Wednesday, October 27, 2010

FLCC Bookstore event: ‘Fair Trade 101’

Representatives of One World Goods will give a talk on “Fair Trade 101 for Beginners,” on Tuesday, Nov. 9, at 4 p.m. at the Finger Lakes Community College Bookstore.
African children use discarded flip flops to
make colorful gifts for One World Goods.

The bookstore is on the second floor of the main campus at 3325 Marvin Sands Drive, just outside the city of Canandaigua. Guest speakers are Elaine Johnson, past president of the One World Goods board of directors, and Pat Maier, a current board member. The event is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

FLCC students rally against hydrofracking

Finger Lakes Environmental Action, a student club at Finger Lakes Community College, will hold an anti-hydrofracking rally on Wednesday, Oct. 27, from 4 to 9 p.m.

The event will be held in Stage 13 on the second floor of the main campus at 3325 Marvin Sands Drive. It will feature live music and speakers. Due to construction on campus, parking is in the Constellation Brands Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center lot, accessible via Route 364.

Speakers include Peter Gamba of Branchport, Yates County, a founding member of the Committee to Preserve the Finger Lakes. Hydrofracking involves pumping high pressure streams of water and chemicals into the Marcellus shale deposits beneath the Finger Lakes region to free natural gas.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Visiting expert to speak on Mexican Day of the Dead

An expert in Latin American art will visit Finger Lakes Community College on Friday, Oct. 29, to talk about the Mexican holiday El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead.)

The lecture, “El Dia de Los Muertos: The Mexican Celebration of Life,” is free and open to the public. It begins at 12:30 p.m. in Stage 13, on the second floor of the FLCC main campus, 3325 Marvin Sands Dr., just outside the city of Canandaigua.

Susan Aberth, assistant professor of art history at Bard College, will provide a visual survey of the altars, food, objects, and cemetery observances connected with El Dia de los Muertos.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

FLCC to host congressional forum at Canandaigua Academy

Finger Lakes Community College will host a congressional candidates’ forum featuring Republican Thomas Reed and Democrat Matthew Zeller on Wednesday, Oct. 27, at the Canandaigua Academy auditorium on East Street.

The event starts at 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Questions will be posed by a panel that will include FLCC student Chad Rowley as well as a journalist from the Finger Lakes Times in Geneva and the Daily Messenger in Canandaigua. Visitors will have the opportunity to submit questions for consideration.

Bob Matson, director of community affairs at FLCC, will serve as moderator.

The event will be televised live on Finger Lakes Television, the local public access station (FLTV, channel 12 on the Time Warner cable system) and Webstreamed courtesy of the Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce.

Reed and Zeller are on the November ballot for the 29th Congressional District seat vacated by Eric Massa. The district includes most of Ontario County, including Canandaigua, part of Monroe County and all of Yates, Schuyler, Chemung, Steuben, Allegany and Cattaraugus counties.

For more information, call the FLCC Community Affairs Office at (585) 785-1623.

Pioneering scientist to visit FLCC Nov. 8

A pioneering molecular biologist will visit Finger Lakes Community College on Monday, Nov. 8, to discuss the Roots Project, which uses DNA to trace African-American ancestry to tribes in West Africa.

Bruce A. Jackson, molecular biologist at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell and founder and director of the Roots Project, will speak at 7 p.m. in Room D216 at the main FLCC campus, 3325 Marvin Sands Drive. His talk is free and open to the public.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sideshows and Excuses

Many years ago I taught eighth grade English and one of our units focused on the tall tale. My favorite writing assignment associated with that unit centered around creative excuses. The premise of the essay was, "Yes, of course I DID the assignment, but I can't turn it in today because...". I discovered that my students were experts at homework tall tales. The dog ate my homework was definitely for beginners. Their imaginations and critical thinking skills went wild when given the opportunity to string together a series of unlikely events that ultimately led to the sad result that their assignment, although completed on time, was not actually available to be submitted on the due date.

A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education reminded me of those essays from many years ago. It centered around the annual dreaded October demise of many, many grandparents. In fact, some college students seem to lose three, four or even five grandmothers during the fall semester alone. The article went on to describe some of the tall tales that appear in faculty members' email this time of year as students seek a bit of extra time or a special accommodation.

Of course, legitimate problems do derail very committed students now and then, and faculty members always want to support their students and give them the time they need to get back on track. The issue for faculty members is sorting out reality from creative excuse-making in a way that is fair and consistent - not an easy task.

College students who are experienced and successful know that no matter how organized and committed they are, life has a way of occasionally stepping in and tossing carefully made plans out the window. By planning ahead and staying on top of things it's possible to manage the unexpected most of the time. It's really about keeping one key life principle in mind: Don't let the sideshows distract you from the main show - and know the difference.

In order to be successful in college, the main show has to be a clear commitment to your classes. Your part-time job is a sideshow, so if your boss suddenly asks you to work an extra night and you need that time to prepare for an exam, say "no". If you have children, your family is clearly not a side-show, but it doesn't have to be an excuse for falling behind at school, either. It isn't easy being a parent who is a college student, but the best advice you will receive is pretty simple: always have back-up plans. Then, have back-up plans for your back-up plans, so when your second grader gets a strept throat when your sister is on vacation, you know you can call your neighbor rather than having to skip class. Don't make doctor's appointments when you have class. You get the idea.

Students who make class the "main show" in their lives are learning how to manage the unexpected, a skill that will serve them well throughout their working lives. They will find themselves well prepared to move on to their careers, where bosses usually aren't particularly receptive to those creative tall tales that worked so well back in eighth grade.