Category Archives: OPINION

New winter classes and clubs you’ll wanna check out…maybe


By Matt Benoit

Well, it’s almost the end of the quarter, and that can only mean one thing: free beer on campus! No, wait, that’s not it. Actually, it means finals, but it also means signing up for your next quarter’s-worth of classes (which hopefully will not be the same ones you took this quarter).

So, in the interest of serving you, the student, I thought I’d share some of the new and interesting classes and clubs coming to Whatcom for winter quarter. Let’s take a look:


Navigation 100, with your instructors, Northwest Airlines pilots Timothy Cheney and Richard Cole. Learn how to overshoot your destinations by at least 150 miles!

Intro to Quail Hunting, with former vice president Dick Cheney. Bullet-proof vest recommended.

The Art of Bathroom Stall Graffiti (ART666)—Learn how to scribble racist, sexist, or just plain weird-ass crap onto the partitions of the college’s bathroom stalls in an aesthetically-pleasing manner.

Tone-deaf Choir (MUS126)—Do you notice people laughing, cringing, or putting in ear plugs any time you burst into song? Have you ever considered that you might be tone-deaf, and, as a result, a really crappy singer? Well, now’s your chance to find out. Open auditions will be held for students who can’t hold a note.

“2012—why we’re all gonna die!” (HIST149)—Learn about the prophecies of the end of days coming in 2012, and find out what to do when the world starts to crumble like a fractured saltine cracker, and we’re all totally screwed (except for John Cusack). Who needs that degree if you won’t be around to use it?

Penultimate Frisbee (PE146)-Not quite as good as Ultimate Frisbee, but pretty close.

Personal Finance 100 (BUS100) with your instructors, AIG’s board of directors and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Learn how to lose billions of dollars, and then just ask the government for more!

Ponzi Scheming 101 (BUS247), with guest lecturer Bernard Madoff. Prerequisite: Greed 100.

“Hiking the Appalachian Trail” (PE147), with South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford. Features a field trip to Argentina.

Public Speaking 162 (CMST162), with instructors Kayne West and U.S. Representative Joe Wilson. Learn how to interrupt and sabotage the speeches and conversations of everyone from presidents to pop stars!

Texting Messaging 101 (CMST101)—Lern how to txt mess. in class w/o prof’s knowledge! OMG, ROTFL! UR MY BFF!

Northwest Winter Weather Systems (WET365), with Bernie Dougan. Learn about the winter weather systems of the great Northwest. Poncho required.

The Art of Losing (SUK202), with the Detroit Lions. Learn the advanced techniques needed to prevent your team from winning much of anything and ensuring the absence of postseason appearances. Prerequisites: Allowing the other team to score (SUK101), Who needs possession? (SUK100).

Community Ed Classes:

Transitioning into Retirement, with Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre.

Special seminar: “the art of debating”—Learn how to yell and scream about universal healthcare and the secret communist plots of Barack Obama, just like our nation’s top protestors! Obama-Hitler mustache posters WILL be available!

“Oh my God! What is that?”-How to control your reaction to seeing that big yellow orb in the sky, better known as the sun, during Northwest winters.

New clubs:

Sleep Deprivation Club-Meets at 2:30 a.m. every Monday. Bring a case of Red Bull and some NoDoz.  The club’s advisor, Sandy Mann, will shine a flashlight in your eyes once every hour to make sure you’re still awake.

Laziness Club—attendance, participation not required. Will meet when they “get around to it.”

“Twilight” Club—Turn into a young vampire and make really bad movies.

Student Failure Workshops:

“Ignoring the alarm clock and other new ways to ditch class”—“Hey man, this class is boring…why show up?”

“Homework? What homework?”—Learn how to treat the homework schedule less like a requirement and more like a suggestion.

“Where did all my money go?”-How to blow your budget on things like liquor, gambling, members of the opposite sex, and products sold on late-night infomercials.

“How to get on your instructor’s bad side”—Learn the fine techniques required to really push your luck with your professor, including mimicry and verbal abuse in the classroom, as well as sending several hundred e-mails to their in-box every day.

Procrastination Seminar—class has been postponed.

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What’s the first thing you’re going to do when school gets out for the quarter?

April Hinkel-Johnson Whatcom Voices


April Hinkel-Johnson –

“I’m gonna get my wisdom teeth pulled out.”



Jimmy Wilder Whatcom Voices


Jimmy Wilder –

“Spend Christmas break making music and buying presents.”


Jessica Perry Whatcom Voices


Jessica Perry –

“I’m going to continue taking high school courses and decorate my house for Christmas.”


Jason Simon Whatcom Voices


Jason Simon – 

“Enjoy my weekends, and hope that next quarter is easier.”


Jackson Brandt Whatcom Voices


Jackson Brandt –

“Get money and have fun.”



Armando Gomez Whatcom Voices


Armando Gomez –

“Spend money, like every day, as if it’s going out of fashion.”

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“Tragedy” is no tragedy


By Matt Benoit
Horizon Editor

Whatcom drama instructor Gerry Large says, in his director’s notes for the performances of Will Eno’s two one-act plays, that he considers Eno to be “the Eugene Ionesco of the Will Ferrell generation.” The New York Times called Eno “A Samuel Beckett for the John Stewart generation.”Play Review (2)
I don’t know what to call him, but I do know that after seeing a performance of two of his plays Nov. 19 in Whatcom’s Syre Black Box Theatre, that Whatcom’s drama department is an incredible bunch of actors.

The two one-act plays, “Intermission” and “Tragedy: A Tragedy,” ran from Nov. 18 to Nov. 21, and was their first big production of the quarter.
The first play, “Intermission,” is just what it sounds like—a short, 10 to 15 minute play that features two couples—one older, one younger—watching a play and then arguing and discussing it during the intermission.
It was well-acted by Erika Almskar, Colleen Ames, Rodney Dejager, and Garent Gerrity, who seems to have more dialogue than anyone else in the play. The wardrobes were also sharp, including Gerrity’s hair and beard, which was dusted with a gray powder to make him appear middle-aged.
The second performance, “Tragedy: A Tragedy,” is a satire of sorts on television news people, starting off with some really dramatic music and overall giving a great example of how fake and overly dramatized television news has all too often become.Play Review (1)
The stage is dark except for four spotlights, which shine on a studio anchor at his desk (played by Riley Penaluna) and three various field reporters (played by Emily Lester, Tim Greger, and faculty member John Gonzales.
In this case, the story the four people are covering is the seemingly permanent invasion of night, and the chaos this has created. As the play progresses, the four characters become increasingly loopy and struggle to keep from losing their minds as the “continuing coverage” simply continues and continues and continues…
The play, only a one-act, is actually quite long at around an hour in length.
Gonzales and Greger had, I thought, some of the funniest lines, including, “It’s the worst world in the world out here!” and “I’m at the First Congregational Church, where, incidentally, no one has gathered.” They also got to utter a few choice words of profanity the dialogue provides.
The humor incorporates both the physical (Gonzales does an excellent job at providing this, including one scene where he pretends to practice some kind of martial arts only to trip and fall over; he then returns to the scene drinking a beer) as well as the non-physical, with a lot of hyberbole, overexaggeraton, and dialogue that states the obvious.
Greger’s hair gets progressively messier and messier as the play goes on, and he gets to use the art of spin, commenting that the public should not focus on the fact that it’s dark, but rather, that it used to be light.
The anchors primp and fuss during their supposed “breaks,” and put on their fake confidence each time they go back “on-air.” It was very entertaining.Play Review
Overall, from the costumes to the lighting, both of these plays were well-worth the cost of admission. To borrow some lines from “Intermission,” the people were experienced and the cast was good.
“Do you get to the theatre often?”
Well, after seeing these performances, I think maybe you should.

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To the women of Whatcom


By Jessica Daniel

To the women of Whatcom, some words to remember. You are beautiful and strong just as you are, not the way others perceive you. Some will try to make you think that you’re not good enough, that you have to fit inside a box of what they deem appropriate or socially correct, but they’re wrong. If you know this, then you will always be a force to be reckoned with, a strong woman that many will try to break down. Don’t worry… it is only because they are threatened by your strength.

Stay true to yourself, because no one else will. Trust your instincts and you will go far. Know that only you have the power to change what you don’t like and let your voice be heard loud and clear. Keep your cup full and put everything you’ve got into whatever it is that you do.  

If someone says you’re not good enough, they’re voicing their own insecurities onto you. They may not realize they’re even doing it, but you will, and you can walk away, having the knowledge of the game that’s played.

Don’t be scared to speak up, more likely than not, it’s what everyone wants to say but are afraid to have others judge them. Be the model! Know yourself and know that you can make it. Many will not understand you, but it’s because they are not ready.        

In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Never give that power away.  

So just remember that we are awesome and we kick ass! And if someone calls you a bitch for being who you are, say thank you, because a bitch is a strong woman, a woman that people will follow and look up to, an intelligent woman that can make change happen. You are the change of our future and the future of potential bitches around the world. Set your inhibitions free, embrace the unknown and hold on. It will not be easy, but worth every moment of the insults and setbacks to know that you have stayed true to your heart.    

Always hold your own and keep your head up. Remember that what doesn’t break you will make you stronger. So, take it on with a smile knowing that you’ve made it through another challenge. Face your greatest fears and you can face anything. 

Good luck bitches!

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What is real music today?


By Jorge Cantu

What is real music today? It seems real music’s definition has been lost in a world of image based, catchy and money driven hit songs. With their glossy production and team of engineers behind them (not including the actual artist), it seems the perfect formula has been made for so called ‘ear candy’.
In other words these hit songs are usually undeniably catchy, and image driven. The average hip hop video on MTV consists of several different camera shots per minute, each with effects, painting a picture of the life of a ‘rapper’. With bottles of alcohol and money (along with the girls) being tossed around and used like it means nothing to them, these artist project an image as well as delivering their ‘ear candy’ song to the viewer.

So your favorite artist is Flo Rida or Britney Spears? Well here is a quick summary of what you’re actually listening to.
You’re listening to a team of engineers, a few producers, and other songwriters who get together to write these artists songs. Sure some of the songs are left up to the artist, and some artists may come up with a lot of the ideas, but these big music companies don’t tell you to sign big money locked contracts for nothing. They are signing you for the money, and if it means you (the artist) having to accept that your music will change (and may not be entirely written by you), then that’s something the artist will have to accept if wanting to make that much money.
You think Flo Rida really wrote all of his songs, including ‘Get Low’? No, his song goes along with his image, the video being shot in a club and showing specifically what the lyrical content delivers.
It is the world of business, and in business, money is the number one thing. What I feel is lost now-a-days is a person’s own, honest, and real music. Many of the bands I listen to have since become famous, and I usually always stick to their first album. In my opinion, the first indie label albums are usually the best and most raw. They aren’t plagued with the glossy production values and team of musicians (aka businessman) trying to change your music.
I am a musician myself, and have been for a number of years. Being able to appreciate the technical musicianship of some artists, it sort of frustrates me when people buy into the mainstream music scene so much. I understand that some of the top hit songs in the country are catchy, but hey, they don’t spend truckloads of money to produce a record that wouldn’t be catchy, right?
To me these hit songs are not real music, they are not the artists own, they are simply a money making machine, with the artist driving this machine with their image.
I have a band at the moment, named Farewell Austerity. We play progressive metalcore, and it is something I love and never want to give up. My dream is to be signed to some sort of label, just to get some recognition of the hard work we put into the band.
This may seem contradictory to my earlier angry sentiments about mainstream music not being real music, but hey, if Sony Music came up to my band and offered a check for a million dollars (even if it meant having to change our sound), that would be an offer too good to refuse. Don’t you think?

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