I have been attending this college on and off since 2000. If you want to get technical, the first class I enrolled myself into was back in in 1989 as a sophomore at Lindhurst High School.
I have been doing photography and jaunting the occasional column or article for this paper for the four allowable semesters, plus some, and I have noticed a disturbing trend throughout the years.
The writers may change, but the stories always read the same. The parking lot is beat to crap. The ASYC is haywire. The campus is ugly, and/or boring. The food sucks. The dorms are hell. The pool is dry.
All these things are hashed and re-hashed. Students come and go through this newspaper, leaving the pages bogged down by negativity semester after semester. Frankly, I have grown wary of these headlines, issue after issue, and I am using this little column to provide a different kind of hype.
Although these issues may or may not be legitimate concerns, lets get real for a second.
The time has come to ask ourselves a question: Why exactly do we come here, day after day, and for some, night after night? The answer is obviously not to check out the cracks in the asphalt in the West parking lot. Nor is the answer to take a stroll through the picturesque surroundings of our humble Linda campus.
Allow me to partake in a little presumption for a second to speak for the masses. We are here to take advantage of the opportunity given to us by the exceptional professionals at this college who dedicate their time and efforts to expand our abilities as students and broaden our vision as individuals.
I can honestly say that I have had memorable experiences with many instructors at Yuba college, and can appreciate the shared wisdom that I will leave this school with, aside from the transferable units I will have earned.
From my first experiences with Yuba College right out of high school, my major was Mass Communications, and I had many a class with Steve Cato. He is a great instructor and a good friend and always has time to say hi in passing and ask about my mom who also passed through the Mass Comm. program with similar memorable experiences.
As my major shifted a bit, as many often do, I realized that photography was my calling, and greatly appreciated the creative opportunities and guidance that both Rick Murai and Greg Kinder offered to me, and continue to provide for students today. I highly recommend Greg Kinder’s night time photography class, for a unique and fun photographic experience after hours.
I also appreciate the infectious enthusiasm for history that Barbera Stengel provides her students, and enjoyed sharing some of my favorite historical films with her throughout the semester, and hope to pass on future recommendations as I come across them.
Math instructor Steve Klein loves his work, and wants his students to love his work as well, though he realizes that for some of us, attending math class each day is comparable to a visit to the dentist. I appreciate that he recognizes this common phobia among his students, as he affixes a Far Side comic to each of his daily worksheets as a sort of ‘spoonful of sugar,’ to help the problems go down, (any and all apologies to Mary Poppins).
He doesn’t have to do this. It’s just his own personal touch, one of many, that these special individuals apply to our daily work that for the most part go unnoticed.
Showing up to an 8 a.m. class is an accomplishment in itself. Being expected to perform critical thinking at this time can be compared to what Moses accomplished in the Old Testament for some. Mr. Reier took the time to start class off lightly for us, often preparing us with an accurate weather statement for the day, before divulging into the day’s lessons, and it helped me greatly, as I am in no shape or form a morning person.
Are any of us though, really?
Perhaps my personal favorite, Lisa Jensen-Martin, teaches psychology and human sexuality the only way it should be – straightforward, with no holds barred. Helping us to understand how and why we do some of the things we do is probably the most important knowledge we can obtain, and Jensen-Martin injects reality and honesty with often very personal experiences to help get ideas across, making her classroom environments very productive and extremely interesting. The lessons I learned from both the instruction and the personal reflections I will take with me, over all others, as I move on to life past Yuba College.
During my Speech 6 class last semester, instructor Neelam Canto-Lugo, would throw out ideas for us to chew on at the beginning or ending of class. One day she was talking about how she ran into a former student outside the campus and that the student had forgotten her name, but she recalled the student’s name.
She said to us that it truly is amazing that an instructor has 30 students and gets to know each of them by name, yet this student couldn’t recall one instructor’s name. Think about just how prolific that truly is.
Let’s give these people some praise for what they do, and thanks, for going the extra mile for us every day, when most of us blindly come and go as zombies without paying any recogntion where much is due.
After all, it is we students who are only here for a few short years. The instructors are the ones who have to stay and live with the lousy parking lot, and they don’t get to say a word.