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In 1991 Jan and I came to Southern California. Jan was hired as branch manager of Newport Beach’s main library, while I taught part time in LA and Orange county community colleges.
After getting to know some of the faculty of the Fullerton College art department, I was encouraged by Kate Johnson to apply for a position there teaching art history. I hesitated because the position required that I teach Asian and Mexican art history, neither of which I had studied in any depth. In my interview I learned that a further requirement was that I modernize our classroom by adding digital imaging, which also meant learning Power Point. Nearly overwhelmed, but grateful for the chance to teach at Fullerton College, with a faculty I liked and respected, I signed on full time in 1999 and stayed there until my retirement in 2008.
In spite (or maybe because of) the challenges of preparing classes and learning a new technology, I look back at my years at Fullerton College as being among the most rewarding of my teaching career. I made good friends among the faculty and staff; learned much from my students, whose abilities and motivation I grew to appreciate; and found a renewed enjoyment in my work. Teaching the arts of Asia and China stimulated my interest in those cultures once again. During my time at Fullerton College I was able to take several trips to explore the treasures of Mexico and Peru. Although I did not get a chance to visit China and Japan, travel to these countries is on my “bucket list”.
Aside from my tenure on the Curriculum Committee as representative of the Fine Arts Division, I generally stayed out of the politics of academia. That committee was, however, a good place from which to gain insight into some of the issues that affected Fullerton College. And it was there that I also gained respect for the determination and independence that many representatives showed on behalf of their departments.
My activities since retirement involve reading novels, walking with friends, travel – especially visits to children and grandchildren – and a great deal of painting, which was always my first love. In 2011, I joined Socalpapa, (Southern California Plein Air Painters Association) a well organized group of painters who arrange competitive exhibitions, have occasional show/sales of their art, and send out weekly newsletters advising us where the group will meet - what park or beach the group will visit to paint directly from nature.
“...I look back at my years at Fullerton College as being among the most rewarding of my teaching career.”