donate used textbooks

Sandy Hajas, of the VC Library writes: The Faith George Textbook Lending Library has been able to help many students during the past year and this is due to the support of the VC Foundation, Faculty, Staff and Students.

However the need is more than we can supply. Please announce to your students or student workers that they can help by donating their used and unwanted textbooks to the Textbook Lending Library. All they have to do is drop them in the book drop with a note marked donation or give them to Linda Carroll at the circulation desk. Faculty and Staff may also donate and we will see that you get a receipt for tax purposes from the VC Foundation.

Thank you so much, the library appreciates your time and support.donate

Next time you’re in the library, check out the Friends of the Library Book Sale–the usually have writing reference guides which include MLA for cheap cheap cheap as well as the occasional useful text!

VC FREE Tutoring ends Th. 5/8

Take advantage of the services you pay for!

The VC Tutoring center is open through next Thursday May 8 and offers free tutoring services. I recommend that all of you take advantage of the opportunity to get feedback from a tutor on your writing projects. I have submitted a referral form for everyone, recommending that each of you could use these services. You can drop in or sign up ahead of time for an appointment: 648-8926 or by email vctutoring (@) Contact them now to guarantee the support services you need are available when you want them!


M-Th 7:30am-7pm (through Th. May 8 8)

Friday 7:30am-1pm (May 2)

Sat. 9-3p. (May 3)

Remember to bring your drafts and assignments!

“carnivores on the fringe” free lecture 4/29 at Moorpark College

“Carnivores on the Fringe”

The Moorpark College Biology Department’s Gary Ogden Memorial Lecture & The Year of the Environment present a lecture on
Tu April 29th 7-9 PM in the Performing Arts Center.

Understand the secret lives of coyotes, bobcats and mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains with NPS wildlife ecologist, Dr. Seth Riley. Learn the fates of the lion kittens born in 2004 and find out what human actions are negatively impacting all the carnivores in the area. 2hrs Moorpark College Performing Arts Center. Free!
Refreshments, too, for the early birds!

Steve Martin’s “The Underpants”

The Underpants, written by Carl Sternheim and adapted for the modern stage by Steve Martin, will be performed on Friday, April 25 at 8pm, Saturday, April 26 at 8pm, Thursday, May 1 at 8pm, Friday, May 2 at 8pm, Saturday, May 3 at 8pm, and Sunday, May 4 at 3pm. Thursday, April 24 (8 pm), the final dress rehearsal, is open to the public at no charge.
The Underpants features the performance and production talent of Ventura College Theatre Arts students:, Kevin Bass, , Michael Byrne, James Culbertson, Drew Davenport, Berkeley Deitch, Dayna Miles, TJ Mora, Dan Saad, Elyse Sinklier, and Josh Zelman.

The Underpants tells the story of Louise, a pretty young wife with an inattentive husband, who, while stretching to get a better view the King in a parade, realizes that her dainty underpants have fallen around her ankles! Embarrassed, she quickly retrieves them and hopes no one has noticed. The only concern of her husband Theo, a stuffy bureaucrat, is that her indiscretion may affect his reputation and career aspirations. While her husband may be unaware of Louise’s feelings and charms, two men who witnessed the underpants “incident” come to rent a room in the couple’s flat in the hopes of romancing Louise. Theo, oblivious to the threat to his marriage, conspires to split the room and rent to them both in an effort to double his money. Gertrude, a nosy neighbor, urges the naïve Louise towards an amorous affair with one of the men, while the men themselves try to outdo and undermine each other to gain her attention. All this admiration brings Louise to a new awareness of her circumstances, her own worth and empowerment. When the King shows up looking to rent a room (it seems he, too, witnessed the underpants event), Louise has developed an understanding of how to get what she wants in the world.

Students in my classes will each receive one complimentary ticket. Come early, as these tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional tickets are available for purchase at the box office one half hour prior to each performance, and are $9.00 general admission, and $7.00 for students, staff, and seniors.

We hope this opportunity to use the theatre as part of our shared teaching and learning experience is of value to you and that you will take advantage of it. If you have any questions regarding The Underpants, please contact Jay Varela at 805.654.6400 ext. 3194.

Al Young on NPR’s Morning Edition 4/24

Hear Al Young discuss poetry and poetics during NPR’s Morning Edition. You can find it on KCRW 89.1 or KCLU 88.3.

If you missed it, it’s on-line at

or read below (btw, the links aren’t live–but if you go to the site, you should be able to make them work and hear Al’s rich, melodious voice or click here to hear the NPR’s interview with Al Young)

California Poet Laureate Al Young’s ‘Blues’

Al Young is California's poet laureate.

Al Young was born on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. He grew up in the rural South and in Detroit before moving to the San Francisco Bay area in 1960. Courtesy Al Young

Young Reads Young

Al Young reads two poems from his new collection, Something About the Blues.

Morning Edition, April 24, 2008 · Al Young took to writing poetry, as he describes it in one poem, “to make out the sound of my own background music.”

He’s now the poet laureate of California, celebrating National Poetry Month with a collection called Something About the Blues.

Though he’s lived in California for decades, the 68-year-old poet was born in rural Mississippi and had the good luck to find himself in one very special classroom in the second grade.

In the segregated South of the 1940s, Young attend a black-only school. “At the Kingston School for Colored, we put a lot of emphasis on things that would be now called African American, on Negro literature and Negro culture,” he tells Renee Montagne. “So we memorized poems by people like Langston Hughes, of course, and Paul Laurence Dunbar.”

Young moved to the San Francisco Bay area in 1960, “under the sway, all of the hullabaloo. The Beat Generation was sounding its horns … and there was just a lot of romance about it.” He had $15 and a guitar.

Young’s poems touch on not only blues and jazz music but also, not surprisingly, life in California. In “Watsonville After the Quake,” he writes about the Mexican immigrants forgotten in the aftermath of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. In “Blues My Naughty Poetry Taught Me,” Young observes the state through the window of an Amtrak train:

Sea-fences, industrial wash-ups, slushy tracks
and rickety light: skies so soulfully watercolored
you’d have to be an arts commissioner not to see it.
Seen across the Bay through trees and the undersides
of freeways San Francisco looks lonely at the end
of one bridge and the beginning of another…

Poems: ‘Something About the Blues’

'Something About the Blues', April 23, 2008 ·

‘Watsonville After the Quake’

On Central Coast radio KTOM blasts
Eddie Rabbitt thru waves of air the sea
surrounds, & all the other country stars
come out (Claude King, Tammy Wynette, Shelley
West) & spread themselves in droplets.
The sacred moisture of their song is skin
to seal a pain that quavers in this ash blue night
coming on just now like a downcast motel date,
who’s warned you from in front that she’ll be coming
’round the mountain when she comes.

Whose tents are these? What’s with these shot
parking lot & alleyway families peeping around
the raggedy backs of undemolished fronts?
That brownskin kid on a grassy patch along Main,
catching a football & falling with joy
on the run, is his family up from Mazatlán,
up from Baja or Celaya—or edges of eternity?

Network TV didn’t do this news up right.
For all their huff & puff & blow your house down,
the mediators of disaster and distress
didn’t find this sickly devastation sexy.
Besides, who’s going to cry or lose sleep
over a spaced out, tar papered, toppled down town
by the sea, brown now with alien debris?

‘Los Angeles, Los Angeles:
One Long-Shot, One Cutaway’


Inside your belly, a new beast ripens.
While all your twilit litters guard the door,
the ghost of Ho Chi Minh pours out a toast:

Here’s to old Saigon, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Beijing;
Iran before the Shah; to Port-au-Prince,
and Port of Spain, Tijuana, Kingston Town;
to Tokyo, Bombay, Tel-Aviv, Nairobi and Accra.

Not Ghana but the oldest Gold Coast drums
her thoughts out loud in not so cooling colors,
The darkest nights of Seoul turn into tunnels,
where rays of hope, spaghetti thin, break skin
and ream the veins of dreams so long deferred

that laser-lined Thought Police 100 years from now
still can’t decrypt the meaning of their blood;
their blues.


A Stoly on the rocks, some rock cocaine,
a spoon of smack can crack the sound of barriers
and barrios alike. But light is hard.

‘The James Cotton Band at Keystone’

And the blues, I tell you, they blew up
on target; blew the roof right off
& went whistling skyward, starward,
stilling every zooming one of us
mojo’d in the room that night, that
instant, that whenever it was. Torn
inside at first, we all got turned out,
twisting in a blooming space where
afternoon & evening fused like Adam
with Eve. The joyful urge to cry
mushroomed into a blinding cloudburst
of spirit wired for sound, then atomized
into one long, thunderous, cooling downpour.

What ceased to be was now & now & now.
Time somehow was what the blues froze
tight like an underground pipe before
busting it loose in glad explosions; a
blast that shattered us—ice, flow & all.
The drift of what we’d been began to
shift, dragging us neither upstream nor
down but lifting us, safe & high, above
the very storm that, only flashing moments
ago, we’d been huddling in for warmth.

Melted at last, liquefied, we became
losers to the blues & victors, both.
Now that he’d blown us away with his shout,
this reigning brownskinned wizard, wise
to the ways of alchemy, squeezed new life
back into us by breathing through cracks
in our broken hearts; coaxing & choking
while speaking in tongues that fork & bend
like the watery peripheries of time; a
crime no more punishable than what the
dreaming volcano does waking from what it was.

Believe me, the blues can be volatile too,
but the blues don’t bruise; they only renew.

© 2008 by Al Young, from Something About the Blues. Published by Sourcebooks.

April 23: Earth ACTION Day 10-2:30pm VC quad

Ventura College’s Earth Action Day Weds. April 23, 2008 10-2:30p

VC’s second annual Earth Day is about ACTION–taking action, advocating action–with an emphasis on
educating and advocating actions related to and about global warming. The event is free; parking is $1
on campus.

The event features entertainment, a film series, booths, a program by America’s Teaching Zoo, music,
singer/songwriters, poets, writers, a clothing swap, art activities, alternative transportation info, and more.

The film series will run from 10-2 in the Fireside Lounge in the cafeteria/campus center. Films include the classic An Inconvenient Truth, the brand new documentary The 11th Hour, the drama Into the Wild, and with a series of short films provided by the Earth Action Network from the Live Earth events as well as a 4 minute
reflective video by Steve Shaefer set to a poem by Robert Frost. The short films are provided by the
Earth Day Network; the longer films are donated by Movie Town in midtown Ventura.

The main stage in the quad will feature a 10-11am show by “America’s Teaching Zoo”, the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program at Moorpark College. The show will focus on endangered species and the impact of global warming. Many of the children from VC’s Child Development Center will be walking up to the quad for the family friendly show.

Jazz music by VC students Louis Lopez on trumpet and Max Gauliteri on guitar will follow interspersed with poetry, an open mic, singer/songwriter Emy Reynolds, and CSUCI prof and Sespe Wild writer Brad

Local organizations and student clubs will offer activities and information and the VC preschool coop will be squeezing fresh orange juice. Bagels have been donated by Noah’s and water donated by the Ventura Water store will be provided to anyone who brings their own container.

In addition to encouraging students to take action about climate change, a goal is to register as many students to vote as possible.

This event is supported by a grant from the Ventura College Foundation.

“Up Jumped Spring” a spring poem by Al Young

Al Young, CA Poet Laureate visits VC

Monday April 21

12-12:45pm Poetry & discussion of poetics for change

1:30-2:30pm Poetry & Prose plus writing tips

both the above events take place in the Garden Patio
between the new library (LRC) and the old library (SSC)

7pm Guthrie Hall with live music, art and living history performance by Suzanne Lawrence

Ventura College 4667 Telegraph Road Ventura
Host: Gwendolyn Alley

What’s most fantastical almost always goes
unrecorded and unsorted. Take spring.
Take today. Take dancing dreamlike; coffee
your night, creameries your dream factories.
Take walking as a dream, the dearest, sincerest
means of conveyance: a dance. Take leave
of the notion that this nation’s or any other’s earth
can still be the same earth our ancestors walked

From “Up Jumped Spring” by Al Young

poet laureate, Al Young, was born in Mississippi and was reading by the age of three. He began publishing poems, stories, and articles in his early teens, and has lived most of his life in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has been a poet, writer, teacher and lecturer throughout his literary career and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California , Berkeley in Spanish. He has taught poetry and fiction writing at a number of universities nationwide, including the Universities of California at Berkeley , Santa Cruz and Davis ; and Stanford University . Versatile and prolific, his works have appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Review, Seattle Review, Rolling Stone, and the Norton Anthology of African-American Literature. As a screenwriter, Young has worked with Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor.
Thanks to Phil Taggart and Maggie Westland for helping to get the word out about these readings!

Al Young at VC M. April 21: noon, 1:30, 7p

On Monday, April 21, Al Young will do a live interview on NPR’s Morning Edition, then he will drive up to Ventura College to participate in three events:

7-9pm–”A Celebration of the Earth:
Poetry & Performance featuring AL YOUNG “

in Guthrie Hall on the West side of campus; park near the gym; $1 to park

The evening begins with live music and a living history performance by Suzanne Lawrence as Anna Paquette on “One Hundred Years of Growth: 1815-1915–from remote agricultural Mission Town to car accessible county seat” followed by Theater Arts student KM Hageman and Friends who will sing Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land.”

At sunset, Al Young will perform backed by jazz musicians and with an accompanying slide show of eco-art images contributed by Debra McKillop, Steve Schafer, Dan Holmes, students, and others. The slide show is organized by student Art major Tanya Orozco. The evening will close with another song by KM and Friends.

For more about Al Young, author of over 20 books of poetry, prose, and fiction including the National Book Award winner in 2002, The Sound of Dreams Remembered go to

A reception, funded by the Ventura College Foundation, will follow. Al Young’s performance in funded by Associated Students.

Al will give two readings during the day: a lunch time brown bag poetry reading in the Garden Patio between the new library (LRC) and the old library (SSC) from 12-1245p, and a prose and poetry reading with writing tips and techniques from 130-230 in the same location.

All events are free and open to the public.

a band perfect for VC’s Earth Day: LA’s Dengue Fever at Salzer’s 4/17 –CANCELLED!

a fascinating band from LA passing through to Santa Barbara’s Soho by way of Salzer’s tomorrow 4/17 for an instore at 6pm. does this mean a performance I hope? gonna see if they’ll play VC’s Earth Day!

oh no–just found out they cancelled all instores; The Soho gig is still on for tonight however

Honor the Farm Music Festival

The Honor The Farm Music Festival
Sunday April 20th, 10am – 7pm
370 Baldwin Rd/Hwy 150
Ojai CA 93023

A day of music with:

Jonathan McEuen
one of the most exciting guitar player/singer/performers we’ve ever seen on
any stage . . .

Alan Thornhill

A festival favorite at Strawberry Music Festival, Winfield Festival and others.  One of life’s joys is hearing his beautiful voice and exquisite fingerstyle guitar playing.

Samba Da’
(fabulous 7 piece, rockin’ Brazillian band that’ll get you up & dancing!

Emy Reynolds
Winner of the Food For Thought, battle of the bands and since then, one of our favorite new discoveries, you have to see her

and more!!

The festival name celebrates the transformation of a former honor
farm/jail site into a thriving organic farm. The site also houses
community service organizations including Help of Ojai.   A portion of proceeds from ticket sales will go to Help of Ojai.

Get your tickets

Online at or at the gate.
or at the gate

$20 general admission (children 8 & under free)

$200 for 4 VIP section tickets – in special sectioned off area up front & center (we’ll only be selling a limited number of these – first come, first served)