Tag: Binders

Homeless in the South Bay

Homeless in the South Bay

For the most part, this weekend has been quiet. The best thing I had to talk about a few days ago was doing homework, and one of the most exciting things I did recently was put my binders together for the semester.

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Beautifully organized and poetic in their duality, but not very interesting.

But tonight my Mom pointed out a meeting dedicated to learning all about the homeless situation in the South Bay. Much more interesting writing fodder in a traditionally journalistic manner.

My interest was piqued two-fold. I spent a good amount of time covering homelessness about a year-and-a-half ago for Bonnie’s Investigative Reporting class.

I covered the Point-In-Time homeless census that year and wound up winning the third place “Best News Series” award alongside my friends at the 2018 California College Media Awards.

So I have some experience in the subject, and wanted to see things happening much closer to home.

The event was held at the Hermosa Beach Playhouse, which is literally five minutes away from my house.

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About as close to home as it gets.

In addition, I’m able to write off the whole experience as research, networking and sourcing for Gladeo. I’m on the clock for my internship class, so I’m looking to do as much extra work as possible.

That more cynical reason aside, I did learn a good amount and picked up a whole host of documents:

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The panel was hosted by the League of Women Voters of the Beach Cities.

There were seven speakers on the panel who each gave spiels and answered a few audience at the end.

First came Jennifer Lamarque and Ivan Sulak from the office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn. Hahn was apparently slated to come earlier on but had to drop out, sending representatives instead.

Most of the discussion coming from Sulak, who is the supervisor for housing and homelessness in the 4th District. He was also apparently homeless himself.

He talked all about different initiatives being worked on across the District. The growth of a year-round shelter, more Emergency Response Team development and pushing more housing projects. A veteran-focused project in Downey, student-focused housing in Whittier and more.

“The end of homelessness is to get people in houses,” he said before delving more into the fact that homeless people on the streets are just a snapshot, as the issue has “many different faces.”

That snapshot came more into focus with the next speaker: Ashley Oh with the LA County Homeless Initiative: Measure H.

Because homeless counts for 2019 only occurred within the last week or so, the numbers we got tonight are technically outdated.

More to come from people like my friend Spencer over in Orange County.

Support local papers, y’all. Nudge, nudge.

That said, Oh pointed out that in 2018 there were more than 52,000 homeless individuals counted in LA County, with ~40,000 not sheltered. She said that was the first year in eight with an overall decrease.

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A bit more of a breakdown.

One of the most interesting things about this event for me was seeing the break-down at a local level with some places I actually know a thing or two about.

I picked up a document from the South Bay Coalition to End Homelessness outlining findings from the 2018 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count which said Redondo Beach had 154 homeless, half in vehicles and half on the street.

Though it’s great that the number was down about 41 percent from 2017, there’s clearly still a long way to go. Over 150 people is nothing to scoff at.

From there the discussion went more into Measure H, a pretty big initiative here in the South Bay.

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Oh mentioned that 51 strategies to combat homelessness have been developed which fit into six categories, including prevention, more affordable housing and increasing income.

That last point in particular led to discussions of working, as she pointed out that “most people think these homeless are comfortable living off government money, but that’s not true. Many want to work.”

Those three speakers had the most general information to hand out, so I figured I’d give the rest more of a quick-fire treatment.

Shari Weaver from Harbor Interfaith Services talked about her group’s more intimate outreach work, claiming that their 40 or so staff members know about 80 percent of the unsheltered homeless in the beach cities.

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She also brought the feel-good stories, such as that of a client who they housed that had lost his home in the recent Paradise fires.

Weaver was followed up by representatives of the Cities of Manhattan and Hermosa Beach who talked about city governments creating homeless plans, including a $150,000 multi-jurisdiction proposal between them and Redondo Beach that got funded by Measure H on January 24.

Finally, a lieutenant with the Manhattan Beach Police Department talked about officers across the beach cities working on more “holistic approachs” of homeless outreach on top of their usual enforcement.

All that remained was the Q&A, which was relatively short. It was hilariously obvious that most of the questions came from older members of the audience who simply do not like the homeless population being around.

Watching the panelists have to explain that private churches would be allowed to help the homeless whether or not there was a “centralized gathering location” to feed the needy was pretty great.

In the end I didn’t have too much of a chance to talk to people after the event, but if nothing else I gathered a lot of names, contacts and general information for the future.

Plus I got a two-hour addition to my internship log while rubbing shoulders with folks like Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand.

So who knows, even if I get no Gladeo interviews out of this, it could be handy if I ever break into covering homelessness again.

Either way, I’d say this was an educational night well spent.

The Benefits to being a Hoarder

The Benefits to being a Hoarder

They called me crazy.

“Why would you keep all of your old binders,” they said.

“You should just throw out/burn all that old stuff,” they said.

“When are you ever going to use your high school notes ever again,” they said.

Well who’s laughing now viewing audience who I’m imagining chastises me for my corner full of old binders on a daily basis. For one of the first times, I had to break out my old AP Psychology binder from about four years ago now (Yikes, I’m getting old) to help fill in a detail for a research paper I’m writing in my Sensation and Perception class.

For context, I’m writing my paper about the way language affects our perceptions of the world around us.

Part of the reason I was interested in grabbing this topic was because it stood out so much to me back in my AP Psych days. My friend Nina, who’s aiming to become a professional interpreter (and is well on her way from what I understand, given that she’s doing a gig translating for the CEO of Sony), made the idea way more tangible at the time by explaining her experiences struggling to translate certain words or emotions between English and Japanese.

Now that I’m writing a paper about that exact topic, I knew I needed to use the general idea we were learning about at the time. Unfortunately… I couldn’t remember the exact term.

My current textbook didn’t exactly provide any useful clues in that department, either.

So it was off to the pile of old binders. Eventually I managed to find the one I needed, and with a cursory search found this:

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Linguistic Determinism 

A range of views in which our thinking (or worldview) is seen as being determined or shaped by language.


That term, coined by Benjamin Lee Whorf, is the crux of my current paper.

And I would not have remembered it if not for this four-year-old binder sitting around idly in the corner of my room. Now I feel completely vindicated for hoarding all of these bulky old documents for as long as I have.

Perhaps I’ll have to go through the pile, clean up the binders and re-organize them one of these days, however. Because these things are dusty as hell and covered in silverfish.

Guess that’s the price I have to pay for just haphazardly throwing them back there after each year/semester when the promise of vacation proves too much for my better judgement to bear.

But anyway, extra special shout outs today to my AP Psych professor, Mrs. Mata, and to my friend Nina for creating such a strong, lasting impression on me that I have the perfect foundation for my big research paper this semester.

Plus that AP Psych class was what drove me to minor in Psychology in the first place so… You know. Just some icing on the cake there.

Preparation is Half the Battle

Preparation is Half the Battle

I have to say, I didn’t quite expect a real job to require sending out so many emails. But so far that seems to be 90 percent of what I’ve done as the Gladeo League Managing Editor.

However that’s neither here nor there. We may have had a meeting today, but I’m not looking to talk about that in this blog post.

I also don’t really want to talk about my physical before that, since the only significant take-away is how much my arm hurts because of the two shots I got.

Also the fact that I haven’t lost any weight since last year, I suppose. But I prefer to look at it as I haven’t gained any weight either.

So yay for starting exercising regularly!

No, today I’m just going to talk real quick about one of those staple first week of school traditions:

Marking down dates and creating binders.

Typically I’ll go to school for the first week with a smaller messenger bag rather than my big backpack. Every class usually just spends the time going over syllabi and starting the first basic lectures, after all. So I usually only need my laptop and a notebook.

I’ll usually use the notebook that later becomes my homework agenda for the semester.

Once the first week is through and I have all of my syllabi compiled, I spend a day going through them all and jotting down the major dates (exams, research papers, etc.) on my wall calendar.

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Naturally all of the big things wind up mostly lining up in December, but this semester I do have a few papers scheduled to be due in November and my exams are scattered throughout the few final months.

By this point I usually have all of my textbooks ordered and delivered considering Cal State Fullerton lists all of the required texts online.

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Chegg is pretty cheap and quick when it comes to rentals, in my experience.

With the important dates established and my books ready and waiting, next comes my personal favorite step in the process: Setting up the binders.

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Kirby and Rowlet chillin’ in the back.

My philosophy on how to create each binder for my classes varies from semester-to-semester. Sometimes my professors will require a single binder to be devoted to their coursework, sometimes they’ll even have specific divisions in mind within said binder.

Those are the fun professors. Especially when they require binder checks throughout the semester.

Thought you got away from that requirement in middle school?

Think again.

Luckily, none of my classes have those stipulations this semester. So I’m free to build everything the way I want.

Thus I’ve decided to create two primary binders for this semester.

One will be my psychology binder. I’m taking two psych classes and both seem like they’ll have a significant amount of notes and assignments to keep track of. So I’m going to keep them together, which should hopefully be extra helpful considering how much overlap Sensation/Perception and Learning/Memory will have.

My second binder with be focused on Comm courses and include a section for my one honors class. Both of my Comm classes are one-day-a-week and probably won’t have as much overall bulk as the rest despite being three-hour classes each. Figure I can throw in my also not very hefty honors workload and it shouldn’t be too much trouble.

Sometimes I’ll set up my binders to correspond with days of the week, that way I only have to bring one a day and keep the weight off my back. But this semester everything is a little jumbled, so it’ll make more sense to go by connected classes.

With that said, everything comes together and all I’ll have left to worry about is translating my first day notes from my notebook onto lined paper so it can fit into my lecture note tabs. Wherever those wind up.

Because even if I’ve already done the work once, continuity means enough to me that I’ll copy it all over again.

But perhaps not right now. There are monsters to hunt, after all.

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Focused on the hunt.

If you’re still going to school, how do you like to prepare your supplies? Or I suppose for work if that question also applies there.

Let me know in the comments, I’d be interested to hear about it!