City College Times

Times have changed

Larry Harris

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As an older returning college student, one of the first things I noticed was how much times have changed since I attended junior college in the mid-60’s.

As I make comparisons of the past to the present, I could never ever thought that in today’s world I would see armed campus police, men packing lethal a .45 on his hip. I could never imagine a campus shooter taking an innocent life, even though I was a witness to the loss of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King.

The world has changed. We see ‘gang bangers’ encouraged by their peers to inflect injury on innocent bystanders at the local VTA station, and other incidents of violence as an act of “Bravado.”

In observing many (not all) students on campus, I see complete disrespect for authority and acceptance of self-centeredness: “Me first and the others second.”

Yes, times have changed, but the greatest change and I fear the most dangerous change in our society is the acceptance of mediocrity. As a creationist and based upon Genesis 1:26-27 I believe we are made in the image of God, the height of His creation, and that God has a perfect plan for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11) to excellence.

As I attend classes, I see students who are not prepared for class, let alone prepared for serious study. Often, notebooks are left at home, pencils and note paper have to be borrowed from another classmate, assignments are not turned in on time, and students enter class late completely disrespectful to other students who made an honest attempt to be on time.

Even worse than this dis-respectful behavior, some students accept mediocrity as the norm.

We are willing to settle for a “C” where with a little more effort we may attain a “B” or an “A.” How can we achieve a perfect plan for our lives if we are not willing to shoulder up to our responsibility and strive for excellence.

How do we combat this disease of mediocrity? The answer lies in several elements.

1. Have a vision that excites you. Take time to reflect in your quiet time of what you would like to be without the shackle of who you think you are. Passion will set its own course

 2. Appreciate and honor the tutorage of which we are under. This last intersession I sat under the tutorage of a PH.D. in Economics. In my earlier college life this was unheard of, being taught by a PH.D.? Wow! In my limited return to junior college life, I am amazed at the quality and dedication of those professors who have taken upon themselves to give themselves back to us. I do not take their blood and sweat in vain. I hope to honor them by my commitment to excellence under their direction.

3. Kill your social networking, for at least an hour in the morning.
Do not allow the social networking or peer pressures to dumb you down to the mediocrity of life; spend an uninterrupted one hour in the morning, maybe over a cup of black coffee, to reflect on the past, reflect on the day, and reflect on the potential of the future. Free your mind to let it “float” and see where it takes you.

Say “no” to a “ho-hum” life but look to the power of creation as a joint heir of your life to create a path of excellence toward your own Manifest Destiny.

4. Listen to life and let it help you determine your path to excellence.

5. Capture the excitement of excellence today, one day at a time, and one task of excellence at a time.

6. One last principle, “garbage in – garbage out”. Protect your mind as you feed it. Stay away from the campus drama and gossip. Read quality articles, and replenish your mind with quality material.

Let me encourage you young Eagles out there who don’t know you are eagles:
At 211 degrees water is simply hot, however at 212 degrees water turns to steam releasing energy sufficient to power a mighty locomotive.  Perhaps the difference between our mediocrity and excellence is a 1 degree change in our attitude and effort.

Catch the thrill of a, “Job well done.”

You can do it!

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The Voice of San Jose City College since 1956
Times have changed