Contact person: Katy Kilcrease, Building 1-103A, Ocala Campus, Ext. 1782
In this Issue:
"In Memory of Glenn Heflin": by Lynne Boele, Past Coordinator, Teaching/Learning Institute
"Star Awards": by Susan Cable, Science
"Mini-Grant Awarded for Spring 2002": by Kathy Kilcrease, Coordinator, Teaching/Learning Institute
"Adjunct Junction": Tales and Tips for Staying on Track
Memory of Glenn Heflin
by Lynne Boele, Past Coordinator, Teaching/Learning Institute
the catalog of "Friends," Glenn Heflin belongs under the heading of
"eternally cherished." Everyone should have a friend like Glenn, a
man who responded to pleas for help without question or excuse, who assisted
no matter the extra burden, who supported us all in good times and bad. He was
the antithesis of Thurber's Walter Mitty, as a man of action rather than of
daydreams. He believed instead in finding how to turn dreams into reality. Glenn
knew only one speed-full throttle. He didn't know how to coast and, for him,
to fantasize or "kick back" was a waste of time. He'd scurry to meetings,
squeezing out time during breaks in his day-long classes. Yet, he always found
time to aid a colleague or to pitch in on a project he thought worthy.
A member of
the Teaching Learning Steering Committee pioneer group, Glenn quickly
became the go-to-guy, the one on whom we all relied. He played a major
role on the Faculty Role and Responsibility Task Force and the Evaluation
Task Force. Glenn designed the original template for the five faculty
roles-Teaching, Professional Development, Service to Students, College
Service, and Public Service-the "bubbles," as some call them
affectionately. He also spent many hours preparing the PowerPoint materials
for presentation of the new faculty evaluation package, coordinating input
from six other committee members who kept changing the script on him.
He never complained, just smiled his disarming grin and made the changes.
To those involved in any kind of college service, Glenn was a familiar face. He represented his
department in Faculty Senate as well as on the AV/Technology Committee, acting successfully on their behalf to secure necessary new instructional technology equipment. For two years, he served as a member of the Faculty Tuition Reimbursement Committee, a select group that approved funding requests for graduate study and training assistance. Because of his business background and expertise, Glenn was appointed by Dr. Hayes to a special committee that reviewed future building plans and contract bids. He also served as a member of the Technology Resources Committee, which helped formulate the long-range technology plans for the college. He may have worked with other groups-I know that he was constantly involved, rushing from one event to the next.
He devoted most of his time, however, to what he loved best-working with his students. Although Glenn never received traditional training in teaching methods, he was a natural. Expert in his trade, he knew intuitively how to employ the right approaches to help students master the necessary knowledge and skills. He once told me that he had to alter his demonstration techniques because he realized a hearing-impaired student could not follow his words when his back was turned while he pointed out different elements in an air conditioner. The student never complained; Glenn just realized the problem and corrected it. That kind of sensitivity to student needs came to him automatically. He disproved the "old dog/new tricks" adage, taking numerous hands-on seminars and workshops to
develop more expertise in a field where he was a 30 year pro. He became the technology pathfinder
in his department, mastering new computer applications and then teaching them to his colleagues. He took over a badly outdated and under-equipped Heating and Air Conditioning department and through wheeling and dealing, securing grants, swapping and lobbying, transformed the program and developed a classroom and lab that many schools would envy.
Glenn was an old-fashioned gentleman, the kind who insists on opening the door for you, whether you want it or not. Once a month, we would go out for lunch, and each time he refused to let me pay my way, insulted that I would even suggest such a thing. At larger social gatherings, Glenn was the one to take charge, making sure that everyone received good service. He would talk about work, his classes, his latest contracting projects, but most of all about his beloved wife and family. His sons and daughters were devoted to him and fussed over him. I thought it a real tribute to the man that his first wife also took part in family gatherings, and all of them got along as good friends!
A full-time worker, even "after hours," Glenn didn't have much time for hobbies. He loved engines, though, and racing cars. He said he had had only one experience driving full-speed on a track, which convinced him his talent lay in designing cars and working with the pit crews. Even in recent years, he still tinkered, taking apart an old flywheel motor, trying to recondition it.
Those who embrace
the servant-leader philosophy will recognize those qualities in Glenn.
He was an intent
listener, giving full attention and reflection to each speaker. When he shared his views, he did so frankly and openly, offering good reasons for his thinking. He never followed a party line and always said what he thought. Yet, even those with whom he disagreed, whether high or low on the organizational totem pole, respected Glenn for his opinions. I don't know a person who didn't like him. Many of us loved him.
Although he worked overtime on any project to which he devoted himself, he never sought credit, never craved the spotlight. On the contrary, Glenn took delight in his work and in promoting others. He dedicated himself to making other people better, to helping them grow-in short, a true servant-leader. Walter Mitty would have dreamed of being a hero like Glenn Heflin.
Comments from Colleagues
"All of us at CFCC were blessed by Glenn's presence with us, and we will
be forever blessed by our memories of him."
- Dr. Charles Dassance
"Glenn was strongly committed to quality improvement, and his actions portrayed that commitment to quality. Glenn sought improvements for the heating and air conditioning program, served on numerous committees at the college to improve the learning process, and in so doing, made better the lives of those of us who knew him. His memory will remain with us always!"
- Dr. Cheryl Fante
"Glenn was one of those
people who epitomized the best characteristics of humankind. He loved,
cared, shared, served and continually strove to improve himself, his teaching
and his student's learning. He was a great example to all of us."
- Kathy Kilcrease
"Glenn will always be
remembered for his blunt, refreshing honesty, his sense of humor, and
his use of every known PowerPoint sound. I served on the T/LC and on a
couple of other committees with him. One of the easiest, most down to
earth people to work with I have ever seen. There will never be enough
people in the world like him... a real loss to CFCC and to all of us."
- Dave Hartley
feel lucky to have met Glenn. We both participated at the very first Summer
Fantasy Workshop a few years back, and we worked together on other T/LI events.
I enjoyed working with him because he had a knack for detail and getting things
done. I think Glenn was the most honest person I have ever met. I asked him
once if he would come over to my house and install a heat pump and do some duct
work. He replied that his son had
officially taken over his business and wrote down his son's number on a piece of paper. Just before he handed it to me, something popped into his head and he wrote down a second phone number on the paper. Then he said, 'You always want to get at least two estimates for a big job like that, Joe. This is my son's number; this is his main competitor. They both do great work.'"
- Joe Zimmerman
"Glenn loved life and
the people in his life. He never believed in challenges, only opportunities.
forget the first time I met him as it was my second day on the job in Workforce Development, the current air conditioning instructor quit with no notice, we were within one week of classes beginning, and the program was in disarray. Glenn walked into my office, introduced himself and said, 'Kiddo, we're going to turn this
program around!' And turn it around he did with the same passion and grace he shared in every other aspect of his life. He cared deeply about his friends and was always mindful of their needs, not his, be it in coming over to someone's house to help them with computer problems, buying lunch for everyone (as he did often with the ('Workforce gang'), leaving a phone message to just 'check in.' His pure heart was the essence of Glenn
Heflin and I take that with me every day."
"Glenn was such a delight!
His humor and zest for life were evident in the Faculty Senate meetings
and the Teaching/Learning Steering Committee. His knowledge of computers
was extraordinary-I marveled! We will all miss this kind, genial soul!"
- Robin Seymour
"The moment I met Glenn I knew
I had a friend. He took the time to remember the important things that were
important to you only-you know, those daily concerns that only you consider
of any matter. One day he appeared in my office an with image enlarger to work
hand-in-hand with my scan converter in the classroom. He just knew it would
make my classroom presentation better.
Another thing about Glenn was
his honesty. My air conditioner went out at the house and we both thought
it would make a good class project to replace it. When Glenn arrived with
the AC unit and the class, he found that the company who had said it had
died was mistaken; the circuit had only blown. He told me he had to put
the new one in because there would be no return policy. I agreed to continue
the project. About a month later he showed up with some money for my old
AC unit, which he was able to use in another installation. Who would have
guessed? He liked to surprise you that way!
Glenn was able to rebuild his
area and the program in a very short time. He deserves so much credit;
he was so positive that way. I never heard him say anything couldn't be
done-he just knew the way.
I told Glenn when he felt better we would go for lunch. I hope I can still have that honor some day."
- Bob DuMond
It was my job, along with the
other STARS award recipient, Jack Thursby, to present the award to the
next two STARS honorees at the faculty colloquium on January 2. I won't
even get into why I wasn't at that ceremony except to say it had something
to do with a broken tooth (and thanks again to Lori for filling in for
me)! I can't begin to tell you how bad I feel about missing both the acceptance
of the award and the passing on ceremony.
But this piece is really supposed
to be about our new STARS - Bob DuMond and Linda Smith! What can I say
about Bob, except that he is everywhere with that camera of his. If you
haven't checked out his web site about the most popular plants for this
region, you really should do it. Bob brought technology to his students
before the technology was really here to use - but he found a way to do
And Linda - who could ever forget the songs she developed and had the nursing staff and students sing to help her students remember certain nursing mnemonics! Wow! Both of these instructors go a long way toward satisfying our college vision "to promote learning in an open, caring, inclusive environment." Although we have many faculty on campus that are doing so many great things for our students, these two instructors and their projects seemed, to Jack and me, to be our outstanding candidates for this semester's STARS awards. Congratulations, Bob and Linda!
Teaching and Learning Mini-Grant Awarded for Spring 2002
by Kathy Kilcrease, Coordinator, Teaching/Learning Institute
It was great to have thirteen
min-grant proposals to "foster continuous improvement in teaching
and learning" submitted this term. The funds requested for the various
projects totaled over $16,000. Unfortunately, with less that $10,000 remaining
in the budget for mini-grants, not all requests could be granted. The
T/LI Steering Committee tried very hard to fund as many as possible, and
to find alternate funding sources where possible.
The following proposals were
approved for funding either wholly or in part using T/LI funds or other
Written by and for our Adjunct Faculty Members
has been much musing and, dare I say, pseudo-psychology bandied
about around campus concerning impediments to student learning.
I was singularly unimpressed with all these musings, figuring
that my lectured-based college career adequately prepared me for
life (for those of you who are firmly entrenched in e-mail netiquette-LOL).
The way I learned in college was good enough for me, thus plenty
good enough for my students.
brilliant (and I have stacks of test documentation to prove it)
son began to have some difficulties in first grade. In addition
to constant daydreaming-he spent a full nine weeks designing a
transportation system that worked via a system of slides and levers
called the slideway (I am not making that up)-he had trouble completing
assignments, copying from the board, and lining up his math problems.
After hours of testing and incompetent ramblings from "experts"
issuing tidbits of advice like "let him count the items as
you empty a grocery bag," (meanwhile he is doing multiplication),
and "label the items in his room to let him get used to letters,"
(he is in the midst of the Harry Potter series), I finally tracked
down a professional with real training in this field.
situation taught me about learning abilities/disabilities is that
we all have weaknesses (and strengths) in
I have learned from my son, I have begun to make changes in my
own teaching to try to accommodate adults who may have weaknesses
in either visual or auditory perception. I have started to make
advance copies of overheads that I use in class available (I e-mail
them upon request). I also read the next week's assignment aloud
to the class for those students with weak organizational skills;
these students have a tendency to overlook parts of the assignment
if they are not verified visually and auditorially. Other instructors
might accommodate weaknesses by suggesting graph paper for math
students with extremely poor handwriting. Some problems may be
due to poor alignment, not poor computation. Leave extra spaces
between questions on quizzes; crowded tests are difficult for
some students. Provide a written checklist for students who are
preparing term papers. Some students cannot follow oral directions
given in class.
to be wary of psychobabble; however, I am learning that all students,
no matter how brilliant they may be, are not cut from the same
cloth, and small adjustments on our part can mean the difference
in success and failure for them. I am not suggesting that we spoon-feed
our students, only that we remember to account for visual and
auditory weaknesses in our classrooms.
Community College Humanities Association
Odysseus 2001 -- Portland, Oregon 10/25-28/ 2001
by Michele Wirt, Citrus Humanities
This conference was truly an "odyssey,"
with adventures in a variety of disciplines and approaches to teaching.
History class gained a new dimension when a teacher showed us how he teaches the past through folk music-especially how one song in particular changed each time there was a war or conflict. One tune came from 16th
century Ireland, and made it all the way to the campfires of both the American Revolution and later its Civil War. Playing his guitar and singing the songs, he truly practiced what he preached. Similar evolutions in protest songs and love songs through time no doubt would inspire students to come up with their own more recent examples.
In another session, "Hiphop," I learned (the initiated use one word, not two), is not just an art form, it's a whole science, complete with its own terminology and techniques, and is a great example of Postmodernism (appropriation of past works, recombined). This must be a hit among many students, while at the same time promoting opportunities for debate and critical thinking, as in "what is music?. Further on during the 3-day event, a comparison between the Beatles and the Grateful Dead, and parallels between their work and that of Stockhausen and Cage pointed to all as early pioneers in electronic experimental music.
The Anatomy of the Interloper was presented with examples from both tragic and comedic films. It begs the question of why do we want an interloper, what does it represent in our culture? Is it just a post WWII phenomenon in America, ironically coupled with the desire for
isolationism in the 50's?.Revolutions in Western Thought was a video compiled by faculty, inviting students to create their own cultural time lines and barometers. Maya Weaving and Design had interesting possibilities for humanities students, in terms of how our own clothing is our identity index; as well as design students, who must choose and create motifs and patterns for their own printed designs.
A session on humanities assessments provided us with a packet of student portfolios. The focus was uniting Humanities with the workplace, or, learning with earning; suggesting a turning of the tables on student evaluations in the area of "relevance." Medieval Gargoyles reiterated how the beautiful and the grotesque coexist in the medieval mind, reminding us of how our own time is not so different in that respect! Overall, the conference reiterated the "human" in the Humanities, reaffirming our roles in an increasingly technological world.
Great Southern Tree Conference
by Bob DuMond, Workforce Development
The 1st Annual Great Southern Tree
Conference was held at the University of Florida from 11/30-12/1/01. Dr. Gary
Knox, of the University of Florida, delivered an excellent presentation on the
Crape myrtle Cultivars and proper pruning methods. In short, there are crape
myrtles that range from 18" in height to 40', and we need to put the right
Crape myrtle in the right place. "Crapemurder" is becoming a serious
problem in all of Central Florida, a sort of monkey see monkey do scenario.
Pollarding or chopping crape myrtles in half instead of thinning the canopy
destroys that individual plants natural shape forever, caused a three week delay
in blooming, not to mention the terrible look of your art work.
Other topics included hollies, presented by Dr. Ken Tilt, Auburn University; new pruning equipment; marketing in the tree industry; evaluation of live oak cultivars and how to use them to ensure uniformity; evaluation of root growth on trees after planting; nutrition and fertilization of landscape palms; and monitoring substrate nutrition in container material by Dr. Tom Yeager of the University of Florida.
This was a great beginning for this conference, and I hope I can return next year.
Enhanced Ignition System Testing
by Paul Rossiter, Workforce Development
I attended this course at the City
of Ocala Vehicle Maintenance building on February 4-5. Our guest instructor
was Mr. Bill
Fulton of OHIO Automotive Technologies, New Albany, Ohio. Instruction included modern techniques of testing new automotive ignition systems. The testing techniques included test equipment such as DVOM, Dual Trace
O-Scopes and specific automotive testers. Much of what we learned was the analyzing of ignition waveforms, with a variety of specific problem waveforms.I felt the course was extremely well presented and benefited me as an instructor. The information gained
at this course will allow me to pass these techniques on to the students in my Advanced Electrical, Engine Performance I and Advanced Engine Performance courses.
College Music Society Southern
Chapter Conference, Untion University
by Sara Satterfield, Fine Arts
I went to this conference in Jackson,
Tennessee in February to present a paper on the a capella folksong
settings of Roy Harris. The presentation went well, and the conference was enlightening. I attended a total of seven sessions, each featuring three lectures or recitals.
I was much inspired by a lecture on Indian features in Lou Harrison's Ariadne, a composition for flute and percussion. A flutist myself, I plan on adding this piece to my repertoire and performing it in my introduction to humanities classes, as it concerns topics discussed there: the legend of the Minotaur, Knossos, etc.
The most fascinating lecture I attended
was entitled "(How) Should a Music Historian Teach Eminem's
Murder Ballads?" Eminem is a modern rapper known for his controversial lyrics. The lecture was presented by Dr. Elizabeth Keatley, a musicologist and specialist in gender issues from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, who played a composition entitled 97 Bonnie and Clyde from one of Eminem's recent albums. In this ballad, he recounts the murder (at his own hands) of his wife, the mother of his child. He sings in a soothing manner-in "baby talk." Dr. Keatley used the piece to illustrate how the very tone of voice can desensitize listeners to the content of the music, pointing out that though Eminem is attacked for the message behind his songs, a very similar message can be found in pieces regularly featured in music appreciation texts. Long a part of the required listening lists for the music appreciation courses I teach, Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, for example, is about the composer's infatuation with, and stalking of, an actress of his era: Harriet Smithson. Berg's Wozzeck deals with the title character's stabbing of his mistress, whom he suspects
of infidelity. Eminem's music, which many students relate to far better than that of Berlioz or Berg, can be used to encourage students to rethink gender issues as they manifest themselves in all styles of music.
The conference was a wonderful experience,
from both the perspective of a presenter and a participant. It exceeded my expectations
and provided me with many new ideas that I plan to use to enrich student learning.
Critical Incident Stress Management-
Basic Group Crisis Intervention
By Polly Millet, Health Occupations
On January 24-25, I attended this
training session in Homosassa, Florida, along with other people from the health
care/emergency/law enforcement fields. CISM is designed for persons who respond
to emergencies in our society. This system is a comprehensive, integrated crisis
intervention system used by more than 400 teams in the United States. Teams
are made up of mental health professionals and trained peers. Among CISM's best
knows features are critical stress debriefings; structured group discussions
following a traumatic event.
The session began with a discussion of the effects of stress on the body, mind, and behavior. The top ten incidents affecting emergency workers were identified, along with the personality characteristics of emergency/rescue workers. It was stated that EMS workers see more stressful situations in a month than most people see in a lifetime. CISM is designed to mitigate the effects of these stressors on emergency workers to screen for people having serious difficulty and to restore the involved persons to normal life and work.
Some participants had been to New
York City to assist in the rescue effort since 9/11; other teams are scheduled
to return soon. I discovered that Marion County had such a team and that Citrus
County is starting one. As an advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner with a
specialty in psychiatric/mental health nursing, I was proud to be a part of
this training and hope that I can use my new skills to be helpful to our community.
World Congress Exposition on Disabilities
by Lowell Sanders, Science
My purpose for attending this conference
in Atlanta on Sept. 28-30, 2001 was to update my professional training in ADA.
The Science department has had a number of ADA issues with students, and I found
this conference very helpful in addressing these issues.
The first keynote speaker was Bernard
Marcus, who established the Marcus Institute in 1991 to aid children and teenagers
with brain disorders. One-tenth of all youth have identifiable, measurable disabilities.
There is no designated center for these troubled individuals in the entire United
States. Historically, they have been hidden and ignored until they become a
serious disruption; they are then accorded "due process" resulting
in being severely medicated, with or without incarceration.
The Kennedy Krieger Marcus National
Foundation, in association with Emory University and partially funded by the
CDCP, is the only research center in the southeast that exists exclusively for
the purpose of researching cures and improvements for the disabled. Currently,
there is a fifteen-month waiting list to get accepted for treatment at Emory.Rear Admiral Ray Smith (retired), who was a Navy SEAL for 31 years, was the second keynote speaker. His focus was on the challenges of life in the modern world and the many challenges people with disabilities and their families face today. Using his Navy SEAL training as an example, he commented on the values of teamwork, morale building, and maintaining one's spirit in the face of hardship.
On any given
day, the library circulation staff happily accepts laminating requests.
Throughout the year there is not much call for lamination, but at the
beginning of the semester, we always have a few teachers waiting in
line. The benefits to laminating a syllabus are numerous. After all
that hard work, it is just grand to have a copy that cannot be ruined
by coffee, tea or soda. Watermarks are especially stylish if they are
on the stationery to begin with, but they lose their appeal when it
becomes obvious they arrived after the type. Unless you are a professor
with an art background, its best not to decorate your syllabus in this
manner. All college students have seen food and beverage stains before,
so they will not be fooled. Remember, stains photocopy very well, but
helpful to have a laminated copy handy in your office too. Then when
students stop by on the second day of class, because they promptly lost
the copy you gave them the day before, you can share your plastic coated
copy. Without fail, they'll return it to you because it will never fit
into their pockets. Another benefit to laminating is that it will not
damage the classic blue color of mimeograph ink. That's an area where
drawback must be noted. Laminating is not an approved archivally safe
procedure. If in the interest of genealogy, you want to protect your
syllabus for your descendants, laminating is not recommended. In 100
years or more the syllabus will break apart and turn to crumbs. Still,
laminating the syllabus will keep your robust document in fine shape
for the 30 or so years it will be used here at the college.
Of course completely
retyping your syllabus, to add your e-mail address or something, is
another possibility. We don't have many typewriters on campus anymore,
(don't you miss those Selectrics?) so it will probably need to be done
on a computer. Same essential keyboard there, but a few minor bothersome
changes. Just an FYI--the @ sign is above the '2.' Also, there are some
people who put their syllabus in paperless electronic format. Unfortunately,
there is no way to protect it with laminate if that's your choice. I
was reading an article on the Internet the other day at www.itsallonthere.com
regarding Einstein's syllabus. The article said Princeton decided to
auction off one of the masters original laminated works and it brought
1.2 million at Sotheby's. I have yet to check the reliability of the
story, but the future possibilities loom large.
I hope my efforts
have helped to demystify the laminating process here in the library.
We continually strive to bring you the most update information -regardless
of format- and this is just another one of our services. From all of
us to all of you, the ones we see regularly and the ones we haven't
seen for awhile, the message is the same: Happy New Year and come visit!
Meeting of the Minds
by Kathy Kilcrease, Coordinator, Teaching/Learning Institute
When faculty and students meet to discuss topics related to teaching and learning, it's amazing what can result. On January 30th a panel of three faculty members and three students met at the annual Student/Faculty Forum (aka "Bagel Break") in the Bryant Union for such a discussion.
The panel members included Dr. Ron
Cooper, Dr. Irvin Brown, and Lori Kielty representing the faculty with Debbie
Wilcox, Brandee Wooten, and Mikal DeToro representing the student body. Richard
Kirk, acting as moderator, kept the dialog flowing and the
disagreements "friendly" as the hour progressed. Lively discussion centered around two questions in particular. One question dealt with learning styles. The question which was initially directed to the students was Have you ever been tested to determine the type of learning style you have? (Tests such as the Gregoric or VARK) If you have, do you use this information to aid your leaning? Several of the students indicated that they had been tested and didn't find it very useful. They felt that it was important, no matter what your learning style, to be able to learn to process information in various formats. They felt it was not right to label a person in a certain way, and that although one might be tested as a visual learner, you can learn how to process information via auditory and kinesthetic methods as well. They indicated that a lot depended on the material and way in which the instructors presented the material. Some instructors are better with lecturing, others with collaborative learning. They also indicated that just as students can learn to process material in various formats, instructors should also realize that they could learn to teach in various
Several of the faculty members suggested
that learning styles were bogus and often used as an excuse to complain about
various instructors' classes. Another comment was that learning styles are somewhat
faddish and that it is important for students to feel that they are not limited
to a certain learning style. They also indicated that the way material is presented
by an instructor often
depends on the material itself and the type of class.Another question that produced unexpected answers and a polarization of thought between several of the students and faculty members was What do you perceive as the greatest impediment to student learning? Several of the students indicated that the greatest impediment was the attendance and tardy policy of many instructors. Students, they claim, are being penalized unfairly via reduction in grades for not attending class or coming to class late and/or leaving early. They felt it should be the students' choice as to whether or not they want to attend class and also that instructors should be more lenient on those who miss class because of illness.
The faculty members countered that
attendance policies depend on the particular class. If the material can only
be obtained in the class
or grades are based on class participation, then class attendance is mandatory. Punctuality is extremely important, almost more important than attendance. Instructors work hard getting the attention of the class. This attention is broken every time a student comes in late or leaves early. It is extremely disruptive. Several of the faculty members indicated that what
they perceived was the greatest impediment to student learning was that students' failure to read and study their textbooks. If students would just read, learning would be increased tremendously. A compilation of comments on other questions and the results of a student survey on learning will be distributed to the deans and program facilitators at a later date.
Forty years ago
this semester, Ira Holmes started the CFCC Film Series in 8-110 with one
16 mm movie projector, the floor littered with battered canisters containing
the reels of The Seven Samurai by the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa.
John Kennedy was president. The Paddock Mall had not been built. The Ocala
Theater downtown was the only movie screen in town.
The Film Series is still going
strong today, and so is Ira. Before the screening of the Polish film Decalogue
a few weeks ago, friends, family and colleagues threw him a little surprise
party. As he walked into the Webber Center to accept the applause of the
fifty or so people who had gathered there (wondering if he would be late),
Ira immediately threw up his hands, hugged his family, thanked everybody,
and started talking about movies. Not surprisingly, nobody had to yell
"Speech!" Speech!" After a few pictures in front of the
cake, Ira blew out the forty candles with great gusto. The Board awarded
him a special "Proclamation" and then his five year old grandson,
Kelly, presented him with the "Lifetime Achievement" Oscar statue.
Everyone seemed happy to pay tribute to a man who has given so much to our college, who has been the heart and soul of the CFCC Film Series for four decades.
Movie viewing has changed a
lot in 40 years. Good films are much more accessible now than they were
back then. Today we have dozens of movie channels on TV showing classic
Hollywood, foreign, and independent movies. Today if you want to see a
film by Bergman or Kurosawa or Fellini, you can go to a video store, pay
three dollars and take the film home to watch it in your living room.
Or if you're a real aficionado, you can buy your own copy online for about
fifteen bucks. (If you have no money, you can take out one of the 200
films in the LRC collection, which Ira helped to build). But if you lived
in Marion County in 1962, and you wanted to see a great film, you came
to CFCC to watch a thin man in a thin tie introduce movies from around
the world. Ira Holmes was a trailblazer.
The very first time I set foot
on this campus was to see a movie. It was the super low budget, independent
film Chan is Missing, shown in 1984. The movies were shown in the auditorium
then. I remember thinking it
The next year I was hired as
a full time instructor in the Communications department, and I quickly
walked over to the Humanities building and introduced myself to Ira. I
asked him if I could be on the film committee, and he said fine. In 1988,
we decided it was time to start a course on film history at the college
and he asked me to teach it. I was honored. I've taught the film course
every fall, spring and summer since then.
There is a committee for the
Film Series, but in truth, we don't do that much but sit around and talk
about movies. Ira does most of the work and always has. He gets the funding.
He orders the movies He sets up the projector. He introduces the films
at both showings, here, and at the Appleton. He also moderates the discussions
afterwards. And doing it for 40 years, one can imagine the dedicated following
he has accrued.
There have been many interesting
moments in the annals of the series. There was the time the Ocala police
showed up to investigate a complaint that the college was showing a pornographic
film; the fiasco of the $12,000 movie projector that never worked correctly.
And I'm sure Ira remembers well the weekend that he had to create five
years of minutes from our meetings for a new college president.
But the most memorable event
was the 25th anniversary of the Film Series in 1987. Ira decided to show
Kurasowa's The Seventh Samurai again, and we decided to have a little
party, with a Japanese theme, in the cafeteria in between the two showings
of the film. To this day, nobody is quite sure if the gathering was a
stunning success or a dismal failure. I think our mistake was letting
it be known that there would be free food. The party was supposed to take
place in a two-hour time slot between the end of the afternoon showing
and the beginning of the evening showing, in the cafeteria. But people
started drifting over from the auditorium before the first showing was
over-the movie is three hours long and it was clear some of the patrons
had decided that they would rather start eating than see the end of the
movie. Far more people came than we expected. The food was gone in less
than an hour. By the time people who began arriving for the evening show
came over for the festivities, there was nothing left but some tired fried
rice. The 25th anniversary is now officially a legendary event, and whenever
someone asks me about it, I'm not sure what to say-in my memory it's a
black and white blur of sushi and samurai.
Ira's idea to celebrate the
40th anniversary is to have a sort of "greatest hits" next year;
that is, show some favorites of the 300 films (from 43 different countries)
the series has shown over the years. When he told us this, everyone on
the committee was relieved. Surely, we won't screw that up. But I'm glad
so many friends, family, colleagues and cinema lovers got together a few
weeks ago, to pay