The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Retired and inspired

City College art major and Kondos Gallery attendant Carole Bodnar with her mixed media piece "Oricle" on display at the gallery on campus. Evan E. Duran | [email protected]

Carole Bodnar plays many roles: a proud mother and wife, a hardworking nurse, a studio art enthusiast and a world traveler. Amid her changing life, there is something she will always be doing—learning.

The 63-year-old Bodnar is no stranger to a classroom. Graduating with a nursing degree more than 30 years ago, Bodnar now attends City College to study a true passion of hers: studio art. Bodnar retired from nursing last year and is now an attendant for the Kondos Art Gallery on campus through a work-study program.

Bodnar believes City College is a good place to learn and get exposure to new things. She is impressed with both the faculty’s credentials and their commitment to their students.

“It’s so obvious how much the teachers here care about kids succeeding,” says Bodnar.

Though Bodnar’s soft-spoken demeanor lights up when elaborating on what she’s passionate about, her eyes remain focused on a spot straight ahead of her, giving off an almost faraway look.

“I’m hopeful,” Bodnar says, finally turning her head away from the artwork hanging on the gallery’s white wall in front of her.

She turns to a painting behind her where the words “as is” are etched into the surface of dark gray tile. They are simple words in white, standing among splatters of bright orange paint. A smile begins tugging at the corner of her mouth. Her fingers cease their drumming upon the desk before she clasps them together. They come to rest gently under her chin.

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Bodnar is saddened that the current educational opportunities are slimming in our recovering economy in comparison to how it was when she was growing up. She also, however, finds hope in one thing: the young students she is surrounded by on campus.

“I think young people get it,” Bodnar says. “They get the big picture. It took me until my late 30s and early 40s to figure it out.”

One of Bodnar’s fellow Kondos Gallery attendants, Steven Swauger, says: “She’s very young at heart. I think that’s why she appreciates being here. She’s very personable, insightful and forwardthinking. It keeps her hip.”

Bodnar finds the campus diversity enriching and enjoys classroom discussions.

“I’m sold on the idea of a community college,” Bodnar says. “There’s people of so many different socioeconomic backgrounds, young and old—the synergy is magic. To delete portions of that is criminal. It really is a tragedy.”

Bodnar urges young students to get involved in their education by voting for the propositions that will affect them and their futures.

“We have an obligation to not be intellectually lazy—question everything. It comes down to the question of what kind of society do we want to live in,” she says.

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