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Theatre Arts rehearsing for Fiddler on the Roof – By Kailey Richardson


Twirling dancers. Jumping feet. Tales told in melodious harmonies. Spotlights and stages. This is the magic of musicals. This spring, The Master’s College welcomes back a full musical for the first time in 17 years. Director Tricia Hulet, along with her co-directors James Phillipps and Elisa Adams, will be putting on the classic, Fiddler on the Roof.

The show has a special place in Hulet’s heart as it is the first show she was a part of during her time as a student at TMC. It was also during her time that the theatre program got shut down until she returned as a faculty member and rebooted it.

Continue reading “Theatre Arts rehearsing for Fiddler on the Roof – By Kailey Richardson”


2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Chasing the best season – a commentary by Elijah Paniagua


In a competitive game like soccer, every season can be the best season. For The Master’s College men’s soccer team, the mustangs, my team, the fall of 2015 saw a group full of potential looking forward to their own best season. With an 8-1-1 record in preseason and a fierce desire to win, we entered into the Golden State Athletic Conference, or GSAC, with an almost crazed hunger. This season was ours.

September 23, 2015

Kicking off the GSAC with an away game at defending champions Vanguard (who beat us in the final last year to secure the GSAC trophy) was an invitation to come onto the scene in earnest. If we wanted everyone to fear us we had to win this game. Unfortunately, we didn’t. Defensive lapses and a lack of fire in the front led to a 2-0 defeat. 0-1-0 in GSAC

October 1, 2015 Continue reading “Chasing the best season – a commentary by Elijah Paniagua”

Travel costs make holiday homecoming a challenge for international students – By Deenie Hutchinson


Holidays are just round the corner and students at The Master’s College are eager as ever to head home to their comfortable beds, a stress-free environment, and most importantly, seeing their families, but what happens to the students who live out of the country?

According to on, leaving the country in time for Thanksgiving and coming back in time for class averages to about $1,150. That’s a hefty amount of cash. When asking several international students, they made it clear that heading home for Thanksgiving wasn’t an option and so, they’re forced to stay in southern California with no chance to see their family.

Although students who live out of state or even in state living in northern California face this issue, there’s nothing like being 8,000 miles away from home.

Brittany Jack, an international student from Australia is one of those students.

“It makes me sad because everybody gets to go home to see their family and I’m not able to because they are so far away,” says Jack.

Because of this, Jack and her brother plan to spend Thanksgiving at Pastor Harry Walls home with his family. She usually doesn’t find herself getting homesick but feels it heavy this semester.

“I have a lot of friends who offer their home up for me to spend Thanksgiving, so it’s not a problem for me, but there might be some internationals that don’t have that connection,” says Jack.

TMC transforms into a ghost-town when the holidays roll around. Most campus buildings shutdown for several days leaving students no place to eat, workout, or simply gain access to computers. Although Carlo Teran, a student from Mexico, and Emma Hurley, a student from Uganda don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, they fully understand how discouraging it is when everyone is away off campus.

Hannah Willoughby from Germany found herself very emotional when expressing her feelings on not being able to spend Thanksgiving with her family. Being her first time spending Thanksgiving away from home, the weight of homesickness grows heavy on her.

“It sucks…I’m going to cry. I’m not going to see my family,” says Willoughby. “It’s going to be hard, and I’m going to be on campus. It’s going to be empty.”

Right along with her is her brother, Kaleb Willoughby, and just like Hannah, Kaleb stresses how much Thanksgiving just won’t be the same, but is enlightened by the fact that they have each other.

“It’s nice to spend Thanksgiving with a different family,” says Kaleb, “but we would often just spend it at our own house in Germany or the whole family goes to another family’s house and we have a big meal and everything.”

The Willoughby’s will be spending Thanksgiving with a TMC professor and are very thankful for it.

Fortunately enough, the Willoughbys and Jacks have a place to go for Thanksgiving, but Teran and Hurley are still unsure of what their holiday plans look like. What can TMC do to help out the internationals who have no place to go?

After  suggesting the idea, Willoughby encouraged the thought that setting up a system similar to how Outreach Week works, (a week where students sign up to serve at a church) international students are encouraged to fill out a questionnaire asking whether or not they have a place to go for the holidays.

Professors and staff members, or even students, who are willing and able to open up their home for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas are assigned a certain amount of international students to welcome into their home for those who have no place to go. This idea was encouraging to Hannah, but wasn’t really to Hurley.

“One Christmas, I spent it here. It was miserable because Christmas here is very family oriented. Back in Uganda, it’s more communal,” Hurley says. “It felt like I was intruding on people’s personal time.”

Is the only solution to this problem flying international students home, or bringing their families here? That’s a large load of cash both TMC and the students just can’t afford. Most of the international students understand how hard it is but accept the fact that it’s just another part of being in college. They only hope it’ll only be four or less Thanksgivings and Christmases they’ll have to miss.

“To me it’s part of life and I accepted it and, yeah, it sucks,” says Kaleb. “But hey, we’ll all be together in heaven.”

By Deenie Hutchinson





TMC’s new men’s choir making a name for itself on campus — and off — By Keith Brooks

Sheet music

For the first time, The Master’s College has an official men’s choir. Started by Hotchkiss resident director Siona Savini, the choir consists of 21 men. The choir performed for the first time at Church of the Canyons and then again at TMC chapel last month.

“I was so proud this morning.” Savini said after they performed at chapel.

The men’s choir sang again at the Christmas concerts.

“It’s really encouraging…where the Lord has brought us,” said choir member Jonathan Libby.

Another choir member, Christopher Enloe, said, “There are spots where we need to hone it in.”

After the Christmas concert, Savini plans on holding auditions during finals week for those interested in being a part of the choir next semester.

“I would love for it to double,” Savini said of the choir. “[I’d love to] maintain a 40-member men’s choir.”

Everyone in the choir is a volunteer. Students take time out of their day each Monday to practice with the group. Because most of the members are also a part of Chorale or Collegate, Savini hopes that soon the new choir will be recognized as a credited class for the music department to provide an extra incentive to join.

When Savini stepped down from leading chapel band in the 2014 school year he was freed up to think about other projects. He brought the idea of a men’s choir to Dr. Plew and this year he approved it.

“The music department has been very supportive,” Savini said.

If the choir continues to do well, they will prove themselves as a needed group on campus.

“We’re a baby,” said Curt McClure, also a member. “Since we’re still new we have a lot of room for development.”

The men’s choir will be singing next at the Truth and Life conference Jan. 13-15.

By Keith Brooks

For Karkenny, being a Mustang was always the plan – By Sierra Elm

Karkenny 2

The clock counted down to end the second overtime. The score was tied. Players began alternating penalty kicks. The winner was announced. The crowd roared as the El Camino Real High School girl’s soccer team flooded the field, winners of the Los Angeles CIF City Championship. Leading them to this victory was their captain, Sarah Karkenny.

Karkenny, who hoped to go to The Master’s College at the time, was no stranger to the feeling of winning a game, having made it to the city semi-finals in previous years. The defender’s career in soccer started when she was 6. Her love of the sport grew for more than a decade. She had competed for both a club team and the El Camino Real High School girls team, captaining the team both junior and senior year of high school.

Karkenny grew up in Chatsworth, a short drive from Master’s. She desires to complete her degree in liberal studies with an emphasis in teacher education while she continues her passion for soccer on the colligate level.  She was familiar with TMC since both her older brothers, Steven and Jason, excelled in the baseball program at TMC.

“I didn’t even look into schools other than Master’s.” Karkenny said. “I am excited to continue my education and athletic career at a school that will help and allow me to grow tremendously. I am also looking forward to being in an environment that will help me grow in my walk with the Lord and be at a school that has the desire to glorify God in all we do.”

Karkenny excelled in the classroom and on the field in high school, but adjusting to the college setting was a fear entering her first season at TMC.

“Getting to know the new system of play that my coach likes to use, so just figuring that out with people who already knew how he liked it was probably the hardest,” Karkenny said.

Alongside the fear of learning the new set up, Karkenny also feared meshing with a new group of girls at different levels of skill and in different seasons of life.

“I think one of the biggest [challenges] was just adjusting to a whole new group of girls because high school was kind of hard my freshman year to find my place on the team and that was a group of 40 girls.”

Karkenny got to know her fellow teammates over the practices before the start of the fall season.

“One thing I remember about when I first met Sarah was once coach called her out in front of the whole team and was like, ‘I just want to point out a player, she’s been staying afterwards to help clean everything up when all of you guys leave,’ so I thought that was really cool,” said TMC teammate Victoria Gama. “She goes out of her way to just kind of make people’s days. She’s really thoughtful with just the little things.”

The little things she does have made an impact on the team, making her an asset on and off the field. She may be new to the college setting, but she brings joy to the team.

“Playing with Sarah, she brings like this spirit like, ‘Oh Sarah’s here!’ just like upbeat or like kind of just livens the mood—just makes it fun and enjoyable,” Gama said.

The friendships and encouragement from her teammates has helped her grow in her skill of the sport and as a person.

“I have known Sarah for about eight years, and right when we met we became very close friends,” said sophomore Vanessa Kingery, Karkenny’s roommate.

Kingery and Karkenny also attended the same high school and church.

“It’s great to have someone here who has grown up with you and seen your struggles and your relationship with Christ and always encourages you to strive for more in your relationship with Him,” Karkenny said.

In addition to Kingery, Karkenny has her brother, amongst other long-term friends, at TMC to go through the next few years at the college with and encourage her as she also encourages them.

Her brother Steven graduated from TMC in the spring of 2015, but Jason continues to pitch for the college’s baseball team.

“It’s very nice having my sister at school,” Jason said. “She always brings such a big smile to my face every time I see her because she gets so happy and she’s just a little ball of energy and it makes me smile.”

By Sierra Elm

Resident magician: TMC’s De Matteis born to bewilder – by Keith Brooks

magic hat

Most kids pick up a magic trick or two but give magic up. Not magician Jeremiah De Matteis. Something kept him going.

“I started out watching a TV show called Masters of Illusion,” De Matteis said. “And I loved it and I wanted to learn. I knew my friend at church. I knew his older brother was learning magic. So I asked him if he could teach me, and he said, ‘Yeah sure! Bring a deck of cards next week and I’ll show you a trick.’”

This man who taught De Matteis his first trick was Ryan Ramirez. De Matteis called Ramirez his mentor.

“I share every trick with Jeremiah,” Ramirez said.

De Matteis says a trick becomes a magician’s own when he first starts doing it; every magician puts his own spin on a trick. De Matteis took David Blane’s trick of putting a card in a fruit and gave it his own style when he made the audience’s card appear in an orange.

The style De Matteis performs is called mentalist magic. It’s all about presentation. Mentalist magic revolves around the premise that the magician can read someone’s mind. So if a person were told to pick a card from a deck then put it back, the magician reads the person’s mind and finds their card, though the trick is usually something completely different.

“A magician does twenty thousand things,” magician Pablo Bautista, De Matteis’ pupil said, “but the audience only sees one.”

De Matteis also loves the Lord and serving others. He became a Christian in November of 2009 and his life was transformed. De Matteis came to The Master’s College because he wanted to serve others. In his magic he also tries to integrate his faith.

“It’s like a lot of hip-hop artists are like ‘Yeah, I’m a Christian rapper, but not all of my songs are Jesus, Jesus, Jesus’ you know. There are different issues.” De Matteis said. “I definitely want to bring like not only a Christian aspect to some tricks, but there are also some tricks and some points where I just want to perform.”

Magic started off as a hobby for him, but recently it has become more than that.

“I had an opportunity to go to Ohio,” De Matteis said. “I just couldn’t make it because I had to perform at a wedding. But, I mean, I think [magic] can take me, at least, around the country. [I am] thinking of possibly coming up with a sermon message with a few tricks and possibly do chapels around the country.”

De Matteis has performed for small audiences, he has performed for a school talent show in front of 500 people and recently he had his own show that about 200 people paid to see. Regardless of the size of the audience, when De Matteis performs he knows that this is where God has called him to be.

“It feels natural.” he said. “Also I perform because I hate it. And what I mean by that is I hate being in front of people. I don’t like big crowds. It’s really my time where I can humbly say, when people say ‘Yo, you did a good job,’ I can be like ‘Thanks. That was all God because I don’t like being in front of people’…It’s my chance to decrease so that He may increase; it’s not my stage, it’s His.”

By Keith Brooks

Holiday decor rings in the season for Hotchkiss – By Zach Klindworth


The holiday season is upon us. During this time of the year, all dormitories and student life are at an emotional high. Students are stringing lights, hanging decorations and blaring Christmas music through the dorm hallways.

But apart from the joyous feelings the holidays bring, The Master’s College campus would not be as festive without the student community coming together and decorating the dorm lounges; Hotchkiss lounge in particular.

In the early evening of Nov. 22, the Hotchkiss lounge was as normal. Students were studying, chatting with friends or just passing through. But as the night drew on, it was as if an explosion of Christmas cheer and festivities erupted.

“I was just sitting in the lounge doing homework and all of a  sudden, student upon student started pouring in with lights, Christmas trees, spray paint and every Christmas decoration you could think of. Music started blaring and everyone started decorating the lounge from head to toe” said Hotchkiss resident Brad Armstrong.

For the working students, there was no better excuse for them to abandon all their studies to help. As the music rang throughout the lounge, students flooded from every entrance to help.

“I was just sitting with some of my friends when all the excitement began. It was so cool to see all of the people working in harmony with the decorations set up” said TMC student Kellian Ahearn.

With the dorms already decorated with Christmas ornaments and lights, the remainder of the semester won’t be as strenuous as one would think.

“I hate finals week,” said sophomore Anallyce Hagopian. “But when I am in an environment such as this where the lights are shinning bright and Christmas cheer is all around campus, it puts my mind at ease and I can focus a little bit harder.”

By Zach Klindworth

Creative writing majors undaunted by the “starving writer” stereotype – By Gabrielle Colon


Writers, the wonder-filled analyzers of society, and writing students make up 1.38% of The Master’s College undergraduate population. Within that population exists aspiring journalists, novel writers, copyeditors, poets and advertisers—dreamers and fighters.

The stereotype of the starving writer looms over of every literary hopeful—there is always that fearful search for something more practical. The brave ones trust the communication department to teach them to succeed in professional writing fields. But do they have reason to? Will there be a culture for them to succeed in? Is there hope for the hopefuls?

Of the 119 communication majors at The Master’s College, 13 pursue the print media (writing) emphasis. This past year, the communication department introduced a proposal to split that emphasis into two new, more distinct writing emphases: Creative Writing and Journalism.

Though there has yet to be much response to this, it represents the department’s efforts to give students more opportunities. The distinction between the novelists and poets, and the journalists allows for more specific, and therefore more accurate, job training. As the writing programs grow, they strive to mimic the professional fields they prepare students for.

Bob Dickson, the chair of The Master’s College Communication Department and professor of many writing courses, is confident the department prepares students by offering experience-based programs that writing fields require. Students in article writing courses write articles for publication under a deadline. Editing students edit pieces produced by writing courses. Novel Writing students are made novelists. Poetry students turned poets.

“Students in classrooms don’t just study the theories of journalism or writing,” Dickson says. “They produce copy.”

Alongside production-based writing courses, the department also offers extensive internship programs, both to prepare students in their desired field and to make them more employable. Generally, communication majors complete two internships before they graduate, one per each year of their upperclassmen-ship.

“The key component to the emphasis in terms of employment will be the internships that we provide for students because so many of the jobs in the writing arena, especially if you’re talking about journalism, come via the internships,” Dickson says. “…For a writer, it’s not just about whether or not you have a degree … [employers] need to be able to see that you can do the job.”

The department’s efforts to make students employable are evident. This doesn’t mean there will be jobs to employ them. It’s no secret that journalism and information-based careers are changing and dissolving. What was once found in the Sunday paper is now written in two-sentence tweets. Information is given immediately. Finding analysis is effortless.

The stereotype persists. More writers are lost to the comfort of the predictable: teaching, public relations, advertising. Students can’t be blamed for leaving their love for someone who seems more faithful. The difficulty of getting published tempts them.

News of layoffs by major publications pushes them to the edge. A rough day at the keyboard kicks them over that edge. They pack their bags and leave. TMC senior Caleb Chandler, a print media major, finds comfort in setting writing as an avocation, worried that he might not enjoy writing if he were dependent on it for a salary.

He says he “likes writing too much to want to have to start out making a living off of it” and believes teaching might provide a more stable future.

“The reason I am gonna teach instead of just doing writing,” Chandler says, “it’s the stability of it all—also having a teaching job would allow me to write as a sideline during the school year and maybe make some extra money that way. But also I would have the freedom to write more in the summers and even possibly travel and write about that, which would be awesome.”

Chandler seems happy with his decision and excited for a career in teaching. Behind his decision, though, still lay the idea that the writing career is not particularly stable.

But “[the industry] isn’t shrinking as a whole … The industry is changing,” Dickson says.“Now you have so many avenues, so many different media through which to convey information.”

In a technology-based culture, no one can expect a profession based on print to stay the same. People don’t read print newspapers much anymore, they read digital copies on their laptops, iPads and iPhones.

Or, they don’t read at all. Writers must make themselves worthy of the reader’s precious, divided time.  Career preparedness for the writer means more than it used to. A writer must prepare to market themselves as a product. The communication department understands the need for writing students to develop this skill.

“You also need to learn how to think entrepreneurially—how to take what you do and package it in a way that’s attractive to the public,” Dickson insists.

For this, Dickson notes the extra space in required coursework the department provides and suggests some of it be used for marketing or business strategy coursework.

There’s a more powerful factor to success beyond the influence of a student’s education: it’s character. If success stories teach one thing, it’s that the formula to success is compiled more of determination than talent and study. If one career needed this more than any other, it’d be writing.

“The common denominator for successful writers… has always been determination,” Dickson says. “Because in writing, the only way to improve is to practice, and a determined student practices.”

Dickson explains that at Master’s, writing students spend their time honing their skills. They know writing is something to always improve on, so when they leave they continue to get better. They dedicate themselves to practice. He adds that this ties with the quality of humility.

“It’s ‘teachability,'” he says, “There’s a humility there; it’s never fun to put yourself out there creatively and then have to be criticized. … the students who are most comfortable accepting that constructive criticism are the ones who see the most results.”

Dickson’s theory rings true in the case of Mason Nesbitt, a former TMC student and current staff writer at the Santa Clarita Signal. Nesbitt was a student in Dickson’s Article Writing class—the only writing class he took at the college. Nesbitt was a biblical studies major and played on the school’s baseball team for a couple of years. He hoped to, and did, become a sports writer.

“Like most article writing students, his first articles showed promise but he had a lot of improving to do,” Dickson says of Nesbitt. “He took it upon himself to get better, even after the class was over…”

Nesbitt summarizes the formula for the successful writer when he says “learning to write is just writing, writing, writing.”

The communication department provides the opportunities to write. Students who take them have no reason to fail.

By Gabrielle Colon


Breaking out of isolation through Grace Bible Deaf Church ministry – By Desiree Teichroeb

A jungle with tropical plants, monkeys and birds. A mountain valley with a cabin nestled among the trees surrounded by a grassy field. The sea filled with coral and colorful stones. The world is brought to the shelves of a little apartment in Highland Park, Calif.

An avid sculptor, the resident of this apartment handcrafted most of the animals, then carefully compiled them into individual scenes to reflect the earth around him.

“I want to be an artist,” he said.

Even though the walls burst with color and his creative design, he has never seen his apartment. Christopher Cook is both deaf and blind.

Cook, 51, has lived without sight and most of his hearing since an early age. His hearing began lessening at age 13, from a rare disease called Voight-Carnegie Syndrome. His sight also failed early on.

“My sight, although good in some ways, was not exactly normal,” Cook said. “I could never read print and had to read Braille from Kindergarten up.”

At 14, he noticed a significant deteriorating from a retina infection. The eye infections were severe, resulting in the loss of Cook’s right eye, and a shell put over his left. At 16, he was completely blind and possessed only 20 percent of his hearing.

“They were very grievous losses,” Cook said.

Despite limited hearing capability, Cook continued to foster his love for music. A wall in his living room is devoted to his music collection, with over a hundred CD’s and tapes.

“I had enjoyed music much in my boyhood,” Cook reminisced. He tried behind-the-ears hearing aids, but they “buzzed and whistled…somewhat of a nuisance,” Cook said.

When he was 24, Cook was fitted with a cochlear implant. The results, while helpful, were less than miraculous.

“The implant is good enough for me to identify many sounds, but not good enough to understand speech. It’s also hard for me to tell the origin of sounds,” Cook said.

These challenges caused Cook to experience isolation, which is common for the deaf blind according to Val Hultslander, who has been ministering with her husband to the deaf blind community through a Highland Park church plant called Grace Bible Deaf Church. The deaf and blind struggle with communication and will often be overlooked in conversation, Hultslander said.

Cook had limited interactions with the Church until he came to Grace Bible Deaf Church 15 years ago. “When he came, he was not a believer in any way,” Hultslander said. “I don’t think he had any religious thoughts.”

While there are many ministries for the deaf, Grace Bible Deaf Church stands apart as first devoted to the deaf blind.

“Having a ministry to the deaf, and the deaf-blind is difficult because compared to the deaf blind, the deaf are so much more independent,” Hultslander said. “Now after working with the deaf-blind, you don’t see the deaf as nearly as disabled.”

Previously unexposed to the deaf community, the Hultslander missionaries learned American Sign Language (ASL) in real time, along with taking a couple years of ASL training at Glendale Community College after moving to Highland Park apartments.

The Hultslander’s came from Mexico where they were church planters for nine years. As their kids grew they desired to move to the states for ministry.

“We checked out a few of the ministries they had here and we really liked this ministry,” Hultslander said.

Unlike in Mexico, where they were traveling from location to location to minister, Hultslander appreciates the accessibility of living with the deaf blind.

“You open up your door and there’s your mission field,” he said.

As Cook began attending the church services held by Bob Hultslander and the partnering pastor Jim Hanson, he began to read the Bible. Val Hultslander described Cook as accepting the Lord as Savior after hearing the preaching of the Word of God.

“There has been a pretty good change in his life.” Val Hultslander said. “He’s growing…you can tell the change in his life and the Lord is working.”

Hansen says their goal is to bring the hurting deaf blind to a community of friends and establish trust for the purpose of proclaiming the gospel. Because the deaf blind community is small, Grace Bible Deaf Church’s ministry has been a national encouragement, providing a safe haven for the deaf blind to be loved.

It’s difficult to see if their efforts are fruitful, but the missionaries at Grace Bible Deaf Church testified to the faithfulness of God.

“The Lord [is] leading us…the good thing is that He is faithful,” Val Hultslander said. “And ultimately we all walk by faith and not by sight.”

By Desiree Teichroeb