Common Ground |

Common Ground

In our crazy world it is easy to find fault, too easy to dwell on the negative, and very tempting to rant and rave with rage against others.

This column is my attempt to offer a refuge from so much negativity. Giving words that uplift the spirit is important to me.

But every once in a while an issue shakes the core foundation of what I stand for. It insults me like a slap in the face.

Remaining silent? Not an option.

The latest button-pusher came last week from two different newspaper articles.

The bold headline on the front page of the Denver Post read, “Ax hangs over 2-year colleges.” Underneath was the subtitle, “State system may be targeted by budget-cutting lawmakers.”

A few days later in the same newspaper, the editorial that came out against the budget-cutting lawmakers was entitled “Don’t gut community colleges.”

One quote worth passing on came from Paul Tauer, a former mayor. He said, “Decision-making removed from a community regarding the needs of the community doesn’t make any sense.” Amen.

And who is wielding the budget-cutting ax? No doubt a few stupid white men elected to office by other stupid white men.

No woman in her right mind would undermine one of the few things actually working for everyone in our community.

Only a stupid man wants to fix something not broken.

Of all the things I do in trying to serve my community, the one thing that makes me the proudest is using my teaching gifts in the classrooms of Colorado Mountain College. Although CMC is not affected by this budget cutting, my work there gives me an appreciation for community colleges.

What a blessing the students I am privileged to work with bestow upon me.

They teach me the greatest lesson in life, that there is hope in the world. Because of them our future is a bright world of promise.

They teach me to care enough to push and provoke them when not doing their best.

They teach me that the classroom is one place where we all are truly equal in our quest for truth, justice and wisdom.

They teach me that we as a community must value education for all of our citizens as our No. 1 priority.

This much I know. We can no longer tolerate stupid white men masquerading as leaders whose screwed-up priorities will bankrupt us and mortgage our future.

After this holiday, I will ask some of our local leaders to meet with me and our state representative, Greg Rippy. We will seek his help in stopping this assault on our state community colleges.

More importantly, we will expect nothing short of a statement from Rep. Rippy in a public forum. A “My Side” within the Post Independent giving us his strategy for making education his No. 1 priority would be a good start.

I am offended that we must continually fight battle after battle for education.

My courage in this new skirmish will not come from any weapon. It comes from a heart made glad each time one of my students makes a difference in our community.

Bill Kight is an adjunct faculty member of Colorado Mountain College’s Roaring Fork campus, where his passion for teaching was rewarded with the Adjunct Faculty of the Year award in 2001.

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