Rain bathing CA in glee

Rain in California…. just a glorious week with the ground soaking up the much needed water, brilliant rainbows, sunrises and sunsets.

In California, we welcome rain with glee. So here is a poem by Emily Dickenson that captures the relationship of Californians with rain as opposed to poets like Longfellow that write about rain representing the dreary and the gloom without sunshine.

Summer Shower
by Emily Dickenson

A drop fell on the apple tree,
Another on the roof;
A half a dozen kissed the eaves,
And made the gables laugh.

A few went out to help the brook,
That went to help the sea.
Myself conjectured, Were they pearls,
What necklaces could be!

The dust replaced in hoisted roads,
The birds jocoser sung;
The sunshine threw his hat away,
The orchards spangles hung.

The breezes brought dejected lutes,
And bathed them in the glee;
The East put out a single flag,
And signed the fete away.

Having grown up in Kerala, India, rain was part of life… monsoons with warm and heavy rain. Here is a one-minute youtube video to give you a sense of the place where I grew up.


Last year, in early January, I highlighted some of the books I read in 2021. Thinking I might start doing this each January … begin a blog tradition. Take a few moments and drop your list of books in the comments.

Here are some of the books I read in 2022:

The Cry of the Kalahari by Mark and Delia Owens

“Carrying little more than a change of clothes and a pair of binoculars, two young Americans, Mark and Delia Owens, caught a plane to Africa, bought a thirdhand Land Rover, and drove deep into the Kalahari Desert. There they lived for seven years, in an unexplored area with no roads, no people, and no source of water for thousands of square miles. In this vast wilderness the Owenses began their zoology research, working along animals that had never before been exposed to humans.”


The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs by Madeleine Albright

“In The Mighty and the Almighty, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright examines religion and foreign affairs through the lens of U.S. history as well as her own experience in public office. She offers a sharp critique of U.S. policy, condemnation for those who exploit religious fervor for violent ends, and praise for political, cultural, and spiritual leaders who seek to harness the values of faith to unite us in these confusing and dangerous times.


The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Mukherjee tells the story of how scientists discovered cells, began to understand them, and are now using that knowledge to create new humans. He seduces you with writing so vivid, lucid, and suspenseful that complex science becomes thrilling. Told in six parts, laced with Mukherjee’s own experience as a researcher, a doctor, and a prolific reader, The Song of the Cell is both panoramic and intimate—a masterpiece.


The Distance Between Us: A Memoir by Reyna Grande

“In this inspirational and unflinchingly honest memoir, acclaimed author Reyna Grande describes her childhood torn between the United States and Mexico, and shines a light on the experiences, fears, and hopes of those who choose to make the harrowing journey across the border.


Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

“Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.”


The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa Yoko Ogawa

Yoko Ogawa’s The Housekeeper and the Professor is an enchanting story about what it means to live in the present, and about the curious equations that can create a family.


The Loneliest Americans by Jay Caspian Kang

The Loneliest Americans is the unforgettable story of Kang and his family as they move from a housing project in Cambridge to an idyllic college town in the South and eventually to the West Coast. Their story unfolds against the backdrop of a rapidly expanding Asian America, as millions more immigrants, many of them working-class or undocumented, stream into the country. At the same time, upwardly mobile urban professionals have struggled to reconcile their parents’ assimilationist goals with membership in a multicultural elite—all while trying to carve out a new kind of belonging for their own children, who are neither white nor truly “people of color.”


The Art of Living: Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now by Thich Nhat Hanh

“In troubled times, there is an urgency to understand ourselves and our world. We have so many questions, and they tug at us night and day, consciously and unconsciously. In this important volume Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh——one of the most revered spiritual leaders in the world today——reveals an art of living in mindfulness that helps us answer life’s deepest questions and experience the happiness and freedom we desire.”


Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs by Michael T. Osterholm and Mark Olshaker

“In today’s world, it’s easier than ever to move people, animals, and materials around the planet, but the same advances that make modern infrastructure so efficient have made epidemics and even pandemics nearly inevitable. And as outbreaks of COVID-19, Ebola, MERS, and Zika have demonstrated, we are woefully underprepared to deal with the fallout. So what can — and must — we do in order to protect ourselves from mankind’s deadliest enemy?”


Check out the books I read in 2021 –



Good morning friends.
It is January 7, 2023.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD

Porterville College

Become a Pirate in a Day

Porterville College invites prospective students to the next Become a Pirate in a Day event on Wednesday, January 11, from 9 am to 4 pm on campus.

Students can meet with a counselor/adviser, register for classes, and apply for financial aid and other support services.

Classes begin January 17, so take advantage of this opportunity to become a PC student!

American Indian/Alaskan Native Orientation

American Indian / Alaskan Native Students – don’t miss the Spring 2023 Orientation this Monday, Jan. 9th, from 12 – 1pm on campus!

There will be free lunch, backpacks, school supplies, Native American resources and other important information.

Cerro Coso Community College

ESCC Mammoth Campus Covered in Snow!

The town of Mammoth Lakes is getting some much-needed snowfall. Kim Blackwell, ESCC Director states, “it is absolutely dumping snow.”

According to the snow report, Mammoth has received 69 inches in the last eight days, and there seems to be no end in sight! Mammoth Lakes has received 300+ inches this winter season, and it is only January. If the storm cycles continue, it is going to be a historical record-breaking snowfall year for the town of Mammoth Lakes.

Blackwell excitedly expresses, “my office is an actual snow globe!” The ESCC Mammoth Campus has snowpack covering the windows. James Markham, part of the ESCC M&O team, finds himself snowplowing continuously during these snowy days.

Thank you, James!  

Snowpack in the Eastern Sierra Mountains is crucial to help fight the California drought that is currently taking place—that is why the enormous amounts of snowfall in Mammoth Lakes is very important this year.

To the ESCC campus and community, stay safe and warm! Enjoy the snowfall.

Two Attend Basic Needs Conference

Vice President Heather Ostash and Katie Bachman, Director of Outreach Services attended the #RealCollegeCalifornia Basic Needs Summit on Friday, December 9, 2022, at San Bernardino College.

Workshops and panel presentations covered topics such as food security, housing, health and mental health services, approaches to student outreach and identification, data collection, and fundraising efforts. More than ever before, our colleges are seeking innovative solutions and best practices to address basic needs insecurity among our students. 

Bakersfield College

Arvin Early College Celebration

Bakersfield College and Arvin High School welcomed 60 new 9th grade students into the Early College program, joining the other 10th – 12th grade students who are also working on earning an associates degree while in high school.

Students from all grade levels and their parents filed into the auditorium at Arvin High School to hear from representatives from the high school, Kern High School District, Bakersfield College, and Kern Community College District.

Early College Director, Kylie Campbell, shared a recent article from EdSource that has a picture of Arvin High’s Sophomore class in one of their communication courses. Campbell shared with them that:

“BC has the largest dual enrollment program in the state, and it is because of schools like Arvin High. It is the relationship between Bakersfield College and Arvin High that allows us to keep growing this program and welcoming more students into the program each year.”

2022 Basic Needs Summit

For the past several years, the Community College League of California has hosted the annual Basic Needs Summit to discuss high-impact practices that address quality of life, housing, and food insecurity concerns of our students. BC’s Office of Student Life sent representatives Dr. Nicky Damania, Caitlin Davidson, Kimy Salazar, Jordaun Bennett, and Jade Adams to the conference at San Bernardino Valley College.

BC representatives  were hand selected to be the closing presentation for the conference due to the reputation of the Students of Concern Team. The League asked the BC team to present the work being done at BC to an audience of 350 colleagues from across the state including college presidents, board trustees, students, and other Basic Needs managers. The presentation highlighted the disproportionately high levels of food insecurity, homelessness, and basic needs services needed in community college students and how the Renegade Pantry works with the Students of Concern team to advocate for students’ basic needs including mental health support to increase student persistence and completion rates.  

BC Women’s Soccer Success

Under the direction of head coach Edgar Linares, the Bakersfield College Women’s Soccer program went from a season of doubt and obstacles to being one of our most successful teams in fall 2022 for BC Athletics. Coach Linares rebounded from a 4-12-2 overall record last year to a 11-6-5 record this year, finishing with a playoff berth for the first time since 2018. After a promising showing in his first season as a Head Coach, Edgar immediately hit the recruiting trail looking for the top student athletes in Kern County. This year’s Women’s Soccer team proudly recruited student athletes from 14 different Kern High Schools including Tehachapi, Shafter, and Arvin.

Umoja’s Kwanzaa Celebration

Umoja Community students celebrated Kwanzaa and marked the end to a successful fall semester.

Kwanzaa is cultural holiday created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1965. Each day from December 26 through January 1 focuses on a principle, such as unity or creativity or faith. A candle is lit each day.

Students who were particularly active in Umoja and those who distinguished themselves academically received special Umoja gear gifts.

Industrial Automation Holds 2nd Annual Alumni Panel

The Bachelor of Science Industrial Automation program held their second annual Industrial Automation Alumni Panel. This year’s panel included an alumnus from the first graduating class of 2018 along with alumni from 2019, 2021, and 2022. This year’s panel featured two alumni who have quickly reached a seniority position at their place of employment.

Check out this video to learn more about Richard Van Horne, Senior Maintenance Manager at Amazon, and Chad Hidalgo, Senior Automation Technician at Berry Corporation.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Mindy Wilmot shared this post about her journey from faculty to administration:

Nicole Parra was getting work done in Sacramento:

Nicole also posted a photo of me with California Labor Secretary Stewart Knox:


That’s a wrap for now.
See you next Saturday!

The future is bright at Kern CCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


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4 thoughts on “Rain bathing CA in glee

  1. Michael Carley January 8, 2023 at 10:38 am Reply

    We had Reyna Grande visit PC as part of our author series. We have one of her books in our little library junction at home, a different one than you shared.

    In 2022, I read over 50 books (and published one). A good year.


    • SonyaChristian January 10, 2023 at 4:49 am Reply

      Thnx for the post Michael. You published a book…. wow. I am going to buy it. Pretty cool!
      Happy New Year.

  2. Michael O January 8, 2023 at 2:29 pm Reply

    Great poem! As a kid growing up in the Michigan forests outside of Chelsea, we loved running around in Summer Rain.
    I’m Reading “Les Parisiennes” historical about women who worked against the Nazi occupation in Paris.
    Also “Past Tense” a Jack Reacher novel.
    In addition, I got a Barry Zoeller’s book “Words of Refuge”, but it’s a day to day read.

    • SonyaChristian January 10, 2023 at 4:50 am Reply

      Thank you Michael. I will add Les Parisiennes to my list. I have seen the Jack Reacher movie with Tom Cruise but have not read the books.
      Happy New Year!

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