Author: banditweekly

From Samhain to All Saints To Halloween

By: Sophie Breitmeyer

This upcoming Tuesday, much of Clatsop County will be celebrating one the best holidays the world has ever seen: Halloween. But Halloween wasn’t always a night filled with trick or treating and wild parties, but instead with animal sacrifices and ritual prayer. The holiday dates back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The pagan Celtics considered November 1st the beginning of each new year, a time when summer harvest ends, the cold weather begins, and community members begin to pass away. Because the Celtics associated fall and winter with human death, there was a belief that the last day of every year, October 31st, the boundary between the worlds of the living and dead weakened. According to the ancient Celtic people, on Samhain, the dead return to the earth as spirits. But unlike Dia De Los Muertos, a day when the dead are welcomed, Samhain was a day to drive the dead away in order to stop them from damaging your crops.

In order to discourage ghosts the Celts wore costumes and lit huge celebratory bonfires to burn old crops and sacrifice farm animals. But eventually, following the Romans conquest of Celtic land, Samhain traditions began to merge with those of Christian holidays. Particularly the holiday All Martyrs Day: a celebration created by Pope Boniface IV. While All Martyrs Day might not sound familiar, it soon became All Saints Day after Pope Gregory III came into power.

Following the creation of All Saints Day, not much changed until more and more individuals began to cross over to the Americas. Originally Halloween was only celebrated in the southern American colonies because they lacked the strict protestant rigidity of northern New England. Ever the romantics, us Americans transformed Halloween into a sort of second Valentines day. Much of the holiday was spent looking towards romantic futures rather than back towards those who had passed. Parties were awash with matchmaking games and passionate ghost stories. Then, during the 19th century, when people began to enter America from all over Europe, Irish immigrants pushed Halloween into the mainstream. By 1920, Halloween had become a secular holiday–celebrated with parades, town wide parties, and lots and lots of vandalism. In the 1950s, as an effort to counter all the rascals defacing our towns, Halloween was largely commercialized as a holiday for younger children. Whether or not the effort worked is still up for debate.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re on the throwing or receiving end of the toilet paper (although I suppose one might be preferable), Halloween is a time to smile at stories and costumes, to gobble up both treats and tricks, and celebrate as a community. And though we no longer use animal sacrifice, Halloween is still a holiday that sends all of the unkind spirits far, far 54f0aae1dd84cd72fce14c317b09f8f8--vintage-halloween-cards-victorian-halloweenaway.



An Open Letter to the People of Puerto Rico

By: Allison Soliman, Editor

The tragedy in Puerto Rico the last few weeks has been heartbreaking to watch. Men, women, and children left to pick up the damage for themselves after a natural disaster has completely destroyed cities and families. President Donald Trump went to Puerto Rico a couple weeks ago and threw paper towels to the people in need, as if that would clean up the mess that the hurricane made in the country. A week or so later, the President tweeted, “…We cannot keep FEMA, the Military, and the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances), in P.R. forever!” even though Puerto Rico needs help from the United States now more than ever due to the damage the country has experienced.

On the bright side, many people of Latinx descent have been speaking out about the situation in Puerto Rico and what the government is doing to help. Tony Award winner, Lin-Manuel Miranda has been tweeting and speaking out about it nonstop and even got a bunch of latinx celebrities to collaborate with him on a new song regarding the devastation. He is donating all the proceeds from the song to the Hispanic Federation. You can find the link to the song in this article.

Puerto Rico is in desperate need of help from the United States. Without it, many more people may suffer and more lives will be lost. It is doubtful that the President will work very hard to keep First Responders in Puerto Rico, so the citizens of this country should work hard to help them instead. They are just as important as Texas and Florida.

Ales + Ideas: Why Being Nice Matters (Because Evolution Says So)

By: Sophie Breitmeyer

The President of Clatsop Community College is a formidable man–a man who seems effortlessly confident and whose voice and personality towers above all others. That is to say, Chris Breitmeyer is a man who could easily intimidate. It makes one (especially one who doesn’t know him well) question whether or not he’s the right person to give a lecture on kindness. But watching him as he crouched down to take a picture with a student, or sat just in front of the door talking to friends and gazing at little baby, it was clear he was the right man for the job.


After a quick but clever introduction from Nancy Cook, our president took the stage. He began the lecture as he often begins everything; by messing with people. After having four volunteers come to the front of the room with him, President Breitmeyer explained the rules of his game. Earlier this week, he had met with four individuals and offered them each ten dollars, but there was a bit of catch–if they were interested in giving any of their money to a stranger they could write that amount down in an envelope, and receive the rest of the ten dollars. They were more than welcome to write zero on their slip of paper, but, if the stranger later declined the offer neither would receive any money at all. Luckily, for whoever it was that decided to risk it all, Professor Julie Brown, perhaps the nicest of the nice, accepted the offer of zero dollars, giving all ten dollars to whoever it was that had slighted her. You might find this ridiculous. Perhaps you’re thinking “To hell with them! If I can’t have it, nobody can,” but Dr. Brown was simply proving the president’s point–it is in our nature to be kind, even if it seems like the world might be proving us wrong right now.

Following this example the president goes on to explain exactly how biology and being a nice person are intertwined. “You are the same as a bug,” he begins. Just like ants and bees, (and many other animals) human beings are altruistic. This means that we express behaviors that are beneficial to others, but not necessarily to ourselves. This has to do with a process called Natural Selection, as we evolve we lose the traits that are unnecessary and keep or gain ones that are beneficial. President Breitmeyer explained three different theories as to why we behave the way we do. The first is Kin Selection: we are altruistic when it comes to our family members simply because they are our family members and it is beneficial for us to keep them alive. The second, Reciprocal Altruism: we are altruistic because evidence shows we will get something in return. Finally, the third, Group Selection: groups who collaborate do better in the long term compared to those who do not.  

After comparing us to the beasts of the wild, Dr. Breitmeyer began to explain exactly which parts of the brain are responsible for our altruistic behavior, and which can sometimes keep us from being kind. It is the amygdala, insula, and somatosensory cortex that are stimulated when we are kind to one another, and the prefrontal cortex that is stimulated when we are not. But I won’t bore you with more of that–we can’t all be science people Mr. President. Chris asked that, if nothing else, the one thing that we take away from his lecture, is that there is still hope for people that are not nice. That it is possible to change one’s behavior, because at our core, we all have the capacity to be nice people. I have faith in this statement. Listening to CCC’s president praise the colleges inclusivity and mission, was a much needed reminder that there is good in the world. There was good in the heart (or amygdala) of every person who sat in that room, and there is good in you too.

Welcome Back Bandits!

By: Allison Soliman, Editor

Welcome back for another exciting year at Clatsop Community College. I’d also like to give a warm welcome to our new students. Lots of things are in store for us this fall. Monday was our first day back after a nice vacation from the stress of college life. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be all pumpkin spice lattes and cute sweaters for us this term. With new classes, new deadlines, and the new Patriot Hall to utilize, we can’t waste our resources on cute Instagram photos about Fall.

Be the best that you can be, this term. We need to push ourselves and try new things and just be college students.

In fact, if you want to try something new by writing for the newspaper, we are definitely looking for staff for this term or some essays or submissions you may have. It might be fun.

Let’s kick some butt this term!

New Beginnings 

by Allison Soliman, Editor

This evening was the 57th Annual Commencement for Clatsop Community College. For the first time in over forty years, the ceremony was held on campus inside the new yet unfinished building, Patriot Hall. We had tear-jerking and comedic speeches from President Chris Breitmeyer and guest speaker, Chris Nemlowill, co-founder of Fort George Brewery. 

Departmental Awards:

Art: Ashley Schacher

Business: Jolene Hartill

Health and Physical Education: Jay Dickason

Lives in Transition: Carlie Joy

Maritime Science: Ashlyn Fisher

Math: Christopher Patenaude

Medical Assisting: Kara Main

Nursing: Liliana Diaz

Psychology: Alex Lyon

TRIO Award: Maritza Casarrubias

Welding: Avery Anderson

Writing and Literature: Alex Lyon

Instructional Council Awards: 

Avery Anderson, Grace Autio, William Benefield, Autumn Buckridge, Liliana Diaz, Jay Dickason, Jolene Hartill, Melissa Lahti, Jesse Miller, Haley Werst, Brooke Willoughby. 

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society:

Avery Anderson, William Benefield, Joyce Benson, Brian Davidson, Liliana Diaz, Josef Glover, Stacey Hall, Jiadi He, Carlie Joy, Katherine Karna, Jacob Kaup, Sarah Kuhl, Victoria Lindgren, Alex Lyon, Christopher Patenaude, Joshua Raichl, Millena Riffe, Ryan Russell, Courtney Stephenson, Robert Warner, Haley Werst. 

Honors Program:

David Adkinson, Brian Davidson, Alex Lyon, Millénaire Riffe, Haley Werst. 

President’s Award:

Liliana Diaz 

Congratulations, Graduates! You did it! Go make Clatsop Community College proud and pursue those bright futures ahead of you. 

Procrastination: The Leading College Student Epidemic

by Allison Soliman, Editor

With exam season hitting us all like a ton of bricks, I, and many other students, seem to be clinging to Netflix to get us through these tough times. You get sucked up by the latest show you’re binge-watching and there goes all that study-time. Wikipedia defines procrastination as “the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished [by] doing more pleasurable things in the place of less pleasurable ones.” Understandably, many students would rather watch Parks and Recreation again or learn a new language rather than write that English paper that was due yesterday. But why do students procrastinate so badly? Why would so many of us prefer to watch that new season of Sense8 rather than cram for that upcoming History exam?

According to a study conducted at the University of Calgary, “15-20% of the general population are procrastinators.” It’s harder to avoid temptations and, when studying, everything is more tempting than the task at hand. I mean, YouTube is much more fascinating than Math. Unfortunately, we have to do the mundane tasks in order to get to the futures we’re striving for.

With summer quickly approaching, student motivation is going down the toilet. As students, we have to remember that procrastination and low-motivation will not help us in the future. It won’t be easy, but we can do it. Just remember to take study breaks in between, and try to keep yourself interested by studying with friends.

Please take care of yourselves this exam season. I know, brewing your coffee with Red Bull is very tempting right now, but the semester will be over soon enough and it’s better that you get some sleep instead of “seeing sounds”.

Good luck on your finals, everyone!