Elans narrative life experiences through works of literature

By Maria Cubillo 

Prose, poems and songs were performed by ELAC Writers Society, Speech team and creative writing 127 students during their Drop the Mic Night which packed the F5 201 Multipurpose room on Thursday.

The audience recorded the performances. English professor and Writers Society adviser, Obed Silva, said, “I wanted to teach (my students) that they can create and write beautifully. I want them to know if you can imagine something, you can make it a reality,” said Silva. “I was proud and pleased.”

Richard Carbajal, an actor nominated for an Emmy in his supporting role in the series American Crime and former ELAC student, performed his spoken word “Tears from Michaela.” Prior to the event, Carbajal said, “The arts are huge. They save my life.”

Carbajal transformed from running into the law to becoming an actor. He said the change was a lot of work. “If it wasn’t for my past experiences, I wouldn’t be here,” Carbajal said.

“For me to be able to share my heart in the community I come from is a blessing,” Carbajal said.

Carbajal’s piece “Tears from Michaela” was impactful. It communicated to the audience his feeling of when his uncle was killed in front of him while he was still a child.

He read a poem titled after the book Imagine.Paintings done by ELAC students were also exhibited at the event.

Jesse Calderon, a student majoring in fine arts, showcased three of his painting during the open mic. Calderon said two of his paintings captured the movement of Aztec dancers.

His third painting had three distinct bullet shots. Calderon said the painting captured his heritage and the three stages of his life.

The first two stages are his juvenile and young adult life when he was involved in gangs. His third stage was obtaining his bachelor’s at California State University, Long Beach.

Half of the Walter Pyramid of the California State University, Long Beach, is depicted in the painting. The other half has an Aztec pyramid. The half of the Walter Pyramid represents his third stage in his life, Calderon said.

Raul Meza’s “To the admissions officer” swiftly brought out laughter from the audience.

“I have been playing your game, the perfect tragic charity case. I never wanted this, I needed it,” Meza said to end his spoken word. The night included a performance by Xela de la X from Ovarian Psychos.

She asked attendees to walk toward the stage if they hated the police. Very few walked up.

She said “a lot of police lovers this evening.” “Walk toward the front of the stage if you have been negatively affected by the police,” Xela de la X said. More attendees went up, and she started her performance. Silva said, “Absolutely man my mom inspired me to become an English professor.

She is an avid reader.” According to Silva, he is better known as “Man of La Mancha” in reference to “Don Quixote,” a book his mother read to him.

She called him “Man of La Mancha” because he was impetuous and adventurous, Silva said. Attendees had the opportunity to buy raffle tickets.

The raffle ticket winners took home paintings by English Professor Silva, jewelry from Get Stoned With Us and pottery from Natalia Monsivais.

To get involved in ELAC Writers Society, look out for posters in the fall is semester.

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