Space Walker
By | Staff Writer
Dec. 13, 2012

Being a starving artist is a rite of passage in the music industry. Having to struggle for your music gives it a soul.

Nothing could be truer for starving artist April Walker.

Walker has lived in Sacramento for 11 months and is in her second semester at City College. She is a self-proclaimed free spirit and born-again hippie. Walker, known by her stage name Space Walker, is an up-and-coming, singer-songwriter who believes that an education from City College can help further her career in music.

Confidence in herself and her music has not come easy for Walker. Being labeled a misfit, she says, plagued most of her childhood while growing up in Fairfield.

“I thought growing up that my dreams of being a musician were impractical,” says Walker. “I thought if I couldn’t succeed at it then I shouldn’t even try.”

These deeply planted seeds of doubt became uprooted during a trip she took to Costa Rica.

“The scenery and nature there is so beautiful,” Walker says. “I had a lot of time to contemplate the issues in my life. I came back to Fairfield and I knew I was going to do whatever it took to accomplish my goals.”

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A journey in words
By | Guest Writer
Dec. 13, 2012

Overlooking the sea of students among the tables and burgundy chairs, he sits with his newsboy cap lowered, chair turned backside toward the table, and his hands motioning in the air in front of him, as if they are that of a sculptor shaping his own pottery. When he speaks he is creating, inventing, and most importantly, imparting great knowledge to those he teaches.

As an instructional assistant in the LRC Writing Center since 2008, Dale Nelson, known to many as Crawdad, explores and teaches the writing process with students. Individual sessions, serve as both opportunities to teach and to be taught. The experience is an even exchange for both Nelson and his students.

Nelson, 54, interests number as many as the strands of gray hair underneath his cap. Spanning from literature to history to sociology and cooking, his curiosities do not end there. The man’s eyes see what ought to be seen by many, such as the inherent natural patterns of a bird feather or the distinctive formations of the uncorrupted, earthen farms.

Yes, his mind has traveled over many waters and touched many different lands, it can be said, as he sits in this red chair, hands explaining…» Read More

Living the dream
By | Guest Writer
Dec. 13, 2012

A 15-year-old boy in the southern part of Vietnam fell down his stairs and broke his knee. Needing surgery that would cost more than what his parents could afford, the family had to ask his grandparents and other people to help pay. It brought him and his family closer.

Four years later, and now a biology major at City College, Dat Tran hopes to one day become a pediatrician and help children with their own needs.

It has been more than two years since Tran and his family moved to the United States from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He says that he likes it better here in the United States.

“There’s more freedom here,” Tran says. “More access to higher education. I don’t think I would have the opportunity to further my education if my family didn’t move here.”

Being from another country doesn’t seem to faze the 19 year old, as he is the head of his household. He is the translator for his Vietnamese-speaking parents and takes care of everything around the house. In fact, he considers it his greatest accomplishment so far.

“My parents don’t speak English,” says Tran, who also has a 12-year-old brother, “so…» Read More

English professor Janna Maron holds the literary magazine, "Under the Gum Tree" which she is an editor of
By | Staff Writer
Dec. 12, 2012

The red boots called to her from the thrift store shelf. She wanted them, but she convinced herself she wouldn’t wear them. The boots taunted her—she couldn’t shake them. She bought the red boots, and they sat on the shelf in her closet for almost a year. It didn’t matter what outfit she tried, they never looked good enough.

Then one day, she decided she wanted to be the girl who wore the red boots. She wanted to be the girl who was proud of whom she is. She wanted to be bold and beautiful.

The red boots don’t stay on the shelf anymore.

A self-proclaimed woman in progress, Janna Marlies Maron is living the life she wants, with no apologies. Along with her husband, Jeremy, Maron runs ThinkHouse Collective, a co-workspace in downtown Sacramento. She also produces “Under the Gum Tree,” her own literary magazine, teaches English at City College, freelance edits, and still makes an effort to live boldly every day and tell her story without shame.

“I’m tall. I have long, curly hair. I don’t blend into the crowd, and I have a really loud laugh,” Maron says of herself. “That stands out.”

On a recent October…» Read More

A male DJ performs in front of a crowded venue.
By | Staff Writer
Dec. 12, 2012

Alter egos make for great entertainment. Take, for example, Marshall Mathers. As Eminem, Mathers made it big. And on the silver screen, as well as in comic books, via cartoons, and even as illustrated on lunchboxes of the founding fathers of the old school, Clark Kent saved the day as Superman.

But alter egos aren’t just limited to Hollywood. According to one City College student, alter egos exist locally too.

“I deejay and make rainbow lasers shoot from the eyes of Grizzly Bears,” says 24-year-old City College graphic design major Curtis Currier.

Well, Currier says he doesn’t actually do the whole disc jockey/rainbow laser thing—his alter ego does.

Meet DJ Jurts, Currier’s alter ego. When he’s Jurts, Currier express himself in the Sacramento music scene as a dee-jay.

“[Jurts is] my DJ alter ego,” says Currier. “I’ve been DJ-ing for about three years now. Before that I was skateboarding.”

Not just your run-of-the-mill skateboarding though. Currier was on the semi-pro circuit, getting attention from skate apparel companies like DVS.

“I was getting shoes and stuff from DVS and some other companies, but I just never made any money doing it. It was fun though. I got to…» Read More

Female Assistant Professor Myra Little
By | Staff Writer
Dec. 10, 2012

It can be hard for people to look past the green grass on their own side of the fence to see a neighborhood infested with weeds.

The timeless argument of “walk–a-mile” in someone else’s shoes is hard to comprehend when the person is thousands of miles away and they’re wearing combat boots.

Professor of Computer Information Science Sheley Little admits to her once obliviousness to the trials and tribulations of the United State’s military troops.

That was until her son was deployed to Afghanistan last December. Little says that fear, concern, and realization all hit home when her baby boy was sent into combat.

It was then when her primal motherly instinct took over.

Little says she needed to feel proactive. She found a way

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By | Staff Writer
Dec. 3, 2012

City College’s only art historian, Valerie Kidrick, shows students the true meaning behind art by examining the culture that created it.

Once a lawyer, and now a doctor in art history, Kidrick talks of her love for the Italian Renaissance, teaching, and the challenges she had to overcome to get where she is today.

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A man playing a stand-up bass.
By | Guest Writer
Nov. 28, 2012

The bar is dark and you can hear the clink of glasses and laughter. But only just. There is a jazz combo on stage and they are swinging through a Duke Ellington tune. The horn player is softly blowing and the smoky sound transports the listeners back in time.

The bass player is wrapped around his instrument like it was a woman. His left hand is caressing her neck and his right is wrapped around her waist. His head is bowed and his eyes are closed as he reaches out with his senses to feel the song and the mood of the other players.

Every note is perfect; every bar pushes the listener further into the mist.

Bassist Gerry Pineda has been playing music since he was 9 and at the age of 57 is regarded by his peers as one of the best musicians in town. He has given private lessons for over 20 years, and since 2009 has taught at City College. In that time he has introduced hundreds of students to the transcendent joys of playing music.

Pineda, who plays in at least eight bands, is a slim, dark fellow with long quiet fingers and a wicked…» Read More

Art of Rejection
By | Staff Writer
Oct. 24, 2012

Displayed on the stark white walls are 33 letters sent to art galleries, jobs and art programs. 33 letters of hope asking for an opportunity, for just one chance. 33 letters respond with encouraging words, but no words of acceptance.

And there are many more.

Rejection hurts. Few would argue that hearing the word, “no” can damage the soul—and it happens to everyone.

Sacramento artist, Arthur Gonzalez, revealed his way of dealing with rejection as an artist in his exhibit, “The Art of Rejection,” currently showing in the Kondos Gallery at City College.

Now, letters of rejection that have been converted into art pieces line the walls of Kondos Gallery. What began as a way to deal with continued dismissal turned into a story of pain, humor and opportunity, said Gonzalez at a discussion panel with John Natsoulas, founder and owner of the John Natsoulas Center for the Arts, at Kondos Gallery Oct. 10 to celebrate the exhibit.

Gonzales says he didn’t initially think of the rejection letters as a future art exhibit.

“They [the letters] were never intended to be seen by anyone except me,” said Gonzalez. “It just sort of happened.”

The drawings vary from cartoonish to realistic,…» Read More

City College Professor Debra Crumpton at her desk.
By | Staff Writer & Photographer
Oct. 22, 2012

The quality of the education someone receives is said to be only as good as the quality of their teachers. There is no doubt that that there are teachers with different teaching styles and students with different learning needs.

Debra Crumpton, City College business technology professor, has been an instructor for five years, and all of those years at City College. One of her biggest tools as a teacher is to understand and relate to all her students.

“Community college students matter and they matter largely. I think they are the most important college population because in the world of changing demographics, they are the future,” Crumpton remarked.

Crumpton joined the military when she was 19, and retired 18 years later as a Major in the Army. She went on to start a mortgage business.

“I didn’t know I wanted to be a teacher,” says Crumpton. “From the speaking and consulting I was doing [in the mortgage business], I thought maybe I got to teach and I started exploring the idea.”

In Crumpton’s classes a hint of her military experience is present in the way she teaches. She stands firmly with authority, enforces discipline and speaks loudly—but always with kindness.

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