The international adventures of a singing, dancing zombie queen.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

25 Year Service Awards

This afternoon, I attended the district reception for the sixteen people who have served for 25 years at the San Mateo Community College District. It was a fun party, especially since the bar was open; I totally work with the fun (a.k.a."bad") crowd, Yay!

There were some amazing careers that we learned about. The first woman recognized had been working for the district since students used punch-cards to enroll in classes, and floppy disks were considered a lot of storage. She's now the head of all the IT in the district; from the online enrollment & grading systems to our google email; everything. Apparently she's got grown kids and she and her husband are active in a Corvette club (and have two). She was fashionable & attractive, and she is a woman; the woman who brought thousands of people in this district from punch-cards to live lecture web-casts.
I know plenty of women my age in the technology/IT/games/3D animation field. I know very, very few who are hardware & sys-admin oriented, and even fewer who have been doing that work since 1985. That woman is an amazing role model.

Another honoree had written the grant that started the funding for Middle College, a program that allows high school students get to attend community college classes in order to graduate more quickly & start building up their college credits. We didn't have such a thing when I was 15 in California, but I heard about it in Washington (where it was called "Running Start,") and adopted it for myself. It's an amazing program that saves capable kids from giving up on their education when they're being stifled by the stupidity/drama/status quo/etc. of adolescent academia.

Another woman who was honored had opened the first college computer writing center in the country; and had to fight hard to do it. She was a revered professor; had taught every English class offered, had her PhD, also worked at Stanford (and in my mind, this explains the next part, I hope, I hope, I hope...), was retiring this year... and was ADJUNCT FACULTY. WTF. As in: after 25 years, she never got a full time job.

Who would've guessed that my chances at getting a full time job might be *better* teaching dance than English?
OMG PLEASE don't let that be my fate... Go State Budget, GO!!!

I was super grateful to have gotten to see so many amazing women recognized by our district. And how often do you get to go to a work function and have a great time like that?

I love my job.

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Dance & Fitness Faculty member at San Francisco Peninsula Community Colleges, Director, Choreographer & Featured Dancer, Founder of the Living Dead Girlz, and Owner of the Steele Dance Company, which provides entertainment for festivals, corporate events, conventions and private events. Teaching private dance lessons and creating choreography since 1997, Steele graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a Double Major in Dance and Comparative Literature and completed her Master of Fine Arts in Dance and Choreography at Mills College. She has toured all the major cities in Germany and performed at the Cannes Film Festival as the featured dancer in TRIP -- Remix Your Experience, a multimedia exhibition of film, live music and art. Steele has also performed as a featured dancer for RJ Reynolds (CAMEL) promotional events. Steele currently manages the go-go dancers of "Poor Impulse Control," who perform frequently in San Francisco's industrial, alternative, and rock venues.