Yes I Am

lock on fence with 'sos' reference that also appears as 's loves s' because a heart-shape stands in for 'o'

Words were screamed across the room

A man was beaten, battered, and tried

Everything comes to a halt

It all comes down to this; who lied?

 

I watch from the safety of my own home

Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard,

The trial that is being seen across the world

 

The comfortability and safety of my own life

Sits in the back of mind, rarely coming out to play

For others, their safety is dangling off a tightrope,

A finger away from falling into the depths

 

One in four women

One in nine men

10 million suffer

10 million too much

 

After a marriage full of hate, fear, and humiliation

Witnesses are brought to tell the truth as

Everything comes to a halt

It all comes down to this; who lied?

 

Interruption, objection, hearsay

Years of being silent,

Depp is silenced once again

But now is the time to tell his story

 

Seeing toxicity since childhood left him bruised

The shadows of trauma followed him to his adulthood,

He didn’t have a voice then, but he has one now

In horror I listen to the audio clip playing at the end of testimony

 

“Tell them Johnny Depp, I, Johnny Depp, a man, 

I’m a victim too of domestic violence”

What did he say?

“Yes I am.”

 

Written by Jessica Mananquil | Photo by Georgy Rudakov, Unsplash

Jessica Mananquil is a Journalism major at Sierra College. She plans on transferring to San Francisco State University to pursue her interest in news and feature writing for fall 2022.

Unthawed Nightmare

Strolling home from work, careless and free

Headed home to make my bed, clean sheets off the line,

What a shame to do at bedtime.

 

Entering my home, I notice no one, I see, I hear nothing

Suddenly attacked, impaled throughout my body

In and out, with such malice.

Forcibly violated, and left cold as ice.

Floating in a pool of my lineage as it drained from my veins.

 

Taken from me my spirit, stolen; my spirit.

What gave you the right to me?

Robbing me of my safety, my life, my future?

Who told you it was ok to play God and decide when?

When my last breath was taken, my last moments with family.

 

42 years I lay frozen, forever a 20 year old with the world at my feet.

Shattered in a moment of impulse.

42 years until my family would rejoice, “I feel like I can go on with my life now.”

The terror, pain and heartache frozen with me

Unthawed as handcuffs squeeze your wrists.

My soul set free, my nightmare unthawed.

 

Written by Vontress Ortega | Photo by Manjari, Pexels

Vontress Ortega smiling with long black hair and legs crossed
Vontress Ortega is a Journalism major at Sierra College and published author. She plans to transfer to Sacramento State University and continue in the major in fall 2022.

The Period of Change

empty laundry basket on bathroom floor with paper sign in it, 'if you need one, take one, if you have one, give one'

College students spend thousands of dollars on tuition, living expenses, food, gas, etc. but have little room for anything else. What if you had to choose between period products and groceries? This situation occurs more than people may think. A new study found that 14.2% of college students experienced this problem known as Period Poverty in the past year.

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Cultivating a Modern Family

Parenting and family planning have evolved in countless ways over the years. Some things have stayed the same; the pride of first steps, hearing first words, art created on walls, and learning quickly to never be caught without a snack. Others have changed dramatically, such as balancing passions and hobbies with the duties of work, college deadlines, and what we define as our family. How is anyone supposed to “balance” it all? What does “balance” mean? To Ryan Moskun, a claimed father by our 5-year-old daughter, Thea, that balance lies in priorities.

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Bike Messenger: Tasha Rose

legs of cyclist, Tasha Rose, by pink bike

Growing up around San Francisco, you see messenger bikers constantly. The speed, style, and rebellious nature was always fascinating to me. There are messenger bikers in almost every major city in the world, but none work harder than San Francisco’s. Brutal weather conditions, constant rolling hills, and some of the most hectic traffic on the planet, create a perfect ecosystem for talented cyclists to prove their skills.

I was lucky enough to photograph and speak with some of these messengers for this story, and interview Tasha Rose. Rose is a sponsored cyclist riding for All-City Cycles and King Kog Shop, and a full-time messenger with the Candlestick Courier collective. If there is a single person in the industry that people are inspired by, it is absolutely, Tasha Rose.

I decided to interview Rose due to her local recognition, her amazing attitude, and because she is very well-spoken. She provided me with a lot of information about being a bike messenger, and explained some struggles they face on a day to day basis.

Rose is a strong and inspiring woman on and off the bike, and continues to drive for added support for WTFs; women, transgender, and femme cyclists. She set aside some time to chat with me at her apartment on November 11th. In our conversation, we focus on her work in 2020. 

 

Thomas Edgington is a Journalism major at Sierra College. He plans to continue his studies in documentary and photojournalism.

Written and photographed by Thomas Edgington | Audio edited by Leonor Bright

Envisioning Colors

“I wish I could do that,” I say, showing my boyfriend a makeup post on one of the various sites I used to waste my hours on.

“Then do it” he replies, “You can pull off anything.”

Yet, something holds me back.  Sitting in my squeaky computer chair, makeup products cluttered along my desk and arms, the voice in my mind asks me, “But what if I’m going to be judged?”  I stare into the mirror, talking myself out of playing with the colors I envisioned while my cat in the background navigates the mess just to get to her sleeping spot.  Continue Reading

Femicide

It’s the start of a new relationship,
I get ready for my date, hair in soft spirals,
lips stained red while the color upon my eyes are smoked,
body adorned by a sleek bodycon.

Love took over my mind, the insides of my body filled with floating butterflies,
He’s sophisticated, smart, and charming,
A man that wants to take care of me, wanting what is best for us,
It’s too good to be true.

Cracks start forming, another man emerges,
It’s my fault, I can’t do anything right,
Apologies aren’t enough, thoughts spinning in my head, telling me I’m crazy,
Suddenly, my skin is blemished with bruises, my face stained with tears.

I need to get out, but no one will help me,
After filing several complaints, police won’t help me,
I can’t get out and soon it will be too late for me,
As I will be strangled by the cracked image of a man I thought I loved.

I would be alive today if I was listened to,
Now I am just another number among the women killed before me,
For I have died by femicide, murder committed by my partner,
But there is an outcry for us, activists rallying for a change.

Posters littered amongst the walls under tunnels,
An image of me, the woman I once was,
Displaying the reality of domestic violence,
With the intent of making women before me, victims of femicide, visible.

Written by Taylor Hamilton | Photo by Jean-Luc Mounier 

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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