Pierce Pioneer

Pierce College virtual choir presents “The Lads Among Heather”

Pierce College virtual choir presents “The Lads Among Heather” Directed by Dr. Kenneth Owen, and put together by videographer Kyla Raygor.

Highs and lows of quarantined mental health

Students have had their share of mental ups and downs during quarantine and though some saw the lockdown optimistically others weren’t so sure how to feel.

Having an extrovert or introvert personality had an impact on the mental stability of students as they managed schedules, family, friends, work and solitude. 

“It’s a rollercoaster, where it kind of depends on what I am thinking about,” said Zakariah Swanson ASPCP president of Puyallup student life. “If I can look at the silver lining or not.” 

College life is never really stress free even for the “best” student. There are students that are faced with more than just the usual issues and have added strain due to already having underlying mental health concerns.

“Every day felt like bricks on my chest, the amount of stress I felt,” said Vanessa Garcia, student engagement coordinator. 

Garcia was candid and revealed she has Asperger’s Syndrome and told of the difficulty she was faced with during the pandemic. She also said her favorite part about the quarantine was getting to wear sweatpants for events.

Some students looked at what was lost but also looked at what could be gained. Still the longer it went on the more tiring and the less motivated students were to put up with the status quo.

“The pandemic amplified my mental health,” said Nathan Haueter, student organizations coordinator. “When I was doing really good it made it even better and when I was doing bad it made it worse.”

Finding a solution to manage the highs and lows of mental health seems to rely on relationships and being around people for the motivation to do good. Not having the usual net of people around has made the pandemic more difficult for some students while others were able to stay motivated.

“Celebrate small victories,” said Madison Rannow, vice president of student organizations, commenting on what she would likely tell her past self before the pandemic.

Looking back, many students will have learned many different lessons through diverse struggles, each as hard in its own way as the other. The world turned small for students, both foreign and domestic and all the possibilities that once were within reach were somehow taken and placed a little further out of reach.

Equity Diversity and Inclusion Senator Jessica Xu, finds having an adaptive mentality to be beneficial. Being an international student who has not been able to go home in over a year has built frustration, especially not being able to have family around as a support system.

For some students, the pandemic felt easy at first but harder as it went on. Time out of school kept expanding and became more strenuous. Along the way most students learned to not be hard on themselves and found a way to thrive in the midst of this moment in history.  

“I got used to it and got into a system where my mental health is not based on the circumstances, but on what I decide it to be,” said Karen Nunex-Michel, vice president of activities board.

 


Things to Do This Summer

Fort Steilacoom Park: A Wildlife Habitat and Peaceful Sanctuary for Visitors

While the birds sing over the lake, children laugh on the castle and dogs run in the fields, the sound of life reverberates throughout Fort Steilacoom Park.

The park is a peaceful place for visitors to attend, attracting regulars and newcomers from as far as Seattle, Graham and Olympia to its scenic landscape. From the nature trails around Lake Waughop to the dog park and the playground, these areas were most traveled on a sunny Monday afternoon.

Young children play on the castle while parents watch from the grass and benches.
Young children play on the castle while parents watch from the grass and benches. (Photo credit: Elissa Blankenship)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not the attractions that make the park special; it’s the community and gatherings that take place near the picnic shelter. One family mentioned that in the past their reunion was held at the park by the playground, creating a family-friendly atmosphere. The nearby soccer and baseball fields are home to sporty children and after-school teams.

The park features historical barns, a cemetery and Hill Ward, the old housing for patients of Western State Hospital, which you can learn more about in Kyla Raygor’s podcast, "The Roots of Fort Steilacoom". When driving by these areas to the heart of the park, you feel the history within the park’s peaceful environment.

The nature trails are filled with wildlife, songbirds sitting in trees and Canadian geese nesting in the bramble, hatching their eggs into goslings that grow to explore the lake. Along the paved path, fishing docks extend over the water, with shallow gravel beaches for dogs to splash around.

Canadian geese sunbathe with their goslings on the lakeside path.
Canadian geese sunbathe with their goslings on the lakeside path. (Photo Credit: Elissa Blankenship)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canines of all breeds and ages are welcome at the off-leash park, understanding that the animal isn’t aggressive toward humans or other pets. The dog park is separated into three sections, depending on the dog’s size. The dog park stretches for 22 acres, giving owners room to be comfortable while their dogs wrestle and fetch balls. 

Inside the biggest section, handlers can teach their dogs simple agility commands on a small beginner’s course. The equipment shows evidence of weathering and needs to be replaced, but dog owners make do with the available obstacles and practice obeying commands.

Dog owners practicing with their puppies on the small agility course.
Dog owners practicing with their puppies on the small agility course. (Photo Credit: Elissa Blankenship)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While visiting Fort Steilacoom Park, I brought Fenrir, my five-month-old Karelian Bear Dog. He ran around with his four-legged friends, trampled through the shallow water at the lake and amplified my experience as a loyal companion. On our adventure throughout the land, his body language alerted me to every person, sound and animal I might’ve missed without him.

Other parts of the park, like the designated flying zone for drones or motorized airplanes, allow visitors to practice their piloting skills. Unpaved trails with bicycle jumps in the grasslands allow trail goers to take a step into nature, without the windy mountainous roads and travel time to most Washington hikes.

The park is at 8714 87th Ave. S.W. in Lakewood, with a 40-minute drive to the Pierce College Puyallup campus and five minutes to Pierce College Fort Steilacoom. Whether you’re planning to visit the lake, fields or dog park, don’t miss the natural scenery and opportunity to socialize with welcoming visitors.


Fort Steilacoom Park Map


Waughop Lake

Originally called Mud Lake, this body of water was renamed to Waughop Lake after John Waughop, a Western State Hospital Superintendent from 1880 to 1897. When farming became prominent at the facility, workers would pump nutrient-rich silt from the lake onto nearby crop fields.

The Lake Waughop Trail has one mile of wide walking paths that circle the lake. (Elissa Blankenship)
Pierce College Fort Steilacoom overlooks Lake Waughop and Fort Steilacoom Park. (Elissa Blankenship)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hill Ward Memorial

The Hill Ward dormitory, also referred to as the White House, was constructed in 1932 to provide additional housing to hospital patients who worked on the farm. As the building became vacant when the farm shut down in 1965, it was later demolished and the ruins were used to train search and rescue responders. From 2007 to 2009, Hill Ward was restored to pay respect to those who lived and worked there, according to a discovery trail sign.

Trail sign showing the Hill Ward building before demolition. (City of Lakewood)
The Hill Ward memorial after construction.
The history of the park, dating back to 1871, is inscribed in reclaimed Hill Ward building stone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Barns

A farm was established at Western State Hospital in 1871 to provide food for patients in response to state funding decreasing. As the farm expanded to nearly 200 acres in the early 1900s, the barns were built to aid with general farm operations and to house livestock, like cows, chickens and turkeys. Later, medical advancements reduced the number of patients and the time they stayed at the hospital causing the farm to shut down in 1965.

The red barn was one of the barns that helped the farm become self-sufficient. (Jayden Fenske)
Referred to as “The Blue Barn” on one of the trail signs. (Jayden Fenske)
The largest barn, located adjacent to the other barns, was used to aid in farm operations.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Western State Hospital Memorial Cemetery

During the time the cemetery was open from 1876 to 1952, over 3000 patients were buried in graves marked by numbered stones. As the small grave markers became covered in grass, local community members founded the Grave Concern Association who continue to replace the numbered stones with traditional tombstones. 

Patient burial map displayed outside of Western State Hospital Memorial Cemetery. (Jayden Fenske)
Historical monument marking the cemetery along the main path. (Jayden Fenske)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Fort Steilacoom Dog Park

The dog park, which opened in 2006, has been named “the best dog park” by various local news stations, like King 5’s Evening Magazine and the South Sound Magazine. This park offers 22 acres of fenced fields and a designated section for small dogs. 

The off leash dog park offers large gated fields for dogs to play in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Pierce College Fort Steilacoom Campus

Opened in 1967, Pierce College Fort Steilacoom, originally called Clover Park Community College, held its classes in a former Albertsons building and at various Pierce County high schools. The next year, an official campus was founded alongside Fort Steilacoom Park. Lake Waughop can be viewed and accessed from a paved trail on campus. 

The Cascade building, opened in 1972, was the first building at Fort Steilacoom. (Jayden Fenske)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Join reporters Celine Paez, Jayden Fenske and videographer Kyla Raygor as they interview visitors at the park.

Catching up with the Wadaiko Club

Two thunderous live performances and an interview with members of Pierce College’s Wadaiko Club

 

On Friday, April 30, six members of Pierce College’s Wadaiko Club gathered at the Sunrise building of Fort Steilacoom for a roaring and united live performance. The club performed two songs, “Amaterasu”, which translates to “God of the Sun”, and “Umi wo Wataru Sakura”, or “Cherry Blossom Across the Sea”.

Wadaiko, otherwise referred to as Taiko drumming, is the art of Japanese drumming. Introduced to Japanese culture decades ago, taiko was first utilized in military combat, but would later find its place in the Imperial court and theater.

For members of the Wadaiko drumming club, performances and practice give space for community and creative expression.

The second song performed, Umi wo Wataru Sakura, symbolizes the club’s members in the United States and Japan. This can be heard in the song’s polyphonic melodies, separate and distinct but joined to create a beautiful sound.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wadaiko club has not had the opportunity to resume practice on campus, however online practices are hosted every Sunday with additional information available on the groups facebook page, linked here.

This performance was brought together and made possible by the official Pierce College podcast, PierceCast, which can be found here.

The Theme of Wolfwalkers

WOLFWALKERS Q&A | TIFF 2020 – https://youtu.be/rjp9BJ9Ht5c

The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey – Old Friends [Extended] (Part 2) – https://youtu.be/nn3nA-0Au9U

How To Train Your Dragon: “This is Berk” Scene 4K HD – https://youtu.be/Yk52kI87-VI

 

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Copyright Disclaimer under Section 107 of the copyright act 1976, allowance is made for fair use for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favour of fair use.

Crafting With Kyla, testing out last minute valentine’s day crafts

Reflecting on the historic 2020 election

Struggles of Taking Virtual Classes – Part 3

Especially for international students who are taking online classes from their home countries, a lot of struggles might have been shown up in spring quarter. One of the students that I interview, she was going to college in NYC. However, since her college dorm was closed due to Coronavirus, there were no option except going back to Japan. She shares how difficult to take virtual classes from her home country.

Videographer: Kotone Ochiai

Editor: Kotone Ochiai

Future Image: Ciara William

 

Video by Carlos Arribas from Pexels

Video by Ekaterina Bolovtsova from Pexels

Going Back Home During a Pandemic

Joy Kim, a videographer for the Pioneer, went back to home due to COVID-19. She talks about how Korean government operate a measures for returnees to South Korea.

Videographer: Joy Kim
Editor: Joy Kim
Future Image: Ciara William
Logo Intro: Jesus Contreras, Kyla Roygor

Music provided by YouTube Audio Library
Music: https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music?nv=1
Music used: Playdate - The Great North Sound Society, Natural - Endless Love

 

Struggles of Taking Virtual Classes – Part 2

For some students who have taken online classes before, it might be easier to get used to this quarter. which is taking online or virtual classes. However, taking virtual classes has many challenges. The virtual class means that students need to attend class at a specific time. Today, I am going to interviews students about how they feel about taking virtual classes for the first time.

Videographer: Kotone Ochiai
Editor: Kotone Ochiai
Future Image: Darrell Kuntz

 

Video by Krzysztof Jaracz from Pixabay 

Video by Matthias Groeneveld from Pexels

Video by Carlos Arribas from Pexels

Video by chayka1270 from Pixabay 

Video by mariepauline from Pixabay 

Video by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

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