Letter to Faculty & Staff from Richard Zollinger

May 2014

Dear Colleagues,

As we approach graduation and are looking forward to year-end festivities and summer activities, I want to thank you for your efforts in leading and supporting so many student success initiatives. It has been a great academic year. Although we have had to deal with many disruptive innovations, we are adapting and will come out stronger and better.

I want to share a short story that my father told me when I was a small boy. Two Swiss frogs, Hans and Vreneli, lived on a dairy farm way up in the wintry Alps. The farmer finished milking the cows and had all the milk in a big metal milk pail. Well, Hans thought that it would be great fun to jump into the milk pail since the milk was still warm, and the winter in the Alps are very cold. Hans and Vreneli jumped in and enjoyed the warmth. After a while though, they had had enough of swimming in the milk and wanted to jump out. Much to their dismay, the rim of the metal milk pail was too far to reach, and they could not jump out. Hans was alarmed and felt foolish for suggesting that they jump into the pail. Frustrated and upset, he swam until he was exhausted all the more so because he felt he had no control over the situation. Hans got so mad and tired that he said “enough of this,” and sank to the bottom and drowned. Vreneli, on the other hand, had another strategy. She too was frustrated with the situation but was able to remain calm as she paddled her frog legs slowly. After some time, the milk started turning into cream and the cream into butter. Soon Vreneli was able to stand on top of the butter and happily jump out of the milk pail.

As we pursue our wonderful student success initiatives such as STAR, AtD, CbD, Developmental Education, Math redesign, and many more, let’s be like Vreneli. She did not exactly know where her situation would end, but she stayed optimistic about the situation, remained calm, and had a positive result.

Thank you, see you at graduation, and have a great summer!

Kind regards,

Richard Zollinger

Vice President for Learning & Workforce Development
Central Piedmont Community College