Remembering Donald J. McCarthy

Donald J. McCarthy was the very best of them, I am so glad that I had the honor to know that man, both as a family friend and a great mentor to me. I will always be so proud to say that I took MAT 142 with Professor Don McCarthy. What a legacy that man is leaving behind, I stand in complete awe of somebody with such incredible character. Thank you Don.
An absolute mountain of a man, that is truly the first time I can sincerely say that of another human being, Don not only taught math, but I believe he taught character, patience, understanding, and an unbelievable work ethic. He was one of the first people I was introduced to when I first joined GCC. A great family friend told me that I had to meet this man, she is also an incredible person, and I am so grateful that she did introduce me to “that man”, she was a very dear friend of Don’s. He gave me his complete attention, and when he spoke to me, he spoke only to me, I honestly wasn’t use to that, to be talked to like a fellow man.  Don handed me my first Math book for introduction to Algebra, and then introduced me to an outstanding person who became my professor for my first two math classes. Then, in what will become my last semester at GCC I signed up as quick as I could to take MAT 142 with Professor McCarthy, and as I wrote in his teacher evaluation, he was hand’s down the best teacher I have ever had, not only in Math, but in any subject, his presence and energy was something to behold, and I got to see it! Throughout my two years with GCC I always knew I could confide in Don, in fact, everybody knew they could, he took time for everybody. And for as long as I live, that will motivate me to try a little harder in life, to take more time with people, to work harder, and to help “without judgment”, as someone close to him perfectly described how Don treated people.
I can sincerely say, that I loved Don, and I won’t say that I wish I could have known him longer, because I believe that is greedy, because, so many other’s needed Don. I will just forever be thankful for the time that I did have with him, I know he was so much to so many people, and in three short years, I can truly say I know why.

Oh the places you’ll go

You did it guys ! We did it! Another academic year accomplished, and that great efffort is something to be proud of. It is not just the letter grade you received, but rather the incredible effort and hard work, and all that we gave of ourselves to receive that grade. I believe that is what academia is: a character building experience, it’s an opportunity to go far above yourself, and accomplish something beyong your wildest and most ambitious expectations.

At this very moment a first year student is finishing a final to complete their first academic year, at the same time, a long time and hard working nursing major has finally been accepted into the program they have more than earned. Somewhere among this campus, a proud veteran has the courage to take the next step in their life and bring their incredible character to the classroom. Maybe not so far away from him, a very special student is persevering through what society labels as a disability he/she considers their gift.

To all of you who are graduating, not only from Glendale Community College, but onto the next path of your lives, do it the way you have left here today: courageously, responsibly, bravely. Always be curious about what life can offer you, if you can fight for it, goodbye our good friends.

And to all our good friends who have walked the pathways of this campused for the first time this year, I hope you all feel welcome, and embrace this time in your life, and challenge yourself to give as much of your self as you can, because when it is your turn to put on the cap and gown, walk onto the platform, receive your degree, and shake the president of GCC’s hand. Well my friend, you well be in awe of how far you have come, and how much further you can go.

God Bless.

Courage

The definition of courage is the quality of mind, or spirit, that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, without fear; bravery. It is also the heart as the source of emotion.

Hello my fellow GCC friends! It’s so wonderful to be writing to you again, can you believe how fast this spring semester is flying by? But then again… For every individual it’s different. I can’t imagine what it’s like for a single mother raising a child while working and going to school full-time? That is the most admirable act of courage I know, which brings me to the thesis of my blog: courage.

Have the courage to be wrong; how else will you learn?

What is interesting and quite incredible, is that we all perform acts of courage every day. Such as having the courage to stand out at work and display leadership abilities then use those abilities to pursue your fullest potential, whatever they may be for you.

You show courage, when you open up and talk to a stranger, or even help out around the house. These are simple acts of self-less courage, and are very fulfilling. Think about it, nowhere is it written that you must perform acts of courage. You can go through your day and stick to your same routine. But when we go outside ourselves, such as adding change to our old routines and especially standing up for yourself, this is courage, my friends!

For me, learning simple acts of courage was such a challenge. I was terrified to raise my hand in the classroom; I felt stupid, inadequate and that I couldn’t contribute. I felt I had no business in the classroom whatsoever. My education could have ended right then, in my first college course, Philosophy 101. But ironically enough, philosophy was the right class for me to be in at the right time. First, I had an outstanding professor who really challenged to entire class to speak up, as he said, “Have the courage to be wrong; how else will you learn?”

That statement stuck with me like glue, and inch by inch, yard by yard, I began chipping away at my own self-doubts and made improvements bit by bit, each day in class. In all honesty, it wasn’t but a few weeks into the course that I went from not being able to raise my hand to not being able to keep the damn thing down! Now that’s courage.

So, to all my fellow peers who have a vision, but your self-doubt is keeping you from working toward it, realize my friends, you have courage, we all do, and we will all get there, together.

The Road to Loving Yourself

Helping others is a very intrinsic satisfying part of life, but it is not the end all to loving yourself. To love oneself is most important in life, being selfish is not a sin, but rather is a sign of self-confidence in my opinion. It means you are comfortable in your own skin. Being selfish does not mean you are narcissistic necessarily, but rather, you are comfortable in your own skin, and you take care of yourself.

As I look around the halls, and classrooms, and departments of colleges, I see alot of burned out and tired people, whose bodies and minds are crying out for a break. Now while it’s important to work hard to support yourself, and accomplish your goals, isn’t there more to life than work? I certaintly think so. Don’t be a college burn out. Take rests, nothing is more important than your health. Believe me people, you don’t know it until you lose it, but your health and family is what counts most.

So in the long run, at the end of the day, at the end of your run, at the end of your career, and well into retirement. By not working too hard early on I believe you will accomplish more in the long run.

The Final Stretch

We’re in the final stretch this semester guys and I hope it has been great for all of you. Some of you will be moving on, some of have just started. But for most of you, like me, this semester has been a continuation of our time at GCC.

For me the semester always ends very different from the way I planned it, and that’s a good thing. I believe that speaks to flexibility, there are many opportunities here. I had a very tough start to my semester, and had to drop a couple classes, for me this was very tough. But you know, making changes is ok, I was able to re-group and get involved in internships, and get a lot of new experience and leadership skills. By the end of this semester I will have completed 15 credit hours, including an Internship, Communication Volunteerism, and a spot on the Forensics Speech and Debate Team. I went in a completely different direction, and it couldn’t have turned out better. I have met some incredible new people, and have put in almost 200 hours of volunteer work, which has helped boost my credibility. I would recommend using these resources at GCC, go to Counseling and Career Services and find your direction, meet with an Academic Advisor and set your plan, you will be glad you did.