Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future; Faith is the courage to dance to it today.

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, Sep 24, 2016, my mom’s birthday and a fabulous day to be a Renegade.  

September is also the month of the Kern County Fair.  For more information check out http://www.kerncountyfair.com/.  Thank you David Torris for helping us secure a table for Measure J at the fair.

Here are some photos from Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 at the fair.

Day 1: Thank you Paul Beckworth for taking the lead to staff Day 1, September 21, 2016 with volunteers. I was so excited to see Mallory Moran at the fair with her dad Tom Moran and her brother Donovan Moran.  This family is beloved to Bakersfield College.  Friends, many of you along with me have been following Mallory’s precious life story.  Tom and Israel have set up with a Mallory Miracles page.  Check it out http://tinyurl.com/hb6dsgg

 

Thank you Paul Beckworth, Sandi Beckworth, Matt Garrett, and Zav Dadabhoy for being the first team to get this started.

Day 2, Sep 22, 2016: Zav Dadabhoy was the lead.

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Here are the volunteers who staffed measure J on Day 2 — Steve Watkin and Kim Watkin, Michele Pena and her son, Jackie Lau and her son, Peggy Gonzales, Grace Commiso, Terri Goldstein, and of course Zav Dadabhoy.  Thank you all!

Day 3, Friday, Sep 23, 2016

Jerry Ludeke took the lead on the morning shift from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Jennifer Marden took the lead for the afternoon shift from 3:00 to 11:00.  Thank you Bob Allison, Liz Keranen, Heidi Allison.  Thank you Faith Counts (Chief Count’s daughter), Becky Dargatz, Cynthia Munoz, Steve Waller, and Jennifer Marden.

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Steve Waller, Sonya Christian, Vickie Edden, Sandi Taylor, Tom Gelder

Here are the volunteers who staffed Measure J on Day 3 — Zav Dadabhoy, Jerry Ludeke, June Charles, Prince Charles, Steve Watkin, Kim Watkin, Tracy Hall, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Jim Heitzeberg, Jennifer Marden, Cynthis Munoz, Becky Dargatz, Chris Counts, Faith Counts, Reese Weltman and his wife, Steve Waller, Manny Mourtzanos, Sandi Taylor, Vickie Edden, and Tom Gelder.  Thank you all!  Thank you Jay Rosenlieb, who was staffing the Boy Scouts booth for coming over and helping the Measure J table.

One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern

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onebook-1This week, Bakersfield College and the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities presented an academic discussion panel entitled “Water Use, Challenges, and Solutions in Kern County” as part of the “One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern” program. The panel was composed of Dr. Joe Saldivar, Professor and Chair of the Biology Department at Bakersfield College, Laraine Rosema, BC’s Writing Center Department Liaison, and Jeffrey Eagan, a former BC student who is the current Writing Center & Tutor Coordinator at CSU-Bakersfield. The night was organized and moderated by Jessica Wojtysiak, Associate Professor of Academic Development at BC.

The seats inside the Levan Center were packed as Dr. Joe Saldivar presented first. He invited six year old daughter of BC Student Alma Cortez to join him in a colorful experiment. By blowing through a straw, they were able to send carbon dioxide into the beaker, changing the liquid from pink to clear. Dr. Saldivar then discussed the importance of innovation in solving our water crisis.

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Laraine Rosema, the next speaker, discussed water regulation and use restrictions. She concluded her presentation by telling the audience members how they could learn about restrictions and how to apply them to their own homes. Next up, Jeffrey Eagan explored how literature serves to illuminate the challenging relationship between humanity and water. Following these fabulous speakers, guests participated in a lively Q&A session with the panel. And finally, three BC students won a free copy of The Big Thirst: Enrique, and Alma Cortez.

The One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern project encourages the entire community to share experiences related to a single book through discussions, educational programming, and entertainment. The read is meant to pull a community together, cross cultural divides, and enhance understanding of our diversity, all while supporting literacy. First organized as a grass roots effort by Jillian Stump-Fritch, an elementary school teacher, she was inspired to support a community reading program after reading about similar projects with large cities like Chicago and Seattle.

onebook-2This year’s One Book selection is The Big Thirst by Charles Fishman. Published in 2011, the book seeks to challenge our too often casual relationship with water.  For the past 100 years, the developed world has enjoyed a cheap, safe, and abundant water supply, but The Big Thirst warns that everything about water is going to change – how we use it, how we share it, and how we value it.

This is certainly a timely selection for Bakersfield – In 2014, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported “An average of nearly 90% of Bakersfield, California, has been in a state of exceptional drought over the first seven months of 2014, more than any other large city.” In 2016, Governor Brown relaxed water use restrictions, but water availability continues to be a significant concern, particularly for those working in agriculture. For those interested, the One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern program will end this year with a visit by Charles Fishman to CSU-Bakersfield on October 27th, 2016 for a visit and book signing.

Kern Ag Foundation

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Chris McCraw, Sonya Christian, JP Lake, Greg Cluff, Bill Barnes

I cherish any opportunity to be involved with organizations that prioritize education and advancement within our region. This week, I presented about Measure J with JP Lake at the Kern Agriculture Foundation. The Kern Ag Foundation was founded in 1986 as a non-profit organization by leaders in agriculture centered business and education to serve as an industry advisory committee. The Foundation assists with agriculture curriculum development, as well as soliciting and distributing funds and specialized assets to promote agricultural education, training, student activities, and scholarships. For a list of scholarships, visit kernagfoundation.com/scholarships.htm.

Special thank you to the Board of Directors: Doug Starr, President; Peter Belluomini, VP; Jared Britschgi, Secretary; Joel Bock, Treasurer; Bianca Ramirez; Roger Riley; Dr. Aaron Hegde; Ralph Mendes; and Lindsey Ono.  We received the unanimous endorsement of the Kern Ag Foundation for Measure J.  THANK YOU!

BC’s Ag faculty are the best! Bill Kelly, Lindsey Ono, Billy Barnes, Greg Cluff, Chris McCraw.  Thank you.

And a very special thank you to my co-presenter, JP Lake. It is always a joy working with him – his undeniable enthusiasm for education, the community of Bakersfield, and BC continues to inspire and amaze me. JP is also one of the many who have given their support and endorsement of Measure J. To learn more about what JP is doing in the community or about his business, Rain for Rent, check out http://jplake.com/ and http://www.rainforrent.com/.

Chamber Singers and their fabulous Director

The BC Chamber Singers men performed for 800 high school and junior high boys at Real Men Sing this morning at Harvey Auditorium.

I found this on Jen Garrett’s Facebook page.  Just loved it.  Enjoy:

The district brings together the men and they work with a guest conductor each year. This year their guest conductor is Travis Rogers. We had the opportunity to start off their day. Some of our men also spoke about what singing in choir means to them and about people that have mentored them. I appreciated that our men donated their time to such a good cause.

chamber-singers-with-jen-garrett-sep-2016

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Gloria Urner

sonya-christian-gloria-urner-sep-22-2016I was at the Double Tree hotel heading in to do a presentation to the Hispanic Chamber and a woman stopped by to share with me that we, at BC are solving the world’s problems. We stuck up a lovely, but short conversation and it turns out that she is Gloria Urner, a retired PIO of KCCD who worked alongside Ed Simonsen when he was the Chancellor.

Thank you Gloria for the kind words, and THANK YOU Jay Tamsi and the Hispanic Chamber for your endorsement of Measure J! And thank you Jay Rosenlieb for co-presenting with me.  What an incredible afternoon!

Earlier in June, I made my first presentation to the Hispanic Chamber and this is included in my June 19th blog.  Check it out

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/06/19/we-are-bakersfield-and-we-are-bc/

Bakersfield Malayalee Association Onam Celebration

 

The Bakersfield Malayalee Association (BAMA) is a local Kerala based cultural association and a wonderful warm and friendly group that provides opportunities for our local Malayalees within the Bakersfield area to gather, communicate, interact, and celebrate with one another. It has grown incredibly over the past 20 years, as our city has flourished.

Onam was celebrated on September 13th and this special Harvest Festival is celebrated by the people of Kerala. The day, based on the Solar Calendar, is an ancient festival that still survives in modern times. It is one of the rarest festivals that is celebrated by a complete state, irrespective of religion, class, or creed. Wikipedia notes that

Kerala’s rice harvest festival and the Festival of Rain Flowers, which fall in the month of Chingam, celebrates the Asura King Mahabali’s annual visit from Patala (the underworld). Onam is unique since Mahabali (locally known as Maveli) has been revered by the people of Kerala. The King is so much attached to his kingdom that it is believed that he comes annually from the nether world to see his people living happily. It is in honour of King Mahabali that Onam is celebrated.

At our local celebration hosted by Bakersfield’s Malayalee Association, we shared traditional foods, dancing, and entertainment.  Bill Thomas was there to promote Measure J with this community.   Thank you to Congressman Bill Thomas, Zav Dadabhoy, and Kushnur Dadabhoy for attending this unique, special, and festive evening.  And thank you Shirley, President of BAMA for the invitation.

Prison University Project received the National Humanities Medal

On Thursday morning, President Obama awarded the 2015 National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal to distinguished recipients in the East Room of the White House. Jody Lewen, who is a strong advocate for the BC inmate education program, was on hand in person to accept the award presented to the Prison University Project by President Barack Obama. Jody previously sent an email recognizing this award includes everyone involved with this and similar efforts.

She said, “This award honors the extraordinary work of PUP faculty, students, friends, donors, staff, and everyone else who has worked tirelessly to make our work possible.  It also recognizes the entire community of people working throughout the country, to advance the cause of higher education in prison.  We are grateful for all of you.”

Check out these pictures, and for a video of President Obama’s comments, check out https://www.whitehouse.gov/live/president-obama-awards-2015-national-medals-arts-and-humanities

Congratulations to The Prison University Project! BC is proud to have such wonderful partners in education. We are grateful for you.

And thank you Rich McCrow, Brian Hirayama and others for your work on this!

Local Treasure: Coconut Joes

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Sonya Christian, Jermale Turner at Coconut Joes

So, on friday, I had lunch at Coconut Joes for the very first time.  Just a wonderful place.  Beach setting and great music.  I found myself humming to the various tunes.  I also enjoyed talked to the owner Joseph (Joe) Coughlin the owner of the restaurant who was having a great time doing what it takes to make his customers happy.  Greeting them on one hand and then wiping down tables on the other.  He is a community volunteer who works with Dr. Paula Parks on the ASTEP program at BC.  He spoke passionately about how they were trying to get bus passes for students who could not afford them.

I was so delighted when he took me to the office at the back and introduced me to a BC student Jermale Turner who works at Coconut Joes.  Here is a selfie with Jermale.

I love seeing the entrepreneurial spirit alive and well in Bakersfield.  And I love seeing how much our community cares about Bakersfield College.  Of course, Joe Coughlin promptly endorsed Measure J and the list of endorsees is above 400 and growing everyday.  #WeAreBC and #WeAreBakersfield.

For more on Coconut Joes check out: http://www.coconutjoes.com/home

BC Athletics this week:

Women’s soccer led by Coach Scott Dameron moves to 4-2-2 with a 3-1 road win over Glendale College.  Odalys Espinoza scored her 5th goal over the last three matches. Next match at home Tuesday Sept. 27th v. West LA.

Led by Alyssa Morales, BC women finished first at the BC invitational held at Kern County Soccer Park. You can catch more action on Friday September 30th when Coach Kelley and her teams compete in the Western State Conference prelims also held at the soccer park.

sep-2016Wrestling led by Coach Clark & Coach Austin had a good showing at the Mt. SAC Duals beating Santa Ana and Sierra College before dropping their last of match of the day to Palomar College.  Sophomore wrestler Andrew Binger from North High was the male athlete of the week on the Renegade Report this week for his strong performances this past week.

Coach Carl Ferreira with the road warrior Women’s Volleyball 7-7 are steadily making progress while competing with the best teams in Southern California. Let’s welcome them home on Friday September 30th when they take on Moorpark College.

September 30th will be a busy day in BC Athletics hosting Cross Country Prelims, Women’s Volleyball and Womens’ Soccer.  Come join us in supporting these tremendous student athletes.  Be sure to check out www.gogades.com for updates.

Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future; Faith is the courage to dance to it today.

I came across a posting on Facebook by  BC Astronomy professor Nick Strobel, who said, “Sign in men’s restroom at a Thai food restaurant in Grants Pass, Oregon: ‘Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future; Faith is the courage to dance to it today.’ The food was good too.”

The quote stood out to me and I was intrigued to check it out more and to find out its author. A few websites credited it to Peter Kuzmic, a Croatian pastor who tweeted the statement on his Twitter accountothers cited no author. Whoever the author may be has inspired me to be brave and seize the day. Today, let’s dance!

sonya-christian-ona-sep-17-2016

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya — the luckiest and happiest College President ever.

(dressed for the Onam celebration with the Bakersfield Malayalee Association)

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4 thoughts on “Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future; Faith is the courage to dance to it today.

  1. andrea September 25, 2016 at 11:38 pm Reply

    The Bakersfield Malayalee Association Harvest Festival pictures were amazing! What a wonderful event.

    What wonderful things are going on at BC and what an amazing family BC is.

  2. Marlene Heise September 26, 2016 at 11:29 am Reply

    Another great week of community engagement at Bakersfield College. As a community we should stand proud of our community college that educates, trains and prepares so many for productive lives in Bakersfield and Kern County!

  3. […] great supporter of ASTEP is Joe Coughlin – local business owner of the delicious Coconut Joes. Check out my blog including Joe from September 24th. Also, our very own June Charles is a mentor, and her mentee took all three awards of the night. […]

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