And the Berlin Wall came tumbling down
By |
Nov. 23, 2009

A woman with shoulder length brown hair, highlighted in well-earned gray, is sitting behind a slide projector rapidly clicking through a carousel of slides and asking people not to look yet.

“I’ve driven over 200 miles over bumps and hills to get here and I want to make sure that the slides don’t stick,” Ilka Hartmann explains.

Ilka Hartmann is an internationally renowned speaker and photographer and she was at City College Nov. 5 in the Cultural Awareness Center to share her experiences while photographing the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Hartmann, who lived in Germany until she was 24, shares some of her personal history, during the presentation.

“I came here during the Civil Rights Movement. I think that because I am from Germany, with World War II and the Holocaust in its past, my eyes were opened to the suffering of other human beings,” Hartmann says.

It has been 20 years, this month, since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Hartmann, while showing her photographs, also shares the history of the Berlin Wall, from beginning to end.

“When I heard that the wall was coming down, I just got on a plane. I needed to be there to…» Read More

From NYC to Haiti to City College
By | Guest Writer
Nov. 23, 2009

For many students, starting college is a big event. They can become overwhelmed by bigger classes, larger campuses, and for some, being away from home for the first time. Many students find it difficult to get around a new campus, and don’t know where to turn for help.

Now imagine that the United States is not even your place of birth and English is not your first language. Where do you turn?

At City College, it would be the International Student Center and Reginald “Reggie” Jean-Gilles, the counseling clerk who always has a friendly smile and a sincere, “Can I help you?” rolling off his lips whenever anyone walks his way.

“He wants to give the best to the public where he works,” says Mayra J. Jimenez, a student personnel assistant who works with Jean-Gilles.

Jean-Gilles, 30, sits in the back of the City College Counseling Center in a little area that is carved out in a box shape. He was born in New York, making him a U.S. citizen, but he grew up in Haiti with his family. He returned to the U.S, at 16 to finish high school in Louisiana. He came to California after being recruited to…» Read More

Coming to America
By | Guest Writer
Nov. 23, 2009

Just like any other day on campus, Masahiko Hayakawa quietly packs his backpack, slings it over his shoulder and strolls to class wearing a T-shirt reading, “ Stop Bitching and Start a Revolution.”

Meet Masa, a 25-year-old City College student who decided to say “sayonara” to home in Japan and “hello” to the United States all of three years ago.

Hayakawa’s English has improved significantly, but he consults his electronic translator carefully to capture the exact word to convey his thoughts.

“At first I thought he was kind of mysterious,” says his girlfriend of two years, Momo Yasutake. “He spoke so little about himself and didn’t open up about anything regarding his life.”

Yasutake can speak Japanese and describes meeting Hayakawa as a “breath of fresh air” compared to American guys. What intrigued Yasutake was his style. Not his personal style of dress, but something within.

“He’s suave. He’s unique,” she says. “He can read people well.”

Hayakawa is from Kofu, Japan, about a two-hour drive outside Tokyo. Kofu is located in the Japanese countryside, where living abroad is considered rare.

Hayakawa slowly scratches his facial scruff…» Read More

Día de los Muertos
By |
Nov. 23, 2009

As an invocation to the dead spirits is chanted toward the four cardinal points of the compass, smoke emits from an abalone shell burning with a mini cow skull, frankincense and straw. There’s an alter displaying a myriad of items from Mexican culture such as pre-Columbian clay statues, Virgin of Guadalupe, candy skulls and Mexican pastries. The altar was set up to honor those who have died and remember there presence and that they have physically died but their memory lingers.

The Cultural Awareness Center hosted a celebration for Día de los Muertos Nov. 2 where approximately 45 students and faculty learned about the customs surrounding Day of the Dead and how it differs in different parts of the world.

The speakers and organizers of the event were City College counselor David Rasul, community organizer and local artist Juanishi V. Orosco and social activist and community filmmaker Sam Quiñones.

“In different parts of the world, even as far as L.A. and Fresno, the celebrations of Day of the Dead are different,” Quiñones says. “But yet again we accept the idea the same and carry on the tradition of honoring the dead.”

During the presentation, a video produced by Quiñones was…» Read More

Life is more than an illness
By |
Nov. 9, 2009

Sara Rupnow wants to be an average college student. She wants to have a boyfriend, have a job and get high grades in all her classes — average ambitions for any young adult in this world. But there’s something that sets apart the 19-year-old art major from the typical young adult and catches the attention of everyone she meets: her metal leg. Three years ago, while Rupnow was in high school, her left leg needed to be amputated to control a disease. Her prosthetic titanium and plastic leg has since been used as a substitute, so she may be able to carry out daily functions, such as walking. Although initially disliking the idea of having an artificial limb, she’s grateful now because of the benefits it provides. “After the surgery, it took me a while to walk with my prosthetic because I was channeling all my frustration toward my leg and the fact that it wasn’t there anymore,” Rupnow says. “But having my leg gives me so many advantages in terms of being able to get around at school and other places where things haven’t been accommodated for people in wheelchairs.” But her prosthetic leg is only a small portion…» Read More

By |
Nov. 9, 2009

Traffic jams, massive homes, airports and politically active women—not images the general public typically associates with Africa. However, after a six-month trip to several African countries, Sierra College professor Winsome Jackson brought back a unique perspective that blew away many stereotypes students had about Africa.

“The one thing I would say is the people are warm, they’re friendly, they’re inviting, they’re supportive, they’re bright… they’re just amazing people,” explained Jackson when asked to sum up her experience in Africa.

While the topic of Jackson’s Oct. 20 discussion in the Cultural Awareness Center was labeled “The Role of Women in African Politics and Development”, her presentation largely consisted of a slideshow of various locations she visited, with a focus on Ghana and Rwanda, including some highlights of women’s involvement in politics.

Prominently featured in her slides were photos revealing Ghana’s horrific past, searing into students’ minds the massive coastal slave-trading castles, which were once used to export African slaves around the world.

Keeping with the title of her presentation, Jackson discussed the rise in female political leadership, highlighting the 9 percent increase in female members of the Ghana parliament, and the election of its first female speaker.

During the final portion of Jackson’s presentation, a focus was brought on…» Read More

City Talk: Do you support the legalization of marijuana?
By | Photographer
Nov. 9, 2009

Alfonso Jorrin, Advertising Marijuana should not be legalized. Seems to be the effective way to help the economy. But what then next time, legalize other drugs to get us out of a hole the government put us in? Todd Parry, Liberal Arts Yes. California is more than overdue for a marijuana initiative to pass. Other than the liberty issue, those tax dollars would solve far more problems than legalization would create. Sharlett O’Connor, Graphic Design Yes, it should definitely be legal because people are going to do it anyway and we might as well tax it like everything else. Also, why fill up our prisons with non-violent criminals for smoking pot? Seems like a waste considering we release criminals due to budget cuts. Rhoda Chimbwete, Nursing Mostly yes, because it is accepted medically and the U.S. has the best medical facility and it would help the economy. As long as it is controlled. Katrina Larson, Business I do not think that marijuana should be legalized for quite a few reasons. One is that it is a gateway drug, and allowing marijuana to become legalized will open the door for marijuana smokers to other narcotics….» Read More

Caffeine, caffeine, where art thou?
By |
Nov. 9, 2009

Walking into United Coffee House, my nostrils are immediately filled with alluring scent of fresh, strong, dark coffee, perhaps a little too strong.

United Coffee House has a strange scent and their coffee is unlike anything I have ever smelled before. The coffee does not smell like the seductive scent of Peet’s Coffee & Tea, nor does it smell like a candy factory, the way Starbucks smells.

They say they sell organic fair trade coffee, and boy, they were not kidding, it smells like the fertilizer in my backyard.

Although the walls are filled with awesome paintings by local artists, the coffee is profoundly below par. United Coffee House may be filled with comfy chairs and have tons of room, but their coffee tastes like the earth, literally.

I’m all about organic coffee growers and the need to support local farmers; however, I’m also all about delicious tasting coffee.

Their coffee is not for students who enjoy a sweet, fattening frappuccino from Starbucks from time to time or a simple soy chai latte from Peet’s Coffee and Tea.

Organic coffee is supposed to be delicious and pure like the ground it grows in. United Coffee House’s coffee reminded…» Read More

Photography professor comes full circle
By |
Nov. 9, 2009

There is a cacophony of conversation going on in the next room. In the middle of the chaos is a man wearing a baseball hat, polo shirt and cargo shorts laughing raucously. Randy Allen is an adjunct photography professor here at City College.

“I feel very full circle-ish. I went to school here in ’80-’81,” Allen says.

Allen didn’t start out to be a photographer. During his teen years Allen and his friends would shoot Super 8 movies. They would write the scripts, act and film them.

“One day someone gave me a still camera, I loved the feel of the camera and the look of film stills,” Allen says.

From then on Allen preferred photography over movie making. Allen started his career as a newspaper photographer. Allen has worked for the Sacramento Union, Vacaville Reporter, The Sacramento Bee and a few other newspapers.

“As a reporter you can parachute into people’s lives,” Allen says.

Allen spent three days in a firehouse “pretending” to be a firefighter and spent time with a glider pilot.

“You can literally poke yourself into someone’s life,” Allen says, when asked about his career change from newspapers to teaching he attributes it to his mother.

» Read More

The science of sleep
By |
Nov. 9, 2009


A hand reaches out from under the covers and hits the snooze button. “Five more minutes,” says a voice from under the covers.

That is how some of us start our day. You know it’s true. Then the inevitable question is voiced: “What idiot thought made me take a class so freakin’ early in the morning?”

According to a Stanford University Sleep Study conducted by Dr.William Dement, each of us has a specific daily sleep requirement.

The average sleep requirement for a college student is well over eight hours. If this amount isn’t met a sleep debt is created. The only way to reduce that debt is by getting extra sleep over and above your daily requirement.

Many college students are carrying a dangerously large sleep debt, according to Dement. For most people, sleep debt appears so gradually that they mistake tiredness and fatigue on other things, like depression, stress, metabolism or getting older, says Dement.

According to Web MD, the amount of sleep a person needs depends on the individual. The need for sleep depends on various factors, one of which is age.

Infants usually require about 16-18 hours of sleep per day, while…» Read More

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