Seeing Beauty in the World

Cut and polished rock

When I used to think of things like the Dust Bowl, Dr. Pepper, or rock hounding, I did not feel any sense of significance or connection to them, but after interviewing my grandfather, I became a lot more interested in all three. While he is not my biological grandfather, I have grown up knowing Rod Reber as my grandpa, or papa, all my life, and it was fascinating to learn so much more about him. There are a lot of differences between his generation and mine, but in each of his stories and responses to my questions, I found some way of relating them back to my life.

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Building an Honor’s Society at Sierra College

Students making chalk art

“Congrats! You qualify to join the Honor Society.” This is the email students receive when they have completed 12 units and earned a 3.5 or higher-grade point average at the end of a semester. It’s an email with the potential to set students up for scholarship opportunities, help students develop leadership skills, gain lifelong friends and so much more.

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Study Drugs: Be Informed and Consider the Alternatives

Student holding head behind open laptop

It’s no secret that the college experience has included experimentation with drugs. When I think of drug use on campus, I picture sitting in circles on a grassy hill, smoking joints, trading revolutionary ideas, and experimenting with psychedelics like LSD. Fast forward a few decades and what you get is a complex drug problem that exists in colleges around the country, and the new juggernaut is the prescription drug trade.

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Disappearance

Wild, untamed
Peaceful before the hunger for money
The King, the danger, the deadly
Few more million than one can count
The tallest, the fastest, and even the smallest
That the world has ever seen
Living on one continent
With whispers of the finest sunsets
Accompany where the wild roams

Believing in what science has proven false
Herbal remedies, black markets
The importance of a narrow-minded belief
Serves more highly than the lives of the wild
Lion manes, rhino horns, elephant tusks
Sold under a criminal act
A trophy on the wall
A smile for the picture
Forever remembering a hunt for the endangered
Ignoring the position as the dominant species
To protect and preserve the lives of ones who do no harm

Don’t turn your head
Look at the numbers
This world has life greater than a desire for selfish needs
Populations low as extinction lists grow
Animals who were here long before
Won’t be here to witness

Written by Nicque McMullen | Photo by Geran de Klerk 

Fire- Money- Power

Four million to influence California
Politicians knew and took the money
Convict in this story isn’t a person

Newsom received more than $200,000
But is it ethical?
Lobbying to achieve
Legislative package to help Utilities
Reforms of legal liability

Gas explosion killed eight, a neighborhood was destroyed
Never forget what happened in San Bruno
A jury found PG&E guilty, convicted of six felonies
One count of obstructing investigation

A corporation cannot go to prison
Yet, we expect to be judged by our actions
Television ads apologize, we’re working every day,
Safest energy company in the nation

Since being sentenced in 2017,
Wildfires kill 107
“Camp Fire” killed 85 when it destroyed Paradise

State’s conclusion, PG&E line started the fire
$3.2 million flowed to candidates
Eight out of 10 lawmakers took money
Oh, how it’s going to cost us all.

 

Written by Eric Pacheco | Photo by Marcus Kauffman 

A Tribute to Dr. Reyes Ortega

The above 13-minute video features an interview with Dr. Reyes Ortega about his work with the Puente program at Sierra College and his legacy as he enters into retirement. After the interview in the video, two former students share personal tributes. In the written article below, other former students pay tribute to their transformative teacher and offer advice to future students.

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Education as Creative Freedom

Jenny Stamps self-portrait

My proudest day of school was the day I dropped out. That was the day I declared my learning autonomy; the day I took direct action to occupy my education. I have Sierra College to thank for reigniting my passion for exploration and desire to learn. When I first graduated high school, college was the last thing on my mind. The busy work and pressures of public school had rid me of any interest in further studies. To me, school was a prison. Perhaps I felt that way because I had something to compare it to.
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Consent Posters: The Sexual Violence Dialogue at Sierra College

It’s 11:00 a.m. on Monday, and I’ve been sitting in the Sierra College cafeteria with my friend Lindsey since 9:30 a.m. When we first entered the cafeteria, it was dimly lit and the smell of bacon permeated the air. To our right there were students lined up to pay for breakfast as we scanned the area for an open table to sit at. It was mostly vacant, and we began walking by the grey square tables looking for the one that had the least amount of food on it. It was fairly quiet, except for a loud group that had pushed two tables together and must have discovered the key to being fully awake on a Monday morning. As time goes by more people come in and the noise begins to increase, as singular voices turn into a woven tapestry of words and constant noise.
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Connecting the Corners of Sierra Through Story: The Founding of Roundhouse News and Review

Roundhouse's founding team (missing Tricia Caspers)

“I don’t want a single one of you to leave here tonight thinking you’ve done anything other than kick some serious butt this semester,” laughed Alex Zenner, the president of Roundhouse News and Review. She addressed the attentive crowd of 40 family, friends and local supporters gathered to celebrate the launch of Sierra College’s latest online intercultural news publication. “Tonight, we shared in ideas of what Roundhouse can become – a place for community, a place for voices of all kinds. I couldn’t be more proud of us.” Students on the founding editorial team shared knowing smiles, understanding our term developing Roundhouse, a collective brainchild, was coming to close.

“Yet, this is just the beginning,” I thought, gazing at the crowd. “Roundhouse is public now. The site doesn’t belong to just us anymore. It’s for everyone.” As Roundhouse’s Community Engagement and Communications Director, I connected the editorial team and the public through graphic design, in-person meetings, food and email. In short, my job was to listen to the stories, interests and values of Sierra community members.
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