Spotlight: 1 in 36,000

Joel Garcia, 24, is an English graduate student at CSUN and enjoys being able to help others write creatively. Photo Credit: Christine Chen / Staff Reporter
Joel Garcia, 24, is an English graduate student at CSUN and enjoys being able to help others write creatively. Photo Credit: Christine Chen / Staff Reporter

Joel Garcia is a 24-year-old English graduate student at CSUN, who first completed his undergraduate studies at UCLA where he doubled majored in Spanish and English.

His main focus is on creative writing because he wants to eventually teach at a community college. In order to qualify for the creative writing focus, students must submit personal works of writing. He is currently working on short stories and plays for future submission.

“I enjoy teaching and students sometimes have difficulty trying to express their ideas. I want to improve their writing skills. It makes me feel good when they’re able to express themselves better. It makes me happy that I’ve done my job well,” Garcia said.

Garcia is also an SAT tutor and helps sharpen students’ skills in vocabulary when he is not busy in school.

“A tip I usually give to my students when it comes to vocabulary is to group words by their meanings and making them into synonyms.”

He also enjoys sports such as tennis and yoga. He has been playing tennis since high school.

“I try to stay active because I can get bored easily,” he said. “I also appreciate yoga. It’s not a competition. You can never be good at it. You just do it. Saying that you’re good at yoga only means that you go regularly and practice often. It’s not a skill where you can be good at. It’s a spiritual and meditative way to relax. It’s making sure that you’re taking care of yourself, staying positive and staying aware.”

In addition to exercising, Garcia enjoys traveling around the world. During his years at UCLA, he studied abroad in Spain for a year and in England for one month.

He shares that during his studies in Spain, he discovered that it was a very religious country. There would be frequent “religious furloughs” during school.

“Twice a month, my school would have these religious days where people wouldn’t go to school or work,” said Garcia.

As for the food, he mostly ate bread, cheeses and meats. Everything was fresh and unprocessed with no preservatives, no artificial flavors or ingredients.

“You can just go to the bakery in the morning and buy fresh bread and have breakfast,” he said.

Garcia has also traveled to Prague, Morocco, Budapest, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France and Italy. His ultimate dream destination is Tibet, Egypt where he would like to see the pyramids, and Peru where he could visit the Machu Pichu ruins. After graduating, Garcia’s dream would be to teach students English in Greece or Japan.