All posts by bmartbc

“No Excuses”

Hey Renegades! I hope the semester is treating you all well. Midterms are around the corner so be sure to keep yourself up to date on your classes. If you need additional assistance take advantage of the free tutoring services offered at BC or drop into the Supplemental Instruction Lab to get some help with your classes.

Today my post is going to be a little different.

I recently met one of the strongest couples on campus that I have ever met. Meeting them has really given me so much perspective on life and how despite whatever you’re going through there are no excuses when it comes to giving up.

Frank and Melinda Madrid have three children to care for. They are also very active within the community doing things like volunteer at the homeless shelter, donating food and clothing, as well as supporting local activist groups. Both are also full time students here at BC this semester. They’re 30 years old and came back to school to better themselves and the lives of their children. This proves that it is never too late to go to school.

On top of all these two already do, there is something bigger and some could even say scarier. Melinda has stage 5 kidney failure and an autoimmune disorder. If you don’t know stage 5 is the final stage of kidney failure. Her kidneys are literally operating at 4%. Frank and Melinda must follow medical dialysis procedures every night to ensure Melinda stay stable. That’s right, every night. Missing a night could turn fatal and Melinda’s health could begin to falter.

Frank and Melinda actually invited me into their home so they could show me the entire process of her dialysis and introduce me to their beautiful children. Seeing the way this power couple lives was truly inspiring. One thing that they both said regularly was “No excuses.” They believe that there is no excuse for giving up or not doing something as best as you could. They keep fighting to set an example for their children. They want their children to know that college is possible and survival is possible even if the odds don’t seem to be in your favor.

Frank and Melinda do so much everyday. With full plates they still manage to go to school and get their work done. There are no excuses. There are so many resources at BC that you can take advantage of. No more excuses Renegades!

“BC is a blessing to us. We’re happy to be here. It feels good. It really does. To be bettering our lives because we never thought that we’d be here. It’s like climbing a mountain and you’re huffin and puffin, you’re tired. BC cut that mountain down and just made a straight path.” – Frank Madrid

Keep fighting the good fight and don’t forget




Supplemental Instruction at BC

Hey Renegades!

We’re a month into the semester and I hope all is going well for you! Stay on task Renegades!

But if you’re finding it difficult to understand the curriculum you’re learning I have some information from some new friends I’ve made on campus.

Supplemental Instruction is available at the main campus! What is Supplemental Instruction you ask? Meet Dezi, the communications SI Leader, and she’ll give you a brief explanation…

It’s extra tutoring! SI Leaders are chosen by professors because they are seen as the “cream of the crop” in their classes. Sessions are available in so many different subjects like biology, japanese, and even computer coding. They are led by their fearless director Eileen Pierce who makes sure her SI Leaders are fully equipped to run a group tutoring session. So if you’re having some trouble and would like some extra help drop on by in the student services building.

Spring Break is on it’s way Renegades! So let’s keep up the good work until our well deserved break.

And don’t forget!


Start of the Spring Semester

Welcome back Renegades!

The Spring Semester of 2016 has just begun and I hope you’re all ready to hit the books and get back to work. I’d like to take this time to remind you of all the free services Bakersfield College has to offer. For more information and tips from your fellow Renegades click here.

It is also the time for resolutions! I’m sure we’ve all made them for the New Year and the list of them is endless. What kind of resolutions have you made for yourself this semester? My resolution this semester is to meet more of you! My goal is to meet with more students of a wide variety to share their story. You can learn a lot from people and I can tell you ever since I was given this opportunity I have met so many people with incredible and encouraging stories on the Bakersfield College campus.

What kind of resolutions have you made this semester? Let us know! Would you like to share your story to help encourage others let me know so we can meet!

Start the year and the semester right Renegades and get the job done!

Look to the stars!

Hey Renegades!

Recently I was able to have a private tour of our very own planetarium! We are one of the few colleges that are lucky enough to have such an incredible asset on campus. Our astronomy courses are even taught inside! How awesome is that? There are even shows specially made for planetariums that the college shows throughout the fall and spring semesters. Professor Nick Strobel has been with us at BC for twenty years and he get’s to operate the William M Thomas Planetarium which is something he enjoys greatly.

Being able to see the planetarium and how it works was an awesome experience. Professor Strobel even turned on the stars for me! Unfortunately for you, I didn’t get any footage of that. That just means you’ll have to go check it out for yourself!

The next show the planetarium will be showing is the Season of Light Holiday Evening Show. You’ll learn about the history of holiday customs for a variety of cultures as well as why we have seasons in the first place.

For tickets and more information on the planetarium visit their website.

I encourage you guys to check it out and see a show. I know I am!

Thanks for stopping by and checking out the planetarium.

And as always!


Bakersfield College Jazz Band Spotlight

Hey Renegades!

Recently I was given the honor of sitting in on a rehearsal for our very own jazz band! I got to see some of my fellow renegades who are blessed with so much potential and talent. Here is a video of an interview with our jazz band instructor and a few of his students.

Professor Kris Tiner has been an instructor with Bakersfield College since 2004 where he is the jazz band instructor, music appreciation professor, and a jazz appreciation professor. I met with him recently to find out what the jazz band has to offer and to find out who exactly can sign up for the courses.

There’s this stigma that you can’t join band, theater, or choir if you have no experience in the past, but here at Bakersfield College we disagree. We believe that it is never too late to participate in performing arts and that there are no requirements. Performing arts is for everyone! Whether you’ve performed on stage since you were two years old or have never stepped foot on a stage, we have the classes and the resources for you to live these experiences for yourself.

“It’s a real mix.” Professor Tiner said when asked about who joins the jazz band. The skill level varies from very experienced music majors to individuals who want to participate in a group setting on stage. He even has students who participate only in the class room! Meaning they attend rehearsal but don’t perform on stage until they believe they’re ready to do so.

There are no excuses to not participate in an activity you have an interest in! And this goes for anything! If you want to participate in a sport or even student government you can sign up! Bakersfield College a melting pot of talent and experiences. So get out there and get involved. Don’t limit yourself because you don’t think you’re qualified.

I also want to encourage you to take a step back and do something you truly enjoy. School is stressful and that alone can cause some of us to feel pretty down in the dumps. So I want you to take some time and do the hobby you’ve lost time for. Unload the stress and do something that makes you happy.

I after reading this blog and watching the Jazz Band Spotlight I hope you feel encouraged to join your fellow renegades on stage, on the field, or in the office.

Want your club or team of any variety to be featured in this blog? Send me a message! I would love to meet with you!

What hobbies do you enjoy doing? Let us know in a comment below!

And don’t you ever forget


Help is on the way! Tips and Tricks from fellow Renegades!

Hey Renegades!

I hope this semester is treating you well thus far!

But in the case that it’s not and you feel like you could use some extra help I’ve arranged a short video of fellow Renegades giving a few tips they’ve learned throughout their time at Bakersfield College.

Great advice from great people!

The advice that I would give are to:

  1. See your counselor at least twice a semester.

Making sure you’re educational plan goes to plan is very important. I do this personally and it has done nothing but benefit me because you can also ask questions that may arise during your time at Bakersfield College. The counselors are there to help you get through school and can also point you in the direction of other services that could potentially help you.

  1. Always set up appointments!

Let’s face it no one wants to wait longer than an hour to meet with a counselor or anyone for that matter. Set up appointments and show up at least 10 minutes early. Time is precious! Especially yours 😉

  1. Take advantage of the student services provided to you for you!

If you read my first blog you’ll know that I am a part of the DSPS program. They have made my life so much easier when it comes to school. If you feel like you may have a disability stop by and grab an application.

Bakersfield College also offers FREE TUTORING. FREE! Who doesn’t like free stuff! Set up an appointment and get the help you need for free!

You can find these services and more on the student services tab on the Bakersfield College website. Check them out! You never know what you’ll find!

Click the image to go to

Those are a few tips and trick from me but what about you?

Have any advice for your fellow Renegades? Share them in the comments!

And don’t forget


Belen’s Blog: A Greeting and a Story

BMartBCGreetings and Salutations!

I am Belen Martinez, and I am a sophomore at Bakersfield College. I was born here in good ol’ Kern County where I lived in Delano for a few years and then settled my roots in the growing city that is Bakersfield. Growing up in southwest Bakersfield you would think that I would have graduated high school as a Mustang but I’m actually a Bakersfield High School graduate. Being a Driller opened so many different opportunities for me like a trip to New York City for Virtual Business Nationals competition!

So why Bakersfield College? Well, to be completely honest I didn’t want to go to school.

After I graduated high school I slipped into a very deep depression and an unhealthy relationship. But it was my mother who kept my slowly crumbling wagon rolling. She made me enroll at the Bakersfield Regional Occupational Center for their Graphic Design courses because she knew that I enjoyed doing that sort of thing. Well, after finishing all of the class work in the first month of the class my instructor, Daniel Binsfeld, noticed and saw the potential that I had and decided he was going to use it. I was given two internships, one at a more casual print shop location and the other in a more professional office setting. I learned so much I eventually started teaching one of my supervisors. But Binsfeld wasn’t done with me yet. He signed me and a few other students he though performed well in the class to compete in SkillsUSA, a partnership program of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. Basically, we too our technical training skills and competed against other students. But in short, I qualified in Regionals and then later took the Gold at State in both Job Interview and Desktop Publishing competitions. It was hands down one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had the privilege of experiencing.

So at this point I decided I really liked doing graphic design and I wanted to pursue it as a career. So I enrolled and became a TAFT COUGAR! Not quite to BC yet but I’ll get there eventually! I went to Taft College for two years. It was great. Everything you heard was pretty much true. Small classes, cheap books (for the most part), and free parking! I got a lot done at Taft. The professors were pretty awesome as well. Since the classes were so small, you actually got to get a close relationship with the professors and to me that was very helpful later on. But for me it was just too quiet. Way too quiet. And then the rubber met the road.

My toxic relationship was beyond the unhealthy point. It hit dangerous. I was being abused and it really affected how I saw myself. I felt like I wasn’t worth it, and that even if I did graduate I wasn’t going to make it out alive anyway. My mind had completely been hijacked and I completely believed that every injustice that was forced upon me was my fault. Because I didn’t act or behave the way he thought I should have he reacted the way he did. But fortunately after our most violent blow up he left me for someone else. At the time I was crushed. I thought I loved him and that I needed him to survive. That no one could or ever want me. My anxiety and depression had taken control of my life and I could barely sum up the courage to even leave my bed.

I was on medication and my family was there for me. My friends that I had lost contact with started pouring back in. They wanted me. They missed me. I remember being confused when they would say that. They missed me? But I’m back now? I was standing in front of them and they still “missed me”. I then realized that I lost my identity. I wasn’t myself anymore and at that moment came the realization that I will have to rediscover myself and take my life back. But to do so I took a few semesters off from school and was put on medical leave at my job for as long as I needed.

After months of therapy, my iron horse of a family, and my amazing friends that I am so blessed to have giving me the loving and courage that I needed I was ready to go back to school. Fall of 2014 was my first official semester at Bakersfield College. And I loved it! Yeah I almost had anxiety attacks because of the drastic population difference in comparison to Taft but it was a fun semester! I made friends of all kinds of variety! Young, old, tall, short, well you get the point. The diversity was just astonishing and to me it’s one of the best qualities about BC. I had great professors who all cooperated with my DSPS accommodations and just made my first semester at BC an enjoyable and bearable one. BC really is a wonderful place to get an education.

This is third semester at BC and I’m proud to say that I will be graduating as a Renegade with an Associate’s Degree in Communications this upcoming spring. I really started to see how much I enjoy studying communications and my peers would tell me it showed. It was always a shock to them when I would give my speech on Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder and then reveal that I was currently in recovery. Comments like “I would have never even known” reassured me that my healing was heading in the right direction. There was support coming from both students and faculty. It’s helped me keep going and pursing my degree and chasing my dreams.

In closing, I would like to thank my amazing communications professors here at BC for encouraging me to keep pursing this degree and really helping me realize how much I love communications. I’d also like to thank my peer and longtime friend Salvador Cruz for recommending me for this amazing opportunity.

“If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill