This month: colleagues' shared stories
This month: colleagues' shared stories

Cliff Notes: April 2020 - Shared Stories

Acknowledging how different daily life looks during this trying time, Cliff Notes looks different this month as well. Our usual routines have been disrupted. Faculty has had to adapt quickly to teaching classes online, staff and administrators are figuring out ways to do their work at home, all meetings are conducted via Zoom and on top of everything – for everyone’s health and saftey – the entire state of California has been urged to stay inside and avoid gathering with others. So we are wondering:
  • How is all of this affecting you (personally and/or professionally) and what are you doing to cope? 
  • How are you staying connected with friends and family who live far away?
  • If you have children, how are you keeping them entertained (or not!)? 
  • What do you miss most about what life was like before? 
  • Is there any positive aspect about all this that you've discovered?
  • What is your favorite comfort food? Board game? Song?
We’ve reached out to several of our colleagues to check in and see how they’re doing. You can stay connected by reading their stories below.
Stay well everyone. Together we will get through this.
Shared Stories

Ignacio Ponce, Associate Professor, American Sign Language

I love what I do at SBCC. Some may say it is just a job, but for me it is more than that. It is part of me and who I am, so I miss being in the classroom or office and around students and colleagues. I hate the thought that some of our students are going through a tough time right now. But I have been keeping a positive outlook and have spent a great deal of time trying to make the transition to online classes as smooth as possible for them. That is what has been keeping me busy and in a way helping me cope with this situation.
For a few months I have been planning a month-long trip to Spain this June, but that is off for now. My partner Katherine is making paella as I am typing this. Read more of Ignacio's story...
Georgie and Seamus at the Mathieson/Nugent household

Kirsten Mathieson, Office of Communications

My partner Lloyd, his young adult daughter and I have been “sheltering in place” at our home in Santa Barbara since mid March. Lloyd and I are working from home and his daughter works at Trader Joe's. Lloyd suffered a few broken ribs and other minor injuries in a serious car accident in February. He’s fine, but considering his compromised immune system as he heals from the accident, we are very worried about him getting sick. Trader Joe’s has taken many precautions to keep its staff and customers virus-free, but with the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in our county, we are wondering if they will be enough to keep us all from coming down with the virus. Lots of hand washing and sanitizing here... Scary times! Read more of Kirsten’s story...
A nice picture of a rainbow I took while locked down on March 23. That was nice!
Rocco Constantino

Rocco Constantino, Athletic Department Chair

Personally, there have been a lot of difficult things to deal with this whole time. I worry about my family on the East Coast because they are in one of the hotspots in the country and I have a large group of friends and family, some who are in at-risk groups. I have already had one family member contract it, but luckily they had a mild case and it seems like they’ll be OK. I also have family and friends who work in hospitals that have a number of active cases, so that worries me too. I also worry a lot about people I know who lost their jobs or are working in health care or other essential jobs. Read more of Rocco’s story...

Janna Mori, Student Program Advisor, Career Center

How am I facing the challenge of being sequestered in my house? One would think that as an introvert, I would be shouting, “Hooray, alone at last!” but that is not the case, because this is a forced sheltering and anxious-ridden season. My routine is messed up. It is lonely, even though my husband is also here. It feels weird, wrong. I have had to embrace an unfamiliar-to-me lack of focus; one of my Career Center colleagues wrote that she is feeling “discombobulated.” So am I. Read more of Janna’s story...

Cheryl and Rob Brown, Food Services and Culinary Arts Accountant (Cheryl) and Faculty Resource Center Development Specialist (Rob)

Rob and I are so grateful that our supervisors, SBCC and our state are taking our health and finances as the most important priorities by having us work from home. We are so grateful to our supervisors for having a more flexible schedules, not commuting, being surrounded by our loved ones while also getting our work done. Read more of Cheryl and Rob’s story...

Becky Bean, Student Program Advisor, THE WELL

During this time of uncertainty and social distancing, when we are separated from friends and loved ones, it has been my goal as Student Program Advisor of The WELL to help students gain access to digital wellness tools, self care methods, stress management techniques, nutrition knowledge, and creativity boosters helping students create new forms of connectivity and resilience!

I created a digital Staying-In Self-Care Kit for students and staff to learn new ways to thrive indoors and explore different methods for taking care of ourselves, creating new habits, and adapting to this new lifestyle. Read more of what Becky is doing to address the wellness of our entire SBCC community...
When you want to ride but must “Stay and Work from Home” 
~ Alan Price

Alan Price, Dean of Health and Human Services, Career Technologies

Our world changed and I questioned if we could change with it? Seeing the exceptional work over the last few weeks from so many amazing faculty and staff, I know we can. We stand straight and strong in moving forward to serve our students.

“Stay at Home” and “Work from Home” have become our new normal. Fighting against not going “stir crazy” has been my battle. Balancing my work-day with my personal interest has helped me in keeping sane. It hasn’t been easy but I’ve been creative. 

Sally Gill, Marketing Communications Specialist, Office of Communications

I’ll be honest. Working at home, living alone and “self-isolating” is proving to be pretty rough. I miss getting together for dinner with friends. I miss seeing my favorite local bands up at Cold Spring Tavern, concerts at the Lobero and Thursday night Irish music at Dargan’s. I miss lunch at the JSB and walking around campus saying hello to all of you as our paths cross. 
Okay...enough of my whining. I know I’m not the only one. I know that all of our lives have been disrupted and we are all trying to find ways to adjust to new ways of working, living, being. So I thought I’d close this month’s Cliff Notes with a few tips on how we might make our way through this crisis, one day at a time. I hope you find them helpful. Read some of Sally’s tips...
We hope you’ve found it helpful to hear how your colleagues are doing. We anticipate that the directive from the Governor to work from home will stay in place for at least another month. If you have a story you’d like to share in Cliff Notes for May, send it along with a photo of some kind to and include “Cliff Notes” in the subject line. Let’s maintain our social connections even while social distancing. We should all be OK if we stay connected with one another.
Be well. 
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