Black History Month Celebration to Take Place on Thursday

February 20, 2017 By Hilary Broman. Senior Staff Reporter

A Celebration of Arts, Culture and Community is scheduled to be held on Thursday, February 23rd from 1-2:30 pm in Student Resource Center (SRC) 204 on Main campus, said Carol Ash, event co-chair.

There will be a music performance from students, Rhea Fayne and NormaJean Rogers, she said.

Students, Shakir Farid and Ibrahim Abdallah, are scheduled to perform spoken word poetry and the CNM African dance class is scheduled to perform a dance piece, Ash said.

There will be light refreshments and door prizes for students, she said, students may be shocked when they find out what the door prizes are.

“This is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of African American’s, to the CNM community and to the Albuquerque community as well as celebrate the talents and the skills of our students right here on our campus,” Ash said.

It is everyone’s responsibility to support our community, Ash said.

“I think it’s important to recognize diversity at every level,” she said, “Great things happen when people all come together and work together as one.”

The event co-chairs are Carol Ash and Rebecca Ratchford and the event is sponsored by the Executive Council of Students, Connect Services and the CNM Foundation.

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CNM Instructor Publishes Her 2nd Book

February 20, 2017. By Hilary Broman, Senior Staff Reporter

Rebecca Aronson, CNM English instructor, recently published her second book of poems, “Ghost Child of the Atalanta Bloom,” she said.

The book starts with a field on fire, Aronson said, it has several themes such as fire and drought, parenting and loss.

About two years ago, Aronson decided to make writing more central to her life, so she teamed up with fellow CNM English instructor, Erin Adair-Hodges, and they worked simultaneously on their manuscripts while providing each other with feedback, Aronson said.

Both Aronson and Adair-Hodges submitted their final manuscripts to press contests and both of them won, Aronson said.

Aronson’s first book, “Creature, Creature,” was published in 2007 and it was composed of a lot of work that she did in graduate school, she said.

Aronson’s poetry has changed a lot over the years and her new book reflects that, she said.

“This book feels much more true to who I am,” she said.

Amidst her busy work schedule and family time, Aronson carves out time to write, she said, even if that means forgoing a weekend event or staying up late at night.

“I feel better when I’m writing,” she said.

Aronson recalls the best piece of writing advice that she received; she was talking to another writer about grading loads and responsibilities, she said.

“She grabbed me by my shoulders and said, ‘Just know that the writing has to come first.’ Aronson said.

It’s always problematic for Aronson to find that time because she wants to give everything she does her full attention, she said.

“I want to teach with integrity, I want to give my students good feedback, I want to give my son attention and I want to give my marriage attention,” she said, “Making a commitment to yourself to do it is the best thing and not to hold yourself to too high a standard.”

Aronson participates in National Poetry Month every April where she writes a poem a day for 30 days.

“At the end of the month I have 30 terrible drafts but then at least it gets my brain moving and it’s material to start revising,” she said.

Aronson is also involved with many CNM writing events, she said, she facilitates the Main campus writing group and organizes the CNM visiting writers series.

Rebecca Aaronson’s new book Ghost Child of the Atalanta Bloom is scheduled for release on April 4, 2017.  While this is her second book to be published, Aaronson said it is just as exciting as her first book “Creature, Creature” published in 2007.  (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)

Aronson and Adair-Hodges also co-host a reading and music series outside of CNM called “Badmouth,” she said.

It’s a mix of performances by musicians and writers, she said.

“It’s something that we wanted to go to, but that didn’t exist, so we decided to do it,” Aronson said.

The upcoming Bad Mouth event will be on March 11th at Tortuga gallery and the ticket sales will be donated to Planned Parenthood, Aronson said.

Find out more about upcoming events on the Bad Mouth Facebook page.

Rebecca Aronson is scheduled to read from her new book at Sunday Chatter music on March 26th and at Book Works on April 20th, she said.

Aronson’s books can be found for sale at the Orison Press Website and on Amazon.


Erin Adair-Hodges to Publish Her Debut Book, “Let’s All Die Happy”

February 20, 2017.  By Hilary Broman

Senior Staff Reporter

Erin Adair-Hodges, CNM English instructor, is scheduled to release her first book of poems titled, “Let’s All Die Happy,” this fall, she said.

She was the winner of the Pitt Poetry first book prize at the University of Pittsburgh Press, Hodges said.

The book is told through a woman’s lens and is very much about the world as experienced as a woman in this culture, she said.

“It investigates lots of different ways in which the world can wear on girls and women,” she said, “as young girls, as daughters, for some of us, as mothers, and as lovers.”

It is also an investigation of apostasy and a loss of faith in religious and cultural institutions, she said.

“What happens when you no longer find meaning in those, where do you find meaning?” Hodges said.

There is also a real dark humor throughout the book, she said.

Hodges has always been interested in Creative writing and she received a Masters degree in poetry, she said.

She stopped writing after she received her degree because she had to work many jobs to make ends meet and she felt, in many ways, that her voice didn’t matter, she said.

Erin Adair-Hodges, full time instructor at CNM in the English department has her first book of poetry being published this fall.  (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)

“I had been led to feel as if my voice and my perspectives weren’t valuable,” Hodges said.

About three years ago, after the birth of her son, Hodges began to think about bringing poetry back into her life, she said.

“I started thinking about who I am outside of my obligations, which is something I think that’s especially important for women to do because too often we get defined by our relationships and obligations to others,” she said.

Hodges decided to commit to making poetry a priority, she said.

“I only started getting published in journals and then getting my book taken when I treated poetry like a job and not just a fun hobby,” Hodges said.

Hodges ended up creating an early draft of her manuscript at the end of 2014 and the version that won the Pitt Poetry Prize was complete in early 2016, she said.

“It was pretty fast”, she said, “but I think it happened so quickly because it had been years of me storing up all of that energy and focus and because I felt like since I was getting a late start, I had no time to lose.”

Hodges worked closely with Rebecca Aronson, another CNM instructor who also published a book this year, to provide each other feedback, she said.

“Although we write very differently, we’ve become really good critics of each other’s work,” she said.

Hodges and Aronson both won contests within six months of each other and Hodges is genuinely happy for Aronson’s success, she said.

“There is plenty of space for lots of great work to be out there. I like to celebrate my friends who get their work recognized,” she said.

Hodges’ poetry was recently featured on PBS NewsHour, she said.

She was asked to submit a poem that spoke to the current climate in this country, she said.

She submitted a poem called, “The Jennifer Century.” Click here to read.

Hodges attributes a lot of her success to being able to rediscover her own weirdness, she said.

“I was a deeply creative, weird thinker and then I lost it for a long time,” Hodges said, “I think becoming a more successful writer was a process of getting back to that original, almost childlike way of processing the world.”

Hodges said that she sees this in students all the time. They give her answers that they think she wants to hear and that’s not the case.

“What I want is their unique, fresh take, formed by their experiences,” she said, “What can you, as an entirely unique person, with entirely unique perspectives bring to this that we’ve never heard before?”

With that, Hodges encourages students to explore classes that are not just a part of their degree program but classes that will help them see their lives differently, she said.

“Poetry has absolutely been that in my own life,” Hodges said.

Hodges’ book is scheduled to be released in the fall, she said.

Her book will be able to be purchased through her website and the University of Pittsburgh Press website.

Bowling for Fun and Credits

February 20, 2017.  Story by Heather Hay

CNM’s ongoing bowling class, taught by part time instructor Scott Romero, offers students more than just a lesson in bowling, it’s a fun stress release exercise and an inspiring place to meet accomplished students and new friends, said Romero.

The class is scheduled for 10 to 1:15 pm on Fridays this summer semester and will prepare students with everything needed to know to join a league and is held at Silva Lanes on Eubank and the class is a mixture of all experience levels, said Romero.

Romero said “People don’t know this exists, even though we’ve been doing it for three years,” and he also added that it transfers to the bowling classes offered at UNM.

Scott Romero watched his students bowl.  He said “You get to know them in a much more intimate level than just lecturing in front of a class.”  (Hay/CNM Chronicle)

The class is very active with each game being about 800 steps, so in the beginning of the semester the class learned proper etiquette and warm up exercises so students know how to take care of soreness, for the rest of the semester each student has played three games a day, he said.

Even though there were no quizzes or tests, Romero said Silva Lanes keeps track of the averages throughout the semester so students can see their progress.

Silva Lanes also runs specials for CNM students who are not enrolled: one free game a year when you show your student ID, and two dollar shoes and two dollar games daily, said Diana Silva of Silva Lanes.

At the end of every semester Silva Lanes shuffles 20 color pins that day just for the students and you win a five dollar gift certificate if you knock the colored pins down, he said.

“Even if you are the shyest person, or if you are a little introverted, everybody here is so welcoming,” said Romero, and he added that the class is designed to accommodate bowlers of all experience levels, and almost all fitness classes (FITT in the catalog of classes) are offered with no prerequisites.

“It’s fun and you can make friends.  It’s a good way to take away stress from other classes,” said bowling student Dulce Estrada.

“Students who take a fitness class in general, it transitions over, there is a correlation between grades and taking a fitness class,” said Romero.

Romero said he used to bowl professionally when he was younger, then he was a case manager for troubled teens and then got involved with youth coaching before working at CNM five years ago.

Bowling student ,Emily Hoffman, said Romero is her partner for unified bowling, which is an athlete paired with a professional, for the Special Olympics in the summer every year, and Hoffman and Romero won state Special Olympics in unified golf.

CNM student Emily Hoffman bowls with her class mates every week at Silva Lanes in NE Albuquerque, and also said she would like it if CNM offered more active classes like swing dancing.  (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)
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Connie Hoffman watches her ball closely; the moments after release may tell her what the ball is likely to do. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)

Connie Hoffman, who has gotten a Business Graphics Design from CNM, Angie Molina and Emily Hoffman said they started taking the classes three years ago and they all participate in Special Olympics.

Connie Hoffman said she continues to do graphic design work by making the fundraising posters for Special Olympics where she competes in Bowling, Golf, and Bocce Ball and wishes CNM would teach Bocce.

Over the years, Scott said there have been at least 5 students who have taken his class and Special Olympics, and said he always participates in fundraising events for the program since the state cut funding for Special Olympics.

For more information on the bowling class at CNM, contact Scott Romero at  For more information on bowling classes at UNM, contact Gary Skidmore at

Bowling class (FITT 2096) for the Summer Semester, CRN 95559 Instructor: Scott Romero
May 15th to August 6th, Fridays 10:00 am – 1:15 pm Location: Silva Lanes Bowling, 3010 Eubank Blvd NE