Pierce Pioneer

Kicking it with Q – Episode 3 – Food for Thought: Valentines Day

Quintin Mattson-Hayward and Daniel So go around asking students about their Valentines Day thoughts.

Editor: Quintin Mattson-Hayward

Logo: Jesus Contreras

Goodbye 2010s, Hello 2020.

nidan / Pixabay / Courtesy Photo

A Look Back at the Highlights of the Decade.

The beginning of a new decade is almost upon us. With 2020 bringing many new changes, it gives us a chance to look back at some highlights the past decade has brought. From new trends to new technology and innovations in society, the 2010s have brought many advancements.

Damian Dovarganes / AP / Courtesy Photo, Lorie Shaull / Wikimedia Commons / Courtesy Photo, Evhenia Arbugaeva / TIME / Courtesy Photo



In the past 10 years, many new movements have emerged amongst newer generations, especially in relation to climate change. Climate change has been a growing topic in recent years, as a result of scientists doing more research about how this will affect future generations. People such as Greta Thunberg are at the forefront of this movement. Thunberg has been a leading example of environmental activism since the age of 15. She has been working toward advancing awareness of climate change, as well as encouraging people to make lifestyle changes to help the environment.

Gun Control

Other notable emerging movements are protests regarding gun control in light of school shootings, with high school students taking the front of this action. These protests have been growing for years, beginning with the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting of 2012. However, this movement grew exponentially after the 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida. This increase of mass shootings in the United States has brought up issues regarding who has access to these guns, as well as sparked a debate about mental health treatment.


In the past 10 years, many new movements have emerged amongst newer generations, especially in relation to climate change. Climate change has been a growing topic in recent years, as a result of scientists doing more research about how this will affect future generations. People such as Greta Thunberg are at the forefront of this movement. Thunberg has been a leading example of environmental activism since the age of 15. She has been working toward advancing awareness of climate change, as well as encouraging people to make lifestyle changes to help the environment.

Atsuko Sato / Courtesy Photo


The 2010s brought many online changes. This included new memes trending on social media. Before 2010, the concept of a meme was almost nonexistent, and now there are new ones everyday with people adding funny text and edits to each one.  These memes have definitely evolved over the decade as well. For example, if you had gone online in 2012, you most likely would have seen a singular picture of a person or animal making a face at the camera. This picture would have big blocky text under it, saying something that could relate to the viewer. However, memes have become more complex over the years, with the sense of humor changing. Now, you might find multiple photos edited together with different text on each one, in order to show the relation between the people in the photo going through relatable scenarios.

Blomst / Pixabay / Courtesy Photo


Hybrid and Electric Cars

Along with the call to environmental change, hybrid and electric cars have been increasing in use in the past 10 years more than ever before. The fact that hybrid cars do not release as many greenhouse gas emissions as a typical car makes people steer toward the option of these kinds of vehicles. The use of these non-polluting vehicles especially rings true in Tesla, which specializes in manufacturing electric cars. With Tesla selling cars that purely run on electrical sources, rather than gas, it is easy for people to be drawn towards this option, rather than paying for gas weekly.

Online Shopping

While online shopping has grown exponentially in the past decade, Amazon is the front of many people’s online needs. With Amazon Prime offering free shipping, and student discounts, it is the first place many people turn to when they need something quickly. In fact, according to Forbes, “Amazon shipped more than 5 billion items in 2017 with Prime worldwide.” Many companies are closing their brick and mortar stores and focusing on expanding their online presence as a result of the physical store not bringing in as much income as online.

Sharijo / Pixabay / Courtesy Illustration


Bring back the 1980s! Those who grew up in the 80s may recognize some of the styles in the past few years. Throughout the 2010s, fashion from the 1980s has been making a comeback. This includes the “vintage look” of baggy jeans, or “mom” jeans, bulky white sneakers, such as Filas, Nikes Cortez, or Adidas Superstars. Also, many wear colorful windbreakers, denim jackets, and Doc Martens.

While 2010-2019 have brought many new changes and introduced many new forms ideas, 2020 brings a mass of opportunities to look forward to. For example, the presidential election, and summer olympics, taking place in Tokyo, are just two new things that this new year will bring.

Holiday Happenings Around the Sound

The time is coming to enjoy holiday events in your area

Fall is upon us; it is time for warmer clothes, fired-up furnaces and numerous trips to Starbucks for pumpkin spice lattes and peppermint mochas.

The Friday following Thanksgiving traditionally kicks off the holiday season. Whether you’re preparing for Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, it is a busy (and expensive) time for everyone. For many, holidays can be financially rough, especially for college students. There are always affordable events that students, families, couples or individuals can attend.

Here are four local holiday events to check out.

73rd Annual Holiday Tree Lighting

Location: 901 Broadway, Tacoma

Date: Nov. 24

This ceremony has been around since World War II. People gather for carols and children can take photos with Santa. This event occurs in downtown Tacoma at the Pantages Theater, and begins at 4:30 p.m. You can find more information at www.traveltacoma.com.

Festival of the Nativity

Location: 1102 S. Pearl Street, Tacoma

Date: Nov. 30 - Dec. 2

The 11th annual Tacoma Festival of the Nativity celebrates the beauty and diversity of the Christmas Creche. It will have lighted displays of over 900 nativities from around the world. At the center of the event is a living Nativity scene. It also includes performance arts venues, family activities, a “life of Christ” art room and family photo booth with biblical costumes. On Dec. 1 at 7 p.m., a Handel’s Messiah sing-along will take place. The festival takes place on S. 12th and Pearl Street in Tacoma. There is free parking. The event is hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For more information go to www.tacomanativity.org.

Macy’s Holiday Parade 

Location: 7th Avenue and Pine Street, Seattle

Date: Nov. 28

If you find yourself in Seattle during Thanksgiving, stay for the parade. The parade includes colorful floats, marching bands, drill teams and other entertainment.  This is the kickoff for Seattle’s
holiday season. The parade begins at 9 a.m. on 7th Avenue and Pine streets and finishes at Westlake Center. If you plan to attend, get there early to find a spot, especially for parking, as space will be limited.

Christmas Tree Lighting and

Holiday Festivities

Location: 9222 Veterans Drive SW, Lakewood

Date: Dec. 8

This event is held at American Lake and The Lakewood Towne Center. The event includes a 5K, a one-mile Fun Run, a holiday market and craft fair. People can participate in the parade by building a float, singing, dancing or decorating a car. Starting at 11 a.m., the event ends at the Towne Center at 6:30 p.m. with the Christmas tree lighting. Children will have a chance to visit with Santa.

Note: Most of these events take place outside, so be sure to prepare for the weather.

Iceland: Reykjavik & the Northern Lights 2018

This once-in-a-lifetime travel opportunity is happening November 10-15, 2018!

Because space is limited and we are expecting the trip to fill, we are offering employees, family and friends an exclusive early booking January 18 -February 1, 2018. If you book your trip within these dates you will receive a $100 discount.

For complete tour information including itinerary, prices and booking, please go to our tour website at:


For telephone inquiries please call 800-597-0350.

Start planning your dream trip today and spread the word to your family and friends!

Thanksgiving is an American holiday

Not everyone sees the holiday as something to celebrate

It is said that the victors are the ones who write history. In most schools across the country, this is a fact. A tradition is passed down, that of benevolent “Indians” helping the Englishmen survive the winter. Thus, a harmonious celebration was born.

However, Native Americans history is very different than the whitewashed version taught in school.

They have watched as their land was taken from them, either by force or by treaties, which were then broken. In return, they were given pockets known as reservations, sometimes land considered worthless by the European settlers.

If they did not willingly relocate, they were sent on a forced march thousands of miles from their home to designated “Indian territory” imposed by a federal government. The Trail of Tears was just another example of a white man breaking his word.

Native Americans have been fighting for more than 200 years for the right to maintain their customs and be their own people. Given than reality, it would be hard to fault them if they thought that the head of Wampanoag nation should have left the Plymouth colonists alone to starve.

Last year’s events at Standing Rock only served to highlight the battle they face for survival of their customs and their land.

Granted, there are tribes that have accepted, even embraced the Thanksgiving holiday. There are two tribes within 50 miles Pierce College that operate casinos. They will be among others around the country that will serve the traditional turkey and ham dinners on Thanksgiving Day.

They recognize the reality in which they live, that history cannot be rewritten. Some, like the Navajo, have managed to find a way to coexist with their neighboring white man. They are part of the local Thanksgiving Day parade and will set up tables to sell their wares to passersbys.

They still hold out hands to welcome those who would come to visit. The native American, has always held hospitality to be a commendable and necessary trait. Even as their homeland and culture shrinks, they continue to hold that man, if he truly recognized what it means to be part of a community, he would come to the table in fellowship.

Military Spouse Appreciation Day

Why does this holiday exist?


With Military Spouse Appreciation Day approaching, I asked; what is it about this niche group of people that earns them a holiday?

         “Stressful” is a word that comes to mind when thinking about the lifestyle of a military spouse. One might be quick to point out that everyone has stress. The challenges of a military life create a unique family environment remarkably different from the average American.

         Spouses of all genders leave the comforts of home to head into the unknown. They accompany significant others who have stressful careers. So “stressful” in fact that Forbes magazine reported,” the most stressful job in 2016 is that of an enlisted military member.”

         Being a military spouse isn’t always a glamorous life. Whether it’s deployments, moving either to a new state or new country every few years, or saying goodbye to the friends, you just made, being married to the military is, to say the least, tough.

         Ryan Dunblazier, a current Pierce College student and former Specialist in the United States Army, is currently a military spouse. His wife Crystal made the transition from civilian spouse to active duty military after he separated from the service. 

         When asked about which side is more difficult, spouse or soldier, Ryan replied,” From a family side it (military spouse) can be tough. I didn’t realize how much my wife did while I was in. After seeing everything that needs to be done I almost lost my shit!”

         Almost losing one’s shit seems to be a common occurrence amongst military spouses. Heather Armour, a lifelong military spouse, gives some insight on how to survive in this environment.

          “Some spouses never know anything about military life other than what they’ve seen in the movies, and they thrive. This is because they participate, they contribute, and they excel.” The old saying, it takes a village, rings true in the military community.

         Billions of dollars are spent annually on programs to assist families in the military worldwide. While a large percentage of that is on healthcare and housing; other family programs are threatened by budget cuts and force restructure.

         These programs are essential to cultivating a sense of normality in an abnormal environment. Other programs available to family members, according to armymwr.com, include travel, intramural sports, child and youth services, and outdoor recreation.

         Melanie Simpson, a military spouse and wife of Professor John Simpson adds some further perspective about the difficulties of being married to the military. “can be difficult, but people are more aware of the lifestyle nowadays than my parents’ generation.”

         Spouses who come from a military family background seems to make the transition to military spouse a little easier. Heather Armour says, “These spouses come from a military family or military career and bring a wealth of knowledge and information to share.”

         Melanie Simpson, when asked if she thinks the programs and resources available today correlate to the broader understanding of military life, stated. “Most definitely compared to a generation ago.”

         No matter what background a military spouse originates from, help is available to spouses in all branches. With the right perspective, being a military spouse has benefits beyond compare.

         Being part of something bigger than one’s self makes such sacrifices worthwhile. Military Spouse Appreciation Day is the least we can do because military spouses deserve thanks every day of the year.

Fun Holidays in October


Remember your favorite buddy?  The first Teddy Bear was made by Morris Michtom, inspired by and sent to President Teddy Roosevelt.  Upon getting permission to use the president’s name to market the bears in 1902, the stuffed animals became so popular, they are now considered a part of every child’s upbringing.  Don’t forget your stuffy friend today.



October 17:  Wear Something Gaudy Day

Need an excuse to wear that ugly sweater with the dancing poodles?  How about that hat with the fur trim?  Mix and match your most gaudy clothes into an outfit that stands out.



October 17:  National Pasta Day

Noodles are a part of many cultural dishes, whether from Europe or Asia.  You can enjoy your favorite Thai, Chinese, or Italian dish to celebrate, just to name a few.  Of course, there is also the college student’s dietary staple, ramen.



October 18:  National Chocolate Cupcake Day

First appearing in Eliza Leslie’s cookbook in 1796, cupcakes have become a treat that need no holiday as an excuse to enjoy.  But today you have one more reason to partake of your own individual sized treat.



October 23:  Boston Cream Pie Day

French-American Chef Sanzian baked the first of these famous chocolate cream pies at Boston’s Parker House Hotel in 1856.  While called a pie, it is really a sponge cake, filled with custard, and topped with chocolate.



October 25:  Sourest Day

Take some time to indulge in the sour things in life.  Enjoy some citrus fruit, or some of your favorite sour candies.  Not every day needs to be sweet.



October 25:  International Artist Day

Founded by artist Chris MacClure to remind us to support our local artists.  This is a good day to visit the museum or art gallery, or take some time to be artistic.




For more fun, holiday ideas, visit:



Learn sage wisdom about Buddha



Celebrate Buddha’s birthday by learning his history

Sean Hobbs Staff Writer

This coming Tuesday on May 6th is the birthday of Gautama Buddha, whose teachings were the foundation for Buddhism. While only 1 percent of Washington State residents identify as Buddhist, the date still holds significance for around 60,000 residents, including students of Pierce.

Siddhartha Gautama, usually referred to as Gautama Buddha, was a sage born between 563 BCE and 483 BCE.  Born the prince of Kapilavastu, he abandoned his title to become an ascetic, or one that gives up worldly pleasures for spiritual gain.

He traveled for some time with four others like him, abandoning the traditional path of enlightenment to take the middle path: a place between self-indulgence and self-mortification. Vowing not to move until he obtained enlightenment, he sat under a pipal tree for 49 days before he reportedly did so.

Gautama spent the next 45 years of his life teaching what he knew of enlightenment and how to obtain it.

Many non-Buddhists picture Buddha as a gold-colored statue of a portly man with a wide grin, but this is not Buddha at all. Instead this is Budai Luohan, a Chinese folkloric deity. Accurate statues of Gautama Buddha depict him as a smaller, much thinner man, given his propensity for self-starvation.

Celebrated on the 8th day of the fourth month, Buddha’s birthday is based on the Chinese lunar calendar. As such, it changes dates in the Gregorian calendar every year to match up with the lunar calendar. Some in the United States celebrate his birthday on April 8th, as it is the eighth day of the fourth month of the Gregorian calendar, but this is less traditional.

The date is celebrated different ways in different countries. Nepal has quiet celebrations, generally consisting of a longer service and the serving of a sweet rice porridge called Kheer.

While adherents in Japan celebrate with a “flower festival” in which they pour special drinks on statues of Buddha, those in Korea hold lantern festivals and serve bibimbap.

In the United States, celebrations are equally as quiet and respectful, in representation of the teachings of Gautama Buddha. Lengthened services, meditation, and spiritual hiking are not uncommon.

Anyone interested in celebrating Buddha’s birthday or learning more about Buddhism can try the Pierce Library, search online or buddhanet.net, or go to the Tacoma Buddhist Temple at 1717 South Fawcett Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98402.

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