The content of this year’s edition of Go Anywhere reflects its theme. Just one glance at the beautiful artwork lets every reader know that “Gardens” was our theme. It is less obvious in the literature, but as characters grow or become stunted, bloom or wither, or even fall victim to blight, pestilence or a killing frost, the metaphor of gardens becomes clear.
Gardens is also an apt metaphor for the community college, where students are nurtured, coaxed, and–in a few classes–even fertilized a little. Some students come to us as seedlings, fresh from the greenhouse of high school and newly ready for the real world. Some come to us already mature, having outgrown their binding containers and ready to flourish and bloom. Others come to us bearing the scars of survival. They have lived hard lives that they are ready to leave behind. They are looking for a future in the sun and a chance to bear and enjoy the fruits of success.
As with any garden, OTC has its triumphs and its losses. As educators, we celebrate more often than we grieve, but the grief is inevitable and as gardeners, we know it is part of the job. Go Anywhere literary magazine is a county fair exhibit. It is a celebration of produce. Each work is the product of student creativity and growth. Not every bloom is perfect, nor will the fruit of every labor win a prize, but each piece reflects the growth of writers and artists who are producing work that reflects their individual development.
As a community college, we are the garden, as a faculty member, I am the gardener, and to me, every blossom is beautiful, and every fruit is sweet.