Art Arriola: The Brass Man

Music has the power to not only bring people together but to inspire as well. Art Arriola, a 62-year-old student at Chabot College, uses his talent as a trumpet player to bring joy to all who would listen.

While the trumpet is Arriola’s primary instrument, he also plays the trombone, French horn, and the cornet. He has been a musician for 53 years and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

Starting his adventure at Chabot College in the Fall of 2016, Arriola has managed to obtain many certificates that Chabot has to offer such as, Audio Recording through the Music Recording Technology (MURT) classes, Music Industry Entrepreneur, and a certificate for Music Production.

Having a double major in Music and Communication, Arriola after obtaining a degree in Music, wanted to open up a school called “Art, Music, and Promotion.” Its purpose was to teach young musicians how to record, duplicate and promote their music. This was his original plan. As time goes on, plans do change. Having experience connecting with the other students on campus, he decided to pursue a career in counseling.

Most of Arriola’s influences to become a musician came at a very young age. Maynard Ferguson, James Brown, and Tower of Power were the significant influences in developing Arriola’s playing style. He always got a kick out of Jazz, but Arriola felt that Smooth Jazz was quite easy to navigate.

At the age of 15 in the summer of 1971, Arriola was in a band called “International Sound” and participated in the Battle of the Bands that was held at Chabot College. Since then, he has maintained his passion, and 45 years later, that fire in his heart is still burning and managed to find his way back on the campus of Chabot, coming full circle.

Many events happen in the Performing Arts Center (PAC), and the Big Band always drew in a crowd. Directed by Chabot’s very own Professor Palacio, Arriola, of course, was in the brass section. Arriola also put together a crew for the Jazz Combo 2 which is on a smaller scale but still entertaining nonetheless.

Arriola also contributed to helping students learn how to do live audio mixing with the help of other musicians in the music program. MURT 25 was teaching their students how to put PA systems together, and they needed a band. They were glad to help.

When asked what the most rewarding thing about playing music was, Arriola, replied, “It’s fun, it’s very fun. That’s all I can say.” His expression was quite humble and wholesome. Playing with individuals with so many different backgrounds is a reward in itself.

The most memorable gig Arriola participated in was, as he stated, “I was invited to play with a band called Nathan Owens and A Tribute to Sly and the Family Stone. They offered to pay for my plane ticket to Seattle, and my hotel and food were free. Everyone had a good time, and I got paid. It took place around 2014-2015.”

Speaking of favorite gigs, his wife of seven years, Sylvia Mendoza Arriola has this to say, “I used to watch his band play at The Bistro in Hayward, and I caught a few of his shows before I asked to take a photograph with him. He looked real sharp with a suit and a red hat. After seeing another one of his shows, I decided to reintroduce myself, and the rest is history. August 8, 2012, is our anniversary.”

Regrettably, because of his class schedule, Arriola has been tuning down gigs. “It’s hard to find the time working a job and having 17 units on my plate,” Arriola states. He even turned down a gig to perform with Julius Melendez who was a Grammy Award-winning trumpet player who also contributed to the “Supernatural” album by Santana. Fortunately, he has a gig lined up for New Year’s Eve in Danville.

Arriola still maintains contact with Casey Hurt who was a Professor at Chabot for Music Song Writing. His relationship with Hurt could potentially open up a lot of doors for Arriola and could lead to some pretty sweet gigs for composing TV and film.

Art Arriola has the reputation of having a really good dynamic with other musicians. If anyone is at all interested in collaborating with Arriola or interested to see where he goes next, simply go to artarriola.com.

Bay Area Residents Have an Attitude Problem

Attitudes are like rear ends, everyone has one, and just like rear ends, what exudes from them can change the attitude of everyone around. For most bay area’s residents, the overall attitude is that of appreciation for tolerance and diversity. The ever-rising costs of living and over populated areas anxiety can cause bubble over in the fierce competition of trying to live in the bay area.

How you carry yourself and treat others around you is fundamental not only for them but for you as well. When you treat people nicely, it makes you feel good as well.

According to Dr. Ray Grim an Instructor at Chabot College for over 20 years “Socio-economic factors play a major part in how people’s attitude like poverty and ostracism from their group or family can lead to bad attitudes and or depression. I think the overall attitudes may be a little better in the Bay-area because our unemployment rates are so low and people are generally happy that or maybe it’s the good weather.”

He went on about the things you can practice to maintain a positive attitude. “There is a site at U.C. Berkeley that practices positive psychology called greater good, and they promote gratitude, mindfulness, meditation, taking the time to enjoy your surroundings and expressing gratitude to someone in their lives can really improve a person’s attitude. Giving people the benefit of the doubt really helps as well.”

It is easy to let little thing bother us throughout our day to day lives especially with the weight of competitive success continually looming in the back of our consciences. I asked third-year art major at Chabot College, Demetriana Germany what she did when those everyday inconveniences start to get the best of her and she stated, “When people really start to annoy or bug me the most I turn to my music, and that’s all I need.”

According to an article by Mike Bundrant on Psychcentral.com the are four reasons you wake up with a lousy attitude, and those are:

  1. Morning depression- which may be caused by disturbed circadian rhythms that affects your hormones, Not enough sleep- perhaps too obvious but if you’re not sleeping enough your body will not function optimally which includes your brain and moods,
  2. Low magnesium- you may need to supplement which is an essential mineral that stress tends to deplete,
  3. Lack of gratitude- for many of us gratitude doesn’t come naturally so it must be practiced, and when practiced it has profound effects on well-being.

Jacob Harvie, a third-year student at Chabot College, thinks that most people in the Bay Area are anxious and hasty because of the media pushing people always to be doing something or going somewhere. I asked him what he does to change his bad attitude, and he responded, “I like to listen to classical music and smoke cigarettes which is probably not the best thing, but it works for me.”

No matter where you are in life stress is always a factor and how you deal with it will determine your attitude and how your attitude is perceived can either affect the people around you positively or negatively. If we all try to practice some of the techniques to remain positive, it will not only help the people around you, but it will change how the most important person in your life feels you. So stay positive and promote good attitudes.

Isn’t It Romantic? – Just a Cliché

The 2019 hit “Isn’t It Romantic” crosses all spectra of romantic comedies. Rebel Wilson and Adam DeVine give you a feeling of nostalgia with all the standard cliches most have seen for since the dawning of romantic comedies.

Todd Strauss-Schulson put his best foot forward on this film, it gives you all the things you associate with a romantic comedy. The basic stereotyped characters such as the competitive women in the workplace, shallow men who live in their perfect little bubble, and the flamboyant gay best friend are all used to make points about clichéd characterizations in other movies.

Wilson’s character Natalie is a New York architect that is convinced that happy endings don’t exist and romantic comedies are all a lie, which causes her to have little to no love in her life.  Day-to-day living is what Natalie is accustomed to and trying to make a name for herself at the architect firm.

DeVine’s character Josh is a project manager for the same architectural company. He is a fun loving free-spirit who just wants Natalie to give him a chance, but of course, Natalie friend-zoned him.  Josh is like the “Little Engine That Could” he never gives up.

“I know what’s going to happen because of these cliches, you can see it coming,” moviegoer Crystal Singh says. “I can’t help, but wonder which cliché it’s going to be.”

Being a cliché film you know everything is going to have a happy ending, but not before all the trials and tribulations that lead up to a massive chase and some sort of grand gesture.

That’s precisely what happens to Natalie when she tries to evade a mugger and runs smack dead into a subway pillar and knocks herself unconscious. And you guessed it, into a parallel universe where the grass is always greener.

Waking up in the hospital in a fancy room with a handsome doctor ironically named Dr. Hansom, played by Tom Ellis, Natalie finds everything is bright, beautiful, happy and PG-13 movie at it’s finest.

Natalie realized something is insanely wrong and must figure out how to rectify the situation so she can go back to her normal boring life. To break this curse, Natalie thinks she has to make someone fall in love with her, but it’s not that simple.

Not only does Natalie have to figure out how to get to her normal life back she realizes that everything that glitters isn’t gold.  Even when things seem like they couldn’t get any better.

This is especially true when gorgeous Isabella played by Priyanka Chopra falls for Josh after he saves her from choking and she has love at first sight moment, how ironic. This is when Natalie has a revelation that she has to make her handsome boss/client Blake played by Liam Hemsworth fall in love with her.

Blake goes from being a mean boss with an American accent who doesn’t take Natalie or take her work seriously and thinks she is a coffee girl at the firm to prince charming who seems like everything is peachy and perfect.

Kind of like the evil Prince Han in “Frozen,” Blake’s obnoxious, yet it’s not until he tries to steal Natalie’s idea that she sees the light and realizes that Josh is who she is in love with, but Josh is newly engaged to Isabella.

To get Josh to fall in love with her, she does everything she originally was against like singing karaoke in front of a crowd at Josh’s engagement party with a rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Want To Dance With Somebody.” The group responds because everybody already knows the choreography.

That wasn’t enough to sway Josh to fall in love with her; the next best thing to do is stop the wedding, which she did, only to realize that she has to love herself. With this new outlook on life, she drives off, right into a pole.

Waking up in the world where she has her regular old life back Natalie starts taking charge of her life with new insight and realization that she is perfect the way she is.

Full of laughter and F-bombs “Isn’t It Romantic” is sure to be a blockbuster hit and it is a must watch but at home. Definitely a Netflix and chill type of movie.

Women’s History Month

In the United States, Women’s History Month traces its conception back to the very first International Women’s Day in 1911. In the 1970s, women’s history was practically a foreign topic in the K-12 curriculum or in society generally as far back as the woman suffrage movement in the 1840s. Bringing the empowerment of women to the forefront, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women initiated a “Women’s History Week” celebration for 1978.

By 1986, 14 states had already declared March as Women’s History Month. This momentum and state-to-state action were joined to lobby Congress to proclaim the whole month of March 1987 as National Women’s History Month.

A special Presidential Proclamation was issued by Ronald Reagan on March 1, 1988, stating “Women’s History Month is a time for us to recognize and salute women’s contributions to the American family and to society,” the proclamation honors the extraordinary achievements of American women all over the United States.

Students at Chabot expressed how excited they were for all the National Women’s Month and events that the school is hosting. One student, in particular, Nora Tillmen, third-year Chabot student has made it clear that it’s about time woman get the respect they deserve considering we all are just as capable. “I feel Chabot as a whole is putting an insane amount of time and effort into making this month mean something. I love it, and I feel special,” says Tillmen.

Chabot is a very diverse campus according to Institutional Research staff data provided by Chabot College. The gender breakdown as of Fall 2017 over 50 percent of the staff were women of all nationalities. Chabot has some of the most fantastic faculty I have ever met, and the fact that more than half are women is inspiring.

Sara Parker, Dean of Social Science at Chabot College has been with the school for the past 10 years, during eight of these years, she was a political-science professor. She chose to shift to administration. When you are seeing someone elevate themselves, you can’t help but want to be better and do better so you can feel that level of satisfaction. “Always do your best, work hard and work with integrity, and those things will serve you well and keep you moving forward,” Parker said when asked what the best advice she received in her career was.

Jennifer Lange, Life Science professor at Chabot College, has been a full-time instructor since 2006, but she has had the spirit of a teacher since birth. Being a woman in the science field is tough, being that it’s a male-dominated field.    

Lange states that National Women’s Month is the time we as women “Get to come out the shadows in a lot of places, that women might not receive recognition for. March is the Month to give women the credit they have always deserved and not received.”

Respect for the achievements, leadership, courage, strength, and love of the women who built America is as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.

Kamala Harris for President

January 21, former California district attorney and Oakland native, Kamala Harris announced that she was going to be running in the 2020 presidential race on “Good Morning America.” She asked for the people to support her by attending her first rally in Oakland.

“Truth, justice, decency, equality, freedom, democracy: these aren’t just words, they’re the values we as Americans cherish. And they’re all on the line now.” Harris put in her announcement video, which was posted to all social media platforms, highlighting her slogan Kamala Harris, for the people.

If elected Kamala Harris would be the first African-American Asian woman to become president. Although Kamala Harris is very aware of her platform and what she represents she chooses to still brand herself as just American to get away from those labels.

Kamala Harris’s first rally for her official event announcement was in Oakland on Jan. 27. Over 20,000 people rallied from different areas over the bay just to hear her speak and show their support. While waiting in line to hear Kamala Harris speak, I noticed there was so much diversity and so many African-American supporters. I just wondered if they’ve got the full story.

Harris has always said that in her years as a district attorney in California that she considers herself to be a woman who was just in the decisions she made. However, some people feel that she was not the “progressive prosecutor” she claimed to be. At one point when asking Kamala Harris to take a bolder approach to ensure accountability and impartial investigations for cases, but they said: “Miss Harris opposed them or stayed silent.” Kamala Harris is also in favor of the death penalty and in one case she opposed the DNA testing of a death row inmate whose trial was shown to be unjust and biased in their treatment.

“I’m not really sure if people have done research on her. The Presidential race is barely starting and even though she sounds like the best candidate we still need to be open to the idea of new people,” A’nhiya Gaines, SFSU student had said after the rally in Oakland. Through the years, Kamala Harris has seemed to change her views on the legalization of marijuana in the US. Initially opposing legalization completely then switching her ideals as the times changed. Everyone deserves a chance to evolve their ideas through learning experiences.

WRAC Center Helps Students with Studies

There are many Chabot College students in English classes that may face challenges when dealing with their reading and writing assignments and don’t know where to go for help. Fortunately, the WRAC center, located in building 100, room 108, offers free peer tutoring and other resources to help benefit students in their reading and writing.

The WRAC center stands for Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, and students are welcomed to stop by whenever they feel that they need help on any assignment.

The WRAC center offers drop-in tutoring with no appointments necessary, and drop-in sessions can be provided for 20 minutes during specified hours with the help from trained peer tutors and English/ESL (English as a Second Language) instructors. Appointments can also be made at the Chabot College website, and these sessions are offered for 50 minutes.

Aside from tutoring sessions, the WRAC center also has other resources for students such as books, a computer lab with printing access, small study rooms, and even reading and writing workshops.

“I love our tutors,” said Shoshanna Tenn, WRAC center coordinator. “I hire them, I interview them, and I do the training as well. They have to be recommended by an English instructor and have to have taken English 1A or higher and pass with a grade of an A or B.” Currently, there are 11 tutors for the WRAC center, and once they are hired, they are then trained on how to work with students on assignments and help with whatever the student is struggling in.

One tutor for the WRAC center Isa Mari De Leon said, “I never came to the WRAC center as a student. I wish I had sought out the WRAC center as a resource earlier, especially as a first-semester student at Chabot College because it would’ve made my transition to college easier in that it would’ve helped me understand what college professors are looking for in written assignments.”

Although the WRAC center may only offer help specifically in reading and writing, students are still welcomed to come to the WRAC center for help in assignments other than English. “I’m trained to tutor in English, though students have come to me for help in a wide variety of subjects, including communications, history, and business,” said Isa Mari De Leon. “The reason why we’re called the WRAC center and not the English center is because we welcome students who need help with reading and writing assignments outside of English courses.”

Overall, students that have gone to the WRAC center have had great experiences. Chabot college student Vanessa Khamphoune said, “My experience with the WRAC center has been great. The people there are accommodating.”

Chabot College student Geovanni Campos said, “The WRAC center has helped me with my needs because they really took the time to help you and make sure that you are on the right path to success.” As of right now, I’m getting help mostly on my essays for my English class, but I encourage more students to head there for more information that they can use for their subjects and get a better understanding of what they may be struggling in.”

The WRAC center is open from Monday to Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays.

The WRAC center is a welcoming place for anyone, and students are encouraged to go check it out for themselves to help excel their learning and improve their reading and writing skills.

Registration Checklist

Chabot students the time has come to start registering for your Spring 2019 semester classes. Here is some information on what you need to stay on track with your educational goals.

First, it’s important to be aware of when your registration date is, you can quickly check this by just signing into your CLASS-Web. There you will instantly see a message that says “you may register on or after this day.”

If you don’t know how to get into CLASS-Web simply go to the Chabot College website and click “Register @ CLASS-Web.” From there just enter your W number and your pin which should be your date of birth.

Your registration date might also be emailed to you, so make sure you can access your Zonemail. To access your Zonemail go to CLASS-Web and click “what is my email?” your email will then be displayed, the password should be the same as your CLASS-Web unless you changed it.

Remember there is always help on campus.

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Chabot Forensics

The Chabot Forensics team and their instructors posing for a group photo

Group photo of the Chabot Forensics team

The Chabot Forensics Team looks promising this season with both returning contenders and students new to forensics. After going to Nationals last season, the students are eager to go to Nationals again this season.

Forensics is an umbrella term that covers speech and debate, which can be broken down even further. Colleges all over the country compete with each other in teams and individually in the different forensics events.

One debate event the Chabot College Forensics Team participates in is Lincoln-Douglas debate. Lincoln-Douglas debates are one-on-one person debates that have a topic for a whole season. This season’s topic is the actions of Cyber Command in the realm of cyber community.

Another debate event is the parliamentary debate which is a team debate with teams of two. Unlike Lincoln-Douglas debates, the topic for parliamentary debates changes every round. Each team has 20 minutes to prepare for the topic, usually about current events.

“I’m completely confident in my ability,” Stated Joel Brown, Captain of the Forensics Team. “I love both, [Lincoln-Douglas and parliamentary debates] that’s why I do both,” Joel answered when asked about which debate event he prefers more.

While Joel participates in both Lincoln-Douglas debates, he also participates in Parliamentary debates with his debate partner DaCobi Anderson. “With Joel and me, I think we have beautiful chemistry together. It’s like mixing sugar and spice, and we’re making everything nice.” DaCobi stated.

Within the speech category of forensics is the persuasive speech. Where the speaker tries to convince the audience to do something such as change their viewpoint or change a law.

“I feel pretty confident. My speech is about at-risk youth, and why they are at-risk youth. I came from that background, and I am trying to do something better.” Danny Muñoz stated when asked about this season.

Another speech event is prose interpretation. This is a speech event where the speaker speaks for 10 minutes, and the contents of their speech are from a book to tell a story.

“The simplest stories can be, so heart-wrenching, so heartbreaking, and if you perform it correctly, it’s beautiful. This year I’m doing a prose interpretation on a teacher who was in a school shooting, and his wife dies during the school shooting.” Kivraj Singh recalls when asked what his favorite speech event was.

The Chabot Forensics Team is strong this year, beating teams from both community colleges as well as four-year universities. The team is eager to keep winning and head to nationals again.

The season for forensics starts in the fall and ends in the spring. Students that take the forensics class this semester continue the season in spring as well under the class Comm 48.

“The forensics community is tremendous in its ability to produce high level, in-depth education and knowledge production about a variety of different topics. For those here at Chabot who are interested, who are passionate, about social justice or public policymaking: Forensics is a great way to engage in that passion,” stated Joel for those interested in Forensics.

Disability Awareness

On October 25, Chabot College held an event for Disability Awareness, with many vendors and entertainment. The focus of the event was mostly about what resources there are for those who need a little extra help, and those who help someone else.

The Disabled Students Resource Center (DSRC) offers a wide range of services and accommodations for students with a documented disability. “We get a lot of students coming to us who have accepted their disability, but a lot of people are nervous about being labeled, or, like in the deaf community, they don’t see it as a disability, but if they don’t come to us, they can’t get an interpreter or note taker. A lot of teachers come to learn more about what they can do for their students as well.” said Alise Smith, an assistant counselor at the DSRC

“Using blocks or a strap in a yoga pose isn’t cheating, it’s actually going to help you get the most out of a pose,” explained Mariella Morales, a yoga teacher at Chabot. The same can be said for many services and accommodations in disability programs. For many, getting a little help when it’s really needed, benefits you much more in the long run, and could prepare you to succeed without that help later on.

“I talked to DSRC my first day on campus, they definitely helped me, but I was nervous at first, I didn’t know what to expect. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been determined to be more independent, I’m in a wheelchair most of the time, my doctors don’t want me to put pressure on my legs right now. When I learned more about what resources they gave to students, I was more comfortable, and I have appreciated having test accommodations.” said Jorge Duarte, Radio & TV broadcasting major at Chabot.

“Back when this started, it was called ‘Dare to be Aware’ because most people aren’t aware of disabilities until something happens to them, or a family member. So you want to bring awareness to students and others campuswide, as to just what is out there, so we can create an equal playing field. That’s possible now with some of the newer technology that’s out there.” said Richard Blair-Keeney, Counselor at Chabot’s DSRC.

Blair-Keeney has worked at Chabot for over 26 years, and plans to retire soon, he was honored at this year’s event. When asked to clarify the goal of the event, Blair-Keeney agreed, “The event is about raising awareness for some of the many programs that can help with accessibility, and resources for anyone who needs a little, or a lot of help.”

A few of the organizations at the event were:

  • 211 — Offering nonemergency help, in urgent situations. 211.org is the website, but you can dial 211 on your phone to connect to a free, confidential advice line on finding services to help with domestic violence, housing problems, health, financial, if you need help, they can probably point you in the right direction.
  • IHSS — They work together with Medicare and Medi-Cal, if you are caring for an older person, or a disabled person, they can subsidize your time, i.e. pay you for caring for your grandparent. (510) 577-3517 gettingthemostoutoflife.org
  • Beyond Emancipation — Designed to help foster kids and teens become independent, offer housing and job opportunities, and offer some support outside the system. (510) 667-7694 beyondemancipation.org
  • Echo — The Eden Council for Hope and Opportunity, designed to promote fairness in housing, they offer services to provide housing assistance, tenant/landlord counseling, and other counseling related to renting and housing. (510) 581-9380 www.echofairhousing.org
  • Ability Tools — Offering short-term device loans, or low-cost used devices for disabled Californians, tools to make life easier. 800-390-2699 www.abilitytools.org
  • Futures Explored — A vocational program to assist individuals with developmental disabilities with learning film production, multimedia development, and supporting role skills for positions which can help lead to employment in the Film and Media Industry. (916) 416-5487
  • CRIL — Community Resource for Independent Living is a peer-based organization advocating for and providing resources for people with disabilities to improve quality of life, and make communities fully accessible. (510) 881-5743 www.crilhayward.org

Easy Does It — Initially began as emergency services for Berkeley residents, for those who are disabled, who need immediate help, but not an ambulance. They now also provide casework and logistical and technical support for people with disabilities and seniors so that they can live their lives with dignity and liberty. (510) 845-5513 www.easydoesitservices.org

Robotic Burger Restaurant in SF

Could you have ever imagined that one day it would be possible that you would be able to eat a burger made by a machine? Well, folks, the day has finally come, you can say that you have eaten a burger made entirely by a “robot” at Creator.

Creator is the concept of Alex Vardakostas, CEO & Co-founder of this newly established burger restaurant. Located in the heart of San Francisco, off the corner of Folsom Street and 3rd Street, this new burger spot is the hot new topic in the city.

Creator makes its burger entirely by machine, with the exception of human help for any technical difficulties along the way.

Karina Sanchez, a resident of Castro Valley, praised the burger stating, “This is the best burger I have ever eaten. It is very flavorful and it is cooked just right. Better than any fast food restaurant.”

This establishment is only open Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., so get there fast for lunch and get your 6 dollar burger before doors close and it’s too late.