Holiday Gift Guide



By Dorion Billingslea and Ruby Marquez

 Summit Staff Reporters

Every individual person throughout the holiday season is receiving different gifts. Not everyone wants the same gift as someone else. Every store has different items and throughout this gift guide there are some must go to stores and as well tips for you to minimize the time and be productive. Different ages have different gifts. To determine the right gift for each individual person there are many stores to go to.

Ages 0 to 5

Children who are under the age of one are easier to shop for because they don’t complain if they don’t get the gift they wanted. Stores that have a different variety between newborns and 2-year-olds are Babies “R” Us, P.S. from Aeropostale and also Toys “R” Us. These gifts would include toys such as a Shape sorter toy which gives your newborn or one year old to be able to see shapes and work on hand eye coordination. A push toy or stroller is good to because it helps your child to walk. Many children want toys that can be hands on. Be aware that some toys might be dangerous for the children that are under a certain age. Stores that can be helpful for this particular age group are Walmart, Toys “R” Us, Crazy Eight, Build-a-Bear Workshop and a lot more. There is more of variety of toys that you can get your child now that your child is getting older. To dolls, toy sets and kid game consoles, there is much more you can get when they reach the age of five. Janet Wilson a student at Grossmont College sops at GameStop, Walmart and Macy’s. Janet said,” I mostly buy video games and gift cards.”


Ages 6 to 10

The stores that offer the best option for children during this age are Target, GameStop and Burlington. During this age children want bicycles, scooters and more electronic things. They like to be more active but at the same time be on the couch playing video games with friends.

There is so much more of a variety you can get because they’re getting older.

Ages 11 to 14

This is the age that kids start becoming really picky about what they want for Christmas and this is the time where you can pretty much go anywhere depending on what they want. Electronics start becoming more of a thing to buy, since at this age, kids start becoming teenagers who start to want phones.

Ages 15 to 18

Many teens go to high school. Purchasing gifts for students that are still attending high school is going to the mall, not only is there variety of stores but also deals. Every season there are different styles and products to get a teenager because  for most being a teenager means being trendy and buying lots of clothes. This is also the age where electronics and video games are dominantly bought from stores such as Best Buy, Frys, Apple and many more.

Ages 18+

When you’re getting a gift for an adult it’s pretty tough because most adults are really picky of what you get them, unless it’s really specific. Most returns are made by adults because they didn’t like their gift so students can always go and purchase gift cards. Even though they may seem impersonal, there easy to purchase as well as easy to gift wrap. Every store has the option of purchasing gift cards. Don’t be discouraged if the last resort may be only purchasing a gift card. The older the person, the harder it is to determine what type of gift is best. To Starbucks, Macy’s or even Target. When purchasing clothing for people that are older than Eighteen don’t forget to take into consideration their own clothing styles and size. Rebecca Pena a student at Grossmont College likes to shop online instead of shopping in stores, and mostly shops at Victoria’s Secret and Target.

Helpful Tips

Many stores like Macy’s offer to wrap up any gifts you may bought, but it’s not cheap, but depends on the size of the gift. If the gift wrapping at Macy’s is not an option, students can always go to buy the roll of wrapping paper and tape to save money. The closer to the holidays the more possibility that stores might run out of certain items. The best way to ensure that doesn’t happen, students can call stores and place a hold on certain items. If you’re all about saving a penny, the holiday season always has deals and coupons. If possible collect as many magazines and newspapers for each individual store.

Parking can always be hassle, so parking close to stores may not always be the best option. Remember Grossmont Griffins, many people are also in a rush to purchase. Time is valuable, so plan ahead.

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The Great Tap Debate: Summit Staff does a Water Tasting


By Sheridan Martinez, for the Summit Staff

Summit Editor in Chief

Whether we realize it or not, water is root of our everyday lives. We drink it, we bathe in it, we wash our cars in it and it controls our climate. It’s a blessing to have clean water at our fingertips considering many people in third-world countries don’t have the same luxury. According to, more than 3.4 million people die each year from a water-related disease— “almost enough to fill the whole city of Los Angeles.”

While we have access to clean tap water, many people prefer to drink bottled water. In fact, Americans drink through about 50 billion bottles of water a year, even though it costs 2,000-times more than tap water, according to Business Insider. Many people—including some students in The Summit—say they refuse to drink tap water because of the taste.  After conversations prompted by the school’s ongoing water project, we decided to conduct our own “water tasting” experiment.

The staff blindly tested five different waters: Voss, Fuji, Smart Water, Sierra Springs and, last but not least, tap. The overall opinion of our staff was that artisan waters like Voss and Smart Water were the best tasting, while Sierra Springs—a local spring water company—tasted the worst. Because it did, most of the staff guessed it was the tap water, showing our initial assumptions.

Our informal experiment did not really change anyone’s opinion of bottled versus tap water, but it did make us realize just how many water choices Americans have.

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Skate Away: Visit one of these top three spots to get your ice fix this holiday.


By Sheridan Martinez

 Summit Editor in Chief

With Christmas right around the corner, the holiday festivities are already kicking into full gear. If you’re looking for something to do, grab your friends and loved ones and go ice-skating. Here are my top three places to go ice-skating in San Diego.

UTC Ice Sports Center

This La Jolla rink is convenient for getting shopping on the same trip.

Located below the food court, UTC’s large ice rink is open year round. Prices are $12 for general admission, and $3 to rent ice skates. It’s open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., except on Sundays, when the rink closes at 7 p.m. For more information, visit

Horton Plaza

Right in the heart of downtown San Diego, this rink has a nice open environment with pretty views. Only available during the holiday season, Sycaun’s Fantasy on Ice is open from Nov. 20 through Jan. 4. Prices are $14 for adult general admission, $12 for children and $40 for an all-access seasonal pass. It’s open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., but closed for a half hour from 7:30 to 8 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. It’s also closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas day. For more details, visit

Joan Kroc Center

Located in La Mesa, this is a nice local ice rink, open year round. This site has a low $10 admission, including skate rental. It also has weekly specials like: $5 Wednesday Night Skating, $7 After School Skating, $7 Sundays and a $7 Group Rate. It’s open at various hours on Monday, Wednesdays and Friday. Also, on Dec. 17 students can donate an unwrapped toy at the toy drive and skate for free! For more info, visit

So keep these ice rinks in mind when searching for something fun to do, and have a fun, safe holiday season, Grossmont Griffins.

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Dance Off: The dance department welcomes high school students to Grossmont.


By Sheridan Martinez

 Summit Editor in Chief

On Nov. 14, Grossmont College’s Dance Department had its high school dance outreach day here on campus. There were a total of eight high schools and more than 260 students that participated in a variety of different workshops with dance genres like hip hop, ballet, creative improvisation, jazz, musical theatre, salsa, Pilates, swing and modern. All the workshops were taught by Grossmont College dance instructors, and some were even taught by Kathy Meyer, the dance department chair. Students could also watch a couple performances of the most recent dance concert “Breaking Boundaries,” which is a student-choreographed dance concert held last month.

One of many Hip Hop Dance classes by Instructor Melissa Adao Photo by: Sheridan Martinez

One of many Hip Hop Dance classes by Instructor Melissa Adao
Photo by: Sheridan Martinez

Two students from Ramona High School – senior Leanne Foster and junior Montana Pettit – said they took multiple classes that day and really enjoyed it.

“I liked it so much that I would consider going here,” Foster said.

Schools all over San Diego County joined Grossmont College including: San Diego School of Creative & Performing Arts, Grossmont High School, Valhalla High School, Monte Vista High School, San Pasqual High School, Ramona High School, Steele Canyon High School and Helix Charter High School.


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Home Court: The Griffins host the 43rd Men’s Basketball Tournament.


By Elias Totah

 Summit Staff Reporter

The Griffins look to show off their skills as the team hosts the 43rd annual Grossmont College Men’s Basketball Tournament from Dec. 5 to 7. The Griffins’ first game will be held on Dec. 5 against Cypress College, located in North Orange County, on Friday at 6 p.m. Look to see the Griffins trying to make a name for themselves as this tournament kicks off.

Be sure to keep an eye on the way Grossmont likes to run their offense and play as a whole. With the players’ size and height, there is no question that the team can beat Cypress, which finished the 2013-14 season with a 7-20 record. They finished 2-10 in their conference and had a better road record than home record. Usually it is a bad sign when a team has a better road record than away record because it shows that they let any team come into their building and rough them up. That is not the mentality teams should have.

Cypress’ home record was 1-11, while their road record was 4-6. Cypress is known to be an inconsistent team. You never know how they can come out and play in this tournament, but if Grossmont takes care of business early in the game, there should not be a problem coming out with a victory to start the tournament. If Grossmont can beat Cypress, they will be moving on in the tournament and head to the semifinal game.

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Eli’s Book Club


By Elias Totah

 Summit Staff Reporter

Winter break brings a little free time around– so instead of watching reruns or old movies, why not pick up a book?

As one of the writers for The Summit, I have a side to me that enjoys reading. I was never the one in high school that fell in love with reading, but I like books about things that interest me, like sports, autobiographies and biographies. I just got done reading “Eleven Rings,” an autobiography on Hall-of-Fame head coach Phil Jackson, who coached the NBA-champion Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. Actually, I have read this book three times. What really draws me in are Jackson’s details on his coaching style and his techniques that helped him throughout his career. As Phil Jackson says, “Basketball is a great mystery”—so it’s nice to have some of those answers revealed.

Sports-based stories are not all I read. Since I was young, I have enjoyed stories on famous icons and figures such as Malcolm X. Anything that I feel is interesting, I am definitely reading.

Here are my top five books that I have read:

  1. “Eleven Rings” by Phil Jackson: I love the way Phil Jackson explains the adversity players face from an emotional and physical standpoint.
  2. “The Jordan Rules” by Sam Smith: Sam Smith explains how the great Michael Jordan was “strictly business” during his tenure as an NBA player.
  3. “Money Players” by Armen Keteyian: This book takes you behind the scenes of how the NBA has transformed into a complete moneymaker.
  4. “Last Shot” by John Feinstein: This story is about two young reporters who try to blackmail a star athlete.
  5. “Dreams from my Father” by Barack Obama: Takes you inside the life of President Obama and shows you what it took for him to get to his level of success.

Everyone has different tastes in reading, so in case these suggestions aren’t for you, the rest of the newspaper staff has a few suggestions.

Sheridan Martinez: My book recommendation is “Go Ask Alice” by Beatrice Sparks, who writes under the name “Anonymous.” It’s a diary of a 14-year old drug-addicted teenager who shares her stories and travels through her diary. It’s an interesting novel with good plot; the sequel is called “Lucy in the Sky.” I like these books because they are realistic fiction, so they’re more exciting.

Dorion Billingslea: My book selection would be “The Fault In our Stars” by John Green. Even though the movie just came out and it was really good, but the book was kind of better because it was more descriptive. It gave me lots of laughs, but also broke my heart. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to read romantic-comedy, and I also recommend you read the book before watching the movie.

Ruby Marquez: “Thirteen Reasons Why” is a book about a young girl named Hannah who decides to end her life. She records 13 audiocassettes and makes people listen to them and pass them around. It’s an emotional and heart-breaking book about the dangers of bullying.

Dylan Pheifer: “A Collected Works of Langston Hughes,” is a collection of poetry from the Harlem Renaissance writer. Hughes challenged the ideas of racial social acceptance and self-identity, despite the controversy of the subject matter. He was known for speaking truth to power, and many of his poems are still reiterated in speeches by civil leaders and politicians today.

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Finals Survival Guide


By Dylan Pheifer

 Summit Staff Reporter

It’s getting close to that time of the year again we all wait for, but also hope never comes. It’s finals week, when students will be rushing to finish assignments study for major exams and research term papers in order to complete the accumulation of 16 weeks of studies. The library once again will be flooded with students, Blackboard web traffic will be overcrowded, and students will head back to the bookstore to return rented materials. Here’s a survival guide to get through it all.

The biggest and most unfortunate faux pas many new students make is to assume that they will be taking the final at the same time their classes usually start. Do not make this mistake; instead check the finals schedule on the college’s website for your appropriate test time.

Another mistake many students make is preparing for the wrong test material. Make sure to check your class syllabus to know the difference between a final chapter exam or a cumulative exam, which covers all of the information from the entire semester. Each teacher is different so don’t assume that any of your finals will be taken with the same set of rules. Be sure to have a dialogue with your instructor if you have any questions over what you are required to do for your final.

Nobody wants to be that guy who has to borrow a pencil and paper for the final, and teachers may not say anything, but they will notice. Make sure to do a check the night or morning before so you know you have the supplies you need for the big day– typically a number-two pencil, the appropriate Scantron, notes if you’re able and, of course, any course material you can use to review before you put pen to paper.

Finals are typically major events, and can make or break a grade, they aren’t something you take lightly or blow off, and getting a zero on a final in many cases can make a student end up failing a class they otherwise would have passed if they had simply shown up. It sounds insane, but it happens. If you can’t make it to your final because of a family emergency or contesting exams, you can speak to your instructor for a better time, so that you don’t have to bite the bullet and ruin all the hard work done over these last four months.

Most people will fall into the same cycle of issues when it comes to final papers: First anxiety, then procrastination, and then finally stress. Students need to know how to combat each of these to complete their assignments.

To deal with anxiety, simply start typing– prepare an outline or even just put a title on something to help get the creative juices flowing. As far as procrastination is concerned, if you’re writing a long paper, then eventually fatigue is going to set in. It is okay to take a break to clear your head and go do something else, as long as you remember to go back to what you are doing. After you have some idea of what you want to write, it is not too late to make an outline and really centralize your main ideas.

Last of course, is college’s silent killer: Stress. The best thing to do about stress is face it head on. The more students procrastinate, the worse the stress gets, and the more work completed, the less stressful those goals become. It’s a very simple concept; just take a deep breath, do the work and everything will be just fine.

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Fa, La, La, La, La! The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.


By Elias Totah

Summit Staff Reporter

When a Christmas caroler comes knocking on your door on a winter day, what would be your reaction? Would you slam the door in their face, or would you take a moment and listen to the beautiful Christmas songs to which you are accustomed? Caroling is a Christmas tradition that has been around for many of years. The caroling way has created a lot of fun and exciting moments. It puts people in Christmas spirit and makes them want to love the season the way that they should.
I have always wanted to go Christmas caroling with my friends. That has been a dream of mine. I have been trying to make them go with me, knock on doors and let everyone know that at least I can sing.

The Right Way

Christmas caroling takes a lot of preparation to put together. Besides the singing, the dancing also plays a huge part in how everything goes.

I’ve told my friends that the only way this caroling thing works is if I am the lead singer. People have said that I have a voice of an angel, but my friends think I am a complete joke for some reason.

Good caroling starts with going out and getting a small Christmas tree. Once we get that, we get a boom box and t set up in front of people’s doors in a circle around the tree that we purchased. We hit the “play” button on the boom box and everything starts. It will start like this… “Rockin’ around the Christmas tree”, and I think most of you know the rest. My friends and I go in a clockwise formation around the most beautiful miniature-sized Christmas tree you have ever seen.

Now at this point, the family that opened the door is loving life. They are singing with us. After we are done, they give us a round of applause and maybe even we can score a Christmas dinner and get a meal out of it from the family that watched.

The Ultimate Christmas Caroler

You see, I have had this mindset for quite some time, and I now feel that I can open up to the people who want to hear Elias’ and his friends sing. This will be the first time for me, and I cannot wait for this moment to come.

If anybody is interested in auditioning for Elias’ Caroling Service, please contact me at We need as much help as we can getting ready for caroling season.

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On Air: Griffin Radio gives real experience.


By Dorion Billingslea

 Summit Staff Reporter

Grossmont College’s Griffin Radio teaches students how a radio station works firsthand. By working at the station, which is located in the Media Communications Department, the student DJs learn what it takes to manage, produce and operate a radio station.

There are many different kinds of radio stations that just play all music or no music; Griffin Radio does both. On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 to 11 a.m., the station plays alternative, rock and some rap. From noon to 1 p.m., the radio plays electronic dance music, rap and hip hop.

After they play a certain amount of songs, the student DJs will start a conversation.

Student Eden Latoni aka "Dj Deadbeat" in action

Student Eden Latoni aka “Dj Deadbeat” in action

“Sometimes my fellow DJ friend, ‘DJ Rated R,’ and I will have some funny dialogue going,” said Eden Latoni says, a radio student who goes by “DJ DeadBeat.” “Also we have to do announcements and promotions live so we talk pretty often.”

Everybody in the campus radio is revamping it to be the best it can be; now they’re looking for listeners. “The more listeners we get, the more we can do to improve the station, so everyone should listen,” Latoni said.

The campus radio class, MCOM-119, meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 to 11:50 a.m. The class is four semesters long, and requires the completion of MCOM-113 or MCOM-116.

Griffin Radio is broadcasted online via Tune In; you can listen to it at

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Cyber Makeover: Grossmont College welcomes a new student-based website.


By Sheridan Martinez

 Summit Editor in Chief

What’s Grossmont College’s gift to you this holiday season? A new website for the New Year.

Launching on Dec. 19, Grossmont College will have a completely new website with a new layout. Created especially to connect more with students, the website will provide easier navigation, new event calendars, search bars and updated photos. Students will be able to operate the website more easily and locate the resources they might need.

According to Lorena Ruggero, the director of Grossmont College Community Relations, “The new website is light years ahead of our current website from its layout – it can be viewed easily on smartphones, tablets and PCs – to how it’s designed, using a web-accessible content management system.”

Credit for the design and creation of the new website goes to: GCCCD Information Systems, Beacon and Hannon Hill, who designed the “cascade” content management system, also known as a type of styling, html or coding for websites.

Sue Gonda, Academic Senate president and a Grossmont College history instructor, said, “Location of information in the new site was created with the student college experience in mind, so hopefully students will find the site more intuitive and streamlined.”

The planning of a new a website has been going on for years, and, finally—with the help of the district, faculty, students and the Grossmont College website design taskforce— it can finally become a reality. Stay tuned for the release of the new website, Griffins.

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