Since this will be my last editorial for the Pioneer, I wanted to share what being at the paper has been like for me. But first, I need to tell you a few things about me.
I am dyslexic and struggled with that as a child, I had a very hard time reading and grammar was my enemy. The schools I attended put me into special-need classes where I was not taught to read or write at the level of other kids my age. I was bullied by kids and belittled by teachers. This killed any desire I had to write or even participate in school.
I grew up without direction, encouragement and was left alone in the world. I grew up around addiction, violence and as a teenager attempted suicide twice. I don’t want to give the impression I had the worst life or I’m some type of super hero for making it through that.
I dropped out of high school at 17, got my GED and was told by educators, “if you get a GED you won’t be able to do anything with your life.” I didn’t for almost 10 years.
I started OCCC in spring 2017 and felt like I found somewhere I belonged.
Professor Grimley: you helped me find my passion for writing my first semester in Comp 1.
Sean Lynch: you taught me how approachable and friendly instructors at OCCC are and made me feel like I was somewhere I belonged.
Randy Anderson: you always taught class with a smile and your passion for photography inspired me to improve as a photographer.
Professor Morrow: you brought a personality to philosophy that made it feel so much more personal. Its not just reading about what someone in Greece said 2000 years ago. He inspires students to be kinder and find our inner truths.
Professor Cotner: You really push students to think critically, something the world needs more of, and you have a great way of bringing social and political issues to the classroom with a sense of humor I wish more people had.
Professor Mitchell: the real world approach you have to federal government is refreshing for people like myself who follow politics far too closely. It’s nice to experience the process and understand it’s a living breathing system, which means things can change and it gives me hope. You also have the patience of a saint!
Professor Rick Lippert: you reinforced my fears that I have a “weird” voice, but you also always delivered criticism in a way that let me know you cared. Your knowledge, and gruff but lovable personality, is very missed at the Pioneer.
Gwin Faulconer-Lippert: you are one of the kindest people I have had the pleasure of meeting. You showed a love for your students and teaching that every educator should aspire for, you inspired me to be better.
Professor Carter: you forced me to believe in myself. When I enrolled in your news writing class I never would have imagined I would end up writing this. I grew up feeling like no one believed in me and I didn’t belong anywhere. You helped me find what I truly believe is my purpose in journalism. The Pioneer has become my home and leaving terrifies me, but OCCC will always be my home.
The professors at OCCC have helped me become someone I never thought I could be.
I want to thank everyone I have had the privilege to work with, share ideas with and build friendship with in the time I have been at the Pioneer.