Gwen's long goodbye
VP of Student Services, Gwen Plano, is retiring, and it seems like everybody has come out of the woodwork to sing her praises and wish her well. Today, at Irvine Valley College, a surprisingly formal and impressive celebration of Gwenitude occurred. Here are some pics, taken with the Reb's little snap-n-shoot, so the resolution is low. I went wild in Photoshop.
IVC Prez Glenn R held forth up in this corner of the Performing Arts Center, echoing all over the building. For a while there, the speakers had trouble being heard, but everything worked out in the end. Pretty echoey. Like being in a cavern.
For some reason (maybe they gave one, I dunno), a bunch of little kids showed up to be cute and sing. Don't know what that was about. I think maybe Gwen likes little kids or something. They were pretty cute. At one point, one of 'em broke into some kind of dance, the kind that makes me wonder about these darned kids today. Sure, it's cute, but so is watchin' a kid moon dancing or licking the floor. Sheesh.
For some reason, these kids were seriously into that John Denver song, "Country Roads." They warbled that one for a while, missing that one high note ("I belong!") every time, and when it was over, they did it AGAIN, only the rest of us were supposed to join in. Do I know what that was about? I DO NOT. Somebody reckoned that Gwen must be from West Virginia--the song refers to that state--but then I remembered that she hails from way down near the Mexican border, just south of Salton Sea. So it remains a mystery. The world seems increasingly to offer random elements, unexplained.
Or maybe that's just IVC.
They had food. Pretty nice I guess, though, as per usual, vegetarians had to eat the salad, cuz the sandwiches were stuffed with beef and turkey, etc. I think I saw an ear in one sandwich. Why the hell not? But I like those little tomatoes and they had lots of those, too. I'm not complaining.
Crackers, brie. That'll do. Cookies, too.
The Humanities and Languages crowd made a good showing. Here's the Reb with two of our newest hires--who've turned out to be very good indeed. I'm not sure what Brooke was doing with that glass.
Someone said, "Hey, isn't that Dennis Frickin White?!" Yup. There he was, toddling into the building. I didn't notice him at first cuz he's like three feet tall. The Reb asked, "What, were Dennis and Gwen pals or something? I don't remember that." I didn't either. I think I saw a flash of gold or the sparkle of a diamond whilst Dennis smiled my way. He's rollin' in dough, you know. Serious pension dough. And he hardly has a brain at all.
A detail of a wide shot. Glenn is giving Gwen yet another plaque or certificate or fabulous cash prize. That's what people do, I guess.
Another detail. The usual balloons. This time, they weren't blue and red, though. They're branching out.
People were generally pretty smiley, happy. People tend to like Gwen.
Dan D was hanging around out back, I think. Had been teaching "The Bible as Literature," or something like that. The Reb took this pic. Dan looks important. Nice shirt.
Chancellor Poertner was there--he said some really nice things--as were trustees Marcia Milchiker and Frank Meldau, who seemed there just to be there, cuz they didn't say anything. I think I spotted Vern Hodge too, but not Kathie.
Kate Clark was there. She's been busy serving as some kind of SLO maven, I think. Evidently, we're getting that job done, thanks to Kate.
Two H&L instructors plus Santa and one of his elves. I like this shot.
The Reb and Dave F. Nice flowers.
Dennis White and Davit or somebody got into a shouting match about who's taller. Tod Burnett screamed, "Arnold, you naughty pig!" I think Susan Cooper and Susan Corum showed up. They seemed happy.
Summer and Brooke seemed happy to be there.
I can hardly talk, afraid I'll cry
Just can't bring myself to say goodbye.
Don't tell me that it's over
I don't wanna know
If you really want me to