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.
Alexis Detwiler, 18, of Fair Oaks, has played sports throughout her entire life. She’s played basketball and soccer, but most importantly, she’s a softball player. Alexis played for Sierra College in the fall of 2019, and while she’s currently undecided on her softball future, this piece highlights the amazing values softball has brought into her life.
“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.
Click. Silence. Four Beats. A breath. And go. This is the beginning of a typical recording session for Northern California based artist, Shilla Varasteh. At only nineteen, she has released several singles, an EP, and more all while balancing home and school life. She writes, produces, and releases her songs from her bedroom studio.
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.
KeAndre Berry, Communication Studies major and Multimedia Journalism student, interviews his friend and dormmate at Sierra College, Emmanuel Dudley, Engineering major, on learning about COVID-19. 1-minute audio track. His written story follows below.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
“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.