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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.

Art Professor, 1999-2008

Staff Strories:George Tapley

“...I look back at my years at Fullerton College as being among the most rewarding of my teaching career.”