Sometimes the looks are that of surprise, and sometimes the looks are of confusion, but there is usually some reaction. Yes, in my office, adjacent to my three diplomas are three of my hero's writings. No, not education and community college guru's Freire, Cohen, or Baker--and not, well-known literary icons like Salinger or Steinbeck. The author? Dr. Seuss! Yes, I have three framed favorites with simple statements underneath.
Why, you might ask why? Because at the end of the day, I realize that what helped me be able to earn those three pieces of paper are values set forth by the great "literary" genius. What? She has lost her mind--I hear you saying!
In Oh, the Places You'll Go, the great doctor talks about someone setting off for new adventures. He says, "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you chose..." Isn't that the truth for all of us? We all make choices. And for those students who come through the COS Hanford Center doors every day that is true. Those students want to better their skills to make a better living for themselves and their families--whatever that may look like: either transferring to a four-year college or upgrading their marketable skills. They are choosing their direction.
When choosing directions, sometimes things happen to you! All of our students have different stories. For some, they have been displaced in their former jobs. For some, they are just out of high school and want to attend college, but the cost is too much to attend a four-year university right away. For others, they are not ready to leave their family. For others, they need some academic success and/or basic skills training before transferring. And yet for others, they are returning to the workforce and must receive some training before doing so.
And yes, "I'm sorry to say so, but sadly, it's true, that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you." Sometimes our students don't pass every test. Sometimes our students are unsuccessful in a class. We've all been there--I know I have! And what we are finding as a system is that students give up when they hit an obstacle. In fact, COS has recently adopted a new curriculum for our Human Development/Counseling classes by Skip Downing entitled On Course. Throughout these courses, the goal is to not only teach students how to be successful, but also how to overcome setbacks.
Dr. Seuss responds to these setbacks with the great words, "Step with care and great tact and remember that life's a great balancing act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. and never mix up your right foot with your left. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.) Kid, You'll Move Mountains!"
Because of Measure C--students now have COS Hanford as a tool to move mountains. Thank you Hanford!
...and, yes, framed under Oh the Places You'll Go it simply says It's Up To You!