BY JUAN RODRIGUEZ
As we say goodbye to many graduating College of the Desert students, we also say goodbye to a few beloved professors. One in particular has been a favorite for many here at COD. Students, faculty and staff will say goodbye to English Professor Jack Tapleshay. He has worked at COD for 34 years and plans on retiring after this spring semester.
Tapleshay started teaching at COD in 1983 and has since made many memories that he’ll be keeping close to his heart. Tapleshay has taught many classes, although his favorites have been English 1A, English 1B and English 2 since he is a composition instructor at heart.
The thought of retiring is hard for Tapleshay, “I love doing what I’m doing but I still feel that I’m doing my job in a satisfactory way but I can sense that I’m getting to that point in my life where I don’t know if I can do it forever. I have a funny feeling there’s a voice inside me saying maybe you should not do it anymore,” said Tapleshay.
Tapleshay started his journey at COD teaching his first English 1A and will be ending it teaching his last American Literature II class. When asked how he is going to feel after leaving the campus for good, “I’ve never done beginnings well, I don’t think I’ve ever done endings well. There’s a certain melancholy that goes along with this. I think you don’t realize doing this is how much energy and inspiration students give you, I don’t know how I’m going to replace that but I’m going to have to try because that’s probably the best part of what I do.”
Of course, the main thing he is going to miss the most here is the students. Tapleshay’s plans for retirement at the moment are unknown and seems almost scary to him. He has a few ideas on what he wants to do but really has no plans at this point. Tapleshay wants all his students to know before he leaves that they have to face challenges, “Never give up. Whatever is going on in your life, it’s a challenge and I think everyone should know how to face challenges. Sometimes you’re going to come up on the right end of it and other times you won’t. Giving up is never an option.” COD will miss Jack Tapleshay, but will never forget his legacy.