Campus profiles: Harlow, Vasquez and Haywood

Dylan Burke

GROSSMONT COLLEGE –To aid in the process of helping members of the campus community get to know each other better, following is another in a series of profile stories about a student, staff member and faculty member.

Student:  Danny W. Harlow

Danny Harlow
Danny Harlow

A freshman out of Patrick Henry High School,  Danny William Harlow is studying here at Grossmont with the hope of one day becoming a Navy SEAL.

Outgoing and expressing enthusiasm and optimism about his future, Harlow is a certified lifeguard who says he enjoys working out.  He was a high school wrestler.

Harlow is also into music.  He says his favorite bands are Incubus and Avenged Sevenfold.  He plays the drums and also has an interest in the guitar.

His chances are rather slim to become a SEAL, Harlow conceded, but he added that his motivation is high nevertheless.

Harlow has advice for high school students who will follow him to college.  He said they should realize just how fast time moves.  “The moments go by incredibly quickly,” Harlow said.  It’s important not to procrastinate, he suggested.

Harlow described himself as an open-minded person who loves his friends and would do almost anything for them.  “They’re really not my friends–they’re my brothers,”  he  said.  Furthermore, he added, he also expects them to do anything for him.

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Staff: Beatriz Vasquez

Beatriz Vasquez
Beatriz Vasquez

The next time Grossmont students are in the 200 building area and they’re either thirsty, hungry or just need someone to talk with,  they might want to stop by and meet an incredibly nice lady.

Beatriz Vasquez runs Café 200.  She says keeping her customers happy is a priority even as she attends to the myriad details of running a fast-paced refreshment center.

Vazquez describes herself as an outgoing woman who loves to shop and says, despite some very long work days, she feels generally happy.

The restaurant employee attributes her inspiration to her children. “They are what keep me going.”  Vasquez advises students to never give up.  “Don’t give up, keep on doing what you’re doing, don’t look back no matter how many times you fall, keep on going.”

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Faculty: Joyce Haywood 

Joyce Haywood
Joyce Haywood

After more than four decades as a teachers, at Grossmont and elsewhere, Joyce Haywood began teaching the first session of what may be her final class in Exercise Science (ESW) 253 on Sept. 23 of this year.  She told her students that she read an email only ten minutes before the first class informing her there was chance this would be her last semester.

As one of her students, I can say that Haywood is one of the most interesting teachers on campus.  Her dedication for helping every student to succeed in her class is outstanding.

She made it a point to learn every student’s name in the class of more than 30 students.  First she introduced herself and asked each student’s name, then reeled off the names of all the students except two.  How could she learn so many so quickly?  “I wanted to do it,” she said, emphasizing that where there is a will there’s a way.

In one class, Haywood asked students to ball up pieces of paper and to “try” to hit her with them.  She donned some goggles for protection and then held a trash can in front of her.  The students threw the papers.  Amazingly, none hit her.  Next, Haywood had the students ball up more paper, and instead of asking that they “try,” she told them simply to “hit” her.   They did.  Consistently.

“Try,” she said, is a word that often presages failure.  Students should eliminate “try” from their vocabulary and subsitute “do” instead.

Haywood calls all of her students “teachers” while in her class, saying that is what she expects they will become.  Indeed, many of her former students have gone on to become teachers, including some who became San Diego’s teacher of the year.

“I like teaching because it keeps me young,” she confided.

In 40 years of staying young, she has taught at the K-12 levels and also here at Grossmont College.  Among her alumni are such professional football players such as Akili Smith, the former quarterback of the Cincinnati Bengals, and Todd Watkins who now plays for the N.Y. Giants.

Her favorite moment here at Grossmont came six years ago when the Griffins were ranked #1 in the country for community colleges and Haywood mentored many who subsequently transferred to such four-year colleges as  BYU, Washington State, and Arizona State.

Though Haywood remains optimistic there will be a class to teach next year, despite California’s budget woes,  she said, “if there is no ESW 253 next semester I will probably spend more of my time with my grandchildren, they call me ‘nanny granny.'”

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Burke is sports editor of the GC Summit.  He may be contacted at [email protected]

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