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Chaparral 2022-2023: 31.1 Returning to Campus

Returning to Campus

by Brian Reff
Culinary Arts Department

For me and many of my colleagues, one of our favorite topics of discussion has been “Our return to Campus!” Imagine my surprise when I am reading my campus email and saw Joanna’s request for submissions entitled “Articles on a Robust Return to Campus.” I was inspired!

Prior to being inspired, I was standing around speaking with some of our colleagues in the Sierra Vista Building about being back on campus and teaching in person. One of them made the remark, “Look at us! We are representatives of the high risk and at-risk populations, and we are here!” (Yes, I understand that there are people who do not feel comfortable returning to campus for a variety of reasons, including that the campus is not particularly A.D.A. Friendly). This got me to thinking. Yes, I could write an article or an op-ed talking about the lack of leadership being shown here on this campus. I could call people out by name and criticize them. I could also send them a mirror, in case they didn’t have one, and tell them to look in the mirror and have them say to themselves, “I am doing the best job that I possibly can! Remember, if you tell the same lie enough times, you will believe it yourself!” I could also name all the people who I think are doing fantastic jobs, but I might forget a few and hurt a few of their feelings through my omission of not naming them! With that being said, we have truly amazing people making our return happen, and some people who should be showing leadership not making things happen.

As I wrestled with this topic, I wish that I could tell you that I was inspired by two of the greatest wrestlers of all time, Dan Gable, and Hercules. Instead, I was inspired by a former U.S. President. No, I wasn’t inspired by Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton or Donald Trump or James K. Polk; instead, I was inspired by John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s Inaugural Speech, where he says, “Ask not what your country can do for you – Ask what you can do for your Country.” To paraphrase the quote for the here and the now at Glendale College, “Ask not what Glendale College can do for you – Ask what you can do for Glendale College!”

Here is what I think that we can do as a group to make our return more robust:

  • Look for reasons to come to campus, not for excuses not to
  • Attend in-person meetings on campus.
  • If you aren’t teaching on campus, have office hours on campus.
  • Walk around on campus and talk to people. Tell people how nice it is to see them! Thank people for their work and tell them what good jobs they are doing!

If we can do these things, more people will be inspired to return to campus.

In closing, I want to thank all of you, in all the various departments, who have returned, and encourage all of those who are thinking about returning to do so. I feel very good being back on campus in person, and I think that you will too! Looking forward to seeing you back on campus!

it's time to inspire

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