Page 1

Etera Dallas College Eastfield Campus

Black musicians have been using music to protest for generations See pages 6-7 . Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Volume 52, Issue 4

out cold Eastfield community impacted by power outages, property damage in recent winter storm See Pages 2 & 3



Wednesday, March 3, 2021


The Et Cetera

Dallas College suffers minimal damage during storm By HARRIET RAMOS Editor in Chief @HarrietRamosETC

Dallas College facilities suffered some damage from the winter storm that brought snow, ice and freezing temperatures to North Texas the week of Feb. 14. Chancellor Joe May said two facilities were impacted the most. The El Centro Campus A building had four floors that received damage from burst water pipes. The repairs are expected to take about a month, May said at the Feb. 25 town hall. He said the upper floors can still be used while repairs are underway in the rest of the building. The B building at Brookhaven also had some HVAC issues because of the storm. May said there were a few other minor repairs that needed to be made but did not say which campuses those were on. The repairs were not extensive and were able to be taken care of over the weekend following the storm. “Other than that, we are just in remarkable shape,” May said. May said the campus police and facilities teams were in the buildings during the storm and got water turned off in time to prevent more damage. Dallas received 4 inches of snow during the storm, according to the NBCDFW weather re-


Eastfield Campus blanketed by snow Feb. 15. The Dallas area received 4 inches.

port. The temperature in Dallas on Feb. 16 was minus 2 degrees Fahrenheit, the coldest day in over 70 years. All 254 Texas counties were under a winter storm warning, and the freezing temperatures and power outages wreaked havoc on buildings

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all over the state. Over 4 million Texans were left without power as the Electric Reliability Council of Texas instructed utility companies to institute rotating outages in an attempt to take some of the strain off the power grid. In many cases the

power outages lasted for two or more days. By Feb. 17, more than 550 Texas public water systems had also reported disruptions due to the storm. Residents of several North Texas cities, including Mesquite, were told to boil water before use to prevent illness from contamination.



The Et Cetera


Left in the cold

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Professor Erica Stephens faced power outages, water damage during winter storm By JORDAN LACKEY Opinion Editor @JordanEtc

Erica Stephens was home alone during the winter storm on the week of Feb. 14. She had no power. She was cold. And she had serious doubts about her ability to maintain her home and safety. “Being a single woman homeowner can be intimidating,” she said. “Can I do this by myself?” The week after Valentine’s Day, Texans experienced one of the worst snowstorms in recent history. Temperatures dropped as low as 2 degrees Fahrenheit while more than 4 million Texans were left without power due to rotating blackouts, that didn’t actually rotate evenly in most areas, instituted by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and utility companies in an attempt to prevent a total blackout of the Texas power grid. More than 500 of the 680 water systems in Texas issued boil water notices due to damage from the storm, according to reports from NBC. Texas is not part of the national power grid. This limits the state’s ability to import power when its own generators are failing. Due to an outdated system with little regulation, power plants experienced water freezes that eventually rendered facilities useless because companies haven’t made investments needed to produce power in subfreezing temperatures, according to reports from The Washington Post. Power providers face no penalties for failing to deliver during an emergency. Stephens, art professor, lives in a 100-yearold home. With the exception of an hour or so on an intermittent basis, she had no power from Feb. 13 to Feb 17. She worked from a cellphone generated hotspot in her car until she was in danger of running out of gas. On Feb. 15 she shut off her water main with the help of a neighbor and left the house with her dogs. Later, when she returned home on Feb. 21, she would find out her pipes burst in an area of her house. Since then she’s been able to cap the pipes and restore water to half her home, but it could take months to fix the remaining damage. After shutting off the water she made the difficult decision to break her 81-year-old grandmothers’ isolation in the middle of a pandemic, pick her up, and head to her parents’ house. “We’ve spent a year not being around Grandma, to protect her” she said. “Now we’re just going to end that and go get her. Because this is more dangerous.” Stephens believes her experience is reflective of the struggle many Texans had to endure. She said in the grand scheme of things, she was relatively lucky because she had the support of family, friends, coworkers and even students.


Erica Stephens works from her laptop Feb. 28 at her house, which suffered water damage and a power outage during the recent winter storm.

“[My support system] came through for me,” she said. “I think that’s why it’s so important to me to be a part of the support system for my students.” Stephens was grateful for the advantages she had. Among helpful neighbors and family offering shelter, she also developed a friendly relationship with her plumber over the past five years as a homeowner and was able to get help for her damaged pipes as early as Feb 23. While staying with her parents, their home also suffered water damage resulting in a collapsed garage ceiling on Feb. 19. Stephens was able to enlist the help of her pipe-fitting friend on behalf of her parents as quickly as the next day. She said these are advantages that many people didn’t have, and she’s grateful for them. While counting her blessings, she can’t help but sympathize with her students who weren’t so lucky. “A lot of my students have burdens that I

don’t know if I could personally overcome,” Stephens said. “I told my students when all this happened, … ‘if you can’t do your work, don’t worry about it. We’ll figure it out next week,’” . Stephens went through every measure possible to contact her students and offer help where she could. She urged every student considering dropping her course to speak with her first to avoid as many drops as possible. As of Feb. 27, only two out of about 125 students have dropped her class due to complications from the storm. She even helped some students get food who didn’t have enough. “That’s not a situation that should happen,” Stephens said. “And it has happened right here because of bad leadership.” Stephens said she’s more than happy to help in any way she can. She said she’s angry that so many Texans were afflicted with struggles that could have been prevented by state and local representatives. On the night of Feb. 17 U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of

Texas left the country to visit a resort in Cancun. He later said it was to accompany his daughters on a trip and he planned to return the next day. This claim was later refuted after neighborhood group-chat messages from wife, Heidi Cruz, were leaked reveling the family intended to stay. “I am so mad,” Stephens said. “If all of this had happened because of a storm, that would be one thing. But this happened because of a failure of leadership. People died and people suffered needlessly. … It was this failure of leadership that caused so many people to suffer.” Seven ERCOT board members have already resigned after criticism from law makers like Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick after the near power grid collapse. Six of those board members live outside the state of Texas. Patrick has called for the resignation of ERCOT CEO, Bill Magness. He has yet to step down as of March 1.



Wednesday, March 3, 2021


The Et Cetera

Dallas College approved to operate as one college By HARRIET RAMOS Editor in Chief @HarrietRamosETC

Dallas College received a clean report with no recommendations from its accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, after their virtual visit Feb. 8-10. SACSCOC previously accredited each campus separately under the Dallas County Community College District model. This visit was to verify that Dallas College is in compliance with accreditation standards now that they are one entity. Danielle Valle, the SACSCOC liaison for Dallas College, said no recommendations on the report means the accrediting agency found Dallas College in compliance with all of their accreditation standards.

“It’s not impossible, but it’s not common,” Valle said. “It’s an excellent outcome, and we’re really proud that that’s where we landed.”

Valle said if there had been recommendations, Dallas College would have had until June to work on those things, and then the SACSCOC report would have been sent to their board of directors for approval in December. The fact that there were no recommendations means the cycle of approval on Dallas College’s consolidation will close in June instead of December. Typically, a team from SACSCOC would have toured all Dallas College campuses in person, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire visit took place remotely over Webex. “Normally all of [the Dallas College employees] would have been on campus,” Chancellor Joe May said. “There would have been certainly a lot of hoopla about that, and having a virtual visit was somewhat different for all of us.”

Valle said she had to send representatives from SACSCOC videos of campus resources to review, minutes from board meetings and finance and facilities reports. Valle said the fact that the consolidation process took place during a pandemic could have made it more challenging, but they found ways to work around the difficulties. “And that’s one of the things I’ve been really proud of us for from the beginning,” Valle said. “Not kind of throwing our hands up and going ‘Well, it’s hard, so we’re not going to do it.’ Instead, we’ve said ‘It’s hard, so we’re going to do our best.’” The process to consolidate the seven colleges in the Dallas County Community College District into one college began in March 2020. SACSCOC approved the application in June, and DCCCD became Dallas

College on July 3. One of the main motives for making the change to Dallas College was the SACSCOC guideline that in order to graduate students had to take at least 25% of their credits from only one college, according to previous reporting by The Et Cetera. Students who took credits from several of the colleges were not able to graduate with an associate degree. Now that all seven colleges of the former DCCCD are one college, students can take credits from any of the campuses without it affecting their degree plans. “While there is still much to do, this report confirms that our effort to come together as one institution to solve our student’s problems is working,” May said in an email announcing the results of the SACSCOC visit.

Eastfield’s Subway plans to open for fall semester By HARRIET RAMOS Editor in Chief @HarrietRamosETC

Subway owners Tim and Cyndi Pitman are making plans to reopen for the fall semester. Subway has been closed since March 13, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dallas College officials have not made any formal announcements about the fall semester yet, but if the campus is back to mainly in-person classes, the Pitmans say they are ready to reopen. “Come fall, we’re ready to go gangbusters,” Tim said in a phone interview. Their first priority will be to hire new employees. Cyndi said most of their employees have moved on. She said they will also need to update their menu and get the new employees up to speed on sandwich making before the semester starts Aug. 23. When the Pitmans left campus last March, they were only planning on a short closure. They had a freezer and refrigerator full of food they had just ordered, 12 cases of chips and sodas to refill the drink machines. Tim said everything leftover was a total loss. Even the non-perishable items have expired, and their insurance won’t cover losses related to a pandemic. In spite of the business losses, Cyndi said personally they’ve weath-


Left, Cyndi Pitman, who has owned Subway with her husband, Tim, since 2008, poses in front of the sandwich shop in February 2013. Students perform a pop up play in February 2018 in The Hive where Subway is located.

ered the storm well. They spent the entire pandemic in isolation at home, even refraining from celebrating the holidays with their three grown children and one grandchild. They’ve been living off of retirement and Social Security income and finding plenty to do at home. Cyndi said they have been work-

ing out, rewriting the Subway employee manual and watching television, something they normally don’t have time for. “When you own a restaurant, it’s very hectic,” she said. “There’s a lot going on all the time, so it took a little adjusting to not have that kind of schedule.” The Pitmans previously owned

four Subways, but now they are down to just the one at Eastfield. They took it over in March 2008. The Pitmans finished the second round of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in early February and said they are ready to start venturing out again. Six days after receiving their second dose they ate at Pier 101, a seafood restaurant in Rockwall. It

was their first time to eat out since last March. Now they are looking forward to coming back to Eastfield. “We miss everybody there,” Cyndi said. “I miss seeing the people up in the business office. I miss seeing our regular customers and we miss our students that were employees. . . . We’ll be back. We’re not gone.”

Life &Arts The Et Cetera



Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Anime that will knock you out

Anime has been part of pop culture for several years, but it has skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic. From sports to dark fantasy, the numerous genres make it easy for any type of viewer to find something to enjoy. Anime produces a nostalgia impossible to find on live-action television shows with actors. Once the show ends, the actors move on to other projects, but when an anime series ends, the characters live on through the impact they’ve had on their audience. The ability to generate new viewers of all ages shows the lasting impact of this style. – Compiled by Anthony Hernandez

1. Attack on Titan

“Attack on Titan” is arguably the best anime series of all time. Currently airing its final season, this beloved anime has been breaking records ever since its release in 2013. Three episodes have appeared on IMDB’s toprated episodes. The plot centers around Eren Yeager, who lives in a world that has been divided by three walls in order to prevent humanity from being wiped out of existence. Yeager tries to

uncover the dark truth of the human-eating Titans beyond the walls, until he discovers that there’s just as much danger inside the walls. What makes an anime memorable? For me it’s the characters, the plot and the soundtrack. “Attack on Titan” is that one anime that perfectly balances all those aspects in order to tell the story. Episodes: 75 Watch on: Crunchyroll and Hulu 2. Cowboy Bebop

“Cowboy Bebop” is a classic anime series from the 1990s set in a cyberpunk world full of bounty hunters. The protagonist, Spike Spiegel, and his partner, Jet Black, jump between worlds hunting for criminals to bring in for a reward. The series’ vintage animation from the late 90s and its iconic soundtrack are some of the standout aspects of this classic anime. The music subtly sets the atmosphere. Whether you’re a fan of a gritty slugfest or everything sci-fi, “Cowboy Bebop” is the perfect mix. It is an anime well ahead of its time. All of its characters are fleshed out, and it is well deserving of its legendary legacy. Episodes: 26 Watch on: Hulu and Funimation 3. Hunter x Hunter

In this adventure anime, we are introduced to Gon Freecss who is in search of his father. After discovering his father is a world-famous Hunter, Freecss

decides to take the Hunter exam too in hopes of finding him. Freecss meets his best friend, Killua Zoldyck, along the way. In addition to being a beautiful message about friendship, “Hunter X Hunter” is one of the few animes that truly demonstrates the power of abstraction through the characters. In a way, we can claim themas extensions to our lives and grow with them. Episodes: 148 Watch on: Crunchyroll, Netflix and Hulu 4. Haikyu!!

“Haikyu!!” is the pinnacle of sports anime where we follow a group of student athletes trying to make their school proud. Karasuno High School once dominated the volleyball court, but now the team has lost their reputation and are known as the “wingless crows.” First-year students and former rivals Shoyo Hinata and Tobio Kageyama form an unlikely setter-spiker partnership on the volleyball court and lead the team in an extraordinary season run with hopes of making it to nationals. Episodes: 85 Watch on: Crunchyroll, Netflix and Hulu


5. Naruto “Naruto” tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, a boy feared by his village and who dreams of one day becoming the village’s leader, known as the Hokage. “Naruto” and its sequel series, “Naruto Shippuden,” give us one of anime’s most well-known protagonists. As the story progresses, Naruto goes from being a social outcast to the hero of the

Hidden Leaf Village.“Naruto” had a 15-year televised run. It is the series that started it all for many advanced anime watchers. Episodes: 220 Watch “NARUTO” on: Crunchyroll, Netflix and Hulu Episodes: 500 Watch “NARUTO SHIPPUDEN” on: Crunchyroll and Hulu



Wednesday, March 3, 2021


The Et Cetera

Black Songs

MATTER or generations, Black musicians have been sharing powerF ful stories and experiences through song. Whether with simple three-chord blues songs or complicated and improvised

jazz melodies, they’ve told every story there is to tell from heartbreak to poverty to racism. But one message rings prominently in the undertones of every note. Change is coming. Now, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, this age-old message rings louder than ever before. It’s time we listen to the common theme from modern to classic music and remember that the revolution has only just begun.

Words by Jordan Lackey Illustrations & Design by Mattheau Faught

♫ “People Get Ready Curtis Mayfield ♫ ♫ “This is America” Childish Gambino ♫ “This is America” was released as a single in May of 2018. As one of the most controversial and heavily discussed songs of the year, with an equally shocking music video, people have devoted hours to explaining all of its hidden meanings. Gambino makes a brutal and

shocking statement on racism and gun violence with the simple yet effective hook, “This is America.” The music video was directed by Hiro Murai and is laced with references to the 2015 Charleston shooting and makes a statement about how entertainment is often used as a distraction from political issues in the United States.

“People Get Ready” was released as a single in 1965 and later became the title track from the “People Get Ready” album. Martin Luther King Jr. called the song the unofficial anthem of the Civil Rights Movement and often used the song to get people marching. The song keeps an easygoing pace which makes the message all the more powerful. Mayfield sings “there’s a train coming” in reference to cultural change and there’s no baggage required. He says plainly “There ain’t no room for the hopeless sinner who would hurt all mankind,” because one day they’ll have to answer for their crimes.




The Et Cetera


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

♫ “Revolution” ♫ “What’s Going On”

- Nina Simone “Revolution” was written in response to the Beatles song of the same name and was released as a single in 1969. Sadly, the Beatles track wasn’t as popular as Simone believed it would be and she mentioned her disappointment about this on multiple occasions. At the peak of the Civil Rights Movement and less than a year after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, Simone speaks plainly and with power as she often did in her music and personal life. She says, “I’m here to tell you about destruction of all the evil that will have to end,” as she calls for the end of a corrupt and bigoted system with the powerful line, “The only way that we can stand in fact is when you get your foot off our back.”

- Marvin Gaye ♫

“What’s Going On” is the title track of Gaye’s eleventh studio album, released in 1971. The album as a whole is considered a concept album and tells the story of a Vietnam veteran returning home to witness suffering and injustice. Gaye starts this song by explaining several sad truths that still affect the Black community today, like the fact that 50 years ago they were protesting about brutality and we still are today. With crystal clear notes he sings, “Brother, there’s far too many of you dying,” but with every verse he offers optimism and hope with a voice that could soothe even the most discriminatory of hearts. He explains the need for a peaceful revolution built on love and understanding when he says “For war is not the answer. Only love can conquer hate.”

♫ “A Change Is Gonna come” “A Change is Gonna Come” originally appeared on Cooke’s 1964 album, “Ain’t That Good News.” The song has been covered by multiple huge musicians such as Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and Aloe Blacc. It was inspired by various personal events in Cooke’s life, like being turned away from a whitesonly motel in Louisiana. He tells the story of a man born by a river “and just like the river [he’s] been running ever since.” Each verse breaks the heart and explains the effects of racism on a single man. However, Cooke maintains optimism in the face of persecution when he says, “It’s been a long time coming, but I know, a change is gonna come.”



Wednesday, March 3, 2021


The Et Cetera

Lambert finds passion out of paradigm shifts By JUAN HERNANDEZ Contributor @TheEtCetera

When Nina Lambert left her Russian homeland for the United States, she thought one day she would go back. So many things — her boyfriend, her friends, her job — were left behind that she couldn’t imagine her life outside of Russia. Now she doesn’t see herself living anywhere but the U.S. Lambert is a professor of English at Eastfield and has taught for the college since 2013. Her life has been punctuated by historic events. The Russia of her childhood was still part of the USSR. When she was 11 years old, the Soviet Union collapsed and became the Russia of today. “Almost overnight we woke up with MTV, we woke up with freedom of speech, we woke up with things we couldn’t really have [before],” she said. “It was exciting.” For Lambert, growing up in the Soviet Union meant having to praise leaders who were not praiseworthy, pledging allegiance to the homeland and obeying the government’s stringent rules. Though it was not as strict as when her parents were young, there were still consequences for those who went against the political order. Lambert remembers attending parades at 6 a.m. with her parents in honor of the Soviet Union. They went because they had to, not because they wanted to. “People were supposed to march through the streets with flags and this huge display of happiness and celebration,” she said. “You know it’s only true when it’s genuine. Nobody celebrates because they are required to, and nobody is happy because they are required to be.” At first, Lambert’s parents were cautious about the change. Some saw the collapse of the Soviet Union as a time to celebrate, but her parents warned her if things were to change again, everyone celebrating could be jailed. That was the reality of where they lived. “[My parents] were afraid to be hopeful,” Lambert said. “They were mostly just telling me not to discuss it with my friends, not to discuss politics at all, as if an 11-year-old talks about politics.” Years later, she found it surprising people still wanted the old way of life back. One day she was walking with her best friend when an elderly woman asked them to join a ceremony for a group of young people. They didn’t know when they accepted the invitation the ceremony was to celebrate the young people’s initiation into the Young Pioneers, a communist youth organization from the Soviet era. “They were hoping that the Soviet Union would come back,” Lambert said. “Not so much because it was good, but because they knew


Above, Nina Lambert, 7, poses with a prop at Lipki Park in her hometown of Saratov, Russia, in 1986. Lambert, an English professor at Eastfield since 2013, lived through the collapse of the Soviet Union and immigrated to the United States in 2001.

how to live in that system. They knew the rules to live by.” Another historic event from Lambert’s childhood was the 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Chernobyl was only about 90 miles away from where her grandparents lived in the Ukraine. Lambert used to visit them when her parents had work to do. When the explosion happened, her parents came and took her back home, but her grandparents refused to leave and lived in the same house for more than 10 years after the explosion. Luckily for Lambert’s family, the wind carried a lot of the radiation westward and away from her grandparents’ home. Lambert said that to her knowledge they didn’t suffer any major health defects due to radiation exposure. In her grandparent’s home, Lambert enjoyed her grandma’s food and the beautiful garden with all kinds of fruits and vegetables. When her grandfather came back from work, she would listen to him talk about the news and the events happening around the world. In Lambert’s family, staying close with each other is something that has always been important. It was because of this she found herself in the United States.

When Lambert’s sister moved to the U.S. and had her first baby, Lambert and her parents came to visit. Yet again she found herself living through a historical moment — the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. After holding various jobs and finishing the rest of her school in the U.S., Lambert became a professor and found the value of sharing her knowledge with others through literature. Even though she admits there is not much money involved in what she is doing, she still enjoys it. James Hartley, a former Et Cetera staff member and student of Lambert who graduated with a journalism degree from Eastfield, credits her for motivating him to become a reporter. Among other things, he also viewed Lambert as a professor who really cared about her students. “She seemed to care a lot about students and what she was teaching,” Hartley said. “She really had a lot of fun with the subjects that she taught when I was in her classes.” When Hartley was still in high school taking dual credit classes, he wrote a book that he gave to Lambert to read. She gave him feedback and told him it was impressive, but what made him feel good was that when he was taking college classes later on, she took examples from his book to demonstrate to her classes.

“She would do just little things throughout to make things more interesting and communal instead of sitting at class listening to a lecture,” Hartley said. Even at home her husband Thomas Lambert sees how much effort she puts into the subject she teaches. “I see the teaching materials that she prepares and I know they are of the highest quality,” Lambert said. “I’m always impressed with the level of preparation and the dedication to her students to presenting material that will be interesting and enjoyable to the class. And at the end of the semester, she would get many compliments from her students, often with small gifts and thank you’s and so on. I know she has a following there and I think that her excellent teaching is the reason for that.” Lambert sees her role in life as spreading joy, happiness and knowledge. Literature for her was the thing that made her heart jump with excitement. And though she admits there is little financial gain in her profession, the emotional value more than makes up for it. “[Teaching English] is something that makes me happy,” she said. “I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do it. Especially because English is not my first language.”

Sports The Et Cetera

March 5 Baseball vs. North Lake Volleyball vs. Brookhaven March 6 Baseball vs. North Lake March 8 Volleyball vs. Mountain View March 10 Baseball vs. Richland Basketball vs. Richland


noon 1 p.m. noon 1 p.m. noon 6 p.m.


Wednesday, March 3, 2021



Harvesters begin spring season By HARRIET RAMOS Editor in Chief @HarrietRamosETC

Dallas College leadership gave the green light for the spring athletics season Jan. 21, reversing a previous decision to cancel all sports due to COVID-19. “Allowing our student athletes, coaches and support staff to safely participate in your chosen athletic field is at the heart of our decision to move forward with the season,” Vice Chancellor for Student Success Beatriz Joseph said in an email. Dallas College teams are only competing with other teams in the Dallas Athletics Conference this season, and masking is required at practices and games. Regular temperature checks and social distancing while on the road are also part of the COVID-19

safety protocols the athletes are following. COVID-19 concerns had prompted college administration to cancel the spring season on Jan. 15. The fall season had already been canceled. In an emotional meeting with Dallas College leadership on Jan. 19, several parents voiced their frustration over the decision to cancel and questioned why college officials hadn’t notified them sooner. Two mothers said they had already signed leases on apartments so their daughters could play volleyball at Dallas College. Joseph said the information about canceling had been “shared prematurely,” and the plans were being reevaluated. “I recognize how much work and time has been put into preparing for the season,” she said. “We’re relieved that, together, we have a process that allows you to safely compete during the pandemic.”


Clockwise from left, the Lady Harvesters get ready to go back on the court for their final play against Cedar Valley on Feb. 10. Jayden Morgan prepares to catch a ball during baseball practice at Eastfield on Jan. 21. Geontay Davis practices at Eastfield on Jan. 29.

OPINION Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Etera Award-winning member of: • Texas Intercollegiate Press Association • Texas Community College Journalism Association • Associated Collegiate Press • College Media Association

Eastfield College 3737 Motley Drive Mesquite, TX 75150 Phone: 972-860-7130 Email: etc4640@dcccd.edu Editor in Chief Harriet Ramos Graphics Editor Mattheau Faught Opinion Editor Jordan Lackey Photo Editor Chantilette Franklin Production Manager Skye Seipp Photographers Ryan Michalski Rory Moores Cartoonist Jesus Madrid Contributors Anthony Hernandez Blake Strickland Johnson Tran Leah Salinas Juan Quevedo Hernandez Additional Staff Alfredo Diaz Alice McCallie

Amanda Araujo Eddie Williams

Publication Adviser Elizabeth Langton Student Media Manager Sarah Sheldon Faculty Adviser Lori Dann The views expressed on the opinion pages and other opinion pieces and cartoons in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of The Et Cetera, Eastfield College or the Dallas County Community College District. The Et Cetera is published by a student staff. Each member of the college community is entitled to one free copy of The Et Cetera. First Amendment Right Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Letters to the Editor Letters must be typed, signed and include a phone number. Letters will be edited for profanity and vulgarity, Associated Press style, grammar, libel and space when needed. The content will remain that of the author. Letters should be no longer than 250 words.

ABOUT THE COVER A lone vehicle travels along a snowcovered street in Heartland on Feb. 17, the fourth day of subfreezing temperatures in North Texas. Photo by Ryan Michalski

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The Et Cetera


Dallas College connects during storm The Et Cetera would like to commend Dallas College and the Eastfield campus on their response to the winter storm the week of Feb. 14. The week of Feb. 14 Texas whitnessed a devastating storm. More than 4 million Texans were left without power as temperatures dropped as low as 2 degrees Fahrenheit. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas instituted rotating blackouts, that for most Texans, did not actually rotate, in an effort to prevent a total blackout of the Texas power grid. More than 500 water systems in Texas issued boil water notices due to damage from the storm. Through emails, text messages and personal communications with faculty and staff, the entire institution worked diligently to keep students

informed, safe and as prepared as possible. On Feb. 15 students were alerted that all Dallas College classes would be canceled until Feb. 17 as a result of the weather. The college also sent out regular messages informing students of emergency grants that are intended to help any student facing financial challenges and made sure to include contact phone numbers for students without internet access. On top of the administration’s response, we’ve heard multiple examples of professors either changing their syllabuses or maintaining flexibility with course deadlines for the sake of student wellness and success. Some individuals have even gone so far as to personally ensure that students had adequate food

and water. These measures were invaluable to students that have already been struggling with a perilous year in the wake of an election, insurrection, mass protests and COVID-19. When the storm hit, it could have been too much for many students and made the hope of pursuing higher education seem like a distant dream. This course of action was a reminder that despite working remotely, this college functions like a community and looks out for the greater good of one another. We commend the response and actions of the entirety of Dallas College’s staff and sincerely thank every one of you that made this possible.

Personal data should not be sold How would you respond if a stranger walked into your house and proceeded to write down your address, phone numbers, social security number, blood type and school records, then sold them to the highest bidder? Most people wouldn’t allow it. Well, what if I told you that’s already happening, and you likely told the people responsible they could do it? As social media usage has increased, especially among young people, we’ve seen a digital gold rush of information that companies desperately want to get a hold of to market their services. But how much of this data should be allowed to be collected by government and private companies, and what steps should be taken to right any wrongs when the data is used in nefarious ways? Like many people, I used to check the boxes of the terms of service for every app or website I used, signing away my data just for the ability to use a service with my colleagues. Without consenting to data collection, you and I are not allowed to send a friend a message on the cell phone we purchased without allowing the carrier to save and collect some of that data. Things like online banking and cell phone plans are modern-day

Blake Strickland @TheEtCetera

essentials for anyone wishing to stay economically and socially advanced. This collection of data has been magnified by our current COVID-19 situation, which has forced many adults and minors into using services like Zoom for work and school. Zoom was caught selling the data of adults and minors to Facebook, a company that’s been at the forefront of data breaches. Why should these private companies and institutions be allowed to collect and distribute other people’s information for profit or any other purpose? What other sectors of business or life allow an individual to sell a property that does not intrinsically belong to them, and how can a company be allowed to restrict services because you don’t allow them access to monitor your internet traffic so they can sell you things? My own personal experience with a data breach in my high school shows how quickly things can go bad. At 15 years old, most of my private information was either stolen

from or sold by a government information database. Once acquired, certain individuals then used that data to extort thousands of dollars from my grandfather. They used my private information to convince him I was being held against my will, and he was going to have to pay them to get me back. Suffering from dementia, he did as he was instructed, and when I was not released to him, he called me for the dozenth time that day. I finally answered as my phone had been off for the school day, per their policy. I called my parents and informed them of what had happened, and they called the police. Since I had not been allowed to have a social media web service or cell phone plan, it was determined I had not been the cause of the data leak. It was likely the school or a hospital. Some of the specific data they revealed led investigators to believe the leak occurred from the school. While a very rare and anecdotal experience, it shows how data can be siphoned from places you’d never expect to be compromised. Worst of all, it creates victims who can’t find retribution or hold the parties responsible for negligence or ill will. In my situation, the school was

protected by the documents my parents had signed at the beginning of the school year so I could get an education. The onus is on you to protect yourself and your data when online. Unfortunately, when it comes to data collection, there’s not much an individual who wants to be part of a technological society can do to combat it. But there are ways to mitigate your exposure with things like virtual private networks and other ISP routing services, which can hide your data or mask your IPs location. Social media isn’t the only threat to data, just the largest and most prevalent. It can also come in the form of an app you download to buy a burrito from Chipotle for a discount. Every bit of exposure puts you more at risk. The best thing you can do to protect yourself from data theft is to start reading those terms and conditions and refusing to accept when you feel your rights to privacy are being violated. It could mean losing your social media presence or access to luxury services , but our rights to safety and privacy are undoubtedly more important. — Blake Strickland is a film and television production major and a contributor



The Et Cetera


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Brady spirals past competition with 7 championships It’s been almost a year since Tom Brady shocked the world by signing a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after being a New England Patriot for 20 seasons. Now Brady has made his tenth appearance at the Super Bowl in his 21-year career and won his seventh Super Bowl ring. Brady managed to win six Super Bowls, 14time Pro Bowler, three-time first-team All-Pro, and three-time MVP with the Patriots. Now, he has won another after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 at Super Bowl LV. Many people doubted the 43-year-old quarterback’s decision in joining a team that hadn’t won a playoff game since 2002 and finished the 2019 season with a record of 7-9. Looking just at the numbers, it made sense for why many NFL fans would think it wouldn’t end well. But this is Tom Brady we’re talking about: a player who was picked in the sixth round with the 199th overall selection at the 2000 draft, who then became the greatest football player the game has ever seen. It’s important for people to remember the

Anthony Hernandez @TheEtCetera

backstory of the Buccaneers. They are the worst organization when it comes to winning percentage in the history of the NFL. There was no offseason, and everything was stacked against them. It took Brady five months to take them to the Super Bowl. Brady could pick up a rock and turn it into a diamond. He’s a quarterback from the last generation playing with athletes half his age and still dominating. Brady’s first season as a Buccaneer was quite an accomplishment. The Buccaneer’s finished the regular season with a record of 11-5 and he was able to adjust to his new team in no time. He tied for the second-most touchdowns and third-most in pass yards in the 2020 NFL regular season. The Buccaneers ended their playoff drought

in the wild card game against Washington, advancing to face Drew Brees’ New Orleans Saints on potentially his final year as an NFL quarterback. One of this season’s special moments was watching Brady lead Tampa Bay to advance to the NFC Championship Game. A matchup against Green Bay’s quarterback and the top nominee for regular-season MVP, Aaron Rodgers, who was coming off the best season of his career at the age of 37. Hungry for that extra step that could lead Rodgers to his second ring since 2011, it was obvious this was going to be the defining factor for both of these quarterbacks’ seasons. Brady surpassed greatness by achieving what many thought was impossible and took the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their first Super Bowl in 13 years. This alone should end the debate of whether Brady is the best football player in history, after winning another Super Bowl ring. What other player can change teams after 20 years at the age of 43 then singlehandedly pick up a mediocre team and

Salon work is difficult in a pandemic Those of us who are hairstylists during the pandemic are trying our best to keep our clients and ourselves safe and healthy. This can be difficult because it is impossible to social distance in this kind of work. Salons are for the public, so stylists are constantly being exposed to different people every day. We never know if they have the virus or not. Many clients have not returned because they fear for their health, and many stylists have left their job because of the concern over the virus. I first started working as a receptionist at Great Clips in August of 2019 as part of my training to become a stylist. After a few months of watching haircuts, cleaning and learning the computer system, I was able to start working as a stylist. I continued to cut hair until the pandemic forced us to shut down. The day the salon reopened, there were so many people lined up outside. I took phone calls, checked people in and cleaned constantly. I was told that if it became too busy, I would need to step onto the floor as a stylist. The first day was stressful. I was scared that anyone could have the virus, and I would not know. I had a choice to either not return to work, or to return and make money. I decided that I needed to work. Because of the virus, there are more restrictions than before. As salon employees, we have to check our temperature every morning. We also have to wipe everything down with a disinfecting spray after each client. Before the pandemic, we only had to disinfect after clients who received shampoos. Salon services are limited. We are not allowed to trim beards or bangs that are not part of a full haircut. We are also not allowed to do shampoos anymore.

Stylists and clients must be Leah masked. There Salinas have been cases @TheEtCetera where clients have come in and argued about wearing a mask in the salon. The chairs in the lobby are placed 6 feet apart, and only three people are allowed to wait inside at a time. Although, many clients have lost their jobs since the pandemic, I believe many will still return to the salon once the pandemic is over. Some clients have mentioned how they are relying on the stimulus money and their unemployment. Others have been lucky enough to find a job. Even though masks and social distancing will not disappear right away, a COVID-19 vaccine gives hope that life will return to the old normal. Stylists like me will go back to earning tips each day in addition to a paycheck every two weeks. Clients will be able to walk in freely and stand or sit next to other people while they wait their turn. Everyone will be able to speak more clearly and breathe more easily. Clients will also be able to go back to shaking hands or hugging their stylist as a greeting. Nearly everyone has experienced a loss during the pandemic, and it has taught us a valuable lesson. Appreciate what you have, because one day it could all disappear. —Leah Salinas is a contributor and a radio broadcasting major.

make them Super Bowl champions in a single season? You don’t have to like Brady, but you have to respect the fact that he’s one of the greatest athletes next to Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali. Already the first and only player to win seven Super Bowl rings, he was able to top himself once again by beating the defending champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. Brady faced last year’s Super Bowl champions Kansas City and their young talented quarterback Patrick Mahomes in Super Bowl LV. Tony Romo described it as Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James. As a 49ers fan whose team lost to Kansas City in last year’s Super Bowl, let me tell you, Mahomes is a dangerous man. Regardless of Brady winning Super Bowl LV, he had already proven to everyone who ever doubted him that it doesn’t matter who he is playing with or against. Tom Brady is the best in the game. —Anthony Hernandez is a contributor and a math major.



Wednesday, March 3, 2021


The Et Cetera

Nursing student shares life lessons learned from family


Q& A

Student, waitress, homeowner — Jackie Huerta is only 21 years old, but she has already experienced it all. Following in the footsteps of her immigrant parents, Huerta is working toward becoming a nurse and an investor. Huerta sat down with Et Cetera contributor Johnson Tran to discuss her experiences, goals and how she balances her responsibilities.


Are you interested in doing something in the medical field?

I’m almost done with my prerequisites for nursing, then I just have to study hard for the TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills) in order to get accepted into the nursing program.


What made you decide on that field?

Ever since I was little, I wanted to be a cardiologist. I’ve always had a passion for helping other people. Getting into nursing would be the first step. I just honestly love how nurses are always there with the patient. As a waitress, I’m always asking my customers, “Is everything OK? Is there anything I can get for you?” And I’m not saying being a waitress and being a nurse is the same thing, but you’re there for the patient/customer, always making sure they are doing 120%. I always like to give amazing customer service, so I know that nursing is something that will suit me, because I love making sure people are doing OK. Also, my grandmother recently passed away due to cancer, so that just motivates me even more.


Do you have plans to advance in your field? I actually want to specialize in neurology for nursing. Then, if I want to continue my education, hopefully one day I will become a doctor. Do you have any tips or advice for students

Left, Jackie Huerta at Asian Star in Dallas, the restaurant owned by her family and she helps manage Feb. 28. Huerta poses with her father, Marco.

interested in nursing?



Never give up and always study very hard. There’s times where you want to give up, but everything is possible if you really set your mind to it. What are some of your hobbies?

I work out. It is a relief from everything, especially with COVID. I am a student and I have also worked full-time, so sometimes it’s hard to juggle both of those things together. And I recently became a homeowner, so that’s more stress.


How did you manage to get your own home?

Years of saving up. It’s so easy to waste your money on little things like food. A nice meal just for yourself, 20 bucks, adds up every day. So honestly, it took a lot of saving up, a lot of sacrifices from eating out. I would always have to think twice about purchasing something. My parents have been very supportive. I know not many people have the opportunity to have parents that don’t charge them rent to live with them. So I’m very thankful that my parents have never charged me a dime. They truly support me and want me to succeed.


What do you for a living? How are you able to afford the house?

I work at a restaurant. It’s actually my parents’ restaurant. I’m a waitress and assistant manager. I do a little bit of everything. I’m very thankful to my parents for giving me the job that I have. I’m also a student, so sometimes I need to study, and they give me that opportunity to go. With COVID, tips haven’t been really good, but I still try to save as much as I can.


How have you been balancing school, work and life? It’s really hard, especially because everything is online. I’ve had professors who don’t do live

classes. You just have to email them and they don’t respond until 24 hours later. With work, it can be challenging. I’m there from 10 in the morning all the way to 10 p.m. So, I’m basically there all day, and the days I have off are the only days I get to study and be in class.


Do you have any family members you look up to?

Definitely my parents, because my parents are immigrants. My mom is from El Salvador, and my dad is from Mexico. They literally came from nothing, especially my mom. She didn’t have a dime with her when she got here. My dad and my mom met here in the United States, and they have four houses. They rent them. And then their house and a restaurant too. So my immigrant parents came from nothing to literally living the American dream. They help out my family in El Salvador and help out my family in Mexico. They’re always giving back.


What are some important values they’ve taught you?

To always respect others. My parents have always taught me, if someone is being disrespectful to you, just move along with your day. And, of course, to always have faith in God. Having faith in God puts you in really good hands.


Are there any goals or plans you have set?

Besides nursing, I also want to become an investor, like my parents. I want to have multiple homes, rent them out, make money out of them. My dad plans to retire sometime soon. My dad works seven days a week. If he’s lucky, he’ll get maybe two days off in a month. I want him to retire because I’m ready to take care of my parents. They have taken care of me for 21 years, never charging me a dime to live with them. So I want to make that happen for them as well. Editor’s note: This interview was edited for style and brevity. Read the full Q&A online at eastfieldnews.com.

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Eastfield Et Cetera March 3, 2021  

Eastfield Et Cetera March 3, 2021