RSSArchive for February, 2010

'Give Kids A Smile Day'

‘Give Kids A Smile Day’

Photos by Alex Velasquez

Feb. 12 at the dental clinic on West Campus, students enrolled in Dental Studies and Tucson dentists provided elementary students with teeth cleaning, oral health education and examinations.

“It is a fun event for the children, and a very rewarding event for the students as well as our community volunteers,” said Pam Truitt, Dental Studies department chair.

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‘Dante’s Inferno’ a hellish journey

‘Dante’s Inferno’ a hellish journey

By D.J. Ochoa

How far will people go to save their one true love from spending eternity in the land of the dead?

The newest development by Electronic Arts uses the classic literature of “The Divine Comedy” to create “Dante’s Inferno,” a slash-‘em-up video game that takes players through the nine circles of hell.

You play as Dante, a young crusader who has been engulfed by war for years. He longs to be reunited with his beloved fiancée, Beatrice.

When he finally does return to Florence, he finds his home destroyed and his love lying lifeless outside. As he approaches Beatrice’s corpse, the fallen angel Lucifer appears and drags her screaming soul into the depths of hell.

Fueled by rage and his love for Beatrice, Dante chases them. As he travels downward through the circles of hell, Dante faces his own demons before the final showdown with Lucifer.

The game doesn’t follow the classic literature exactly, but does give the player incentive to rescue Beatrice from the horrid fate placed upon her. It offers a story that is both interesting and compelling.

The game is rated ‘M’ for mature audiences, and pushes the envelope through hours of gameplay. It includes countless scenes that will make anyone want to attend church, so they do not suffer what hell has to offer.

Players pass pools of souls being tortured, experience jaw-dropping violence and see loads of nudity through the levels. Much of the violence seems over the top, but this is hell you’re venturing through. There are no fields of daisies on the horizon in this game.

In any action game, combat is the most important component. Dante’s primary weapons are a demonic scythe and an enchanted cross. Both weapons can be upgraded while obtaining souls.

You might notice gameplay similar to “God of War.” If you have ever picked up GOW, you will have no problem playing “Dante’s Inferno.”

However, “Dante’s Inferno” adds originality by giving players an option to either punish the demons or absolve their souls.

If you choose to punish, Dante performs a punishing maneuver that will surely have you saying, “Oh my god!” By punishing the soul, you gain unholy points to upgrade your scythe.

If you choose to be virtuous and absolve souls, Dante uses his cross to set them free. This gives you holy points that will upgrade the cross.

The combat is very entertaining, especially when you mix up combos with both the scythe and the holy cross. Although the game play is fun, however, there is no real complexity to it. For the most part, there will be a lot of button mashing throughout the game.

“Dante’s Inferno” also offers puzzles that will have players using their brain in order to proceed. It is entertaining, but that part of the game really feels like a knock-off of GOW.

It is as if “Dante’s Inferno” is the younger sibling of GOW, trying to fill its shoes but getting left in GOW’s enormous shadow.

The game is not a complete failure. “Dante’s Inferno” gives a gruesome interpretation of afterlife in the land of the dead, and is enjoyable to play from beginning to end.

However, its resemblance to GOW prevents the game from standing out in a pack.

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Parade just one option for rodeo break

Parade just one option for rodeo break

By Taylor Bock
Photos by Matthew Henry, 2009

It’s late February and Valentine’s Day has passed. For the rest of the country, that’s the only holiday to look forward to this month.

But we Tucsonans have another special event: the Tucson Rodeo. Some of us consider it a tradition and some of us see it as a four-day weekend.

Most Tucson natives are already familiar with the way the rodeo runs. But for those new to Tucson, check out www.tucsonrodeo.com for all info you need on the when, where and how to get there.

The 85th annual La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Parade, which begins at 9 a.m. on Feb. 25, will follow a shorter route this year. Parade participants will travel south on Park Avenue, west on Irvington Road and north on Sixth Avenue to the Tucson Rodeo Grounds.

The 2010 Tucson Rodeo runs through Feb. 28

Admission is free along the parade route. Grandstand tickets cost $6 in advance or $7 the day of the parade. Visit tucsonrodeoparade.org for details.

Pima Community College will be closed Thursday and Friday for the rodeo. What should you do with that break if you don’t feel like attending the rodeo? You happen to be in luck, because there are several other events you can check out.

Feb. 25-28, the Old Pueblo Playwrights will host their 19th Annual New Play Festival at the Temple of Music & Art at 330 S. Scott Ave. downtown.

The festival will include a new performance every night at 7:30 p.m. and at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets cost $7 or $20 for a pass to all the plays. There will also be Q & A rounds and critiquing after each show. For details, visit www.oldpuebloplaywrights.org.

If you’ve got a soft spot for the environment, social justice and peace, try the 28th annual Tucson Peace Fair & Music Festival on Feb. 27. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Reid Park Bandshell, at the northeast corner of Country Club and 22nd Street.

The free festival, presented by the Tucson Peace Center, will include live music, children’s activities, food booths and a raffle. For further information, call 624-4973.

Perhaps you feel like taking a more sophisticated approach? Starting Feb. 27, the Tucson Museum of Art will host “Andy Warhol Portfolios: Life and Legends.” The exhibit summarizes Warhol’s 40-year span of work in the art of photographic silk-screen printmaking.

Learn more at www.tucsonmuseumofart.org/exhibitions/andy-warhol-portfolios-life-legends.

Another option is to visit the Arizona Renaissance Festival near Phoenix, which will be open every weekend through March 28. For details, visit www.RenFestInfo.com.

Spring training exhibitions with the Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks and other major-league teams will take place in March. As always, there will be special days such as Half Price Day on March 6 and Rockies Autograph Day on March 10.

If you’re a writer or a fan of books, don’t miss the Tucson Festival of Books at the University of Arizona on March 13-14. You can find details at www.tucsonfestivalofbooks.org.

Another popular favorite, the Fourth Avenue Spring Street Fair, will take place March 19-21. Visit www.fourthavenue.org for details.

Whether you want to attend the rodeo, check out another event or just chill, there’s something to do for just about everyone.

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Online Only: Women’s golf places second at invitational

By James Kelley

The Pima Community College women’s golf team opened its season with a second place finish at the Scottsdale Invitational on Feb. 17-18.

The Aztecs finished second out of seven teams at the Papago Golf Course. Pima finished seven strokes out of first but was 45 strokes ahead of the third-place finishers.

Sophomore Brianne Anderson had the low mark for the Aztecs, shooting 158 over the two days.

Pima’s next tournament will be March 3-4, hosted by Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

Men’s golf opens March 1 at Scottsdale Community College.

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Rising star wins national player of the week award

Rising star wins national player of the week award

By Daniel Gaona
Photo by Daniel Gaona

Travares Peterson recently won Division II National Junior College Athletic Association player of the week, and he didn’t even know it.

“I actually didn’t know that I had gotten national player of the week,” Peterson said. “Someone told me I got conference player of the week and then I didn’t know ‘til three or four days later that I had got national player of the week.”

Peterson, better known as “T” by his coaches and teammates on the Pima Community College basketball team, said student assistant coach Matt Vargas was the first to tell him.

“He let me know very smoothly,” Peterson said. “He was talking to me and he just told me I got player of the week and I just told him I knew already, but then he told me it was national and told me to go check.”

That’s exactly what Peterson did. After seeing that it was true, he wasn’t sure what to think.

“I wasn’t really shocked but I was happy that I got it,” he said. “I really don’t know a lot of guys that get it and I think it is a big honor. I just thank my teammates and my coaches for putting me in a situation for that.”

Travares Peterson

The 6-foot-4-inch guard from El Paso won the award for a week that he didn’t consider his best.

“I think I’ve had a couple better weeks,” he said. “I don’t think that was my best week this season but if nationally they think it was, I’m not going to go against them. I’m just going to take it and be happy and glad about it.”

Pima opened the week ending Feb. 7 with a 116-110 home loss to Eastern Arizona College but rebounded with a 99-83 win over Scottsdale Community College.

Peterson totaled 26 points against Eastern, shooting 9-15 and sinking three three-pointers. Against Scottsdale he scored 20 points, including three three-pointers again, converting 7 of 18. He also tallied eight rebounds, four steals and three assists in the week.

He averages 17 points a game and is in sixth place in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference. His field goal percentage is just over 52. He has won the ACCAC player of the week award twice.

Peterson feels the award helped put Pima on the map and helps him out for the future.

“It opens up so many doors,” he said. “I hope it helps put my name out there and shows that even at Pima there are players that can play and can play at the next level up on the big stage.”

He said he isn’t too focused on what the future holds for him in basketball but is more concerned about the present.

“I just go out there and play and work hard in the classroom,” Peterson said. “I have no idea what comes in for me or what colleges have been trying to contact me. I’ll just wait ‘til the end of the season to figure all that out.”

After going 10-20 last year, Peterson and the Aztecs could potentially host a playoff game. The team is currently 14-13.

“We all started the season with the same goal and that was to win a national title at the Division II level,” he said. “It’s a great feeling to build back up a program that has fallen in the years and to get people to recognize it.”

“Pima basketball might have faded away but we’re back, we’re here,” he added. “We’re ready to play. We’re excited and humbled that we might be able to host a playoff game.”

Peterson credits “more guys buying into the system” for the team’s success this year. He also said the defense has stepped up from last year, and the hunger and want from everybody on the court has increased.

“Everyone wants to play as a team,” the sophomore added. “This year there is a lot of team players and everyone understands their roles.”

Head coach Karl Pieroway had nothing but compliments for Peterson.

“He’s a great kid,” the coach said. “He was here last year so he went through all the struggles with us trying to turn this thing around. He was here Day One. It’s exciting having those guys around.”

Pieroway couldn’t think of one word to describe Peterson. He called him “tough to the fit” and a “slasher.” He also said Peterson can shoot from anywhere on the floor.

“He is a match-up nightmare,” Pieroway said. “If you put someone big by him, he’ll go right by him. If you put a little kid in front of him, he’ll shoot over him. Offensively, he’s a challenge to say the least.”

Peterson came to Pima after hearing about the tryouts being held by Pieroway in the summer of 2008. After the first week, Peterson didn’t make the cut.

“I didn’t make it but coach Pieroway insisted that I come back the next week because he felt like I didn’t show exactly what I could do on the court,” Peterson said.

In his second attempt, Peterson made the team and is currently building his reputation as an Aztec.

He said assistant coach Tim Ingram saw potential in him.

“They wanted to see me once more and I’m glad I got that extra chance,” Peterson said. “I never would have thought it would turn into this.”

Peterson said he likes to stay lighthearted and energetic before games.

“Every game is big for me but some games are bigger than others,” he said. “I just listen to my music, get my mind focused and get ready to play.”

He typically wears headphones and puts his iPod on shuffle. He calls himself “diverse” with music and likes many types. His favorite album is “Tha Carter II” by Lil Wayne and he makes sure to listen to that right before the game.

Sometimes he will put on his uniform and dribble in front of a mirror before games, to help him focus. He also said he has to shower before playing.

“I don’t do anything crazy like eat 10 Snickers, I just keep it very simple,” he said with a laugh.

Peterson said he has been playing basketball for some time now but he really started liking it after his freshman year in high school. That was his first year in organized basketball.

His success continued to increase each year, and he had a growth spurt to help him out in his junior year. “When I hit that, my game just elevated with my height,” he said.

Peterson said he tries to play like his favorite basketball player, Jamal Crawford from the Atlanta Hawks.

“He is an exciting guard and just does a lot of things that I don’t see a lot of people 6-foot-6 do,” he said. “I like his ball handling and the confidence he has on the court.”

Star player Tia Morrison of the women’s basketball team is one of Peterson’s roommates.

“He’s just a funny guy and he like to talk a lot,” Morrison said with a smile. “Sometimes we gotta tell him to shut up.”

Both will be closing out the season on Feb. 26 and most likely be in the post season.

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Athletic Voice: Tucson enters final season of Spring Training

Athletic Voice: Tucson enters final season of Spring Training

By David Mendez

The first official pitches of Cactus League baseball in Tucson will be thrown next week. Those pitches will be the beginning of the end of Spring Training baseball in Tucson for the foreseeable future.

Next year, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies will move out of their Spring Training homes, Tucson Electric Park and Hi Corbett Field, respectively, for a brand-new facility on Salt River Pima-Maricopa Native American Community land near Scottsdale.

What this means is that Spring Training baseball, which had been an annual event in Tucson since 1946, won’t be back next year.

So who’s to blame?

One can point to the Chicago White Sox, whose decision to jump north to join the Los Angeles Dodgers in their new facility near Glendale motivated the Colorado Rockies to start looking for new facilities.

The Rockies and Diamondbacks, of course, point to this as the major motivating factor. Both teams expressed displeasure being the only two teams training in Southern Arizona.

Playing against only each other puts the two teams at a competitive disadvantage because both teams reside in the National League West.

If I were the manager of a professional baseball franchise, I certainly wouldn’t want to be training day in and day out against my team’s division rivals.

Both teams also complained about the Spring Training tactics of their other Cactus League rivals.

Most teams tend to keep their star players or those with slight, nagging injuries from making the arduous two-hour trek to Tucson. Instead they opt to play split-squad games and send only half of the roster to play in Tucson while the other half stays in the Phoenix area.

In a sports world dominated by ticket sales, sponsorship dollars and luxury seating, the Rockies and Diamondbacks quickly realized they had potentially struck gold by creating a situation where they could build new stadiums elsewhere and reap the benefits of brand new, state-of-the-art facilities ripe with new fans eager to walk the grounds of the new training complexes.

The Rockies, after all, were dying to have Pima County renovate Hi Corbett Field and their training grounds, creating a plan with costs ranging from $10 million to $20 million in upgrades.

Honestly, I can see why the Rockies would want to leave, as they felt they were getting burned on their lease with poor landlords. I can also understand the Diamondbacks wanting to skip town, as the majority of the team’s fan base is in central Arizona.

I’m certainly not happy about it, as one of my major motivating factors for moving to Tucson was to catch some D-backs Spring Training games. Unfortunately, baseball is as much a business as any other in this day and age.

What bothers me is the lackluster effort Pima County made not only in regard to their attempts to retain these teams, but also in regard to competing with those in central Arizona to lure franchises to train in Tucson.

Within the last 10 years, the Texas Rangers, Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Dodgers decided to join the Cactus League and make Arizona their Spring Training homes, with most of those stadiums being built on the fast-growing western edge of the Phoenix area.

Why hasn’t Pima County made an effort to bring any of those teams, or for that matter, any of the other major league teams, to roost here?

For those who understand the rigors of traffic in the Phoenix area, it’s not much of a stretch to say that driving from Scottsdale Stadium (home of the San Francisco Giants) to Camelback Ranch (home of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox), would take just as much time to travel in peak conditions as it would to make the trip to Tucson.

The only issue would be the sustainability of ticket sales in Spring Training beyond the first few years, and the ability to make use of these sports complexes during the summer, fall and winter months, and that’s where Pima County would falter.

Look at the Tucson Sidewinders, for instance. During the peak years of the Arizona Diamondbacks farm system, the Sidewinders won the Pacific Coast League Championship as well as the unofficial Triple-A Championship, beating the International League Toledo MudHens 5-2 in a one-game playoff. Tucson fielded some of the most impressive minor league talent collected on one team.

Yet, the Sidewinders constantly played to a half-filled stadium.
It lost so much money that the team’s ownership group, Tucson Baseball LLC, sold the Sidewinders to SK Baseball LLC in 2007. Those owners eventually moved the team to Reno, Nev.

To be honest, Tucson just can’t support baseball. That’s a terrible shame considering the passion that exists in the hearts of many fans in southern Arizona.

So, to those who love Spring Training baseball and baseball in general, enjoy this next month. Skip a class, take a day off and sit in the shade of a half-empty stadium watching sub-par talent pass their time away against professionals who just seem bored.

As for me, I’ve got better things to do. Why would I want to spend my afternoon out in the sun anyway, right?

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PCC, UA form partnership to keep tuition low

PCC, UA form partnership to keep tuition low

By Laura Halverson

Pima Community College and the University of Arizona are working together to help students earn their degrees at a more affordable rate.

PCC and UA South have been working collaboratively since 2002. Joint admissions, which allow students to be admitted to both schools simultaneously, began in 2006.

Now, UA has developed a model that will lead 10,000 new students to low-cost programs in the next 10 years. One key aspect of the plan is to keep costs down by using community college facilities and faculty members.

“Clearly, Arizona must do all it can to increase the number of students earning bachelor’s degrees,” PCC spokeswoman Rachelle Howell said. “The partnership between UA South and PCC is an invaluable resource for southern Arizonans seeking better lives through more education.”

UA South already has an office located at PCC’s East Campus. The university also works with PCC’s Southeast Education Center and coordinates course offerings at the UA Technology Park.

UA South offers a bachelor of arts in political science, history and English; a bachelor of applied science in supervision; and a bachelor of science in elementary education, network administration and family studies/human development.

UA’s new tiered tuition system is based on three core principles: lower and more predictable tuition, matching state support and minimal capital investment.

Using the three principles, UA and PCC have come up with a list of choices for getting a degree. Administrators call these options “pathways.”

Students can start a bachelor’s degree at a community college such as PCC and then transfer to UA when they complete their general education courses.

Under the PCC-UA joint admissions plan, students become part of both college communities simultaneously. When taking a PCC class, students pay PCC tuition; when taking a UA class, they pay UA tuition.

The new agreements will let students receive financial aid if they’re taking a full load of classes from the two schools. In previous years, students taking part time credits at PCC and part time credits at UA were ineligible for financial aid at either school.

Howell said students should contact the financial aid office at PCC or UA as early in the process as possible to discuss eligibility and ensure that financial aid application deadlines are met.

PCC and UA are also working to smooth transfer options.

For example, a student who completes general education courses at PCC may need just one more semester of biology before transferring to UA. The two schools hope the new partnership will mean the student can complete the course at PCC for a lower tuition rate.

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Online Extra: Softball plays the waiting game

Online Extra: Softball plays the waiting game

By James Kelley
Photos by James Kelley

The Pima Community College softball team’s young season has been a lesson in extremes, just not on the field.

The Aztecs (12-2, 3-1 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) have continued to excel on the field, at least when they have gotten to play games on it.

Pima’s double-header against Scottsdale Community College on Feb. 20, which would have been its first game in a week, was postponed due to rain. It will be made up Feb. 25.

Then, its Feb. 23 meeting with rival Yavapai College, currently No. 1 in Division I, was also postponed. A new date has not yet been set.

PCC opened the season playing eight games over five days. In the next two weeks, the team has 16 games.

“I don’t think it will affect us,” head coach Armando Quiroz said about the time off. “The girls are focused.”

Quiroz said the schedule, light in February and heavy in March, was not by design. It just worked out that way because out-of-state teams come to play in March.

Domonique Marquez

In the Aztecs’ last game, on Feb. 13, Pima split a conference doubleheader with Phoenix College, which is No. 2 in Division II. Pima won the first game 4-3 in eight innings, but lost the second game 8-4.

Sophomore pitcher Jordan Trujillo (6-0) struck out nine of the Bears’ hitters in the first game. Sophomore outfielder Chelsea Slama went 4-5 and freshman infielder Mercedes Garcia went 2-4.

Freshman pitcher Adrianna Garcia (6-2) had a rough outing in the nightcap. Sophomore catcher Melina Trujillo went 3-4, with an RBI, and sophomore outfielder Claudia Nunez went 2-2.

“I think Phoenix College is a very good team and I think we are a very good team as well,” Quiroz said. “I think it was a very good learning experience for our young players, that the day is not over after the first win. It is only half over.”

On Feb. 12, the Aztecs blasted El Paso Community College at home, sweeping a doubleheader, 16-0 in five innings and then 8-4. Jordan Trujillo and sophomore Iliana Teran combined to pitch a two-hitter.

“El Paso’s a team that we are familiar with—that we have played the last couple of years. They always put up a good battle, they played us tough last year,” Quiroz said. “I think it was a good experience for our young girls, to see some out-of-state teams like we did in Vegas. The more out-of-state teams we see, the more they realize ‘hey, we’re not bad.’”

The Aztecs get busy over the next two weeks. On Feb. 27 they host Arizona Western at noon and on March 1 they host Lake Michigan College at 2 p.m. On March 2, they host South Mountain Community College at 2 p.m.

Two days later, on March 4, they head to Central Arizona College, and then on March 6 they travel to Mesa Community College. On March 8, they play Delta College at home at 2 p.m. A day later, they go to Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

Jordan Trujillo is the No. 13 pitcher in the country in strike outs, with 1.38 per inning. Kaity Ingram is 22nd in stolen bases, with six out of seven attempts.

Sophomore infielder Ena Pacheco and freshman utility Charissa Ballesteros are 24th and 25th in home runs, respectively. They are tied at 19th in RBIs with 14.

As a team, Pima has the 10th best record in the country in terms of winning percentage and is seventh in batting average, hitting .387. The team is eighth in fielding percentage.

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Depression: Don’t listen to ‘the Big D’

Depression: Don’t listen to ‘the Big D’

Editor’s note: This series portrays one woman’s personal experience of depression, with a bit of advice thrown in.

By Liza Porter
Illustration by Isabel Cardenas

My shrink told me a few weeks ago: “Do anything, anything at all, except listen to the Big D.”

Well, he doesn’t use the term “Big D.” He calls it depression or, sometimes, a mood disorder.

But I do listen to the Big D. It is a voice that is so familiar it is like family. It is family. It is my voice at its worst.

Take yesterday, my first day off after three full days of classes. I didn’t wake up until 8 o’clock because I was up in the night for no rational reason.

This is one thing the Big D does to lots of people, one of the symptoms of depression. Insomnia.

It’s not my fault I have insomnia and it’s only 8 a.m. and the voice is already jabbering. “You slept too late. The day is wasted.”

Now, come on, 8 a.m. and the day is wasted? What normal brain would believe that? Or would even think it to begin with? I don’t have a normal brain. I probably have never had a normal brain.

How do I counteract that “wasted day at 8 a.m.” crap? By telling my husband what I’m thinking. That is one thing I have learned to do to counteract the Big D.

This is so very important. Don’t hang out alone with the Big D. Talk to someone.

If I leave myself to myself, if I let the voice make its stupid pronouncements without counteracting them, it’s Tilt-o-Whirl time—self-destructive thoughts, confusion, the inability to make decisions.

I have believed the Big D voices so long, so much longer than the helpful ones—which on a good day sound gentle and caring like this: you have plenty of time, you have three more days after this to get things done before going back to class—it is a modern-day miracle when I can short circuit the negativity.

Speaking of circuits, it is almost all about the circuits in the brain. Brain chemistry.

It took me decades to believe there was something wrong with me. It was my fault. I should be able to fix myself, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

It took decades for me to admit my powerlessness over my own brain. I had to let go and get help. I had to start taking medication.

For a recovering addict/alcoholic, letting go was a lot. When I first got sober, the word was “no drugs, no drugs at all.” At least the way I interpreted it.

God, I was so stubborn. But I let go.

Eight years ago I gave up and went to a psychiatrist. I have a treatment-resistant depression, he said. Some medication works for a while, then doesn’t. New ones are added, then taken away. I feel like a guinea pig sometimes.

But there are more good days than bad. When I take the medication and do other things such as take walks, eat right and talk back to the Big D, there are many good days.

When the shrink told me to do anything except listen to the Big D, I had to ask him this: “Does that mean, like, even, watching ‘Law & Order, C.I.’?”

I love Vincent D’Onofrio. He’s a hunk, he’s a little crazy like me, and he always solves the mystery.

“Yes, even Law & Order, C.I.,” my doc said, with that twinkle in his eye that I love.

How many doctors prescribe television as a way to fight a disease? God bless him.

Next: Talking about rape and depression.

Help Available From PCC Counselors

Depression: Talking back to ‘the Big D’
Sexual assault contributes to depression
Depression: Don’t listen to ‘Fat Voice’

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Survey shows few students use protection for oral sex

Survey shows few students use protection for oral sex

Story and photo by Mike Hawkins

Spring, a time of renewal and freshness when we are all excused our amorous proclivities. While Valentine’s Day may have added fuel to the fires of carnal creativity and consumption, those feelings haven’t evaporated in the desert heat. Love, or more accurately sex, is in the air.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m just trying to keep it real. So it’s on that note that I’d like to pose a question. Do you know where your sex partner’s mouth has been? Don’t be so sure.

I recently surveyed more than 100 Pima Community College students about how often they use protection when they engage in oral sex. I admittedly am not a scientist, nor do I have any science degrees, so this wasn’t a scientific survey.

The most important question about the survey, however, concerns the answer. And the answer was nearly always the same, both in substance and in speed of delivery: 71 percent of respondents said they never use a condom or dental dam when they have oral sex.

Ariadna Mencias

There was virtually no difference in response between males and females. All of us seem fine with the idea of our mouths being petri dishes.

Reactions to the survey results have been subdued, with only a few people surprised.

Katherine Patterson, a junior electrical engineering major who attends Desert Vista and Downtown campuses, wasn’t stunned at all. “It’s hard for me to say anything, just because I know I’m guilty,” she said. “At the same time, it’s scary, it’s something we need to be aware of.”

I’m not trying to ruin your raunchy relations, I swear. My only hope is to expose you to the reality that you’re not the only one who’s been out there having a good time enjoying the proper use of a tongue.

We know about sexually transmitted infections, so why is it few of us seem to care enough to protect ourselves?

“They might think that they know the other person,” said Alexandra Samarron, a physiology major at three Pima campuses. “They trust in each other so much they just let it go, you know? They don’t believe anything is gonna happen.”

Ishwara Thomas, a veteran Human Sexuality instructor at West Campus, expressed her opinion on the question. “Most people don’t think oral sex is as problematic in terms of diseases,” Thomas said. “People forget that the mouth can get or carry diseases.”

Who among us wants to have some pus-dripping, swollen “fever blister” prominently displayed on our lips for the world to see? Which one of you wants to explain to some hot new guy or gal that the rash eating away at your finger is really herpes? I would bet none of us.

The obvious suggestion is to use condoms and dental dams for oral sex. Thomas has a less obvious one. “Everybody should take Human Sexuality!”

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Online Only: Women lie about sex, too

Online Only: Women lie about sex, too

 

By D.J. Ochoa

Last issue, I wrote an article about how men lie about sex. Many women who read the article were probably pleased, and happy to see the truth in print.

However, countless women also lie.

Now, women are the most beautiful and lovely people who walk this planet. We will turn our heads for a second glance at women with pride, self-respect and dignity. Nevertheless, some women have lost sense of what true beauty is.

Yes, men lie. But ladies, don’t try to wear the wings and halo, because you lie too. Some lies that men and women spill are quite similar: “Oh he/she is just a friend,” “Sorry my phone was dead” or the famous “I was working late.”

Many women in my generation believe they know exactly what they want, but they have no clue. Most “girls” are just looking to have fun and do not want any consequences for their actions.

It is perfectly fine to have that mentality, but do not expect us guys to treat you with respect when every weekend you’re stumbling off the dance floor trying to get another guy to buy you a drink.

Women get mad at men for marking certain females as whores or calling them the B word. Is it right to call anybody names? No. But if you ladies are acting a certain way that puts you next to the definition of these words, don’t act that way. It’s very simple.

If you honestly believe any guy will take you seriously with a mentality like that, trust me: we won’t.

The “girls” in this generation resemble a ying and yang symbol. They have a good side they want to show, but also have a bad side that can be filled with a number of negative qualities.

Many times, the sweetest girl can become the ugliest girl in the world. Most blame it on a guy from their past who made them become the person they are today, and make the next guy pay for all their mistakes.

That is unfair to the fullest. Why is it our fault that the last person broke your heart? Why do we have to pick up the pieces so you can be fine?

It is not our job to play Dr. Phil. As the old saying goes, leave the past in the past.

Women might be looking for love, but most don’t even know what that emotion means. They want guys to love them for who they are, but most females do not even love themselves. When they do have love, they take it for granted or do not realize what they have until it’s gone.

I’m not saying all women are like this, but a good portion fit these descriptors.

For those reading this with steam coming out your ears, you fit this description. For those who are not and believe they have respect for themselves, have a lovely day.

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 News Briefs Feb. 24-March 10, Spring 2010

News Briefs Feb. 24-March 10, Spring 2010

Compiled by Narciso Villarreal

Epilepsy Walk set for March 20

The ninth annual Tucson Epilepsy Walk will take place Saturday, March 20, at the University of Arizona Mall on the east side of Old Main.

The walk is about 3.2 miles long and starts at 9:30 a.m. Check-in and registration times run from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Walkers will try to raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona. Walkers who raise $100 will get a T-shirt.

For more information, visit tucsonepilepsywalk.org or call 1-888-768-2690.

Student art on display

“Variations,” an exhibit of student artwork, will be on display through March 26 at the West Campus student gallery on the second floor of the Santa Rita building.

The display includes artwork from these departments: bookmaking, printmaking, drawing, painting, fashion, photography, color, fibers and sculpture.

Artwork by Joseph DiGiorgio is on display through March 5 at the Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery in the West Campus Center for the Arts complex.

For more information, call 206-4500.

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Pet choices reflect personality, study confirms

Pet choices reflect personality, study confirms

Story and photo by Conrad Pursley

One day when he was younger, Alan Shcmall was riding in the family car with his mother. When they stopped at a red light, Shcmall saw a cute puppy in the car next to them.

He rolled down his window and told the driver how much he admired the dog. The driver said he was taking it to the pound, and offered the puppy to Shcmall.

Schmall became convinced he is a dog person on the day he first saw his dog, Virgil. However, a recent survey suggests that pet ownership may be more than fur deep.

An online survey by a University of Texas researcher sought to answer the age-old question of what makes us a dog or cat person. The 44-question survey stood out from previous studies by accounting for people who own both dogs and cats.

The survey found that 46 percent of the 4,500 people surveyed consider themselves dog people. Just 12 percent called themselves cat people, while 20 percent were both and 15 percent were neither.

Questions delved into five dimensions of personality, and responses echoed stereotypes. Dog people are generally more adventurous, agreeable and spontaneous. Cat people tend to be more intellectual, artistic and introverted.

However, even the UT psychologist who designed the survey said the differences between cat people and dog people are not huge.

Schmall, a former Pima Community College student and the owner of two dogs, seems to fit the dog person category. His hobbies include talking to people across the world on his Ham radio, shooting his AR-15, camping or just driving around southern Arizona in his Silverado.

Meanwhile, PCC Digital Arts student Kirstin Richardson, who hopes to use the graphic design skills she learns at Pima to work in the music industry after she graduates, says she fluctuates toward the introverted side of the sociability scale. She owns two felines.

“They’re just easy to take care of and keep to themselves,” Richardson said of her cats.

“I think that’s the reason why people like certain animals,” Richardson added. “It’s like a personality reflection.”

Schmall said he likes dogs because they are loyal and friendly, but thinks it’s a bit coincidental that his personality reflects the stereotype.

Two of his friends own cats and one feline, named Tigger, seems to have made an impression.

“I have these two friends. They both go out to parties and both have cats,” Schmall said. “Although I swear Tigger thinks he’s a dog.”

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Help available from PCC counselors

Help available from PCC counselors

Story by Liza Porter
Photo by Gabi Pina

“Depression can be like gravity pulling you to yourself,” says Teresiana Zurita at her desk in the PCC West Campus Counseling Center. “It’s not necessarily negative.”

It’s a quiet Tuesday morning in the first floor Student Services Center. Zurita, counseling coordinator for West Campus, says getting help for depression can be a way to discover a “more authentic life.”

Most students come for counseling at PCC because they’re not doing well academically, not because they think they’re depressed. “They’re struggling with classes,” Zurita says.

But sometimes when she sits down to talk with a student, she realizes academics are not the only problem.

“The academic issues are really a result of the emotions that are going on, that the student feels out of control of,” Zurita says.

That’s when she might start suspecting depression. It could be a matter of helping students take steps to take better care of themselves. Eating more healthily. Getting enough sleep. Managing their time.

There are also PCC courses students can take.

“We have STU courses, Student Success courses,” Zurita says. “One is called Stress Management and Wellness.”

Another is Making Career Choices. The STU courses are listed in the schedule of classes on the PCC Web site.

Many of the courses incorporate a psychological component. Students discuss their motivations, how their feelings impact their ability to achieve goals.

Counselors are trained to recognize if a student’s problems are more serious than self-care or goal-setting.

Though they don’t have the resources to help someone who is seriously depressed and perhaps suicidal, the counselors use a model called “stabilize and refer.”

They will take action if they suspect a student is planning to harm himself. “We will definitely get them connected with mental health agencies in the community,” Zurita says.

Since counseling can be expensive, there are several resources that allow payment on a sliding scale. One is SAMHC Behavioral Health Center (see box for information).

It can be scary to ask for help once, and sometimes the second time is even harder. Zurita hopes to help students feel safer making the new connection by helping them with the call.

When she refers a student, Zurita will call SAMHC, put them on speaker phone and say “I have a student here I’m really concerned about, what kind of services do you have?”

Zurita knows it can be hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed. “You may want to talk to a counselor for a session,” she says. “Just to help you know what you can do to help.”

She realizes that mental illness still has a certain stigma in our culture.

“I really want to stress that depression is not a weakness, that it’s treatable,” she says. Sometimes the first place to seek help is with a friend, or a minister or rabbi. It doesn’t always have to be a counselor.

But the Counseling Center is there to help.

“You don’t have to suffer alone,” Zurita says.

Depression screening
If you feel any of these, especially if they get worse over time, it’s time to get help.
1.    Been feeling low in energy, slowed down?
2.    Been blaming yourself for things?
3.    Had poor appetite?
4.    Had difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep?
5.    Been feeling hopeless about the future?
6.    Been feeling blue?
7.    Been feeling no interest in things?
8.    Had feelings of worthlessness?
9.    Thought about or wanted to commit suicide?
10.    Had difficulty concentrating or making decisions?
Source: National Depression Screening Day—College Screening Form
by Screening for Mental Health, Inc.

Counseling centers on campus
•    Community Campus, 206-6408
•    Desert Vista Campus, 206-5030
•    Downtown Campus, 206-7260
•    East Campus, 206-7662
•    Northwest Campus, 206-2200
•    West Campus, 206-6699

Depression: Don’t Listen to “the-Big-D”

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STOMPING GROUNDS: Kon Tiki lounge

STOMPING GROUNDS: Kon Tiki lounge

Story and photo by Debbie Hadley

Kon Tiki is not the kind of joint you frequent for the food, although lunch and dinner are served at the oldest Hawaiian lounge in town. The main draw is a strong drink, Polynesian flavor decor and rockin’ island jams.

Opened in 1963, Kon Tiki at Broadway and Swan has been a Tucson favorite for more 45 years. With bamboo-covered walls and an ornate fountain topped with a life-sized swordfish, Kon Tiki is pumped with Hawaiian style in every available space.

The bar is in real Tiki form with palm tree branches hanging over the bar roof and logs of bamboo making up the bottom half of the bar.

Patron Taylor Roberts calls the decor “distinctive island flair.” Every inch of wall space is covered with large conch shells, strings of bamboo or stacked coconut shells. Beach ball-sized multi-colored light fixtures, each enveloped in fishing nets, provide lighting.

The drink menu is a trip, with a variety of cocktails creatively named. There are several secret ingredient drinks available, such as The Lunchbox or Mystery Drink. The more aptly named Tropical Itch with rum and whiskey and Barrel of Rum are ready to order as well.

The most popular drink, according to waitress Alisha Shelton, is the infamous Scorpion bowl, a mix of rum, gin, brandy and other liquors. Labeled as the largest drink in the world, it can be ordered for one or two. “Girls order the strawberry, guys get the regular,” Shelton says.

She notes that regulars come to Kon Tiki as a “pit stop to get a drink and then go on to the next place.”

Kon Tiki serves lunch, dinner and dessert. Restaurant hours are Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, 4-9 p.m. The bar closes Monday-Thursday at 1 a.m., Friday-Saturday at 2 a.m. and Sunday at midnight.

Next weekend, when the island gods are calling, try Kon Tiki for the best assortment and taste of any cocktails around.

FYI

Kon Tiki

Address: 4625 E. Broadway

Phone: 323-7193

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