The act of water meeting sand has always signified peace, safety, and healing for me. Even in the midst of chaotic waves and pummled sand, I (Hollie) never feel as calm as I do when looking at the ocean...
A few years ago I went up to San Francisco to visit some friends, and they took me to see the Sutro Baths remains. I was overcome with the sense of peace and tranquility the spot had to offer, and to this day, this photo stands out in my collection as one of my favorites. This specific ruin extends over the turbulant waves, acting as a support to anyone who wishes to remain free from the furious current below.
In considering this month's theme of healing, community, connectivity, relationship, family, and trust, I am now looking at this photo as a metaphor of what Glendale Community College can be for our students and for our co-workers. What we do within our sphere of influence--whether we are meeting with a student during our office hours or organizing a campus-wide gathering for the entire community--should work toward creating a place of safety, peace, and trust for all involved.
I try to create healing environments in my classrooms; I'm curious to hear how you provide a bridge over the turbulant waters of life (family problems, monetary struggles, sickness, heartache, anger, frustration, and depression, just to name a few waves).
How do you help to create a place of healing, community, connectivity, relationship, family, and trust within your classroom/office/primary workspace, whether on the main campus or at the Garfield extension? What have you seen as a result of your efforts? If you have never considered this concept within your work environment, what do you wish to achieve or accomplish in these areas?
One of the first lessons I (Hollie) learned while attending college (I learned it on this campus, incidentally--go class of 2000!) was that the classroom was not the only area in which learning and growing could take place. My "other space" as a student was the upper hallway in the Auditorum building. I was an active member of the various choral groups here at GCC, and my friends and I would practice singing our parts and spend time enjoying our young lives, as many of our younger students do today. I not only learned more about music, but I also learned about who I was as a student and an individual in general.
This may have been a reason why I was excited to see the upright piano added to our campus. This takes my hallway experience and multiplies it. No longer do students need to retreat to the practice pianos inside; they can make music along with the air itself and engage the community at large.
A regular performer at GCC's upright piano, located just across from the coffee stand. (Photo by Julie)
In 2010, Bestcollegesonline.com ranked Glendale Community College as the second most beautiful community college in the nation. In order to hold such a title, there must be places where you go to relax during your lunch breaks or in between classes and administrative duties. I like to listen to the amazing musical talent that is apparent here while sipping on some coffee and watching the class of 2012, 2013, and 2014 buzz around campus.
And so, without further ado, our "Question of the Month":
What do you find to be especially beautiful about our campus? Where do you like to spend your down time on campus? And finally, what other means of expression do you wish to see on our campus (more stationary instruments, painting stations, stages for acting and dance, etc.)?
Upon looking at the GCC website, I (Hollie) noticed the wonderfully displayed "then and now" photos of the GCC campus. I couldn't help but think about the originators of these buildings and of the ideas shared within these buildings. The photo below especially captured my attention:
Who were these students? Where are they now? And if they could return to the campus, what would they see? What would they share with us?
This leads to our "Question of the Month":
What positive innovations have you witnessed while working at our campus? In the months/years/decades that you have spent here, what progress has been made to ensure the success of our students and our college community as a whole?
We look forward to reading your responses!
Julie and Hollie