A petting zoo, Tai the elephant, rock climbing, carnival rides and even a pee-wee circus training tent filled the normally quiet Shepard Stadium Sunday with foster children and their mentors taking advantage of the overcast day to bond over a little bit of fun as part of the annual Day of the Child event.
"I'm a Barbie girl, in the Barbie world," sang Richard McMillan, history professor, remembering an incident when a student's cell phone started ringing in the middle of the class. "I always try to make a laugh out of it," said McMillan. "The moment passes and then we can go on.
It's Wednesday evening at Pierce College and a crowd shuffles in. Students coming to take Kathy Oborn's criminal justice class Wednesday night fill the auditorium-style classroom with talk and laughter as a bubbling energetic teacher walks in.
Kathy Oborn, the chair of the political science/economics/criminal justice/Latino studies department, is a legend at Pierce College.
The professor who built the criminal justice program caters to all of her students.
Oborn made it possible to easily transfer to a California State University and earn an AA degree. She was instrumental in bringing in a judge, a deputy district attorney and a retired police lieutenant to teach criminal justice classes.
"We're not a police program," she said. "We focus on the justice system as a whole. We're an academic track."