Blaise Pascal, PenseĆ© 347: “Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature; but he is a thinking reed. The entire universe need not arm itself to crush him. A vapor, a drop of water suffices to kill him. But, if the universe were to crush him, man would still be more noble than that which killed him, because he knows that he dies and the advantage which the universe has over him; the universe knows nothing of this. All our dignity consists, then, in thought. By it we must elevate ourselves, and not by space and time which we cannot fill. Let us endeavor, then, to think well; this is the principle of morality.”

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Invisible Staff at Fresno State

It occurred to me tonight that in my previous article I left out one big piece of what makes Fresno State work: the ever diminishing and overextended staff.

Fresno State would perish body and soul without them. I have worked for years with Jeanne Rawn at Classroom Services because I use a lot of film in my Shakespeare classes. The people at classroom services have never let me down. They are unfailingly cheerful and there when your projector burns out or your powerpoint doesn't show on the screen; being a technical klutz, I have needed them a lot. Thanks to all for their great service and patience.

The staff at the office of Arts and Humanities has been consistently wonderful over the years. I have worked with Carla Millar and Gail Freeman for nearly a quarter of a century. (What a horrible way to put it!) They always know the answers.

The English Department office staff has bailed me out of countless losing bouts with the photocopy machine and rescued me from having to teach in purgatorial classrooms: thanks Dianna Lewis, and in years past, Laura Gribben, and the whole office crew.

Thank you also to Tina Beddall and the staff at the Registrar office, who have helped me and my advisees any number of times over the years.

Without the groundskeepers, janitors, payroll technicians, the staff at the employee benefits office, the campus police, the mail room, and so many other people I've never met, there would be no Fresno State soul to fight for. We don't know who they are most of the time, just as we don't notice our livers when they work.

By the way, who does the roses? 

1 comment:

  1. Dr. Bernthal, I've been following these blogs of yours since you started posting them to Facebook about two months ago, and they break my heart. As a former and (hopefully) future student of Fresno State, it fills me with great dread to read these accounts of abuse and misuse of power and resources. It also kindles in me the same inspiration and excitement that lead me to enroll and pay my way through my BA degree in the first place, almost six years ago. I want you know, as I am sure you do, that you make a difference in the lives of your students EVERY semester, as I can confirm from my own experience. Your classroom was always a place where that flashpoint you mentioned in the previous post was sure to occur, and that isn't something I am likely or even hopeful to find anywhere else. Thank you for posting these blogs, and thank you for doing all you do as an educator.
    Ryeker J. Herndon