Wk 12- Classmate Conversation- Kyle Shishido

Kyle Shishido is from Torrence California. He is currently a freshman at CSULB living in the beach side dorms. He does not like the beachside dorms because he feels it is harder to make friends there than at on campus dorms like Parkside and Hillside. He is a film major and is specifically interested in digital arts.

Kyle loves drawing as his primary pastime. He also loves playing video games and running. He used to run a lot in high school because he was on the track and cross country team. Now he does not run as much and misses it quite a bit.

An interesting fact about Kyle is that he has a unique way of preventing himself from getting mad or angry.When presented with a situation that makes Kyle mad he precedes to play out the situation in his head with British accents. For some reason this dissipates his anger immediately. Lastly, Kyle’s favorite movie is Pans Labyrinth, he has seen it dozens of times. IMG_2580

Shake it, Shake, Shake it

When I think of car accidents what comes to mind for me is fender benders and rearenders. I feel like what the 17 of us in that van endured last Sunday was more than a car accident, not to sound morbid but it honest to God felt more like a failed attempt at murder than anything else. In a blink of an eye we went from standing in our seats shaking our butts to Outkast Hey Ya, to the vivid image of seeing all of our best friends helpless bodies thrash right and then left.

It was Sunday April 3. For my friend Kelsey’s birthday, her dad rented a shuttle-like van to take us all to Temecula to wine taste for the afternoon. Kelsey and most of her closest friends live in San Dimas so we met there before piling into the van. All dolled up, we had a few glasses of mimosas at at her house and got on the road around noon. We were 22 people total Kelsey’s dad Kirk, and girlfriend were driving our van, and Kelsey’s sister and husband driving a sedan behind us. I was one of the last to climb into the bus and kindly enough all the seats were taken besides the fifth row back right corner, which I hesitantly climbed back to. I had no premonition or anything of what was to come but with a few glasses in me I was squirmy an vocal about hating my hot, sun baked corner seat spot. When we stopped at a gas station about 5 minutes in I got my beloved Kenneth 3 rows up on the right side to let me sit on his lap, I was instantly happy and finally excited for the hour car ride ahead of us.

The the next 35-40 minutes were an absolute blast. Nayla’s DJ-ing was on point and we couldn’t help but unbuckle our seat belts and dance to every single song. At 12:46 my sister sent me a text saying “have fun, love you, send me snaps”. She had seen my snap chat story, and after the fact had told me that seeing all the dancing and such a packed van with no seatbelts gave her a nervous feeling that caused her to text me. I replied a kiss emoji and a wine glass at 12:53 and at 1:03 she received a sobbing phone call.

It was during the part that goes shake it, shake, shake it, shake it, shake, shake it when out of no where my whole body slammed forward against the seat in front of me. The moment I felt it I knew exactly what was happening, the only thought in my head was “this is happening”. Everything went into the slowest of slow motion. The I-pod immediately pulled out of the auxiliary and everything went silent. No one screamed, but I can still hear in my head 17 of the most fearful audible inhales. The first hit was to our left back corner in the carpool lane which put us on the trajectory towards the center cement freeway divider. The second hit, into the divider, is hazier than the first. Because I was on a lap, with with my legs in the isle to my left, I was essentially facing the back three rows of the van. I braced and tensed by body between the seat in front and beside me, all I can remember is hair and heads forcefully thrashing backwards. Still almost 70mph the van headed forward but beginning to tip. The tipping feeling is what puts my stomach in a knot. The over-turning and slam down to the ground I do not clearly remember. I can vaguely hear in my head the awful screeching as we skidded on our right side down the freeway about 50 yards.

As we were screeching and skidding I was wholeheartedly expecting to be hit by oncoming traffic. I think in that moment of anticipation for a split second I did think that would be the end. Up until that point I had no intention of dying, I was engaging and bracing so hard I had no time to think about death, I was completely preoccupied with surviving. But that millisecond where I surrendered to the possibility of ‘that being it’, was strangely placid. I came-to once the van had completely come to a stop. Everything was completely silent besides a banging noise at the front of the van. I immediately smelt a strong sent of gasoline and started to hyperventilate. As simple as it was, I vividly remember my first and only thought being “oh my god, oh my god, oh my god“. All I knew in that moment was that I needed to get out fast. The only door to the van was on the right side against the ground, so the windshield was my only way out. I knew that I couldn’t get out until at least 5 were out in front of me. The selfishness in that moment is whats most haunting. I started talking out loud calmly, and repeatedly saying “it’s gonna be okay, we need to get out, we’re okay, lets try and get out“. This orating was no brave act of heroism but was the only logical step towards my eventual exit from the van. At this point Kirk’s girl friend had successfully kicked out the frot windshield barefoot, and people from outside we’re helping peel back the glass. I stood up, it was dark inside, the air bags had all gone off. Because the van was on its side the people in the left two seats were holding on tight to suspend themselves and not crush Kenneth and I and the others on the right.

I remember seeing Kelsey’s face covered in blood, and Kenneth beneath me spattered in it. I had lost my shoes and belongings. When it was finally my turn to exit, as I walked in a crouch towards the hole in the windshield I was grateful to feel the shards of glass in my feet because in that moment I knew I was getting out. Once out, I must have stood in the freeway just blankly staring for what only could have been a few seconds before my fight or flight response receded and I cried out for my friends. Before I could even finish yelling Kenneth, Danielle, Jeremy… I laid eyes on them all alive and standing or crawling out of the van. Beating myself up over that selfish minute of thinking about none but my own life, I immediately started hugging those capable helping those incapable.

All 22 involved in the accident made it out alive and miraculously with out even a broken bone. I’m not sure if it’s luck, or fate, angels, or really what to call it, but I’m beyond grateful that everyone is okay, and I know, in time, we will all physically and emotionally  heal.


Wk 10- Artist Conversation- Helen Werner Cox

Artist: Helen Werner Cox

Exhibition: Silent Screams

Media: Oil pastel, prints, carving, water based material, etc.

Gallery: Gastov West Gallery

Website: Website

Thursday March 24th Helen Werner Cox displayed her artwork at CSULB. Cox is graduating this spring and during her time here, has been very proactive about exhibiting her artwork. Cox is originally from Boston, Massachusetts. As one can observe from her exhibition one of her primary inspirations for her work is carousels, she is fascinated by how they look and their function. The merry-go-round at Griffith Park played a large role in this inspiration.

In her artwork, Cox uses mediums including oil pastels, prints, carvings, paint, and watercolors. Some of her pieces have taken incredibly long durations to completely but she enjoys the dedication and energy it requires. To bring her carousels to life, she actually road on the Griffith carousel for four straight hours. She also found a warehouse full of carousels and spent a stretch of time alone in there with them to bring them to life. For her monochromatic print pieces, Cox begins with a sketch and then redraws over it.

Cox creates her work with a strong through thread of intention behind it. She is fascinated by endless spiraling trap that society is stuck in. The circular concept of making mistakes, and then learning from them, is the epitome of her work. She uses carousels as a tool to convey this message. She feels they embody both anxiety and creativity. The faces of the horses are tired and dreary in this endless spiral of fun.

Cox’s artwork conveyed to me exactly the meaning she was intending. I too feel that same tediously creepy excitement when I am near to carousels. I love it when artist are able to find a factor or object that seems arbitrary but bring out the universality in the way it can make humankind feel.


Wk 10- Classmate Conversation- Margarita Reyna

Margarita is from South La, where she was both born and raised. She commutes to CSULB almost everyday. She is a pre criminal justice major and wants to minor in forensic’s. This is her second year here at CSULB. Margarita a very shy person, which is a problem because it makes it harder for her to friends. She would love to travel to Mexico, but this is the only country she has been to.

A dream of hers is to travel and visit as much of Mexico as she can, kind of like an ongoing roadtrip around Mexico. She enjoyed playing a little volleyball when she was in high school, but she eventually stopped playing. She is also in the process of becoming a healthier person. Margarita is trying to eat healthier and go to the gym in order to be prepared for the physical exam when trying to work in her field in the future, but also just trying to feel good as a person.

Margarita loves going camping with her family and friends. She loves all types of music except country, her favorite type would have to be rock en espanol, and her all time favorite group would be Mana, and hopes to see them perform in the future!68267

Wk 9- Artist Conversation- Sean Joy Rosario Cabanig

Artist: Sean Joy Rosario Cabanig

Exhibition: All Work All Play

Media: Metals (copper/silver)

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Marilyn Werby Gallery

Website: None

Instagram: None

A fifth year student at Cal State Long Beach, Sean Joy nears completing her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in the Metals program. She is originally from Los Angeles, California but has loved living in Long Beach for the past few years for college. She has two older brothers, 31 years old and 29 years old. Upon entering CSULB she was declared a creative writing major however switched it after being introduced to studio art.

She works solely with metals and her pieces come in a variance of shapes. However, most of her pieces maintain a relatively smooth exterior in shape. She prides herself on using only the color the metals initially are, thus any copper work will in fact appear copper in color. Her pieces tend to be different types of jewelry.

Primarily Joy enjoys using silver because it is the most malleable. Silver also requires great focus because it is more fragile. She draws her inspiration from her own curiosity of experimentation. However, Joy hopes to eventually travel the world, and have those experiences effect and inspire her work.

I found her work to be incredibly unique and interesting. Though I could never imagine wearing or finding a purpose for much of her work, I was able to appreciate it for what it was within the gallery.