What a lazy Sunday morning. Woke up late, had a cup of coffee, read the paper, went for a walk and now back at home, reflecting on the weekend, and blogging. It has been a rich and full weekend so far, and what struck me is that this is not an anomaly in the Renegade lifestyle – it’s the norm. How fortunate I am; how fortunate we are.
Friday, Sep 4th, as Nan and I were walking out of our office we ran into Steven Watkin who proudly shared this photo of his son doing a presentation for our African American Make students. I so loved the picture, and the pride and joy that my colleague Steve displayed sharing this photo, that I wanted to share it with the rest of the college.
Saturday, September 5th, was full of events. It started for me in Delano by attending the 50th anniversary celebration of the Delano Grape Strike. Our very own Oliver Rosales was instrumental in bringing this education event to our community. I could only attend a small portion of the conference and realized quickly that there is so much I did not know about the place where we work and its history. A sense of place and knowing its history adds to what we can bring to our students both in curriculum but also in conversations that we have with them as well as with the larger community. I watched a brief film that was put together by John Armington completely on his ipad. The story told by John is about his father and through this personal narrative we also get a glimpse of 1965 Delano and the plight of Fillipinos who were doing backbreaking labor in the fields and the vineyards. It also traces their efforts to organize and break free. Unfortunately I was not able to stay for Oliver’s presentation because it conflicted with my third event of the day – the New Faculty Reception. I must add that I am really proud of the work being done at our Delano Campus — Director Rich McCrow, all the faculty, all the staff with a particular shout out to Raquel Lopez and Juan Torres.
In between the Delano trip and the New Faculty event, I was able to go check out the Volleyball tournament at the Gil Bishop gym. Was so happy to see a good turnout from the BC community as well as the larger external community. I sat with Pam and Robert Boyles, who brought their granddaughter Emily to the game. You can already see the Renegade spirit in this little one who not only yelled out the chants — Go Gades, We are BC — but also had a loud whistle! It was a treat watching the Lady Gades in action and even better watching our calm and talented coach, Carl Ferreira, talk to them during timeouts. We have the very best coaches at BC.
Our traditional New Faculty Reception was made extra special both by having the largest cohort of new faculty, as well as having a faculty member with us who was hired in 1965 in political science, who later became a powerful force in Washington DC setting policy to benefit the whole nation and also taking care of his community back here in Kern County — Bill Thomas, Prof. Emeritus of Political Science and Former Congressman. The atmosphere was relaxed and everyone seemed to be in a good space breaking bread together and getting to know each other. The food was spectacular, thanks to Chef Eric Sabella and his staff, and the layout was elegant yet dressed up with Renegade Football paraphernalia including the necessary popcorn as the centerpiece. Thank you also to Mary Jo Pasek for dressing our new faculty in BC Red T-shirts with our slogan “We Are BC” clearly defined. Thank you Manny de los Santos and Karla Young for taking photographs and doing the video shoot. And thank you Jennifer Marden for pulling the event together.
Bill Thomas addressed the New Faculty Reception, reflecting on what Bakersfield was in 1965 and what it is now in 2015 as well as the entry-level faculty salaries in 1965 and 2015. He ended his remarks on an inspirational note that what has always been consistent at Bakersfield College for the last 102 years has been the quality and excellence of its faculty. And I can endorse that Congressman Thomas. The current cohort of faculty is truly exception and I cannot wait to see how they continue to advance the work of this sacred academic community. It is a good time to be at BC!
The day ended with some Renegade Football. Last night there were over five thousand community members that came out in force for the start of the 2015-16 season of Renegade football. It felt wonderful walking over to the game with the cohort of new faculty and their families, engaging with Renegade life. Coach Paula Dahl had me in tears with the rendition of the national anthem.
The event started with the traditional Running of the Renegades that welcomes the Renegade Football Team back to the Stadium for their first home game. BC Students ran across the Memorial Stadium field to the 50 yard line behind the Flag and alongside the BC Cheerleaders before the BC Football took the field against Riverside College. Thank you Nicky Damania and SGA President Clayton Fowler for organizing this opening event.
The cheerleading and music set the atmosphere thanks to Becky Whitson and Heather Foss, and the drum line was spectacular – thank you Tim Heaseley. It was tough to lose the opener, but as we know, the Renegade spirit is to stay tough in the face of challenge, fight back and win – it’s what we do. It’s going to be a great season. It’s a good time to be at BC!
Some extra photographs until Manny and Karla get the photo gallery completed. At that time I will come back to the blog and insert a link to the photo gallery.