Madel: Who is more powerful: Mother Nature or human nature?

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Prof. Jack Mandel
Nassau Community College

As I write this column for the winter issue of Community College Campus News, the date is mid-November. There still are many of people without power throughout the tri-state area. Homes have been devastated and lives for residents will never be the same.
Hundreds of people who have lost most or all of their property are sleeping at my beloved workplace, Nassau Community College, in Garden City, Long Island, NY.

Yes, unless you have been in hibernation these last few weeks, you have to agree that Hurricane Sandy did a number on us.
In short, life is not as usual. And while we all like to think that we have total control of our lives, the truth is that we do not. Call it Mother Nature, call it Global Warming, or anything you would like … the results add up to the same conclusion.

You can’t take anything for granted … hot water, electricity, heat, cable TV, cell phone use and on and on. But what each of us can take for granted is the power that wills us to go on – especially in times of crisis situations. The stories that have appeared on national TV, local TV, newspapers, etc., all point to the fact that people of all ages, all faiths, have come together for the common good. This isn’t reality TV. This is LIFE.

By the time you read this column, I can tell you that my NCC students will have taken midterms (even if they were given a week or so late), term projects were completed (and graded) and final exams are upon us.

And that is a simple fact. Time does march on. Things do get better. For some of us, the realization that losing your trophies, cherished possessions, automobiles, and much more will never be forgotten, and is difficult to fathom.  But we all need to regroup and refocus.

Every one of us was affected by what Governor Andrew Cuomo called “the storm of the century.” I only hope we don’t see another for a long while.

To all the students and faculty who read this newspaper, my best wishes go out to you, your families and your loved ones. May 2013 bring ALL OF US a more peaceful and successful drama-free year.

Oh, yes, don’t forget to study for finals!

Professor Jack Mandel has taught marketing and public relations since 1978 at Nassau Community College. He has won the prestigious Outstanding Teacher Award, conferred by the NYS Association of Two-Year Colleges. His is also a Best of Long Island winner for 2010 in the Teaching category from the Long Island Press.

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