Grief: deep sorrow, especially that’s caused by someone’s death. Synonyms: sorrow, misery, sadness, anguish, pain, distress, heartache, heartbreak, agony, torment, affliction, suffering, woe, desolation, dejection, despair; mourning, mournfulness, bereavement, lamentation; literary dolor, dole.

Grief is a very sad thing, but it’s beautiful at the same time. Grief makes you realize how fragile yet beautiful life can be. Once the breath leaves the body and the person dies, it is finished they’re dead and you will never get that person back. You can never talk to them, hug them, touch them, or see them again, unless by picture or video. Death is only one breath away, one final breath away.

Grief hits every aspect of your life, mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. Grief feels like your heart is bleeding. It’s surreal, like your walking in a room filled with fog trying to find a door to get out. Somedays I don’t want to get out of bed, and other days I feel almost normal; I say almost because once you experience death you lose something that you’ll never replace, and you know that something very valuable is missing forever. Something irreplaceable, priceless, loved, and cherished.

Grief doesn’t have a bias; it can happened to anyone, anytime for a number of different reasons. There’s no pause button that you can push while in grief. The world never stops running, it continues 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and it expects you to keep up with its demands in the midst of grief.

The world wants you to act like nothing ever happened, it expects you to keep up with it and its grueling schedules, put on a straight face and continue on like everything’s normal. And if you show grief, or you’re crying some people actually feel that you’re being weak and they get annoyed with you very quickly, so you have to pull yourself together in the mist of all the sadness, tuck your grief in a compartment in your mind, and pray that you don’t crack and cry.

Grief is a beast.

LISA SMITH- Reporter

MONICA SLABBEKOORN- Assistant Digital Editor

San Elijo hosts Japanese American internees

This year marks the 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1942 Executive Order 9066, effectively incarcerating all people of Japanese descent following the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Last Thursday, in remembrance of this shameful chapter in our history, the San Elijo campus had the privilege of hosting Mas and Grace Tsuida– a married couple native to San Diego who met inside the relocation camps after being forced there.

Grace was born in El Cajon, where she spent her life on her parents’ tomato farm. She attended El Cajon Elementary School until the eighth grade and then moved on to attend Grossmont High School. During her sophomore year of high school in 1942, President Roosevelt signed executive order 9066, resulting in her expulsion from Grossmont High, and her family’s imprisonment at the Colorado River Relocation Center near Poston, Ariz.

“We were all in tears.” stated Tsuida when explaining what it was like to leave her entire life behind.

Before taken to the camps, however, her family, along with thousands more were held at Santa Anita to live in horse stables for four months while the camp was built. Once completed, the prisoners were taken to Poston through busses and trains. And just like that, they were imprisoned by their own government.

Their life in Poston was radically different than the one they lived in El Cajon.

“It was hot, and dusty and windy,” explained Tsuida, “And scorpions, we had scorpions.”

The bright San Diego adolescence she once lived was now a mere memory in a harsh reality. Inside the camp, life was to proceed “normally.” She continued and eventually completed her high school education inside the camp, where it seems as though the camp at least made an attempt at recreating American high school life by providing the interned teenagers with dances and clubs to participate in during their relocation. One of the most striking differences was the lack privacy Japanese Americans were subjected to.

“Everything was community,” explained Tsuida, “The shower, the bathrooms, everything. The bathrooms had partitions, but no doors.”

I urge you to take a second to pause and picture yourself in an environment with thousands of strangers, in a desert wasteland without the privacy to even use the restroom.

Mas Tsuida was in Panama working as a commercial tuna fisherman in 1942. Two days after the Pearl Harbor attacks, his boat was ordered to report to the Panama Canal where he and the rest of his crew were held for two weeks. After two weeks, he came back to San Diego and was immediately given a physical. Two weeks after that, Tsuida was drafted into the U.S. Army, the only branch of the military accepting Japanese Americans at the time.

Tsuida was stationed in Fort Riley, Kan. and fought for the 442nd battalion, a segregated combat regiment consisting entirely of Japanese American men. During his service, Tsuida served in Italy, France and Germany. Displayed in front of the couple were Mas Tsuida’s various decorations, including a Purple Heart, the Congressional Gold Medal and the French Legion of Honour, the highest military honor awarded in France

One day, President Roosevelt visited Fort Riley.

“All of us Japanese were detained in a barrack and the guys had machine guns all the way around. And we were detained in this one barrack until President Roosevelt went away,” Explained Tsuida. In other words, the men sworn to fight for the country, men willing to die were detained at gunpoint during the President’s visit.

After the war, the Tsuidas moved back to San Diego and lived normal lives. But their story must not be ignored. This chapter in our nation’s history is one we need to reflect and learn from, one that we need to keep in the back of our minds to avoid anything similar from happening again. They, along with countless others were unjustly imprisoned by their very own government for no other reason than their Japanese descent. Not a single person was found to be disloyal to the United States. In 1988, President Reagan issued an official apology and restitution payments for the survivors. Stories like the Tsuidas’ serve to remind us of the dangerous, downright heinous mistakes our country is capable of making.


A mother’s perspective on the S.T.R.E.A.M. Festival

Being that I have an “inquisitive” nine year old child, I thought he would really enjoy the S.T.R.E.A.M. festival hosted by the college at the Oceanside campus. S.T.R.E.A.M. stands for Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. Elementary and high schools from the district came together with the college to teach children that learning is crucial to innovation.

Every year I happen to be busy when this event rolls around, but this year I made sure to make time.  Before I tell you about the fair, let me give you some background on my son.

My son is full of wonderment. He asks me why clouds float?  How does the sun stay in the air?  How do we not fall off the planet?

So what better way than to spark the imagination of my little ball of energy than by taking him to a science-based festival at my college?

My son’s experiment was a physics experiment where you put a cork on a toothpick (cut so it has a flat tip), poked two long sticks out the side of the cork on opposite ends and put marshmallows on them. That toothpick would balance on anything and everything.  It was a hit with all of the student workers at the event as well and everyone wanted to try it for themselves.


At the booth we were given a MiraCosta College reusable grocery bag for all the goodies we would be collecting along with a map of the different zones, and a passport for my son to fill up and return for prizes.

He stopped by each table and did their experiments. He made slime, conducted electricity, pulled organs out of an anatomy model to learn their names, and dissected a cow’s eyeball.

I saw the wonderment in my son come out. I saw his mind racing as he saw the physics and chemistry experiments.  And these students were able to give him the explanations he needed and related to my son.

“We know. We understand. There were classes I didn’t want to take when I was your age. But I promise you it gets better” or “You have to get through those classes to get to the cool stuff we do in college,” were some of the encouragements they gave him. They were all extremely supportive and motivational for my son.  

The college hosts this event annually free of charge to inspire them to stay in school and get their higher education.  It could even encourage a parent or family member.

The S.T.R.E.A.M. Festival did exactly that and my son knows now that there are cool classes he can look forward to.  

The event was free, but the experience was priceless.

DEBBIE WHITE- Editor in Chief