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  • The Commuter: November 2022

    The Commuter: November 2022
  • Local Boxer Jordyn Edewards’ Journey into the Ring

    Local Boxer Jordyn Edewards’ Journey into the Ring

    When you think about mother daughter activities, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). But mother daughter duo, Joy and Jordyn Edewards, are challenging the norm and kicking butt along the way.

    Jordyn Edewards, 22 of Albany, is just rounding off her first year of fighting in amateur MMA. 

    “I started training about a year and a half ago,” Jordyn Edewards said. “I ran track in college, but my senior year I decided it just wasn’t for me. I needed another athletic outlet and my mom encouraged me to try boxing.”

    Edewards’ mom, Joy Edewards, owns and operates Ramox Boxing Club in Albany. “I encouraged Jordy to train because I thought she needed a change,” Joy Edewards said. 

    More than just an athletic outlet, Jordyn Edewards needed something she hadn’t found in track, she needed somewhere she belonged. “I saw the community [my mom] had there and I was struggling a lot in life, and didn’t really have a lot of people, so I tried it.”

    Jordyn Edewards raved about the community she found at Ramos Boxing Club and the renewed self-worth the sport had given her. “The thing I love most about boxing is the community,” she said. “I’ve never found a more welcoming group of people, and our gym is probably the most welcoming place I’ve ever found.”

    Having run track for so long, Jordyn really missed the connections she had doing team sports in the past. “Yes, [boxing] is an individual sport, but the team aspect of it, and finding people with the same goals is amazing,” she remarked. “We were all a little lost before we found fighting, and our fight group is like a group of misfits who became friends.”

    Neither Jordyn nor Joy thought Jordyn would ever take the sport further than training, but it had a bigger impact on Jordyn than either of them realized it would. “I came to the gym just to work out and swore I’d never fight,” Jordyn Edewards remembers. “But here I am.”

    Joy Edewards has had her fair share of experience with fighting. Though the mother of five didn’t discover her love for mixed martial arts until her mid-thirties, she had a fighting career which consisted of five MMA fights.

    “We watched UFC all the time, and my husband was always like, ‘You can do this,’” said Joy Edewards. “Then, one day, he said, ‘Come on, I got you a present!’ He dropped me off at the jiu jitsu gym in Corvallis, and that was it. I fell in love with it.”

    So when Jordyn made the decision to fight, Joy Edwards was surprised, but ecstatic. She said, “I totally encouraged it.”

    When injuries forced Joy Edewards to stop competing, she took over Victory Gym, now Ramos Boxing Club, and began her career as a coach and trainer. Joy Edewards co-coaches the competition team, and Jordyn Edewards helps with some of the younger kids.

    Growing up the oldest of five children, Jordyn found a love for helping kids. She graduated from Bushnell University with a degree in education and she says, “my main career goal, after I pursue my fighting career, is to become an eighth-grade teacher.” 

    “I have a huge heart for kids and for teaching,” Jordyn Edewards continued. “I don’t think my teaching goal is too far off, but I’m taking a couple of years to pursue fighting while I’m young.”

    Jordyn currently trains full-time; practicing three or four times a day, six or seven days a week. In the last year, she has had 10 amateur fights, and likes to stay in fighting shape.

    “Boxing is my base and my main one, but I also train in jiu jitsu,  mma, wrestling, a big mixture of everything,” Jordyn Edewards said. “But as a girl, I’m usually the only, or one of maybe two girls in a gym, and  finding sparring partners can be really hard. I train with the guys a lot, but they have to bring their power down to my level because I’m so much smaller.”

    Standing just 5’3, and weighing 115 lbs, finding other females her size to train with can be a challenge. She and her mom often have to travel to California, and even as far away as Miami for weeks at a time to train with other female fighters.

    “Because my mom has fought before, having her knowledge and connections has really helped me out,” said Jordyn Edewards. “And having her with me all the time, like when we travel, has been really special.” 

    Jordyn concedes that, “There are days where it’s difficult having my mom, who I’m so close with, train me.” But overall she sees the immense benefits of having her mom as her trainer. “She gets me and understands what I’m going through which has been really helpful as a fighter because our mental state is so important and that is something I wouldn’t trade for the world.”

    Joy Edewards is also enjoying their arrangement. “Being Jordy’s coach makes me pretty proud,” she said. “Maybe I’m living vicariously through her a little bit because I was older when I started [fighting], so I didn’t have the same opportunity because I was too old to be a successful pro or anything. But knowing that she has the talent to make it to the next level if she wants to… It’s going to be fun just to walk beside her.”

    Along with being Jordyn’s main trainer, Joy Edewards also corners her daughter during fights.

    “Being a mom in the corner is hard and it took me a long time, and I still haven’t completely done it, but I’m working on separating the mom from the coach,” Joy Edewards said. “I’ve talked to dads who do it and they’ve helped me to turn off the parent side when I’m coaching.”

    “Having my mom in my corner has been huge,” Jordyn Edewards said. “I know there’s a lot of fighters who have their dad in their corner, but I think  a mother-daughter deal is something the world hasn’t really seen before, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

    If you’d like more information about Ramos Boxing Club, you can find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ramosboxingvictory/.

  • LBCC Roadrunners Advance to Elite 8 with Win in NWAC Volleyball Playoffs

    LBCC Roadrunners Advance to Elite 8 with Win in NWAC Volleyball Playoffs

    ALBANY, Oregon – The Linn-Benton Roadrunners defeated Columbia Basin College 3-0 on Sunday, November 13. 

    The Roadrunners improved to 31-1 on the season, and advanced to the “Elite 8” at Pierce Community College on Friday, November 18. 

    THE MATCH

    The Roadrunners  avenged their lone loss in the regular season with a dominant performance against the Hawks. In the first set the Roadrunners ran away from the Hawks after going on a 4-0 run in the middle of the set, taking a 17-10 lead. The Roadrunners capitalized on 6 attacking errors from the Hawks. The Roadrunners took the first set 25-14. 

    In the second set the Hawks kept it close, taking a 10-9 lead, before the Roadrunners exploded for a 4-0 run. Later in the set the Hawks rallied to bring the match back to 15-16. Another flurry of kills from Linn-Benton put the second set away, 25-17. In the third set  the Roadrunners momentum proved too much, and the beaks ended the third set with 13 kills on 36 attempts(.222%), taking it 25-19. 

    BOX SCORE

    Roadrunners Shalyn Gray finished with a match high 11 kills on 21 attempts(.381%), and 10 digs. Roadrunners Gracie Zanona finished the match with a match high 16 digs. Roadrunners Zaley Bennet and Hawks Josephine Thompson finished tied with a match high 19 assists. 

    UP NEXT 

    The Roadrunners will move on to the “Elite 8” at Pierce Community College to face Highline College on Friday, November 18. The Roadrunners faced off against Highline early in the season on Friday, September. 3. The Roadrunners took the match 3-0. 

  • The Portland Book Festival

    The Portland Book Festival

    The Portland Book Festival. An annual gathering of authors, publishers, readers and everything in between! Main street in Downtown Portland housed the festivities, the whole block was roped off to traffic allowing festival goers to peruse between buildings like Arlene Shnitzer Hall and the Portland Art Museum. The festival has been happening since 2005 and offers an opportunity to support local PNW businesses, writers, and vendors. There were author interviews and readings galore! This year, there were two featured authors: Selma Blaire and Taylor Jenkins Reid along with over 70 other authors! There were many opportunities to attend their specific events. If you were an extremely avid and efficient festival goer, you could probably hit over fifteen of these pop-up readings, which would be quite impressive. 

    The opportunities for expanding your literary experiences were endless. No matter what genre intrigues you, they have you covered: fantasy, heart-wrenching memoirs, graphic novels, poetry, prose, fiction, children’s books… the list goes on. There were so many book vendors that the event required five separate buildings to host them all. I was surprised (retrospectively I shouldn’t have been), at what a massive array of options there were for kids! There were so many readings and enactments of kid’s favorite books – songs and funny voices aplenty. I was able to snag a bilingual book for my friend’s baby and I can’t wait to see her face when she lays her little eyes on that colorful cover. 

    In a seemingly limitless day, we spent the entire day perusing the multiple book vendors, the art museum, and mismanaging our time to ensure that we didn’t hit any of the pop-up readings, but it’s a testament to the event – we didn’t feel like we missed out. We still had loads to do and enjoyed every second of it. 

    If you have the opportunity, next year hit the Portland Book Festival! 

  • Pilot Wings 64: A Review

    Pilot Wings 64: A Review

    On October 13 of this year, “Pilotwings 64” joined the list of titles on Nintendo 64 Online for Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack. As part of the remaining games coming to the pack in 2022, this title makes another great inclusion to the service.

    Originally released in the year 1996 as part of the launch lineup for the Nintendo 64 (alongside “Super Mario 64” and “Wave Race 64”), the game is a sequel to the original “Pilotwings” for the Super Nintendo (which also launched alongside the console in 1991).

    Treading a fine line between the realism of a flight simulator and more fantastical arcade-style gameplay, the game tasks you with completing a series of challenges with a hang glider, a jetpack and a gyrocopter. You are given six pilots to choose from, all named for birds – Lark, Kiwi, Goose, Ibis, Hawk and Robin. Though the learning curve may be somewhat of a challenge for newcomers, those who played previous releases should feel right at home. The flight controls of each aircraft are responsive and tight, and each challenge sports surprisingly complex physics that have held up quite nicely in the decades since the game’s initial release.

    Graphically, this is the best-looking version of the game to date in terms of both visual presentation and technical performance. The game runs at a full 60 frames per second and in HD resolution, making this the ideal way to play this N64 classic.

    Joining N64 launch stablemates “Super Mario 64” and “Wave Race 64,” the N64 Online release of “Pilotwings 64” takes flight as the best release of the game to date – well worth your time and Expansion Pack subscription.

    Publisher: Nintendo

    Developer: Nintendo EAD/Nintendo R&D3/Paradigm Simulation

    Platform: Nintendo 64 Online for Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack (Originally Released on Nintendo 64)

    ESRB Rating: K-A

  • Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive

    Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive

    Students and their families will be in luck this Thanksgiving as Linn-Benton will continue its tradition of the Thanksgiving Food Drive, offering grocery gift cards on Friday, November 18 and Saturday, November 19. From 3 – 6p.m. on Saturday and from 10a.m. – 2p.m. on Sunday, the cards will be dispersed in parking lots five and six on the LBCC campus. In addition to the gift cards, five-pound bags of potatoes will be offered.

    Sponsored by American Association for Women in Community Colleges and Linn-Benton Student Leadership Council, Kroger gift cards will range from $15 – $100, depending on the size of one’s family and the number of individuals signing up.

    In order to be eligible, one must either be an LBCC student enrolled in at least one class (either credit or non-credit) for Fall 2022, or be an LBCC staff member.

    Individuals interested in signing up can visit the QR code at Thanksgiving Food Drive Sign-Up

    For more information, individuals can email Student Leadership at mendela@linnbenton.edu

    Image by pikisuperstar on Freepik

  • Corks and Choirs: A Night of International Sound

    Corks and Choirs: A Night of International Sound

    A night of fine music and fine dining went as smoothly as the wine was poured on Friday, November 4.

    Under the direction of Raymund Ocampo, the LBCC Concert Choir and Chamber Choir performed for family, friends, fans, faculty, and supporters of the program in the Corks & Choir: A Night of International Sound concert.

    Hoping to raise funds for the choral department’s spring trip overseas to the United Kingdom and Ireland, the catered event featured international music, fine foods and charcuterie prepared by Linn-Benton’s own culinary program. And of course, as the title implies, fine wines were served.

    Accompanied by Ali Jones on piano, the Concert Choir and Chamber Choir each performed four pieces. Their sounds echoed softly against the concrete walls of the LBCC rotunda next to the campus bookstore. The atmosphere of the event was created with heating stands reminiscent of tiki torches. Certainly, some of the songs created a tribal feel, as if next to a fire under the stars.

    Featuring French pieces such as J’entends Le Moulin and Dirait-on from the Concert Choir, the performance was a hallow one. The Chamber Choir, meanwhile, included Lay Me Low and Rune of Hospitality within their line-up.

    After the performance, director Ocampo said that the key to the groups’ memorable performances was listening to one another and feeling the music. Ocampo hopes that they sound even better overseas.

    To support the department’s upcoming spring trip, call the LBCC Foundation at 541-917-4209 to make a donation.

  • Wellness Wednesday: The Cure of Connection

    Wellness Wednesday: The Cure of Connection

    “Contrary to what many people believe, well-being isn’t just about being happy.  Well-being is about the combination of our love for what we do each day, the quality of our relationships . . . and the pride we take in what we have contributed to our communities. Most importantly, it’s about how these five elements interact.”  (Rath & Harter, 2010)

    You can argue all you want about how many “dimensions of wellness” there are, but that doesn’t change the fact that we as a world need measurable factors to consider when discussing the topic.

    The Five Elements:    

    1. Career Well-being: Being appreciated and respected for your work (or volunteer efforts!).

    2. Social Well-being: Having strong and healthy relationships, and a support system you can rely on is very important. 

    3. Financial Well-being: Without enough money for basics, the rest of wellness is more difficult. 

    4. Physical Well-being: Getting rest, eating well, being active – this is the stuff that gets most of the attention because it’s an easy message to say “just do it.”  

    5.  Community Well-being: Your community involvement influences your state of well-being. Being engaged in your neighborhood, church or school is a great way to boost your sense of well-being.    

    Community well-being also comprises the environment in which we live – both the built and physical environment, along with the emotional and social structure in which we take part.

    Does your community have safe spaces to walk and play? Are there grocery stores that have the kinds of food that fit your needs? Is there clean air and water? Do people demonstrate care for one another? Are the neighbors respectful and open to communication? 

    LBCC is one level of community. Family is another. The town in which you live, the places where you work and the school you attend are also different levels of community.  

    Human beings are not at their best when isolated. Social isolation has been linked with less restful sleep and greater difficulty paying attention or doing complex tasks. Of course, you can feel lonely even with a group so it’s important to find a way to connect with folks or share an activity – it doesn’t have to be a deep involved conversation or a commitment to taking a dance, film, ceramics or yodeling class. 

    LBCC has a plethora of ways to get involved, interact and be a part of the community. A few examples may be student clubs, student leadership, work experience or being a tutor. You don’t need to be on stage, or take on leadership of a group. I do suggest you critically look around and, with an open mind, challenge yourself to connect with something new, interesting or just plain fun.  

    It will make a difference for your well-being, and also for the well-being of the community. 

    Image by storyset on Freepik

  • Photojournalism Fall 2022: Student Photography Gallery

    Photojournalism Fall 2022: Student Photography Gallery

    As the term has picked up speed, the students of Photojournalism continue to find their rhythm behind the lens. Documenting the local autumnal foliage that’s been on display, along with on-the-job workers, recent art gallery exhibitions, and scenes from the campuses of LB and Oregon State University, this group of photographers have been tackling this term with keen eyes.

  • A Celebration of Life and Death

    A Celebration of Life and Death

    Día de los Muertos: A time to remember and honor those who passed on before us, our ancestors, our families, our loved ones. The IEDI, The Office Institutional Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion, of LBCC has hosted a celebration of Día de los Muertos for the past 11 years. Día de los Muertos, a holiday originating in Mexico with the Aztec and Nahua communities, is a celebration of life and a day to remember those who have died. Similar to the traditions of old, the contemporary tradition and belief is that the souls of the departed are able to cross over into our world, just for the night, to join in the festivities, eat, drink, and retrieve the gifts left to them by their loved ones from their graves or from ofrendas.

    Ofrendas – altars – are constructed in remembrance, and host photos of the deceased, candles, marigolds, food, and gifts. The IEDI built their own ofrenda in the EDI in Forum 220, brightly lit with candles, marigolds and adorned with beautiful-painted skulls. Students were able to bring photos or items from their loved ones who had passed away and place them on the ofrenda, giving their loved ones’ souls a chance to visit our world, while giving students the chance to recall memories of their lives.

    Heather Morijah, a program assistant with the IEDI, said one of her favorite things about their program’s celebration is the chance it provides to educate people that Día de los Muertos is different from Halloween. Halloween has origins in an Ancient Celtic tradition, Samhain, which celebrates the transition from Summer to Winter, Harvest to Dark. They, too, believed the distinction between the living world and the world of the dead blurred on October 31st, the day now known as Halloween. However, the blurring of worlds was not viewed necessarily as a positive chance for relatives to come and visit to reunite with their families. It’s an important distinction and Morijah relishes the chance to educate others on the beauty and importance of Día de los Muertos (and the chance to watch the Disney/Pixar film CoCo, as they did at this year’s event).

    This year marked student leader Rosario Romero’s second Día de los Muertos celebration with the EDI. She was the event lead and worked hard to share her culture and traditions with other students. She shared her insight on the purpose of the holiday saying it is about “getting together to celebrate and normalizing views on death; it makes it about celebrating.” Día de los Muertos is a beautiful holiday with rich historical and cultural importance. Check out the IEDI next year for another Día de los Muertos celebration!

    If you’d like to learn more about the history of these holidays, take a look at these resources: