Skip to Google search Skip to Main menu links Skip to Rotating Banner Skip to News Skip to Calendar WEST KERN COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT
TC logoTaft CollegeDedicated to Success!
Sitemap | Faculty | Cougar Tracks | Contact/Email
TC Menu

By Emily Davis

I grew up with music all around me. Singing runs in my family.

If my mom wasn’t singing to me there was music playing in the background. I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember but I would rarely sing for people. I was very shy as a child and the idea of people listening to me sing was terrifying to me.


When I was in the seventh-grade I decided to participate in the talent show. What made me want to do that is still a mystery but I did it anyway. If I had the chance to go back and listen to that performance now, I would probably cringe. But just the fact that I got on stage and sang was a huge accomplishment.

I wasn’t planning on signing up for the talent show my eighth-grade=year, but as it got closer a friend began to ask if I was going to participate. This gave me just the right amount of confidence I needed. I ended up with a second-place finish that year.

After this, more people started complimenting me on my voice. All this talk got me a spot on the worship team at church. Being on the worship team made me fall in love with singing even more. At first I would get very nervous before I would go on stage but as time went on that got easier.

I decided to join the high school choir my freshman year. This decision changed a lot of things for me. I learned how to read and understand music, I met a lot of very talented people, and most importantly, I learned how to understand my voice.

Throughout high school I became known for singing the cutesy Disney songs and having the “sweet voice.” This was fun for a while but it grew old and I got older.


It wasn’t until after I graduated high school when I broke out of my “sweet voice” shell. I joined the Maids of Petroleum for the Oildorado celebration. I knew that I would have to have to talent for the pageant and that it was obviously going to be singing.

The hard part was what song to sing. I knew it had to stand out against the other singers in the competition. After listening to many different songs I finally decided on “Taylor the Latte Boy” by Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich.

I practiced this song for months so when it was finally time to perform it I was both nervous and ready to get it over with. The audience response was much better than I expected. This was the first time people, besides my family, were talking about a performance of mine for more than a day.

Because of this one performance I have been asked to sing the national anthem at the Kern County Raceway and the Taft Little League opening ceremonies. Now people are recognizing me as a more versatile singer.

Being a singer is complicated. It took a lot of nerve to get on stage for the first time. Once I stepped out of my comfort zone everything became comfortable with being on stage. Of course, I still get nervous and freak out right before I go on stage but when I walk off the stage it’s all worth it.

I may not be the best singer but singing makes me happy and it’s something that I’ll have forever.

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 2.22.27 PM

Geology ROCKS!

By Ellie Hilliard

On a hazy Friday morning, Professor May and his Geology 1500 students set out on a field trip to the Carrizo Plain. The Carrizo Plain, located deep in the hills between the California Highway 46 and the city of San Luis Obispo, contains highly geologically influential landmarks. Some of these landmarks include the Carrizo Plain National Park, the San Andreas Fault Line, and Soda Lake. The Geology 1500 class set off down the winding road that is traveled to reach their destination with excitement and finally reached their first stop at the San Andreas Fault Line. The San Andreas Fault Line runs up the length of the state of California and marks the sliding boundary between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. The geology class spent their time at the San Andreas Fault Line measuring distances of geologic shifting, evaluating rock samples, and just enjoying the general nature surrounding them. Professor May led the excursion and shared loads of geologic information; he even shared the story of his painful encounter with a tarantula at the same location the previous year.

Geology student surveying the San Andreas Fault Line

Geology student surveying the San Andreas Fault Line

Carrizo Plain San Andreas Fault Line

Carrizo Plain San Andreas Fault Line

After leaving the San Andreas Fault Line, the class then moved on to explore Soda Lake, a lake not far from the San Andreas Fault Line which is located in  the valley of the Carrizo Plain. This lake, however, did not share the appearance of most other normal lakes. Soda Lake is in fact a shallow alkali lake with a high content of salt crystal growth. Professor May and the Geology 1500 students hiked out onto the sandy lake to get a better look at the salt crystals that layered the ground. The lake was covered so heavily in sodium deposits that when the students looked around them it almost appeared as if they were standing in snow. After spending a fair amount of time trekking through and around Soda Lake and its boardwalk, Professor May decided it was time for all of the students and their very muddy shoes to move on to their next destination.

View of Soda Lake

View of Soda Lake

The final destination on this geologic adventure took place in Parkfield, California. Just outside of the city of Parkfield, running adjacent to the California Highway 46 resides the location at which a very famous 1950’s era actor, James Dean, was killed in a car accident. Dean was traveling down the California Highway 46 in his 1955 Porsche Spyder on the afternoon of September 30th, 1955, when he got into a collision with a pick-up truck traveling in the opposite direction. Dean’s car was destroyed in the accident, and as a result, he did not survive. This location marks a quite influential moment in Hollywood’s history and takes place not far from the actual San Andreas Fault Line itself. Professor May ended the field trip by sharing his knowledge of James Dean and his life and death with his Geology 1500 students. The entire group then stopped for lunch at the Parkfield Café to discuss all that they had seen on their geologic excursion before heading home. The field trip as a whole was regarded by many of the geology students as both informative and interesting with many agreeing that their favorite stop on the trip was the opportunity to tromp around on Soda Lake. The Geology 1500 students are now looking forward to their next field trip but are skeptical that they can have a better time than they already have with Professor May and his geologic adventures.

Geology students adventuring on Soda Lake

Geology students adventuring on Soda Lake


By Nick Kuwano

On Tuesday, Taft College baseball went toe to toe against the Fresno City Rams in Fresno. Seth Sorensen took the loss on the bump tossing 4 innings and allowing 3 runs on 4 hits with 2 walks. Matt Rogers came out of the bullpen to toss 3 innings. He allowed 2 earned runs on five hits. Jordan Hart and Will Moore got work in the ninth giving up an additional 4 runs. 

Offensively, The Cougars manufactured 2 runs on 6 hits. Fabian Gutierrez singled to score Luke Lubiniecki in the top of the first, and Kaivon Kealoha hit a solo home run in the fourth. Five total Cougars collected singles. 

Taft looks to bounce back when they host Fresno, Thursday April 14, at 3:00 pm on Cougar Field. 

By Etelvina Castillo


The wait is over for Bakersfield residents. After many years of speculation and hard work, a drive-in movie theatre will officially be open to the public Saturday, April 16.

Cinertain is the cinema and entertainment company behind it all. Drive-in theaters were very popular in the 50’s, but since 1958, over 3,500 drive-ins have been closed down.  In Bakersfield in the past there were more than two drive-ins, but unfortunately, they closed down. One of the drive-ins was the 99 Drive-in which opened in 1949 and closed down in 1982. Another drive-in which most people recall was the Crest Drive-in which opened in 1963 and closed down in 1999.

Now that Bakersfield is bringing back the drive-in, the question is if people will be interested in going. Will millennials, the new generation be interested in going to a drive-in theatre as opposed to a regular movie theatre?

This is what some people had to say about the drive-in:

Ana Morales said, “I have been to a drive-in before. I think they are nice and better than a closed room. I’ve gone to the one in Sacramento, West Wind. I really liked it, they showed new movies and classics on Wednesdays. I am interested in seeing how the drive-in will be like here in Bakersfield.”

Carmen Benavidez said, “My parents have told me stories about the drive-in theaters they would go to when they were young and it makes me want to go at least once but I think I would still prefer a normal movie theatre over a drive-in especially because Bakersfield’s weather is crazy sometimes.”

The drive-in is located at the Sam Lynn Ballpark. Gates will open at 6:00 PM, and the cost will be $20 per carload parking pass and there will also be walk-in space available. Snacks will be available at the concession trailer for people to enjoy. For more information regarding the drive-in go to .

Cinertain has brought back the classic cinematic experience to Bakersfield, will you live the experience?


Location of new drive-in

IMG_3031 (1)

Open lot will become drive-in

2016-04-15 144119

Please be advised if you travel to campus from Bakersfield there will be road construction on Highway 119 for approximately the next 6 weeks. There will be one lane traffic controls and you could experience delays. Please plan accordingly or take an alternate route to campus. Golf Course road near the aqueduct is a possible detour that ends near Dustin Acres.



By Alberto Muro

Camp out against cancer "times"

 The third annual Cancer Campout took place at the State Farm Sports Facility on the first weekend of April. The 24 hour event celebrates the lives of cancer survivors and honors the people that lost their battle with the disease.


Survivors’ Tent

The campout was open to the public, and provided patrons with games and a ferris wheel. Volunteers at the campout served food to people who bought tickets prior to the event and also provided their assistance in setting up games.


 The cancer campout also brought the attention of the local Bakersfield car club, Bakersfield Cadillac Kings. The year model of the Cadillac’s varied from the 1930s to 1976 and arrived to the event in style.


Kern County Volunteer Fire Department

Representatives were also at the camp out and on behalf of the Kern County Fire Department; they made their presence known by handing out snacks and showing children the functionality of their equipment.


The well-known laser tag company Battlefield Live offered their gear and set up a little course for children to take cover and play some laser tag. Aside from working on their accuracy, children also tested their athleticism by climbing the bounce house slide.


 The event came to a conclusion on Saturday, and at 2pm, the volunteers thanked the donors and patrons for making the charity event a reality. Donations reached a high 300,000 dollars, and although the goal was set to 500,000, everybody was more focused on contributing to an important cause.

By Ashley Renteria

Imagine walking across campus to your car after your night class or laying in your bed peacefully, only to hear a sudden screaming and howling.

This is a reality for many Taft College dorm students and students who take classes later in the day. Sandy Creek, which runs right next to the college campus, is home to several coyotes.

Although there is usually no sight of them during the day, they are incredibly active at night. It is believed that their nest or home is behind the Ash Street dorms where there is more brush and places to hide.

“I don’t know if they are coyotes or fennec foxes but I think they are mating. It sounds like crying and laughing at the same time and it’s always at night” says Ash Street dorm student Arielle Stoyanow. Another student Valeria Garcia agrees that they are usually heard at night and says to her, their howls sound like children screaming.

Most students have not seen the coyotes in person during the day but dorm student Alexia Gonzales said one night she was on the phone with her father outside and the coyotes were right behind her. She tried to capture a picture of them but they ran away.

Breeze Rivers, another dorm resident said she has not seen or heard them by the Ash Street dorms but has seen them by the track and in the Albertsons parking lot.

These coyotes are not just limited to staying in the creek, they travel far and wide in Taft.

Coyotes can still be considered dangerous animals if they feel they are being threatened. So if you happen to see them, admire their presence from afar.



« Newer PostsOlder Posts »