Stepping It Up at Community Colleges

In the article “Stepping It Up at Community Colleges,” Fawn Johnson reports that “Higher education is the name of the game in the Obama administration these days” and that “the president is focusing on community colleges as one of the best ways to create the skilled workforce that he says will save the economy.” Last Monday, Obama proposed an “$8 billion fund to help community colleges work with local businesses to train their students in high-demand areas.”

For three years, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. has been pushing a job training bill to revamp the nation’s workforce investment system. At the American Association of Community Colleges last week, Murray said “community colleges are the key to giving Americans from all walks at life a chance at high-skilled and good paying jobs.”

Read more about “Stepping It Up at Community Colleges.”

Compassionate Rebel

Be not simply good…
be good for something.
Henry David Thoreau

Today, Saturday September 10th from 4-10pm is the Mid-Autumn Festival at the An Lac Mission 901 S. Saticoy Ave. in Ventura.

The event offers entertainment, activities and presents for children, and delicious traditional Vietnamese vegetarian food and drinks. All are invited to attend this free event.

Tomorrow is September 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Let’s all try to do more than simply be good, tomorrow and every day.

Pictured is a detail from a fabric thangka titled Medicine Buddha by Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo, a contemporary American textile artist working in a sacred Tibetan tradition. Visit to see and learn more and order prints.

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Stories & a Poem or two from Nikki Giovanni: It’s Black History Month

For nearly 30 years, UC Santa Cruz has recognized Martin Luther King Jr with an annual convocation.

Last month, UCSC invited Nikki Giovanni to speak.

According to Wikipedia, “Yolande Cornelia “Nikki” Giovanni (born June 7, 1943) is an American poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. Her primary focus is on the individual and the power one has to make a difference in oneself and in the lives of others. Giovanni’s poetry expresses strong racial pride, respect for family, and her own experiences as a daughter, a civil rights activist, and a mother. She is currently a distinguished professor of English at Virginia Tech.[1]

And wow, did she have a LOT to say! I wish I could have been there. She presents so much history with so much heart and humor that I am scrambling to figure out how to fit this into my already full syllabus. I can certainly make it an extra credit or make-up assignment, so if you are one of my students, you can watch and listen to this and write about it.

Happy Black History month!

Adventures at VC: A Scavenger Hunt!

Alley’s Adventures in English at Ventura College (A Scavenger Hunt)

  1. Organize your time. Budget 2 hours. You will have the class period Tues. Feb. 28.
  2. After gathering information, work together to write and type a report.
  3. Make a copy of the report for each team member’s portfolio plus one for me.
  4. Written & Oral Report Due: Thursday March 1 in class. Continue reading

VC Spring 2012 One Act Play Fest Opens Th 2/2/12 at Wright Library

Enjoy an evening of affordable live theater during the next two weeks as the Ventura College Student One Act Play Festival opens Thursday February 2, 2012 and features four short one-act plays, “The Wedding Story,” “The Fourth Wall,” “Smokes Scenes,” and “Drugs are Bad.”

In “The Wedding Story,” a brave narrator attempts to tell the “perfect” wedding story while being interrupted repeatedly by the bride and groom revealing the “real” story.

“The Fourth Wall” explores what a play might look like if the actors’ mistakes were actually part of the script.

“Smoke Scenes” brings together two clever actors who decide to conceptualize smoke 50 different ways in 10 minutes.

“Drugs Are Bad” shows how two parents deftly influence their son’s behavior.

All four plays will be presented at each performance. Costumes are designed by students, and Isabelle Perez is stage manager. The Festival showcases the writing, performance, and production skills of numerous Ventura College Theatre students.

A free preview performance will be presented on Thursday evening, February 2, at 8 p.m., followed by performances on February 3-4 at 8 p.m., February 9, 10, 11 at 8 p.m., and a Sunday matinee on February 12 at 3 p.m. All performances will be held in the Wright Library, 57 Day Road, Ventura. Tickets: $7 General Admission, $5 Students/Staff/Seniors. Tickets available at the door onl

For more information, contact Judy Garey, Ventura College Theatre Arts Department, email or telephone (805) 654-6400 (ext. 3236).

My students can get in free to performances and write about it for extra credit or to make-up an absence.