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

City College professor’s studies parallel real life

City College English professor Dr. Lara Gary Photo by Julie Jorgensen
City College English professor Dr. Lara Gary Photo by Julie Jorgensen [email protected]

One day during her commute to school, Lara Gary’s 1974 Honda Civic broke down during the 50-mile ride. She pulled the car over to the side of the road and got out. Having learned how to fix simple car problems, she immediately went to work figuring out the issue.

It turns out the points weren’t opening in the distributor. She had been wearing her hair up that day, and without anything else to use to fix the problem, Gary jammed the hairpin in to prop the points open. After that, she went home to actually fix the car problem.

This type of ingenuity and self-determination is evident in the conditions under which she received her Ph.D. Through much personal struggle, Gary, a City College English professor, was able to persevere.

On a recent windy Friday in her office at the City College Davis Center, Gary sat down to talk about her Ph.D., among other things. Gary’s voice is soft-spoken, but full of compassion. She wears a zippered vest with blue jeans and her hair down.

Her neatly organized office desk has Post-Its and little reminders. Books are stacked atop a cabinet.
Talking to Gary is inviting. She is a person you would want to tell your innermost secrets to because she listens and understands.

“I have found her to be a good ear when I need to vent, and insightful when I need advice,” says Lori Maloney, a City College math professor. “Overall, I would say she has a unique combination of professionalism and kindheartedness that make for a brilliant teacher and colleague.”

Gary says her Ph.D. was on 20th-century British, American and Canadian women writers. She focused specifically on absent mothers and their daughters’ writing.

“You can stop me when you get bored,” Gary, 53, says when discussing her Ph.D.

For the feminist psychoanalytic literary criticism she gathered, she says she studied writings of women who found mother figures who were not actually their own mothers. But then she noticed something strange: a parallel between her dissertation and her real life. The people working on her dissertation were disappearing like the mothers in the works she was writing about.

“It was sort of like every single one of my dissertation readers suffered some sort of tragedy,” Gary says, describing the events that had happened. “I had all these absent mothers.”

Deca is dig this viagra no prescription a common steroid used in multiple stacks, by bodybuilders of all ages and performance levels. Take medical advice if you have eye diseases like anemia, cancer, high or low blood pressure, eye infections, sildenafil india price anemia and any type of allergies. Keep away from drinking 20mg tadalafil alcohol as it may cause uterine contractions. It buy levitra line is intriguing to note that Sildenafil Citrate can offer you. People had told her that when she chose a topic it would overlap with her life, but she hadn’t believed them. Gary’s own mother had been there throughout the whole process.

“I remember one evening I called my mom kind of late,” she says with a laugh, “and I said—there was no preface to this at all—I just said into the phone, ‘Mom, I feel like I’ve been a bad daughter.’”

Gary was referencing her dissertation at this point. She was thinking about the recent things that had happened to her dissertation readers. Her mother, in response, said she would never read the dissertation unless Gary wanted her to.

To Gary, the subject matter had nothing to do with her relationship with her mother, but she had the sudden feeling she could lose her mother after all the events she had witnessed. Her mother’s response was perfect, she says, because it was a reassurance that she was still there.

Gary grew up in a small town and wanted to vote for Jimmy Carter. She had been too young to vote in the election for Carter, but she still considered it.

“I remember feeling vilified for considering it,” Gary says. “If I could have voted for a Democrat, I would have voted for a Democrat.”

Gary’s mother displays a similar fortitude.

“My mother was registered as a Republican for most of her adult life,” Gary says. “She switched over when Bush — George W. Bush — was running.”

The Republican Party representative for her county called Gary’s mother to ask if someone had used her name to change her affiliation. Gary says her mother responded by saying the Republicans ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Gary’s fellow English instructors are among those who value her stories and warm friendship.

“Lara is an exceptional teacher and colleague, and I enjoy sharing an office with her at the Davis Center,” says Marci Selva, a City College English professor. “We share stories about our lives, as well as insights about teaching, and we laugh a lot. I couldn’t ask for a better officemate.”

Editor’s Note: This story was written by guest writer Richard Gebo ([email protected])

Donate to The Express

Your donation will support the student journalists of Sacramento City College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Express