Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Love is a Choice

Same-sex couples and discrimination

Choosing to be honest with oneself is the key to love. Follow that inner voice that says “you’re who you are supposed to be and that you’re perfect just the way you are.”

I remember listening to my inner voice as a teenager throughout my young adulthood and not knowing what to do. In the confusion and lack of guidance, everything was a disarray of emotions. It was a time of self-discovery, an adventure to flourish into the woman I am today.

Recently a discussion in a sociology class at Linn-Benton regarding same-sex couples really disturbed me because I’m a lesbian and I don’t feel like I was being represented fairly.

The discussion became intense quickly, and my fellow students had very strong opinions regarding same-sex couples. Of course I acknowledge that they’re allowed to have opinions, but I don’t think I was prepared for the words that came out of their mouths during the discussion.

It brought to light the fact that many of today’s students don’t have a clear understanding of what it means to be part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community (LGBT).

Being LGBT is not a choice, but love is a choice; and everyone has that right, so of course we choose to love whoever.

“Approximately one in 100 American women and two in 100 American men identify as homosexual, with another four percent of Americans identifying as bisexual,” according to  “Homosexuality is still a controversial topic in the United States, but polls and surveys regarding its moral acceptability or the legalization of same-sex marriage show an obvious trend towards acceptance and tolerance of the LGBT community among the American population.”

There was a portion of the discussion where we discussed discrimination. A couple of my peers spoke up, but I wasn’t prepared for what they had to say, such as certain businesses being okay to turn down services because of their religious beliefs, and that certain companies are “too pricey” for gays to afford.

Discriminating against anyone because of personal beliefs is bad business period, and you shouldn’t be in business.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Cellphones have taken over the minds of millions

Cellphones have taken over the minds of millions

Go anywhere and try to relax for a moment without your cell phone; I bet you can’t. That’s the norm today.

In today’s world everyone is connected to their cell phones.

An alarming 67 percent of cellphone owners find themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts, or calls.
Over the past decade cellphones have become the new personal digital assistant. Everything has gone from computers to cell phones for notifications.
Forty-four percent of cellphone owners have slept with their phone next to their bed because they didn’t want to miss any calls, texts, or other updates during the night.
There are a few problems that could be potentially harmful if sleeping with a cellphone such as setting a pillow on fire, staying awake because of calls or texts, and radiation.
Twenty-nine percent of cell owners describe their cell phone as something they can’t imagine living without.
According to, as of October 2014, 64 percent of American adults own smartphones.

These percentages are astounding. No matter how surprising the numbers are, people today have lost touch with person-to-person communication and activities without a cellphone.
How have people let this cell phone takeover happen? Each person has their own reason, but there is a way out and away from cell phone land, or even technology.
These simple steps can take you away from the stress.
  1. Implement Rules
Vow to stay off your cell phone during meals, when commuting, and when
you’re in the bathroom or in bed.

  1. Buy an Alarm Clock
Use your phone as an alarm? First thing you’ll do each day is stare at the screen.
  1. Sign Off for a Weekend
Stay disconnected for the weekend.
  1. Check With Purpose
Ask yourself, do I have a specific, positive reason for this?
  1. Alter Your Settings
There are apps that you can download to help limit that time you use certain apps. and

The Thing With Feathers

Poetry and Art come together

Like birds of a feather, students, staff, and community members flocked together for “The Thing With Feathers” gallery reception that was held in the South Santiam Hall Gallery on Wednesday, April 6 at noon.

This is the sixth annual Ekphrasis Exhibition celebrating Poetry month, and it continues until April 28.

In the SSH gallery there are 10 featured local artists and 14 poems from students on campus and from the LBCC Poetry Club.

Before stimulating the minds of attendees, the artists and poets were asked to stand near their work. It made for a brief impactful moment watching each person flutter to their positions in the gallery.

Ceph Poklemba started the poetry reading off with his poem titled “Cresting.” He wrote “Cresting” because ospreys are one of his favorite birds. He strayed from his norms of poetry and explored something different with this poem and was inspired with the imagery around the Willamette River.

“It was something simple that I wanted to write as I don't write structured or classically styled poetry often, and had a lot of fun playing around with that and off-rhyme schemes as well,” said Poklemba

One poet, Emily Joliff got creative with her presentation for her poem titled “Birds For Thought.” She fell in love with birds during her time in Robin Havenicks class; this is where she decided to make poems into birds.

“There's a meditation technique when you’re trying to clear your mind, but are struggling with still thinking about a lot of things, you can make your mind a blue sky, and then every thought you have into a bird flying slowly across your sky, and out of the picture, so that you can finally have a peaceful and rested mind,” said Joliff.

Joliff created a bird nest and origami birds from poems and put them on display. She likes to think of words as birds, because they are free and inspiring.

“My reflections cut into folding strips of paper, so that they could be read, but still look like individual little pieces of sticks or draw like a real nest; it was sort of the idea that the finished poems were sitting on their original ideas and thoughts, that the poems sort of "hatched" out of my mind and grew into beautiful things,” said Joliff.

Local artist Kerry Bliss has two photographs on display in the SSH gallery. The story she shared behind the photographs was remarkable and heartbreaking at the same time. The two photographs are called “Crow Funeral I” and “Crow Funeral II.” She described seeing a crow funeral and her experience that day and in that moment. Bliss left the room speechless.

The gallery reception concluded and attendees dispersed. Each artist and poet put together a wonderful collaboration that manifested, “The Thing With Feathers.”

Linn-Benton’s Second Annual Drag Show

Performers of the Drag Show
Photographer Melissa Chandler
Shakers, singers and splitters took the stage

With a tuck, pull and cinch, the second annual Linn-Benton Drag Show went off without a hitch on Friday, April 15, at 7 p.m. in the Commons Cafeteria.

Linn-Benton’s very own The Boy With Green Hair and OSU’s Beaver Royalty King Julian G String hosted this year’s drag show.

The hosts inquired from the audience how many had been to a drag show before? For almost half the audience it was their first drag show. It was very clear though that everyone was there for one reason: to have a good time.

“I wanted to come check it out,” said Matt Hoffman, an LB student. “I have a friend [performing] and here I am.”

There were performers from Albany, Corvallis, and Eugene. Some were students and others were community members who were invited to participate.

With a total of 17 performers, each performance varied from lip syncing, live singing, dance, and poetry. There were five repeat performers from the first LB drag show in 2015.

The opening act was former OSU Beaver Royalty Lucielle S. Balls performing “Hieeee” by Alaska Thunderfuck, a perfect opening for this year’s drag show to get its kick off.

Some of the performers were taking the stage for the first time included Cookie Glaciers and Dominique Noel.

After intermission The Boy With Green Hair and Miss Dharma Prada MacPherson switched things up, announcing the award winners for Outstanding Solidarity to Gender, Sexual, and Romantic Minorities. They had three winners in different categories: student, faculty member, and club. The winners received symbolic rainbow duct tape.

“We want these individuals to continue to be the adhesive that helps keep gender and sexual  minorities allies connected,” said Miss Dharma Prada MacPherson. “It’s about building the bridge between everyone.”

The winners were: LB nursing student Andrew McClain for his student support and efforts, and the Electronic Resources Librarian Jane Sandberg for her continuous initiative and campus awareness, and Human and Civil Rights Club.

After the awards the show continued with more incredible performances.

The finale was a mash up of 12 Beyoncé classics performed by Carmen Sutra, Miss Dharma Prada MacPherson, and Chelsey Mick. The choreography was created by Carmen Sutra and Miss Dharma MacPherson.

“It was a rush,” said Mick. “I was stoked when offered the chance to share the stage with two charismatic dancers. The experience was wonderful.”

Earth Day Celebration

Contestants in the "Dress Like a Hippie."
Photographer Melissa Chandler
Faculty, students and staff revel in Earth’s glorious greenness

Flower power and groovy hippies swarmed Linn-Benton’s Albany campus to celebrate Mother Earth on Thursday, April 21 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the courtyard. It was free and open to the public.

The Sixth Annual Earth Day Celebration was sponsored by LBCC’s Sustainability Committee, Horticulture Club, Science, Engineering and Math division and Student Leadership Council.  

On the East side of the courtyard on the windows of the Hot Shot Café there was a “Pledge Tree” created by 18 LB Drawing I students and art instructor Analee Fuentes.

“I pledge to say no plastic bags and bring my own,” said an anonymous pledger.

The inspiration for the tree was at the request of Earth Day participant Lori Fluge-Brunker. She asked if students could be involved in the creation of the tree. Originally, Fluge-Brunker and Fuentes had discussed making a paper-mache tree, but since Fuentes’ class this term is a drawing class, they collaborated on the “Pledge Tree.”

Each student got a small piece of the tree image, blew it up to a specified size, and used charcoal as the medium. They put it together using a spray fixative.  

“The lesson being that together, we can all create something much more wonderful than if we try to do it alone,” said Fuentes. “Collaboration is a powerful tool in art and in ecology. This is a beginning drawing class and they were very excited about doing this.”

Sign-up began at 11:30 a.m. for the “Dress Like a Hippie” contest. Contestants wore their favorite hippie garb for the chance to win first, second and third place prizes. The contest was underway by 12:15 p.m.
There were 12 contestants. They strutted their groovy wardrobe up to the stage. Four judges from the SLC presided: Christy McDaniel, Kaela Fuller, Kylie McLoud, and Scott Harrington.

“Mother Earth I love you,” said Dreagn Bennett (Dragonfly).

First prize for best dressed hippie went to Vickie Keith (Momma Flower), executive board member president. Second prize went to Joshua Carper (No Nukes Norman) and third prize went to Sunny Green (Sunny Sunshine) from the LBCC Horticulture Club president.  

There were other activities located around the courtyard that visitors could participate in; planting a flower in a pot from AAWCC & Peoria Gardens, inject mushroom spores with the LB Horticulture Club, and get involved with pulling weeds and any debris from the rose garden in the East parking lot by McKenzie Hall.
From noon to 12:50 p.m. there was a lecture in Madrone Hall room 113 with Dr. Christo Buizert, OSU College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences. It was a lecture about an ice core perspective on climate change, the last ice age, and Shakespeare.
Visitors could purchase an “Earth Day” t-shirt, buy metal art made from recycled metal by the Welding Club, and get a free reusable shopping bag from Natural Grocers.
Another great find was the “Earth Day Café.” Lunch was an organic salad of greens with grilled chicken, parmesan breadsticks, drink, and a cookie. The organic greens were provided from the Horticulture Club’s garden on campus. Lunch for students was $4 and $5 for others. They raised $150 to benefit LBCC Equestrian Team.
LB’s very own choir performed for the spector’s a song called “Earth Song.”
“It was a perfect day to be singing in the sunshine and celebrating Mother Nature,” said Marina Brazeal, LB choir performer.
“Earth Day” was full of green ways to better serve the planet. Celebrating Mother Nature allows everyone to come together for one sole purpose, to save Earth. On Thursday, April 21 the LB campus was full of Earth supporters.

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better,” said Albert Einstein.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Sports Are in Her Genes

Bailee Tally laces up during practice.
Photographer Melissa Chandler
Bailee Tally seized sports early on

The intensity of the game, and the feeling of going on a run with her teammates is how Bailee Tally got her passion for sports.  

The speed of the game is what motivates Tally. It constantly has her thinking and keeps her on her toes. When the game gets exciting or the team goes on a run that really gets her fired up.

Tally started playing basketball when she was 5 years old. Since then she hasn’t looked back.

She began shooting hoops at the YMCA with her brother and sisters. It has always been something that her family has done together. All of her siblings, her mother and father played sports; everything from basketball, softball, gymnastics, and track to motocross. Tally has been surrounded by sports her entire life.

“The YMCA is where my family has always played sports, so I started playing basketball there too,” said Tally.

Tally had a couple of influences along the way: her sisters Chandler McElmurry, Delanie Tally and her cousin Britney Knotts. Her sister Delanie plays volleyball and softball at the College of the Siskiyous; her sister Chandler played sports in high school. Tally’s cousin Britney played college basketball for the Chemeketa Storm and the Mt. Hood Saints.

Tally has played softball since she was 5 years old and volleyball since she was 7. She continued to play basketball, softball, and volleyball until her senior year of high school; where she played all three sports that year.

“I played softball because my family played softball,” said Tally. “My parents put me on a T-ball team when I was five-years-old and I continued to play.”

Tally played all three sports congruently because they were in different seasons.

“I had enough time and it was something that I enjoyed and loved to do,” said Tally.

Being a team player defines Tally, because she loves being around people. It also demonstrates her devotion to building relationships with her teammates.

To her, a basketball team is more than a bunch of people on a court. They have to work cohesively. To do that they have to form a relationship, and a friendship. Tally explained her team is more than teammates, they are family.

“I have a very close relationship with my team,” said Tally. “We get along really well and there is no drama on the team. It is like I have nine more sisters now.”

The team practiced every day for two hours. It looked like grueling work, but it was necessary to become a better team. Tally didn’t make a fuss, she took all the advice with a grain of salt and trucked on.

“Our coach makes sure that every practice is like a game and that we learn from our mistakes in practice as we would in a game,” said Tally.

While on the court, Tally takes her position as guard seriously. Basketball is more important than just the game itself.

“Basketball to me is like my job,” said Tally. “But a job that I love to do and would do it every day.”

It isn’t just about shooting hoops, scoring the big points, or winning the game for Tally. For her, it’s a way of life.

“I enjoy that in basketball [we] learn about the game, but [we] also learn life lessons while playing the game; how to be a team, what it takes to be a team, a leader, and to trust one another,” said Tally.

Say Cheese to Social Media

Selfie Contest Winner: Annette Easdale
A selfie contest awards classic tee at LB’s bookstore

Linn-Benton Bookstore orchestrated its first ever “Selfie Contest” on social media via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The contest lasted 24 days.

Selfie participants were to find a spot located in the bookstore and take selfies, tag it #lbccbookstore, and post it to social media.  

The first of the promoting events happened during open house at College Night on Feb. 8. Staff and students snapped pictures while in the bookstore and shared them on their personal social media to start the contest.

It wasn’t until the week of Feb. 22-26 that Marketing Coordinator Tina Leonard sent out a notification to the campus email and campus-wide monitors about the contest.

“I really wanted to see what the response would be if we only posted to social media,” said Leonard.

In the bookstore a sign was posted at a checkout promoting the contest and staff mentioned the contest to customers.

The contest was open to students, staff and faculty. Although it is LB, the store employees however, weren’t eligible to win the contest.

Leonard got the idea for the contest from reading an article from the National Association of College Stores that talked about another school running a similar promotion.  

Even though there wasn’t a huge turnout this time, Leonard is hopeful that with more promoting another contest could be more successful. She looks forward to another contest in the future.

“I'm sure we will try this sort of social media contest again, only with a bigger push at promoting it,” said Leonard.

The contest ended on Friday, Feb. 26 and the winner was announced Monday, Feb. 29.
Leonard had four selfies submitted to decide from. She randomly selected Annette Easdale as the winner of the first Selfie Contest.

Easdale received a classic LBCC t-shirt from the bookstore.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

How to Be Single Movie Review

There are two ways to being single, the right way and the wrong way. After meeting Alice (Dakota Johnson), Robin (Rebel Wilson), Meg (Leslie Mann), and David (Damon Wayans Jr.); you will see single in a new light.

Johnson is best known for her performance in “Fifty Shade of Grey”; where she played a submissive sexual partner, but wants a relationship. Contrary to this film where she wants to be single and fool around. It was distracting to say the least. Johnson’s character is too contradictory.

Wilson is the loud and outrageous single twenty something female who is living it up in New York City. She quickly befriends Johnson and shows her how to be single.

The single life shows it’s true colors when Wilson takes Johnson to her favorite watering hole. The bar scene shows how sexist and stereotypical the male and female bar scene really is. It goes as far as buying drinks for them with their “sausage wallet.” This scene shows how the real world is.

Mann portrays a single gynecologist and obstetrician. Her life is just too busy for love, and all work and no play makes Meg dull. She’s too busy for children, so she opts out for that too.

Children don’t fit into her work schedule and she doesn’t have much patience with them either. Let’s just say she argues with a patient’s little girl and doesn’t win.

Any film that Mann acts in she is brilliant, hilarious, and witty. The last film, “This is 40,” was about their mid-life crisis of sorts and it was awesomely funny. Each character she portrays is similar to the previous, which I think makes her a unique actress and continually shows her abilities.

A big downfall to “How to Be Single” was the predictability. A lot of films are that way, but this one was textbook: open close. There were a couple curve balls thrown in, but nothing too significant to knock me out of my socks.

Also the way they portrayed being single as a bad thing. Not everyone thinks being single is terrible.

Looking for a romantic comedy, go to the nearest cinema and check out “How to Be Single” for some good laughs and real world love life issues; no couples required.

STARRING: Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, and Leslie Mann
DIRECTOR: Christian Ditter
PRODUCTION: Flower Films (II), New Line Cinema, and Wrigley Pictures
GENRE: Comedy, Romance
OVERALL RATING:  3 out of 5