That cool new high-tech campus in Tustin (part 2)
2. ATEP's administration building may be small, but it's pretty spiffy. Here are some pics from inside. Naturally, everything looks new—because it is new. The staff is terrific.
3. As one enters, one encounters computers for student use just off to the left. It's a nice atmosphere for work.
Check it out. Say "hey" to the gal at the desk for me.
4. This is some sort of conference room, I think. Someone explained it all to me, but, on Friday, after class, my mind is a sieve.
5. This blue gizmo is part of ATEP’s Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT), which, according to the ATEP webite, "this year was designated a National Center for Photonics Education, a National Science Foundation Center of Excellence...The prestigious designation was awarded to thirteen centers across the U.S. that have committed to increasing the pool of well-trained technicians in optics and photonics by creating a secondary-to-postsecondary “pipeline” of highly qualified and strongly motivated students...."
6. No, it's not a vending machine. This gadget makes models. It's called a "3-D printer," but it really makes models, like that one you can see inside and that doohicky sitting on top. It's extremely cool to watch models slowly come into being in this contraption after having been created on a computer.
Students are all over this thing, of course.
7. This equipment is near the model-making gizmo. I dunno what to tell you. Students learn to make cool stuff, and then they get jobs somewhere.
And why the hell not?
LET'S GET ON BOARD.
Lemme change the subject for a second. First, some logical truisms.
When you’re evaluating something, some facts are relevant and some are not (to the question of the worth of the thing). So, for instance, the fact that, say, Senator Larry Craig is a hypocrite is relevant to his character, but it has no bearing whatsoever on the merits of his policies or philosophies.
The origins of a thing, too, are irrelevant to its worth. For instance, the founder of chiropractic (“medicine”) was a crackpot, a nut. But that fact has no bearing on whether chiropractic adjustments (of the sort he advocated) are an efficacious treatment for back pain.
This is all obvious, right?
“Guilt by association” is a similar fallacy: maybe Hitler—or was it his German Shepherd "Arsch mit Ohren"?—was a vegetarian, but that fact surely has no bearing on the merits or demerits of vegetarianism.
SO HERE'S THE THING. I say all of this because we in the South Orange County Community College District have this thing, this ATEP, and it is what it is as a facility and a potential campus.
I think it’s pretty exciting. No, I won’t be happy if the Young Americans end up camped here, but, even if they do, they’ll be a small part of something much bigger, and it all strikes me as exciting and forward-looking.
I could be wrong, but I think many of my colleagues are having trouble seeing all this—or at any rate, they’re having trouble seeing ATEP for what it already is and what it can be—because, of course, ATEP is “associated” with our spectacularly unpopular and loathsome Chancellor, Raghu P. Mathur and perhaps the current board, which is, well, Neanderthalesque. Flintstonian even.
But, as the Chancellor asserted recently, ATEP is here to stay. So we may as well make it work.
But what about process? Yes, absolutely, Mathur and crew have screwed that up. If one asks, what will ATEP be?, the answer really is: ATEP will be the outcome of “negotiations” that are occurring now, very much behind closed doors, between the private Money People and the District.
One day, a door will open, the Chancellor will emerge, he'll have a big smile on his stupid face and we’ll finally be told what ATEP is gonna be. Mathur will arrange to get awards for his labors. Maybe the Medal of Freedom. Maybe fabulous cash prizes.
That sucks, I know. But, in the meantime, we’ve got ATEP Jr., and it is what it is, and what it is is cool.