americans have lost their job and been forced to apply for unemployment and other grants to get them through this time. As we all find ourselves in quarantine and some without work, the amount of free time has grown e Quinonez has used this time to read more and pick up painting. Keeping up with the news is important, but for some people this could cause anxiety and lead to stress. ?I am trying to find a balance,? said Quinonez, ?If I checked the news all the time, I think it would make me very paranoid.? To keep updated on what is going on around the world, she checks the news every 3 to 4 days. ?I wondered if in my lifetime I'm going to have to go through a global event like this one,? Quinonez said. ?It's odd.? For some, this is the first pandemic they have gone through in their lives, so we are learning as we go. ?For me, it has shown me I have taken for granted a lot of things I would do on a daily basis,? said Quinonez.
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Due to COVID-19, Ballet Folklorico en Aztlan has been closed due to stay-at-home orders. Founded in 1967, BFAaims to educate about indegenous dance and culture. To support the cause, visit https:/ / balletfolkloricoenaztlan.org/sponsor_packages
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Ludovica Fadini, pictured at a library in Boston in January, is a foreign exchange student fromItaly at San Diego City College. Ludovica Fadini photo
Foreign exchange st udent f inds herself st uck in t he USA Chris LeFall | Staff Writer
n mid-February, about 40,000 people from Bergamo, a quiet and wealthy province in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, traveled 30 miles to Milan to attend a Champions League soccer game. The matchup was between Atalanta B.C., the home team of Bergamo, and the Spanish team Valencia. The mayor of Bergamo recently reflected back on that single event, calling it ?a strong accelerator of contagion.? Five weeks later, Bergamo, like much of the entire country of Italy, is completely shut down due to the rapid spread of COVID-19. There have been nearly 102,000 positive cases in Italy, and 11,591 deaths due to the coronavirus, as of March 30. The majority of those deaths have been in Lombardy. And Ludovica Fadini is helpless to do anything. A foreign exchange student at San Diego City College, Fadini is from Milan, far away from her family. After a conversation with her mother, she was advised to stay. Her mother stressed the fact that the situation in Milan was much different from the one in the U.S.
Although there are more cases of COVID-19 here, the number of deaths is four times higher in Italy. Bergamo?s hospitals are a source of dread. One has 500 coronavirus patients and is admitting up to 60 each day. Patients line the corridors. ?I used to talk to my parents a couple of times out of the week,? Fadini said. ?Now, I speak to them every day. Sometimes twice a day.? Even if Fadini wanted to leave, as a foreign exchange student, she is not allowed to travel to Italy for any amount of time. Doing so could jeopardize her the work visa that she is only six college credits away from earning. But home is definitely where her heart is. According to media reports, in Bergamo, hospitals are overwhelmed with citizens infected with COVID-19. The elderly are among the masses. ?The majority of the population of Milan are 60 plus years old,? Fadini said. Doctors and nurses are also being infected while treating the sick. Masks, gloves, and oxygen tanks have become a scarcity since the pandemic started.
Before quarantine, Ludovica Fadini used to have time to walk on the beach. Ludovica Fadini photo
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So many people are dying, that the hospital mortuaries and funeral workers have fallen behind. Most of the funeral homes have closed due to sick funeral directors. Some are even in the ICU. Officials have prohibited changing the clothes of the dead and require people be buried or cremated in the clothing they were wearing when they died. To contain the virus, all religious and civil celebrations are banned in Italy, which includes funerals. For months, Italian officials had been sending mixed messages about the virus. As a result, many citizens of Italy did not take the virus seriously. Fadini was one of them. ?When I first heard about the coronavirus, I thought it would disappear as other issues did like the bird flu,? Fadini said. ?Then I started to hear cases jump from 50
to 100. That?s when I started to panic.? Photos from media accounts show neighbors now are locked down and separated from each other, and can only observe from balconies and windows helplessly while sirens echo through the streets. No citizens are allowed out unless they are going for work, medicine or food. ?A trip to the grocery store could actually end up being a four-hour trip,? Fadini said. Unlike the U.S, Milan?s coffee shops and restaurants are completely closed. Instead, they cook at home and dine with the family. ?This makes quarantine very hard on my family,? Fadini said. ?Being that there?s more than one family in one house sharing the same space, disagreements can turn into serious arguments.?
?I used to talk to my parents a couple of times out of the week. Now, I speak to themevery day. Sometimes twice a day.? - Ludovica Fadini
Ludovica Fadini was in Milan for the Gay Pride Festival at Central Station in June. Ludovica Fadini photo
Crowds pack Milan's Piazza duca d'Aosta for the annual Gay Pride parade. Ludovica Fadini photo
The sound of harmonic conversation between locals on the street corners has been replaced by stares and silent prayers. ?Milan reminds me of New York,? Fadini said. ?That?s why when I see that the streets are empty, it?s scary.? Here in San Diego, Fadini works as a nanny to two young children, ages 3 and 4. The children?s parents are on the front lines of the coronavirus emergency response. ?Since the coronavirus occurred, my life has changed drastically,? Fadini said. ?I used to have lots of time to spend with my friends and take walks on the beach. ?Even my job has become more difficult. I?m now at work every day. Due to the pandemic, all parks, beaches, and attractions have been closed.? Like the rest of the students at City College, Fadini continues her studies online and has taken up painting as a hobby to take her mind off things. She hopes the restrictions are lifted soon so she may take a much-needed vacation and her family can return to regular life.
Changing the Subject Elisabeth Vermeulen | Staff Writer
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isa Chaddock has been teaching physical geography at San Diego City College for 14 years. Throughout all her years of teaching, she has never experienced an outbreak such as COVID-19. ?Viruses evolve, I am a geographer so I?m watching the maps at Johns Hopkins,? Chaddock said in a video call. ?We?re on a pretty sad trajectory right now. It will get worse before it gets better ? but it will get better.? Chaddock and faculty across campus were given one week to transition two weeks worth of classwork onto Canvas and learning websites such as Pearson and McGraw-Hill Connect. This was later extended through the remainder of spring and summer semester. With the short notice of courses transitioning online, Chaddock turned to Twitter to express the challenges she faced. Chaddock learned how to teach on Canvas and also how to hold Zoom conferences by taking classes ?continuously, day after day? in order to adapt to the new change of teaching. With the help of her husband, who is a photographer, she is equipped with professional lighting to ensure that her students can see her clearly during online meetings. Chaddock is doing the best she can to alleviate any stress caused during this time. She managed to link her textbook with Canvas, since a majority of her students relied on the library textbook. ?I made the choice to get together with the publishers and link my classes,? Chaddock said. ?That way, my students get a free online textbook and they get access to all the lesson plans that are already there.? Although she is figuring out new things each day, she still has concerns. She is most worried about her lab courses. ?My labs are very experiential,? Chaddock said. ?We go out in the field, we turn over rocks and look at plants and watch birds and see the various habitats and they can?t do that the same way. But I?m trying to create ways where they go outside their own home and just look.?
During her online meetings with students, she virtually takes them to her garden and teaches them outdoors. She encourages her students to utilize online sources to complete their work without having to go outside, such as the Live Hummingbird Feeder Cam. Chaddock also works with the Audubon Society Club on campus, which she introduced to City College in 2014. The club still continues to meet online on Fridays. ?We meet on Zoom because I don?t want them to lose that connection,? Chaddock said. In order to bring some ease to her students with the craziness going on, she introduced a friend of hers to her students. Comfort Bear has been used in the past as an outlet for students in need of a good cry during breakdowns in her office. ?So, Comfort Bear is online now,? Chaddock said. She brings him on camera during class meetings just to say ?hello? and shine some light into students?days. Geography professor Lisa Chaddock uses her garden as a teaching area and tool for her students through Zoom. Lisa Chaddock photo
Calculat ing t he risk Sophia Traylor | Staff Writer rom day one of spring F semester, City College statistics professor Carolyn Thomas brought information to class regarding the now widely known coronavirus, COVID-19. Having followed the case since January, Thomas said, ?I didn't think the semester was gonna start.? Thomas transitioned her MATH 119 class a week prior to the rest of the school, a testament to how serious she knew the infectious virus was. ?I'm really glad we started a week ahead for very many reasons and one of them was just the learning curve,? she said. She also empathizes with students moving a face-to-face class to online. ?One of the things I count on when I teach is to be able to see people?s faces and their reactions, and I can tell if they get it or if
they have questions, and that's gone,? she said. There was also frustration from Thomas when expressing her concerns to faculty and staff from City College. ?It was the week before (transitioning classes to online) that I decided to do a ?come out of the closet? as far as the coronavirus, and I became exceptionally vocal at work and met quite a lot of resistance,? she said. Other than a heavier workload, Thomas? day-to-day life has not changed. She called herself an introvert and states that being quarantined at home with her spoiled cat fortunately has not negatively affected her. Thomas advises students who are doing research on COVID-19 to go to reputable sources like www.worldometers.info/ for accurate graphs.
Statistics professor Carolyn Thomas built a modified document camera to teach at home, using a tripod and an iPad. Carolyn Thomas photo
ONLINECOMMUNITY SDCCD MOVES ONLINE Vicky Pineda | Co-Editor-in-Chief
Current COVID-19 safety precautions have caused the San Diego Community College District to close campuses, including San Diego City College. City Times file photo
s colleges and universities across the country adjust to teach their students in response to COVID-19, the San Diego Community College District and City College have announced their own plans. The study abroad programs at City and Mesa have been canceled for this summer. Constance Carroll, the chancellor of the San Diego Community College District, said the district?s three colleges and Continuing Education are planning to begin the conversion of on-site classes to online. The chancellor sent out a letter on Tuesday, March 10 addressed to district colleagues and friends. Carroll also stated that district officials have been in close communication with health agencies and have been closely following the actions of other universities and community colleges. ?It is understood that this is a complex undertaking and that some classes with laboratory or other hands-on components will have difficulty with this conversion,? Carroll said in the statement.
San Diego City Collegehas been closed to students since March 16. Photo by Vicky Pineda/ City Times
REMOTELEARNINGWILLCONTINUE Melisa Cabello-Cuahutle | ManagingEditor
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an Diego Community College District announced that the fall semester of 2020 will be taken ?primarily? online, according to a letter by chancellor Constance Carroll. There will be some exceptions, but most of the faculty should be preparing to offer remote instructions next semester. The letter, Coronavirus/ COVID-19 -Update #9, was made available to City Times upon request. According to the letter, the district is planning to have some classes in person with restrictions. ?We are also planning for
and hope to achieve several exceptions, which will be offered on-campus, observing social-distancing and all other health protocols, via hybrid approaches,? Carroll wrote in the letter. The classes that are so far planning to be taught partially online are science labs, nursing and Allied Health Clinical labs and career-technical labs. After the transition to remote learning was announced, faculty and staff were trained for one week to prepare for it. The district plans to expand workshops and programs to improve distance education.
Compiled by Elisabeth Vermeulen
Don?t allow being at home to discourage you from staying focused and motivated for online assignments. Being in your pajamas may be the best part of studying from home, but it can put you in the mood to watch Netflix all day. Getting dressed can help lead to a productive day.
Go back to the syllabus and make note of major assignments. Check in with your professors to see if any changes have been made due to classes being shifted to online platforms. Jot down assignments that are due, while also including time to study.
Eliminate distractions such as your phone or TV. Try turning your phone on airplane mode to disable notifications. Create a schedule with a specific time to read, watch lectures, study and complete assignments. The last thing you want is to let your time go to waste and not complete anything.
Create a designated learning environment for studying in your home, preferably not your bed. You can begin to set a routine for yourself and to be more focused. If a family member or roommate is around, let them know that you will be dedicating some time towards school work.
If your professor offers virtual office hours, take advantage of it. Email your professor or ask questions during virtual conferences. They are in the same boat as you, waiting for human interaction!
Giving yourself breaks provides the mental clarity you need in order to concentrate and work better. Try to break up your study sessions to ensure you?re not overworking yourself. For example, take a five minute break after studying for 45 minutes, or reward yourself with a snack after an hour of studying.
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KNIGHT WORKER Chris LeFall | Staff Writer
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n an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19 among the local homeless population, Mayor Kevin Faulconer made plans to convert the San Diego Convention Center into a homeless shelter. With travel bans in place and all public gatherings canceled, the convention center offered more space to house the unsheltered. The San Diego City Council unanimously accepted $3.7 million to fund the project, according to media reports, and a little over 800 people who had been staying in shelters would be relocated to the convention center. City College social work student Cyanne Knight is at ground zero during the transitioning of the homeless population. Knight worked directly with
families at the Cortez Hill Family Center, a program that shelters families while transitioning to permanent housing while remaining together throughout the process. Knight is no stranger to struggle. In fact, she was a participant in the program just over 16 years ago. ?I have a big bleeding heart when it comes to children in this situation and I?m able to make a strong connection with them because of my past situation,? Knight said. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, Knight was a residential specialist, serving breakfast to the residents and opening the playroom for the children. Now, residents have to wait in their rooms for their meals. In mid-March, families were relocated to hotels due to the closure of the building. The program site was in poor shape.
"I?mnot worried about getting contaminated. I?mvery confident in the steps that I have taken to protect myself.? -Cyanne Knight The Alpha Project opened two bridge shelters, one for the homeless looking to transfer back into home life, and a second that catered to those with mental health issues and disabilities. Both shelters serve the same purpose, which is to transition residents back into home life. With stay-at-home orders in place, social distancing has become the norm for preventing the spread of the virus and has created an uncomfortable gap. ?Before the virus, making direct contact with the residents wasn?t a big thing,? Knight said. ?The residents interacting with each other, (it?s) part of them being a community. The virus has created a disconnect in those transitioning.? Due to a lack of space and new regulations, both bridge programs, with more than 300 participants each, moved to the southeast corner of the San Diego Convention Center. Knight?s job description changed along with the location of the homeless shelter. She is now a monitor who ensures residents are following guidelines. That includes taking their temperature and writing it down before entering the building. She also watches as residents must wash their hands, keep a distance of six feet away from each other when standing in any line and no more than three residents at a dining table at a time. City Collegestudent CyanneKnight nowworksat theSanDiegoConventionCenter assistingtheunshelteredpeopleliving there. Knight previously workeddirectlywith familiesat theCortezHill Family Center. CyanneKnight photo April 2019 | LEGEND | PAGE 25
The San Diego Convention Center, seen in this 2019 photo, has been repurposed into a homeless shelter to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. City Times file photo
?I have a big bleeding heart when it comes to children in this situation and I?mable to make a strong connection with them because of my past situation." -CyanneKnight
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?I used to encourage residents to interact with each other as neighbors,? Knight said. ?I now have to tell them to give each other 6 feet. I?m not worried about getting contaminated. I?m very confident in the steps that I have taken to protect myself.? When it comes to her college courses, Knight agrees that not having a lecture attached to her courses makes learning more difficult, and working without
physically having to attend school leaves her with too much idle time. ?During these times your mind feels as if it?s on vacation, and leaves no physical or mental separation from school and home,? Knight said. ?With the campus being closed, I?m not able to use the school resources. This makes completing assignments so much more difficult. Being able to interact with your classmates makes you more engaged in the course.? In these times, Knight reminds students it?s very important to live one day at a time.
Compiled by Uyen Pham
THE VAN LIFE
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Nicole Mckissick?s 1998 Chevy Express in a parking spot. Nicole Mckissick photo
Minimalist lif est yle has upsides, challenges during pandemic Gab riel Schneid er | Staff Writer
icole Mckissick, her boyfriend Ty Johnson, and their two dogs arrived in San Diego in a 1998 Chevy Express in March 2019. After living in Indiana for five years, Mckissick felt like she was not flourishing and needed a change. Instead of falling into the societal norm of renting or buying a house, Mckissick found out about van life. Mckissick is an art major at City College and has lived in her van for over a year now. ?I was getting fed up with paying money into someone else's property,? Mckissick said. But the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how McKissick lives, making what was a simple life into something far more complicated. ?Right now we?re just taking it day by day,? she said. Mckissick was initially inspired to adopt van life after watching a Netflix documentary on minimalism. The freedom to pick up, go and experience life appealed to her. ?It was a lot more difficult than we thought,? Mckissick said. ?Looking at the YouTube videos, they make it look so easy and glamorous.? Initially the van was gutted out with only carpet. Now they have a bed, a portable stove, a sink and other basic household items. ?It?s an ongoing project,? Mckissick said. The plan was to do a year on the road to adventure before arriving in
San Diego, but once in the van, they realized it was difficult without having a remote job to make money. This led Mckissick and her boyfriend to find a job at FedEx to get a steady income. But Mckissick had to leave her job at FedEx on March 21, amid the pandemic due to health reasons. ?I am self-quarantining,? Mckissick said. ?I have asthma and I don't feel safe working in that environment and putting myself at risk.? Mckissick has been extra paranoid about washing hands and sanitizing everything since the proximity in the van is very tight. During the week, they usually hunker down by a gas station in Otay Mesa. ?There is a Wendy?s and they have WiFi,? Mckissick said, ?which was nice because I could literally like go inside and sit down and have my own little moment if I needed to work on assignments or whatever.? She has to rely on her own hotspot now that most businesses have closed their doors. Mckissick has family in San Diego, so on days off, she parks at her mom?s house and uses it as a home base. ?We go to my mom?s house to shower,? Mckissick said. ?(It?s) more comfortable.? Each lifestyle brings its own benefits and struggles. This is no different.
Ty Johnson and Nicole Mckissick holding their dogs Moon-bear and Bubble-cup. Nicole Mckissick photo
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?Before quarantining, the most difficult part of living in the van was the parking,? Mckissick said. Due to changes in San Diego city ordinances, people are prevented from staying in their vehicle where overnight parking is not allowed, including on city streets, near the beach and outside businesses. ?When we got here, the laws allowed you to sleep in your vehicle,? Mckissick said. ?They don't allow that anymore.? They received a ticket on one specific occasion when they were staying at the beach. Since most of her classes were previously online, Mckissick adjusted well to the shutdown of the City College campus. ?I kind of like it, though. (I) am a reclusive person anyways,? Mckissick said. ?So it has given
me time to work on art projects that I have put aside, or my writings or different little things that I haven't had time for.? Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Mckissick and her boyfriend would spend most of the time outdoors at beaches and parks. ?We were rarely in the van unless we needed to rest or hang out to watch a movie or something,? Mckissick said. Since the shutdown of parks and beaches, Mckissick has been limited in the amount of time she can spend outside. ?I can deal without having a shower every day or having modern conveniences,? Mckissick said, ?but being cut off from nature has been a real huge adjustment.? Along with the opportunity to spend more time outdoors, living
in a van allows you to save on money and on rent. The average cost of rent in San Diego is over $1,700 a month, according to a news release by city councilman Scott Sherman in 2019. ?We have goals to own our house and different things to invest in long-term,? Mckissick said. ?Having this lifestyle, we sacrifice some conveniences but in the long-term, I feel like it's worth it.? Mckissick has received many different responses when she shares that she lives in a van. ?Surprisingly, peoples reactions have been very accepting,? Mckissick said. ?A lot of people are intrigued.? This lifestyle is not favored by some, and they have expressed their opinions to her.
Ty Johnson and Nicole Mckissick enjoying thebeach. NicoleMckissick photo
?I have met a lot of beautiful and amazing people living this lifestyle. Van life has opened me up to people more.? - Nicole Mckissick ?There is a negative stigma attached to it with people that aren?t knowledgeable, people that aren't looking it up, people that aren't aware of the benefits,? Mckissick said. Mckissick does not let the naysayers get to her. Instead she tries to spread the word about the benefits of this life. ?I feel my generation, and generations younger than me, are sick of this cycle of doing everything by the book,?
Mckissick said. ?There is nothing wrong with living a different lifestyle.? Mckissick is happy with her decision because she is not focusing on making a living, but instead focuses on spending quality time with friends and family. ?I have met a lot of beautiful and amazing people living this lifestyle,? Mckissick said. ?Van life has opened me up to people more.?
Living in a van has changed thepriorities of Nicole Mckissick. NicoleMckissick photo
GAME CHANGING Vicky Pineda | Co-Editor-in-Chief
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iving in San Diego where it?s usually sunny and warm, the beach is a great place to visit. But due to the ongoing pandemic, there have been restrictions on the beaches. That includes a favorite activity of Mission Bay High School senior Jillian Geenen. ?It has been hard since right now I would?ve been playing beach volleyball,? said Geenen, who has been playing competitively since fourth grade. ?Since this season got canceled, it has been kinda hard to re-adjust, but I?m adapting.?
The loss of playing volleyball on the beach, not being able to be around her friends and missing out on the milestones associated with a senior year of high school ? Geenen is still struggling to adjust to this new normal. The novel coronavirus has put a halt to everyday life. As positive cases kept rising, sports at all levels have been sent into complete darkness indefinitely. In March, San Diego Unified School District, the second largest school district in California, transitioned to operating remotely, leaving students at home to learn under the guidance of family.
"It has been kinda hard to re-adjust, but I?madapting.? -Jillian Geenen
That included Mission Bay High School and students like Geenen. Geenen recently committed to San Diego City College to play volleyball starting this fall. Her close relationship with Knights volleyball coach Dede Bodnar helped make her decision. ?I?ve been going to coach Bodnar?s instructional camps for as long as I can remember,? Geenen said. ?She is an amazing coach, I love her. She has so much passion for volleyball. She wants to help me get better and I wanna get better. And it just felt really good to commit to it.? Other schools reached out to Geenen but wouldn?t meet her athletic requirements. ?City was a great and
"She wants to help me get better and I wanna get better. And it just felt really good to commit to it.? -Jillian Geenen
Jillian Geenen will attend San Diego City College in thefall and play for the Knights volleyball team. Jillian Geenen photo
convenient choice for me,? Geenen said. Although we are currently in quarantine, Geenen keeps in close communication with the coach. ?She cares and checks in (on) how I?m doing,? Geenen said. ?She?s really excited for the season.? The Knights volleyball team finished the 2019 season with a 15-11 record overall and 4th place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference. City also made it to the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year. Off the court, Geenen plans to major in animal science and behavior at City. She wants to work at an animal sanctuary, aquarium or zoo. But she also feels it can change in the future. Geenen plans to eventually continue her education at a school that meets her academic and athletic goals. In a perfect world, Geenen wants to get a scholarship to continue to play volleyball, regardless of the division. ?I want to gain the best possible methods on how to be a better student, allow myself to grow into the career that I will later choose to do,? said Geenen in a follow-up email. Geenen played volleyball all through middle school and high school. Last fall, Mission Bay advanced to the quarterfinals of the CIF Division II playoffs, falling to eventual champion Valhalla. She also plays during the high school off-season on a club volleyball team. ?It is my sport, I love it, it?s such a great game,? said Geenen, a 5-foot-7 left-handed setter who was recognized on the San Diego Union-Tribune?s All-Academic Team for her 3.88 GPA.
(Top photo) Jillian Geenen flips to the page in her high school yearbook featuring the Mission Bay High School girls volleyball team. Jillian Geenen photo
(Left photo) Jillian Geenen (center) looks forward to when she will be able to start her volleyball career at San Diego City College. Jillian Geenen photo
San Diego City College LEGEND| Page28
?I want to gain the best possible methods on howto be a better student, allowmyself to grow into the career that I will later choose to do." -Jillian Geenen
For Geenen, the hardest part of being a senior in high school during this global pandemic is not being able to participate in the end of the school year activities. Geenen was looking forward to senior prom, senior brunch, senior sunrise and sunset and graduation, as well as other events that occur at the end of the school year. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing pandemic everything that a high school senior usually experiences is cancelled. If Mission Bay were to let the class of 2020 return a year after graduation to participate in prom, Geenen said she would definitely return. But, she doesn?t think it will happen. In the meantime, Geenen stays active and keeps training to become better at the sport, with a quarantine workout routine that changes daily. ?I do running up hills. For endurance training, I have a bike. It?s a great neighborhood where I live, so I go on a lot of bike rides,? Geenen said. ?I have a weighted setter ball, it helps with strength and flexibility and it helps with my skill, specifically.? Geenen also reviews films of herself playing volleyball to see where she can improve as well as does stretching to improve her flexibility. Geenen hopes the stay-at-home order ends before the volleyball season begins, and sports won?t remain on hold. City College has already announced classes will remain ?primarily? online for the fall. ?I just really hope that doesn?t happen and that I can play volleyball at City,? she said.
San Diego City College LEGEND| Page30
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