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!