Friday, November 30, 2012

Make your time count

It is important for us as individuals and a society to make sure every moment we spend counts. I remember hearing at a graduation ceremony a student ask, if each person had a bank account that each day received a deposit of $86,400 what would you do with it. How would you spend it? And anything left over or unused would be discarded, none would carry over. The person went on to say that we are given 86,400 seconds a day to use as we wish. To laugh, cry, be depressed, angry, stressed, joyful, anything we want. Regardless, everyday we are given time, something one can never add too.

There have been a lot of situations happening in my life that are making me re-evaluate and prioritize. Not to long ago I found out a family member has several medical issues, one being lung disease which will shorten their lifespan tremendously. And just yesterday night I found out that another family member was diagnosed with Colon cancer and is in the advanced stages. They are going for tests next week; however, even the best case scenario is 2-3 years and worst case if it’s too advanced, 2-4 months. Sadly one of the family members missed out on a lot of time with myself and other family members, we all realize this and know time cannot be replaced, but moving forward we can make the best out of the time we do have.

So if there is someone out there who you may have been meaning to talk to or do something with, don’t wait or allow past incidents to hinder things. Obviously if they are unwilling to talk about why there has been avoidance there’s no need to push it. At least make an effort to make amends and spend time with those close to you, family and/or friends, since we never know what life may throw at any of us next.

Until next time!

Joey McIntosh

“Anytime people are in very extreme circumstances, dealing with life and death and dealing with survival I think we can find truth in those moments.” – Matthew Fox

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Foreign Country Far, Far Away

For this week, I wanted to talk about a very close friend of mine named Max. He happens to be one of the happiest, sweetest and most charming guys I know. I’ve been blessed to become his friend over the past semester and I feel as though his story is truly amazing. His journey to Fullerton College starts a long time ago, in a foreign country far, far away: when he moved to the US from Hong Kong in 1999 after his father got his 'specialty occupation' work visa as an architect. He went through middle school and high school with high marks and was promised an American college education and the American Dream. He quickly learned that some dreams are not meant to be.
He discovered this when he received a scholarship to a university -- and when he accepted and noted that he did not have a Social Security Number, they kindly rescinded their offer. The rest of his senior year was a blur. To pass time, I helped my friends 'edit' their personal statements and they got into the universities of their choice. Max instead chose to work and vowed to return to school once he saved enough to avoid debt at all cost.
It took almost six years and a series of under appreciated jobs that ranged from being a caregiver to a private nurse. In the end, Max enrolled in Fullerton College thinking that he could finish in less than two years. But the obstacles continued to come. It's been four semesters and Max still hasn’t been able to get a single chemistry course. Fortunately, good advice is not in short supply at Fullerton College. At the urging of a classmate, Max applied for the Honors Program. Before he completed the 15 units required to be certified, he met the former A.S. President and she encouraged him to be in student government. From his involvement in A.S., Max learned about a variety of other programs including STEM and took advantage of the exciting opportunities there. Things may not have gone according to plan, but he always proudly says that his time at Fullerton College has been extremely rewarding. 

-Nora Matti

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dealing with the Unexpected

Some things in life come at individuals unexpectedly; how those situations are handled can make a significant difference. Events and circumstances in life cannot always be controlled. Despite this, people have the ability control their attitude about the situation they are dealing with. Being positive and not jumping to conclusions is the best one can do when dealing with challenging situations. It is not always easy, yet it allows for the best outcome.

This can be applied to any situation one may be facing: family trouble, relationships, academics, medical, work or co-worker(s), and any other situation one can think of. Another great piece of advice I have learned over the years is to not assume or jump to a conclusion until all the facts are presented. The worst thing to do is jump to a conclusion, mention it to someone and have false information roaming around. Sometimes it’s best to keep things to ourselves until everything, or at least a majority of the facts are known.

I say all of this from experience. There have been times where I would receive bad news and would not be the most positive about it and the only person it would hurt was me. I have also been in situations where all the facts were not presented before I made a decision or told information to others that was inaccurate. Even now I am facing several situations that have occurred unexpectedly, one just this morning that took me by surprise. Despite this my goal is to remain as positive as I can and not jump to the worst case scenario, only thinking and planning for the best outcome.

Until next time!

Joey McIntosh

“Nobody says you must laugh, but a sense of humor can help you overlook the unattractive, tolerate the unpleasant, cope with the unexpected, and smile through the day.” – Ann Landers

The Boy That Became a Man

            I’ve always heard that a man never becomes a man until he becomes a Dad. I never believed that till I met Rick. Rick was a high school jerk that became an adult when his high school girlfriend became pregnant.  Although his girlfriend’s family and Rick’s family has known each other for years, it wasn’t until Rick walked into a party during their senior year that he noticed her. The music wasn’t loud enough to drown out their conversation. She fell in love with his sensitivity and he fell in love with her charm. It wasn’t long till she was pregnant with their daughter and they we’re forced to get married.
            The external pressure from Rick’s family to be a great father, provider and partner was too much to handle. As a result, the first two years of their marriage were unbearable. He was always picking fights with his wife and storming off. The tipping point of their marriage was the birth of their second child, a son. Rick was twenty years old and a father to two healthy children; he finally realized that his wife wasn’t the problem but his partner. He told her that he promised to spend the rest of his life making up for the first two years of their marriage. The promise he made to his wife transformed his life. Thankfully, once he changed his behavior, his life turned for the better. For example, Rick was promoted to be the manger of a construction firm which gave him the desperate financial push that he needed to provide for his family.
            Rick came to Fullerton College with an unfinished dream. When Rick was growing up, all he wanted was to get a college degree. He loves learning and wasn’t able to go to school because he had to work while his wife went to school! Although he has a family and a stable job, he wanted to prove to his kids that’s it’s never too late to live your dream! In two semesters, Rick will be a part of Fullerton College’s Class of 2013. He’s taught his children and me that you aren’t given a dream without the power to accomplish it.  It might take 20 years to accomplish your dream but it can still happen. 

-Nora Matti

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone is having a great day of rest, family, and feasting on lots of good food! Thanksgiving is a day that has a different meaning for everyone. For some it is religious, others it may be watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, spending time with family and loved ones or a variety of other reasons. Whatever the reason you celebrate it, may it be extra special and pleasant.

This Thanksgiving my family and I decided to take the non-traditional route and go the simple route of a sandwich with a few snacks. I’ll probably spend the morning with some of my Indian friends since they do not celebrate Thanksgiving (an American tradition), then grab something to eat and after that prepare for the black Friday sales.

My sister and I have a tradition we started about four years ago, where just her and I plan what stores we want to go to and the times to go, since some open before midnight. I’ll be the one getting up at 6am to get the paper with all the ads and fun stuff! I actually enjoy going to black Friday sales just for the fact that my sister and I get to spend time together. Yes, I see her all the time but rarely do we ever have one-on-one time together without any interruptions when we try to have conversations. It’s probably the only main reason I go to the black Friday sales, although there are some pretty good deals!

Until next time!
Joey McIntosh

“Real generosity is doing something nice for someone 
who will never find out.” – Frank Clark

Monday, November 19, 2012

Why did you decide to attend Fullerton College?

Some students may already know; then again many may not. Fullerton College is getting ready to celebrate its 100th birthday in Fall 2013. For all the current students, now could not be a more historical time to be attending Fullerton College and we would like to know your story on what guided you to attend Fullerton College.

For those students who have moved on or have been on campus for a longer period; the same is true for you…what led you to Fullerton College and what did or do you like about FC and was or is there anything you would like to see changed?

Student stories are needed and an important part of the history of Fullerton College, currently there are only one or two student stories; yet dozens of faculty and older alumni stories posted. Let others know why you chose Fullerton College. Be a part of Fullerton’s next 100 years of history! Below are some questions that can act as a guide to help tell your story:

<!--[if !supportLists]-->1.      <!--[endif]-->What brought you or your family to Fullerton or Orange County?
2.      Explain why you chose to study/work at Fullerton College.
3.      In what areas of college life were/are you engaged?
4.      Describe what the college was like and your principal interests during your year(s) at the college. During your time at Fullerton College, who were people you had friendships with, were inspired by, or in some way made a difference in your time here, and why?
5.      What were some of the biggest changes or most significant events that took place during your time at the college?
6.      What advice do you have for our current students?
7.      What impact did your experiences at Fullerton College have on the rest of your life/career and how?
8.      Feel free to include any other comments about your FC Experience…
9.      Year of Birth:
10.  Department of Specialty:
11.  Dates/Years at Fullerton College:
12.  Accomplishments/Awards

Email your story to:

Until next time!
Joey McIntosh

“But the more information that comes out, the more explicable and human historical events become. The details make the story real.” – Taylor Branch

Who Needs a Mother?

            An unknown author once said, “A child needs both parents to survive”. However, I’m sure that he never met Tammy. In my opinion, Tammy is the strongest  woman at Fullerton College. But before I explain why, I wanted to give you guys a little history about her life. At 11 years old, Tammy’s father died of cancer and although Tammy had her mother, she was dealing with a drug addiction that was taking over her life. Tammy told me of the stories of walking up to cocaine spread across the coffee tables, days of her mother dispersing for days and being left with her grandmother, not knowing when she was going to go home.
Tammy was left alone to provide for herself and her 8 year old brother.  Since she was 14 years old, she told me about how she had to work to put food on the table. She was in charge of getting her brother to school because her mother was too stoned to take them to school. Furthermore, Tammy’s mother would tell them that it was a national holiday because she didn’t want to get up in the morning to take her kids to school. It wasn't until Tammy was 18 years old that things began to change. Tammy’s mother discovered Christ and stopped using drugs. But by that time it was already too late. Tammy had been a mother for half a decade. She was raising herself and her younger brother.
Finally, Tammy found refuge at Fullerton College because she got away from her family. What was even more shocking to her family was her choice to take care of herself. She moved in with her boyfriend so that she could have a fresh start. She wanted to remove herself from her mother because even though she was sober she was still unbearable. Tammy expresses the ongoing pain she felt when her mother credits God, not her children, for giving her the motivation she need to stop using drugs. However, despite all the drama with her family Tammy made it. She was working 40 hours a week, maintains a 4.0 GPA and has a loving relationship. She taught me the power of believing in yourself especially when no one else will. More importantly, she taught me that you can overcome anything if you just believe in yourself!

-Nora Matti

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

This is the story of Tim.

It’s easy for a man to have children rather than be a real father. However, Tim wasn’t that type of father.  He’s the Dad that goes to the basketball game, coaches your little league team and fights tooth and nail for custody.  From a young age, Tim fought for fellow students that were being picked and volunteered his time to local community organization. He was the type of guy that should have excelled in school. But his story starts years before he became a father.
            Growing up in Downey, Tim grew up as a proud member of the working middle class. Yet, his family taught him the value of giving back to others that are less unfortunate than him. For instance, his family would volunteer to feed the homeless, work in community centers and help anyone in need. As a result, it wasn’t a question that Tim would marry his high school sweetheart after hearing that her brothers and sisters were about to enter the foster care system. Tim raised children that weren’t his own to prevent them from experiencing the same loss that he experienced of an absent parent. Unfortunately, their marriage fell apart after Tim discovered that his wife was cheating on him. She couldn’t handle being thrown into a marriage at such a young age. David, their two year old son was caught in the middle. Tim’s wife started to get involved in heavy partying, smoking weed and excessive drinking; anything that would make her forgets.
            Tim’s paternal instinct took over. He snatched David out of the custody of his mother because of fear that she was putting him in harm’s way. Thankfully, months of litigation resulted in Tim getting custody of David. Tim gave up his hope of going to college to be the father that he never had. He got a job working a minimum wage job that he HATED! After years of working that job, Tim got the opportunity to go back to school. His grandmother qualified for reduced housing which made it possible for him to stop working and go to community college. For the first time Tim got the chance to do something for himself. He was able to go to the one place he called home. Furthermore, Tim is able to live off the financial aid and private scholarships that allow him to provide for his son.
            Tim shows the power of love. His love for his son gave him the power to overcome any challenges life throw at him. Fullerton College gave him a second chance! Although he isn’t a straight A student, he has the most to lose. Tim is like many students on Fullerton’s campus taking life day by day. 

-Nora Matti