According to the CNM website, final exams are just around the corner for students in Math, Science and Engineering or Communications, Humanities and Social Sciences classes.
Kevin Macken, Biology major said this year he is going to try some new ways to keep from getting over stressed so he can maximize his potential including taking time to mediate and exercise more to “clear the head and create room for all the knowledge.”
Macken said “I am super stressed about one of them— I have to do well to pass the class.”
Yoga instructor and Nutrition major, Jamie Duncan said that one great way to relax is to exercise with a yoga class.
Practicing yoga helps calm the mind and releases endorphins that relax the body and make people happy, and practicing yoga also helps to suppress the stress hormone cortisol, she said.
“When you’re stressed it’s harder for you to remember things, so by doing yoga, you’re going to ace that test, you’re going to ace it with flying colors,” Duncan said.
Here are some local venues compiled by the Chronicle that can help melt the stress away at decently priced sessions of relaxation and unwinding to be prepared for when the days finals come around.
This summer CNM is offering more courses in online or condensed eight week format than ever before, said Brad Moore, Director of Marketing and Communications.
CNM began offering the eight week courses during the 2013 Summer term as a pilot program to test student interest and allow faculty members the opportunity to teach their curriculum in a condensed format, which was both well received and effective, he said.
“One of CNM’s core missions is to ensure that a CNM education is accessible to as many people in our community as possible. In addition to keeping tuition affordable, another important way CNM tries to make its courses easily accessible is by giving people multiple options on how, when and where they want to take CNM classes,” Moore said.
To achieve this goal, CNM has been increasing the number of online classes offered over the past few years to accommodate students who have busy schedules or have difficulty getting to one of the campuses, and enrollment in online courses reached an all-time high during the Spring 2014 term with 8,957 students taking at least one online course, Moore said.
“Enrollment in online classes has continued to steadily rise year by year, and CNM has continued to increase its offerings of online classes to meet student demand,” Moore said.
The new eight week format classes provide another option for students to complete courses over the summer, and provides them with the added bonus of a longer break between spring and summer terms since the courses start later, Moore said.
Another benefit to the later start date for eight week courses is they will allow for graduating high school seniors to attend classes, which was not possible before because CNM’s summer semester started before the high school year ended, he said.
The eight week courses are scheduled in smaller chunks of time, but spread out over four days per week to allow for time to cover the same amount of material as the traditional classes, Moore said.
“Taking a condensed course like this also requires more time per week devoted to coursework outside of the classroom,” he said.
Students who do take advantage of the summer semester course offerings will benefit from being on a faster path to graduation, Moore said.
“Many of our students work full-time and many of our students have children, so we try to offer courses in various formats, so they are accessible to anybody who wants to improve their lives through the power of education,” Moore said.
American Indian Science and Engineering Society AISES
meets the second Friday of every month at 12 p.m. at the SSC, room 205 Next meeting: Friday, April 11
Club Advisor: Dee Bluehorse (DBluehorse@cnm.edu)
AISES is a diverse group of students from different Native American tribes and backgrounds, who have come together to create a supportive and dynamic community of students, said Troy Blackdog, engineering major and AISES president.
“I’ve been involved with AISES for a while and I love it. Everybody there is very welcoming and friendly, and there’s a lot of opportunities, especially with internships and scholarships,” said Bertishia Begay, Physics major.
Aside from the opportunities for internships and scholarships, club members get involved with groups and events in the greater Albuquerque community and beyond to strengthen ties between the club and other communities, Blackdog said.
“This shows us that the students are willing to step up to the plate and become an active member, and that shows a lot, not only to me, but to the faculty, CNM, and to our advisor,” Blackdog said.
Blackdog said he invites students looking for a diverse and supportive group on campus to come and attend one of the meetings to meet people, network and possibly make friends.
The club is open to all students, and though it is based in Science and Engineering, the group accepts students from other majors as well, he said.
ARTWorks! CNM Art Club
Meetings are held as scheduled at artworks.wix.com, 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Main Campus, room N-15
Faculty Advisor: Danielle Miller (DRMiller@cnm.edu)
CNM’s Art Club, ARTWorks is a student organization whose members include students, faculty and alumni at CNM, said ARTWorks club president, Letitia Hill.
The club works to organize and fund exhibitions, art sales, studio time, visiting speakers and museum tours, as well as to provide members with a connection to the greater arts community, Hill said.
One great aspect of the club is that it holds a variety of workshops throughout the year, which provides members the opportunity to experience new and different applications, and to learn new techniques in a supportive and fun environment, she said.
The club works to support student artists transitioning to becoming professional artists, and can help them develop valuable social networking skills, “which are vital to becoming successful artistic entrepreneurs,” she said.
Students interested in joining the club can find member applications and more information at artworks.wix.com, where students can also RSVP to events, Hill said.
“Are you passionate about art? Wish to be challenged and learn new artistic skills? Want to be supported in creative endeavors? Meet likeminded students? Join ARTWorks Art Club,” Hill said.
CNM Shooting Club
Meetings held once per term as scheduled through the MyCNM group
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Lisa Orick-Martinez (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The mission of the shooting club is first and foremost to provide education and instruction to all CNM students, faculty and staff, said Dr. Lisa Orick-Martinez, Communications Studies Instructor and Shooting Club Faculty Advisor.
She said the club gives opportunity for members to be educated in firearm safety, legal issues, respect and marksmanship, which is put into practice at caliber shooting meetings held by the club once a semester.
The club also supports students who are interested in pursuing the National Rifle Association’s Competitive Shooting Awards and provides non-firearm related education about personal security on and off campus to all CNM personnel, Orick-Martinez said.
The Shooting Club is also looking to participate in activities on campus to increase awareness of gun related crime and techniques for crime prevention, she said.
The group is looking for a new board this fall, and students who are taking at least three credit hours can contact the group’s advisor via email if they are interested in serving on the board, Orick-Martinez said.
The group currently has about 100 students in the MyCNM group, and is always accepting new members. Students can register through their MyCNM account under “groups” she said.
American Welding Society, CNM chapter
Meetings are Wednesdays from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. in room W-102, plus additional events as scheduled.
Next meeting: Wednesday April 9
Faculty Advisor: Kay Hamby (email@example.com)
Club President Henno Van Arkle said for those who join AWS, there is a $15 annual fee that goes to the national organization, which helps to provide scholarships and field trips for AWS members.
Vice President, Thomas Saunders said CNM’s chapter is also involved with the state union, NM Local 75, which provides opportunities for club members to get to know other welders across the state.
“One great thing I get out of AWS in general is the networking,” Saunders said.
Students who join the group are also automatically enrolled in the state and national chapter, Van Arkle said.
Over the past few months he and Saunders have been working to reboot the club and have planned monthly field trips, with the next one scheduled for April 25 to a company called CEI, Van Arkle said.
The club also wants to organize events and bring outside speakers to teach seminars on specific topics or give presentations to the club, as well as provide networking opportunities with local companies, Van Arkle said.
Meets Saturdays for study sessions 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in room JS-301
Monthly designated meetings as scheduled
Faculty Advisor: Carl Whalen (CWhalen1@cnm.edu)
When the Math, Chemistry, Physics and Biology groups were formed, they agreed to meet for weekly study sessions on the same day with these clubs in rooms next to each other, so students could move freely between them, said Chemistry Society President, Tim Torres.
He said the times were staggered to make it possible for students to attend the various clubs, which helps students who are taking classes in those areas form a strong community of learners as they often find themselves in the same classes at the same time.
“The idea there is to develop a community of people who are in those STEM fields,” he said.
During the weekly meetings the group occupies a large classroom with students who work together as a group, usually organizing themselves by shared classes, he said.
Torres said students do not have to be in a chemistry class or be a chemistry major to take advantage of the club’s weekly meetings.
For a complete list of CNM Student Clubs, CLICK HERE.
By Carol Woodland, Staff Reporter | Photo by Carol Woodland
Dr. David Jackson, Professor of Business and Technology said he has many passions in life he has been lucky to turn into lucrative careers, but the most recent of which is teaching martial arts classes at his dojo, Aiki-Karate martial arts training hall located at 112 La Veta St. NE.
Jackson has been practicing martial arts for 37 years, and owns a dojo here in Albuquerque and another in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he got his start on the martial arts path and it is also where he worked as a Gladiator at Cesar’s Palace Hotel and Casino, he said.
Jackson said when he was 10 years old he was “a very bad kid” and at that time children were put into martial arts as a discipline.
“My very first Tae Kwan Do class, my instructor told me I would never get a black belt because I was so ornery,” Jackson said.
Jackson said he remembers that day vividly, and though he was kicked out of that particular dojo, he went on to earn five black belts in five different styles of martial arts as well as a doctorate in Business Management, and he later thanked the instructor who told him he would never earn even one black belt.
“Negative energy came at me, I took the negative energy and I made positive out of it,” said Jackson, who said that he was grateful that though the instructor had put him down, it gave him the drive to succeed.
Jackson said that martial arts teaches you to be a better person, “to be the best that you can be,” and the skills you learn in the dojo transfer to all facets of life.
In the dojo, students learn to avoid conflict and how to move it away from themselves or how to evade it, whether that conflict is a kick, a punch, a sword, a knife, or gun, he said.
Not only do his martial arts students learn how to protect themselves, but they can also learn specific skills like how to use a sword or bow staff, or how to meditate, Jackson said.
“I meditate every single day, because you can’t be this positive, and not meditate. You can’t,” Jackson said.
His dojo teaches a hybrid of martial arts systems called Aiki-Karate, which is a mixture of five different martial arts systems Jackson blended, he said.
One style incorporated is Wing Chun Kung Fu, which Jackson says can be seen practiced in any Bruce Lee movie, and is a system of martial arts with an interesting history.
“Back in the feudal days, women weren’t allowed to learn martial arts, they were very chauvinistic back then,” he said, explaining that Wing Chun Kung Fu was created by a woman, who studied Chinese monks and adapted their Kung Fu style to fit her body.
Jackson said he believes that in addition to developing skills for self-defense, students of Aiki also learn to develop their own confidence, and fear can be a good thing in that sense because people who practice martial arts can learn to hold on to fear and convert it to confidence.
Jackson said that when he feels negative energy he makes it his goal to convert it to positive, and to bring about positive changes in people’s lives.
“I’ve integrated martial arts into everything I’ve taught here at CNM in my teaching, I do it automatically. My students don’t even realize that they’re really learning martial arts, but it’s in a business setting,” said Jackson.
In the classroom, the dojo, or out on the streets in everyday life, confidence and success comes from diligent and steady practice of techniques learned, he said.
He said he also enjoys making costumes, such as a hand crafted Iron Man costume in his spare time, and running his personal consulting firm, when he’s not teaching classes at CNM.
The Iron Man costume was made for Halloween of 2013, and when he posted pictures of it on Facebook a few likes turned into him being propositioned into doing kid’s birthday parties, and a new business had been born, Jackson said.
“I’m blessed because my passion, something that I love doing became a business, just like karate was and teaching is— same thing,” he said.
Jackson said he encourages students in any major to consider taking business classes for the invaluable skills to be learned such as how to manage people, how to plan, and how to organize and control things, as well as learning about human relationships and conceptual skills.
“Even if they’re non-business majors, they still need to take my classes because my classes will help them with whatever career they’re going in. Karate or CNM, or take them both,” Jackson said.
Jackson said that learning martial arts changed and helped his life, and taught him that he needed to teach, which he loves to do.
“I am a sensei. Sensei is Japanese for ‘the one before, who taught me, teacher.’ My purpose in life was to be a sensei, to teach others the right path to walk,” he said.
For more information on Dr. Jackson’s Martial Arts classes, email senseitoshi@ yahoo.com or call 382-0692.
By Carol Woodland, Staff Reporter | Photo by Carol Woodland
In partnership with the Native American Task Team, CNM’s chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society plans to hold a 5k fun run and one mile walk on Sunday April 6, said Teresa Billy, Academic Adviser and member of the NATT.
Billy said the groups have been planning the “Honor Your Heritage” 5k since last November which was Native American Heritage month, but bad weather prevented the event from being held at that time.
Nabahe Abeita, Vice President of AISES and Engineering major, said he is very happy to see the event come to fruition is looking forward to volunteering during the race.
“I’m excited about the fun run first of all because we had to postpone it before and now we actually get to have the event occur, I’m excited to have the event to have other Native American members volunteer to help make it successful,” Abeita said.
Billy said that the groups wanted to host the run to promote unity, health and wellness for the CNM community.
Members of the NATT and AISES met with the Dean of Students, Student Activities, Security, and the Communications office as part of the event planning, Billy said.
“This was something that students really wanted to have here on campus. It’s the first time ever a 5k and 1 mile fun run will be held on campus,” Billy said.
Volunteers will be needed to help the event run smoothly and there will be training for volunteers on Friday, March 4 at 2:30 p.m. in the Student Services Center, room 205, she said.
Students who are interested can contact Academic Adviser and AISES Adviser Dee Bluehorse (dbluehorse@ cnm.edu) if interested in volunteering, she said.
The race will be held on Sunday, April 6, and those interested in running or walking should arrive in front of the Student Services Building at 8 a.m. to register, as the event will kick off shortly thereafter, Billy said.
During spring break, five students from the AISES attended the third national AISES Leadership Conference at Santa Ana Pueblo said Dee Bluehorse, AISES adviser and academic adviser.
In addition to all of the AISES chapters present there were professional speakers from local New Mexico businesses, as well as some from out of state companies who gave presentations and workshops, Bluehorse said.
Jasmine Casiquito, Liberal Arts major, said she had not been to the conference before, but found it to be deeply enriching.
Students could attend sessions; in financial planning, social media, resume building, public speaking and interviewing, among other leadership development activities, Bluehorse said.
“One of the things I learned at the leadership is that there are so many obstacles, but you just have to find a way to get through them, there’s always a way, no matter how difficult it may be,” Casiquito said.
The club’s advisers took part in professional training sessions in which they were able to share some of the things they do to help students be successful, Bluehorse said.
She had expected to receive a lot of input from other group advisers, but in fact it was CNM’s AISES chapter that was giving out much of the input, and Bluehorse said “We were on top, I found myself giving ideas out to them.”
Bluehorse said that the CNM students were also very influential communicators and a dignified group who made quite an impression on the other attendees during the conference.
“One thing that was mentioned to me by other chapter advisors, is that CNM is really shining at this conference,” Bluehorse said.
Bluehorse said she attributes some of that positive attention to the efforts of Jana Dunow who is incredibly dedicated to the AISES students’ success.
“She was a very influential person regarding this, she even held a previous workshop for our AISES officers to attend,” Bluehorse said.
Jana Dunow, academic advisor and AISES co-advisor said that though the group is rooted in promoting Science and Technology fields, their view on what falls under the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math umbrella is much more diverse than other groups on campus such as STEM Up.
Dunow said AISES covers everything from health sciences to psychology to heating and refrigeration technology, and Bluehorse added that even business could be included.
“Business is included as well too because we’re finding out that a lot of the programs that deal with STEM need those other disciplines in those areas too,” Bluehorse said.
Dunow said that the group provides valuable backing to students to help them become successful in their careers.
“They have great resources, they have internships during the summer, and they also have peer mentors which can be huge for students figuring out where they want to go,” Dunow said.
AISES is also involved in a variety of volunteer projects in the greater community including the New Mexico Mesa STEM conference in February where Jasmine Casiquito volunteered, Bluehorse said.
Other AISES students have volunteered in the community through partnerships with Habitat for Humanity and Project Feed the Hood, Bluehorse said.
“All students can experience the same things that Jasmine (Casiquito) was able to because it’s going to help them as they go through their college career,” Dunow said.
Native American club hosts fun run should have been dated on April 6, as the dates for the race and volunteer session were printed as March 4 and 6. American Indian Science and Engineering Society members will be volunteering, but AISES is not the host as it is stated in the headline. Throughout the article, AISES was referred to as THEATER.
An exciting change is coming for students pursuing an Associate of Arts in English degree from CNM said Stephen Mathewson, chair of the English department.
Starting in fall of 2014 students will be able to pursue an AA in English completely online, he said.
“So you can take all of the core requirements within English but also within CHSS ( Communication , Humanities and Social Sciences) for the AA in English online,” Mathewson said.
Online courses will offer classes that include British, English and World Literature, as well as a class on literature analysis, Mathewson said.
The AA degree in English is also undergoing a revision to make transferring to the University of New Mexico a clearer process by synchronizing CNM with UNM requirements, he said.
“If students check UNM’s degree requirements online, they will see what ours will be. It’s a much more streamlined process especially at the sophomore level, and in the fall of 2015 our degree will match UNM’s revisions,” Mathewson said.
Currently students can choose from numerous different literatures and writing classes that include special topics course, such as Science Fiction Literature that will be offered at the West Side campus, a script writing class offered through the Theater department, and Film as Literature class which is already offered every semester, Mathewson said.
Despite the selection of course offerings, there has been low enrollment for some of the classes, English Professor, Rebecca Aronson said.
“This semester we didn’t have a poetry class on the Main campus because there was a dip in enrollment,” she said.
Aronson said she thinks that there are many great reasons why students should take Poetry or Creative Writing classes ranging from practical reasons to more expressive purposes.
“I think that on the imagination side, it’s a chance for people to express themselves, or sometimes just vent, follow their imaginative paths and do a freer kind of writing than academic writing,” she said.
In addition, students can gain a deeper connection to their lives and ideas when students write down their thoughts and aspirations, Aronson said.
Examining literature in English class can be an unexpected way to learn about culture by looking at literature from other countries or from the past, Aronson said.
“I think that poetry really is a good reflector of culture, time and place. You’re going to learn things about culture and what’s happening, and what that part of the world is like,” she said.
Reading literature from other countries can also help to get students informed about things they might not necessarily be learning from the news, Aronson said.
Mathewson said he thinks the skills students take away from English classes are essential in any professional environment.
“Not just writing emails, I think students don’t realize how much writing happens at work: proposals, grants, annual reports, revenue statements, those types of skills are universal,” he said.
Good writing skills, critical thinking, and analysis of all types of texts are all valuable skills developed in English classes, Mathewson said.
Writing for digital media, creative non-fiction, and professional writing are some of the biggest markets for English majors to start careers in right now Mathewson said, he also said he thinks that technology has been a catalyst to this growth.
“There’s sort of this misconception that texting is going to destroy writing, where actually the opposite is true,” he said.
Professional writing, which most people think of as technical writing, is not necessarily writing technical manuals and medical or government documents, Mathewson said.
From writing grants and proposals to critical analysis of nontraditional nonfiction, there are many interesting niches within professional writing, he said.
Though the field may be growing quickly writers still need to develop strong English skills in order to succeed in any field, Mathewson said.
“Digital media sort of exploded in a lot of ways, but within that explosion you still need to punctuate correctly and make sure subjects and verbs agree,” Mathewson said.
One way students can dig a little deeper into English is by taking 2240, a class in traditional English grammar, Mathewson said.
“In the last year or so Erin Lebacqz has revived 2240, which is a class that a lot of folks in education curriculums take but a lot of English majors take as well. It’s not really a writing improvement class, but sort of the theories behind grammar,” Mathewson said.
The track that students are taking to earn an English degree is evolving and changing to meet the needs of today’s workforce, Mathewson said.
“I think that it’s certainly changed from when I was a student. It’s become much more expansive and the traditional arrangements of English departments are no longer what they were,” Mathewson said.
For students still unsure of whether or not to pursue English as a degree, the English department has put together a video at the CNM YouTube website (youtube.com/users/ CNMonline) called “Why is Writing Important?,” and shows people from all different walks of life talking about how to use the skills students have developed in English classes, Mathewson said.
Aronson said that students sometimes avoid or fear taking English classes and should not have to feel that way because learning English is just like any other subject and that with practice people can learn to be great writers.
By Carol Woodland, Staff Reporter | Photo by Carol Woodland
New Mexico is full of amazing geological features and students who take Earth and Planetary Sciences courses are able to take advantage of the hands on approach to learning by participating in geological survey field trips.
John Rogers, professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences said that this semester there are six offerings within the department including a special topics course called Geology of New Mexico.
Rogers said he offers all students in Earth and Planetary Sciences the opportunity to take part in the field trips, and hopes to give students the opportunity to go on at least six field trips each semester in his classes.
“We’ve had two trips so far this semester, and we’ll probably have five more before the end of the semester,” Rogers said.
This semester students have been north of Albuquerque to Tent Rocks and to the east side of the Sandia Mountains to touch a geologic feature called the Great Unconformity.
There are also plans to visit the White Mesa area south of the Jemez, and to go on some trips with the Albuquerque Gem and Mineral Club, he said.
Students who go on the trips are able to collect fossils and minerals for themselves, and for those interested in collecting, the annual Albuquerque Gem and Mineral Club trip to Bingham Mine near Socorro is not to be missed, Rogers said.
“We’ll collect barite, calcite, lead minerals, travertine; a whole bunch of stuff,” Rogers said.
Rogers said that while most of his trips are not too strenuous some of them may include several miles of hiking, so he lets students know beforehand how challenging the trips may be and what students need to do to prepare.
CNM is in a great location to study geology, as there are many different landscapes at each campus, Rogers said.
“Just walking between classes is a field trip. I’ve told my students that I don’t know of another campus in the world where you can see the diversity of volcanic features that you can see from CNM’s Main Campus,” Rogers said.
The Physical Geology and Earth History labs also offer students the chance to learn with hands on activities, he said.
Students in the Physical Geology labs are currently learning about geologic maps, and have also spent a lot of time this semester learning to identify different rocks and minerals, and are learning about how Earth’s geologic features work, Rogers said.
Studying geology offers students a chance to develop skills in other subjects as well, such as math and science, Rogers said.
“There is lots of math, biology and chemistry in geology, but you do not need to come in with a strong background,” he said.
Rogers said that while many students take one of the geology classes to fulfill a science credit, some are just taking it because they are interested in rocks, minerals and crystals, and some are pursuing geology as a career.
According to the US Government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics website, bls.gov, the job outlook for geoscientists with a bachelor’s degree is promising, with a 16 percent increase predicted over the next eight years, which is faster than average for most occupations.
“Hopefully our classes sway some of those who were just taking it as a science class to maybe think about going that direction,” Rogers said.
Career possibilities include exploration for minerals or oil, working energy related fields, or environmental work, Rogers said.
“ P e o p l e don’t think of geologists as environmentalists, but a lot of us get work in the environmental realm working for private consultants, working for the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), and working for the New Mexico environment department ,” he said.
There are also jobs working for private consultants looking at geologic hazards and remediation of environmental disasters, as well as in education, Rogers said.
CNM’s Earth and Planetary Science classes all transfer to UNM, including the special topic courses, which, unlike some of the other special topics courses, are eligible for financial aid, Rogers said.
Rogers said that CNM will continue to offer the Geology of New Mexico class in addition to the Physical Geology class and Physical Geology Lab each semester on multiple campuses, Earth History and Earth History Lab, as well as the new Dinosaurs special topics course, which will only be held once or twice a year, he said.
“One of my goals is to just get students thinking about things that they see every day and maybe haven’t contemplated before. Like what is the origin of that hill sitting off in the distance? Is it a volcano?” Rogers said.
On Thursday March 27 at 7 p.m., CNM’s Writing Club will be presenting writer and poet Tomás Morín in the Smith Brasher Auditorium, which will be free and open to the public.
Writing Club Advisor and English Instructor, Rebecca Aronson said she is excited to host Morín, who is reading his first published book, “A Larger Country,” which is a poetry anthology that was published in 2012.
“He is a really interesting poet; a really engaging nice person, a good presenter” she said.
Aronson said that at the event Morín will talk about his poems and will read either from his book or new work, and there will be a question and answer session afterwards.
To find out more about the event or the Main Campus Writer’s Club, email Rebecca Aronson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
S.A.G.E. Instructor, and member of the Main Campus Writing Club, Stephen Romero said he thinks Morín’s poetry has a naturalistic sense, and readers can find a sense of home or personal history in his work.
“It’s clear his poetry has a deep connection to place—this comes through the imagery in his poems, which like a winding road, takes readers on journeys with the speaker, and at the end, it’s exciting to see where he takes us,” Romero said.
There are three chapters of the writing group that meet on Main, West Side and Montoya campuses, Aronson said.
Locations and times of the meetings can be found on the CHSS calendar at the CNM website.
“It’s a group for people who are interested in any kind of creative writing, at any level, to just come and write and get to know other writers and talk about writing,” Aronson said.
The group is open to people who may not consider themselves writers too, Romero said.
At the Main Writer’s Club, writers bring something they have recently read to share with the group, such as an article or book excerpt, or poem that the group can discuss, and members also may bring prompts or writing exercises, Aronson said.
“We’re really a mix of poets and fiction writers, playwrights and memoirists. We try and make the prompts, so that they could work for any genre, then everybody writes, and people can choose to read what they’ve written or just listen,”Aronson said.
Aronson said that in her opinion any kind of writing practice is helpful and can be a great outlet, and believes that poetry can be a good means to express things that are difficult.
“It’s just a playful, expressive, interesting way of communicating,” she said.
Romero said that members can gain a lot from the experience of being in a writer’s group.
The group is very open to helping others find resources and work on specific skills, he said.
“I’ve been in the writing group for a few years now, and it’s been one of the most welcoming, relaxed environments I’ve been a part of, and it’s helped me develop my writing skills so much because it’s allowed me to have a set time to actually sit and write and talk and share with others,” Romero said.
Romero said that he thinks the idea of poetry and creative writing has become distorted or romanticized as though it is an unattainable or unnecessary skill but the reality is that language is power.
Romero said all language, even body language is poetry, and that creativity is an inherent force within a person connected to how they view the world around them.
“To anyone who is intimidated by poetry, my honest advice is to try and recognize that it’s not just confusing word vomit that high school English teachers make you write five paragraph essays on. It’s a force inside the human spirit— each person just has to have the desire to explore it, in whatever capacity in which they feel comfortable,” Romero said.
For students interested in experiencing great poetry come to life, Tomás Morín’s reading will be Thursday, March 27 at 7 p.m.
By Carol Woodland, Staff Reporter | Photo Courtesy of nexusilluminati.blogspot.com
Body modification today is more popular than ever, and according to a Pew Research Poll in 2010, 23 percent of Americans have a tattoo.
Sarah Egelman, professor of Religious Studies, explained that tattoos go all the way back to the Iceman, with a 5,200 year old mummy found with tattoos of dots and small x’s on his knee.
“People think of it as sort of this new trend or whatever, but it’s a really, really, really ancient tradition. In fact, the oldest preserved human, the Iceman, was tattooed,” Egelman said.
She said it is thought that tattoos may have been applied to alleviate pain, as archaeological records showed age related degeneration on the bones of the Iceman’s knee.
Egelman said tattoos were popular in ancient Egypt, but for the Egyptians, tattoos were only worn by women and likely served as protection during pregnancy and childbirth.
According to “Tattoos, the Ancient and Mysterious History” at smithstonian. com, Egyptian tattoos were made up of a geometric pattern of dots and lines possibly intended to mimic a beaded net, that were applied to the abdomen and thighs of women, and were found on mummies as well.
Tattoos have been performed in ancient China, Japan, Peru, Chile, Europe, North America and North Africa, and tattoos have even been found on mummies in Greenland and Siberia, and while different cultures had their own methods and purposes for tattooing, they all likely involved a slow and painful procedure, according to the smithstonian. com article.
Egelman said across the Mediterranean tattooing was also practiced by Romans.
“I do know that some Romans tattooed themselves religiously as sort of a protection, kind of like amulets,” she said.
After the Roman Empire’s conversion to Christianity, tattoos remained popular despite a biblical law prohibiting any sort of marking upon the body, and that biblical law against tattoos comes from Leviticus, a part of the Bible, which contains laws about dietary restrictions and even garment material restrictions, which most Christians no longer follow, Egelman said.
“Christianity really took off in other parts of the Mediterranean world where tattooing was more acceptable and that prohibition doesn’t stand,” Egelman said.
While Judaism and Islam did follow the biblical prohibition, Egelman said that within some sects of Islam there is a history, of temporary henna tattooing for weddings or other celebrations, which is found in other cultures around the world as well.
“I think it’s been more popular around the world for cultural and religious reasons, and medical reasons in ancient history than people recognize,” Egelman said.
Margo DeMello, Professor of Anthropology said the simplest way to make a tattoo by hand was to use a sharpened thorn, bone, stick or rock dipped into pigment and poked into the skin.
“Another method is to cut the skin with a sharpened implement and then rub the pigment into the wound,” DeMello said.
In Polynesian culture, their method is to use a carved comb made of shell and dipped in ink, then pounded into the skin using a mallet, she said.
“In Japan, tattoos were (and are) made with a long bamboo device with needles attached to the end; the needles are pushed into the body. In the Arctic, the people there literally sew tattoos into the skin using a needle and thread dipped in ink,” DeMello said.
According to japandailypress.com tattoos were used as punishment during the Edo period from the 1600s to 1800s, and are still taboo because people with even minor tattoos are discriminated against and turned away from some businesses in Japan.
She said today’s tattoos are done in a much more sterile and safe environment than before, although some traditional techniques are still used.
DeMello said one type of tattooing called “Yantra” which is done by hand in Southeast Asia, remains ever popular despite being a very painful process.
Yantra tattoos are said to be able to protect the wearer from evil and danger because of the mixture of ingredients in the ink and that the monks who apply the tattoos say a special prayer, she said.
“I don’t know what the people in Southeast Asia think of western tattooing, but I do know that lots of people there wear western tattoos,” DeMello said.
DeMello has been studying and writing about tattooing for many years and published a book called “Bodies of Inscription: A Cultural History of the Tattoo Community” in 2000.
“Tattooing has become main-stream in the United States since 2000. It was already well on the rise when my book was published, and it continues to get more and more normative in this culture,” DeMello said.
One reason DeMello thinks tattoos are so popular in Albuquerque is because of a link to ancient Rome through Albuquerque’s large Latino population.
“In addition, tattooing has a very, very long history in Christianity. It goes back to the very early Christians who lived in ancient Rome, and who wore tattoos to show their Christian faith. So a lot of Latinos wear Christian tattoos in particular to demonstrate their faith,” DeMello said.
For young people, getting a tattoo could be considered a rite of passage, DeMello said.
“In traditional cultures around the world that is how it has commonly been—one receives one’s first tattoo upon reaching sexual maturity or adulthood in many cultures, and in some cultures, without a tattoo you are not marriageable,” DeMello said.
Jessica Craig, Professor of Anthropology said the Ancient Mayans widely practiced body modification.
She said they used a process of shaping the head of their babies called “artificial cranial deformation,” or head binding which started not long after birth.
“We suspect that the Maya would do this by tightly binding babies/toddlers to cradle boards. Interestingly, while it was more common among the upper classes, we do see evidence for the practice among the lower classes as well,” Craig said.
She went on to explain that while different classes of people had their heads shaped, the shape itself was based on social class, which would create an easily visible social identification of which class someone belonged.
Donna Rosh, Professor of Anthropology said that cranial deformation was also practiced by some Southeastern and Northwest American tribes and the desired result was to produce a slanted, elongated forehead.
However, for these tribes, cranial deformation was reserved for those with a certain social status.
“Only families with high status practiced it,” said Rosh.
According to “Modern Induced Skull Deformity in Adults” by William Gump, induced skull deformity is still performed now with a method for adults, which is used to “reach different levels of conscience” or accessing different parts of the brain and is believed to be why Mayans used this method of modification.
Craig said that Mayans also practiced dental modification and had several methods for modifying their teeth, such as filing them into very sharp points or to drill a small hole in the center of a tooth and inlay it with pieces of jade.
“Certainly the use the jade was associated with social class, as this was the gold of the ancient Maya, so only someone with a degree of wealth could afford this procedure,” Craig said.
For the Ancient Maya body modification offered people the opportunity to create a distinct social identity for themselves, very much like today, Craig said.