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.  

Rolling Out Some New Ice Cream

Also known as stir-fried ice cream, Thai rolled ice cream is the freshest ice cream preparation available, and it’s becoming popular in the Bay Area.

We visited two shops to compare this unusual style of ice cream. The process starts as liquid sweet milk and is mixed on a specially made, negative 20-degree steel surface right in front of you. They mix in the flavors, fresh fruits, tea, or whatever flavor you desire, and it freezes as they mix and spread it on the cold table.

“The rolled ice cream reminds me of the Thai snow shaved ice, it’s a light flavor.” Susan Luker said, at Freezing Point Creamery in Oakland. Susan Luker continued, “I didn’t eat breakfast so I would have room for this ice cream. I really like it.”

“It’s really creamy and very very cold. The Thai tea flavor seems to be the strongest one, of the ones I’ve tried so far.” Isaac Mirviss said, “It could bother your teeth if they’re sensitive to the cold.”

“There are two distinct flavors,” said Susan Luker, when comparing Icicles rolled ice cream to Freezing Point Creamery, “I think Icicles is more like a frozen yogurt shop, the flavors are very bold, and it tastes more like custard, and they have a lot more toppings you can add on top. Whereas [Freezing Point] had a lighter, and fresher flavor, they also had some options I don’t think you’d find anywhere else, like chrysanthemum.”

Icicles carries a much larger menu, as well as a toppings bar to choose from. Icicles also enjoys keeping their flavors relevant, with puns such as “Bae-sic,” “Cereal Killer,” and “Butterface.”

Freezing Point Creamery has flavor options such as Ube, Thai Tea, chrysanthemum, and Green Tea, along with more traditional fruit flavors like banana, strawberry, and mango. Both shops prepare the specialty rolled ice cream in full view of the customers, allowing you to see the whole process.

“Icicles is more American or Western-style, and Freezing Point just seems more Asian in their options, and also the atmosphere.” Sarina Luker said, after visiting both.

Susan Luker told us, “I usually judge ice cream on their vanilla, you can taste the consistency as well as the flavor and fat content.”

“We should have gotten a vanilla, to test the most basic flavor.” Isaac Mirviss said.

Freezing Point Creamery in Oakland opened about two years ago and maybe the closest option for Chabot students who want to give rolled ice cream a try. They have very fresh, and light flavors. Icicles in Pleasanton could be more familiar for some, as their flavors are more bold and sugary.

Nightmares Not Guaranteed

Burger King is no stranger to special Halloween sandwiches meant to draw in more customers, such as the Halloween A1 Whopper. This year Burger King is seeking to truly make the burger of your nightmares with the Nightmare King.

The Nightmare King sandwich is based on the Bacon King sandwich. The sandwich consists of a whopper patty, breaded chicken breast, cheese, bacon, topped with onions and mayonnaise, hurled between a green bun.

The “nightmare” in the Nightmare King is not referring to the green dough that the Sandwich calls a bun. It comes from Burger King’s desire to give the patron nightmares in the spirit of Halloween.

The Nightmare King tastes less like nightmares and more like teenage anxiety. The sandwich contains a flavor that can be bought any day, not just on a special holiday, leaving me craving a taste of Halloween spirit. The Nightmare King tastes like most of the chicken sandwiches that Burger King sells all year round.

The patty itself adds nothing to the sandwich except maybe some extra foodstuffs to fill your stomach. As far as chicken sandwiches go, since that is what it tastes like, I feel it was pretty bland and overly salted. There are definitely better chicken sandwiches with a more interesting flavor than the Nightmare King, cheaper too.

The green bun, which feels like it’s just a scare tactic to be off-putting, is really just a dough that was dyed green with an extract made from watermelon rinds. This doesn’t help the final presentation because green dough that is baked can still brown in the oven making the outside look more like the bun is caramel apple flavored.

Despite the main selling point of the sandwich, the promise of a night filled with terror, my dreams were as sweet and sugary as riding a unicorn through a magical meadow. Although I couldn’t actually finish the sandwich, but not because of the size.

“The burger was all right. It looked appetizing, but tasted about like I thought it would, which was just a chicken sandwich.” conveyed Ariel Buckingham, a student at Chabot College.

“The burger was not very appetizing. The cheese was incredibly overpowering on top of everything else, the onions gave it no flavor, the bacon was just there, The chicken was really big and it didn’t leave enough room for any other flavors in the burger.” Christian Hernandez, a Chabot College student, said after eating the Nightmare King.

“While I still don’t regret it, it did finally hit my system the next day and wreaked havoc on my stomach. Other than that, I felt the chicken and beef complemented each other flavor-wise. Everything worked taste-wise.” stated Greg Durocher a patron of Burger King

As with all fast food, the location, time of day, and staff all impact whether the burger will be better or worse than my experience. If you feel that you want to take a Halloween risk and battle the “King of Nightmares,” I can’t really say I recommend it. Even for those who love Halloween more than any other time of the year.