RSSArchive for November, 2010

REVIEW: ‘Faster’ lives up to its name

REVIEW: ‘Faster’ lives up to its name


In Dwayne Johnson’s latest movie, “Faster,” the title more than lives up to its name.

The story’s pacing is quick and never fails to hold interest. The storyline is a bit tired: guy has someone in his family killed, guy gets a gun, guy seeks revenge, but the movie is actually quite entertaining.

Don’t go in expecting any Oscar caliber monologues, either. This is your typical action flick with guns, cars and bad one-liners. Johnson manages to use his natural charisma to carry his character, and even manages to draw an occasional laugh from the audience.

The movie starts you out right in the thick of things and foregoes a slow lead-in. This is very effective and draws you in immediately.

I don’t want to give anything away, but the ending offers a great twist. At the same time, the movie leaves one issue unresolved that really should have been wrapped up.

This is not a great movie, and some of you will want to wait for it to come out on DVD. But, if you’re into action movies or a fan of Dwayne Johnson from his wrestling days, check this one out.

Grade: B

Tucson movie times




Jonathan talks about his goals.

ONLINE EXTRA: Football wins first WSFL game since 2004

ONLINE EXTRA: Football wins first WSFL game since 2004


After defeating Phoenix College Nov. 13, the Pima Community College football team was finally able to bury two losing streaks that have lingered throughout the season.

The Aztecs (3-8, 1-7 Western States Football League) were able to tame the Bears for a second time this season with a 35-14 victory during a rare day game at Tucson Electric Park.

“It’s a long haul,” head coach Patrick Nugent said. “We were in a lot of football games and our kids played their butts off all year long, just couldn’t get a win. I’m just glad these guys can go out on a winning note.”

Andy Garcia

With the victory, the Aztecs snapped their seven-game overall losing streak and their 50-game WSFL losing streak.

“It’s what we’re trying to do at Pima,” Nugent said. “We’re trying to believe in accomplishments. It’s been a long battle taking over a program that was really low. We had a win at the beginning of the year to get their losing streak over and now we got a league win that’s no longer on our stats. Now we can move forward and get better here at Pima.”

Pima beat Phoenix 17-14 in the first game of the season, snapping its 29-game losing streak as well as its 48-game losing streak to college teams.

Except for a 63-2 win over semi-pro Verde Valley in 2007, Pima had not won since 2004 before the first win over the Bears.

In the Nov. 13 conference game, freshman quarterback Zander McKean connected with sophomore receiver Scott Campbell on the first snap for a 53-yard touchdown pass to give Pima the early advantage.

Zander McKean

Pima’s defense and special teams were key factors in the win, providing points. The Bears scored one touchdown each half.

Pima defenders had three interceptions. Sophomore linebacker Ernesto Escarcega returned one pick 37 yards for a touchdown just before the half ended. Sophomore cornerback Nick Carlson and freshman defensive back Adrian Brahler each had an interception as well.

On special teams, the Aztecs blocked two punts. Carlson had one block and returned the other blocked punt for a touchdown.

“We’ve been writing it up,” Carlson said after the game. “(Special teams) coach (Christian) Vitale sent me off the edge. They’ve been sending me through the middle all season. Came off the edge, just got free and blocked it. That’s how we draw it up.”

On the offensive end, the Aztecs finished with 309 total yards of offense. McKean threw three touchdowns and went 11-14 for 138 passing yards.

The receiving game was led by Campbell, who caught two passes for a total of 66 yards.

The team gained 171 yards on the ground and was led by freshman signal caller McKean, who rushed for 59 yards on 14 carries.

“It’s really good that we won a game because we had our doubts,” Garcia said after being asked about breaking the WSFL streak. “It’s a good thing we had the whole Tucson community behind us. It’s really good that our coaches were there every step of the way.”

Andy Garcia, left, Tranton Kamins, center and Pat Nugent

Garcia said that despite injuries and ineligibility issues, nobody on the team gave up. He said players still went to practice knowing that they might or might not play and that getting three victories on the season was good for them.

Sophomore defensive back Ricky Solomon finished the season ranked No. 12 in the National Junior College Athletic this year and garnered 67 return yards.

Nugent hopes the recent wins will help give the football program legitimacy.

“We got to get on the trail recruiting come Monday (Nov. 17) and hopefully kids believe in our program now and know what we’re trying to do,” Nugent said when asked about next season.

“We got a really good freshman class that we’re excited about. Now we got to add to it and come out hard, work all year and get better.”

ATHLETIC VOICE: Football on the right track

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Women’s Cross Country finishes ninth at Nationals

Women’s Cross Country finishes ninth at Nationals

Photos by ED ADAMS

For the fifth year in a row, the Pima Community College women’s cross country team has placed in the top 10 at Nationals. This year’s ninth-place finish is the lowest head coach Greg Wenneborg has seen in that streak but it doesn’t bother him.

“We’re gratified mostly because the women were ranked 11th going and we knew that they were better than that,” Wenneborg said. “It was a good season for the ladies and we’re looking to continue to build.”

Last year’s team placed sixth. In 2008 Pima took fifth. The two years before that it finished seventh and sixth.

The No. 9 Aztecs placed second among Region 1 competition at the Nov. 13 meet in Spartanburg, N.C. Central Arizona College finished fourth as a team. Glendale Community College placed 11th.

Sophomore Priscilla Mendoza led the way for Pima, finishing 44th in 19:34 out of the 260 runners. Freshman sensation Heidi Lopez placed five spots behind Mendoza in 19:43. Co-captain sophomores Julia Dittiger and Julia Peerenboom finished 54th and 69th respectively.

Dittiger had a personal best of 19:48 in the 5,000-meter race. Peerenboom was wearing a boot on her foot the entire weekend of the meet, which was Nov. 13, because of an ankle injury but still managed at top 70 finish.

“I had tendinitis in my ankle and it was a little hard racing on it,” Peerenboom said. “I figured since I had trained and worked really hard all season that I might as well just run Nationals.”

She also said that the team chemistry was strong from the start of the season and that they were underdogs the whole year.

“I’m honestly grateful that we finished in the top 10,” Peerenboom said. “I think it was really well done by all of the runners on the team.”

Wenneborg said that the team was still dealing with injuries heading into Nationals.

Priscilla Medoza

“We definitely feel like the ladies were ready to go but we were fragile the last couple of weeks,” he said. “It was kind of scary going in and I thought worst-case-scenario we wouldn’t even be in the top 18.”

The team pulled through some rough patches during the season as well. Sophomore Magda Mankel was never declared eligible and sophomore Annalina Loevenguth had her season end early with a stress fracture. Wenneborg was proud of the way the team pulled through.

“Maybe, in my six years of coaching, this might have been the hardest luck we’ve had,” the coach said. “We think that we have a future national championship squad if we can just get a little more breaks going our way and I recruit just a little bit harder.”

Lopez, along with freshman Jodine Steemers and Rachel Whitford, will be back for next season. Wenneborg also said he’ll be hoping for some strong recruits.

“We’ve got three solid girls coming back who can run mid-19 5k’s for us,” he said.

Women’s basketball gets fast start after initial loss

Women’s basketball gets fast start after initial loss


After dropping the season opener 103-86 to Salt Lake Community College in Cedar City, Utah, Pima reeled off a five-game winning streak.

“I’m excited at how we’ve grown up together so fast and gelled as a team,” sophomore forward Deanna Daniels said. “Chemistry off the court has built chemistry on the court.”

After a 1-1 split in Utah, the Aztecs were anxious to get things going when they traveled to Yuma, Ariz. to play in the AWC Desert Classic.

The Aztecs opened the tournament with a 77-41 win over Muskegon Community College.

Freshman guard Johnelle Hannah led the Aztecs in scoring with 13 points. Daniels added 12 of her own, along with 10 rebounds.

Sophomore guard Sara Nicholson scored 11, while freshman guard Naderra Carey scored seven points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Gaby Ayon

The next day, the Aztecs survived a second-half comeback by Cisco College to win 68-61.

Guard play was huge as Nicholson led the Aztecs in scoring with 14 points. Sophomore Anyela Lopez chipped in with 10 points. Daniels and sophomore forward Gaby Ayon added 12 and eight points respectively, and the two combined for 20 rebounds.

Pima opened conference play when they traveled to Chandler-Gilbert Community College on Nov. 17. A big first half by the Aztecs led to an 82-44 win. Daniels posted a double-double, scoring 19 points and pulling down 15 rebounds. Nicholson added 10 points.

Pima hosted its first home game of the season Nov. 20 against conference foe Scottsdale Community College. Sharp shooting and impressive rebounding led to a “sloppy” 87-62 Aztecs win.

“We played sloppy,” head coach Todd Holthaus said.

“But still we did a good job of being physical, rebounding and second-chance points. We did some good things, but we got to take better care of the ball… there’s a lot of things to tighten up, but we’ll get better.”

Daniels had another big night for the Aztecs, scoring 26 points and grabbing 18 rebounds. Carey also again had another solid effort, scoring eight points, dishing eight assists and grabbing 10 rebounds.

The Aztecs improved to 5-1 on the season, and 2-0 in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference.

“I think we’re off to a better start than we could have hoped for, considering how young we are and how inexperienced we are,” Holthaus said. “To go to Thanksgiving break at 5 and 1, we’ll definitely take it. And we’re 2 and 0 in the conference, which is more important.”

Patricia Ramos

Pima will return to action after the short holiday break, traveling to Phoenix College on Dec. 1. Three of the next four games will be tough road tests, including a battle against No. 2 and undefeated Central Arizona College.

“I think we will be ready,” Daniels said.

“As long as people do what they’re supposed to do on and after the break. If we work out a little bit, come back not so out of shape, then I think we’ll be good.”

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Haught faces hardships on and off the pitch

Haught faces hardships on and off the pitch

Photo by ED ADAMS

For Pima Community College student Jessica Anne Haught, life is a constant go. Between school, work, family, friends and soccer, down time is minimal.

Haught, 20, lives by a quote from T.S. Elliot: “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

Life has not always been easy, but she keeps pushing through.

Haught, one of four daughters, was born in Phoenix. She grew up in Young, Ariz., and moved to Tucson in 2004. Haught went to high school at Cienega.

Although she appreciates the opportunities Tucson offers, she most enjoyed living in Young.

“It’s kind of like my home town,” she said. “I like the small-town feel and I like the mountains, not the desert.”

One of Haught’s earliest memories is when both she and her younger sister Shauna broke their legs, and her best friend pulled them around in a wagon.

Tragically, Shauna died of a stroke when she was 4.

Haught’s greatest regret? “Not loving my sister more when she was alive.”

Jessica Haught

Just recently, Haught’s father had to undergo brain surgery. He is now home and recovering, but the ordeal hit the family hard.

Haught credits her family’s Christian beliefs for helping them through the crises.

She has managed to stay on track, graduating from high school as a straight “A” student. Last month, she finished her third season playing for the Pima women’s soccer program, after being forced to red-shirt her second year due to injury.

In 2009, the Aztecs won the Arizona Community College Athletic Association championship but were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs at home.

This past season, Haught was a team captain and a starter in every game. She was named to the All-Region 2nd Team and hopes to receive the All-American Award that is given to athletes who maintain a 3.5 or higher grade point average.

Haught’s field of study is fire science. She plans on becoming a firefighter and wants to live in Colorado, preferably Colorado Springs.

She has her future planned: “Two years at a university playing soccer, then a career firefighting and being a part-time coach.”

Upcoming challenges are “having money for college, the physical part of being a firefighter and working to get my paramedic.”

Haught is considering some schools in Colorado, University of Washington and Berry University in Miami.

Another worry is the hiring freeze in her career field. It’s tough economically and not many opportunities exist to get on with a fire department.

To overcome these challenges, she plans on “working hard without giving up and pushing through every challenge that comes along.”

Quitting isn’t a word in her vocabulary.

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ATHLETIC VOICE: Football on the right track

ATHLETIC VOICE: Football on the right track


In 2005, I visited relatives living in America’s armpit (Texas) and one of them asked how the University of Arizona football team was doing.

They laughed when I told them UA’s record was 3-8, but I explained the school was beginning an extensive rebuilding program. It took four years for the Wildcats to get back to a bowl game.

That’s where the Pima Community College football team is now.

The Aztecs didn’t have anything like the Wildcats’ infamous player revolt, but their program had fallen much further.

PCC didn’t beat a real football team from 2005-2009 and the last head coach wasn’t much better than John Mackovic at UA. Bill Laslett held 15-minute practices and his 2008 teams were outscored 509-37.

In 2009, new head coach Pat Nugent started the rebuilding process with a 0-10 season. The Aztecs were outscored 352-138, narrowing the gap a bit.

This year they went 3-8 and were outscored just 280-220.

Pima was three plays from being 6-5, substantial improvement.

A losing football team usually crumbles at the end of the season, but Pima lost at Eastern Arizona College only after a failed two-point conversion.

When Pima played Eastern at home in September, the Gila Monsters went all Hernán Cortés on the Aztecs, winning 42-14.

Had quarterback Daniel Nicholas, the 2007 Tucson Citizen Player of the Year, not quit the team right before the season started, it is not hard to imagine the Aztecs in a bowl game even though just four conference teams go bowling.

PCC also lost superstars Doug Steele (to University of Northern Colorado) and Jordan Christensen (injury).

Sure, new Canyon del Oro High School varsity head coach Dustin Pearce hasn’t lost since replacing Nugent, but this isn’t a Boise State University  situation.

University of Colorado hired Dan Hawkins in 2006 after he did well at Boise State, then fired him a few weeks ago because of his subpar performance at Colorado. Meanwhile, replacement coach Chris Pederson turned Boise State into a superpower.

Nugent rebuilt CDO from a 0-10 season en route to winning five coach of the year awards.

In addition, Pearce has Ka’Deem Carey running the ball for him. Even I could win a 4A state title if I had Carey, and I rarely punt (in video games).

The Nuge has Pima headed in the right direction.

It won’t be long before UA and Pima go bowling in the same year for the first time ever.

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Men’s basketball drops home opener

Men’s basketball drops home opener


The Pima Community College men’s basketball team is off to a slow start to the season.

The Aztecs dropped to 2-6 overall (0-2 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) with a 90-69 loss to Scottsdale Community College in their home opener. The Fighting Artichokes were much larger down at the block.

“We gotta run,” head coach Roderick Gary said. “This was a big and slow game. We played to their tempo.”

Sophomore guard Daniel Conorque scored 18  and pulled down 12 boards.

Sophomore forward Chaz Hampton helped out with 16 points and just missed a double-double as he swiped nine rebounds.

Juan Favela

Sophomore guard Brian Hill and sophomore forward Justin Chambers also recorded double-digit scores with 12 and 10.

The Aztecs were without a few players due to eligibility. Right now the Aztecs have just 10 players on the roster. Their tallest player is 6-6 freshman forward Gabriel Valencia.

“We’re hoping that those guys will be eligible by Christmas,” said Gary.

Pima also suffered a loss on Nov. 17 to Chandler-Gilbert Community College on the road, by a score of 72-68.

Conorque and freshman guard Juan Favela led the way offensively as they each chipped in 18 points.

Scottsdale and Chandler-Gilbert are division II teams, like Pima. After Thanksgiving, the Aztecs will have to run a gauntlet of division I teams.

Pima hosts division I Central Arizona College on Dec. 4 and then travels to division I Yavapai College.

Chaz Hampton

“We have to communicate better as a team on the court,” freshman guard DeVante Harkin said. “And with guys being gone because of eligibility, it’s like the Celtics without their Big 4.”

Pima travels to division II No. 10 Phoenix College on Dec. 1. Gary expects the Bears to be a rude host, since Pima beat Phoenix on the road, last year in the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 1 championship game to punch a ticket to Nationals.

On Nov. 12, Pima lost 88-57 to division I No. 25 Odessa (Texas) College in the Cochise College Classic in Douglas, Ariz.

The next day, the Aztecs got revenge against New Mexico Military Institute 96-87.

In the season-opening tournament in Hobbs, N.M., the Thunderbird Classic, on Nov. 1, NMMI routed Pima 77-56.

There are some bright spots for the Aztecs. Conorque is fifth in the ACCAC in rebounding with 8.7 per game, eighth in the conference in scoring with 17.3 points per game and 14th in steals with two per game.

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When too much exercise becomes an addiction

When too much exercise becomes an addiction


It took severe sickness and intervention by a doctor before Pima Community College student Jonathan Fraser realized he was addicted to exercising.

“I was really sick one day,” Fraser said. “I started throwing up and still went to the gym anyway. I was still trying to work out.”

At that point, Fraser realized he was overdoing it.

Exercising six hours a day, every day, was Fraser’s priority in life. He put it before school, work, family and friends.

“Gym was always first,” Fraser said. “I wouldn’t hang out with people… like I’d hang out with them but I’d go to the gym first.”

Fraser’s exercise addiction reached its peak in the years after high school, when all activities revolved around his workout.

“If I had a job interview, I’d schedule it either before or after,” he said. “If it was gonna fall around that time, I’d say I couldn’t make it.”

Fraser’s goal was gaining weight. When he looked in the mirror, he saw a skinny person. He wanted to weigh 215 pounds, and saw physical workouts as a way to add bulk.

“My parents were always like, ‘oh, you’re so skinny’” Fraser said. “I was eating all the time but it wasn’t doing anything. I found the only way I could gain weight was to work out.”

He has now cut back to 90-minute workouts. “I kind of put restrictions on myself,” he said.

Nevertheless, he’s still not satisfied with his build. “I want to be bigger still,” he said. “I still see myself in the mirror and think I’m skinny.”

Fraser hasn’t met anyone else like himself. Most people he knows who struggle with exercise addiction are trying to lose weight.

Pima student Jonathan Fraser now limits his workouts to 90 minutes a day, down from six hours.

Paula Klein, lead instructor for the fitness and conditioning center at West Campus, has also struggled with compulsive exercise. She spent many years running distance races and marathons.

“There was a period during my life when I engaged in bulimic behavior,” Klein said. “I remember very distinctly using running as a way of purging calories. It was almost emotionally painful to use something that I love so much in a negative way to sort of punish myself.”

Klein thinks exercise addiction is usually linked to an eating disorder such as bulimia, anorexia or binge eating. Someone with a tendency toward bulimia may use exercise as a way to purge calories.

“So it becomes sort of a grim activity, as opposed to something that is based on the joy of movement,” she said.

Klein defines addiction as engagement in an activity that’s compulsive and interferes with living a normal life.

As a personal trainer, Klein has dealt with clients who displayed behavior that suggested an exercise addiction or compulsion.

She knew a young man years ago who fit that description.

“I think he had dysmorphia, which is kind of like the male version of an eating disorder,” Klein said. “He looks in the mirror, and he looks great, but thinks he doesn’t look great.”

At the same time, Klein warns against being too quick to judge.

“People who don’t exercise, who dislike exercise, are all too ready to slap the label ‘exercise addict’ onto people who simply are dedicated to and find real joy in being in their bodies and who genuinely enjoy the process of working out,” she said.

Susan Heinrich, West Campus department chair for fitness and sports sciences, has known students who confessed to being hospitalized because of their exercise habits.

“Compulsive exercising is not identified as an eating disorder,” Heinrich said. “But it’s in that list of behaviors that often accompanies an eating disorder.”

She called eating disorders one of most difficult mental illnesses to treat, and noted that anorexia is probably the deadliest of all mental illnesses.

Someone who genuinely enjoys frequent exercise is not necessarily compulsive, Heinrich said. However, people who don’t feel worthwhile unless they are top-notch athletes may be starting to cross over into compulsive exercise.

“I think where the problem with compulsive exercise comes in, is when people feel like they can’t live without getting the exercise,” she said.

Pima instructor Paula Klein.

Get help if you’re compulsive

Do you have exercise compulsion? If two or more statements apply, talk to your school counselor or health care provider.

-I exercise even when I run a fever or have a bad cold.

-The first thing that comes to my mind each morning is “exercise.”

-When I can’t exercise, I’m so afraid that I will gain weight.

-I break dates with friends and family so I can exercise more.

-When I miss exercise, I feel irritable and depressed.

-I work out rain or shine, even in freezing temperatures or thunderstorms.

-I crave the “high” feeling that I get from exercise.

-I am underweight for my height.

-Losing weight has become more of a priority than maintaining a healthy weight.

Symptoms of exercise compulsion can include:

-An elevated resting heart rate.


-Lethargy and fatigue.

-Deteriorating physical performance.

SARA club offers help to addicts

Do you have a problem with an eating disorder, drug addiction, alcohol addiction, sexual addiction or any other kind of addiction? Does someone you love have an addiction?

A Substance Abuse Recovery and Awareness Club meets on West Campus every Wednesday from 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. in the Student Life office, AG-20.

Meetings are run by former addicts, and are completely anonymous.

For additional information, e-mail

Another source of help is Overeaters Anonymous, a group for compulsive overeaters, anorexics, bulimics and compulsive exercisers.

For further information, call OA at 733-0880 or go online at

Jonathan Fraser discusses exercise addiction.

Astrid talks about her goals.

Avoid holiday fail: check out these video games

Avoid holiday fail: check out these video games

Every year dozens of games get released right before the holidays. Because of this trend, people tend to just buy what is most popular without doing any research. Luckily we have two full-time nerds doing the work for you and have constructed a list that will make any noob into a knowledgeable tool. With this list, we can put an end to day after Christmas trade-ins at Gamestop.


‘Sonic 4: Episode 1’

Do you remember when Sonic games were actually fun? Few do, since it hasn’t happened for almost 15 years. At one time the blue hedgehog neck-and-neck with the plumber in red. Then Dreamcast happened. After Sonic lost everything, it tried to crawl back into people’s hearts by whoring out. Sonic’s now out of rehab and running right. This game feels like the ‘90s classic but is in glorious HD.

‘Dead Rising 2’

Once upon a time, I actually almost had a life. Then “Dead Rising 2” came out and took my love away. Anyone seeking a more forgiving sequel might want to find a priest, because this game is sacrilegious when it comes to modern design. Everything you hated from the original is back: super-hard boss battles, restarting games at higher levels, tons of side missions, thousands of zombies. The game will make you forget that sunlight exists.

‘Castlevania: Lords of Shadow’

Hardcore fans who turned their backs on this reboot have no idea what they’re missing. The graphics alone prove that HD games are the new standard, and the action is non-stop. If you’re a fan of “God of War” but wished the game was three times longer, this game is for you. 3-D Castlevania titles have usually been lacking but, with the help of Kojima Studios, LOS has the strongest combined elements of any adventure game in one package.

‘Amnesia: The Dark Descent’

This PC-only downloadable title is the most underrated game of the year. You try to survive inside a gothic castle overrun by demons. You get no weapons, so must use your wits. You can hide from the demons in the darkness but that will make you go insane, which causes hallucinations. Or, you can simply try to run away. The game’s sound design will leave scratches in your head. Another bonus: it only costs 20 bucks.


‘NBA Jam’

I love basketball, video games and unapologetically absurd sports games. Therefore, NBA Jam put me into a joy-induced coma. This remake of the classic includes everything I’ve loved since childhood: impossible dunks, fast-paced action and little-to-no defense. Even better is the inclusion of secret characters and teams – NBA legends, pop culture figures and even politicians. Personally, I can’t wait to dunk on Sarah Palin with Barack Obama.

‘Rock Band 3’

As a failed guitar player with delusions of grandeur, Rock Band 3 is right up my alley. If I had invested as much time and effort to play a real guitar as I spent on Rock Band, I’d be at Open Mic Nights getting all kinds of poet ladies. With Rock Band 3’s Pro Guitar mode, I’ll have that chance. Pro Mode allows players to plug in their electric guitars and actually play the songs, note for note, along with the game. It’s a whole new way to pretend to be famous!

‘Halo: Reach’

This final entry in the Halo Saga series is the best yet. Gameplay is fantastic in both multiplayer and campaign modes, actually requiring strategy to outsmart and kill enemies. Firefight (surviving an onslaught of increasingly difficult enemies) and Invasion (multi-level gameplay) improve online multiplayer mode. Armor Abilities, which let players sprint, fly and activate limited invulnerability, provide another reason to suit up as a Spartan.

‘Fallout: New Vegas’

I’ve been hooked on the retro-futuristic, post-nuclear wasteland series since fourth grade. In “Fallout: New Vegas,” you play a courier who is shot and left for dead in the desert. Your aim is to figure out who shot you, why, and how to get back at them — if you want. The beauty of Fallout is you can do just about anything you’d like, for hours on end. I’ve owned “Fallout 3” since 2009, and still haven’t finished everything. “New Vegas” provides more of the same.

Deaf student pursues career in counseling

Deaf student pursues career in counseling


Sitting on a couch in a West Campus hallway, 20-year-old Chris Molten watches as other students walk by. Some laugh, some talk on the phone or to peers and some listen to music. For Molten, the sound falls on deaf ears.

Molten has been deaf since birth. He moved to Tucson with his parents and sister from St. Louis at age 6, and graduated from the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind.

He is the only deaf person in his family. His mother and sister know sign language well, and his father knows a little. “I communicate with my dad by writing things back and forth,” he says, signing to his interpreter, Torrey Mansager.

At Pima, Molten is one of several hearing-impaired students enrolled in English as a Second Language classes. “I like the ESL class because it helps me improve my English,” he says.

Most of Molten’s friends at Pima are deaf, which makes it easier to be on campus.

He is a full-time student, majoring in counseling. “Right now I really would like to focus on relationship counseling,” he says.

Molten wants to continue his education at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. Gallaudet is the world’s only university in which all programs are specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students.

His hobbies include photography, hanging out with friends, playing video games and eating his favorite meals: Mexican food, Chinese food and pizza.

He also likes playing and watching basketball, and has attended a few professional games with his dad.

During the conversation, when passersby distract Molten, Mansager taps his knee to regain his attention.

Molten puts his head down and smiles as he talks about his love life, or lack thereof. He says he does not have a girlfriend, and laughs nervously.

He begins signing to a friend, Mike, in a bashful way. They get into a debate and Mansager can’t keep up. The two friends laugh and play-fight as Mike mocks Molten’s answers.

Molten depicts himself as a mischievous person. He laughs while recounting a time he played a prank during a camping trip.

“I put shaving cream in a friend’s sleeping bag and it got all over his face,” he says. “He was mad but I told him to just go clean it off.”

Aztec Press photo by Genesis Salazar

Cerebral palsy can’t slow student’s progress

Cerebral palsy can’t slow student’s progress

Story and photo by GENESIS SALAZAR

Mild cerebral palsy doesn’t dampen the cheerful outlook of Rachael Robinson, a 19-year-old Pima Community College student.

“I very much dislike the word ‘disabled,’ because it implies that there are things I can’t do,” she says. “I prefer the term ‘challenged’ because, although I do have a hard time doing things like writing, tying my shoes or buttoning my sweaters, I reach the same finish line as everyone else.”

Everyone has hurdles to clear in life, Robinson notes. “Mine are just more noticeable.”

Robinson moved with her family to Tucson from Florida last July. She says her family treats her just the same as her brothers and sister, and she never even heard the word ‘handicapped’ until she was 9 or 10.

Cerebral palsy, a form of brain damage that usually occurs during fetal development, affects muscle coordination. The condition is not curable or progressive.

Robinson is not at all ashamed or bitter about her physical limitations. On the contrary, she would not change anything about herself. “I’m here, I’m alive and I’m happy.”

At Pima, Robinson must limit herself to two classes per semester until she qualifies for in-state tuition. She is enjoying her fall semester classes, Introduction to Western Civilization and Introduction to Reporting and Media Writing.

She registered with the Disabled Student Resources office on West Campus, and receives assistance in areas such as note taking, “so that I can do my work as quickly and as easily as any other student.”

Robinson originally planned to major in English but has switched to journalism. After she completes her associate degree, she will transfer to the University of Arizona. “It’s close to home, and I hear the journalism courses they offer there are excellent.”

Her long-term goal is to get a well-paying job that is both mentally and emotionally satisfying.

Robinson says she loves her parents, her friends, her pets, her boyfriend and her siblings. “They inspire me to do many of the things I don’t think of on my own.”

She also loves walking and running, and proudly details a recent hiking trip in which she climbed a mountain.

“I have an open mind, and am strongly goal-oriented,” she says. “I think of what I’d like to do, and I try it until I get it right.”

Harry Potter a huge part of my life

Harry Potter a huge part of my life

From left, Grant Martz, Paige Blaine, Andrew Katsinas and Elizabeth Pecora await the midnight showing.


Photos By D.J. OCHOA

I’m an avid Harry Potter fan. Hell, avid is an understatement. To express my love for the series, I had a wand tattooed on the side of my right index finger so I can feel a little like Hermione every day.

Harry Potter has been a huge part of my life for the past decade. After I read the final book in the seven-part series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” it didn’t hit me that it was the end because I could still look forward to the films.

For some muggles, the Potter movies run a little too long. We hardcore fans, however, sometimes get frustrated because so many awesome details are left out!

Hearing that the final film would be released in two parts gave me hope this would no longer be a problem.

As I walked into the theater, I could hardly contain my excitement for “Deathly Hallows: Part 1.” I quickly surveyed the room, and it warmed my heart to see Potter fans of all ages.

Chills ran through my body as the film started. I couldn’t believe it was finally happening.

When the first battle scene started, I knew exactly what was coming.

I reached for my black cardigan sweater and covered the bottom half of my face to hide the tears rolling down my face. (Those tears were nothing compared to the waterfall later on.)

There is so much action in this film. The acting (mainly from Emma Watson) has gotten so much better.

Even I, a Harry Potter fanatic, can admit that some scenes in past movies were kind of lame. This time around, my eyes hurt by the end of the movie because I stared at the screen wide-eyed the entire time.

Even though I already knew who would kick the bucket, watching it happen made it extremely real.

When the time came for a certain free elf to die, the waterworks began. I could hear not only my sniffles, but also those of the people surrounding me.

The Harry Potter series, a major piece of my life, is nearing its end.

The final scene in the movie literally made me shout “NO!” because I wanted more.

Another part of me is really sad that Part 2 is only eight months away.

Andrea Schneidei, left, and Stephanie Page.

Amber Worrell creates magic on opening night.

PCC offers free resources for disabled students


Pima Community College students with disabilities ranging from physical impairments to chronic illnesses can receive free help from Disabled Student Resources offices located on each campus.

About 850 Pima students are currently enrolled with DSR, according to college spokeswoman Rachelle Howell.

DSR services include note taking assistance, testing accommodations, sign language interpreters, in-class assistants, alternative formats for textbooks and adaptive classroom equipment.

Students requesting services can register at any campus. They must meet with a DSR specialist for an interview and provide documented proof of disability.

Federal and state laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability.

“The students are provided equal access and opportunity to pursue their education and career goals,” Howell said.

For additional information, visit, e-mail or visit any campus DSR office.

DSR offices

Community Campus: 206-7286

Student Development, Area B

Desert Vista Campus: 206-5151

Plaza Building, F-109

Downtown Campus: 206-7286

Student Center, Counseling

East Campus (and Northeast Education Center): 206-7699

EC Student Center, L-231

Northwest Campus: 206-2209

Building B, Counseling

West Campus: 206-6688

Santa Catalina building, C-130

Helpful websites:

PCC Disabled Student Resource:

Association on Higher Education and Disability:

Information and Referral Services:

Learning Disabilities Online:

Americans with Diabilities Act:

Office for Civil Rights:

Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic:

Transforming Education Through Universal Design for Learning:

WEBAim, Web Accessibility in Mind:

Arizona Department of Economic Security Disabilities page:

Guide to Disability Resources on the Internet:

U.S. Department of Labor Disability Resources:

Social Security Disability:

Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Information:

Arizona’s Aging and Disability Resource Center:

Disability Resource Center, Arizona State University:

University of Arizona Disability Resource Center:

Arizona Bridge to Independent Living:

Arizona Center for Disability Law:

Remember to attend talk on better memory Nov. 30

Remember to attend talk on better memory Nov. 30


Strategies for improving memory and keeping the brain active will be part of a free public lecture Nov. 30.

A talk by Pima Community College psychology instructor Gail Gonzales will begin at 6 p.m. in the Community Board Room (C-105) at the PCC District Office, 4905 E. Broadway Blvd.

Her talk is the final lecture in PCC’s 2010 Speakers’ Series, sponsored by the provost and Faculty Senate. Light refreshments will be available.

Gonzales earned her Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. She specialized in psychometrics — the measurement of mental traits, capacities and processes.

Currently, Gonzales is studying memory and learning abilities. She has built a website — — that examines human learning speed.

“My goal is to find how long it takes people to learn something, and how long it will take before they need to relearn the information,” she said.

In Tuesday’s talk, Gonzales will outline 10 characteristics of memory and discuss ways

to promote growth of new neurons.

Gonzales described neurons as billions of nerve endings in the brain that allow people to have sensations. “Neurons allow people to move their bodies on command,” she said. “Even thinking requires neurons.”

As a visual prop, Gonzales will bring a human brain for anyone curious to see what one looks and feels like.

“The lecture is for all ages, not just students,” she said. “I really like to speak out in the community about this topic.”

For additional information, contact PCC at 206-4500.

PCC instructor Gail Gonzales. Photo courtesy of PCC.

Samantha talks about her goals.

Bars adopt ‘zero tolerance’ for sexual harassment

Bars adopt ‘zero tolerance’ for sexual harassment

By Stephanie Missouri

With the holidays approaching, requisite parties will soon be in full swing. A time that’s supposed to be filled with good cheer shouldn’t include unwanted sexual advances.

Five clubs and bars along Fourth Avenue, Sixth Street and Congress Street have joined a Nightlife Safety Program sponsored by the Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Abuse.

The program’s goal is “preventing sexual violence by promoting respect,” according to Rowan Frost, SACASA’s program supervisor for community prevention, education and outreach.

“The norms in bars are that if somebody gropes or grabs them, the people that are with them are like, ‘Don’t make a big deal out of it, it’s not that big of a deal, you don’t need to call the cops, that’s just how it is,’” Frost said.

The District Tavern, Sky Bar, Surly Wench Pub, Plush and, most recently, The Shanty are taking part in SACASA’s program. Club managers say harassing behavior will not be tolerated.

“We encourage staff to insinuate themselves into situations that just don’t seem right,” Shanty owner Bill Nugent said. “The female regulars who come here expect the staff to intervene.”

The bar also has a policy against letting people buy drinks for other patrons without their permission, Nugent added.

Frost recently conducted a Nightlife Safety Program training seminar for Shanty employees. The employees said they were proud of policies already in place but felt they learned valuable additional tools during the training.

Bouncer Jonathan Revies said he hopes customers will “feel more empowered” when they see signs endorsing the Nightlife Safety Program posted at the bar.

The signs say, in part: “This establishment does not tolerate unwanted sexual behavior or language against its patrons. If you are being harassed, please contact one of our staff.”

SACASA cites scientific research showing connections between aggressive masculinity, alcohol consumption and sexual assault.

For further information about the Nightlife Safety Program, visit

Rowan Frost leads a training seminar at The Shanty.