Pierce Pioneer

Kicking it with Q – First Week of Quarantine (The Quest for Guitar Hero)

Quintin tells his first-week quarantine experience and his quest to play Guitar Hero.

Host: Quintin Mattson-Howard

Editor: Quintin Mattson-Howard

Logo: Jesus Contreras

Serendipitous By Design

Veronica Lu / Staff Photographer
Dino-Slofer sharing his words of wisdom on how he got his business started thanks to his experience at Pierce.

Daniel Dino-Slofer, a Pierce College alumni and successful business owner, shares words of wisdom to share with equally aspiring students.

Many college students simply want to collect their degree, and find a comfortable job with reliable pay. But 32-year-old Dino-Slofer, who graduated from Pierce College in the Spring of 2019, went above and beyond the expectations set by the surrounding culture, and now runs his own successful company.

Being a student at Pierce College, Dino-Slofer never thought of himself as the entrepreneur type. “I never imagined I would get very far after graduating, in terms of being my own boss or doing something that I set my mind to,” he said. “I always thought that I would just get a job right out of college and work for someone else.”

Despite his concerns, Dino-Slofer went down a different path. Although much of what Dino-Slofer has accomplished was organized after he graduated, his journey through college was quite unique, if not also hindered by unfortunate technical difficulties. 

Dino-Slofer was on the verge of obtaining his degree in media design and production when his program got cancelled. After spending three years as a student at Clover Park Technical College  he was forced to either choose a different program at the school or complete his degree somewhere else. Dino-Slofer decided to finish his program at Pierce College. 

“I made a choice to come to Pierce,” he said. “And not only did I complete my degree, I decided to go on to get my certificate in social media marketing and project management.” Dino-Slofer attributes his success to this transfer to Pierce, saying that it was his experiences, the support and quality in the courses that he took which led him to start his own small business.

Dino-Slofer now runs Lucent Designs, a freelance photography and digital design company. The staff consists of Dino-Slofer himself, and two co-workers, Akari Nori and Andera Bautista. Dino-Slofer states that each team member is proficient in different categories of photography. “I specialize in landscape photography. Akari, she specializes in portraits, and Andrea she specializes in urban photography.”

While Dino-Slofer lives here in the Pacific Northwest, Nori and Bautista currently reside in Canada and Japan, respectively. This gives the company very different perspectives, and much variety in content between the three locations.

Dino-Slofer’s inspirational, outgoing personality has not gone unnoticed by his fellow students either. “(Daniel is) always in the background, taking pictures, and he’s usually doing it on campus. Chances are if there’s any event going on, he’s covering it.” said an friend of Daniels, who. 

Yet another friend, Ren, who wished his last name to be undisclosed, has known Daniel since he first started attending Pierce College. “He was very outgoing when I initially met him, and that still hasn’t changed.” said Ren.

Dino-Slofer’s innovation and success can speak to many young minds, and be an encouraging light when it seems that students dreams may never come to fruition. Dino-Slofer offers some words of encouragement to current and future students who wish to become entrepreneurs like himself. 

“Whatever your dream, whatever your goal is, go for it, even if you don’t entirely have a complete plan in your mind. Take the first steps, get things started. Seek out the information you need to start your own business, your own freelance or whatever thing you want to start, and as you get better at it, it’ll come naturally.”

J.K. Rowling’s “The Casual Vacancy” is short on magic

Harry Potter author’s new novel for adults pleases critics, fails to charm readers

Valerie Ettenhofer
Staff Writer 

Here’s a warning to bookish twenty-something’s who may pick up J.K. Rowling’s first post-Potter endeavor in an attempt to seek the nostalgia and innocence of an earlier time: we aren’t at Hogwarts anymore. Of course, the beloved children’s author made that clear from the start, promoting The Casual Vacancy, a 500-page exploration of small-town politics, as a distinctly adult novel. Still, fans of her former series are bound to seek out parallels and expect much from this invariably different story.

And boy, did audiences expect. The Casual Vacancy, which centers on the aftermath of a councilman’s death and the agendas of various townspeople, currently wavers between one-star and five-star reviews on Amazon.com. Heralded by critics as a compelling political satire, the book still managed to sell 375,000 copies in its first week.

So what is keeping audiences from connecting with this story, which displays Rowling’s keen ability to craft phrases from the very first page? It may be the pacing. Tangled webs of characters are introduced at a leisurely pace each through the same lens of grief or glee at the death of their fellow citizen.

Another talking point that could dissuade readers is Rowling’s use of vulgarity without elegance. While her character descriptions and background information remain as vivid as ever, early forays into sex and violence seem calculated and off-putting, lacking the spark that inevitably lights up surrounding passages.

When taking into consideration recent phenomenon in the literary world, pacing and profanity are of little interest in determining a reader’s interest. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo mused about the structure of the Swedish media for much of the first third of the book, yet it remains one of the top-selling adult novels of all time. Furthermore, E.L. James’ Fifty Shades series disproves any idea of explicitness as a detractor for potential readers.

If one must guess why both loyal and first-time readers of the esteemed author are displeased by The Casual Vacancy, it would have something to do with magic. No, it’s not the literal magic of Jo’s most lucrative project that’s missing, but a literary magic that seems to transcend description. The fictional town of Pagford is plagued with a cast of dark characters who do nothing to alleviate readers’ weariness about our own current political state. This time around, the themes are bleak, the players are dismal, and the game isn’t so fun.

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