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This Month From Cliff-January 23, 2014

President’s Report

January 23, 2014

Cliff L. Wood

A Winter’s Tale:  A TALE AS OLD AS TIME

Snowy tree

Rockland Community College is a campus for all seasons and has a special beauty each time of the year.  Although the winter of 2014 is bitterly cold, as the above photo shows, the landscape glistens in the snow and ice.  RCC is truly a winter wonderland.

My other vision of winter is quite different:  a paradox, a metaphor, “a tale as old as time.”  Each year a special friend at RCC gives me an amaryllis bulb*, packaged for the holiday season with instructions for planting.  Sometime between Christmas and New Year’s I dutifully put the bulb in the soil mix and add warm water as instructed.  Then, lo, in a few days a miracle appears:  the bulb begins to sprout green stalks and a hard green bean-like blossom emerges.  And over the next few weeks, in my sunniest window the shoots of the plant grow strong and straight and reach for the sun.  Amazingly, the hard green blossom begins to reveal the red, and within a month a beautiful amaryllis flower appears like the one shown below.  This is special for me as I feel like the gardener who has produced something wonderful.

In the same way, I believe that all of us who work at RCC have the potential to become a gardener of sorts.  We have the opportunity to cultivate, educate if you will, students and scholars who will be able to reach up and reach out as they develop their potential and achieve their goals.


amaryllis flower

amaryllis flower

The new source of all information, Wikipedia, (LOL) provides the following definition: “Amaryllis (pronounced /ˌæməˈrɪlɨs/[1]) is a small genus of flowering bulbs, with two species.

The betterknown of

the two, Amaryllis belladonna,

is a native of the Western Cape

region of South Africa, particularly

the rocky southwest area between

the Olifants River Valley to Knysna.

[2] For many years there was confusion amongst botanists over the generic names Amaryllis and Hippeastrum, one result of which is that the common name "amaryllis" is mainly used for cultivars of the genus Hippeastrum, widely sold in the winter months for their ability to bloom indoors.