• The Commuter: Latest Edition

    The Commuter: Latest Edition
  • With Chemeketa Win, LB Women Improve to 14-1

    With Chemeketa Win, LB Women Improve to 14-1

    The Linn-Benton Women’s Basketball team defeated Chemeketa Community College 69-46 on Saturday, Jan 14. 

    The Roadrunners improved to 14-1 on the season, and 4-0 in the NWAC South Region. The Storm fell to 7-9 on the season, and 1-3 in the NWAC South Region. 

    The Roadrunners led 23-18  heading into halftime, after shooting only 24% from the field in the first half. In the third quarter the Roadrunners ignited the fire, shooting 72% from the field (13 of 18 shots), outscoring the Storm 31-9. 

    Roadrunner Brooklynn Hankwitz led the scoring for the Beaks with 13 points on 5 of 9 shooting. Madison Dutkiewicz added 10 points off the bench for the Roadrunners, shooting 5 of 10 from the field. Roadrunner Kathleen Hale had another big night on the boards, with 15 rebounds, 5 of them on the offensive glass. Hale now leads the Northwest Athletic Conference in offensive rebounds, and ranks fourth in total rebounds. 

    Next up the Roadrunners travel to Oregon City to take on fifth-ranked Clackamas Community College on Wednesday, Jan 18. 

  • Strong Second Half Leads to LBCC Win over Chemeketa

    Strong Second Half Leads to LBCC Win over Chemeketa

    The Linn-Benton Men’s Basketball team defeated Chemeketa Community College 91–67 on Saturday, Jan 14. 

    The Roadrunners improved to 8-9 on the season, and 3-1 in the NWAC South Region. The Storm fell to 5-9 on the season, and 2-2 in the NWAC South Region. 

    The Roadrunners went into halftime trailing 37-34, after the Storm’s leading scorer Jaden Stanley exploded for 22 points in the first half. 

    In the second half the Roadrunners outscored the Storm 57-30, thanks to a balanced scoring effort; five different Roadrunners ended in double-figure scoring. Roadrunner Ayden Foster finished the game with 21 points, and 9 rebounds. His teammate Kamana Lapina added 10 rebounds and 12 assists.  Tyson Parker finished just short of a triple-double with 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists. 

    Next up the Roadrunners travel to take on Clackamas Community College on Wednesday, Jan 18. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. at Randall Hall, 19600 Molalla Ave. in Oregon City. 

  • Dr. Ivory Toldson Speaks at LBCC

    Dr. Ivory Toldson Speaks at LBCC

    Linn-Benton Community College always seems to grow. Whether it be through its enrollment or the programs that it offers, the half-of-a-century that the campus has been serving students has seen persons from around the world and of many races attend classes and find their futures. It was on January 11 that the college added another person and moment to its history of diversity and inclusion: Dr. Ivory Toldson.

    A graduate of Howard University, Toldson arrived on campus to discuss academic access for persons of color, along with the travails and triumphs which they find in the United States campus scene, both past and present, so that we might all improve upon the future.

    In Forum 115, some 20 or 30 persons gathered to hear Toldson share both anecdotal and academic descriptions of the lives that young African-American men and women live, and the circumstances that they bring with them when they arrive on college campuses, be they financial or social. Sharing statistics about college completion and degree attainment as a function of race and gender, he enlightened the audience of the massive discrepancy that exists between college degree completion with respect to African American males and African American females. That is to say that for every one African-American male that attends college, that there are two African-American females that attend institutions of higher education.

    He further went on to explain that many of these young men take jobs in manufacturing, social services or the service economy to fund their futures versus pursuing college degrees. He stated that his goal is to convince more young men to attend college and obtain college degrees.

    Toldson elaborated on his mission to minimize the educational attainment gap that exists between races and to help the United States fulfill its vision of a country where all persons can succeed merely as a function of their effort, rather than the economic circumstances into which they are born or raised. His research also revealed that many young African-American men and women are born into single-parent households and that this is a major obstacle for them to complete their education. He opined that community colleges have been instrumental in creating a better life for people of color as well.

    To become more well-rounded people, we must all participate in a culture that is increasingly diverse as the United States careens into the 21st century. As our workspaces become more diverse we must become more inclusive. Toldson further commented that to participate effectively, we must not simply read books or articles about diversity, but that we must engage in community with persons different from ourselves.

    But the creation of a better society for all of the citizens of the United States is not something that can be purely accomplished through reading a book or studying statistics. He went on to mention that reducing academic iniquity cannot merely be about numbers, but must emphasize the human experience. Toldson concluded his presentation with the following powerful words:

    “Use people to study statistics, not statistics to study people.”

  • “Sonic Frontiers”: A Review

    “Sonic Frontiers”: A Review

    On November 8, 2022, the latest installment of the long-running “Sonic the Hedgehog” series saw release with “Sonic Frontiers.” While the 3D installments of the franchise have often varied in quality compared to their 2D counterparts, the game easily makes for the best 3D entry in the series in over a decade.

    Set on an enigmatic archipelago known as the Starfall Islands, the game is the first fully-open world entry in the franchise (with the concept described as an “Open Zone” level design). As Sonic traverses the five islands to retrieve the Chaos Emeralds, he encounters both familiar allies and new adversaries. One standout character is the mysterious being known as “Sage,” who treads the line between friend and foe over the course of the story.

    While the 3D “Sonic” games have varied more significantly in quality than their 2D counterparts; this game takes all the best elements from the series’ 30-year-plus legacy and adds a variety of new ideas to the mix. The redesigned combat system has an admitted learning curve with its special moves, but once you get the hang of it, it’s as engaging as it is vital for taking on larger bosses. The visual presentation has a combination of lush natural environments, ancient structures and mechanized robots. The robots in this game have less in common with the colorful enemies of past games and pull more from titles such as “Nier: Automata” alongside the highly-acclaimed “Shadow of the Colossus.” Stages from the previous titles in the franchise are also a highlight; reimagined in the in-game sections of “Cyber Space.” 

    Though the camera can often be busy and hard to follow (especially in later sections of the game), the game’s progression is equal parts fresh and rewarding for longtime fans. Finding hidden beings known as “Koco” on the islands can allow players to upgrade their speed, attacks, defense and even the amount of gold rings one can carry in their inventory. A fishing minigame with Big the Cat also makes for a surprisingly relaxing bonus activity.

    As the fastest-selling entry in the franchise since 2001’s “Sonic Adventure 2,” it’s a strong template for future 3D installments in the series (talk persists of a third entry in the fan-favorite “Sonic Adventure” games). Overall, “Sonic Frontiers” is recommended for fans of all ages as the series runs towards a new horizon.

    Publisher: Sega

    Developer: Sonic Team

    Platform: PS4 (Also available on PC, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series and Nintendo Switch)

    ESRB Rating: E10+

    My Rating: ****/5

  • Three Productive Study Habits 

    Three Productive Study Habits 

    Every start of a new term brings the unique opportunity to revamp, restart, or learn new ways to effectively study. Here are three study habits that I’ve implemented into my study routine that are actually helpful and most importantly, doable.

    1. Split an hour into active study sections and rests
      1. I like to use the good old 25/5 minute rule, 25 minutes of intense studying and a 5 minute rest. For my time studying, I limit as many distractions as possible. This includes my precious cats and my phone. As long as you feel comfortable in your space and feel like you can focus, that’s what matters. After your 25 minute block of studying, allow yourself to step away from the laptop, or at the very least, your homework and let your brain rest. Take that five minutes to step outside or pet your cat, give yourself a reward for focusing. This technique allows your brain to really focus without getting massively fatigued. 
    2. Shut down your phone
      1. Using a lockdown app to temporarily block certain apps or even just silencing phone notifications can make a big difference in your studying by improving your focus. I don’t know about you but my phone always seems to go off at the least opportune times. It’s always as I sit down and declare, “I will now only study – nothing else, no distractions.” But, with my notifications silenced I am forced to either focus or choose to look at my phone because there’s no stimulus telling me that there’s something urgent happening. Take a look at the app store, you may find a couple apps which build in the split studying/break time from the above post into the lockdown of your notifications and specific apps.  
    3. Use the note-taking strategy which works for you
      1. Regardless of what many will say, there is no one right way to take notes. Ask yourself, with my current notes do I learn and retain what I need to learn and retain? If your answer is a resounding “yes” then keep on doing what you’re doing. But, if you’re closer to a “no” or “not so much,” then there is no shame in switching it up. Feel free to check out our article about different note taking strategies (https://lbcommuter.com/2023/01/14/five-straightforward-note-taking-techniques/).  

    Have a great term! 

    Image by jcomp on Freepik

  • Five Straightforward Note-Taking Techniques

    Five Straightforward Note-Taking Techniques

    The world of note-taking is filled with contradictory advice that often causes more confusion than clarity. It can be difficult to decide how you want to take notes as professors and peers are convinced that their way of marking down information is the “best” and “makes the most sense.” If you’re struggling with finding your note-taking stride, here are five straightforward techniques that might work for you! 

    1. Idea or Mind Maps
      1. Start with the big idea and move outward. Connect each thought, definition or fact and watch as a map to the main idea is created.
    2. Thought Flow
      1. Write down all the information that you need to learn and that stands out instead of creating all sorts of indents or color coordinating lines just write everything sentence by sentence. 
    3. Charts
      1. Break down information, by category, as you would a math chart. 
    4. Cornell Notes
      1. Separate your page into questions/definitions on the left and answers on the right. 
    5. Outlines
      1. Write the main topic and provide bullet points of the supporting information. 

    The bottom line of note taking is that everyone is different and if it works for you, then it’s the best match for you.

    Image by <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/original-diagram-template-with-flat-design_1290377.htm#query=idea%20map&position=17&from_view=search&track=sph“>Freepik</a> 

    Image by storyset on Freepik

  • Wellness Wednesday: The Road to Happiness

    Wellness Wednesday: The Road to Happiness

    Happy January. 

    You may already know that I am passionate about learning, especially learning things related to wellness, well-being and overall physical, emotional and social health. For graduate school, I went to Springfield College (Massachusetts) which is a small private college with a “Humanics” philosophy. Humanics is the age-old Greek ideal of the balanced individual. The Humanics philosophy calls for the education of the whole person—in spirit, mind, and body—for leadership in service to others. We believe, as did the ancient Greeks, that a person’s emotional, intellectual, and physical lives are interconnected. 

    In my current reading and learning, I discovered that Finland has been ranked one of the happiest countries in the world (full 2022 report here). A psychologist in Finland, Frank Martela, created a list of what not to do in order to maintain happiness.  

    According to Martela, here are the three things Finlanders don’t do: 

    1.  We don’t compare ourselves to our neighbors.
    2.  We don’t overlook the benefits of nature. 
    3.  We don’t break the community circle of trust.  

    The first statement stands out to me because it seems like a learned construct. Little kids don’t think they are “less than” others. They don’t even notice others.  Remember this quote by Theodore Roosevelt?  “Comparison is the thief of joy.”  There is also a from the poem “Desiderata,” by Max Ehrmann, that fits this concept: “If you compare yourself with others you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”  

    The second statement can be summed up in the REI advertisement, “Get Outside”! (EMS – Eastern Mountain Sports – advertisement “Get In Tents”!) There is a body of evidence how the natural environment helps humans destress and get grounded (pun not intended). Here are eight health benefits of being outside https://www.healthline.com/health/health-benefits-of-being-outdoors

    The third statement talks about taking care of each other, looking out for each other, lifting each other up. We often see the headlines of this happening as heroic efforts in times of crisis — natural disasters, sickness, injury.  AND, it happens daily in many ways; when we smile at another human being, hold a door open, offer praise or acknowledge to someone who may feel invisible.  

    Quick review:  You be you.  Go outside.  Step up and speak up, especially in your community.

    Have a great winter term!

    Learn more about how Finland finds its happy place here:


    Image by storyset on Freepik

  • Roadrunner Women Keep Rolling, Take Down Clark

    Roadrunner Women Keep Rolling, Take Down Clark

    The Linn-Benton Women’s Basketball team defeated Clark College 56-38 on Saturday, Jan 7. 

    The Roadrunners improved to 12-1 on the year, and 2-0 in the NWAC South Region. The Penguins fell to 5-7 on the year and 0-1 in the NWAC South Region. 

    The Roadrunners outscored the Penguins 45-24 in the first three quarters, holding Clark to just 4 points in the third quarter. Roadrunner Brooklynn Hankwitz led the scoring for the Roadrunners with 30 points, making 11 of 19 (57.5%) shots from the field. Hankwitz also recorded her second straight double-double, grabbing 11 rebounds. 

    Roadrunner Kathleen Hale made her presence known on the glass, securing 27 rebounds, 14 of them coming on the offensive side. Hale now ranks fourth in the Northwest Athletic Conference in total rebounds with 160. 

    Next up the Roadrunners stay home to take on the No. 2 ranked Umpqua Riverhawks on Wednesday, Jan 11. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. 

  • “Pokemon Scarlet and Violet”: A Review

    “Pokemon Scarlet and Violet”: A Review

    (Note: This review is based on the current build of the games available as of this writing. Your experience may vary depending on the version update you’re playing.)

    “Pokémon Scarlet and Violet” are the latest games in the “Pokémon” franchise, marking the first fully open-world entries in the series. As a start to the ninth main generation of the series, the games mark a satisfying start to a new era of the series despite some admitted issues at launch.

    Taking place in the Paldea region (which is heavily based on Spain and neighboring countries), this game sets the player as a student at the Pokémon Academy, one who takes part in an independent study project known as the “Treasure Hunt.” The story has three distinct main quests. On top of the Gym Challenge (which can be done completely nonlinearly for the first time in the series’ history), there are two additional quests; “Starfall Street,” in which the player must take down factions of delinquent students known as Team Star, and “The Search for the Herba Mystica,” where you help an upperclassman named Arven find a rare herb by engaging in battle with new Titan scale Pokémon. 

    As of these games, the overall amount of monsters in the Pokédex has passed 1,000 overall. On top of the series mascot Pikachu, a trio of new starters lead off the new monsters. They consist of Sprigatito, a grass-type cat with a relaxing aroma, Fuecoco, a fire-type who resembles a gator with a laid-back attitude, and Quaxly, a water-type duck that prides itself on the beauty of its feathers. This time around, the legendaries are Koraidon and Miraidon, a pair of dragons with ties to the game’s past and future.

    One notable new mechanic is the “Terastal Phenomenon,” which allows players to get a boost in power, along with new abilities for their monsters turning into a crystalline form once per battle. Players can also fully customize their avatars for the first time in the series’ history, with the flexibility being on par with the likes of Nintendo’s Mii characters, the “Splatoon” trilogy and recent “Animal Crossing” titles. Paralleling the likes of “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” and Rockstar’s open-world titles, these games easily rank among the most ambitious “Pokémon” titles to date.

    That’s not to say there isn’t room for improvement. The launch build of the games required day-one and day-zero updates to play, and the performance does have some admitted and intermittent issues. The visual presentation, while retaining the distinctive look and feel of the franchise along with its own graphical flair for this generation, does have moments of frame rate slowdown and occasional flickering. Though the discourse about how this reflects on the developers and the hardware is ongoing (with the analysis by Digital Foundry on their YouTube channel being a notable standout), it is clear that the potential these titles have is endless. 

    Despite the audience reception arguably surpassing 2019’s “Pokémon Sword and Shield” as the most divisive main installments to date, the fact the games still sold over 10 million copies worldwide upon their launch on November 18, 2022 still proves the series commands a sizable fanbase. The developers have also promised updates and support for the near future, so the quality-of-life status of the games is highly likely to improve from here.

    While not on the same order of magnitude as last year’s “Pokémon Legends: Arceus,” the open-world sandbox of “Pokémon Scarlet and Violet” has a rough road to an overall enjoyable adventure – warts and all.

    Publisher: Nintendo/The Pokémon Company

    Developer: Game Freak

    Platform: Nintendo Switch

    ESRB Rating: E

  • Guide to the Gender-Inclusive Restrooms on the Albany Campus

    Guide to the Gender-Inclusive Restrooms on the Albany Campus

    Looking for a gender-inclusive restroom on the main LBCC campus? Look no further, here is a guide to all six gender-inclusive bathrooms on campus, by building. 

    North Santiam Hall (NSH): 

    • 216 
    • 118 

    Calapooia Center (CC): (closed for renovations until next term)

    • 131 
    • 129

    Red Cedar Hall (RCH):

    • 112 

    Service Center (SC):

    • 105/107 

    Here’s a link to an interactive map of campus, available on the LBCC website: https://www.linnbenton.edu/about-lbcc/campus-locations/campus-map/index.php 

    If you find yourself lost on campus, feel free to ask any staff member for directions or stop by the Student Union and someone will be happy to help you. 

    Image by vectorjuice on Freepik