Letter to the Editor | Student submission

Dear sir or Madame;

I get ridiculed in class all the time. Whether it is a poorly hidden look or outright comment. I am fed up. But change doesn’t happen of its own accord. After all evil needs to thrive for good men to do nothing. I just figured that maybe if people realized that people’s life experiences are different and that words truly do have power, then maybe, just maybe people would stop and think before making fun of others plights.
I loathe eating out of dumpsters.

This is my story, my experiences, my life. Why am I writing this?  To be honest it’s for purely selfish reasons. I’m in college, and am on the verge of my family and I being homeless….again. And people being people the cruelty oozes out like some hate filled sack that just can’t contain the evil side of human nature. I let my classmates know my story, and the only consolation I got was a classmate advising me on which cardboard box would be best suited for the rain, followed of course by a snicker from other classmates. I just wanted someone to listen. So here I sit getting ready to poor the sadness and depression that comment made me feel on paper. But where does it stem from? Why did his comment affect me so much? I guess in order for me to figure that out I have to review my life….and perhaps by writing it all down someone else can learn something. What that is I don’t know….but for
now writing this is my way of getting my emotions down on paper rather
than getting upset.
When I was two years old my brother and I were adopted by a wonderful set of parents after we were taken out of our biological mother’s home due to abuse. They were kind, loving, and generous. But I suppose the psychological damage my brother and I suffered had already taken its toll. I don’t know why….I can’t even begin to explain the reason but my brother and I were rotten. We stole, lied, and were just all around evil children. I can never apologize too much for my actions. Yet despite all our horrid actions my adoptive parents never lost their love for us.
High school for me was a nightmare. We grew up in a tiny little town
in New Mexico. My brother and I were incessantly bullied and made fun of. I remember a time in elementary school, I was in class and …yes I was acting up and talking….but the teacher grabbed me threw me under the desk and placed his foot on top of me and made me stay that way for quite a long time. That was the beginning of my hardcore rebellion I suppose. Funny how something that seems like such a small thing can effect someone. Even to this day I remember the pain in my chest as the weight of the teachers’ foot pressed me into the ground, the horrible smiles on my classmates’ faces, the ridicule and embarrassment.  So all through elementary school and middle school and high school my brother and I were mercilessly bullied. I remember every instance vividly even still.
Well needless to say I dropped out of high school. But my mind by that time was ruined. I had no way of releasing any anger or depression in a constructive manner so I turned to drugs and crime. In one night I broke into the elementary school and the high school. I stole whatever I could. Then a few nights later I broke into the post office. I am most certainly not proud of what I had done. I was a messed up kid trying to express myself in a world that had shown me nothing but cruelty.
At the age of sixteen I ran away from home. I started hitchhiking, and did that for a couple of years. I hitchhiked from one end of the U.S. to the other and back again.  At some point I made my way to Klamath Falls, Oregon. I was about eighteen at the time and I was sleeping in a homeless shelter full of old F.T.R.A.  (Freight train riders association) a gang of train hobos (yeah sounds funny but definitely
not anyone you want to mess with). And me being only eighteen I was naturally hanging out with the only other teenager there.
As the days went by we got restless. Two homeless teens just looking for adventure. So one day we decided to ride the rails together. I can’t tell you how many times I almost (or rather probably should have) died. But God had other plans for me. He was the first true friend I ever had. We eventually met another guy. He was from Alaska and had plans to return. Well heck I was born in Alaska and we all three became good friends. Unfortunately the latest friend was heavy into smoking crack and his habit eventually migrated its way to me. I was so cracked outa my mind I don’t remember the town, but one night we found an abandoned cabin beneath a bridge ( I think it was in Oregon but I was so out of it in those days I can’t remember) and one of us had received quite a large sum of money from a relative. So of course rather than get food or shelter we bought crack. Here we were in an abandoned cabin smoking the living daylights out of crack. We smoked so much our lighters all went dead. So we went to a store and stole some candles and a lighter. We got back to the cabin and lit the candles and smoked even more crack. It was horrible.
One night after a crack binge we decided it was a great idea to try and make some money. But how? I don’t remember whose idea it was but for some reason our consensus was that it’d be a great idea to break into the police impound lot. So we grabbed another guy we knew and went to the cabin to plan (if you can call smoking crack and haphazardly slapping together a course of action planning). That night we scaled the fifteen foot tall fence into the impound lot.  We traversed the motion detectors and started opening the cars. After just a couple of minutes I’m lying on the ground trying to avoid the motion detector, crawling to this car to open it when I look up to see a cop car on the corner of the next street over. He was sitting there flashing his headlights….All of a sudden flood lights and headlights
illuminate the night. “Walk toward us….we have dogs” I hear an officer say on his blow horn. We head to a corner of the fence and start crawling up and over it. I turn to Robert and say “I’m going to
run….if I run will you?” I did not wait for a reply. As soon as I hit the ground I took off. I cleared a path through ten feet of thorn bushes with my face but the combo of adrenaline and crack made me not even care. Just an example of my many horrible acts.

I eventually wound up back in New Mexico and enrolled into T.V.I, the local community college. At the time my father had let me know that my mother was dying and he needed my help. So I returned home to care for my mother.  My father helped me get into T.V.I. and supported me. But me being the little brat I was screwed that up too. I ended up going to prison for burglary and arson. While in prison I experienced torture of a whole new breed. The minute I was behind bars I stopped being a human being. I had no rights other than the right to endure. Fights, rapes, killing….that was my days….wash rinse and repeat. I was raped by a guard and when I reported it the retaliation was swift and decisive. I was sent to Isolation, where the abuse continued. The ACLU would not hear me no matter how many letters I wrote them. No lawyer would hear me out either. Then came the “bowling for inmates” game.
The Correction Officers would suitcase an inmate (hog tied with arms and ankles behind your back) and would toss or “slide” you across the floor toward a wall. They tossed me really hard. The closed head injury they caused me made me suffer Hypothermia at first (the worst would come later). So they took me to the hospital were the docs put me in a “bear hug” (a blanket with warm air pumped through it). I suffered a heart attack in the process. Then I was transported back to solitary (Only this time it was the medical solitary…still not any better though). One day I woke up and tried to stand….my left side flopped around…I was left side paralyzed! The department of corrections paralyzed me! Of course no lawyer or the ACLU or anyone else would hear me. Now paralyzed the same CO that raped me saw an even better opportunity to play his sick games. He would have two other inmates carry me from my solitary cell in the back to a suicide watch cell in an even more isolated section and have his way with me till his heart was content. I made the mistake of reporting it… I wound up in the Penitentiary of New Mexico Super max. Just another reminder of my place. After months a case manager comes in and says to me “I have no idea why you’re here. Your file says you’re a level two minimum security inmate. I’m going to transfer you.” Better late than never I suppose. So I spent the remainder of my sentence at the medical center
in Las Lunas prison. While there the docs did numerous test and countless trips to the hospital. I was told that I would never walk again.
I was released from prison on august 8, 2008…8/8/8…the luckiest day and year according to Chinese religion. Here I was…walked into prison on my own two feet….rolled out in a wheelchair and told I’d never walk again.
I lived at Joy Junction homeless shelter for a while, and decided I needed to change. I found God while I was in prison and placed all my life at Gods feet.  I decided that God would direct me all my days from here on out. First step….relearn how to walk. I went through what I can only describe as the most intense pain imaginable for a year. It felt as though I had no skin or muscle on my feet. Like every step was straight bone on ground. God would not let me give up though.
I met my wife one day and my perspectives changed again…..for the better. She also believed in God, and when I realized I loved her I made her a promise. I promised her I would make it right.  She was
homeless as well so I had my work cut out for me. I enrolled into CNM (formerly TVI) and worked very hard.
I am now on the dean’s list, in the Phi Theta Kappa national honor society, and will graduate soon…..but a couple of hitches. I’m on section eight housing and the apartment I live in was found in violation by the Housing Authority. And I have nowhere to go. So here I am…after all this hard work to change myself, to be a productive member of society and I have fought and worked so hard for my family and it all might be for naught. I’ve already been turned down for jobs because of my felony, and now my family’s shelter is threatened….what to do? I honestly don’t know…..but hopefully now perhaps people will understand why the comment I heard today about what cardboard box to get for my family to sleep in hurt so much. Did writing this make me feel better? Yes ….it did. Can anything be learned from this?
Maybe….if you let it, it will teach you that people can change if given the chance. That everyone deserves an opportunity. And above all that words …whether said in jest or not….truly can affect people. Walk a mile in someone’s shoes, before saying something callous.
Be kind to one another.
Joe, CNM student

Tutor Times | Tutoring services available to students

By Whitney Oliphant, Copy Editor & Staff Reporter

There are a variety of free tutoring services available at the CNM campuses to all CNM students, according to cnm.edu.

Tutoring help is provided in various subjects that include but are not limited to: Physics, English, Math, Biology, Chemistry, ESL, GED, and Computer, according to the Assistance Centers for Education.

Students that are interested in tutoring help can visit any of the locations below during the times that are listed.

If students have more questions about the tutoring services that are offered or if students need more information on how to get tutoring help they can call Assistance Centers for Education (ACE) at (505) 224-4306.

Students can also set up appointments online by visiting this link


Note that not every service is available at each campus, according to the ACE website.

According to CNM, the tutoring services that are available at the CNM campuses are as follows:

Main Campus Learning Center

Students who are interested in receiving tutoring help on Main Campus can visit the SRC building room 203. The hours for tutoring help at this location are as follows, according to the cnm.edu and CNM tutor Walker Williamson.

Monday – Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:50 p.m.

Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Subjects that students can get help with at Main Campus are: Math, Chemistry, Applied Math, ESL, Statistics, Physics, English, Biology and GED, according to Assistance Centers for Education.

Students need to sign in at the front desk for tutoring services and will receive a card with the subject that they need help in.

Students can also go online to schedule an appointment with the tutors.

For more information about tutoring on Main Campus please call (505) 224-4306.

Montoya Campus Learning Center

Tutoring services at the Montoya Campus are in building J, rooms 103 and 107. The hours for tutoring at Montoya campus are as follows, according to cnm.edu.

Monday – Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:20 p.m.

Subjects that students can get help with at the Montoya campus are: Accounting, Applied Math, Biology, Chemistry, Computer, Math, English, Physics, ESL, Statistics and GED.

For more information or questions about tutoring services on Montoya Campus please call (505) 224-5990.

Rio Rancho Learning Center

Students who are interested in tutoring services at the Rio Rancho Campus can visit building RR, room 115 during the hours below, according to cnm.edu.

Monday – Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Subjects that students can get help with at the Rio Rancho campus include: Chemistry, Biology, Math, Physics, English, Computer, GED, and Statistics.

For questions or more information regarding tutoring services at the Rio Rancho Campus can call (505) 224-4952.

South Valley Campus Learning Center

Tutoring services at the South Valley Campus are located in building SV, room 106. Students can receive tutoring help during these hours, according to cnm.edu.

Monday – Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Subjects that students can receive help with include: Adult Education, Biology, Chemistry, Computer, English, ESL, GED, and Math.

For more information or questions regarding the tutoring services at the South Valley Campus students can call (505) 224-5067.

Westside Campus Learning Center

Tutoring services at the Westside campus are held in building MJG, room 115. The hours for tutoring are as follows, according to cnm.edu.

Monday – Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:20 p.m.

Subjects that students can get help with at the Westside Campus include: Accounting, Biology, Chemistry, Computer, English, ESL, GED, Math, Physics, and Statistics.

For more information regarding tutoring at the Westside campus call (505) 224-5311.

Advanced Technology Center

Tutoring services at the Advanced Technology Center are located in the Learning Commons in building ATC, room 126 during the following hours, according to cnm.edu.

Monday – Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:20 p.m.

Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:50 p.m.

Subjects that students can receive help with include: Applied Math, Architectural Drafting, English, and Math.

Students who are needing more one on one tutoring in IT 0850 or IT 1010 can set up special sessions with ACE computer tutors.

They are by appointment only and each student is allowed three of these sessions a semester. For more information on how to set up an individual computer session call (505) 224-3840 or (505) 224-4314.

Again these special sessions will be by appointment only, according to Assistance Centers for Education.

Tutors will not help with take-home exams or quizzes nor will tutors proofread or review papers or assignments the instructor has determined is the student’s responsibility, according to cnm.edu.

The CNM tutors are there to give positive feedback, listen closely to the problem, and help identify and correct recurring errors.

The tutors will ask questions that will help in the problem solving process and they will provide guidance in understanding and solving the problem, according to cnm.edu.

For more information or questions on any of the tutoring services that are available at CNM, call ACE at (505) 224-4306.

CNM student health and wellness center

By Stephanie Stuckey, Staff Reporter

Located on Main Campus in the Student Services Center, second floor, room 206 is the CNM Student Health and Wellness Center.

Patti Haaland, a registered nurse at the Student Health Center, encourages CNM students to take advantage of the resources that are available to them through the Student Health and Wellness Center.

Some of the medical services available to students are:  acute and chronic illness care, TB testing, physical exams, immunizations, family planning services, clinical counseling, and referrals.

According to Haaland, appointments are necessary unless it is an emergency.

First aid and basic primary care services are also offered, according to Student Health and Wellness Center informational pamphlet.

Office visits to see a doctor or nurse practitioner are $15.00 (subject to change/yearly review), vaccinations and lab fees are provided at the clinic’s discounted costs, per Student Health and Wellness Center pamphlet.

There are a few services that are free such as clinical counseling, blood pressure screening, over-the-counter medications and emergency first aid.

According to CNM Student Health and Wellness Center pamphlet, the mission of the Student Health Center is to provide quality primary care services to CNM students.

A philosophy of wellness (health promotion/disease prevention) is stressed and is also stated in the pamphlet.

Haaland said the Student Health and Wellness Center is also available for other resources beside medical services.

They also have counseling services available and exercise equipment in the wellness center, Haaland said.

Merry Guild, MA, LPCC is the clinical therapist for counseling services also located in the Student Health Center, Haaland said.

According to informational pamphlet on CNM counseling services, some of the common reasons why students might seek counseling are:  stress, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, domestic violence, anger management, relationship problems, and mental health concerns.

Counseling services are free to any currently enrolled CNM student.

In the Wellness Center the exercise equipment available for current CNM students, staff and faculty free of charge are:  two treadmills, two stair climbers, a stationary recumbent bike, a set of free weights, a large machine with four stations for lifting weights and conditioning exercise, according to Student Health and Wellness Center pamphlet.

There are also cubbies to store personal items while working out; the items must be removed from cubbies when finished exercising.

Showers are also available for student’s convenience, per pamphlet.

Haaland said a CNM ID and class schedule are required to use the Wellness Center as well as having to sign a waiver.

Other resources available to students through the CNM Student Health and Wellness Center include information on Meet the Midwives, Early Head Start Programs for pregnant moms, Housing services through Catholic Charities, referrals to various counseling services in the Albuquerque area, Domestic violence resources/assistance, dental services, Medicaid and other health insurances for students, and SNAP benefits.

The hours of operation for the CNM Student Health and Wellness Center are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.