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Taking the time to reflect and say thank you

Janet Sowle

Janet Sowle

Today, Dec. 13, and I’m getting ready to go to my last class before I graduate. Before I go to this class I want to take a few minutes to look back and reflect.

Going back to school as an older student isn’t always easy. Luckily there were some great faculty and staff along the way. In this, my last column as Editor of The Laker Current, I want to use this space to say thank you.

One of The Laker Current’s biggest cheerleaders has been Tammy Alvaro. She is in charge of student involvement, which includes overseeing MMCC’s numerous clubs. She has such a positive attitude and is always coming up with new ideas. Thank you for being a cheerleader to all of us.

Coming back to school, my first class was drawing with Brad Olrich. I knew that I didn’t really know the mechanics but I learned something my very first day. I couldn’t draw an egg to save my life. He taught me to take my time and see what I was really looking at. Thank you for teaching me to look at life differently.

I can’t say it any more clearly. I hate geometry and science. They both eluded me. The first day of algebra I heard Clair Wetmore say the dreaded words “… and there’s a little geometry mixed in.” The first day of science Ron Ratkos talked about all the types of sciences we’d be learning about. I was overwhelmed, but both men explained everything step by step. Thank you both for turning the impossible into something possible.

Barry Alford’s lectures aren’t filled with history. They’re filled with stories from the past and reminders that art can be found in more areas than one person can imagine. Thank you for reminding me to see the art in everything around me.

As confusing as web design is, Carlos Cruz kept encouraging me. He knew at some point along the way there would be an “a ha” moment when it all finally clicked. I was ready to give up, but Carlos wouldn’t let me. Thank you for encouraging me to get to that “a ha” moment.

I had a great advisor to help me change course along my way. Christine Rowdan guided me from day one. She helped me change my action plan and showed me the options available to me at MMCC. Thank you for showing me how to find my way.

Being the editor of the paper comes with its challenges. Sometimes I have had to ask questions that weren’t easy. I had the students’ best interests at heart. When you guess what’s going on, it’s always worse than the truth. Carol Churchill and Matt Miller always took the time to be patient and answer my questions fully. Thank you both for being so gracious under pressure.

Before my first painting class the only thing I had ever painted was a wall. I was clueless. Shari Williams was always encouraging. Critiques pointed out my strengths and suggestions for improvement. Thank you for encouraging me to try new techniques, spread my wings, and to share the “me” that is behind my art.

Some instructors come in and do what they have to do. Others go above and beyond. Jeremy Bond is the above and beyond kind. Along the way he takes the time to teach life’s lessons along with real-life examples. He helps his students reach beyond their potential. Thank you for teaching to make a difference.

For those who have to take English 222, I’m going to tell you it isn’t easy. But it is worth it. Learning how to do and write research will be used in all walks of life. The first day of class Sallie Butler said that she wasn’t the easiest of the 222 instructors. In fact, she said she was probably the hardest. What she didn’t say was that she would work with you to make sure your paper was a success. Thank you for taking the time to make a difference.

I don’t know if I can thank Bob Guiliani enough. He has reminded me that a picture does indeed speak a thousand words. He has guided me and encouraged me through my photography classes. He has patiently listened while I explained why I did something different. He pushed me to shoot more and try new techniques. Thank you for encouraging me and helping me to fall in love with photography again.

I left Susan Hood for last for a very good reason. She’s our advisor of The Laker Current. Like photography, I always liked to write. Now I am writing my last column as editor. I have wanted to show my fellow students the opportunities they have around them. Now I find myself writing for my own enjoyment. I was shocked when you asked me to be editor, but it truly changed my outlook. Thank you for believing in me.

(Janet Sowle is the editor of The Laker Current.)

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