Ode to JAC

Did I ever mention that John Abbott College is the best place to work as a teacher? One of my colleagues and friend who has been at JAC for over 27 years, once told me that she felt that she had won the lottery ticket of jobs… and I feel the same way. I hope that I never have to work elsewhere in my life.

Over the years, I have met people from all over the world with such a diverse set of cultures and knowledge — it is incredible. There are so many artists, such as writers, musicians, graphic artists, painters, illustrators, actors, watercolorists, poets, sculptors, photographers, dancers, as well as philosophers, geographers, anthropologists, political analysts, historians, athletes, mathematicians, biologists, psychologists, physicists, chemists, nurses, computer science experts, geeks, technicians, secretaries, etc. I wonder why they did not dedicate the new building to the Arts instead of to the Sciences? I bet that the proportion of artists at JAC is much higher than of the scientists.

I saw the other day that there are over 120 cultures that are represented at our Cégep, and I am very proud of this. Not forgetting the wonderful bunch of students that I have also met over the years, and still keep in touch with even though they have moved on to different places and spaces. So this painting is in dedication to JAC and its entire community.

This is the back view of the main building. The right hand buildling is the Penfield building (where I work), the middle is Herzberg and the left hand side is the Library. This is but a very small portion of what our campus looks like. More to come at a later date ;-)

Une de mes amies et collègues m’a dit un jour qu’elle sentait qu’elle avait gagné le gros lot des jobs en travaillant à JAC (elle rentre dans sa 30e année). Je suis tellement d’accord avec elle.

Il y a une transparence, une simplicité et une complexité qui rend la vie très très agréable à cet endroit. Voici un exemple.

Dans les autres Cégeps, les administrateurs “imposent” la cédule aux enseignants, ainsi qu’aux élèves. Donc un enseignant et un élève peuvent se retrouver avec un cours de 8:30 à 10:30 et le prochain cours de 15:00 à 17:00. À JAC, au lieu d’imposer une cédule, ils nous demandent de construire nos cédules par département et en même temps c’est nous qui créons la cédule des élèves.

Les élèves ont tendance à aimer avoir leurs cours dans une frippe, et les enseignants aussi. En mettant la responsabilité sur les départements, JAC sauve beaucoup d’argent, a des enseignants plus heureux ainsi que des élèves qui apprennent dans un endroit plus pédagogique et en même temps on en fait des heureux. Ceci n’est qu’un exemple parmi tant d’autres pour expliquer le sentiment de la loterie ;-) 

2 thoughts on “Ode to JAC

  1. As always… I love your stuff cousin! Why don’t you do a little book on your area of the world? I used to tell my students that if you wanted to be a famous photographer you should take a heap of pictures of your town, put them all together and wait. Fifty years should do it.
    It is always interesting to see the place where you live as it was in former times, you have a gift, it would be a fine thing to use it for posterity!


    1. Ooooh the Hannahs are such an ingenious bunch Paul. Brilliant I say!!! You have just inspired me and I will start… and I have the best father in the world for this as he has all of the historical documents in our region. Thank you! Maybe, as you say, that I will reap the benefits in 50 years time, but at least it permits me to focus on something while I am painting ;-)


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