One of my instructors at Salt Lake Community College once said, “Writing is easy. You just open up a vein and bleed on a page.” In contemplating how the experiences I’ve had while a student at SLCC have helped shaped my life, I figure that his counsel applies well. Perhaps I won’t bleed, but I hope to adequately impart how these experiences have helped shape who I am today.
Coming out of high school, I began the process of deciding where to begin my college career. I remember trying to decide if I should attend the University of Utah, Westminster College or Salt Lake Community College. To be honest, SLCC was initially my third choice out of those options. The more I thought about it though, and the more that different things fell into place, I knew that SLCC was where I needed to be. I am thankful that I made that choice, as I’ve been given opportunities to do things that have far exceeded my expectations, and even my dreams to this point.
In truth, I don’t remember a whole lot about my first two semesters at SLCC that spanned from August of 2007 to May of 2008. This is probably because I was so consumed with passing Math 1010 that first semester, and then the second was spent trying to recover from it. Joking aside, the one thing that I do remember is how concerned so many people were for my success in that class. From my instructor, Brenda Santistevan, to the tutors in the Learning Center, a group effort helped me achieve what I thought was the impossible. Not only did I pass, but I somehow managed to earn a B!
After that second semester, I took two years off of school to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Upon return, my first moments back in a classroom were spent in a course called Religious Diversity in America, taught by Suzanne Jacobs. I loved being able to hear people my own age share their points of view on topics that they viewed sacred, even if I didn’t feel the same way. Each day in that class was a great opportunity for me to recognize the value that each of us have as human beings.
At the same time as I was learning this lesson, I was learning another very different one. I took a course in which I had an instructor who frustrated me beyond belief. I often felt as though he worked a lot harder to push his opinions on students than he did helping them succeed. I’ll even admit that at one point I stormed out of the classroom in anger, as I felt that was the most effective option for conveying my feelings. Even though I still don’t agree with a lot of the things this instructor said and did, I learned a great lesson. As great as life is, there are going to be people and events that we aren’t happy with. It’s not about trying to change these people or events to align with what you want, but it’s about rolling with the punches and not letting them affect you negatively.
On the bright side, it was also at that time that I took Communications 1610, a beginning journalism class. I’ve always enjoyed writing, so I signed up for the class to see if it was indeed what I wanted to focus on as far as my major was concerned. I’ll be forever indebted to my instructor, Rob Branch, for the excitement that he imparted, which encouraged me to recognize that being a writer was indeed a dream of mine.
As I became more entrenched in the world of journalism at SLCC, I was excited to be part of the staff at The Globe student newspaper, the publication you are currently reading. Wanting to be a sportswriter “when I grow up,” I was given the opportunity to be exactly that. Not only was I given this chance, but so many people bent over backwards to make it a special time for me. One member of the athletic department, Anne Marie Jensen, even hooked me up with a spot on press row at the basketball games. Sitting in that spot, I often thought of Coach Herman Boone in “Remember the Titans” when he walks on to the field alone and says simply, “This is my sanctuary.”
The experience of writing for The Globe has literally changed my life. I have had the opportunity to meet people and do things that have made me realize that there is more to our lives than just the mundane tasks of everyday living. We are meant to make those around us better people, something that countless people at SLCC have done for me.
I probably was a bit of a nuisance, constantly asking for interviews from coaches and players, but they were always willing to talk. In the process, I got to know a number of people like Athletic Director Norma Carr, Sports Information Coordinator Kate Nygaard, and coaches Norm Parrish, Betsy Specketer, MaryKay Amicone, D.G. Nelson and Todd Phillips. Though these relationships may fade somewhat as the years go by, I’ll always remember these people as the ones who gave me my start as a sportswriter. I hope that I can carry the goodness that they’ve given me not only into my career, but to all of the people I’ll meet and experiences I’ll have throughout my life.
I suppose that’s the essence of the Salt Lake Community College experience. As we make the decision to extend ourselves, whether it be through our studies or extracurricular endeavors, we’ll each end up getting so much in return.
Bruins, may we heed the words of the song “Best Days” by Graham Colton which says, “These are the best days. There’s always something tomorrow, so I say, ‘Let’s make the best of tonight. Here comes the rest of our lives.” May we recognize that these are wonderful times which will soon pass by, so we might as well make them the best. Even if that causes us to bleed a little.