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CARE Member Contributions to The Next Thirty Years

The Beard
Submitted by Dick Albert
Chabot College

I grew my first beard in 1959 when I went camping in the Sierra mountains the summer after getting my BA from Cal.  It was nice to give up the hassle of shaving.  I liked that so much I kept it through grad school until I applied for a practice teaching job at Oakland City College.  I was told I should be clean shaven if I expected Mrs. Grimwood to accept me.   I shaved off the beard and got the student teaching job.  I decided to stay clean shaven when I started looking for a teaching job later that year.  Hired in 1962 by Chabot College, my first year I was not only clean shaven but wore a tie and coat.  The next summer I went camping again and grew another beard.  I just didn't like shaving.

Dick AlbertTwo weeks into the following fall semester, I was summoned to Dean of Instruction John McKinley's office.  It was a friendly conversation.  He spoke about how important a teacher's appearance was, and that the public perception of the faculty could have an effect on the upcoming election to approve funding for a college campus.  At the time we were huddled in temporary wooden classrooms behind Pacific High School in San Leandro.  I replied that I agreed with everything he had said.  He then asked me why I had grown a beard.  I said I had sensitive skin and didn't like to shave.  He then said, Dick, when I see a beard I think of Fidel Castro.  I replied, That's funny, John.  When I see a beard I think of Abraham Lincoln and Jesus Christ.  That pretty much ended the interview.  The only time since then I have shaved it off was at the behest of the director when my barbershop quartet sang The Music Man, the 1976 summer musical at Chabot College.  My five year old daughter Amy wouldn't speak to me for a week, but that's another story.

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2007 C.A.R.E.

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