April 22, 2019
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RamPage Victor Valley College
Jan. 30, 2002                                                 Volume 13 Issue 1                                                             Page 8

     I have been a dental technician practically all my life, but when I began a new life in the high desert 11 years ago with two children still at home, I lost most of the clients I had in West Covina.
     After I moved to Victorville, I struggled for a year, and not being busy enough with my dental work, I decided to come to Victor Valley College and study something--I had no idea what. (In Mexico, I graduated from a three-year accounting course). I came with a neighbor and filled out a form; but when I found out I was supposed to take a test using a computer, I got scared. I had never used one; I didn't even know how to turn it on or off. Therefore, I ran away and didn't come back.
     My son moved out to live with a friend and some years later he came back home, and guess what--he didn't come alone. He brought his computer home, and I wanted to use it. He showed me its basic use and I bought a lot of games, especially ones with slot machines like the ones in Las Vegas. I was experiencing a lack of dental business and again I began to think about going back to school. When I saw my son using the computer and moving the mouse so fast, I wanted to learn to do it.
      My thoughts came in a rush. At my age people need benefits. Being self-employed I cannot afford to pay for health insurance--dental businesses don't offer insurance--what if I change my career and go out to find another job? What were my opportunities? I am Mexican and I wasn't confident with my English; at the most I may find a part-time job at McDonald's or a pizza place, and of course I wouldn't have benefits, and I would be earning minimum wage.
    I was tired of being between four walls for so many years. I did not know what I was going to do at my age (I was 53). Then one day I asked my son, who was attending the college, about registration and fees, and then I got the courage to go to the college and take the test.
     Well, I said to myself, "If you want another job, get prepared and go back to school."
     And here I am. I took three courses of computer programs, Spanish, records management and business English. When I was sure I was going to study business administration, I asked my son Raul, a sports writer at the Daily Press, if I could work there part-time to practice what I was learning and he spoke to his boss Don Ray.
     What a coincidence! La Prensa del Mojave was a project in Ray's mind. He asked me to translate a portion of the Daily Press in Spanish, and I got the job. I am now an editorial assistant for the Daily Press and translator for La Prensa del Mojave.
     Two days after I began working, I went to give fliers to people at a jaripeo (Mexican Rodeo). I don't know how, but I ended up writing about the event and the story was published on the front page of the very first edition. La Prensa del Mojave was born, and so was I, as a reporter.
     Well, I thought, "If you are going to work on something and you like it, better learn to do it right, or at least try to do your best, it always works and if you can dream it, you can realize it." Si se puede. (You can do it).
     I am working in my dental laboratory on weekends; at the end of this semester, I would have completed 36 units at the college. Finally a couple months ago, I began to work full time and got my benefits. I discovered that like my son, I like to write. I know I am far away from being a writer in English, but I will stay in school to learn. It's not easy. I have not been able to visit my mother in Los Angeles for a long time. It involves a lot of sacrifice, but it gives you much satisfaction. Even though I do not know how far I will go (I am old and tired), I have a goal--to be able to make my living working in an office, retired from the dental business and with a degree in something.
     Carmen Gutierrez in her first semester on the RamPage staff.

     The RamPage is a newspaper published as an academic exercise by students at Victor Valley College in Victorville, Calif. Issues are published bi-weekly from February through May and from September through December. The views expressed by the RamPage are not necessarily those of VVC, its board, its administration, its faculty, its staff, its Associated Student Body Council or its students.
     The RamPage welcomes press releases, story ideas, letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please submit these to the on-campus mailbox of RamPage Adviser Judith Pfeffer or leave a message at 760-245-4271 extension 8718 to receive information including editorial guidelines. Or mail information to RamPage, Victor Valley College, 18422 Bear Valley Road, Victorville, CA 92392.
      Readers are welcome to send e-mail to VVCRamPage@hotmail.com The RamPage is now online! Visit us at www.vvc.edu/RamPage
     The RamPage accepts as advertising only 8 1/2-by-11-inch flyers as inserts. The cost is $100, which covers insertion/distribution of 2,000 copies. The cost and responsibility of designing, reproducing and delivering the 2,000 flyers to the RamPage will be borne by the advertiser. To purchase an advertisement, call Auxiliary Services Assistant Shirley Gonzalez at 760-245-4271 extension 2567.           
     Acceptance of any advertisement in the RamPage does not constitute endorsement by the RamPage, college, district, board, ASB Council or student body.     

Editor in Chief:
Kris Reilly
Assistant Editor: Robert Morrison   
News Editor:
Renee Lopez
Editor Emeritus: Bill Zamboni
Kitty Bissell, Lea Flome, Joshua Gilmore, Carmen Gutierrez, Justin Hoover, Sherry Ullger, Robert Vincent
Adviser/Instructor: Judith Pfeffer
Faculty Mentors: Claudia Basha, Carol Golliher, Joseph Pendleton, Karen Tomlin
Printing: Victor Valley College Campus Print Shop

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Last Updated: 6/12/07