WWDC- The Aftershocks of Change

Apple kicked off their yearly World Wide Developer’s Conference earlier this month with their opening keynote, which they’ve traditionally used as a platform for showcasing upcoming software releases, as well as minor product refreshes and announcements.

This year, the focus was all things software— Apple announced OS X El Capitan (named after a landmark California rock formation in Yosemite), iOS 9, and WatchOS 2. They also launched their new music service: Apple Music.

It’s a long-running “joke” in the online tech community that Apple is constantly playing “catch up” to their competitors in terms of their product features. From a business perspective, I am usually inclined to disagree with this oversimplified and trivialization of the single-most valuable company in the world’s proven product strategy. It’s completely sound to allow your competitors to ‘go first’ and test out the waters— it allows you to learn from their mistakes and make something better. It’s also a good business strategy to stagger new features so that a) your product is not too expensive and unstable as a result of feature bloat, and b) (this is the more nefarious tinfoil-hat-sounding one) there’s always a new element to entice people to buy your product instead of just sticking with the old one.

Multitasking

However, the tech enthusiast and Apple user in me can’t help but be somewhat disappointed. “Sound business strategy” and “excitement” rarely exist in the same instance. The only people who could be truly excited by these “new” software updates are Apple purists. We all know a few— people who, for some reason or another, strictly adhere to the Apple ecosystems. The new split-screen mode for the iPad is invaluable for power users (where having true multitasking is important). So, of course someone whose tablet experience has culminated an iPad will be excited by this news. The problem is, split screen mode alone will not be very useful for power-usage without a dedicated stylus and palm rejection (which allows for you to rest your palm on the screen without causing the tablet to confuse it for an input).

This may not be immediately apparent to Apple-only users. But for anyone who’s ever used a Surface Pro 3 for at least a couple of minutes, the omissions are glaring. (It took exactly that amount of time for me to realize I had to buy one— I’ll post a full in-depth review once my girlfriend returns from Indonesia with it.) Nevertheless, I suppose “it’s better than nothing” applies in this situation. Hopefully, the inclusion of this feature in iOS 9 is a way to get people used to the idea, with a more robust solution coming in the future. Possibly the rumored iPad Pro that’s been circulating for a while.

Maps & other Apps

Other “new” additions Apple introduced at WWDC as coming to iOS 9:

  • Maps now has transit directions. (Truly long overdue— Google Maps has had real-time transit directions since 2011. Also, still, not quite good enough— where are the bicycle directions?)
  • Newsstand has been “replaced” by News, which looks to be a news aggregator in the vein of Flipboard. Considering Newsstand was never a news aggregator, but a pointless pseudo ‘folder’ that stored all your magazine/newspaper apps, this seems like a bit of marketing misdirection. I guess it’s a lot more of an elegant keynote announcement to make rather than say “Newsstand was an unnecessary app that ended up not working out and we’re scrapping it. Also, we’re introducing our own version of Flipboard”
  • Apple Music— the culmination of

GoPRO Graduation

Hey Renegades!

I hope you’re all having a great summer! I know I am (even with this scorching heat).

Today, I’d like to share with you a few videos from Graduation. All throughout the Commencement Ceremony, I wore a GoPRO camera. Even though I’m sure I looked more than a little ridiculous, I’m glad I did— I got some great video content.

So, for anyone that didn’t attend graduation (either as a student or guest) and is curious as to what it was like, rather than read a long summary- WATCH THESE VIDEOS!

STAGE WALK VIDEO

FIREWORK VIDEO

Jackie’s Blog: Countdown to Finals Week: Five Days till Finals

Imagine the day near the end of the semester when all of your assignments are finally done.  Every quiz and test is finished as well.  You’re finally free from all the work that was required for you to finish in your syllabus.

Yesterday was that day for me.  My final assignment was turned in, and my final lecture was done.

Starting today, it’s finally time to study for finals for me!  This is the moment I dread the most, because I’m never sure how well I am going to perform, as much as I prepared.  Taking tests and exams has always been my academic weakness.

However, there is a way I’ve been able to keep up in the end.

In my first semester in college, I wasn’t sure how to prepare for finals, nor did I know what was the best strategy to excel on them.  In high school, studying for finals was hardly necessary.  Whatever your teachers had taught you through the semester was to be included in the final.

In college however, the curriculum was way different.  I started to have three to five hours of class lectures per week and had to read textbooks as well in order to prepare.

My professors hardly pointed out what was to be included in tests or in the final either.  Therefore, I was not sure how I was supposed to prepare.  The final thing I had figured out to do was to stuff everything I had learned throughout the semester in my head and hope that I remembered it later.

Later on, I would find out, that wasn’t the way to go.

A week before our finals, I had met my English professor’s assistant, Daniella.  She was a college senior, about to graduate the same semester when I finished my first semester.

Since all of us in our English class were newbies in college, she decided to give to us a sheet filled with advice on how to survive throughout finals week.

Three years later, I still have her advice sheet and follow it till this day.

So Renegades, what she passed to me, I’d like to pass to you.  It’s a lifesaver for these two last weeks of school!

Daniella’s Tips to Successfully Survive Finals

  • SLEEP!  Avoid puling all-nighters; you need to sleep to perform well on your exams.
  • Eat a balanced diet!  Sugar and coffee will make you crash.
  • Make sure you triple check the location and time of your final.  You’d be surprised; people miss their exam because they look at the wrong time and location.
  • Make sure you turn in the right final paper for the right class.  I turned in a final Music paper for my History class; it was not a fun experience.
  • Do not procrastinate!  Spread out your studying and do it in increments.
  • Flashcards can be your best friend for memorizing terms.
  • If you need a scantron, BUY ONE!  The professor will not provide you with one if you forgot to buy it.
  • Don’t stress out too much; easier said than done, but if you let your stress get the best of you, you most likely will not perform to your maximum potential.
  • Make time for yourself!  You need downtime to relax and clear your head.
  • Never rush through your exams; you don’t get extra credit if you finish first, so take your time!
  • Remember, finals can be a large portion of your grade; try your best!  It’s your last chance to make your grade higher!
  • Treat yourself after finals!  You deserve it.

I wish everyone a happy and successful finals study week!  Good luck to you all!

BC Club Spotlight- GSA (Gender & Sexuality Awareness) Club

Today, I bring you the first in a series I like to call “BC Club Spotlight”!

Bakersfield College has a wide variety of clubs available for students to join. However, it can be a little hard to find out more about them, especially if you’re a bit shy about just showing up to meetings without knowing already anyone. My aim with this series is to get to know more about the club, find out what they’re “all about”, and share it with you. There will be two specific parts— an interview, and a first-hand narrative of my experience attending the club.

I hope you enjoy!

G.S.A.

What does GSA stand for? Well, if you mean literally (which I very much did the first time I asked) it stands for Gender & Sexuality Awareness.

Some might be confused (as I was) because “G.S.A.” usually stands for ‘Gay Straight Alliance/Association’.

“Gay Straight Alliance excludes a lot of people by just saying “gay and straight”, while ‘Gender and Sexuality’ broadens the spectrum to everyone under any kind of sexuality,” GSA President Ian Equality explained.

I met with Ian last month, as well as some of the GSA club’s board members, and got to know a little more about what else GSA stands for.

What’s GSA’s overall mission?

To create a comfortable atmosphere for the youth and younger generations in the community by providing a “safety net” We also refer our members to resources attained from the community such as info on HIV Prevention Medications, PFLAG (Parents from Lesbian and Gay families) where families meet other families going through similar difficulties dealing with LGBT.

Our bottom line mission is to bring awareness to our students that we have GSA first of all, so they know they have that support system available. Anyone who falls under the LGTB umbrella— and allies, of course— are welcome to come support the community.

What are some of the things that GSA does?

We are here to motivate others and bring out that inner confidence and acceptance for themselves and others. Not only are we here for Bakersfield College Students, we also service the community, allowing them to also join or club meetings and events. We do outreach to the community including High schools, Bakersfield AID’s Project, Bakersfield LGBTQ

“A big focus [GSA has] is to get involved with High School students, build mentorships and get them to college. A lot of them may feel closed because of having to deal with being gay, and to top it off they have to deal with the new experience of figuring out college. We try to bring them on campus and show them ‘Hey, we have a support group here and we can help you with whatever you need’”

So does the GSA connect with the GSA clubs at High Schools directly?

Yes, we have a High School committee in the club, who emails high schools about upcoming events, letting them know what we’re doing and that they’re welcome to come. We’re actually hosting a prom soon, that we’re hoping the high schools can go to. That way we can start building that relationship with those students with fun and community events.

We also go to High School clubs’ pizza nights to try and interact with the students. We even end up running the events and helping out the teachers. It really helps us with experiencing public speaking and puts us out there to the community.

Any specific examples of events the GSA has hosted recently?

Yes, we recently hosted a “Born This Way” Ball, which was mainly for high schools. We also had a pizza night where we first met the high school clubs. We had about 6 different GSA clubs attend. We didn’t know we had that many that were active, which was a big surprise and really great news.

Anything big planned in the near future?

Yes, we’ll be hosting our Spring Fling Prom on April 24th. It’s a youth prom targeted at high schools, but is open to the community. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and I encourage anyone interested to attend.
springfling
More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/404925846334930/

When does the GSA meet?

Meetings are held every 1st and 3rd Wednesday in FA47 at 4:10 PM.

So, tell me a little about your experience being President.

This is my first semester being president. I helped bring it back along with the other board members. We’re really hoping that this semester it sticks and stays. I’ve got some really head strong board members I met this year, and I’m really excited for the future.

Anything else you’d like to communicate with students?

Aubrey (member at Large)

It’s okay to be you! The club is created for you to be who you are and be proud. Strut it or Rock it out, it doesn’t matter as long as you are confident! Don’t let others tear you down!

Paul (Vice President)

We are a Safe Space for individuals with any questions comments or concerns. Don’t hesitate to drop by.

Liam (InterClub Council Rep)

We need more Allies! This club is not limited to only those who fall in the LGBTQ representation. We are open to all who are willing to help spread the word of equality. And HAVE FUN

Rori (Secretary)

Drop by any of our club meetings or events, even if its brief or for just one meeting. You will gain some knowledge and might even make a new friend!

——————————————————————————————————————————

About a week after our conversation, I attended one of the GSA club’s meetings in person.

I showed up at around 4:05, and made my way to the back of the class room. Immediately, I could tell that the space was a very positive and comfortable one. Everyone was smiling, joking, and laughing.

Shortly after, Ian officially began the meeting by standing at a podium in front of the class. He started by doing a quick introduction on what was scheduled for the meeting. He then ran through a power point presentation reviewing some of the recent events that GSA had participated in, as well as outlining upcoming ones. They talked about the possibility of hosting an informational panel on the PrEP pill, that helps prevent HIV for high-risk individuals (which, as of this writing, they did indeed host!).

The club also talked about how members should support each other and look out for one another. A section of the presentation revolved around relationships (be they romantic, platonic, or otherwise) and how to recognize if they may be toxic, and what to do to help.

After the conclusion of business, since it was the first ‘regular’ meeting of the club— everyone took turns introducing themselves. There were a series of basic questions given for people to answer as an introduction:
What is your name?
What gender do you identify with?
What is your preferred pronoun?
What is your favorite movie?

I saw then why it was a good move to change the acronym to “Gender & Sexuality Awareness”. While I was previously aware of the spectrum of genders and the difference between gender and sex, this was the first time that I had truly experienced that fact in person. There is much more to gender and sexuality than just “Gay” and “Straight”, and this was an environment that celebrated and nurtured that fact. It was a positive learning experience for me, and I’m very glad for it.

It isn’t just talk— the GSA club truly feels like a safe and comfortable place where you can express yourself and have fun. Even if you don’t fall in the LGTBQ spectrum! I felt comfortable enough to share my actual favorite movie (which I sometimes feel is a little sappy to admit openly) and got a number of responses in agreement.

After the introductions, a box of kleenex was passed around with the instructions to take however many you’d like. Once everyone had their kleenex, we were instructed to share one fun fact about ourselves for each tissue. It was a pretty entertaining game to watch, especially when people who inadvertently took a large number of tissues.

All in all, I was very happy with my experience attending the GSA club meeting. I recommend anyone and everyone to attend. Even if you do not personally fall under the umbrella of “LGBTQ”, the club is a warm and welcoming student organization where one is sure to make friends, have fun, and give back to the community.

Bakersfield College Hosts ‘Renegade Talks’– One Of The Best School Event Experiences I’ve Ever Had!

Good afternoon Renegades!

For those of you that browse the internet constantly, I am quite sure that at least once throughout your time you have caught a glimpse of the website that hosts Ted Talks, TED.com.

For those of you that don’t now, TED is a non-profit organization that is devoted to share “Ideas Worth Spreading”.  Every weekday, this organization shares a TED Talks video, which is a 15 minute (more or less) speech about a topic that is worth sharing to the world.

I discovered Ted Talks in late 2012 when a professor of mine shared a Ted Talks video in class.  That same year, I had my very first laptop.  Since then, I had been an avid fan of the Ted Talks series and every day, I check out the newly posted videos on their website or on Facebook, just to get my daily dose of “wisdom and understanding”.

About a week ago, when I entered onto BC’s main page, I saw a slide of a school event coming soon by the name of Renegade Talks.  Now, by seeing the word “talks” after Renegade, I sure was curious!  I clicked on the slide and read that it was Bakersfield College’s version of TED Talks, with some of our professors sharing ideas to the audience.  Immediately, I set the date on my calendar to attend the event.  To me, this was an event I could not miss.

Yesterday, the day finally came.  I arrived at 6:15 PM, took a pamphlet, and sat in the theater.  As, I was waiting, I had no idea what to expect.

You see, I literally, and I repeat, literally hail TED Talks, therefore, I didn’t know how I would perceive this event or how much I would enjoy it.  I was not being cynical in any way, it’s the fact that I had the original form up in a platform and I did not know where our school’s version would end up in the end.  I was so anxious for the event to begin.

Eventually, the lights dimmed, and our school President, Sonya Christian, comes up to the front of the stage.  She was greeted with a warm applause from the audience.  She welcomed visitors and spoke about how important this event was to our school, and then exclaimed, “This is our first ever Renegade Talks!”

In that moment, I recognized that not only was this event special, but was a significant part of our history as a college.

After President Christian’s welcoming introduction, our first speaker comes to the stage–Lisa Harding from the nursing department at Bakersfield College.  She spoke about how everyone in the world wants to matter, and why being a Renegade really mattered.  She supported her idea by sharing a story about a trip she had to Romania, and how that experience taught her how one person that does not adjust to social norms, negative ones to be exact, can make a difference.

She then brought up the definition of our mascot, Renegades, and its true definition, that we do not often see.  The definition of “Renegades” according to her is “someone who abandons a set of principles”.  Now, say everyone is quite mean to each other here at BC.  A true “renegade” would reject meanness and instead, be nice to others.  Her story made me end up in tears.  Lisa Harding’s speech was very inspiration and a great start to the night!

Next, Todd Coston came out to present the second speech.  He put the audience at ease by making them laugh, thus leading to his topic on how “Laughter is more than a sound…it’s a whole body experience!”  He proved his point through data and of course, making the audience laugh over and over again throughout his speech.

Third up was Oliver Rosales, who spoke about how history matters and how finding yourself throughout history matters.  He shared his story on how he found himself by researching on his ancestors through the civil rights movement era.  Not only did it help him figure out who he was and how he could relate to his family, but also helped him prove Walter Stern’s quote about Cesar Chavez and Buck Owens being the only people remembered in Kern County historically.  Through his mission, he found out that there is more marked in history that we think.

Next was Talliah Pruett, who spoke about Resilience and Culture.  She focused on intercultural relations, how we always strive for success but we hardly prepare for failure and pitfalls in life, and how that can be damaging.

She shared how through her experiences, she learned about emotional resilience, and spoke about three ways to get back on your feet after failure.  Empathy, Patience, and Non-defensive Communication, are all keys to survive, according to her.  Pruett finished by stating that it is our choice to “challenge ourselves to practice this mindset”.

Fifth in line was biology professor Joe Saldivar, or as us students call him “Dr. Joe”, with his presentation titled “Who Should We Blame for Being Obese?”  Dr. Joe went through his 10 minutes speech by disproving several main reasons that people blame for obesity to occur.  By the end of his last sentence he brought up the solution—it’s moderation!  His presentation is certainly one of the speeches from last night that cannot be argued with.

Finally, Andrea Throson, came up on stage to give the final presentation.  She spoke about the power of language, and how we do not seem to recognize its capability.  She started off with everyday phrases such as “hey, you guys” and “boys will be boys” that ironically, are oppressive language.  By breaking down these phrases, she proved how hurtful they can truly be, and how our society can change by removing those phrases and communicating correctly.

Professor Throson’s presentation is what I would call a “true feminism” presentation.  She explains this exactly as it should be.  Her speech is a must see!

By the end of the event, I was amazed and so grateful to have been there that night.  Our staff did a fantastic job in preparing this event.

When I walked out of the stadium I said to myself, “Renegade Talks is just as amazing as TED Talks”.  And I feel so grateful that our school is doing its best to inform and teach us not only in the classroom, but also outside of it.
Renegade Talks is an event that cannot be missed.  I recommend all of you to attend the next one to come.  You won’t regret it!

If you are interested in seeing last night’s Renegade Talks, you can go to www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/employees/renegade-talks to view the videos.  Later on, there will be more to come, so stay connected Renegades!

Jackie’s Blog: So, I Got Selected to Go to Jury Duty During the Semester…Again.

Two weeks ago, I got a letter from the Superior Court of the State of California.  As it yearly happens to me, I got selected to go to jury duty during school season.

Once I read the letter, I rolled my eyes. “Not again!” I said.  Every time I have jury duty, there’s a list of things I have to do.  I have to email my professors for an excuse and ask them how in the world am I going to get my lecture notes.  Then I have to face the unfortunate case of missing classwork, which some professors don’t allow you to turn in afterwards since you missed class, making this situation even more frustrating.

A day before jury duty while I was emailing my professors, I was extremely discouraged.  I had planned out my whole week already.  Not only did I already have it all sorted out, but it was an extremely important one full of deadlines.  Now, thanks to jury duty getting in between my schedule, my plans were, and still are, scattered over the place.

A few days before the date I kept on feeling upset about having to do jury duty, but the night before while I was preparing for the busy morning, I was thinking about why I was so upset and ultimately, how would I decide to feel in the morning.

I had two options, either I was going to be willing to do my job and be patient, or be upset and complaining about being there all day.

I sat down and asked myself, “Why am I going to jury duty?  Well first of all”, I thought, “I am a U.S. citizen.  It’s a citizen’s duty to be part of a jury for the sake of incorrupt justice.”  Then I wondered, if I were ever in court, would I want a judge only judging me or would I rather a group of people who could discuss the situation and hopefully come up with an unbiased judgment to judge me instead?  Without a doubt, I would want the jury, of course.

After mediating for a while, I finally concluded something I hadn’t before.  “I’m a U.S. citizen”, I said to myself.  “It’s my job to do this.  And not only is it a responsibility since I am a citizen, but I’m very proud to be one”.

Suddenly, that lead to another thought.  So many people of my race and ethnicity wish they were U.S. citizens, and would do anything to be one.  I had the blessing to be born here in the United States, so why not be glad of what my country has put upon me to do?

After that I wasn’t upset anymore.  I came to understand that doing jury duty is an honor, not a burden, no matter at what time I get called to fulfill my duties.  And a burden it shall never be to me again.  That’s a promise.

Jackie’s Blog: FCC Has Approved Net Neutrality Rules— How Does This Affect Students?

About nine months ago, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) released a plan that would block Net Neutrality and give permission to ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) to discriminate speech and content providers online, such as Netflix, Amazon, and Facebook, to pay for fast lanes, or so to say, “faster service”.

Right now you might be asking, “What is net neutrality?”  Net neutrality basically means “open internet”.  Having open internet allows us to view whatever content we want, express ourselves all we want, and continue to have the fast or steady service we have online.

When I heard about this plan in May 2014, I was absolutely shocked.  Not only were these regulations going to make the internet hard to use, but also cut free expression and hurt students, especially those who want to open businesses and create technology in their careers in the future.

So how can it hurt careers?  Say, for instance, a business student today has a strategy planned out to start a certain website and app providing every single TV show, movie, and film that has ever existed.  If it competed with ISP’s in any way possible, they would have the power to make the service extra slow, thus making people who tried to use their program turn back on them due to the lack of speed. Basically, with net neutrality gone, their dream could be impossible to pursue.

How would this hurt free speech?  If someone wrote an article or even said the smallest thing online that went against what ISP’s would want to hear, they can delete it and make it invisible to the public.  That’s killing free speech in America in an instant, since most of us practice free speech and gather information online almost all the time.

Or how about those who rather watch TV content and movies online provided by Netflix or Hulu, for example?  If Net Neutrality would be overturned, the ISP’s would have the power to make the websites or apps stream really, really slow— if they had anything against Netflix or Hulu.  Or what if the ISP’s didn’t like the show Nashville or Game of Thrones because it was competing with their content provider?  They could make the show super slow or even shut them down and make them unavailable.  There is A LOT of people who catch up on movies and TV shows online now a days. Who wouldn’t be mad about that?

Today, however, thanks to the protest of approximately 4 million Americans, myself included, the FCC has heard our protest to keep Net Neutrality alive.  Today, we won the vote by 3-2.

This was a close one.  Let’s be grateful, Renegades, let’s be grateful.

About Bakersfield College, by Bakersfield College students. Learn more about being a Bakersfield College student straight from other BC students.

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