by Sally Cameron
Bristol Community College
Fall River, MA
Among the many signs of the end of the academic year is breaking out my clothing with the elastic waists. That’s because I go from one extravagant eating opportunity to another.
What is it about a celebration that always involves food? I am not complaining, mind you. At Bristol Community College, we have a fine culinary arts program that provides many options rich in both calories and satisfaction. We have breakfasts (I can’t resist our culinary arts’ delicious preparation of bacon), receptions, decorated cake sales from the baking and pastry arts program (with such esoteric flavors as raspberry-lemon-coffee torte and “be still my heart” triple chocolate ganache), lunches, and dinners (where else can you sample sake-marinated short ribs?). Add on the student events with health sciences pinnings (three on three different nights, each featuring cakes and punches and pastries), student awards (shrimp, ice cream, hand-made petit fours), and the community ones (ice cream sundae socials at each of our campuses, business-after-hours events, a golf tournament).
Of course, the food is just the window dressing for the main show – the opportunity to see and experience the many, many stories that make up the fabric of my college. Students who parlayed excellent co-op performance into full-time jobs. Others offered handsome scholarships to Brown University, to Rhode Island School of Design, to Amherst College, and to many other stellar institutions. More who have received honors for creating community action activities that provided prom gowns to disadvantaged girls, fed the hungry, and recycled batteries.
Indeed, story upon story applies texture to the embracing and empowering nature of Bristol Community College. Each story still gives me goose bumps to hear how my college has enabled people to change their paths, change their lives, and change their futures.
So in this eating season, it’s not only my waist that expands, but it’s also my heart, which swells with the joy of our students’ accomplishments. What a privilege it is to be on the front line – and what a convenient excuse to queue up to the food line!