Spotlights, Self Care and #CI Speaks

View our November Issue here – PDF (40.9 MB)

CI Reacts to the Presidential Election

Photo Credit to Christina Brown

By Christina Brown

On Wednesday, November 9, hundreds of CI students came together to peacefully protest the results of the United States election, which made Donald Trump the United States President-elect. Students showed up to the Broome Library with signs and glow sticks and marched across campus. The students were chanting phrases like “Not My President” and “The People United Will Never Be Divided.”

The protest was originally organized by a few students from MECHA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán): Anabel Ontiveros, Patty Ontiveros and Maria Moreno. This was not an official MECHA event, but the student organization offered support and a network of students who wanted to be involved.

The campus tone was solemn the morning after the election. Many students were still processing the surprising results of the election.

Anabel Ontiveros shared that “A lot of universities were standing up, and we were thinking, what is CI doing? How are we speaking out about this? Throughout the morning we had those circles and intimate moments with professors, but we still had that energy, that energy like we needed to get something out. We wanted to let people get that frustration out.”

When asked about the original intentions of the protest, Patty Ontiveros said that they “wanted to create a safe space to give other students voices.”

Maria Moreno echoed this sentiment, explaining, “we didn’t come from a place of anger, we wanted this to be a place of unity.”

“During the protest there were students coming up to me saying, ‘this is great, I’ve been feeling all this frustration and I didn’t know how to get it out, and this was a peaceful way of doing it,’” said Anabel Ontiveros. “If we’re going to react, we want to react logically –rationally — we want to be smart about it. And we wanted to let that energy out in a positive way.”

The students involved expressed their gratitude for the support they received from staff and faculty.

“We did have a lot of faculty support from the Chicano/Chicana Studies department, specifically,” said Maria Moreno. “I know other groups like the Math department and Housing ended up supporting us too.”
According to Moreno, students were also supported by a grassroots organization based in Oxnard, which provided a megaphone and came to campus to promote safety during the protest.

“It means a lot that they were there,” added Anabel Ontiveros. “It shows that they are supporting us and that we are not alone as students.”

CI staff also set up conversation circles and spaces for the campus community after the election.

When asked about these conversation circles, Anabel Ontiveros said “I’m very grateful that administrators and faculty had this opportunity to give the students. I was a part of two of them that same day, and it was a great way to really reflect on the election.”

“It shouldn’t just be space, it should be action,” added Moreno. “Something done, something concrete.”

According to Patty Ontiveros, this protest “is not the last, this was more of a ‘plant the seed’ type of thing. Hopefully other students will organize and speak up.”

Trump-supporting students who opposed the message of the protest also attended, but were unavailable for interviews. A few cars drove by playing excerpts from Trump’s speeches, and a few students shouted his slogan, “Make America Great Again!” The two sides did not fight and remained nonviolent and peaceful.

In addition to the spaces that staff set up directly after the election, students have received various emails from President Beck, the provost’s office, and even CSU Chancellor White expressing support for students who feel marginalized or endangered by the results of this election. The CI English faculty issued an additional statement of solidarity that was emailed to English students, expressing guaranteed support.

During a Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach, Chancellor White affirmed that unless forced to by law, the CSU “will not enter into agreements with state or local law enforcement agencies, Homeland Security or any other federal department for the enforcement of federal immigration law…Our university police do not contact, detain, question or arrest individuals solely on the basis of being…a person that lacks documentation.”

During this time, The CI View remains committed to representing the voice of the students. Please feel free to contact us at with any comments, concerns, or letters to the editor.

CI Hosts CSSA Plenary Meeting

By Jazzminn Morecraft

This past month, CI had the opportunity to host the California State Student Association (CSSA) Plenary Meeting on November 5th and 6th. During this two-day plenary, Student Government hosted representatives from all 23 CSU campuses. Every month these campus representatives come together to address legislative and higher education issues.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Michelle Noyes, the CI Student Government President, and talk about what happened during CSSA. She explained that during the two-day meeting, these students discussed policies and advocated for a plan for the proposed tuition increase.

On Sunday, November 6th, Chancellor White came and addressed some of the questions the students had about the proposed tuition increase. When asked how Chancellor White did at the meeting, Noyes responded with, “he attempted to answer our questions, but we didn’t get the answers we wanted for students, that the answers were not fully addressed by him.”

However, on a positive note, the student representatives at the CSSA plenary were able to pass a policy stating that students at large on the CSU campus can apply to get money, like grant money, to go to conferences and bring back information to their ASI and CSSA. Noyes noted that “the funding for the travel actually comes from our SIRF fee, and so it’s just giving back to the students now what they have been paying in.”

Overall, the travel policy and creating a plan for a new budget were the highlights of this CSSA plenary meeting.

Noyes hopes that CI will be able to bid and host another CSSA in the upcoming year. The next plenary meetings is to be held on January 28th and 29th at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo. For more information students can visit

Look For the Helpers: Local Community Comes Together

Photo Credit to Stephanie Anderson

By Stephanie Anderson

It’s easy to be oblivious to the evils of this world in our sleepy little town of Camarillo, and especially in the bubble of CI. But on October 17th, a tragedy rocked our community that many are unaware of. Janet Huntington, a local nurse, mother and step-mother was shot and killed by her husband Greg in their home in the Mission Oaks area of Camarillo, while their children were at home. Greg died the next day at Los Robles Hospital from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Stephanie Sumell of the Camarillo Acorn. Less than 2 weeks later, a second domestic violence disturbance ended in the death of another Camarillo woman, Stacey Guzman, on October 28th, also while her children were home. Her husband, Jose Guzman, is wanted for her murder and as of now is still at large.

While these two devastating tragedies may be news to many of you, there is something else we should be aware of in our community: the #MomTribe. A local Facebook group called Moms of Camarillo, a place where mothers have been coming for quite some time to commiserate with one another about toddler tantrums, teenage trials, oblivious husbands, and share mom jokes, has become so much more in the wake of these two tragedies. Katy Strang, creator and administrator of the group, said “this group of phenomenal women has stepped up beyond what anyone could have imagined… Without hesitation we came together with ideas on how we could help the children.”

What started as an idea for a lemonade stand fundraiser turned into a bake sale that ended up with a turnout of over 1,000 people by the end of the day, with a line spanning the parking lot of Padre Serra Parish for the entire duration of the fundraiser. Local moms created hats, key chains, and bumper stickers that read #MomTribe as a show of solidarity, with proceeds going to Janet’s family. Many moms also donated proceeds of sales of their regular items to the cause. In just the first 2 weeks of fundraising for both of these families, the group raised over $100,000, according to Katy Strang, and the fundraisers are still going.

Out of this original fundraiser, the idea for a separate charitable organization sprang up, called Lemons for Lemonade, and they recently helped facilitate a Town Hall meeting on domestic violence in our community on November 19th. Representatives from Interface, the Coalition for Family Harmony, the Oxnard Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office, a local LMFT, and a specialist in conflict behavior and modeling healthy relationships and conflict resolution were all part of the panel.

According to Dr. Lauren Amaro, “nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors.” For many college students, these are the first serious adult relationships they have had, and experiencing an abusive relationship early on can set the tone for what they view as “normal” behavior in the future. It is important to recognize that physical violence is only a small part of domestic abuse (see #maybehedoesnthityou on twitter).

If you or someone you know may be experiencing domestic abuse or sexual assault, please call 211 anytime, day or night, to be connected with a multitude of resources in our county. For more information or direct access, feel free to visit Interface’s website at or The Coalition for Family Harmony at

Since the outpouring of so much support and charity from the women in this Facebook group, a movement has formed, and a much tighter bond has been created in the group. We see each other out in the community now sporting the #MomTribe in some way or another, and we are bonding through these events and the way we have come together to support our community in a time of tragedy. The women have started meeting more in person, organizing more fundraisers, putting together events and charities, and supporting each other in very real ways. There have been many social media posts reaching out to other victims of domestic violence in our community, offering assistance in a variety of ways, and simply stating “I’m a survivor, and I’m here for you.”

What we can learn from all this is that even in an age of social media and technological distancing, there are still wonderful communities, and ways for us to come together in times of need. And as Mr. Rogers said long ago, when tragedy occurs, “look for the helpers.” In our community, look for the #MomTribe. They are here to help.


Review of the 2016 Election Results

By Brandon Burns


Party: Republican

#45: Donald John Trump | Vice President: Michael Richard “Mike” Pence

Donald John Trump is set to be elected by the Electoral College as the 45th President of the United States of America, with Michael Richard “Mike” Pence as the USA’s 48th Vice President. The Electoral College will cast their votes on December 19th and inauguration will take place on Friday, January 20th, 2017 at noon.

California Presidential Winner

Party: Democrat

Hillary Clinton
Although she lost the election, California is set to award all of its 55 electoral votes to Democrat Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton, who won 61.5% of the vote. Notably, the majority of voters in twenty-six (26) of California’s fifty-eight (58) counties voted for Donald John Trump. The majority of voters in Ventura County (55.2%) voted for Hillary Clinton.

US Senate

Winner: Kamala Harris
Replacing Barbara Boxer, Kamala Harris has been elected as California’s first new US Senator in twenty-four (24) years. Kamala Harris is the first Indian-American Senator in United States history, the second black woman to serve in the Senate, and the first black politician to represent California in the US Senate.

US House of Representatives

The District representing CI, CA-26, has reelected Democratic Congresswoman Julia Brownley. According to the California Secretary of State website, Brownley has been reelected with nearly 60% of the vote.
In the coming 115th Congress, nearly 74% (39) of California’s 53 Representatives to the US House of Representatives will be Democrats. This is a net change of zero (0) from the previous California Congressional delegation.

California State Senate

The District representing CI, SD-19, has reelected Democratic State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson. According to the California Secretary of State website, Jackson has been reelected with 62.5% of the vote.

As of November 19, 2016, 26 of California’s 40 State Senate Districts are set to be held by Democrats—votes for an incredibly competitive seat are still being counted. If the SD-29 goes to Democrat Josh Newman, both chambers of the California State Legislature will have a 2/3 Democratic supermajority. This supermajority would allow California Democrats to raise taxes and override vetoes.


The district representing CI, Californians have given Democrats a supermajority in the State’s Lower House. All 80 of California’s Assembly seats were up for reelection, and 55 of them are set to be occupied by Democrats.


Board of Supervisors

Kelly Long has earned 51.94% of the vote, becoming the newest Supervisor on Ventura County’s Board of Supervisors, representing the 3rd District. Kelly Long’s campaign manager has been CI’s own Abigail Beckert, who is currently a senior majoring in Political Science here at CI.


Kevin Kildee | Tony Trembley

Kevin Kildee was reelected to Camarillo City Council with 31.19% of the vote.


Measure AA

Although Measure AA received 56.88% of the vote, the half-cent sales tax to fund transportation in Ventura County has failed. When a county transportation finance measure is on the ballot, California’s Constitution requires a two-thirds (2/3) vote for passage.

Measure F & C

Save Open Space & Agricultural Resources’ (SOAR) Measure C has triumphed with 58.51% of the vote. The competing Measure F failed with 54.34% of the vote in opposition. SOAR will be the topic of discussion in a soon-to-come episode of The View from the Couch.

Electoral College

By Michelle Noyes

The Electoral College is an important part of our democracy in the United States of America. The practice saves the nation from having to recount all ballots and instead having to recount only an individual state, as we saw in 2000 with Bush vs. Gore. When the constitution was being drafted, the Electoral College was used to protect minority votes and provide racial justice by giving power to large, urban cities to influence the way a state leaned. This gave incentive for candidates of all parties to appeal for the minority vote. Another reason we have the Electoral College is that historically, in other countries, dictators have been put into power when only the majority vote is used in determining the winner of an election.

The Electoral College works by giving each state a certain number of electors based on how many representatives they are allotted in congress and adding two senators. This calculation is based on population per state with the total coming out to 55 for California, three for Washington D.C., and every other state is somewhere in between. Electors are nominated at state party conventions and then are given to election officials in each state. On November 8th California voters selected their candidate for President, which translated into choosing an elector who represents that candidate. The electoral votes are then tallied in each state. The Presidential candidate then needs to win the majority of the 538 electoral votes. Whichever candidate wins 270 electors first wins the Presidency.

Women and PEOTUS Trump

By Julia Cheng

Recently three female students have been raped by the same male CI student. Two of these incidents occurred on campus. The investigations are underway and CI Police has removed the accused rapist from school grounds, “pending the continuing investigations,” according to the email sent out from the CI Police to the student body on November 17, 2016.

This news deeply upset my friends and me. Statistics provided by the Center for Disease and Control Prevention estimate that one in five women will be raped in their lifetime and about one in five women will experience attempted sexual assault while attending college. Now we all know at least three women who have had their security, personal privacy and sense of well-being viciously taken from them by one man.

One of our fellow CI students, after the mandatory orientation Title IX talk, the mandatory Title IX online training, and the community we foster here to create a safe and family-like environment, went ahead and raped three classmates anyway.

Hearing this disturbing information about our own college campus only emphasizes my disappointment in our country’s election of Donald Trump, a pathetic excuse for a man with a terrible track record for sexually assaulting or harassing women.

The Cut on detailed an unbelievably long list of the women who have come forward claiming Trump has harassed or assaulted them. Then there is the infamous hot mike recording of Trump bragging about how he can “grab them by the pussy” and do anything he wants to any woman he finds attractive.

Electing Trump as president of our great nation is like giving the go-ahead to commit vile acts of sexual violence towards women. If our president can get away with assaulting women, why not the Average Joe?

Trump has also recently vowed to sign into law the First Amendment Defense Act or H.R. 2802, which allows people and businesses, government or privately own, to discriminate against non-heterosexual people and people who have sex outside of marriage.

In an article on, Jay Michaelson goes over the many serious ways this bill could negatively affect millions of people. From denying health care to members of the LGBTQ+  community to refusing to acknowledge legal same-sex marriages to denying unmarried women access to birth control.

Previous actions and claims made by Trump along with the vow to sign the FADA into law ought to remind those that voted for him just how anti-women our new President-Elect is. Under the guidance of an abhorrent man, such as Trump, people may feel brazen enough to think they will get away with rape, but they should know they cannot. There are laws and people in place to protect potential victims of rape and assault.

Millions of Americans did not vote for Trump, knowing he was the worst possible choice, and I along with them will never stand for sexual violence to be taken lightly. No matter what the circumstances, we will fight for equal rights and a safe community for everyone to live happily and freely.

CI Surf Club: Wax Your Board. Brave the Waves.

Photo given by The CI Surf Club

By Jacklyn Lamphere

CI Surf Club (and our Surf Team) is one of the most successful student-run organization on our campus. Our surf boys and girls have won competitions and have been recognized nationally. With our Surf Team being the largest student sport organization on campus, the new leaders have some pretty big shoes to fill. With the absence of a couple of CI Surf legends who graduated last year, what will the Surf Club do now? Christian Lefay, the President of the Surf Club this year, was kind enough to sit down with me and let me interview him to get to know about the Surf Club better.


Q: What made you want to join CI Surf Club?

A: Part of the reason I chose to come to CI was the fact that they had a Surf Team, I had never surfed in contests before and I wanted to try that out. Upon arrival, I was stoked to meet so many nice people that all loved surfing as much as I do.


Q: Why did you want to be President?

A: I did not expect to become the president of the Surf Club, but it has been a great experience so far. It has challenged me in so many new ways, and forced me to grow as a person and as a leader.


Q: What expectations do you have for the Surf Team this year?

A: So far we are doing pretty well. The freshman had two big results at the last intercollegiate contest. With the new kids that we got this year, we will be set up for success into at least the next three years, and I’m sure more will be here next year. I only see the club growing and getting stronger in terms of competitive prowess.


Q: Do you foresee any challenges in the upcoming season?

A: The main challenge will be getting everyone comfortable with the new locations and schedule. All my kids are great surfers, but many of them are learning how to balance school, living on their own, and competing for the first time. As soon as they get adjusted to everything the results will follow. Judging from our success at the last contest, I think they’re doing just fine.


Q: What do you want the students of CI to know about the Surf Club?

A: I want CI students to know that we are open to all levels of surfers. You don’t have to be competing to get involved. It’s a great way to network and meet other people who have similar interests to your own. We all like to meet new people, hang out, and have a good time. So don’t hesitate to contact any of us or say hello on campus!


Q: What has been the most memorable moment on the Surf Team/Club?

A: The most memorable moment so far this year was hanging out with everyone after the seaside contest. It really felt great to have everyone together, and Bryce’s family were amazingly generous hosts for the weekend. I felt a lot of the stress and worries I had previously evaporate that day. I’m super proud of my team and club!

It’s evident to see that the Surf Club and its members are super passionate about what they do and how surfing can change your life. You can see what a positive impact they have on the CI community due to the incredible number of supporters that come to their events. The CI Way is about community and forming friendships with all kinds of people with diverse interests. With the Surf Club being one of the biggest student-run organizations on campus they have high expectations to succeed, but I have no doubt that our surf boys and girls will deliver. We can’t wait to see what the season brings for the team and brings for sports at CI. A huge thank you to Christian and the Surf Team for KEEPIN’ CI WET!

CI Spotlight: The Coalition for Women of Color

By Kirra Rector

The Coalition for Women of Color is one of the many new clubs on campus that has worked since Spring semester of 2015 to get where it is today. Headed by Rachel Richardson, the Coalition is a safe place where women of color can get support in any way they may need.

She recalls coming across many inspirational women of color before she began the club last year and with the diversity here on campus, she thought about how beneficial it would be to provide an organized place where members could connect, empower, and support each other. Rachel describes the club as a “safe space” where those involved can grow and prepare for development as well as discuss weaknesses and improve their strengths together.

Members with a variety of traits work cohesively to improve their social and professional communication. Although the Coalition is focused on women of color, all students regardless of gender or racial background are welcome to join and participate in the club’s meetings and discussions.

“My favorite part of leading this club is interacting with the members, staff, faculty, and anyone else that is interested in us.” Rachel says. She also enjoys being able to connect with people outside of the campus who have heard about the Coalition and is looking forward to where they go in the future. Located in Bell Tower 2688, the club meets on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm and welcomes whoever is interested in joining with open arms.

CI Art Program Showcases Student Work In Exhibit


Photos Credited to Alex Duenez

By Jazzminn Morecraft

In a society where art is usually overlooked, it is nice to have a place on campus where students can present their art and get credit for it.

In Napa Hall, the hallways and rooms show this. There are many unique pieces, with all kinds of works of art. Everything from oil, paint, and clay to metal, plastic and trash. The current pieces showcase student work. The art gallery is a continuous series that takes place not only at Napa Hall but also in Broome Library.

Anyone is free to walk in and have a look at these wonderful pieces of art anytime Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If these times and days are not in your favor, there are digital uploads of the works of art on the

CI Resource Spotlight: Career Development Services

Photo Credit to Bianca Brandau

By Bianca Brandau

Prepare yourself for the job market with the help of the Career Development Services!

In which field can I work with my major? When should I do my first internship? How can I improve my resume or my interview skills?
If you have ever asked yourself any of these questions, take the chance and make an appointment at Career Development Services. Three Career Counselors and six Career Resource Assistants are ready to work with you and answer your questions. Every day, 10 to 15 students or alumni come in for all kinds of advice. “You can come with anything that is job related. We help on every step of the way – it doesn’t matter if you are a freshman or alumni,” says Cristy Rodriguez Rivas as one of the Career Resource Assistants. “It is part of the educational program to prepare yourself for the working world,” she explains.

How exactly can they help you, dolphins? There are a few options: You can either make use of their drop-in counseling, look through their online job list or take part in one of their programs, events or workshops.

The drop-in counseling is part of the regular service. The team helps you with finding the right major, looking for an internship, working on your resumes and cover letters and leading mock interviews. If you are currently looking for a job, you can always check out their online service. The database “Dolphin Career Link,” which shows up on your myCI profile, offers about 600 open jobs.

If you are looking for an internship, the Hank Lacayo Institute (HLI) Internship Program might be interesting to you. Being an intern is a fundamental experience for students. The HLI Internship Program connects students with elected employers. Every semester, the program allows about 20 students to get a paid internship experience that is related to the content of their studies. You can apply now for Fall 2018.

Another possibility to find a job or an internship is the Career and Internship Fair. It is a very successful event that takes place every Spring semester and is probably going to be extended to every semester in the future. “Students can ask employers all the questions they have and get the chance to get hired on the spot,” says Rodriguez Rivas. So mark April in your calendar and check out the fair in front of Bell Tower. Another chance for you is to take part in one of the workshops or career assessments, like a workshop on using LinkedIn or an MBTI test to find out which profession best fits your character.

There are a lot of options to find the right path and to get more confidence about your future. “We want the dolphins to succeed,” says Rodriguez Rivas. So don’t be afraid, make an appointment and plan your career!

Student Research Spotlight: One Code at a Time

Photo given by the Computer Science Program

By Brittany Ritter

For this month’s Student Research Spotlight, I had the immense pleasure of speaking with three Computer Science majors, Jessica Perez, Maria Contreras and Winter Smith, about the amazing work they do inside the CI labs and how it sparks life into our community.

When I asked what made them initially want to work with robots, Winter replied, “To be able to bridge the gap between robots and humans.” She then went on to describe how we take for granted just how intricate of a movement it is just to be able to move one of our arms, and it is their goal to program the robot, Caitlyn, to be able to move as humanlike as possible.

Much like human life needs a certain environment to flourish, so do robots and those who work on them, and all three girls agree that “Professor Claveau ensures there is a relaxed vibe in his classroom,” which adds to the “teamwork aspect.” These three students are indeed a team and together they work marvels as they all take turns coding, researching and of course heckling one another.

Winter describes that “Collaboration brings out individual strengths” and this is key in a field where one must turn “isolation, failure and inadequacy into confidence.”

Speaking on the topic of confidence, it is important to note that the field of Computer Science is generally a male dominated subject. In our conversation, Winter made a valid point when she stated that the notion of males being easily associated with the sciences is perpetuated to the masses through popular television shows such as The Big Bang Theory.

All three girls had their own stories of having to meet this mentality head on as they all, at one time or another, have been brushed aside during certain classes or group activities by some of their past male peers and instructors. It is through their determination and support systems that they have been able to conquer any feelings of isolation and inadequacy and gain their confidence, a confidence they humbly stay connected to and willingly share with others, especially the younger generation.

Jessica, Maria and Winter all had similar beginnings in their educational journey as each had a family member push and encouraged them all towards this field of study. For Jessica and Maria it was their older siblings and for Winter it was her father.

Taking their robot, Caitlyn, on the road to different high schools and witnessing students light up as they watch and listen to these trailblazing ladies demonstrate how Caitlyn works, is undoubtedly the most rewarding aspect to the countless hours they spend agonizing in front of a whiteboard trying to figure out how to achieve Caitlyn’s next milestone. Robots, like humans, have milestones, with Caitlyn’s first having been speech which Winter stated brought tears to her eyes.

This project, first proposed to Winter by Jessica to work together on Caitlyn, quickly turned to a labor of love, as they even worked on Caitlyn during the summer break. With Maria added to the mix all three studnts now pour their heart and soul into each line of code that is Caitlyn.

We as outsiders looking in ultimately only see the finished product, what we do not see is the multitude of failures overcome by sheer determination and will. This is the gap that is bridged as an inanimate object is brought to life through relentless human trial and error until one day success is finally achieved. It is further bridged by the inspiration instilled in the younger generations as they not only see new possibilities through a robot coming to life but also through role models that they can now look up to.

Failure is synonymous with success in the field of Computer Science and these three ladies know it all too well as they have all met it head on and now welcome it. As Maria said, “The more you struggle with something the better you will be at teaching it,” which is why she plans on not only participating in the next Coding Bootcamp, put on at the end of the Spring semester by the CI Computer Girls Club, but will also teach it.

Speaking with these three students and seeing Caitlyn come to life has motivated me, someone who runs away from anything to do with math, to attend this Coding Bootcamp and try my hand at coding. These phenomenal ladies are changing the world for the better, one code at a time.

Diving Into the Archives, Part 1 – Welcome to Camarillo State Hospital


All hospital photos given by the CI Library Archive. All current photos credited to Kirra Rector.

By Ivey Mellem and Paige Parker,


– Bell Tower was built with winding hallways to confused escaped patients

– Courtyards used to be gated off to corral patients

– There were underground tunnels for the employees

It started in the late 1920’s, with a rise in demand for psychiatric care.

There were 16,000 mentally ill patients in California and only six state hospitals to house them. Most of these hospitals were understaffed, underfunded and overcrowded. Patients were packed in tightly, often ignored and overlooked due to high demand and lack of available staff. As conditions in these institutions grew worse, it became clear that a seventh hospital was needed.

In 1929 the California legislature appropriated $1,000,000 to the purchase of land and buildings for another state hospital. Soon, $425,000 of these funds was spent on 1,648 acres of the Lewis Ranch, establishing the new hospital just over four miles from the city of Camarillo.

Building began in 1932, with the construction of Bell Tower as the original administration building and the South Quad as male patient housing.

Since local labor was minimal, many workers came from all over the country to work on building the hospital. Along with Bell Tower, original buildings include what is now Ojai Hall and the first half of the Student Union Building.

Made to house over 7,000 patients and 700 staff, the hospital cost approximately $10,000,000 and was the largest mental hospital in the world upon its completion.

While a few hundred patients were housed starting in 1933, the first 410 patients were officially admitted in November of 1936, marking the opening of Camarillo State Hospital (CSH). Affectionately nicknamed “Cam” by the staff, it soon became the most popular state hospital in California thanks to its dedicated workforce and world-renowned programs.

In just one year, the patient population grew from 410 in 1936 to 1,082 in 1937. This increase was influenced by the admission of 300 female patients, who received their own housing once the North Quad was completed in 1939.

Due to its location on ranchland, some of the old Lewis Ranch buildings were retained for farming and dairy use. Patients who were capable of working spent their days farming or handling livestock to feed the hospital population. With 560 cows in the dairy, CSH grew 304 acres of alfalfa to feed them, as well as milked and slaughtered the cattle when necessary.

With 405 acres devoted to crops and 80 acres to orchards, CSH was a highly sufficient institution, able to maintain its growing population with extensive farm work.

Because patients required constant care, many of the CSH staff lived in their own housing located in what is now University Glen. Every staff member carried an M-Key and an F-Key, each to unlock doors in the male and female housing units, for quick access to patients.

With no janitors, nurses had to organize medicine and clean the buildings, often receiving help with chores from patients. Like a small village, there was a sense of friendly community amongst the hospital dwellers.

Thanks to dedicated staff that was committed to helping their patients, the hospital flourished. With constant patient care, farming and cattle tending, onsite stores that sold items ranging from candy to clothes, and even its own shoe-maker, CSH was a constant hive of activity. And in the coming years, it would only continue to expand.

“Diving Into the Archives” is a four-part series that explores the history of the Channel Islands campus, from back when it was a state hospital to now as a California State University. Special thanks to Broome Library Archivist Evelyn Taylor for her research guidance.



To Park or Not to Park

Photo Credit to Kirra Rector

By Christine Tolman

How many of you got really excited to get the e-mail regarding more gravel parking spots available? I would like to say that I did, but I take the money saving, stress saving, ecologically sound commuter bus to campus daily.

There are approximately 6000 students and 3007 parking spaces available on campus. Of those 3007 parking spots, 500 of them are in gravel. This means that almost 20% of the spots are in the dirt. When it comes to sales, 20% is a nice saving. But let me tell you of the savings I reap by not paying $190 to park on campus. There are approximately 55 seats on the bus, yet on the “rush hour” time of day maybe half of the seats are filled, on off-peak hours maybe ten of those seats, not rows, are filled. I have yet to sit by a stranger. Once in a blue bus there might be as little as 2 or 3 people on the bus, and I’ve seen as little as one other person besides myself.

My first semester, I wanted the freedom to go and come as I please, but it was not as glamorous as it sounded. When I had a ridiculously early class at 8:00 a.m., it was not an issue to find a spot for my car. But when it came to class at 3:00 p.m., it was a nightmare on Camarillo Street.

When it comes to parking lot games, there is the parking lot stare down, that often ends in the universal flipping of the bird, as you watch someone leave a parking spot that you have circled twelve times, and you see someone swiftly move in your hopeful spot. I found it sadly humorous to see people camped out on the sidelines of the parking lots waiting for someone to leave, as I circle the same three lots for 45 minutes, because my lazy self refuses to park in the lot over the foot bridge, burning gas and getting stressed the entire time. I can’t imagine parking way out there, just to be in gravel.

The millisecond missing of prime spots, can be so frustrating, provoking counterfactual thinking into what if I left the house just a few minutes earlier as I do the tenth lap around Sage Hall. I do not miss those days.

My second semester, something just short of a miracle happened. I broke down and took advantage of the fact that the first two weeks of the semester, it was free to ride the bus. I rode the bus for two weeks, and in that time I observed cars circling lots, people walking just as far as I have to from the bus stop to campus and students complaining about parking. Most of all, though, I was stress free when I arrived on campus. This was a huge bonus, because as students we have enough stress. At the end of those two weeks I bought a semester ride pass, for an exorbitant $25. This was a massive monetary saving, in addition to avoiding the wear and tear, the cost for oil, radiator fluid and other costs of maintaining my car for the commute. I also get a little sticker that is good anywhere the bus travels in Ventura county, and the Camarillo Area Transit (The CAT).

For the remaining of my time here at CI, I will use the commuter bus, saving myself $570. I realize it may not be an option for everyone, but if it is a possibility you should check it out. If you participate in the two-week trial you get a raffle ticket, and this this semester I won a $25 gift card for the Cove Bookstore. So in reality, my pass this semester was free, because I always need something from the bookstore.

Lampoon Lagoon

I Don’t Like it When Books Pick A Fight With Me

By Noah Rubino

For the most part, books are pretty darn great. All those posters in the children’s section of your county library that make it look like they physically teleport you into other worlds might be exaggerating a teensy-weensy bit, but they’re not far off—literature can capture your imagination in ways other artistic mediums cannot ever hope to manage.

And yet here I am, stuffing my backpack with copies of Shakespeare’s plays and stories by James Joyce and treating them with all the respect an 8-year-old reserves for a plate of broccoli.

It’s not their fault, really. Harry Potter is only famous because it feels like every single millennial picked up the books of their own accord. Being told to do something simply makes that “something” less enjoyable. One piece of chocolate cake at a party is fine, but forcing yourself to scarf down the whole thing because you thought a decimal in the recipe was a piece of dirt and cooked enough to feed an oil tanker just makes you feel awful.

But Shakespeare in particular has a few other things going against him; perhaps most prominently, his plays are 400 years old. Language changes with time—if you pulled a Marty McFly and went back in time 30 years and decided to start ranting about selfies and memes and email, you’d be met with nice men in sharp suits who want you to try on a nice tight jacket. Increase that span by four centuries, and it’s hardly surprising that those No Fear Shakespeare books exist.

Really, when it comes down to it, if I need to have a footnote explaining to me that Malvolio is making an, well, interesting comment about a particular aspect of the female anatomy, something’s up.

Of course, more modern writers have their own problems. Language becomes more recognizable but writers begin to twirl their moustaches with mad glee and seem to start asking, “Gee, how can I make life harder for the people trying to enjoy my work?” Because the language technically is modern, there’s not really a need for a translation on the right-hand page, but authors wind up using and abusing metaphors so pretentious and flowery that they could be buried in soil to grow tulips that hold teacups with their pinkies out. Their descriptions try so hard to be artistic that they forget to actually be legible—the text is so purple I’m having flashbacks to when I watched Barney. They make noir detectives sound like Elmo.

The worst part, of course, is that while all this stuffy nonsense might allow for some creative imagery and unique introspection, it unfortunately comes at the cost of basic legibility. Far too often, I come across an artfully constructed image with some rather inventive word choice, but when I get to the end of a paragraph I realize that I have no idea what any of it said. So I read it again. It makes slightly more sense. I read it a third time. It somehow makes less sense than before. If I have to study a paragraph for 10 minutes just to find out that it is somehow even more indecipherable than when I skimmed past it—you know, I have better things to be doing with my time, like watching paint dry. A novel usually has characters and plots and all sorts of other junk, and I certainly wouldn’t mind it if I was able to make sense of all of that.

At the end of the day, I’d rather just crack open that Invincible comic—the one that’s been hiding in my backpack, waiting for me to finish those required texts. I might not be quite as intellectually enlightened by Robert Kirkman’s superhero book as I would by To the Lighthouse, but at least I’ll understand what’s going on.

Ekho’s Eats

Hello, fellow CI students! Since it’s now November and the holidays are upon us, we have two delicious recipes perfect for any fall or holiday themed event. Not only are they easy to make, they are delicious and perfect for any occasion. Happy holidays, everyone!


Photo Credit to Ivey Mellem

By Ivey Mellem

Start to finish: About 1 hour 5 minutes (10 minutes of active time)

Servings: 8-10

½ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated or dried)

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup evaporated milk

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups cooked, well-mashed sweet potatoes (from 2 large potatoes)

1 9-inch pie crust (homemade or store-bought), pre-baked


Position a cooking rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 F.

In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.

In a large bowl or the bowl of a standard mixer, beat the evaporated milk, eggs, butter and vanilla on medium speed until well combined. Add the spice mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Add the sweet potatoes and beat at medium speed until the mixture is smooth, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Pour the pie filling into the pre-baked pie crust, place on a baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes.

Reduce oven heat to 375 F and bake pie for an additional 50 to 55 minutes, or until the filling puffs up around the edges and is set with a little jiggle in the center.

Transfer to a wire rack or stovetop and cool to room temperature. Slice and serve.

* Tips:

You can use 1 ½ teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice to replace the cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.

You can use a can of sweet potatoes to replace freshly cooked ones, just be sure to drain off the syrup and rinse the potatoes before mashing. One 29-ounce can will yield about 2 cups.

Be sure to make the sweet potato mash as smooth as possible by removing any stringy bits.

If your crust begins to darken, cover with tin foil or a pie shield.



Photo Credit to Stephanie Anderson

By Stephanie Anderson

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 package fresh baby spinach

¼-½ cup Gorgonzola cheese crumbles

¼-½ cup dried cranberries

Balsamic vinaigrette to taste (or make your own, it’s super easy and there are many recipes on the internet for it)

Heat olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a frying pan and saute the chicken pieces on medium heat until cooked through (no pink on the inside), usually about 10 7-10 minutes.

In a large bowl, add spinach, dried cranberries and Gorgonzola cheese, top with balsamic chicken pieces and vinaigrette.  Serve and enjoy!


Self-Care Blurb:
In this edition of The CI View, students share experiences and resources to promote the mental well being of students during stressful times of final exams, holiday seasons and political shifts. Please note that the opinions expressed of the following editorials are not written by mental health professionals and do not reflect the outlooks of The CI View. CI has many other resources available to students, including the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) located at Bell Tower East 1856. For information please visit

Everyone Needs Some Help

By Victoria Douglas

In the world today, people still think of asylums and mental disorders when they hear the words ‘mental health.’ Yes, mental health does involve a wide variety of disorders. However, not every aspect of mental health is classified as a disorder.

There are a few students who were willing to give their opinion on mental health. Kristen Owens, a Wellness Peer Educator for Wellness Promotion and Education, states that mental health care “is something that everybody needs, but that people feel it is too expensive or for long term use. But I feel that it is useful short term. Go in for a quick session, just to let it all out.”

Mental health can play a role in our physical wellbeing, as well as other aspects of our lives. If you are extremely stressed/emotional, then your body can become tired, nauseous, and also break out in hives. Mental health can affect your performance in school. It can also cause strain in relationships with others. You may get easily agitated and accidentally release that frustration on someone you care for and end up deeply hurting them. Everything we do not only affects us, but those around us as well.

Fernando Castaneda, also a Wellness Peer, brought up a pivotal point about how people perceive mental health. In his experience, “there’s such a big stigma to it that people see, rather than the facts.” As stated before, many people still believe that mental health has to do with illnesses or disorders of the mind. What people do not realize is that mental health also includes our day-to-day lives. You do not have to be diagnosed with anything in order to struggle with mental health. This field also includes the emotional and mental strain one goes through in their lifetime. We all struggle with it, just in different ways.

Philip Press also gave his opinion on the matter, “When it comes to mental health, I’ve noticed that people struggle with it and that society almost neglects or doesn’t understand about mental health. And when someone is having an issue, they are taught by society to deal with it themselves and not seek help for it. That is something that needs to change.”

Most people do not ask for help because they do not want to appear as though they are going insane, nor do they wish to appear weak. That is not the case. It is never weak to ask for help. The most successful people in history have all had help at one point or another, so why shouldn’t you? All three students agree that the best thing for other students, people undiagnosed, and even people who have been diagnosed is to use the services available to them.

If you are struggling and feel as though you are going crazy, it is normal. We all need help sometimes. Just because you seek it, does not mean you are going crazy or that you are weak. With finals coming up, and end of the semester projects coming to the due date, you may feel overwhelmed and that you need to talk to someone. I highly recommend it. Please take care of yourselves and each other.

Self-Care Blurb:
In this edition of The CI View, students share experiences and resources to promote the mental well being of students during stressful times of final exams, holiday seasons and political shifts. Please note that the opinions expressed of the following editorials are not written by mental health professionals and do not reflect the outlooks of The CI View. CI has many other resources available to students, including the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) located at Bell Tower East 1856. For information please visit

Photo Credit to Kirra Rector

CI and the College Mental Health Crisis

By Madeline Lanois

CI provides many wonderful resources for students. However, one of these resources happens to be lacking: Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS). This is most obvious in two ways: the outreach of CAPS on campus and the amount of appointments students receive each semester. CI has a diverse population of students, from all kinds of economic and ethnic backgrounds. CAPS should recognize that some student populations are less likely to reach out for counseling when they need it. To have a healthier campus community, CI must work to increase its counseling resources and staff, as well as awareness of this resource.

A concern for mental health on the CI campus is the fact that different populations have different levels of willingness to seek help for mental health issues. According to “CI Reports Record Enrollment for Fall 2016” from the CI website, the incoming freshman class of 2016 is “58% Hispanic/Latino, 21% white, 5% Asian, 4% multiracial, 3% African American, and less than 1% American Indian/Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander.”

According to Chris Brownson’s article “Suicidal Behavior and Help Seeking Among Diverse College Students” in the Journal of College Counseling, students from the Hispanic/Latino population may turn to their family, friends, or community members rather than an actual mental health counselor. Since 2010, CI has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HIS), meaning the student population is at least 25% Hispanic. Being a HSI, CI receives special funding that goes towards campus projects such as Project ACCESO and ASCENCION. From my research, it is unclear if any of this funding goes towards increasing the availability of counseling for this student population. With this information in mind, it is likely that on-campus counseling resources may underserve 58% of the class of 2020.

In contrast, according to Brownson White/Caucasian students on campus are the most likely to seek professional help for mental health problems. It would be understandable if 10% or even 30% of students did not seek counseling; but in the case of CI, these percentages are switched. Applying Brownson’s study means that 21% of freshman are more likely to use this resource than the other 79%. CAPS should not be overlooking the different cultures and backgrounds that give CI its vibrantly diverse student population. All students on campus, regardless of their ethnicity, deserve to have their needs met by all resources on campus. By taking steps to increase access to and awareness of counseling services at CI, students will be able to use this resource more easily.

Perhaps the most obvious solution to these issues is to increase the number of appointments each student receives in a given semester. For this to happen, the campus would most likely need to hire more counseling staff, both administrative and psychological, to better handle the amount of students in need of this resource.

Secondly, CAPS should become a more visible resource on campus. This could happen by tabling outside of the library or communicating more directly with commuter students. Flyers are posted randomly around campus, such as on library noticeboards and in the hallways of Bell Tower and are easily missed by students. Instead, CAPS could reach out more directly to specific groups on campus. This could come in the form of more varied counseling groups or reaching out to specific majors. By reaching out to these particular groups, CAPS would be networking with communities across campus, increasing the likelihood that students would seek counseling when needed.

CAPS needs to be meeting the needs of all student populations in order to help students with mental health problems as well as to increase awareness of these issues. The biggest issue facing CAPS is their lack of campus outreach and small availability. Changes such as better advertising and better-adapted programs could make this a significant resource for all students on campus. Until that day, however, hesitant students will continue to struggle silently at CI.


Brownson, Chris, et al. “Suicidal Behavior and Help Seeking Among College Students.” Journal

of College Counseling, vol. 17, no. 2, 2014, pp. 116-30. Academic Search Premier,


“CI Named a ‘Top College for Hispanic Students’” California State University Channel Islands.

N.p., 2 Dec. 2014. Web. 08 Nov. 2016.

“CI Reports Record Enrollment for Fall 2016.” California State University Channel Islands, 6

Sept. 2016, Accessed 26

Sept. 2016.


Self-Care Blurb:
In this edition of The CI View, students share experiences and resources to promote the mental well being of students during stressful times of final exams, holiday seasons and political shifts. Please note that the opinions expressed of the following editorials are not written by mental health professionals and do not reflect the outlooks of The CI View. CI has many other resources available to students, including the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) located at Bell Tower East 1856. For information please visit

Be Here, Now.

By Kirra Rector


Have you ever felt stuck? Have you ever wanted something to happen so badly but for some reason, what you desire is just not happening? Whether it be a project, a masterpiece, progression within ourselves or even searching for a mate, we have all been in that place that seems like no matter what we do to try and accomplish a goal or get what we want, we just simply cannot do it. We are taught that if you have enough motivation in combination with action, you will always achieve your goal. The “hard work and determination” spiel is recycled through our culture again and again.

In some respect, this idea is comforting. We can change our outcome and future just by a slight adjustment of attitude and work ethic–doesn’t seem too difficult, right? But with this logic, we are also subject to believing that when we are not achieving our goals, we are not giving enough effort, therefore assuming ourselves as the roadblock to our own success. The answers we receive? “Work harder!” “Motivate yourself, and visualize your success!” “Don’t stop, keep going!” I’m sure we have all heard these phrases in response to our failures.

I thought this for a long time, believing that visualizing my results and putting all my efforts into getting there would be enough to get what I wanted. But I came to realize that sometimes, no matter how much motivation we have, no matter how many lists we make of the necessary steps we think we should be doing in order to get where we want, we are just not ready to receive what we think we need.

But let’s just say that whatever you want, you want it enough–so much so that you’re breaking your back and making yourself miserable in order to achieve it. What about taking a step back for a moment and chilling out? Maybe your motivation is not the problem.

Have you ever thought that maybe what you are so longing for, even if it is positive, is just not what you need at this moment? Sometimes we are not yet the people we need to be in order to obtain the desires we have now. Time is a tricky game that doesn’t compromise with anyone and is not easily fooled.

Sometimes you need to pick up a new hobby to meet the person who’s going to be the inspiration for the main character of your next story. Sometimes you need three more years of life experience before you can make a masterpiece that’s going to evoke feeling and understanding in others. Sometimes you’re not falling in love because whatever you need to know about yourself is only knowable through solitude.

Something I have read that has stuck with me is this: We are as we are until we’re not.

It’s okay not be going forward at every moment. Motivation will get you far, but only as far as time allows. When we are searching so hard for something, we not only waste this precious time we need to just relax, but we also miss out on the clues and gifts that life puts right in front of us.

There is a magic beyond us that works in ways that we can’t understand and we can’t control, no matter how much we push ourselves. You cannot control every outcome and aspect of life as a means of battling the unnerving uncertainty and unpredictability of something that is beyond what you understand–time doesn’t play that game. We have to put in our best effort and then allow whatever happens, to happen. We have to surrender to time, let it do what it needs to do, and live in each moment of this in-between.

So, if you haven’t found the guy or girl of your dreams, if you haven’t figured out what job you think will fulfill your purpose in life, if you haven’t thought of your inspiration for your next story, piece of art, or post, and you’re breaking your back over it, here’s a solution: Stop. Chill out. Relax.

Show up every day, every moment, as you are and let that be enough! One day this time will make sense, you need to trust that, and you need to give yourself permission to trust that.

Start to see lessons where you see roadblocks. What is right now, in this very moment, becomes inspiration later. You don’t need more motivation, or action, or to read anymore lists or posts about what you could be doing better to get where you want to be. Where you need to be is here, now, exactly as you are.

Let time do its thing. Allow yourself to be here. Because here, in this moment, is what matters most.

Out of the Magic Door Into the Lost Script

Photo Credit to Sean Engle

By Mark Westphal

On Wednesday, October 26th, The Thief, the Madman, Quixote, and the Magic Doors, an original play written by one of our own CI faculty, Bob Mayberry, opened. If you have not had a class with him and therefore don’t know his style of writing, then you would have no idea what to expect.

His play is based on a supposed lost play from William Shakespeare, I believe called Cardenio, which was also based off of a story by famous Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, hence the Don Quixote reference in the title. However, here the story of Cardenio takes a backseat.

In the play, a troupe of actors try to put on a production of William Shakespeare’s new play, with Shakespeare himself actually on the set. Also, Don Quixote, the title character of Cervantes’ most famous novel, shares scenes with Shakespeare in which they debate ideologies, with the bard representing a self-absorbed writer who thinks he is the most original author ever, and Don Quixote representing anachronistic views of manliness.

The play certainly indulges in weirdness quite a bit, with some scenes coming out of nowhere and characters that scream for long periods of time with no relief. I thought that the purpose of these scenes was to contrast the structure of the play with actions that point out the absurdness of the situation that the characters are in.

The play quotes Shakespeare a lot, so if you don’t like Shakespeare, maybe the play is not for you. This is a play that uses a lot of self-aware humor which didn’t click with me since I don’t really like self-aware humor, but it was a good way to spend an evening for no money and with nothing to do.

Moana’s Monumental Movie

By Julia Cheng

In the past, Disney princess movies were known for their archetypal damsel in distress rescued by the charming prince, but as of late their princesses are breaking out of their boring plastic stereotypes. Starting with Aladdin in 1992, Princess Jasmine cracked the mold by spitting out her classic line, “I am not a prize to be won.”

Since the early ‘90s Disney has been attempting to make their princess movies more empowering for the girls watching them. The princess characters have become noticeably more independent and their storylines more complex as times goes on, however they continue to be predominantly white with unbelievably thin waists.

Women of color and their daughters can exhale a sigh of relief as Moana, the newest edition to the Disney princess lineup, will be the company’s first Polynesian princess boasting the muscular arms and somewhat sturdier waistline the world has been waiting for.

Another stereotype is broken by Moana: she goes without the typical prince expected in Disney movies, as 10 of the last 11 princess movies have had a love interest in their story lines.

In the full trailer, featuring a more detailed look at the exciting action-adventure storyline, Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) is seen teaming up with the demi-god Maui (Dwayne Johnson) and battling fearsome, fantastical creatures. Moana is depicted as strong willed, arguing with Maui over using her canoe and fighting to keep her canoe sailing through a vicious storm all by herself.

Instead of a charming prince wielding a sword swooping in to save her life from some villain, Moana convinces the legendary demi-god Maui to help her on her quest to save her community and possibly the world. Solely based off of the trailers, it appears all of Moana’s sidekicks are male, unfortunately furthering the lack of female characters written into children’s films.

The full trailer and other mini trailers recently released online showcase the many humorous moments throughout the film, especially when Moana accidentally punches Maui in the chin when they go down into what’s called the “Realm of Monsters” on their journey.

Expectations are high for this movie as Disney has been promoting the film as an accurate depiction of the Polynesian culture and has made a big deal of casting a Hawaiian actress (Auli’i Cravalho) to play Moana. While casting is important, choosing a Polynesian person to represent a pointedly Polynesian character shouldn’t be revolutionary, it should be standard practice.

I’m glad Disney is making the effort to normalize logical casting choices and hopefully the movie will deliver on their promise of being sensitive to the cultures represented in the full Be Afraid movie online

The release date for Moana is set for November 22 and I’ll be spending my Thanksgiving break watching the film with friends and reveling in the strong new Disney princess and her epic adventures.

The Girl On The Train

a novel by Paula Hawkins

By Alex M. Duenez

What can I say about the Girl On The Train, a novel by British writer Paula Hawkins and winner of The Goodreads award for Best Thriller (2015)?  Apparently, the book was that good.  Look guys, honestly, I am not going so sit here and type a banality review pertaining to how amazing this novel was and dote upon it with extreme praise.  No indeed, I am going to speak truly.

First of all, character development. Where in the world is this element?  Don’t get me wrong, I am nowhere near as excellent a writer as Hawkins herself, but my message here is that the characters felt forced.

You, the reader, are probably wondering why I say that. It’s simple; there is a lack of believability.  For avid readers, character development is crucial for telling a story.  Characters bring out emotions within the reader. Those types of emotions depend on the reader’s response to the text and personal experience.

If it’s rooting, loving, hating, caring or simply picking a favorite, characters are more to a reader than names on a page. They become engraved in your soul and you become part of their world. However, that isn’t the case in this particular novel.

Secondly, most of the novel’s setting is in your everyday neighborhood, with an occasional bar and police station here and there. Nonetheless, it is just another day in the London suburbs. It’s safe to say the setting is as gloomy as this novel.

Thirdly, predictability is the number one culprit in this would-be thriller.  This psychological thriller is, let’s just say, anything but thrilling. It is more like trifling.  Just as the characters seem somewhat underdeveloped, the same essence is felt for the plot of the story.  There are moments in the book where it seems to be getting interesting, then those moments get derailed.

If it weren’t for the investigation, murder aspect and (don’t forget) alcohol abuse, this novel would be just another rip off of E.L. James’ trilogy of those pornographic novels (*cough*), you know which ones. Lets face it, sex sells. People crave it. Rolling around, smearing it all over, we (the readers) love the juicy, hot details. Sadly, it’s what drives this novel. Honestly, in my opinion, that is why it sold so many copies.

Final thoughts, don’t let my salty review spoil your palate for tasteful literature. By all means, read this novel. It might bring you satisfaction. Unlike me, what are those famous words by the Rolling Stones? Ah yes, “I can’t get no sat-is-faction!”  But, in all seriousness, if you are looking for something to pass the time this coming winter, I say go for it.

To you readers I say,  Au Revoir!

Doctor Strange: A Movie for this Dimension

By Mark Westphal

Coming off a civil war, it looks like Marvel Studios needed another Ant Man. It is now time to get silly again…with Doctor Strange?

I suppose when I think about it, taking a concept like Dr. Strange and making it silly does make sense. The story follows a distraught, down-on-his-luck and egotistical surgeon, Doctor Steven Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), whose hand injury drives him to journey to Nepal and learn inter-dimensional magic from the White Witch (Tilda Swinton). Then, he ends up being tangled up in a conflict with a fallen student of the temple (Mads Mikkelsen), who wants to bring in the evil Dormammu from the dark dimension. In all, such a story has the potential to work as a silly premise. However, the silliness in Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant Man worked a little better.

On the whole, the movie is a typical Marvel movie; we get an origin story, a wisecracking hero or two (in some cases five), and then they have to fight danger and save the world. This time, since Benedict Cumberbatch plays the role of Strange, I was sort of excited for it.

However, Cumberbatch, to me, was the biggest disappointment of the movie. I felt distracted by some of lines he’d been given. Especially towards the beginning, where he was saying dialogue similar to that of his Sherlock character. Also, having the fake American accent didn’t help either. His delivery was my main gripe.

Now for the good things. The special effects were quite amazing. It has been a while since I was entertained by excessive computer-generated imagery (CGI), and I really enjoyed the fight sequences. I also enjoyed the performances of Mads Mikkelson and Tilda Swinton.

I’d say give the movie a watch if you can. If you’re a fan of Marvel movies, you would like this one too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *