The Clackamas print. (Oregon City, Oregon) 1989-2019, May 05, 1993, Page 5, Image 5

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    Pg. 4 The Clackamas Print
Wednesday, May 5, 1993
National event helps break limits on girls
by Melissa Freels
“I think girls ... and boys,
too, are limited by what other
people think they can do,” said
Peggy Falkenstein, who works at
the college’s Harmony Center,
as she addressed approximately
25 girls at the “Take Our Daugh­
ters to Work Day” luncheon, April
Falkenstein, who brought her
daughter Emily to Clackamas,
was fairly accurate in her state­
ment — in fact, she was right on
“Take Our Daughters to Work
Day” at Clackamas, which was
sponsored by Focus on Women
and The Clackamas Print, was
all about breaking those gender­
based stereotypical limits. The
event coincided with the nation­
wide project initiated by the Ms.
So on April 28, among the
college’s students and staff, were
girls ranging from preschoolers
tohighschoolers. Some attended
classes with the adults and got a
“feel” for college courses, while
others assisted adults with their
jobs and received experience in
the workforce.
Whatever they did at Clacka­
mas on “Take Our Daughters to
Work Day,” most of the girls
embraced the event with enthusi­
asm and curiosity.
“We got tours and we’ve been
filing papers... and we went to a
meeting this morning/’ said Ni­
cole Mombell, 12, who came to
Clackamas with Dian Connett,
the college’s dean of instructional
Julie Connell, 13, who also
visited the college with Connett,
explained that the day was edu­
cational. She spent part of the
day interviewing staff members
and exploring different career op­
portunities. The information that
“I helped teach a class with
my aunt,” Jenny said.
She found this interesting
because of the diversity of cul-
turesrepresentedintheclass. The
students in Williams’ ESL class
come from countries that include
Korea, Mexico, China, Romania,
to go to her journalism classes,”
Puntney said with a smile.
In addition, Bill Symes, di­
rector of communication and
marketing, brought his daughter
Anna, who is a student at Grant
High School.’
While the event gave girls a
chance to view the opportunities
Photo by Heidi Branstator
April 28 was "Take Our Daughters To Work Day." Several of the college’s staff and
students brought young girls ranging in age from preschool to high school.
she gathered will be compiled in
a report for school — that was her
assignment for missing an entire
day of class.
Molly Williams, English as
a Second Language instructor,
brought her niece Jenny, who
received some teaching experi­
Iran and India.
Emily Puntney, 10, and Anna
Swalko, 10, joined Journalism
Instructor Linda Vogt, who initi­
ated “Take Our Daughters to Work
Day” at Clackamas.
“We’re going to go to the
book sale and I think we’re going
in the workforce, it also allowed
them to make a connection with
their parent’s job. This event
takes the mystery out of “work”
or “college,” which may seem
like mere words to the girls.
“I wanted to see what my
mom’s job was like,” explained
Ann Stocks, 12, who visited CCC
with her mother Sara Simmons.
Simmons is the secretary of the
college’s research department.
Stocks spent some of her time
Wednesday helping her mom stuff
At noon, many of the adults
and girls gathered in the Gregory
Forum for a hot dog luncheon.
During the luncheon, which was
provided by the Dean of Stu­
dents’ Office, many of the adults
spoke and gave encouragement
to the girls.
“If you feel , inside of you
that you can do it... that’s some­
thing you should listen to,” Falk­
enstein told the girls.
For Puntney, who aspires to
be a horse trainer, for Brittany
Green, 13, who wants to be an
architect, and for some of the
others who dream of careers in
law, medicine or oceanography,
Falkenstein’s statement offered
Following the luncheon, some
of the girls took part in a scaven­
ger hunt. Despite the rain, the
girls hurried around campus
searching for answers to ques­
tions like, “Who is the instructor
at Clackamas who published a
poetry book titled, ‘Branches
Doubled Over With Fruit’?” or
“What is the quote by Emily
Dickinson on the courtyard foun­
Such questions emphasized
the fact that women can be suc­
cessful, not only at Clackamas,
but in life in general.
•Reporting also by Tracey Roozenboom
Student rebuilds life after seven weeks in coma
by Robert A. Hibberd
There are many success sto­
ries at Clackamas. John Johnson,
30, is one of them. Johnson is
about to receive his certificate in
ornamental horticulture and close
another chapter in an amazing
Six years ago, Johnson was
in his Buick LeSabre heading for
another day of work at a cherry
orchard in The Dalles, when he
suddenly began experiencing
severe headaches. Of this day,
Johnson only knows what people
have told him because he has no
memory of the events that tran­
“Almost as soon as I got to
work, I was complaining about
bad headaches,” said Johnson.
“My foreman called my mom
who worked for a doctor at the
“My mom picked me up and
took me to the Dalles General
Hospital. The doctors there said*
‘get him to Portland quick,' ”
- said Johnson. “The life flight
was being used at the time so we
had to take an ambulance.”
Johnson was rushed to Good
Samaritan Hospital where sev­
eral neurologists were assigned
to look him over; Johnson was
diagnosed with a brain stem
“They put a shunt in my
head,” said Johnson. “It’s a tube
that goes up from the base of my
skull, across the side of my head
and down into my stomach. It’s
not visible to the outside world
and it will be there for the rest of
my life.”
Johnson went into a coma
and remained in a coma for the
entire seven weeks that he spent
at Good Samaritan Hospital. The
doctors felt strongly that Johnson
would not live. They began to
ask Johnson’s parents if they
wanted him taken off life support
“They kept giving me only
two days to live, but I kept hang­
ing on,” said Johnson. “They
kept on saying to my parents ‘What
do you want to do with him?’ ”
His parents decided to take
him back home to The Dalles.
Johnson regained control of his
memory on the ambulance ride
back home.
“The ambulance guys were
sitting there telling stupid jokes.
I was laying there on this gurney
listening to the guys tell stupid
jokes,” Johnson recalled of his
“I couldn’t move. I couldn’t
talk. I was a vegetable but I could
hear and J could think. Then we
got to the nursing home,” he said.
Johnson would spend the next
18 months at the Columbia Basin
Nursing Home. .He could only
moves his eyes for the first year
of his stay at the home. Johnson
developed a system in order to
communicate with his parents and
the people at the home.
“I came up with this blink
system that consisted of: one blink
for ‘yes’ and two blinks for ‘no’,”
recalled Johnson. “Through the
system, I was able to communi­
Johnson’s recovery consisted
of a series of slow and slight
improvements that lasted over the
course of his last six months at
the home.
“My first spoken word was
‘mom’,” said Johnson. “From
that point, I started getting better
each day. Something would
happen like I could move my arm
or I could move my leg a little bit.
It was all too cool.”
Then came the time when
Johnson was ready to begin learn­
ing how to walk for the second
time in his life.
“When I first started, I took
one or two wobbly steps with the
help of nurses on both sides of
me,” recalled Johnson. “I had to
learn how to do everything over
again. It was as though I was just
starting life.”
It was at this time that
Johnson’s doctors realized that
he had Parkinson’s Disease. The
diagnosis helped aid Johnson in
his recovery because the doctors
now knew exactly what they were
dealing with.
Johnson continued with his
recovery. He underwent serious
physical, occupational and speech
therapy. Once Johnson was well
enough, he entered a landscape
maintenance program in Portland.
“It was there that I really
started looking into what I wanted
to do with the rest of my life,”
said Johnson. “I realized that I
would need further education if I
were to live comfortable while
doing what I like to do, which is
had to re-learn all of the skills that people usually take for
work in the field of horticulture.”
Johnson enrolled into Clacka­
mas' Ornamental Horticulture pro­
gram. He has been taking classes
at the college ever since. Johnson
is now only a few credits away
from receiving his certificate in
Ornamental Horticulture.
“School is very challenging
for me because I still have a poor
memory,” said Johnson. “I’ve
had a note-taker for almost all
my classes.”
Johnson has learned a lot
about plant life and enjoyed many
rewarding experiences while at­
tending Clackamas. One of the
more exciting experiences for
Johnson happened when he was
chosen from his class to plant a
design garden.
“I stayed up until 3 a.m.
designing my garden,” recalled
Johnson of last year’s effort. “I
got mine picked. It was very
challenging because you have to
be the supervisor of your gar­
Johnson has received praise
from his instructors.
About Johnson’s future?
“I’m really not sure,” said
Johnson. “It seems like such a
long ways away. My ultimate
goal is to have my own landscape
maintenance company.”
Johnson wants his company
to be more focused on doing good
work as opposed to doing more
“I’m more concerned about
doing good-quality work, rather
than just concentrating on a lot of
quantity,” said Johnson.