21 Questions: Francisco Guadalupe Velazquez

Francisco Guadalupe Velazquez Man with glasses smiling in front of tree

21 Questions is a fun way to get to know students, faculty, and staff. This week is Francisco Guadalupe Velazquez. He is the current Assistant Director of New Student and Parent Programs here at SDSU.

How do you feel about the question, “Tell us about yourself?”

“It is really open ended, but it is great, people can express themselves in regard to who they are, because often times we are told who we are, instead of us being able to share who we are.”

So, tell me about yourself?

“There are so many ways you can take this question! My name is Francisco Guadalupe Velazquez, but I also go by Frankie Velazquez. I am a SoCal native from Valley Center, North County San Diego, proud SDSU alum, and an Aztec for life. I like this question, but it is difficult to pinpoint what exactly to say. “

What is something that people usually get wrong about you?

“People think that I take myself too seriously, but it depends on the environment that I am in. At work people tend to think I am quiet, because I do not tend to speak up, but it depends on the context. But if I feel like it is a safe, brave space where I can do that, I am more likely to speak up.”

Is there anything you want people to know about you?

“It is important for people that I identify within the LGBTQ+ community. As a QPOC (queer person of color) it is important for to have faculty and staff identify in this community to represent this population. The intersectionality that does not happen as often where you see queer people in a position of power. As an assistant director I recognize I have authority to effect change in the community.”

Are you a “people person”?

“I don’t think so, but I can turn it on if needed. I know I need time to myself sometimes, so I would say I am an ambivert.”

Are you family oriented?

“That’s an interesting question, I think the idea of family I do like, but that does not always mean blood family I think you create your family so in that sense yes, I am family oriented.”

What’s on your mind today?

“At the moment work and vacation! I recently booked a vacation to Riviera Maya, Mexico, so that is my motivation.”

What brought you back to San Diego? 

“SDSU that is what really made my family. Being a student, grad student and then leaving, I knew I wanted to come back, because the connections I made. I was part of the SDSU Ambassadors and Residential Education, so those played a part in decision as well as my personal and professional growth.”

Do you have an idea of where you will be at the end of this year? 

“I have a vision of where I would like to be. 2019 has been a huge year of personal and professional growth, I hope that I am in a place of gratitude and being thankful for the journey I have been on and thankful for what I have. I am looking forward to traveling, I love to travel and travel with my partner. Our next goal is to travel somewhere whether it is a cruise or exploring Europe. I know he wants to go to Germany, so that might be on the list.”

Do you believe that struggles make you stronger?

“Yes, absolutely I think there needs to be somewhat of a struggle, because when you get to your goal or you are successful, it is so much sweeter. That is how you grow and how you become the person you ultimate want to be.”

Who are you listening to right now?

“I am listening to… let me pull up my Spotify. I listen to a lot of Spanish music reggaeton and pop — Danna Paola, Carlos Rivera, and Taylor Swift. My first concert was when I was five years old, it was a Latin pop group called Garibaldi. Some of my favorite concerts have been Ricky Martin, Lady Gaga was amazing, Mariah Carey, Demi Lovato, and Justin Timberlake.”

Do you have anyone to thank for where you are now?

“I do. So many people, I don’t know where to start. So often we go about our lives without acknowledging the team of people that support you. These are just a few people, but my advisor when I was an ambassadors Janet Castro, Kara Bauer, Dr. Avery, Randy Timm, and Christy Samarkos.” 

If you could tell your younger self something what would it be?

“You matter, because it is important to hear.”
– Frankie Velazquez
Written by: Jasmine Alexander
Photo by: Jasmine Alexander

Sunflower Seeds: Holiday Cheer!

It’s time for Holiday Cheer! Christmas is coming up in a few short weeks, so here are some family friendly holiday activities to do in San Diego!

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (November 10 – December 29, 2019)

Balboa Park is decked out in “Whoville” decorations in the plaza outside the Old Globe Theater. They are on display in correlations with the theater’s annual holiday production of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Hotel del Coronado: Skating by the Sea (November 26, 2019 – January 5, 2020)

Take your ice skates to this spectacular beachfront ice rink with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean while benefiting Make-A-Wish San Diego. You can even reserve your own rink side lounge at Frostbite – A Place to Chill; guests will enjoy skating passes and seating around a fire pit with full food and beverage service. 

Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights (December 14, 2019)

This free event features boats decorated for the annual holiday season that will take place in Mission Bay. The parade begins at 6:00 PM from Quivira Basin. To end the parade, fireworks ill be displayed and the Sea World Sky Tower Tree of Lights will be lit at 9:00 PM.

The Vet + Pet West Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade (December 15, 2019)

This holiday furry friendly event returns to Downtown San Diego to take over the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter. Pet owners and their furry companions are invited to deck their paws with their favorite holiday costumes for this jolly promenade.  

Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade  (December 26, 2019)

Watch America’s largest balloon parade during the Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade. This event brings marching bands, beautiful floats, drill teams, and a procession of enormous balloons to the bayside streets of downtown San Diego.

There are so many more Holiday Events in San Diego, but I just listed a few unique ones that I think you should do during this holiday season! You can find even more holiday events here!

Written by: Nina Capuani

The Art of Makeup

I started playing with makeup when I was four-years-old. I would sneak into my mother’s bathroom and smear my face with lipstick and pat eyeshadow onto my cheeks because I thought makeup would make me as beautiful as my favorite Disney princesses. Since then, my longing for beauty has grown into my love for artistic expression.

For a long time, makeup has been a tool to shame women. Makeup has been used to make women seem unintelligent and shallow as if we care about nothing else besides our appearance. Men have made jokes about taking women swimming on the first date to see if we are attractive or not without makeup. Women even get shamed by other women who base their personality off of how they are “not like other girls.”

Some people do wear makeup to hide their insecurities, and maybe we do need to talk about why we feel like we need to look attractive at all times, but many of us genuinely enjoy wearing makeup. Why do we feel the need to shame women for doing what they enjoy? Why is anything associated with femininity taken as a joke? Some people, especially men who are attracted to us, love to tell us that we look better without makeup as if that is a compliment, but it is actually degrading and frankly many of us do not care to hear it.

Art is for Everyone

Makeup isn’t reserved for people who identify as a woman. As seen by YouTube’s (chaotic) beauty community, makeup can be enjoyed by anyone. Men, or people who appear to look more masculine, are often shamed for wearing makeup as well. When men wear makeup they are often insulted and told that they appear too feminine as if that is a bad thing. If art is neither reserved for men or women, then the line should not be drawn at makeup. Promoting the idea that makeup isn’t tied to gender can help young girls, boys, and everyone else explore their artistic abilities without fearing judgment.

My Favorite Artist

My favorite makeup artist is not anyone I’ve seen on YouTube, but someone who I’ve known for her entire life, my sixteen-year-old cousin Halle. Halle dreams of going to cosmetology school and becoming a makeup artist for actors, and I absolutely believe that she is capable of fulfilling that dream. When Halle does makeup, she doesn’t simply do typical everyday looks, she makes her face look so unique that it looks like a painting that belongs in a museum. She pays close attention to the colors she chooses and all her looks require such intricacy that many of us (including myself) do not have the patience or the talent to do.

When I look at Halle, I wonder how anyone could not understand that makeup is a serious art form. I was never very artistic growing up, but knowing Halle has caused me to bring out my creative side and try bold makeup looks that make people stare. Next time someone has something negative to say about wearing makeup, remember that you are an artist and not everyone appreciates art.

Written by: Maya Dixon
Photos by: Halle Wilson

Stirring the Pot: Stayin’ Studious Without Losing a Screw

Trying to survive in college is stressful in and of itself; add exams, lack of sleep, and anxiety to the mix and you’re in for a rough time. Here are some helpful tips to stay sane yet studious.

Typically, I like to do investigative pieces — this is a bit of a deviation from my normal style but I found it quite fitting as we’re finishing off midterms and on the cusp of finals season. Yep, the exams and deadlines are here and we’re all in a frenzy of stress, anxiety, and a lack of sleep (which we all know we desperately need). The eyebags are forming, and so is the long, expensive list of Venti Starbucks Nitro Cold Brews, Monsters, and Guayaki Yerba Mates. But to be honest, I just hope you’re all doing okay. Or at least surviving. Anyways, I just thought I’d share some ways to not go completely batshit crazy from all the damn stress you’re probably facing right now. (And trust me, I’m  quite knowledgeable on the subject, as I’m a literal human ball of worry.)

ORGANIZE!

I know this isn’t a fresh, new idea, but it’s honestly the best way to assure you don’t feel as if you’re literally drowning in an ocean of papers, projects, and deadlines. And it’s a lot simpler than it seems — you don’t need to buy an expensive planner or be a bullet journaling master to tackle time management. Simply get a piece of paper (or use your phone notes app if you prefer) and just write out everything that’s stressing you out — all the things you have to do, and when they need to be done by. Literally just spill your brains out onto the page.

By releasing everything from your head to a documented place allows your mind to be relieved from all the pressure of remembering these tasks. Then plug them into your calendar! Plan out the week day-by-day and suddenly your tasks will seem much less daunting: as long as they’re spread out into time chunks — cramming is not the move! 

PRIORITIZE YOURSELF!

Assure you’re keeping your best interests in mind when making decisions. If you know you have a fat paper to write in TWO days that you have yet to start, then it’s probably in your best interest to take up your friend’s last-minute, yet extremely enticing offer to go to that party. Let yourself have enough time to complete your task without the pressure of the deadline waving over your head — pulling an all-nighter while chugging two sour apple reigns from the 7-eleven across the street is not the best situation to be in (coming from personal experience!). Not only can this lead to a mental breakdown (guilty), but it means you’re not doing your best work. But I know you’re still going to procrastinate, so to assure your all-night cram/work session won’t completely destroy your health, make sure you’re taking short breaks in which you leave your workspace and take a stretch or stroll. If you’re going to consume high quantities of caffeine, make sure to balance your water intake with the caffeine (not only will hydrating keep your mind sharp, but it will make the caffeine much more effective and long-lasting). Also, assure you’re eating healthy snacks — some of these could include nuts, berries, granola bars, or yogurt. NO TAKIS. PLEASE.

SLEEP!

Sleep is a precious gift. I know us college kids cherish (and I mean CHERISH) our sleep despite sacrificing it constantly. I know all the doctors tell us we need roughly 8 hours of sleep but honestly, I know I’m not getting it and it’s completely MY FAULT. Sleep is extremely crucial if we want our mental health to be in tip-top shape — one way to combat the lack of sleep I know we all have is by taking power naps. No, not four-hour naps that send us into another dimension of time, I’m talking about 15-20 minute naps in between classes. This short bit of sleep can give you the power to push through the day and be productive when you’re feeling like you can’t keep goin’ anymore. But make sure to be self-disciplined: don’t keep hitting snooze, but give yourself an incentive to get up, such as a good ol’ cuppa joe.

BALANCE YOUR TIME!

One of the most important tips I can give you is to just be self-aware of your productivity. If you know you’re overworking yourself, make sure to give yourself time to relax, let loose, and have fun! Reward yourself for your hard work when you know you deserve it. Make plans with friends or just let yourself sit back and veg on the couch! But this goes both ways: if you know you’ve been slacking a bit and you’re stressed from your lack of productivity in the face of a million daunting tasks, don’t be too hard on yourself.

Beating yourself up and calling yourself a failure isn’t going to do you any good. Remind yourself that you are capable of doing great things, pull your bootstraps on, and get your shit done! Take it little by little, assuring you’re not trying to get too much done in a short period of time. Honestly, the hardest part of doing anything is just starting. Type out that title page, start that outline, pull out that textbook, and break out those highlighters. Tell yourself that the task is NOT bigger than you and that you can take it.

Make sure to stay focused though — as I said before: if you know you haven’t been too productive lately, make sure to be intentional about how you’re spending your time. Don’t lay in bed for six hours if you know you have things to do, even if they’re stressing you out. In the end, your lack of productivity will make yourself feel MORE stressed in the end, and can affect the way you view yourself, which has a direct correlation to the quality of your mental health!

LOVE YOURSELF!

I hope some of these tips help you out. But honestly, give yourself a damn break. You’ve got this! You’re doing great. I know all these things are easier said than done, but just make sure you’re taking it all little by little. It’s not the end of the world if you mess up. We all do it – none of us are perfect students – or perfect people at that. Just try your best, plan as much as you can, and make sure you’re doing everything that’s in your best interest. You’ve made it this far, and honestly, that’s a huge achievement in itself! And as I’m sure you don’t hear this enough, I’m proud of you.

Written by: Olivia Flores
Featured Image: Prescence.io