El Camino College
a b l e c o of
5 A husband deployed Married to a man and the military
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14 8 Fire dancer Local students honor age-old tradition
Whatâ€™s love got to do with it? Is it a good idea to be in a relationship while attending college?
23 20 Got fashion? Fashion Club members show off designs
EC or bust Photo essay
24 Once upon a time in Mexico History teacher brings Chicano studies to life
n t e n t s What’s the most outrageous excuse you’ve heard from a student
? 26 Personal training never felt so good
32 30 Veggie tales
New personal A day in the life training of a vegetarian program prepares students for state exam
Gimme a break Photo essay
36 34 Faculty members share students’ excuses
Shooting for the stars Photo essay
38 A talk with the president WL editor-in-chief sits with Fallo to talk about all things EC WL SPRING 2010
Warrior Life Spring 2010 Recipient of the Journalism Association of Community Colleges General Excellence Award: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Editor-in-Chief: Haipha Simon
Copy Editor: Brooke Ham
Design Editor: Haipha Simon
Photo Editor: Heather Barone
Page Designers: Heather Barone, Danielle Hutton, MariaCristina Gonzalez, Haipha Simon, Mihiri Weerasinghe
Staff Writers: Heather Barone, Alex Curran, Toney Fernandez, MariaCristina Gonzalez, Annastashia Goolsby, Audrey LaBenz, Joey Man, Roxanna Martinez, Haipha Simon, Samantha Troisi
Staff Photographers: Heather Barone, Victoria Couch, William DeLeon, Toney Fernandez, Ruby Gutierrez, Karla Henry, Audrey LaBenz, Juliee Oliver, Sylwia Ozdzynski, Stuart Ranier, Mihoko Sato
Advisers: Kate McLaughlin, Lori Medigovich
Birds are chirping, bells are ringing and the Warrior Life spring 2010 issue is hot off the presses. It’s once again jam-packed with great stories and photography that are sure to stimulate the mind and captivate the eye. Inside, you will find a story on the world of fire dancing told by members of the Third Degree fire dance troupe. If relationships come and go, would it be considered a good idea to be in one while trying to get an education? Find out inside. Meet two wives who are married to men who not only fight for their love, but also fight for the protection of the United States. Or maybe you’d like to take a trip through the Milky Way with a breathtaking planetarium photo essay. Regardless of where you begin, I hope you enjoy reading these pages that have been created for your pleasure. The staff that helped to create this magazine has worked hard to bring you a quality publication and this couldn’t have happened without a significant contribution from each and every staff member. This has been an experience I will never forget. Enjoy!
Published by El Camino College Student Publications. To advertise, contact the Student Publications Advertising Office: (310) 660-3329 or ElCoUnionAds000@yahoo.com Warrior Life is published every fall and spring by El Camino College journalism students. The office is located in Room 113 of the Humanities Building at 16007 Crenshaw Blvd. in Torrance, CA 90506. Single copies of Warrior Life are free to members of the campus community and visitors. Additional copies cost 25 cents and may be requested from the office or by calling (310) 660-3328 during the fall and spring semesters.
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Haipha Simon Editor-in-Chief On the cover: Cover Photography by: William DeLeon Hair and Makeup Stylist: Shannon Olivolo Model: Samantha Glunt Samantha Glunt is wearing a ruffle collared top with white shorts, part of the Walter Collection.
Two women come to find that marrying their husbands also meant marrying the military and all that comes with it. By Samantha Troisi Photo Illustration by Heather Barone and Haipha Simon/Warrior Life
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ll weddings are similar, but every marriage is different, that’s what he needed. His mind was made up and I didn’t want wrote British author John Berger. to make him feel guilty for choosing that path.” It’s one thing to have the flowers, the tux, the dress and the They had a small ceremony at the Los Angeles International people standing around applauding a couple, but when the limo Airport Courthouse, and though her stomach was a ball of nerves has driven away, things can change, as it did for two EC brides, and full of butterflies, the decision to get married was the easiest one a former student and one a recent graduate. of all their challenges. Former student Allie Richter and recent graduate Kristin “Knowing that a good portion of our relationship will be long Dunigan began their married lives under the watchful eye of the distance is the biggest challenge. I know that he is, as they say, armed forces. They both married men in the military who were the property of the U.S. government until his contract expires, deployed days after their weddings. Though their relationships but that’s OK,” Kristin said. “I’ve embraced the military lifestyle began differently, their struggles as wives, students and women because it makes life much simpler to just accept it, since I can’t are much the same. change it.” “I started going to church a lot after a break-up,” Allie said. For Allie, the lack of communication with her new husband “There was a group of young adults that would go out afterward makes it difficult to maintain a normal relationship. and I remember seeing my future husband Ryan Richter stand “When we fight, it’s usually because of the lack of communiup; he looked like he was standing up forcation with e-mail. There are a lot of tears ever, he was so tall. We hit it off and have and hurt feelings and when we fight; it’s “Sometimes I’m afraid pretty much been together since day one.” really hard because everything is under a Allie knew Ryan was in the military because there is so much microscope,” Allie said. “Sometimes I’m from the first time they met. He made it he can’t tell me about what afraid because there is so much he can’t clear he would be either moving or deploytell me about what he’s doing and I know he’s doing,” Richter said. ing again within six months, but they both he’s in danger. I just hope that not knowknew they were meant to be together. ing is better than being aware of all the “When we first started dating, it was danger around him every day.” hard. It was a make-it or break-it thing, knowing he would be deBoth women find comfort in family and friends and are trying ployed,” Allie said. “Either we were going to get really serious, or I to find a way to continue moving though life with their significant might as well not take the time to get to know him because he was other far from home. Kristin is currently finishing her degree at going to leave. But we got serious right away.” Cal State Long Beach. With only a month to plan the wedding and a small budget, “I go to school and throw myself into my projects and papers. it wasn’t the ideal situation, Allie said, but they both knew it I spend as much time with my family as possible,” Kristin said. “I was what they wanted before Ryan had to leave again for eight have a great support system here with my family, as well as with months. The month following their wedding was bittersweet time my friends and in-laws. Knowing that every day is another day together. While she was happy to spend whatever time she could closer to seeing him also helps get me through the bad days.” with her new husband, Allie was scared about life without him. Allie is waiting for her husband to return so she can continue “Eight months seems like such a long time. The hardest thing her education. With lots of benefits for those in the military, in was going from living with my parents and having everything the end it’s all worth it, she said. taken care of for me, to becoming an adult and being married and Even with the perks of being in the military, the constant movthen having him leave a month later without anyone showing me ing and uncertainty of where life will take you can be scary. how to take care of a house by myself,” Allie said. “It was scary to “Ryan and I have given complete control of our lives to the know I’d have to be so independent right away.” military. I don’t get to really choose when I have kids or what caKristin’s relationship with her husband, Adam Dunigan, be- reer I want or where we live. I don’t regret marrying Ryan, but gan during her senior year of high school. They were best friends sometimes I feel like I messed up my life because I don’t get to for almost a year before becoming a couple, and a little move than pick anything for myself and I’m a control freak,” Allie said. “It’s over a year after that, they parted ways, which proved to be only a sacrifice 100 percent of the way, and whether people agree with a temporary thing. Kristin said that the brief time of extra space the war effort or not is completely irrelevant. They should thank helped and it wasn’t long before they started seeing each other their troops because it’s a very hard lifestyle.” again. That’s when Adam told her he was joining the Marines. Coping with a new marriage, the military lifestyle and becom“I was shocked; I cried and couldn’t believe it when he told ing a new wife haven’t been easy for Allie or Kristin, but they beme. I was hurt that he had made such a huge decision without lieve it is the right decision for them and excited for the future. talking to the most important people in his life first,” Kristin said. “I feel like I still don’t have it totally under control, I still don’t “Granted, we would have all yelled at him not to do it, but after know what I’m doing, but I’ve definitely grown up a lot more by the shock died down, I would have liked to talk with him about it, getting married and becoming a military wife,” Allie said. “It’s a and why he was doing it before he was dead set on actually doing lot of growing up to do in a very short amount of time, but it’s it. When all was said and done though, I supported him because nice and I know that Ryan will always be supportive. I’m lucky.” 6 WL SPRING 2010
Above: Courtesy of Lance Corporal Adam Dunigan and Kristin Left: Allie Richter smiles while wearing her Navy Wife T-shirt. Middle: Allie receives a call from Ryan who is on a boat overseas with the Navy. Right: Lance Corporal Ryan Richter, Photograph courtesy of Allie.
Left and middle photographs were taken by Victoria Couch /Warrior Life
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EC students enter a world where man and fire become one through dance. By Audrey LaBenz Photo Illustration by Heather Barone and Haipha Simon/Warrior Life
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here is just one element that can kill, cook, comfort, illuminate and captivate: fire. Out of a sense of wonder and respect that goes back to mankind’s very origins, nearly every culture has given it the face of a god. “Fire is so ancient; something about lighting things on fire fascinates us as humans. It’s so primal,” Julie Beloussow, digital arts major, said. Beloussow is also a self-employed artist and fire dancer who simply goes by the name “Slang.” She and James Bailey, geography major, are founding members of a fire dance troupe called Third Degree. Each of the members has a specialty. Beloussow mainly uses a hula hoop ringed with wicks. Bailey spins poi (a pair of wicks on the end of chains). “When my poi’s on fire, I know everyone’s looking at it. You just have to embrace the attention, especially in a public
place,” Bailey said. The desire to dance with fire is not new; there is a movement spreading that flickers in the souls of a new generation of dancers. Today’s fire dancers do not just dance on or about a fire, but with the flames themselves, manipulating life and death on the blazing wicks of their fire toys.
“Right now, the huge Polynesian fire community start their little warriors at 6 years old,” Scorch said.
Lux.com., networking and information source for fire dancers the world over, explains some of the origins of traditional ritual fire dancing. It has been a part of many cultures in many forms. Firewalking is a show of bravery and strength and can be used to gain an altered state of consciousness. In Bulgaria, a fire-walking dance called “Nestinarstvo” is practiced. The Ju’hoansi tribes native to the Kalahari Desert have also walked on fire since their tribal beginnings. Modern fire manipulation, however, originates not from the mountains or the deserts, but from the island nations of the South Pacific. Homeofpoi.com, a detailed online resource for the history of fire dancing, explains that the native Maori culture of New Zealand developed poi. They are swung around the body in patterns as a rhythmic dance, often to aggressive drums.
Juliee Oliver/Warrior Life EC student Julie Beloussow spins her ring of fire at the monthly Flow Temple Burn Jam using a hula hoop as her spinner of choice.
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Audrey LaBenz/Warrior Life Keith Krieser’s chaos fire fans illuminate more than the walls of his Santa Monica backyard spinning space.
In the last 20 years, thanks to social phenomena like the Neo-Tribal movement of the mid ‘90s and the Burning Man Festival, fire dancing has taken a whole new turn. “It’s a fire performer community. Everyone who gets into it is a certain type of person. They’re some of the coolest, most interesting, unique people who do this,” Beloussow said. The global collective of fire dancers share a strong bond.
“Even if you’ve only been doing it for a short period of time, you can tell how cohesive it is. It’s very friendly. If you go up to someone who’s a spinner and just start talking to them, they’ll tell you things. They’ll help you,” Beloussow said. “They just want to spread that joy that is in spinning, there are no secrets really.” A technological revolution is in motion, with a broad range of props designed for dancing with fire. Tools developed recently include fans, hoops, palm
torches, swords, many different varieties of poi and staves ranging in length from short batons to six-foot, multi-wicked staffs. Toys are made of strong, light alloys with specialized Kevlar wicks. David “Jazz” Jasiewicz and Bren “Scorch” Tremere of Trick Concepts are manufacturers and distributors of fire props worldwide. Jasiewicz is a mechanical engineer and Purdue graduate. Tremere worked in the field of advanced veterinary fertility science for several years before getting into professional fire dancing. They are both responsible for the main body of laws surrounding fire performance in the state of California. As the numbers of fire performers in California (now numbering in the tens of thousands) grew, so did an overall clash with the fire protection authorities. Tremere is the founding member of a group of fire performers who spent a great deal of time and effort personally revising the laws to be pertinent and agreeable for performers and authorities alike. She sat in on many
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Audrey LaBenz/Warrior Life One performer practices archery at the Flow Temple Burn Jam in Venice Beach with a giant single-wick fire fan he welded.
a meeting for state and local agencies to make her case for the cause. “The state fire marshall Al Adams, 12
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ended up deviating from his agenda to address people in the audience and he said, ‘What we would like to suggest to you is
that you guys as a community get together and come up with a way to regulate yourselves, because if you don’t, fire marshalls
are going to step in and do it for you’,” Tremere said. The new guidelines she and the other performers wrote were quickly picked up and promoted by fire safety groups as well as the state fire marshall himself. Tremereand her group of fellow dancers eventually redrafted the law into what became a tailored National Fire Protection Association document, NFPA 160, which deals with fire performers nationwide. “One of the things that we removed was the age limit, because you had to be 21 to spin fire. Right now, the huge Polynesian fire community start their little warriors at 6 years old. They’re competing at that age, so (the codes) completely left out a whole culture,” Tremere said. With the freedom to practice his or her art, a he or she must also practice safety
above all else. The destructive force of his or her dance partner is never to be underestimated and measures must be taken to keep the performer, the audience and their surroundings safe. Drapes, close walls, flammable fabrics and other pieces of décor pose a serious hazard to performers. “One of the biggest problems we run into is you’ll prepare for a show; you’ll get there, and the venue will end up being different from what they told you; they still want the show to go on. They have to decide: Do I want to go forward with the performance or do I just have to tell them it can’t be done?” Jasiewicz said. Heading production and design for one of the most widely known fire prop companies in the world and being a part of the massive Los Angeles Fire Conclave, Jasiewicz displays a frank and supportive
viewpoint about the fire community. “It’s in our best interest to make sure the art as a whole can move forward safely, making sure longevity exists. It’s in our best interest to see everyone succeed,” he said. The experience of dancing with such a destructive yet life-giving element is well worth all the time, dedication and effort it takes to master the techniques. Perhaps someday a crazy new toy will catch your eye, instantly sparking a thousand ideas, or you’ll see a performance whose ruthless beauty takes a torch to your very soul. It is then easy to see why so many are being consumed by the passion and energy of fire dance.
Audrey LaBenz/Warrior Life Jeremy Weglein’s shows off his palm torches, a custom creation from Trick Concepts, one of the largest fire prop design and fabrication companies in the country. Trick Concepts is located in Torrance.
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Whatâ€™s love got to do with it? Thereâ€™s nothing like falling in love. But is it better to be single or in a relationship while in college? You be the judge. By Joey Man Photo Illustration by Mihoko Sato/Warrior Life
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couple met in high school, fell in love and promised they would be together forever. Now that they’re in college, though, they’re both beginning to wonder if their partner is really their soul mate. As they begin to meet so many interesting, fun and witty people in their classes and on the college campus, their partners begin to look old, boring, tired and dull. After a few months of being together while in college, they’re both thinking that the time has come to dump their high school romances, become single and explore other relationship possibilities. Another couple met in high school, fell in love and despite all of the interesting people they’ve met at EC, they still look into each other’s eyes at the end of the day, still feel that spark and are not tempted to stray from their relationship. Whether students remain in relationships while in college or dump the person they believed was the one is ultimately a matter of personal choice. Tammy Poon is a communications major and a former honor student who also received a scholarship for international students. Poon said that personality, family background, academic situations and many other factors affect a relationship. It is not fair to make a specific conclusion for all people, Poon said, therefore saying “it depends” is probably the most moderate and accurate conclusion. Different couples are in different situations. Maybe WLone 26 is at work while another is still in college, or both are full-time students. But 16 WL SPRING 2010
Mihoko Sato/Warrior Life Audrey Adaza, business major, and Jacob Sola, art major, hold hands while spending their break time together.
the most important factor for people to determine whether the relationship works or not is compatibility, Mascolo, professor of psychology, said. “It’s variable. If you have a happy relationship, a supportive relationship, maybe another person is studying at school, and you guys study together, and that can be great,” Masco-
lo said. “But if your boyfriend needs a lot of attention and gets mad because you can’t go out or you have to study, then it starts to become another thing. It’s now costing you because you are being pulled in different directions.”Poon was having a relationship and taking 17 units while also working as a tutor in the math department. She was
also preparing to transfer to a university and take a Japanese certification exam. That was a busy semester for Poon. Poon’s boyfriend was also studying at EC, so despite her busy schedule, she could still have some private time with the one she loved. A busy schedule is not a major factor that affects her relationship with her boyfriend. “However, you have to consider that I sacrificed some of my sleeping hours. I tried not to sleep for several nights just because I needed to finish my work which was due,” Poon said. It may sound like a difficult routine, but she made it work. Of course, Poon’s route would not work for everyone. Even though there are some sacrifices, Poon found that a person can really benefit by having a relationship. She said that having a relationship helps people to become more mature and provides a strong emotional support system. “When we really know a person, we see ourselves through them. We find our similarities and differences. Then, we improve ourselves,” Poon said. While living in the same small world can be a problem for some people—going to the same college with your other half and having the same group of friends, Poon doesn’t see it that way. Even though having parties on weekends, seeing attractive people walking around the campus and other kinds of temptations can be factors which lead to some negative emotions, Poon doesn’t agree that these factors should be the reason to stay, it’s not appropriate to be in a relationship in college. “I think it depends on how you handle it. Temptation is everywhere. Without a start, you
WL Mihoko 27 Sato/Warrior Life Robert Guerrero and Brittny Petterson, both graphic advertising design majors, spend a lot of their time together on and off campus.
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will never know if the relationship will work,” Poon said. Long-distance relationships are also an option. Cathy Ng, a student planning on transferring in the fall, said that she benefitted by having a relationship, even though it was a long distance relationship. Ng said her GPA was even higher when she was in the relationship. “I was more focused on my academic studies, and I did not have to keep looking at which guy seemed nice in class. I felt secure and safe at that moment,” Ng said. A support system is formed in an intimate and healthy relationship, and that can help people, especially young people, overcome struggles in life. Ng said that before her relationship, she lacked of a sense of security, and that having someone to encourage her and tell her that she did the right thing made her stronger. Not everyone agrees. Some people enjoy the feeling of having a relationship, but some are opposed to committing to one while in college. After staying busy for two years at EC, Anthony Ip, psychology major, loves the feeling of being single. “I didn’t intend to avoid a relationship; it was just too busy for me to have a relationship. I love to be single,” Ip said. However, Ip said if there was a woman he likes and she likes him, he would definitely accept her into his life. “I am open-minded. I am just not obsessed with the idea of having a relationship,” he said. He is not alone in his opinion. Vivian Chao, a communications major who started dating in high school, also prefers to be single in college. “I was happy with my boyfriend when we were in high school since we had a lot of time, but it is different now. I don’t even have enough time for schoolwork,” Chao said. There are some limits and drawbacks to having a relationship in college, especially for transfer and international students, who will Vivian Chao, communications major, enjoys hanging out at the coffee shop with a friend as they not be living in the area permanently. “Sometimes, I imagine what would happen if we had never started the relationship. I guess I would probably be more independent and would have had more time with friends,” Poon said. Chao agreed that being single gave her more chances to be with friends. Money is also a problem in a college relationship. Poon said that her boyfriend paid for her more when she was at EC, but the situation has now reversed. It creates conflicts and tensions. “We both work, but the fact is there are always some problems about money,” Poon said. When people try to explain a dating relationship in a scientific way, the role of chemical substances which are released by the brain are often used. However, Mascolo said that the role that chemical substances play in a relationship is not the way that students generally think 18 WL SPRING 2010
Mihoko Sato/Warrior Life plan a shopping trip for the weekend. Though single, Chao finds that she’s not missing out on anything at all by not being in a relationship.
about it. Sometimes, people just make things more complicated. “There are certain kinds of chemicals that deal with the actual romantic part of relationships, like during sex. However, we over emphasize that sometimes,” Mascolo said. It can be a tough task to make a wise choice. There are many reasons that people can think of for starting a new relationship or ending one. However, the first question to ask when people are trying to make that decision maybe is a simple cost-benefits analysis: “It is basically how happy versus how stressed you are,” Mascolo said. WL SPRING 2010 19
Got fashion? By Roxanna Martinez
Photographed by William DeLeon
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he world of fashion has come a long way since bell-bottom pants and go-go boots. And in that time, new fashion designers have emerged. Tailor Made Club president Walter Mendez, 20 and Ivan Arroyo, 21, are aspiring fashion designers ready to take the fashion world by storm one stitch at a time. The art of fashion has given people the inspiration to express themselves freely through their very own designs. ECâ€™s fashion club, Tailor Made, gives its members the opportunity to familiarize themselves with such a competitive industry. Here are a few of pieces from their spring line.
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Design by Walter Mendez
Name: Walter Mendez Age: 20 Major: Fashion Design Genre of fashion design: Women’s
Design by Ivan Arroyo
Design by Walter Mendez
Name: Ivan Arroyo Age: 21 Major: Fashion Design Genre of fashion design: Men’s
Favorite Designer: Valentino, Alexander McQueen Favorite store: H&M, Banana Republic, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s
Favorite Designer: Takeshi Osumi Favorite store: Greenspan
“Don’t be afraid to be bold and to make a statement. If you stay true to yourself, you will be successful,” Mendez said.
“I like trying to be unique with my fashions, not loud,” Arroyo said.
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EC or bust M
iles and miles away from home, an entire ocean separates her from her family, friends and everything she knows best. Living in the U.S. for a mere seven months, Marta Oller, 27, is not only finding her way in a new country, but on a new campus. Leaving the comforts of her home in Mataro, Spain, Oller came to EC to pursue a major Photo illustration by in graphic design, working Toney Fernandez/Warrior Life towards receiving her Web design certificate. Though getting to know the ins and outs of EC during her first semester hasn’t been the easiest task, Oller has handled it well. “I feel like I fit here. It’s hard to describe,” Oller said. Graphic design has always been in Oller’s life. Watching her grandfather retouch logos by hand before printing them from his own printing business sparked a love for graphic design that she carries with her today. “The challenge of a project and trying to convey a specific message in a clear and clean way is my favorite thing about graphic design, and I think I got that from my grandfather,” Oller said. Getting to know how the college system works has been the most difficult part for Oller but the hours she spends on campus with teachers and fellow classmates are worth it in achieving her goals. “All the instructors I’ve gotten to know this semester are really helpful and inspiring,” Oller said.
Sylwia Ozdzynski/Warrior Life Above: Oller puts the finishing touches to her sketch. Left: Oller with her boyfriend during their first night in the U.S. Photograph courtesy of Marta Oller Bottom: Examples of Marta’s work from her graphic design class.
Sylwia Ozdzynski/Warrior Life Oller visits the International Student Program office located in the Student Services Center for a moment before heading to class.
Sylwia Ozdzynski/Warrior Life
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Ruby Gutierrez/Warrior Life Andrew Monzon, during his History of the Chicano in the United States class lecture, has a few laughs with several students.
Once upon a time in Mexico
It’s one thing to find a history class that focuses on Chicano history. But to find one that allows students to act out scenes from the past is priceless. By Annastashia Goolsby
eady to aim his laser pointer at his next victim in his History of the Chicano in the United States class, Andrew Monzon narrows in on the chosen student while the others laugh and sigh with relief that the joking instructor did not pick them. He is one of only two history instructors who teaches Latino culture at EC, which makes it a unique course. “We appreciate the contributions of Andrew Monzon to our Behavioral and Social Sciences Division. Courses on Latino culture and history certainly add to our diverse curriculum offerings, focusing on historical events and how those occurances affect today’s culture,” President Thomas Fallo said. Aside from his daily lectures, Monzon has his students create and perform skits where a group is given a topic to express 24
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through their own means of interpretation. Skits were originally performed 50 years ago in the Chicano Civil Rights Movement, which was a cultural and political movement that encompassed the inclination to have equality, social justice and the opportunity to have an education. “The best skits are when the students bring in their own props, have energy that fills the entire classroom and just act like clowns,” Monzon said. “I have seen some things that make me laugh out loud!” Monzon not only stands out because of his distinct course, but because he uses humor as part of his teaching techniques to engage the students. “For one semester, I tried teaching students the way professors are supposed to. After that, I realized that method of teaching was not for me,” Monzon said. He found that using humor can make a history class less dry and
“For one semester, I tried teaching students the way professors are supposed to. After that, I realized that method of teaching was not me,” Monzon said.
“Nine out of ten students will tell you they are taking a history class because they have to. I try to make this class stand out and even shock the students,” Monzon said. can actually interest the students in the lecture since history has a reputation of being dull and boring. Another way Monzon makes learning interesting for students is to have them create a magazine. Students still have to conduct research, but they are pushed in a more creative direction to do so, Monzon said. Juan Maceo, 23, Chicano studies major, takes Monzon’s class to focus on the aspects of history that are rarely taught. “I’d like to see the world through the eyes of the Mexican people before and after the conquest and the struggle that has been placed upon the Latinos in this day and age,” Maceo said. Monzon incorporates his own life when teaching subjects that would otherwise seem relatively dull. When lecturing about the Mexican school system or the Aztec drug and alcohol usage, Monzon jokes about parties he went to when he was in college. He also includes the students by asking if they have any related stories they would like to share. “Nine out of 10 students will tell you they are taking a history class because they have to. I try to make this class stand out and even shock the students,” Monzon said. To keep the students interested in the history of the Chicano Movement, Monzon requires the students to design a magazine as well. Sierra Frazier, 25, Spanish major, is a student in Monzon’s class. Frazier said she stays interested in class because of Monzon’s varied teaching methods. “I think (Monzon) has a lot of really good and different ideas in how we learn the information,” Frazier said. “I also really enjoy learning about the indigenous people of Mexico and learning more information on the conquest of the New World.” Last but not least, Monzon has the students read Graciela Limon’s “Song of the Hummingbird,” which intertwines the history of Mexico into a confession of one woman’s past sins. The main character, Huitzitzilin, reconnects people with their lost history. The novel shows how history and the keeping of information are important, Monzon said. It is Monzon’s hope that by the end of the semester his students will know the hardships the Mexican people went through and that it is not just a repetitive history class. He also wants his students to leave knowing their identity, to learn from that and to reconnect with themselves. “My goal at the end is to create an environment in which students enjoy learning about history and themselves,” Monzon said. “In some cases if they are not Chicano, they can learn an entirely new perspective of history.”
Ruby Gutierrez/ Warrior Life Monzon sits with a student in his History of the Chicano class.
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Personal training never felt so good A new personal training program teaches that the benefits of exercise donâ€™t stop at shedding the pounds. By MariaCristina Gonzalez Photo Illustration by Sylwia Ozdzynski/Warrior Life
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asping for air, the student begins to feel his legs weaken; his muscles tire and his brain becomes overloaded as he pushes himself to complete the 10mile run. His student trainer stands next to him as he begins to run out of gas on the treadmill and encourages him to keep going. She implores him to fight through the pain. She tells him to focus on one step at a time and to just focus on keeping one foot in front of the other. She tells him that he’s doing great and that he’s got it made. Just as he is about to give in and collapse, she tells him that he is much stronger than he thinks and that he can complete this 10mile run. As he crosses the 10-mile point on the treadmill, the student trainer shuts down the machine as the student’s chest heaves and he practically collapses on the treadmill. Situations such as this are part of what it means to be a personal trainer. Not only do trainers need to know the basics of exercise, but they also need to learn how to motivate others to fight through the pain and to keep on going. In the Personal Fitness Training class (PE 290) at EC, students are learning everything they need to know to become personal trainers. The course provides basic information for what every aspiring trainer should know and motivation to keeping a client coming back to the gym. “If you put a carrot in front of a horse, he’ll probably move, but once you take the carrot away, he probably won’t, and that’s what I teach in my class. I teach students how to keep motivated to come back to the gym,” Brandon Alcocer, physical education instructor, said. Alcocer said the class is designed to provide the guidelines for students to pass the National Academy of Sports and Medicine (NASM) exam to become certified trainers. “It is easy to be certified as a trainer anywhere, but NASM is the most creditable due its relationship with all of the mainstream gyms such as 24 Fitness and LA Fitness,” Alcocer said. According to the official NASM website, the NASM exam that students have to take to be certified is a written exam that consists of 120 questions about nutrition,
Sylwia Ozdzynski/Warrior Life Tahni Dorion, physical therapy major, measures fellow classmate Michael Pessan’s biceps during a class assessment of body portions that will help in creating better workout plans for different body types.
program design, exercise technique, client relations and administration. “It’s a simple test. It’s not too hard to pass for students after taking the class we offer here on campus,” Alcocer said. For students, one of most enjoyable things about the course is the lab portion where they learn about body strength and how the body works. “In the class, we don’t just learn from a book; we actually get experience about how to plan a workout and what clients can handle from their body types. I think that’s really interesting and more beneficial,” Tamara Lindsey, physical education major, said. For example, one day in lab, students took assessments that he or she should be doing with his or her clients. The assessment consisted of measuring body portions and studying techniques a clients as exercise. “The purpose of the assessments is to learn their form, but, more importantly ,what needs to be worked on from the measurements we took from around the bicepts and thighs,” Lindsey said. Another key element that students are learning about is the client psychology about being motivated. “Trainers tend to say, ‘Give me one
more sit up or push up’ to a client, but what I teach in my class is to change the trainer’s attitude. I have him or her ask the client, ‘Do you have one more in you?”’ Alcocer said. “It is important to make the clients comfortable when working out, instead of pushing them to their limits.” For many students, the course base the work that a trainer goes through with helping a client. “In Los Angeles, it’s tough to get a good trainer that’s not all about the money aspect of it, and this class has helped me not just understand the basics of physical training, but also helped me with social skills and encouragement with clients,” Marlessa Kingbatiste, physical education major, said. Many trainers have found opportunities from becoming certified online, but EC is one of the few colleges that offers such a course that prepares students for the NASM exam. “I’m not too familiar with other colleges that carry the course; this is my first semester teaching it, but anyone can take it; we have a lot of students include coaches in the class because it is a fun course to take. Students do learn a lot more then they intend to,” Alcocer said. WL SPRING 2010 27
WORKOUTWORKOUTWORKOUT Here are some easy workout moves that students can do on their own provided by the students from the class.
Photos by Sylwia Ozdzynski/Warrior Life Model: Tamara Lindsey
The plank exercise i iis a greatt way tto bbuild i endurance in both the abdominal and the back, as well as the stabilizer muscles in the hip, spine and shoulders. How to: 1. Lie face down on a mat while resting on the forearms, with palms flat on the floor. 2. Push off the floor, raising up onto the toes and resting on the elbows. 3. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels. 4. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominal to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air or sagging in the middle. 5. Hold for 20 to 60 seconds, lower and repeat for three to five repetitions.
This exercise is great to strengthen the core, the buttocks, the hamstrings and the lower back. How to: 1. Lying on the back, with legs bent and feet flat on the floor, place feet about hip width apart. 2. Relax the head and shoulders as you lift the hips up and hold for two seconds. 3. Make sure to stay on the heels of your feet and squeeze the buttocks at the top. 4. Slowly lower hips, without touching the ground and repeat. 5. Make sure to keep the stomach tight throughout the range of motion.
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n i a t n u b o M lim C
The Mountain Climber calisthenics exercise conditions your entire body and is excellent for developing foot and leg muscles. You can increase your overall stamina and core strength by doing the mountain climber.
How to: 1. Stand with your arms by your sides, feet together. 2. Bend down and put your hands shoulder width apart on the floor. 3. Place yourself in the basic push-up position with your arms in line with your chest and your legs extended outward. 4. Rest on the balls of your feet while bringing one leg (for this example, we’ll say left leg) forward to your chest and back to its original position. Keep the right leg tucked during the forward and back movement of the left leg. 5. Check to be sure your bent leg and hands carry the weight of your body and that you hold your head up during the back and forth leg movements. 6. Repeat the motion described in Step Four rapidly, alternating one leg forward and one leg back. This movement mimics the “climbing of a mountain.” 7. Repeat as many times as you can. Remember to inhale and exhale steadily during the entire mountain climber exercise.
Bird Dog Bird Dog strengthens the “posterior core,” the muscular region that includes the abdominal, the lower back, the buttocks and the thighs. How to: 1. Kneel on the floor with hands firmly placed about shoulder width apart. 2. Brace the abdominal, and at first, practice lifting one hand and the opposite knee just clear of the floor while balancing on the other hand and knee. Half an inch will do until you get the idea of it. 3. When you’re ready to do the complete exercise, point the arm out straight in front and extend the opposite leg to the rear (see diagram). 4. Hold for 10 seconds then return the hands and knees to the ground position. 5. Starting out, try five repeats on alternate hands and knees, with 10 repetitions in all. Add additional sets of 10 exercises up to three sets of 10.
This is a great exercise you can do anywhere anyw without any equipment to help you build endurance in the lower body. How to: 1. Stand in front of a wall (about two feet in front of it) and lean against it. 2. Slide down until your knees are at a 90-degree angle and hold, keeping the abdominal contracted for 20 to 60 seconds. 3. Come back to start and repeat, holding the squat at different angles to work the lower body in different ways. 4. To add intensity, hold weights or squeeze a ball between the knees. WL SPRING 2010 29
Photo Illustration by Sylwia Ozdzynski/Warrior Life
Ve g e t a r i a n i s m is not just the healthier choice for the person not eating meat; it’s better for the whole world. 30 WL SPRING 2010
Veggie tales By Alex Curran
o you do it for health reasons?” “No, but I do enjoy the benefits.” “Are you allergic to it?” “Um, no, not to my knowledge.” “So,” chomp, chomp, chomp, “why do you do it then?” Uh, geeze. How do I explain to this beautiful girl that the slab of sliced, fried,
still-pink-with-blood flesh hanging from her mouth repulses me? “Well, I just think eating animals is really cruel and unnecessary.” “Oh…” Well, blew that one. And so it goes for a young single vegetarian like myself. But it’s all worth it to have a guilt-free mind every time I sit down
at a dinner table. Should I get past an initial conversation, there comes a point in the new relationship when it’s time to have dinner with the parents. I never look forward to this part. It’s not because I am incredibly awkward around parents, even though I totally am, but because I never know how to make a good first impression while refusing to eat the flesh they worked so hard to cook for me. In my very limited experience (I haven’t had many dates), I’ve found that there is no way an invite to the parents’ house for dinner will turn out well. It’s tough enough when they try to serve you the portion of the meal that they think is vegetarian (no, those mashed potatoes covered in gravy are no longer vegetarian), but even worse when they create a “vegetarian” meal specifically for you. Yeah, fish is considered meat actually. This is already awkward, and we haven’t even gotten to any conversation yet. When we do get into a conversation, talk is always dominated by the fact that I’m a vegetarian. Frequently, I come off as a pompous know-it-all, probably because I am, but it doesn’t really matter because I usually ruin the relationship by the time I get another invite to the parents’ house anyway. This all started about five years ago. I decided, basically out of nowhere, that I could no longer eat meat and sleep well at night. So one day I was chowing down on an In-N-Out burger and the next I was eating at Green Temple. Since that day, during my junior year of high school, I have not knowingly consumed any meat. The decision didn’t only make relationships with new women difficult, but it also soured things with my parents. When I told my dad that I would no longer be joining him for his Sunday night steak dinners, he seemed pretty indifferent. I don’t think he thought it would last. After about a month or so of me not eating meat, my dad started to get a little bitter. Whenever he would make a vegetarian meal like burritos, he made sure to add chicken to the beans. “Dad, why couldn’t you add the
chicken to your burrito and not to all the beans?” “Sorry, I didn’t think about it…” I see your little game, father! This kitchen battle between my dad and me lasted for the first month and a half of my venture into vegetarianism. After he realized that vegetarian food was generally cheaper and healthier than meat products, he started to embrace my new life choice. He’d even make at least one vegetarian meal a week for the family. While my dad came around to understanding my different lifestyle, not everyone is as used to the idea.
Meat production takes up more space, food water and fossil fuels than vegetable production, according to the United Nations. I get really irked when people ask why anyone would want to be a vegetarian. Aside from the whole cruelty thing, which I guess is subjective, there are plenty of health and environmental benefits to becoming a vegetarian. There is a preconceived notion that vegetarianism is not a healthy lifestyle because it lacks some foods on the everchanging food pyramid. This is not true. According to the American Dietetic Association, all the necessary nutrients for any type of person, whether they be a bodybuilder or marathon runner, can be found in a vegetarian diet. Cutting out meat in one’s diet has also been linked to reducing one’s weight and chances of developing heart disease and certain types of cancers, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. But if fence-straddlers are still not convinced, consider the environmental benefits of becoming vegetarian. According to a United Nation’s report in 2006, meat production and consumption attributed to 18 percent of human-
made greenhouse gasses. Reports by independent groups have disputed this report, saying the greenhouse emissions of the meat industry are actually closer to 50 percent, but one thing is certain: Meat production and consumption is contributing to global warming. Meat production takes up more space, food, water and fossil fuels than vegetable production, according to the U.N. The overproduction of cows for their meat is one of the most harmful things for the environment because when cows fart and poop, they let out methane, which is the most harmful greenhouse gas to the ozone layer, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Vegetarianism is not just the healthier choice for the person not eating meat, but for the whole world. I also hate when people admit that eating meat is cruel, but continue to do so. If people think it’s cruel to eat animals, they should stop doing it. Try to do it for a week, a month, a year. It’s easier than you think. Living in the South Bay, there are plenty of delicious options for new vegetarians in grocery stores as well as at local restaurants. Grocery stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s offer huge varieties of vegetarian meals that are easy to cook and generally less expensive than non-vegetarian meals. The South Bay also has a lot of great vegetarian restaurants. From established vegetarian restaurants like The Spot in Hermosa Beach, which first opened in 1977, to new options like The Veggie Grill in El Segundo, which opened in 2006, there are plenty of places for vegetarians to have a nice dinner out. And if you don’t think eating animals is cruel, than I recommend you find out how your food is made before you eat it again. If you can watch a video from a slaughterhouse and continue to eat meat, then have fun. Just watch out for mad cow disease, salmonella, E. coli, campylobacter and the loads of other diseases that pop up in meat every three years due to the unsanitary conditions of savage meat factories. Well, I think it’s about time for me to get off this high horse; it’s got a date with the glue factory. WL SPRING 2010 31
Casey Kim-Whittle, 19, business major, does ground spins in the Physical Education Building, South.
Gimme a break ECâ€™s Hip-Hop club takes breakdancing to new highs and lows. Written and photographed by Toney Fernandez/Warrior Life
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Left: Lacey Omon, 19, dance major, performs a “Nike” in a rehearsal room located in Physical Education Building, South. Omon finds that dancing helps her to escape reality. Bottom: Casey Kim-Whittle , 19, business major, does a backflip as James Kang holds a pose below.
Top: James Kang performs a nohanded windmill using his head as a platform. Left: Dan Arki does a one-handed pose while showing off his Kirby tattoo. Lacey Omon, 19, dance major, practices a couple of leg moves in the background.
hysical Education Building, South, Room 233 has old, wood-paneled floors, mirrors, off-white painted walls and speakers surrounding the room. Every Tuesday and Thursday from 1 to 2 p.m. the room is brought to life when an iPod is connected to the speakers. Students pack the floors and hip-hop begins to take place. The room is an upgrade from “the spot” where the group of dancers practiced last year. “We would be at ‘the spot,’ by PE-52 every day around lunch time, eating lunch, talking and dancing,” Joshua Buan, club president, said. “We had the troubles of music being too loud or not having music at all. The floor was hard, dirty and cold. I pitched the idea of getting a dance room, with mir-
rors, wood floors and a sound system, and all we had to do was turn ourselves into a club.” To Richard “Slyck Ryck Uno” Galvan, hip-hop is more than a hobby. “Hip-hop is a way to escape every day life and express myself to the fullest. It’s more than just dancing,” Galvan said. “It incorporates being a master of ceremonies, a deejay, beat boxing, graffiti art and popping. It’s also about the way you dress, talk and carry yourself.” The EC Hip-Hop Club is a group that allows free expression through hip-hop music and dance. Bernice Boseman is the club’s adviser. The members range from beginners who are curious about hip-hop dance, to people who have been into the scene since they could walk.
At any given time, there are many different groups doing their own dances. Some battle, some pop, some work on technical footwork, and those who are not dancing are standing or sitting close by, taking it all in, learning and cheering for their fellow club members. From the family aspect, to the awe that is hip-hop dance, the Hip-Hop Club is a unique club for dancers and their personalities. “We put on a show for students passing by and just practice our moves. We welcome anyone who wants to watch and wants to learn. Whether it’s simple dance steps or advanced moves, ask any of us to teach you, and we’ll be happy to help,” Buan said.
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I was trying to get my gun back from the police.
I had to go audition for “American Idol.”
What is the most outrageous excuse you have heard from a student?
I broke my leg snowboarding off the roof while drunk.
I blew my nose so hard, my back gave out.
Written By Annastashia Goolsby Photographed by Stuart Ranier
“I actually had a student miss class for a whole week and blame it on the time change,” Michael Bate“A student noted on a paper an apology for the bad quality because they were under the influence of drugs,” Janet Young, professor of child development, said.
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man, mathematics instructor, said.
“I’ve heard excuses like it rained so the student could not drive, the surf came up, someone got pregnant and they had a court obligation,” Corey Stanbury, swim coach, said.
“I once had a student who missed seven classes in a row. I dropped her and she showed up angry that I had dropped her. She wanted me to reinstate her. When I asked her why she had missed so many classes and hadn’t bothered to contact me, she said, ‘That’s just the way I am with school. It takes me a while to get into it.’ I did not reinstate her,” Nancilyn Burruss, English instructor said.
“A male student once gave me a note from a gynecologist’s office for his absence,” Jerry Brothen, professor of geography and meteorology, said.
“The most preposterous excuse I’ve received for a student missing class is that the student was in jail!” Kristy Loesener, physical education instructor said.
“I’ve had several students say their essay flew out of the window while driving on the 405 freeway,” Rosemarie Kistler, reading in-
“A young lady several years ago either came from a very unique family, had a very poor memory, or thought I did. Over the course of a school year, her mother died three times,” Rick Hughes, professor of computer aided design and drafting (CADD), said.
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Shooting for the stars Written and photographed by Heather Barone/Warrior Life Photo illustration by Heather Barone/Warrior Life
W 20 WL 20 The circular shaped building and domed ceiling of the Planetarium is visible from the outside, giving it a mysterious appeal.
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One of the first photos taken of the Planetarium when it opened on July 16, 1969.
The Chronos space simulator is a piece of equipment that projects stars, planets and constellations on the ceiling dome of the Planetarium.
n the third planet from the Sun, on the North American continent, in the state of California, in the city of Torrance, people on the campus of EC are observing the galaxy. Faces turned upward, the onlookers gaze upon a dazzling display of stars and light scattered across the night sky, thousands of light years away in a galaxy so vast it defies comprehension. This scene is not taking place on the Library Lawn. It is inside one of EC’s most treasured buildings: the Planetarium. The Planetarium opened in September of 1969, just a few months after the U.S. Apollo 11 mission, during which Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon. Since then, the Planetarium has been a place where many of life’s most important questions are answered. “I really like being alive right now to tell students about the new discoveries and things we’re learning,” David Vakil, astronomy and physics professor, said. Many of those discoveries can be seen in the Planetarium, projected onto the building’s giant domed ceiling; but they represent only a fraction of what scientists know to be in the real night sky. “What’s up there? Ninety-eight percent of it we don’t know,” Vakil said. “We only see two percent of the universe. There is a lot we’re still trying to figure out.” Through the telescope, Joe Takemora, 19, accounting major, studies and draws the half moon.
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Sylwia Ozdzynski/Warrior Life President Thomas Fallo talks with Kathy Oswald, Assistant to the President, in his office located in the Administration Building.
A talk with the President By Haipha Simon
Sylwia Ozdzynski/Warrior Life Monica Saucedo, 18, administration of justice major, chats with Fallo regarding her future endeavors.
By Haipha Simon
Sylwia Ozdzynski/Warrior Life EC employee Luis Bonilla, 30, sits with Fallo at the new Cafe Camino located behind the Library.
Warrior Life editor-in-chief sits down with EC President Thomas Fallo to discuss budget cuts, construction and “Tuesdays with Tom”
Karla Henry/Warrior Life Cafe Camino is the product of a bond measure, which provided EC with funds to renovate and develop the campus grounds and facilities.
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Karla Henry/Warrior Life During a meeting with faculty members Fallo speaks on the topic of EC’s master plan for development for the next 20 years.
fter receiving his MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, Thomas Fallo worked in the California Community College system, including three years at Glendale Community College and 17 years in the Los Angeles Community College District. Speaking with WL editor-in-chief, Fallo reflects on almost two decades of service to EC. WL: Currently, what is the biggest challenge that you believe the campus is facing? President: It has to be the financial situation. We’ve made commitments to try and retain our programs, to try to educate as many students as we can given the income we have while trying to keep employment. Unfortunately, we can’t do all of that in this environment because we’re simply not receiving that support from the state. So students who are not getting all of the classes they want are going to have to stay longer. Students persist and that’s what keeps us all going, the understanding that this is something that they want, that they need. It’s an investment. You have to put something into it and we have to give these students the opportunity. WL: What is one thing you think EC is missing? President: State support. Financially. It’s a tough time. It’s not the state’s fault. In one sense, it’s a global meltdown, and if we had more resources, we’d be better able to help our students. WL: What do you say to those students who are dealing with class cuts? President: Persist. You have to have the determination and that’s what I’m admiring. Also understand what the system is and make it work for you. If you’ve been at EC long enough, you’ll get higher priority enrollment than a non-continuing student or a new student. WL: What inspires you to do what you do every day? President: The students. What I’m observing this year that’s amazing to me is that the students are very well aware of the economy. They know how difficult it is. They know they’re not going to get a job immediately (necessarily), but it’s their attitude and the persistence that keeps me going. It’s tough at a college. It’s tough
out there. But you folks are investing in yourselves in something that can never be taken from you, and you’re smart enough to know that. WL: If you had the opportunity, what would you do differently when it comes to EC? President: I would like to have gone out for an extension of the bond in 2008. What you see is a renovation of the campus. We cannot complete it given the amount of money we have now. Had we gone out for an extension of the bond, which we may have to wait until 2012 to do, we might have been able to complete the campus. My admiration is for the students, faculty and staff now because it’s torn up a lot. I know you have to walk around these screens and they look shabby and you have to take different paths and some buildings are down but people realize that somebody did this for them and they’re doing it for somebody else. It’s nice to see that kind of attitude and that understanding. WL: Would you ever leave EC for another campus? President: (chuckles) Did you ask that because of what happened last year? WL: Last year? Would you mind elaborating on that? President: A year ago, some other campuses were recruiting me, and I was in some interviews and the board made me an offer to stay. I decided that I would stay, but I didn’t take any additional money. So I’m probably here for the duration, however long that is, I have no idea. WL: And why not take the pay increase? President: I thought it was the wrong timing. I felt that the board had indicated to me its support in making that offer and in saying that it wanted me to stay. That felt very good, and I didn’t need the money in the end. People in this position, in that desk out there or anywhere, occasionally need a pat on the back. You need to know that people think you’re doing a good job, and I’ve always felt that. I’ve always thought that I’ve surrounded myself with very good colleagues, vice presidents, faculty, staff and students, and it’s personally rewarding. I don’t think you get much better than that. In fact, I know you couldn’t. WL: What do you think is the biggest
misconception that students, faculty or staff have about you? President: The misconception is that I’m different. We’re all pretty much the same. I believe people want the same things in life. They want to love, they want to be loved, and they want to leave a better world when they leave. It’s a contribution. You don’t want to be a consumer. You want to be a giver. You want to help the world do something, and I think most people do that. WL: Can students come in and chat with you if they need to? President: Every Tuesday at 2 p.m. If I’m here it’s an open office hour for students, and employees. I probably see more students and than employees. WL: Do a lot of students utilize your office hours? President: Yes, and you now know what I always ask them when I meet with them? “Where are you going after EC?” Because I always want them to think of not what they‘re doing now, but of what they’re going to do in the future. Then I ask them how they plan to get there, what courses they need and the timing. I also ask who’s their counselor, because I want them to connect with a counselor. That’s critically important for them and for me. WL: When you look at all of this construction outside of your window, what is the first thing that pops into your head? President: When I look at this I think of the absolute beauty. You know the artist Christo, who put up the massive orange screens around Central Park? I see this as our Christo stage and eventually these are going to come down and we’re going to have beautiful buildings. It’s exciting. WL: Do you find that work interferes with your family life since you’re here all of the time? President: No, I’m a widower now. I don’t have as much actual home activity as in the past, but you adapt. We’re all going to die. You’re too young to think about it and I’m too close to it. (laughs) And you never know when it’s going to happen, so that’s the whole thing about living each day and appreciating the opportunity to do what you do, whether it’s studying, getting a good grade in class, or walking down the commencement aisle. WL WLSPRING SPRING2010 2010 39 39