I've been attached to CSU Stanislaus since autumn of 2001. I'm fast approaching a decade, although it looks like I won't quite make it, after all. But that's besides.
I have been here nine years, and I have learned a little perspective about this place. I have watched it change, for better and for worse, and I have watched it grow, and I have seen it cut back, and I have kept involved as intimately as I might. I mean to say that I have a depth of feeling about it and a breadth of knowledge about it, and given that, I just want to say this:
In my nine years here, I have met a lot of faculty, and I have met some of my favorite human beings among them--brilliant, humane, funny, kind, conscientious, beautiful, loving, committed, passionate people. And I knew my share of students when attending--of course--but it seems like the students I'm meeting these days are amazing human beings, people who are paying attention with care and wonder to the world around them, souls of peaceful, powerful principle, with energy and devotion and a fullness of love and spirit.
They are the best of this place. They are beautiful. I cherish these people. I know they are the best of us.
There are arguments to be had and fights to fight and slanders to be unwritten and misunderstandings to be reworked, but I have nothing productive to say for that, right now, and it's eating at me a little. I know I cannot by my useless and restless angst make anything better for these often maligned, much maltreated, roundly abused, often libeled, mistrusted, feared, and disdained. I cannot drag the community as a whole kicking and screaming and blinking into an understanding of what is happening here, certainly not by force or by derision or by woe.
All I can do is repeat this: this faculty, these students, they are the best of us. They are the hope of this community, of this state, of this country. They are thoughtful and they are precious, they are wise and they are righteous and they are humble, too. They are beautiful creatures and they deserve love. I love them, and I have loved them, and I will love them still and more and more.