Pierce Pioneer

“Pokémon: Detective Pikachu” blends humor and nostalgia

Warner Bros. Entertainment / Courtesy Photo

Animated live-action remakes are a double-edged sword. When done right, like “The Jungle Book,” they can be a thing of beauty. When done wrong, like “Dragonball Evolution,” they can ruin themselves and their non-live-action cousins… Such as the “Dragonball Z” anime series. “Pokémon,” one of the biggest entertainment properties on the planet, has recently gotten the risky live-action remake, in the form of “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu.”

“Pokémon: Detective Pikachu” is set in the fictional town of Ryme City, a place where humans and Pokémon harmoniously live together . The protagonist, Tim Goodman (played by Justice Smith) is investigating the disappearance of his father. To help him uncover the mystery, he brings along Pikachu (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) his father’s former Pokémon partner. Only Tim can understand Pikachu, and together they search far and wide for the truth.

The movie is a family-friendly adventure with a puzzle at the center. Smith and Reynolds work well together, although at times, Smith’s acting is a little wooden. Reynolds brings the usual charms he possesses to the table, similar to what he had done with his character in Deadpool. Alongside the occasional “eye-rolling” punchlines, there are some funny jokes in the film.

Visually, the characters are top notch are top notch, with the most notable being Pikachu himself. He is an adorable creature with the ability to garner “ahs” from the audience. The design of Pikachu stays close to the manga and anime, and the same can be said about most of the creatures on screen. Fans of Pokémon can be excited when their favorite ones show up on screen, and will have fun watching the way they interact with the physical set.

Warner Bros. Entertainment / Courtesy Photo

While character design overall is great, CGI (Computer-generated imagery) is a different story. For the most part, it is decent, but it does not blend in with the physical set the way that great CGI does. A scene that involves Charizard is a good example, which has some marginal effects that stick out like a sore thumb.

Ryme City feels like a real, breathing place. It looks like it will continue on with its life even when the characters are not there. In the city scenes, the audience can get pleasure in noticing how Pokémon assist humans in everyday activities or just simply in marvelling at the fictional technology created by the filmmakers.

Audiences can enjoy the movie even without being  Pokémon fans themselves. The movie provides viewers with enough information to follow the story. With a title like “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu,” people can expect that this movie will have to deal with a lot of investigations. This is an off-beat choice for a series like “Pokémon,” which is known its battle scenes.

The detective tone works for this movie, but people might be disappointed with the lack of Pokémon battles. Kids will be fascinated with the way the film turns the table and reveals twists, but to an adult viewer, it can be predictable.

With the flaws pointed out, it is important to know that “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu” is not looking to be a masterpiece. It is fun, entertaining and perfect for families to enjoy together.


Pierce College joins hand-in-hand with community’s mobile food bank

Malia Adaoag / Staff Photo
Each shopper receives a certain amount of food depending on the number of people in their household.

Nourish Pierce County feeds students in need

Students and community members gather in the D lot  as a giant  truck pulls up to Pierce College Fort Steilacoom on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. Some busily fill out paperwork, while others patiently wait to pick up their ration for the week.  For some, this may be one of the only ways to feed their family. Janette Jarvis, a mother of four and a social services health major at Pierce, said visiting the food truck once a week is one way to support her family; she said she also receives food stamps. 

“The more people you have to feed, the harder it is,” she said. “So [Nourish Pierce County food truck] just helps with a few extra things. Snacks go farther for kids and stuff. But it’s not such a huge struggle; every little bit helps.”

There are often choices and sacrifices that most people have to make on a day-to-day basis just to put food on the table. Much has to be given up, but Jarvis does not see stretching her budget as a burden.

 “As a family of four kids and two adults, we don’t have the extra money to spend on a lot of food. So we have to make that $100 stretch as far as possible, plus whatever we get in food stamps.” Jarvis said. 

Malia Adaoag / Staff Photo
A Nourish Pierce County Food Bank volunteer, walks alongside a shopper in guiding them throughout the truck to make sure enough food is given.

The weekly mobile food bank, which Nourish Pierce County runs, began partnering with Pierce College Puyallup and Pierce College Fort Steilacoom for the first time in February, providing students, staff and community members a chance to receive free groceries or help those in need.  

Mobile food bank manager Durk Gunderson, who drives one of the two mobile food trucks to seven different locations in a week, said he sees the same black truck parked next to the mobile food bank every week. “I know that if we aren’t here, that person might not get food, and they’re not the only one,” said Gunderson, who has helped at Nourish Pierce County for seven years and been involved with community service work for 29 years. 

Gunderson added that he feels blessed with this opportunity to serve others, and he said he also wishes others would be more vigilant and show compassion. “Every day I see people, and they have their blinders on and don’t realize there are people out there that desperately need help.”

Vasiliy Sinelnyy is the economic mobility coordinator at Pierce College. On opening day in late February, the Fort Steilacoom campus had an estimated 150 people come to pick up food, while the Puyallup campus had 50 people, Sinelnyy said. 

Depending on household size, people are eligible to receive predetermined amounts of food based on the nutrition plan developed at Washington State University, Sinelnyy said. “Food is stored in the truck at proper temperatures in serving sizes so that when someone goes through it is a quick and easy process,” he added.     

 The mobile food truck depends on volunteers to ensure the process is just that quick and easy. Kelly Gardner, administrative assistant to the dean of Library and Learning Resources at Pierce College said she has helped out at every food bank at both the Fort Steilacoom and Puyallup campuses since February.

The inspiration for Gardner to give back to her community came from helping out at church food banks as a child. It was something her mother said that really resonated with her.

“She always used to say dinner always tasted better the night after helping at the food bank,” Gardner said. “Because then those other people were eating, too.”

Gardner said she finds joy in being a small part of something that helps people get food for their families that they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. 

When you know that there are people struggling with something as small as food, it makes you think about all the things you can do to help.”

— Perla Jimenez

She added that there are regulars who come through every week, some doing better than others financially and even emotionally.

“We see a lot of people come through who are definitely down on their luck,” Gardner said. “But the best thing we can do is just be friendly and give them light and hope when they’re struggling.”

Sinelnyy, said he has been working in the position for about nine months now while pursuing a master’s degree in public policy. 

He shared that the mobile food bank is interested in recruiting new volunteers.

“We have 10 to 15 people who sign up to help out at each food bank and rotate so that five to six are helping on any given day,” Sinelnyy said. “We are always looking for more volunteers and taking anyone that wants to help out.”

Perla Jimenez, who is completing her Direct Transfer Agreement in biology at the Puyallup campus, said she has always been charitable dating back to her childhood when she would help at dog rescues. She was led to volunteer at the mobile food bank for similar reasons. 

“When you know that there are people struggling with something as small as food, it makes you think about all the things you can do to help,” Jimenez said.

 Jimenez accommodates people who come for food and helps them package what they want. She said all of her experiences interacting with those who stop by the truck have been positive.

“I would come back and help in a heartbeat even after I graduate from Pierce,” Jimenez said. 

Pierce College is not the only place where the Nourish Pierce County Food Truck delivers food. To see the full schedule and list of locations, visit https://nourishpc.org/need-food.

Looking to volunteer at the mobile food bank? 

Email Vasiliy Sinelnyy on how you can help serve others at: [email protected].

Mondays: Puyallup campus on from 1-3 p.m.

Tuesdays: Fort Steilacoom on from 1-3 p.m.

A family on the field

Duncan Stevenson / Courtesy Photo
Top – 35# (Lachlan Arford), 31# (Jason Sizemore), 27# (Balas Buckmaster), 33# (Spencer Howell), 23# (Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa), 9# (Jacob Hinkle), 13# (Clay Spacher).
Second row from the top – 27 # Balas Bukmaster, 22# (Cole Benson), 34# (Ashton Dulfer), 28# (Andrew Oasay), 15# (Chris Trisler), 17# (Trucker Stroup), 26# (Jamie Maples), 6# (Alex Sisley).
Third row from top – 8# (Nainoa Paragoso), 19# (Dominc Agron), 25# (Ryan Ancheta), 16# (Wyatt Ohlson), 11# (Kennedy Cook), 1# (Nathan Gelbrich), 3# (Hobie Mahon), 12# (Cody Isa).
Last row – 2# (Colby Tam), 7# (Cody Russell), 5# (Josiah Factora), 4# (Josiah Factora), 20# (Austin Eisenmenger), 10# (Tyler Fox), 24# (Brock Wrolstad), 14# (Rhys De Highden).

A Championship Culture and high aspirations for Pierce College Baseball

Last year, the Pierce College baseball team dominated conference play en route to the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) Super Regionals. This year, they aim to put championship rings on their fingers when the season ends.

After finishing with an overall record of 26-23, and out matching conference opponents with a record of 17-8, this year’s group has the mix of veteran leadership, talented young players, and a bond amongst each other to take them to great heights.

Sophomore pitcher Brock Wrolstad touched on the goals of the team and what it takes to achieve them. Wrolstad is currently getting a general Associate in Arts degree and plans to further his baseball career beyond Pierce College, but has not decided where.

“Our goal is to win an NWAC Championship and to do that we need to play with confidence and for one another,” Wrolstad said. “We cannot go out playing selfish, we need to play as a family.”

The family culture the team carries is something they have built through relentless offseason preparation.

Sophomore pitcher Tyler Fox intends to major in sports management and further his baseball career as well. He is waiting until the season’s end to decide where. Fox knows how important the culture the team has created is to their success.

Duncan Stevenson / Courtesy Photo
“Play fast and relaxed and never give up on your teammates,” Tucker Stroup said.

“We have a culture of family and want to fight for each other every day,” Fox said. “We’ve been grinding for about seven months now and we all know we would go to battle for each other.”

The team’s family mindset pairs well with the high standards and goals players have individually.

For Fox, he wants to have an earned run average (ERA) under 2.00 and a batting average above .300. Wrolstad also wants to have an ERA under 2.00 and be named to first team all NWAC.

Sophomore pitcher Tucker Stroup also has the goal of having an ERA below 2.00. Stroup plans to get his Associate in Arts degree before transferring to a four year university to continue his baseball career. Stroup had other individual goals he brings whenever he’s on the mound.

“Play fast and relaxed and never give up on your teammates,” Stroup said. “Be consistent as a pitcher, throw strikes and throw with intent.”

For the Raiders offensively, a top returner at the plate is outfielder Nainoa Paragoso, who had a strong freshman campaign with a batting average of .325 while also wreaking havoc on the basepath with 12 stolen bases.

On the mound, Dominic Agron hopes to continue making an example of opposing batters as he did in his freshman season where he had a 2.44 ERA, 70 innings pitched, and 58 strikeouts; all second on the team.

For the freshman, there is definitely a bit of a transition from high school baseball into college, Fox said.

“In high school you kind of know if you’re going to play a lot,” Fox said. “But in college ball, you’re fighting for a spot in the lineup every single day.”

This far into the season, the Raiders are 6-10, but with the most important games ahead, the team will gear up to dominate the conference as they did last year.

Stepping Into the Chinese New Year


How students at Pierce celebrate

Chinese New Year celebrates the beginning of the new year on the Chinese calendar. It is one of the world’s most prominent and celebrated festivals. However, not everyone gets to experience the celebration in their home country. Many students who are studying abroad in the U.S. find ways to celebrate here. 

In an email sent by Erik Gimness, director of Institutional Research at Pierce, he said, “Last year we had 96 international students from China. This year, we have 50 international students from China as of winter quarter. However, we are expecting that number to grow in spring.”

Gimness said, “In general, enrollments vary a bit from year to year, but I would be surprised if by the end of spring quarter we still saw such a large decrease from last year. Also, the International Education program is projecting an increase in spring quarter,” he added.

Karley Wise / Staff Illustration
Tracey Vo’s favorite Chinese New Year tradition is the decorating competition of lucky money. If you win the competition, you can get more lucky money that year.

Although it is not a formal holiday in the U.S., it is still thought of and observed by those who live here from abroad. Two students spoke about their experiences with the holiday back home and what they liked best about it. 

Loan Vo, or “Tracey” as she is known at Pierce, is in her second quarter studying business but thinking about transferring to marketing management. Vo chose to study here at Pierce because she enjoys Washington’s weather, and the classes were convenient for her. 

Vo talked about her fond memories of the holiday. “There’s always the traditional food. Pork and eggs and a special cake is always made,” she said. “There are also lucky wars – competitions that happen throughout the holiday.”  

Sabrina Li, a peer tutor in the tutoring center, is in her third year at Pierce. She is studying business and came to Pierce through the Running Start program. She enjoys being in leadership positions and connecting on campus. Li also observes the holiday here in the states – or tries to, at least. 

Karley Wise / Staff Illustration
Sabrina Li’s favorite Chinese New Year tradition is lucky money, and her favorite symbol is 春, which means “spring.”

“I want to celebrate with my host family, but it’s a little tricky compared to home with all that’s involved,” Li said. “My favorite part back home was being with family and watching the Gala (a Chinese New Year special produced by China Central Television).” Li enjoys being in leadership positions and connecting on campus.

There are, of course, differences between the Chinese New Year and the New Year’s celebrations that are held in the U.S. “It lasts three to four days longer, and there’s ‘lucky money’ (money that is given at the end of competitions to younger people by older people),” Vo said.

“Every Chinese person goes home, it’s really crowded, the businesses close down. The important part (of Chinese New Year) is the unity and love. It has a long, long history,” Li added.

Vo, when asked if she had her favorite things to pick from the holiday, she said, “The food and lucky money and being together with family.”

International Education and ASPIRE Waymakers hosted a Chinese New Year event in the Fireside and Performance lounges. It included additional booths in the hallway.

This year’s theme was Tet 2019 (the Vietnamese New Year), looking at how the Vietnamese culture celebrates the Lunar New Year, which is similar to Chinese New Year. The stage was set up for various performances. There was also food tables featuring Vietnamese food.

Alyssa Donaldson, an ASPIRE coordinator that worked on the event, said, “This is our second time collaborating with International Education. We went with the Vietnamese theme this year because we try to highlight one country’s look on the Lunar New Year and not just one group.”

Art project tables such as calligraphy and origami were also available for the arts-and-crafts-minded.

A kid zone was available during the event for those who had children with them. There was also a K-pop booth.

Karley Wise / Staff Illustration

If you have events you would like to collaborate on with ASPIRE or International Education, contact the International Education department at: [email protected]

4 DIY holiday presents to fit your student budget

Student budgets can be small, but these four gifts will make the stingiest Scrooge smile. An inexpensive, lovely and meaningful handmade gift is perfect for any one on your gift list.

 A personalized mug

What you need: a mug and some Sharpie markers.

  • Step 1: Wash a ceramic mug, make sure that it is clean.
  • Step 2: Dry it out.
  • Step 3: Decorate your mug with Sharpies (let creativity shine through!).
  • Step 4: Bake your mug for 30 minutes at 350°F (180°C).

(Reminder: Put your mug inside the oven before heating and make sure the oven is completely cool when taking your mug out to prevent cracks).

  • Step 5: Re-bake it if the colors and design did not set completely; make sure to follow step 4.
  • Step 6: Hand-wash your mug gently to protect the design and colors. Your full-of-love project is now ready to use!

It is hard to compare the feeling of enjoying the snow and drinking coffee or tea from a unique cup. That’s why a personalized cup for your friends or family is a more-than-perfect present for Christmas!

A Jar of Stars

What you need: A4 paper with patterns or color (you can use wrapping paper, letter paper, writing paper, anything), ruler, scissors, jar, vase (that can keep the stars in).

  • Step 1: Cut the paper into long pieces approximately ½” wide by 12”-18” long.
  • Step 2: (Optional) Write some wishes on each piece of paper (this could be wishes, encouragements or just simply show them how important they are to you).
  • Step 3: Make a knot at the beginning of each piece.
  • Step 4: Take other end of strip and feed through knot hole completely, pulling snug but not tight.
  • Step 5: Take small spare end of knot and fold over, making a firm crease.
  • Step 6: Continue folding the strip over the knot, following the sides of the pentagon, until the end of the strip will not fold over completely. Tuck over inside the start to secure it.
  • Step 5: To make a puffy star, pinch the corner edges.

Finally, put the stars into a jar that you will give to your friends or family. Tie with ribbon around the edge. You now have a super cheap and special Christmas present.

A good step-by-step video tutorial can be found at tinyurl.com/ybxy5xbb

Key chain

What you need: Transparent plastic container (any clear take-away food container), Sharpie markers, small x-acto knife, oven, small jump ring, 2 jeweler’s needle-nose pliers, and split ring

  • Step 1: Use the small cutter to cut out the flat part of the food/plastic container.
  • Step 2: Use sharpies to draw and color your design (you can draw the design on paper then copy it into the plastic piece).
  • Step 3: Cut your design out and make sure it’s nice and neat. Use the knife to trim any excess plastic, taking care not to cut into design.
  • Step 4: Using a paper punch or small nail, punch a hole in the top of the design. Using the pliers, carefully place ring through the hole.
  • Step 4: Bake the design into the oven at 330°F (165°C) for two to three minutes on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil, or an aluminum pie pan may be used. If you do not have an oven with a window, you may leave the door open at the resting point as long as you put the design as far back as you can go. Once the design stops moving, you may take it out. Silicon tongs are best for removing from pan, but you may use your fingers, carefully lifting up as evenly as possible. It is also helpful to note that it will shrink about three times smaller and nine times thicker, so remember not to draw your design too small!
  • Step 5: after baking, hang design from jump ring in split ring.

Care package

This present does not have any specific instructions since it depends on what you want this present to consist of.

What you need: A container, colors, ribbons and a combination of stuffs you want to give to your family or friends.

  • Step 1:  Cover your container with acrylic color.
  • Step 2: Use sharpies to decorate your container.
  • Step 3: Tie a ribbon around the container and put the name tag of whomever you want to give this present to.
  • Step 4: Fill it up with prepared stuffs. For example, a Christmas card, some makeup brushes, a pack of candies, and a Starbucks gift card would be perfect for a girl who loves sweets, make-up and drinking coffee.

Thanksgiving to Friendsgiving

Holiday shifts to friend-inclusiveness when family is not enough

Thanksgiving is a very common tradition within the United States. It is one of the few federally-recognized holidays that is neither religion-based nor commemorates a historic event, such as the Fourth of July.

It generally celebrates giving thanks and enjoying time spent with our relatives. Historically, schools have taught us that the first Thanksgiving was in celebration of the first successful harvest for the pilgrims and was a way to share their appreciation to the “Indians” for teaching them how to farm the land. Thus, we celebrate each Thanksgiving to honor those Native Americans who helped us survive.

While historians have proven that this story, while nice, is completely false, that does not mean that Thanksgiving is a holiday that should be ignored.

President Abraham Lincoln came up with the “pilgrims and Indians” Thanksgiving story to try and alleviate some of the familial tensions during the Civil War. His intention was to create a holiday as a means of bringing families together, and that is something the U.S. needs now more than ever.

The past year of political tensions have only risen higher and higher between the two parties… and for many families, as well. Thanksgiving is a day meant to celebrate what we have in our lives, but perhaps it can also be a way to set aside differences and enjoy being together.

For some, however, such a thing is not an option, whether it is for financial or personal reasons.

Within the Pierce College community, and within many parts of the United States, Thanksgiving has taken a new path of “Friendsgiving.” Generally celebrated the weekend before traditional Thanksgiving Day, it is meant for friends to celebrate their own way, without the pressures and judgements that can sometimes arise when spending time with relatives who have certain expectations or beliefs.

It is a growing trend, especially among millennials, that has started to get attention, with places such as grocery stores starting to cater toward it by advertising their deals on social media.

While some may balk at the idea of taking away the family aspect that has become so ingrained with the Thanksgiving tradition, it shows that the concept itself is being taken somewhere that could be more effective.

“Into the Woods” blurb

Family movie night


Courtesy of Google

Into the woods family movie night

On 17 April, Pierce College will be having a Family Movie Night featuring the Oscar nominated musical fantasy “Into the Woods” starring Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, Chris Pine, and Johnny Depp.

The film is based on the Tony Award winning Broadway musical of the same name which follows a couple portrayed by Blunt and James Corden who wish for a child, but realize that they must escape a curse placed on them by a vengeful witch played by Streep.

The film is rated PG and starts at 6 PM in the Performance Lounge with the doors opening at 5:30 PM. Free tickets are available 6 April in Student Life (C418). The event is sponsored by Student Life.


New scholarship benefiting the entire family

Pierce offers new scholarship to students in need

Tamara Kelly
Staff Writer

Staying focused on school when housing is an issue can make a student’s grades flounder if they are worrying about housing.

Pierce is making it possible for financially struggling students to gain a hand up through their Pierce College Foundation Housing Scholarship.

The Foundation is offering two scholarships made possible by a generous donor. Both awards include utilities and maintenance.

The first scholarship is a 1,900 square foot four bedroom house a few blocks from the Fort Steilacoom campus in the Steilacoom School District.

The other scholarship is a 900 square foot two bedroom condominium a ½ mile from the Steilacoom Library.

Applications are due July 26, 2012.

To obtain more information on the application process, go to Pierce College Foundation Housing Scholarship.

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