Monday, September 1, 2008

Color My World

The first week of classes – what a glorious time at a community college. Students, both new and returning to the institution, rushing everywhere, caught in the tumult and trepidation of new beginnings. Faculty and staff energized and focused. A campus refreshed by new landscaping, new furniture, clean classrooms, fresh paint…

Ah, paint. Watching the email threads that dotted our inboxes during the first week of classes concerning the new paint scheme in the MV Commons Snack Bar brought to mind a quote by Ambrose Bierce. “Painting: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to the critic.” It also brought to mind the College’s new Strategic Plan and Priority #4 – Vibrant Culture. As noted in the plan, the first direction for Vibrant Culture is to enhance faculty and staff communication.

We are members of a special community – a community that has the power to change or transform the life of every student we serve. How we communicate about each other and to each other is vital to the harmony of this community. There is nothing healthier than inspired debate about issues that are crucial to our future. However, the time, place and tone of such debate are as important as the subject matter. As MVCC moves forward with ambitious development of campus technology, our methods of campus-wide communication will change – and although these changes are not yet thoroughly defined, I can promise a better platform for conversations such as Wednesday’s dialogue about paint schemes. By better, I mean a more appropriate space for collegial conversation and inspired debate.

Until then, remember that every day is a new opportunity to focus on conversations of a much more essential nature – those that guide and mentor our most important community members, our students.

“Mere colour, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.”
-Oscar Wilde

If you have any additional thoughts on the matter, let me know at presblog@mvcc.edu.