To the ones who showed up

Regardless of our religious beliefs, Easter / springtime is a time to celebrate newness of life, a time of hope, and at the very least, a time to look forward to a break from studying.

This week in our Man on the Street report, we looked at how we see dwindling class sizes and students who are simply missing in action as we near the end of the semester. Our survey brought several ideas about what the causes of this are.

In contrast, on our front page this week we have the story of Sue Pedigo, a woman who showed up, weathered the storms, faced the adversity and never stopped trying for 48 long years.

We finished our paper with a story about Jeff Kent, another exceptional person who puts work and loving care into the garden at Vol State, selling the plants he raises from seedlings to help raise money for student scholarships.

Maybe rather than be discouraged about those who, for one reason or another have dropped out, we would do well to take notice of these special people.

There are many of them on campus. There are staff, professors and students we run into every day who don’t stop at what is expected of them, but go the extra mile out of genuine, selfless care. Maybe we ought to be spotlighting these people every week.

How many professors and staff have stayed up to the wee hours preparing study material or grading papers that were hastily thrown together by students? How many of the office staff have we stopped to appreciate for their tireless work?

Keep in mind that “stuff happens” in all our lives. No one is immune. The difference is that these people press through even when the going gets tough.

With no statistic handy, pretty much anywhere we look we find that about 5% put in the extra effort to make a difference with the rest following along or even quitting. Maybe it is inherent in human nature. A sociology professor would probably have some enlightening things to say about that.

If this brings someone to mind who has made a difference in your experience at Vol State this semester, whether is’s a professor, staff member, grounds keeper or student, consider letting them know with a kind word of appreciation that their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed.

Thank you to the ones who who showed up. Happy Easter everyone.