The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

A Tale of Three Students


Dan in real life

A City College student takes a break

Glenn Tidwell | Staff Writer
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Most of us are raised expecting to go to college, take a heavy and constant course load and graduate in four years.

Because of a wider variety of subjects available and an emphasis put on finding our passion, that standard is becoming less and less common.

Daniel Gonzales, 19, has taken two semesters off in order to clear his mind. He didn’t know what he wanted from his education and felt that blindly moving toward the unknown wasn’t cost effective or logical.

Gonzales took this time off in order to reflect on his personal life. He moved out of his parents’ house and moved in with two friends from high school: Amanda Crawley, a current City College student and Ian Wilson who is also taking the year off from his studies.

Crawley’s family had reservations about her moving in with two boys, but there was a deceptively simple reason for her choice of roommates.

“I didn’t want to move in with girls,” Crawley says. “It’s worked out great. I love it.”

While Crawley moved out for herself, Gonzales moved out to get a handle on his academics. He needed something to change before pursuing a new career interest, architecture.

“Living with roommates was the only way I could learn to support myself,” Gonzales says. “I wanted to get into a difficult major, but I wasn’t doing the work that was needed.”

Gonzales moved out to gain self-sufficiency that was almost lost early on.

Gonzales found a full-time job at the Screaming Squeegee, a screen printer in Davis, but for a brief time during the winter holiday season, the Screaming Squeegee closes its doors from the lack of customers, leaving Gonzales with no hours.

“I had plenty of free time, but it didn’t feel good,” says Gonzales. “I had to worry about where the rent was going to come from.”

Despite his lack of money, Gonzales found plenty to do around the house.

“Jokingly, everyone calls us very domestic,” says Wilson. “[Danny] says he’s meticulous; Amanda says he’s slow. I don’t take sides. We do keep a clean house and do a lot of cool things in it.”

Currently, Gonzales and Wilson are in the final stages of brewing their own beer, curing olives they picked from a tree in their back yard, and they plan on buying screen printing materials of their own.

“I would like to start my own clothing company someday,” says Gonzales, which he may achieve sooner rather than later.

He and Wilson already have their first order, 100 shirts for their friend’s band.

While screen printing has emerged as an interest, it isn’t a goal.

“While [screen printing] is something I enjoy it isn’t how I envision myself impacting the business community,” says Gonzales. He sees himself as an owner, not a printer.

Now that Gonzales has a handle on his home life he hopes to reenter the academic world. He has made the decision to return to community college for the fall 2009 semester, but is torn between City College, Cuesta College in San Louis Obispo, or moving to Portland, Ore.

“I’d like to go to Cal Poly as a university, and it would ultimately be easiest from Cuesta,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales expressed his excitement for the up coming fall semester.

“The break was a really good decision,” says Gonzales, “I’m excited to get back.”

He will be coming back with new values that will help him in school.

“Since not going to school, I learned to enjoy learning and studying,” Gonzales says. “No better motivation than the current economy.”

A year away from school has given Gonzales a goal and an appreciation for the academic process he will be a part of.


Coming to America

Another country is a great place to study your passion

Darla Weaver | Staff Writer
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Coming to the United States to fulfill one’s educational goal is a wonderful adventure to embark on. There is a lot to be excited about, most importantly, a new culture and new friends. One may feel overwhelmed, without knowing where to begin.

Juan Galindo, 20, is an international student from Colombia. He came to City College in 2007 to study electrical engineering.

“I want to do something with planes, and designing stuff,” says Galindo. He also works on campus at the orientation center and is a member of the International Club.

Living in a new country can be different in the most fundamental ways, all the way down to how we socialize.

“People here are just different, you know? Friendship is different. In my country, it’s like you meet someone and you’re friends and that stays at least for the whole semester, but over here, it’s just casual. Like, ‘Hey, how are you.’ And that’s it.”

The International Student Center helps with cultural adjustment, academics and legal services for, non-immigrant internatinal students.

“The differences in the U.S. educational system are usually quite different from the education in their home country,” says International Student Center Counselor, Susan Fong.

Designated School Officials Reggie Jean-Gilles and Mayra Jimenez help international students become more comfortable at City College.

“Mayra is very helpful, Reggie is too. You feel like they’re taking care of us because they are always asking us how we’re doing. Like, I told Mayra I wanted to get a job, and she hooked me up,” says Galindo.

“One time, I was curious and asked, ‘Mayra, how many children do you have?’ And she said ‘260 children,’ all of the international students,” says Hang Giap, an international nursing student from Vietnam who works with Galindo at the orientation center.

Galindo enjoys helping new students at the orientation center.

“We support [students] through the steps, such as tours and admissions. Sometimes students come to get a student’s perspective about classes rather than seeing a counselor. They also come to ask general questions, like, ‘Where’s the closest Starbucks to school?”
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“I love when a new international student comes because you’re like, ‘Oh, I’ve been through that before, and I’m going to help you.’ We also get to practice our English, and we get money too,” Giap says.

Being an international student has been an overall learning experience says Galindo.

“It definitely makes you grow. I went back to my country over break, and the people were like, still in high school. They’re just talking about the same things. Now I feel more independent and I do all my stuff by myself.”

Galindo does not plan on going back home anytime soon. After City College he plans on transferring to either UC Berkeley or UC San Diego.

“I definitely want to travel and continue traveling. I definitely feel fortunate to have this opportunity,” says Galindo.


Easy Money

A cash-strapped student turns to financial aid to pay for his education

Jessica Kelly | Staff Writer
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On Jan. 27 at 3 p.m., the City College Quad is still buzzing with students. Moses Martinez hears none of his classmates around him; all he can hear is the strum of his guitar. He seems very normal. He’s not.

Martinez, 18, is attending City College to save money on general education classes before transferring to Notre Dame University, IN. where he plans to double major in chemistry and physics.

Neither of Martinez’s parents is currently employed, and the degree will cost an estimated $49,000 per year, a bill that will be paid for by a $144,000 scholarship from the American Chemical Society he won his junior year of high school.

“Physics is my first love,” Martinez says, “But I have wanted to be a chemistry major since my freshman year of high school.”

“There was a lot of competition,” Martinez says. “They only give out 10 scholarships nationwide.”

Without his scholarship for Notre Dame and the financial aid at City College, getting his education would be more of a challenge.

“If I didn’t get financial aid I would have to get a job.”

School is Martinez’s first priority.

“There’s a lot more pay-off later on.”

Martinez is not the first student to turn to the financial aid programs for help through school.

Michael Hunter, a City College physical geography and weather and ocean studies instructor, was a student here from 1981-83.

He attended City College before transferring to UC Davis because he was on financial aid and the classes here were cheaper.

“I was on everything down to food stamps,” says Hunter with a chuckle.

Although it was difficult, he still enjoyed college and liked to experiment with classes.

“Don’t be afraid to get a W or two,” says Hunter. “Dabble.”

Martinez has not done much dabbling in college, although he did receive one “W” last semester in an introductory philosophy course.

“It was too early in the morning,” he jokes.

Not everyone is so lighthearted about the current economic situation.

Martinez’s father, Felix, says the current economic situation is very distressing.

“I have two kids in junior college and one trying to make it to a UC. The rate and book costs are outrageous.”

Since neither he nor his parents is currently working, Martinez seeks payment for his current college costs through the City College Financial Aid Department.

Martinez receives approximately $4,000 per year for the price of tuition, books and other costs that pile on during the semester.

The programs at City College tailor financial aid to fit the fiscal needs of individual students.

There is the Board of Governors Waiver (BOG) as well as the Respect, Integrity, Delf Determination and Education (RISE) and Extended Opportunity Program and Services (EOPS) Also, there are scholarships, student loans and grants that can be applied for at the Financial Aid Office or their web page which is attached City College’s official website,

While the financial aid Martinez receives is beneficial to his education, there are also some flaws in the system.

“The hoops you have to jump through are OK but, the notification for missing documents in the application takes too long.”

Although financial aid can be a hassle, Martinez says he gets a lot out of City College, especially the faculty.

“I love the atmosphere at [City College] … It’s so much more laid-back than ARC or CRC,” says Martinez. “They seem interested in how you’re doing, but not overly involved.”

If Martinez succeeds in his dreams, he will be the first person in his family to earn a degree.

“I am most proud of him because he is most intelligent in math, but also in the arts,” his father says. “He is creative and highly intelligent.”

Martinez is taking music classes to work on his songwriting. He says he enjoys putting his thoughts down and expressing himself through guitar.

“I find it very beautiful,” Martinez says.

Through it all, the financial aid, the scholarships, and the W, Martinez has enjoyed his time at City College.

And with that Martinez looks down to his instrument, gently strums the strings of his guitar, and is lost again in his music.

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