Volume 9, Number 1 March, 1999
New GC President Looking Ahead, Not Back Dr. Ted Martinez, Jr., was aware, when he sought the Grossmont College presidency, of last years district and campus turmoil, but he wasnt fazed.
"I dont look back at the past," Martinez, 51, told the Grapevine. "I focus on the future, and I love working with students working for a better quality of life. GCCCD board members decided they liked his outlook and his competence, as demonstrated in previous jobs in Texas and Illinois, and gave him the Grossmont job Jan. 7. He assumed his duties Feb. 15.
A native of Asherton, Texas, he earned his bachelors and masters degrees in business and economics at Sul Ross State University in Texas, then got a doctorate in educational administration at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
His last post was as president of Daley College, one of seven city colleges in Chicago. During his presidency, Daleys enrollment reached 12,000, making it the third largest among Chicago colleges.
He became interested in Grossmont, he said, because he wanted a position farther south than Chicago, and he also had heard praise for the San Diego area and Grossmont. He said hell be out walking the campus frequently meeting people, and intends to meet all employees by groups and interests; eventually hell meet faculty and students in open sessions.
One short-term goal he listed after his first few days at Grossmont is to get the campus cleaned up. He said hes seen several areas which need cleaning, and thinks perhaps a greater number of maintenance people should be assigned to day duty rather than night work. Noting that he has had four jobs involving multi-campus districts, he said he has no worries about relations between Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges, and he looks forward to working with Cuyamaca President Sherrill Amador.
The new presidents wife, Lidia, and their two children, Melyna, 12, and Teddy, 5, remain in Chicago while their husband and father looks for a house here, preferably near the college.
Twenty-two Emeriti Attend Luncheon
Twenty-two emeriti attended the eighth annual Chancellors Emeritus Club Luncheon on January 21 at the Outback Steak House in La Mesa. Also attending were the districts new chancellor, Omero Suarez, GCCCD board member Rick Alexander, acting Grossmont College president Jack Randall, vice-chancellor Charlene McMahan, ,chancellors secretary Mary Watkins, and Grossmont College photographer John Dixon. The luncheon is hosted by the chancellors office each year (except 1998, when there was only an acting chancellor), and provides an opportunity for emeriti and district and college administrators to meet and discuss issues of common interest in an environment that is also conducive to socializing and renewing friendships.
back row, l to r: Emeriti Bob Steinbach, Leon Hoffman, Dick Lantz, Muriel Owen, Sam Ciccati, Bill Hansen, Wayne Harmon, Emilie Duggan-Zouhar, Don Shannon, Bob Rump, Don Anderson, Don Scouller and Bill Givens. front row, l to r: Emeriti Bill Burns, Tom Scanlan, Marie Reynolds, Lee Engelhorn, Erv Metzgar, Joanne Prescott, Pat Higgins and Don Walker (not pictured, Bob Danielson).
Following an excellent luncheon (choice of four entrees, with rib-eye steak and salmon most popular), Chancellor Suarez gave a short talk on his goals for the district. He will be focusing on five issues: unity (e.g., between the two campuses, and between faculty and administration), standardization (e.g., course numbering and content), alignment (of curriculum between campuses), funding (emphasis on equability) and facilities (consistent with educational and district master plans). Acting Grossmont College president Jack Randall then spoke briefly of his tenure at Grossmont College (thanking faculty and staff for their cooperation), and his next assignment at College of the Desert. This was followed by less formal individual announcements and briefings from some of the other attendees.
Well, folks, its just me again. As he informed us in the last issue, Pat Higgins has officially retired from editing or co-editing this publication. His swan song is the lead story in this issue on Grossmont Colleges new president, Dr. Ted Martinez, whom Pat and I interviewed on February 19.
Pat took over from me as editor in April 1995. Last year I joined him as co-editor when he informed me that 1998 was the last year hed be editing the Grapevine. It was a pleasure and a privilege to work together with him this past year and Im really going to miss his expertise and professionalism. I thank him for all of us for a job very well done. And I hope hell give us the pleasure in some future issues of a guest editorial or whatever other article he might wish to contribute.
Ill continue as editor at least through the change in millennium. By that time Im hoping that some other retiree might step forward and try their hand at editing and writing the Grapevine. Ive always felt that this newsletter provides a connection between retirees and their colleagues and the district that is beneficial to all of us. Im hoping that it will outlast its original editors and continue as a permanent district publication.
Because this is the final year of the millennium, and also because it is the tenth year of production for Grapevine, I plan to make the final issue this year a special one. If things work out well (meaning, if we can get the funds), therell be four issues instead of three, which is why this issue is coming out in March instead of April.
Even if a fourth issue isnt funded, the final issue this year will be special. I plan to include a detailed demographic picture of GCCCD retirees with respect to age, gender, location, and the like. Im also planning a best of the best biblio-files column. I hope to include a tribute and complete listing of those district retirees who are no longer with us. And Id very much appreciate hearing from you readers any suggestions you have which you believe would make that year-end millennium issue special. Write, phone or e-mail.
STRS 75 Percent Floor signed into Law
The 1997 law known as the Ruth Q. Deprida Pension Protection Act authorized 75 percent level purchasing power payments to retirees only if there were sufficient funds in the Supplemental Benefit Maintenance Account. The law in the new 1998 benefits package now guarantees purchasing power supplements from the General Fund. The effect of this law is that quarterly payments will be made to all STRS retirees once their monthly benefits have been eroded to less than 75 percent of their purchasing power at the time the individual retired (see November, 1997 Grapevine for detailed article on this benefit with sample calculations).
When you reread a classic, you do not see more
A classic is a book that has never finished saying
Lady Chatterleys Lover, D.H. Lawrence (Grove Press, 1957, orig. 1928) ***
This was Lawrences last novel, and his most controversial. The unexpurgated version was not available in the United States until 1957, following a successful court battle. It had been labeled as obscene because of the explicit nature of some of the sex scenes (mild by todays standards) and the use of several four-letter words (which are now in use all too commonly). The story and Lawrences writing make it a book well worth reading, however, even though some of his earlier novels (e.g., Sons and Lovers) are considered better by many critics.
The story focuses on the development of an adulterous affair between an upper-class Englishwoman, Constance Chatterley, and her estates gamekeeper, Oliver Mellers. Lady Chatterleys aristocratic husband has been handicapped by a wartime wound and moves about in a motorized wheelchair. The injury has also left him impotent.
His wife seeks a sexual outlet with several of her husbands acquaintances but is generally disappointed--until she begins an affair with Mellers. Mellers is from a much lower class and is reluctant at first to risk his job. He is also estranged from a wife who has turned him off women altogether. However, he is taken with Constances beauty and spirit and proceeds to show her how a man and woman can relate in a natural and more sensitive way than she has thus far experienced. She eventually becomes pregnant and complications abound, not only because they are both married but because of their class differences (and we all know how important that was in England, especially when the book was written).
An underlying theme in the story is Lawrences condemnation of the class system and labor relations in England, and because of this some critics have considered his novels too preachy-- but some of historys most memorable novels have been written by authors who were criticizing societys shortcomings.
*Fugitive Pieces, Anne Michaels (Vintage Books, 1998, orig. 1996)****
This extraordinary first novel by Canadian poet and professor Anne Michaels pierces the soul of what it means to learn from our language and from our past. It is the story of Jakob Beer, a Polish Jew , forced into hiding after watching the murder of his family by the Nazis. He is found by a Greek geologist and scholar, Athos Roussos, who takes the boy to his homeland, the island of Zakynthos, and continues to hide him, caring for him as if he were his own. After the war, Athos and Jakob travel to Canada where Athos takes a teaching position at the University of Toronto. His death plunges Jakob, now a young man, into the world of language as a means of unearthing truths and forces him to reconcile his life with the past as he realizes that ". . .to remain with the dead is to abandon them." Finally, the story introduces another Holocaust survivor who finds solace in Jakobs diaries following his death.
It is appropriate that a novel about longing and language would come from a poet. Michaels writing mimics a radiant canvas of her art. Passages overflowing with rich imagery hover over the pages--dropping chunks of wisdom at their conclusion. One need not appreciate poetry, however, to be swept up in this storys themes: love and loss as seen through the eyes of a child; the uncontrollable effect of our past on our future; connections drawn and then blurred between science and morality; and loves ability to bind us to what is significant. The story is sometimes somber. The magic of language, friendship, even love wont entirely erase the pain the characters suffer. This heartbreaking epiphany materializes in the final section of the novel and wont please every reader. But it is essential to Michaels story, emphasizing one of her most compelling messages: Love can heal, but we are often responsible for the direction it will take. As Athos remarks to Jakob to describe their fate: "Its a mistake to think its the small things we control and not the large, its the other way around. . . We can assert the largest order, the large human values daily, the only order large enough to see." Michaels illuminates the dark recesses of human folly while shining hope on our miracles. Fugitive Pieces will keep you breathless with its force and haunted by its engagement of the tragedies we face when we stifle loves power to ennoble the human condition.
*Editors Note: This review was written by my daughter, Karen Frazier, because she first suggested the book to me and because she was particularly impressed by it. I am particularly impressed by her review!
How the Irish Saved Civilization, Cahill (Doubleday, 1995)****
I did not read this very popular non-fiction when it was on the best seller list and was receiving rave reviews because I was somewhat turned off by the title (even though Im of Irish extraction). But I did read it recently and found that it was quite enjoyable and surprisingly informative, and Id recommend highly to anyone who enjoys books.
For history, its remarkably light reading, and I discovered that there was less hyperbole in the books title than Id originally supposed. Although much of the focus is on Irelands history, there are some powerful connections with the history of the rest of Europe. Cahill also discusses events which span an amazing period of time, some dating back thousands of years BC.
I cannot summarize the book better than a review by Amazon.com, which said (in part):
Its such a treasure when you find a book that entertains while it informs. If you have even a remote interest in the historical development and propagation of our culture, dont miss this one.
Two Hundred Birds Down Under
Wayne and Peggy Harmon visited Australia last year in order to pursue one of their favorite activities, birding. Their Australian friend and guide, Bob Shanks, was a longtime member of the Bird Observers Club of Australia. Wayne published an article on their trip in the October, 1998 issue of San Diego Audubon SKETCHES. Following are a few excerpts from the article:
Editors Note: The entire text of Waynes Audubon article may be read on the web version of Grapevine.
GCCCD Board Election Favors Incumbents
The November election returned all three incumbents to the GCCCD Board. Rebecca Clark was re-elected by a landslide 61 percent. Rick Alexander (36 percent) and Gary Kendrick (54 percent) were also re-elected (in 1997 Kendrick was appointed to fill the uncompleted term of Carolyn Griffin, who had resigned). At their annual organizational meeting following the election, all GCCCD board members agreed to focus on unity and excellence.
Grossmont College Schedules Variety of Drama and Music
Spring Drama Productions at Grossmont College: Working, a musical based on Studs Terkels interview with American workers, is playing at the Stagehouse Theater on March 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 at 8pm and March 13 and 20 at 2:00pm.
I Am A Man, a play about power, leadership and the rough and tumble process of social change, with the Black Ensemble Theatre joining Grossmont students is playing at the Stagehouse Theater on May 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 at 8pm and on May 15, 16 and 22 at 2pm. Tickets are $9.00. Call 644-7234 for more information.
Grossmont College Music Department Spring Performances: There is an extensive program of musical offerings (over 30) including chamber music, guitar, piano, vocal, choral, string quartet, concert band, symphony and jazz being offered. Theyll be performed at various local facilities, including Grossmont College, mostly on weekends. A number of the performances are free and for many the admission is only $3 to $5. If youd like a detailed schedule of these events, call 644-7255. Its an amazing line-up of performances. Lori Carver (Benefits office) is going to encourage the Drama and Music Departments to mail their schedules, in the future, to all GCCCD retirees in SD Count
From retiree Keith Richardson
My name is Keith Richardson and just like you I
have retired from teaching. I really enjoyed my years of coaching at Grossmont and
teaching at Cuyamaca. I hope that you have found many things to do and see. I have moved
to Mexico and love it. The only problem is that I am doing more now than ever. I have done
work with the Little League, fire department, police department and Red Cross of Rosarito.
I am also doing some personal training. I am doing some marketing for Las Rocas Resort and
Spa. It is just 29 miles south of the border and 6 miles south of Rosarito Beach on the
free road. I have talked to the management and they would like to extend a friendly
welcome to Baja Mexico and the Las Rocas Resort and Spa.
Grapevine Needs Letters from Readers
LET US HEAR FROM YOU!! Please send letters or e-mail to the Grapevine (see addresses in box on page 2) on anything which you believe your fellow retirees might be interested in reading. Readers I have talked with enjoy contributions from fellow retirees as much as any feature in this newsletter.
Chris Bona Convalescing
If youd like to send her a card or letter,
you can mail them to:
Charline Lamons in Hospital
Charlene Lamons is undergoing a lengthy recuperation in a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She'd appreciate calls at 1-918-744-2345, ask for 9th floor, west wing. Charlene was one of the original faculty when the college first opened in 1961. She retired from the English Department at Grossmont College more than a decade ago.
In Memory of Teddy Ferguson
Teddy E. Ferguson died on Wednesday, February 19. She worked in the Steno Services Department at Grossmont College from 1971 until her retirement in 1983. She was 79. Survivors include her husband, Jack, and two daughters, Karen Beeson of San Diego and Tanya Morales of Sacramento.
On the Brighter Side
After Christmas break, a teacher
asked her pupils how they spent their holidays. One small boy wrote the following:
Volunteers still needed to serve on ad hoc committee on retiree benefits and concerns. Contact Lori Carver in Risk Management/Benefits at 465-7710. The committee will meet infrequently and only as needed to address issues of concern to district retirees.
Grapevines Web Page Greatly Expanded
Grapevines website is located on the
campus server at http://grossmont.gcccd.cc.ca.us/grapevine/grapevine.html
There is also a search function on the homepage which enables you to type in a key word or words (e.g., a persons name) to locate instantly which issue/s that word is found in, and hyperlinks directly to that issue. You can determine when someone retired, if theyve been mentioned in any previous article, if they are deceased, etc.. There is also a guest book where you can leave comments and read the comments of other readers. And all of the text and pictures are downloadable and editable. This is the place on the web to find out about your fellow retirees. Check it out.