“I want students to take a class they love every semester and not get hung up on requirements. I took a class, just for fun, and it changed my life.”
In an age that demands adaptability, people change careers all the time. But making the leap from coaching women volleyball champions to teaching the history of oriental art would have to be considered a stretch. Unless your name happens to be D’ney Goodfellow Granger.
“I coached the women’s volleyball team for 10 years at SMC. And I won’t mention our five conference championships,” she says with a rip-roaring laugh. “I figured it was just me and Pat Riley: if he quit, I quit.” Well, Riley is coaching again, but D’ney has discovered a whole new “ballgame”.
“I went to Japan and fell in love with the art,” explains D’ney. “I took an art history class, just for fun, at SMC and it just grabbed me. So for eight years, while I was coaching, I went to night school and finally got my master’s in art history. I developed a class in Asian Art because we didn’t have anything like it at SMC, and now I’m teaching Art 1, 2, and 3. It’s a whole new world,” she continues. “I look forward to teaching every day, and I get just as excited as I used to when a coach would put me in a volleyball game.”
While D’ney enjoys specializing in the classical art of Asia, she feels strongly that students should try a little of everything at SMC. “You’ll never find the range of classes that SMC offers anywhere else,” she says. “People need to develop more dimensions in themselves and not just be concerned with making money. There’s a lot more in going to school than getting ready to make a million bucks,” she says. “Learning about a broad range of experiences makes you an interesting person. ‘Success’ really isn’t all that much if you’re boring and nobody wants to talk with you.”
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