The Mesa Press Volume 52, Issue 6
BAND REVIEW Pg. 6
The Independent Student Publication of San Diego Mesa College
May 12, 2009
Q&A: Talking with Mesa student Serena Cuevas, star of a national Gatorade commercial MEGAN LOONEY The Mesa Press
Lexi Lomax, a 22-year-old Mesa Student, in her boutique and spa, “Ooh La La”
Photo by Erica Arvizu
From bands to boutiques to blogs, up-and-coming young Mesa students are finding success and putting Mesa on the map Story on Page 3
Local hot shot Serena Cuevas goes headto-head with tennis champ Serena Williams in a national Gatorade commercial just a few short years after doctors told her she might never dance again. Cuevas is a 24-year-old Mesa Business Marketing Major who already owns her own Dance Company. She has been competing in salsa for half of her life. Her commercial already has over 8,000 hits on YouTube, and now she explains why her story caught the attention of Gatorade’s head honchos. Can you tell us about your car accident? Well, I was driving on the 5 and spun across the freeway. I hit a car going across each lane, then the rear end of my car ended up in the guardrail, that’s when I realized I pulled a muscle in my neck and head and there was glass everywhere. How did you get involved in dance? My mom took private ballroom lessons. She would come home and practice and I would watch and end up practicing with her. But I have taken dance seriously for the past 13 years now. How many auditions do you go to a year? I am committed to running my company right now. I have three teams and also teach private lessons. But someone from Gatorade actually contacted me. I thought ‘whatever,’ Gatorade isn’t going to actually call me. But they liked my story, which about overcoming adversity in sports. How many people recognize you from the commercial? Oh gosh, I get a million texts a day and random calls. My number is on my Web site so people can easily contact me. I get people asking me, “are you the Gatorade girl?” when I’m out. Maybe 30 people so far just this month.
See Q&A on page 3
News Page 2
The Mesa Press
Landfair launches student web show
BROOK DAILEY The Mesa Press
Mesa College student Ronnie Landfair understands and embraces the challenges of being heard and making a dent in the technologically fast paced world that we live in. The Mesa College population is filled with diverse individuals, most who try their hand in all sorts of different challenges and Landfair is here to explore the accomplishments of those individuals. Landfair has taken full advantage of his voice
The Mesa Press Founded in 1966
Advising Professor Janna Braun
Online Editor Johnny Ngo
Editors-in-Chief Erica Arvizu Johnny Ngo
Reporters Brook Dailey Eniola Jose Angelica Lawrence Eric Miller Bea Pesenti Alex Renteria Sarah Swasey Danny West
Managing Editor BJ Grieve News Editor Megan Looney Sports Editors Kenny Kinder Ryan Vicente Features Editor Trenton Villanueva Opinion Editor Brittany Wiczek Photo Editor Christina Moran
May 12, 2009
This publication is produced as a journalism workshop for aspiring journalists. All materials, including the opinions expressed herein, are the sole responsibility of the authors and should not be interpreted to be those of the San Diego Community College District. Submissions may be made to the address above.
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through participation in the Mesa speech and debate team and now with his very own webshow, “The Ronnie Landfair Show” (“RLS”) and “RLS On Blast.” The Ronnie Landfair Show has been loyal to the Mesa community by talking with students and teachers from Mesa College. Each show is dedicated to a guest who has accomplished his or her dreams and explores how they reached the point of success. Landfair’s first guest on the show was Mesa student and salsa dancer Serena Cuevas. She started her own dance company at the age of 21. She has also starred in a new Gatorade commercial, opposite Serena Williams. The show host was driven to use the full potential of his voice when he was the new guy in a Navy division of 92 sailors. “I presented a challenge to myself… I would have a personal conversation with every last individual,” said Landfair. “Even though people associated in their own clique, they were uniquely distinguished as individuals by their stories, passions and upbringings. They all shared common challenges and didn’t even realize it. I thought that if just a few of them shared their stories on a large platform, they would be able to connect with each other.” The show also has a second, more casual feeling segment between Ronnie and
three other guests as they discuss a hot topic of the week called “On Blast.” This segment is designed to evaluate all viewpoints of certain issues and follow with discussion and friendly argument. “While the original show will focus on highlighting individuality and personal achievements, “On Blast” will show how those types of people combat the challenges of life,” Landfair explains. Landfair recognizes that everyone deserves to be heard and every opinion is welcomed. This driven individual has the power to move people and mountains through positive communication. The second episode of the Ronnie Landfair Show features Mesa professor Starla Lewis as she discusses her new book “Sunkisses”, a coloring book for little girls with encouraging messages of love and individuality. “I am brilliant, I am powerful, I am limitless, I am love.” These are just a few of Starla’s messages. Ronnie has many goals in mind, and he’s just getting started. “It is my hope that my message of re-powering the spirit, renewed personal identity, and unstoppable motivation will spread universally.” The Ronnie Landfair Show can be found on YouTube.com under “The Ronnie Landfair Show”.
May 12, 2009
News page 3
The Mesa Press
Ooh La Lexi!
“Golden Scissors” is going to be sheer genius MEGAN LOONEY The Mesa Press
ERICA ARVIZU The Mesa Press
hile many 20-something college women spend their days contemplating split ends and social scenes, 22-yearold Lexi Lomax is up early opening the doors of her independently owned salon and spa “Ooh La La.” “I grew up knowing that I would be my own boss,” Lomax said. At 19, the petite brunette powerhouse visualized and spent a year of planning to open a salon/boutique. Her dream came to fruition at 20, and she is now in her second year as an independent business owner, and boasts that she has yet to see a red month. It’s not uncommon for students to
There is a dress made out of a screen door and leaves, yes, actual green leaves. And a gown constructed from bubble wrap. Don’t forget the garment beautifully transformed from bed sheet to summer ensemble. Don’t forget about the hot pink, punk mini dress with black zippers zig- zagging across the front. The 28th annual Mesa fashion show is back and shaking it up at this year’s Golden Scissors Fashion Show on May 15. The theme is “Fashion Exposed” and will tap into their parent’s bank accounts, learned to prioritize her life and find be played out through the raw, but Lomax opted to tap into her a balance between work, school and a daring designs and also via the parent’s guidance and knowledge of social life. live streaming video showing the industry. “I do everything I want to do but behind-the-scenes action all Lomax attributes much of her I know my limits and responsibilities,” night. success to her parents, both owners said Lomax. “It’s my plan to work my The runway will light up of booming businesses, but also takes butt off now and not have to work when at 7:30 p.m. at the Town and pride in the initiative and hard work I’m 50.” Country Resort but show up she invested into building a business, She plans on eventually venturing with your VIP tickets to attend literally from the ground up. into other areas of business, but is most a special reception and silent Lomax had a hand in every aspect passionate about fashion. Lomax also auction at 5:30 p.m. of the salon’s creation, including the plans on using her BA in history to There will be about three structure and interior design of the become a teacher. complete collections presented building. The salon is fashioned in a “Ooh La La” provides a number on the catwalk, individually simple black and white motif with a of services including hair styling, submitted pieces all created by 20s spin. nails and waxing. The boutique inside current Fashion students and a She is currently enrolled in 12 units sells clothing that Lomax tries to keep featured designer (a Mesa alumni). of fashion design courses at Mesa and affordable, usually $50 and under. The categories that the fashions fall into are works full time managing the salon. The salon is located at 1174 casual, career, club wear, children’s, special occasion, With so much on her plate, Lomax has Broadway in El Cajon. evening, fantasy and retro re-do. Within these, students could submit reduce, reuse, recycled pieces made entirely from things they already had laying around house. Tickets are $20 in advance and $30 at the door. Any cool perks of being on TV? massages! You can purchase them from anyone in the Fashion Yeah, I have been given a lot of opWhat is the biggest dancing no-no Department (visit B-103) or through Pay Pal. portunities, like movies. I don’t think I am you see? The Mesa Fashion Department, along with fellow allowed to talk about it right now. But we’ll When they squeeze their part- designers, was recently featured on San Diego Living set up another interview after I sign the ner’s fingers, I call it the death grip. (CW, Channel 6). To see their video visit www. contract. So keep reading the Mesa Press What’s the biggest award you have youtube.com/watch?v=Q65v_vseH9s. Nothing will everyone, stay tuned. received? beat seeing them live and in person. Do you have a salsa- dancing boyfriend? At the 2007 ESPN World Artwork by Noel Laws, the woman in charge of Yes I do have a boyfriend. He doesn’t Championships I competed in the the fashion show this year. dance a lot but he has trained for a couple team division, which is one of the years. He’s a great guy and that’s way more most competitive divisions, and we important than being a great dancer. got 12th in the world. I am hopefully going everything else they have to go through, I Favorite club in SD? back in 2010 to compete in the couples don’t want them to go into debt also. We The best salsa club is Prospects Bar division. are asking for a $40 donation. I got all the and Lounge. I also teach there on Monday Any big events coming up? salsa directors in San Diego to come and nights starting in June. Café Sevilla is like a Yes! There is a workshop on Saturday donate their teaching time. It’s from 1 p.m. crowded meat market. When I’m going out June 6 at Cheek 2 Cheek dance studio at to 6 p.m. and is for anybody of all levels. to dance, I want to do just that. 4360 Morena Blvd. It is a fund raiser for And from 5 to 6p.m. there will be shows, so What are some luxuries you indulge in? my niece, Gia, who has to get a surgery everyone can see me dance. And the event I get my haircut every week since it’s done. When she was born 90 percent of her is partially sponsored by Gatorade so there so short. I also get pedicures because I airways were blocked. always have to look at my feet. My feet get Her parents live in Puerto Rico and she will be plenty of G2 for everyone. worked and that’s the best for hygiene, most has to get the surgery in Philadelphia. With dancers do it. And recently I started getting
Mesa dancer strikes it big
Opinion Page 4
Trevor Gee, 29 Mechanical Engineering
BJ Hart, 19 Marketing
If any celebrity could play you in a movie about your life who would you pick?
John Norris, 18 Business
Media Fuels Swine Flu Hysteria The swine flu has yet to reach pandemic proportions, but that hasn’t slowed the progression of worldwide panic and excessive media attention. According to the World Health Organization, the number of confirmed swine flu cases has reached at least 2,000. The Mexican government has reported a total of 44 deaths, and in the United States there are 385 people infected with the virus. While these numbers have been blasted across media headlines alongside fear-evoking terms like “world-wide pandemic” and “global threat,” the truth remains that the most prominent effect of the swine flu to date has been that on the global economy. As if the fear of the drug cartels hasn’t already put a dent in Mexican tourism, the country where the virus was first detected has lost a total of $2 billion in tourism revenue. Over 300,000 pigs have been unnecessarily slaughtered in Egypt, regardless of the fact that the virus cannot be transmitted from animals to humans. The devastation on the Egyptian farm workers led to violent protests in the streets of Cairo. The Mexican and American pork industries have also felt strong financial blows as many countries including China, Canada and Russia have banned imports due to swine flu fears. While it is always safe to err on the side of precaution when facing a new virus strain, it is equally necessary to consider the current threat before persuading billions of people into taking apocalyptic measures. Every year an estimated 36,000 people die from the influenza virus. In fact, since January more than 13,000 people have died from the common flu strain; these deaths being of no newsworthy interest.
May 12, 2009
The Mesa Press
The media has had the strongest hand in the perpetuation of false ideas regarding the swine flu and are responsible for much of the general hysteria. Some media sources have compared this new strain to the Spanish flu of 1918, which killed an estimated 70-100 million people. Health officials maintain that the possibility of the swine flu reaching such catastrophic proportions is highly unlikely, especially given the current number of infected individuals and the low percentage of deaths that have occurred. When the World Health Organization released the number of deaths that could occur should there be a pandemic, the media presented those numbers as an imminent threat of inevitable doom. The Associated Press released a headline on Thursday stating “Up to 2 billion people might get swine flu.” The media is notorious for taking facts out of context but writing a whole article based on a hypothetical situation just seems like uninformed fear mongering. It took only days after the virus’s detection for the media to integrate the word “pandemic” into most people’s daily vocabulary, but how long will it take to undo the damage that has been done to the economy by excessive reporting and false information? The deaths caused by the swine flu are tragic, but the confusion between the current situation and a hypothetical pandemic is generating a gross overreaction that will do nothing but worsen the current situation. It is time for the general population to understand not only the actual dangers of the new flu strain, but the devastating outcomes that can be had by worldwide panic and overreaction.
Natalie Peters, 19 Early Childhood Education
Andrea Shank, 26 Dance
May 12, 2009
Top Ten Things Deadlier Than The Swine Flu DANNY WEST BJ GRIEVE The Mesa Press
1. Listening to Coldplay 2. Being Asian in Clint Eastwood’s neighborhood 3. Beyonce’s thighs 4. Being Chris Brown’s girlfriend 5. Stallone in “Over the Top” 6. Getting stabbed (it hurts) 7. Reading The Mesa Press 8. The Voyage of the Challenger 9. Being married to Roman Polanski 10. OJ’s love of white women
Everybody loves BJ
The Mesa Press
BJ GRIEVE The Mesa Press
wine flu. Swine flu. Swine flu. Shut up about the damn swine flu already. The swine flu has become less of an epidemic at this point and has been relegated to fodder for stupid people who aren’t funny. The swine flu has taken out one person in the United States. One person. A regular old runny nose and fever flu kills about 36,000 people annually. Why is it that the swine flu is the buzzword for 2009? It’s not even an impressive strain, like say puma flu. If there was a puma or polar bear with a cannon strapped to its back flu, that is something I could get behind. Oh, and that one person? It was a young boy. Who came here from Mexico. With swine flu already. And why is the swine flu such a scare in the year 2009 anyhow? A mutated pig virus that can now infect humans is what could possibly take down the human race and cause the computers to take over? Doubtful. Relax. This thing shouldn’t even be a concern. We should have a cure for this virus already anyhow. USA Today recently ran a whole page (a whole page!) with graphics and bullet points on how to avoid the deadliest epidemic since the bubonic plague. 1.) Wash your hands. 2.) Cover your mouth when you cough. 3.) Stay home if you’re sick. Take a minute and re-read those words of wisdom. Remember when your mother told you these things as a child? Remember when common sense dictated you do these things? A whole page would be understandable if the way to avoid swine flu was something outlandish and ridiculous, like think that Coldplay are redefining music or something. If scientists would stop watching old science fiction movies to find what they should be spending their money on, we would be much better off as a civilization.
Opinion page 5
Remember all that money that was budgeted for cloning? Remember Dolly the Sheep? She lived to be seven and died of lung disease. She spent her last days running into walls and finding Dane Cook funny. Money well spent. Time travel? Where would we benefit from that? So that someone could go back in time to the 1950s and narrowly miss being seduced by a younger version of their mother? Why are we still in fear of cancer? Why are we still afraid of AIDS? It’s 2009, shouldn’t we have cracked these little problems by now? We have a light-skinned, eloquent speaking black man in the oval office now, and we are so proud of ourselves for it (Yay! We’re slightly less ignorant than we thought!!) What if he were to get AIDS? If the most powerful man in the world had AIDS, we’d have 37 cures in pill form by morning. Nobody cares when they have it in their heads that it’s all junkies and former Lakers players who now own movie theater chains. AIDS is good money for the medical industry. If we go by Demolition Man, and who doesn’t, all of our restaurants should be Taco Bells by now and our bathrooms should be stocked with seashells. We have made such incredible advancements in entertainment, technology, car safety and perfecting alcohols, why are people still hurting from these horrible ailments? It’s terrible to think in this day and age, where we can go out and get a pill that takes care of our unwanted pregnancies in a few hours that a little Porky Cold is going to wipe us out as a people.
The Mesa Press
Features Page 6
May 12, 2009
Student art displayed at Mesa gallery SARAH SWASEY The Mesa Press
he San Diego Mesa College Art Gallery invites students, faculty, and anybody else interested to come take a taste of student art through May 14. The recently opened exhibit, “Art you can sink your teeth into,” is a display of Mesa students’ artwork. The gallery is presenting pieces by students enrolled in Mesa art classes for Spring 2009. On April 30, the exhibit opened with an art sale and reception. The gallery courtyard was covered with tables set up to sell everything from ceramics to handmade jewelry. Professors of the art department chose pieces they felt best represented their classes. Ranging from paintings and drawings to ceramics and statues, the Mesa art department is well showcased in the gallery. “This was a collaborative project produced by the art professors and students of the Mesa Art Department,” said Alessandra Moctezuma, Gallery Director and professor of Museum Studies. Each piece is accompanied by a statement submitted by the artist explaining his or her inspiration and why they created the piece. One piece that draws attention from across the gallery is the dress from the Mesa Fashion Department, created by Megan Costa for last year’s Golden Scissors Awards and Fashion Show. Made
entirely from non-traditional materials and no ready-towear fabrics, Costa won the first place in the Fantasy Category. A new genre of art is being presented in the gallery this year. For the first time, an interactive section was set up to draw creativity from visitors. Students and faculty are interested to see its projected success. The interactive section houses a television continuously playing a video filmed by students, of students while gallery-goers can write their feelings and ideas on the walls with chalk. The viewers are also encouraged to interact by creating their own sculptures with small “Megan Costa’s first place winning dress for the Fantasy Category at the 2008 Golden Scissors Fashwhite boxes on the table. Photo by Sarah Swasey. During the reception, ion Show.” the courtyard was also part museum studies class. This of another interactive exhibit presented class also arranges and sets by the sculpture class taught by Wendell up every show presented in Kling. Students were instructed to create the art gallery. sculptures with a focus on shelter. The Students, faculty and end product was a collection of clear many of the artists brought plastic inflatable tents that visitors could their family and friends to walk into. the reception. According to The Mesa art gallery presents student Moctezuma, this was one artwork as a final show to close every of the most crowded and semester. Each show uses a different successful gallery openings theme to present the art, produced every to date. semester by students of Moctezuma’s
Students had the opportunity to exhibit their creations at the art gallery. Photo by Sarah Swasey
Ear To The Ground Local Music Spotlight
New Age Heroes From left to right: Justin, Wes and Dustin
Photo Courtesy of Myspace
DANNY WEST The Mesa Press New Age Heroes have been cranking out catchy poppunk (with emphasis on punk according to guitarist Dustin) for about two years now. Standing by the music of our earlier years (assuming that your between the ages of 18 and 26), New Age Heroes have given San Diego tunes to take us
back to simpler times. For most of us, pop-punk died our first day of freshman year in high school, probably sometime around the early 2000’s. Maybe it was because Nirvana better suited your new found teenage angst or you were trying to hook up with that cute hipster girl by memorizing every lyric from the latest Strokes album. Either way, most of us traded our Blink 182 T shirts for a band that could get us laid. Slowly, the pop-punk craze started to fizzle, and it became embarrassing if a buddy found Blink 182’s “Cheshire Cat” or Green Day’s classic “Dookie.” Suddenly these new prophets of indie music began to frown down on the music of bands like Rancid, Blink 182, Nofx and Less Than Jake, declaring it a simple and immature music with no substance. The members of what was to become New Age Heroes weren’t going to just sit down and take this, so they started a band. If you’re looking for the next Radiohead or Pink Floyd of our generation, look elsewhere. Maybe Filter, Spin Magazine, or Pitchfork can guide you in the right direction. They may not be the most original band to come out of San Diego, but sometimes there is no need to tamper with tried and true good music. Drawing some their sound from bands such as Less Than Jake, Black Flag and Rancid, the boys of New Age Heroes shamelessly wear their influences on their shoulder while adding their own special touch to the music. Each band member brings different musical tastes to the
table (Justin used to play bass in a ska band while Wes built up his chops playing in metal and hip hop bands), resulting in a sound that stretched the boundaries of pop-punk. The band is in the process laying down the basic tracks for their upcoming full-length album and plan to have their final recording session sometime next month. If all goes as planned, the album will be released sometime this summer or early fall. Whether you’re looking for a night of power chords blasted through a massive amp at your face and room booming bass lines, a trip down memory lane or just a general good time, stop looking and just head over to one of the New Age Hero shows. You’ll walk away from it pleased, or maybe just a little bit bruised from the pit, but I guarantee that you will have a fun night.
Information Upcoming Gigs: May 23rd @ Soma Band Website: newageheroes.com myspace.com/newageheroes
May 12, 2009
Features Page 7
The Mesa Press
Fox Declaws Wolverine JOHNNY NGO The Mesa Press
and gazing with amazement that technology can do such a thing. Instead, it’s more of a sigh then a cheer. What people will notice are more mutants introduced into the film, with a big list that includes Gambit, Deadpool, Agent Zero and an early Cyclops. That’s an orgy of mutants, but they do nothing with them. We see a couple of cool tricks, but that is it. It doesn’t make sense to add characters into a film if you’re not going to divulge a little bit of who they are or what they are capable of. There are two reasons that keep this movie from being an utter failure. Jackman and Schreiber both fit perfectly well as Logan and Victor. In Jackman’s fourth film as Wolverine, he has perfected the mannerisms that are needed to play this character. Whether it’s summoning his claws, delivering one-liners or having that angry stare, Jackman brings life to the title character. Schreiber is a good fit as Victor. Victor has always been the one that is out for blood without thinking of the consequences. All he wants is to kill and Schreiber gives that evil touch to Victor that is sorely needed. It’s a good thing when we want both Logan and Victor on screen together. What ultimately makes this film unsuccessful is inevitably. Given that this is a prequel to the first three X-Men films, we all know that Logan will lose his memory and then go on his way to find out who he really was. So there has to be some
So after three X-Men films, 20th Century Fox finally decided that they will do an origin story for the most beloved character out of all the X-Men, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). In “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” the audience is supposed to learn why and how Logan becomes the mutant he is today. If you are a die-hard comic fan boy, you will be feeling one of two ways. Either it’s “Wow, tell me something I didn’t know,” or “Did they really just tweak his back-story?” Logan discovered his powers when he was a little kid in 1845. When he is directly responsible for a couple of deaths, one of them being his father, he and his half-brother Victor (Liev Schreiber) decide to run away and never look back. We are then told, through a montage of war clips, that the brothers fought in the Civil War, both World Wars, and the Vietnam War for the U.S. One has to question how this can happen when they are Canadian. Both then get recruited by William Stryker (Danny Huston) to join
an elite team of mutants. After a couple of trial runs with the group, Logan doesn’t like the direction this team is heading and decides to leave. Six years have passed and Logan is now a logger, living in the woods with his lover Kayla Silverfox (Lynn Collins). Somehow Victor tracks them down and kills Kayla in the process. Logan is out for revenge, but Stryker insists on helping him out so he can track down Victor. So Stryker puts adamantium into Logan’s body and the results are perfect. For an action film, there really isn’t a lot of buzz or excitement. When action is taking place, especially with special effects, we are suppose to be jaw-dropped CD Review
type of incentive to watching this film when we all know the
end. This is a lot like “Star Wars Episode III.” In the final chapter of the prequel, we all know that Anakin will become Darth Vader. But Lucas kept enough emotion and action to distract us to what we know will be the undoing of Anakin. “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” didn’t do that. If anything, the audience will leave the theater, scratching their heads and thinking, “that’s it?”
‘Star Trek’ soundtrack stays the course TRENTON VILLANUEVA The Mesa Press Michael Giacchino’s score for the new “Star Trek” movie isn’t especially innovative or even creative, but it is a pleasure to listen to, and along with the movie, will help present the “Star Trek” franchise to a new generation. Giacchino is just one in a long line of successful and ground breaking composers to bring music to the 40-year-old franchise. Jerry Goldsmith and James Horner, who have worked on multiple “Star Trek” movies, are both Academy Award winners. Alexander Courage’s opening theme for the original 1966 television show is regard-
ed as a classic. Although Giacchino’s music is not as grand in scope as Goldsmith’s score for “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” nor as adventurous as Horner’s music for “Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.” Nevertheless, Giacchino’s score is much more than an attempt to fill shoes. The soundtrack is dark and often times imposing. Tracks such as “Nailin’ the Kelvin,” “Nero Sighted” and “Nero Death Experience” are very fast-paced and up-tempo, which along with Giacchino’s unexpected and musical cues, makes the “Star Trek” soundtrack surprisingly exhilarating. The best track on the album is “That New Car Smell.” The song’s
simple piano rhythm and floating violin melody make it hauntingly beautiful and emotional. This track helps juxtapose the more imposing tracks on the album. The main criticism of Giacchino’s work is his reliance on his older work. “Labor Of Love” is much more than similar to much of Giacchino’s work on the television series “Lost.” The main theme, titled “Star Trek,” is very reminiscent of Giacchino’s main theme from the video game “Medal of Honor.” Still, Giacchino’s score for the new “Star Trek” movie is very well done and will probably work even better on-screen.
Features Page 8
The Mesa Press
May 12, 2009
‘Our Stories’ takes the stage at Mesa
ERIC MILLER The Mesa Press
he end of the spring semester is near and the Mesa College Dance Company celebrated that fact with a bright and diverse dance production. With summer on the horizon, “Our Stories” filled the spring air with a colorful contrasting glow of intoxicating dances from MTV style urban hip-hop to rock ‘n’ roll infused ballet. With three different categories covering issues concerning life, family, and the always present struggles of love and relationships, all the students and staff involved in “Our Stories” made for an interesting performance that conjugated many different styles of dance which seemed to overlap each other into an effortless state of unification. “Our Stories” premiered on May 1 at the Lyceum Theatre in Horton Plaza, and played for three consecutive days. It was produced by the students, alumni, and dance faculty of Mesa College. The broad range of “Our Stories” included 17 different short routines that made for a unique and assorted setting that always kept the audience in suspense
to what would be next. From the up beat “California Dreamin” to the contemporary ballet routine titled “Cydonia” which blared rock and roll music and amazed the soul with its allegro tempos and beautifully elegant dancers prancing on the stage,
“Our Stories” stole the stage and captivated the audience. Poet Amy Culley, whose poem “Normal Heights” was published in last years “Mesa Visions,” was selected by dance director and choreographer Jan Ellis for one
of the somber yet mindful performances in Act I. Culley’s truthful yet sober memories of her childhood growing up in Normal Heights, which she likes to refer as “North Park,” turns our attention to the harsh realities of growing up with an alcoholic father. In juxtaposition, with poet and dancer isolated by two adoring stage lights within a very dark and bleak background, Culley spun her creative vision and gave the audience a view of her sometimes chaotic past growing up in a yellow house with chipped paint, an old porch and a dog named Sierra. Overall, it was a good performance produced by the Mesa College Dance Company even though some of the dance costumes seemed a little lackluster. Nonetheless, the Mesa Dance Company pulled off the task of choreographing so many different unique and individual routines and made it entertaining enough to keep the audience in their seats. “Our Stories” is an expression of what is most important to all of us: family, love, and the journey of life. This was the prevailing theme of this production and it gave a warm and sometimes hidden view into the window of our souls.
May 12, 2009
Features page 9
The Mesa Press
Nothing to obsess about JOHNNY NGO The Mesa Press
“Obsessed” wants to be like “Fatal Attraction” or “Basic Instinct.” The latter films were sleek, sexy and thrilling to watch. The former offers nothing of the sort. With a formidable cast, it’s disappointing to see this film not live up to it’s predecessors. Successful business man Derek (Idris Elba) has finally have a home of his own, married to his beautiful wife Sharon (Beyonce Knowles) and raising their baby son together. Trouble brews with the arrival of Derek’s new temp Lisa (Ali Larter). Their first encounter happens in the elevator. Derek is his friendly self, Lisa believes it’s love at first sight. The advances come but Derek rejects profusely. Flirtation becomes obsession and that’s no good for Derek. Especially when Sharon
is one crazy bitch when it comes to her man. There are plenty of things that hurt this movie, the biggest being the writing. David Loughery knows how to set up a story but it stops right there. All the characters are given one note. Derek should show some struggle between love and lust when Lisa is teasing him but he’s regulated to being a saint. There is no fun when the most confused character in the film isn’t confused at all. Lisa is all obsessed with Derek but here really isn’t a gradual process to the stalking. The obsession basically happens from the get-go. Audiences will hate her only because she is meant to be hated, not because of her actions throughout the film. Sharon is the worst of the three. She’s there to raise havoc for the last act of the film. She wants to seek and destroy the bitch and that is all she’s good for.
It doesn’t help that the actors inhibiting the characters bring nothing to the script. Elba likes to yell and then be restraint and yell again, all in the same motion. Larter looks sexy but her being delusional really doesn’t work. Then there is Beyonce, who was sensational in “Cadillac Records,” really was in bitch mode the whole time. Like all movies with bad scripts, they all have bad endings. And the ending for this film will leave you laughing (not in a good way), disgusted (did they really write that in) and having your jaw dropped (again, not in a good way). There are a few funny parts in the film, some intentional and some not. Granted, this film is intended for a certain demographic (especially if Beyonce and Earvin “Magic” Johnson are executive producers) and they surely will suspend their disbelief in some parts. But as the movie goes, no one will be obsessing over this.
Knowles as Sharon in Obsessed
Photo courtesy of google images
Sports Page 10
May 12, 2009
The Mesa Press
Season of dominance ALEX RENTERIA The Mesa Press
For the first time since 1991, the Men’s Tennis team finished first in the Pacific Coast Conference. “This year was unreal,” said tennis Coach Mike Hootner. Coach Hootner felt very confident about the strength of his team at the beginning of the year and their strength was shown over the entire year. The Olympians had an overall record of 12-3 and they went 10-0 in league play. Throughout this season the Olympians have shown overall dominance. Last year the Olympians’ record was 9-8 with a conference record of 8-6. That is much of an improvement. “I’m very proud of them,” said Coach Hootner. “To go 10-0 in conference play is rare and they should be very proud of this rare and wonderful accomplishment.”
These players are a true team. Everybody on this team contributed to their success. There was not only one star on the team. Whether it came to singles matches or double matches it was evident that everyone was together as one. “It was a magical year,” said Hootner. “The players made each other better, cared about one another and improved as the year went on.” From April 23 to April 26 the Olympians traveled to Ventura, California to participate in the Ojai Tournament. The Olympians won three of their matches in the tournament, which is a huge success. Also, six of the Mesa’s players qualified for the SoCal Regional Tournament. There was more success shown in the SoCal Regional tournament. Mesa won two more of its matches. Look for this young team to continue their dominance next season as seven players will be returning.
TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME
RYAN VICENTE The Mesa Press
Forget about Major League Baseball’s infatuation with steroid users and be prepared to stuff your face with overpriced hot dogs because it’s time to head to the ballpark. Spending a day watching America’s pastime can be a great experience, some go to just soak in the atmosphere while others are there to bleed their team colors. Every team has got their personalities on the field but the real characters are in the stands. Some fans are hilarious and enjoyable, but the select few have read the rules on going to a baseball game. You know who you are. You show up at the game and everyone groans when you plop down in the seat next to them. Stay away from these characters if you want to have a good time, but more importantly, don’t be that guy.
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The Wave Starter The wave is a dying tradition that happens one too many times a game and always seems to last too long. Trust me, nobody is thanking you for starting the wave every inning. The Superfan When you are running across the aisles with your gut hanging out and a chest covered in paint and hair it’s a little distracting. Where’s Waldo Nobody wants to watch you stand up and wave your arms while you scream on your cell phone, “Where are you? Can you see me? I’m wearing green! Where are you? Do you see me yet? I’m right here!” The Educator Helping newcomers understand the game is perfectly fine but nobody wants to listen to you explain the rules to your girlfriend for nine innings. If she keeps asking you if they scored a touchdown, give it up. The Kid At Heart You’ve been bringing your baseball glove since your first game but you’re 40 now and that home run is never going to fly your way so please leave your glove at home. The Dress Code Violator Wearing a jersey to a sporting event is always a great idea, unless you’re wearing a jersey from a different sport. Please save your oversized Kobe Bryant jersey for the hardwood.
May 12, 2009
The Mesa Press
Sports page 11
Women’s swim and dive finishes fifth in state KENNY KINDER The Mesa Press
oach Jim Fegan and his women’s swimming and diving team experienced a successful run this season performing well in regular season, conference and state competitions. The Lady Olympians finished the dual meet season undefeated making it the second consecutive season in which the women’s swimming and diving team have clinched the Pacific Coast Conference dual meet championship. “The team was not challenged in any dual meets, but there have been some great individual swims throughout the season,” said Fegan. With the help of diving coach Kristie Bowdler, sophomore Megan Looney was able to display her polished diving skills at the PCC and Southern California Championships. “She’s the best [Bowdler]. This is her first season here and already I’ve learned more from her than I’ve learned in two years on other teams,” responded Looney, who is also a Mesa Press staff member. “She pushes me to do new things and is very encouraging. She knows what she’s doing.” Looney finished second in the conference meet in both the 1-meter and 3-meter board events. “It’s great to have the diving program back on track. The divers gave us a big boost all season and finished very well,” replied Fegan. The Mesa swimmers also performed well during the PCC Championships.
The Lady Olympians secured first place finishes in the 50, 100, 200, 500 and 800 Free Relay, the 50 and 100 Butterfly, the 200 and 400 Medley, and the 50 Breaststroke competition. “I was pleasantly surprised how well everyone swam at the conference championships. I knew we would do well but I didn’t expect us to swim as fast as we did,” said Fegan. With the season end approaching, Mesa would add one last dominating performance on an already highly decorated season. The Lady Olympians went on to conduct several impressive team and individual performances at the California State Championships setting numerous school records in the process. As a team, Mesa finished respectively in the 200 and 400 Medley Relay events, and also in the 200 and 400 Free Relay competitions. The Lady Olympians best team effort came during the first two days of the three-day competition. Mesa clinched the top five twice with fifth place finishes in both the 200 and 800 Free Relay, setting school records in both events. Mesa College also showcased its individual talent with stellar solo performances. Freshman Julie Wells finished the 100 and 200 IM events in third place, setting a school record in the 100 IM. Her time of 59.27 was the sixth fastest all-time in community college competition. Wells also finished in fourth place in the 100 Breaststroke events setting another school record of 1:06.75.
Looney would finish the 1 and 3-meter diving events with seventh and 12th place finishes. Lauren Braswell earned a 16th place finish in the 50 breaststroke events. Braswell also moved up a spot and finished 15th in the 100 Breaststroke. In the 50 Free event, swimmer Talyssa D’Avila finished in 15th place earning a time of 25.26. However, the best individuals performances of the championships came from freshman Murphy Wimer. Wimer was one of two competitors to win three individuals titles. She was victorious in the 500 Free and 100 Butterfly events. Wimer swam the second fastest time in state championship history with her performance in the 200 IM. Mesa finished in fifth place overall at the state championships. Fegan and his team enjoyed ongoing success all season long and capped it off with dominating performances in their final stand. “We had a few ups and downs during the season, with injuries and illnesses setting our progress back for a couple of weeks, but I am extremely happy with how the season went, especially the large individual improvements in times from everyone,” said Fegan. Braswell, D’Avila, Looney, Wells, Wimer, MaryKate Foster and Nicole Macarthur were all named All-State this season. “It is exciting to know that most of the team is made up of freshmen, so next year should be even better,” he concluded.
Sports Page 12
The Mesa Press
May 12, 2009
Student atheletes shine at STAR Awards
RYAN VICENTE The Mesa Press
xceptional student athletes at Mesa were recognized for their academic achievements and community spirit at the STAR awards. Faculty members and student athletes from all sports were in attendance for the second annual awards ceremony. The ceremony began with a dedication to Coach Matt Koffler. The Mesa football coach passed away on Dec. 19, 2008. “His Olympian legacy will never burn out at Mesa,” said MAAP counselor Kristy Carson. To kick off the festivities, track and field coach Leslie Coons sang a beautiful rendition of The Star Spangled Banner. The highest honor of the ceremony was given to Joshua Denz. He was presented with the SUPERSTAR Award. The award is given to the student athlete who best embodies a dedication to academics, community service and athletics. Denz plays an important role with his leadership on both the water polo and swim team while also maintaining a 4.0 GPA, the Pacific Coast Conference also presented him with the Male Student Athlete Award. The water polo finished third in PCC. Denz has served in the military and also volunteers at the local YMCA. The Individual Community Spirit Award was given to women’s soccer player Chelsea Gentry who shares her
love of sports with kids in the community. She played an important role on the team as they made a historic run to the State Finals. Gentry scored a crucial goal in the second round of the playoffs to take down Ventura College. The Team Community Spirit award went to the women’s basketball team for their participation in breast cancer awareness. Women’s cross country and women’s track and field ran away with the Highest Team GPA awards for the spring and fall semesters. The football team, who finished the season as American Mountain Conference champions, was recognized for having a 99% attendance rate as a group. Carson worked with Athletic Director Dave Evans and Dean of Student Developmement and Matriculation Joi Blake to put the awards ceremony together. “We wanted to be able to showcase our athletes as scholars,” said Carson. 2009 Individual STAR Awards Winners: Highest GPA Joshua Denz, Men’s water polo/swim Amanda Piliste, Women’s swim Laura Dassrath, Women’s tennis Individual Community Spirit Award Chelsea Gentry, Women’s soccer SUPERSTAR Award Joshua Denz, Men’s water polo/swim Award winner Josh Denz (middle) with MAPP Counselor Kristy Carson (left) and President Rita Cepeda Photo by Ryan Vicente
Mesa Spring Sports Recap SOFTBALL
Record: 10-9 (0-2) Final Ranking: Third in PCC
Top Performers: Brittany Gomez, Kri-
sarah Quichocho-Rosario, Victoria Trujillo, Hannah Chartier, Alexis Franco, Chelsea Herrera and Denisse Martinez
Awards: All-PCC Second Team Recap: Led by head coach and co-head
coach Mary Bongard and Jaclyn Guidi, the Mesa softball team was able to post an above .500 record. They were winless in conference play but had some good individual performances naming three players to the All-PCC Second Team.
Record: 4-14 (3-2) Final Ranking: Second in PCC
1M and 3M Diving), and Nathan Resch (PCC Coach of the year)
Top Performers: Tyler D’Egidio, Mitch BASEBALL Wissing and Stephen Spieker
Recap: Coach Landicho and his team made
Record: 20-22 (12-13) Final Ranking: Fourth in PCC
vast improvements from a season ago. The Olympians won three conference matches after going winless last season. They had 15 single-set victories.
Top Performers: Anthony Lopez, Tyler
MEN’S SWIMMING AND DIVING
Recap: Overwhelmed by a young roster,
Record: 2-2 (2-1) Final Ranking: Ninth in PCC
Awards: Marco Osorio (PCC Champion,
200 IM), Chris Quiroz (PCC Champion, 200 Butterfly), Quan Brown (PCC Champion,
Bryan, Allen Boyer and Darren Gay
Award: All-PCC First Team the Olympians struggled this season in key areas. They hit pretty well, but their inconsistent pitching and inability to close games overshadowed their offense. The Olymoians are talented and look forward to a turnaround next spring.