Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Florida Keys Community College

It was a hot afternoon and Cheyenne had had a warm walk already so she was ready to nap in air conditioned comfort. She prefers to sleep on the floor in summer and only uses her bed (or mine) or muscles her way onto the couch in cold weather. She looked up as I gathered my phone and my man purse and resumed her nap as I went downstairs to fire up the Vespa. Last seen looking like this:

My wife had told me she was waiting at the college library so I parked and made my circuitous way toward the library.

I got an Associate in Science degree herein marine engineering oddly enough and I enjoyed my time though I am not an ideal student not least because I hate taking exams. I find the examination process tends to occupy so much of my mind concentrating on that takes away from the pleasure of simply learning.

But I like wandering the campus, enjoying the bright tropical colors and the covered walkways that remind me of public buildings seen in Africa, designed for maximum comfort in the heat. Of course this place has plenty of Sid conditioning but the design of the campus hints at places more exotic. At least it does to me.

The college sits on a spur of land that juts out from the north side of Stock Island, so it is surrounded on three sides by tidal waters. Because the City of Key West annexed the northern half of this island (to facilitate a developer of homes at the golf course), the college is actually in the city of Key West. No surprise then that we find an artistic representation of the famous local Conch shell on a wall:

Conchs have been fished out in the Keys. Any you eat here have come from Carribean countries like Honduras, though they are trying to increase local populations in protected waters.

Ironically the library was closed when I arrived before actual closing time (!) so I had to call my wife on the phone to alert her that I was out here. What did we do before we became surgically attached to pocket phones?

There weren't many people around, least of. All students at dinner time on a weeknight. There are dormitories on campus to encourage out of town students to attend school in this very expensive town, but this is mostly a day school.

William Seeker was the long serving President who molded the school in his own likeness before time forced him to retire. His replacement was a brash yet supremely competent fund raiser of a President who unfortunately upset the sensibilities of critical components of the administrative staff. She was replaced by a smart milquetoast cypher whose name I can barely remember and whose influence in town is not really felt.

Office of the President - Florida Keys Community College, a nice enough dude they say with the money he has set his disposal. It's nice to have a leader not making waves for a change, I suppose. Even so I get the uneasy feeling educators should be in the business of ruffling a few feathers from time to time.

Yes indeed, a part of me does miss the good old days of bring a boat captain and a student all at once. I look back and I seemed so immature.