I Am

This is how Foothill faculty and staff describe academic year 2019-20

On the Friday before fall classes start at Foothill College faculty and staff come together for “Opening Day” to prepare for the new academic year. This year a panel of student leaders became our teachers and offered us a two-hour training on equity, focusing on implicit bias, privilege, and racism in higher education, including at Foothill. For our last activity at the end of the session we were invited to write a poem in which each line begins with the words “I am” to help us see our diversity and our unity.

I was almost too heartbroken by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg to share this poem, but the students who asked us to “Listen, Learn, and Level Up” inspire me to live up to RBG’s legacy and work for a just and democratic society. Please take ten minutes to write your own I Am poem and share it in the comments.

I Am

I am a woman with no children

   learning to mother others.

I am a librarian

   learning to read

   myself and the world

   in a new way.

I am a seeker

   learning how to listen.

I am a human

   learning how to be a better creature

   on this planet.

I am grateful to be

   on this clear and sunny morning

part of the Foothill family.

Published by

Mary Camille Thomas

Mary Camille Thomas is a native of Santa Cruz, California who considers herself lucky to have returned after living internationally and on the road. She is a librarian by profession, and her poetry has appeared in The Moving Force Journal, Porter Gulch Review, and Sisters Singing. She is currently working on a novel called What Lies Buried and a collection of poems of the spirit.

6 thoughts on “I Am”

  1. dear Mary…loved what you wrote …here is my ‘i am’…it kind of skipped out this morning exactly as is…love ,

    i am a woman of this world who is aging
    i am a wild child still simmering inside, traveled from external adventures to internal celebrations
    i am witness, sometimes vigilante, to the beauty, pain and suffering of this world every single day
    i am a privileged mother of my child, my adopted loves, and the earth that feeds me
    i am always in process…..barbara weigel


  2. Beautiful Mary, thank you. I love all the learning you (and so many of us) are in just now.

    And I love that you are at a proactive institution. They are lucky to have you with them.

    Such grief about Ruth Bader Ginsberg. It’s huge.

    It will be so good to see you soon.



  3. I am an elder

    I am tender of a few acres of Awaswas land in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains

    I am a thinker and a tinkerer

    I am an accomplice of change

    My identity is like the diverse crops of the orchard. It depends on so much outside of my identity.


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