TURNING POINTS—Encounters that Matter in the Classroom & Beyond

Last October 22, Wild River Books launched OPEN ADMISSIONS, so as a birthday gesture I want to thank the people who’ve read my memoir and the posts on nedbachus.com, and I also want to thank the people who helped turn a dream into a book.

Michael Bailey pic of Reading

It’s been an exciting year. The book’s publication started me on a string of visits to colleges, libraries, and bookstores, but the turning point that I want to celebrate happened long before I held a copy in my hand and read the prologue to a packed Mermaid Inn audience in Philadelphia. The big turning point in OPEN ADMISSIONS’ journey from idea to actual book came when I signed on with Wild River Books.

I will be forever grateful that Wild River Books founders Joy Stocke and Kim Nagy saw something in my manuscript. “Your passion for community colleges and for your students blew us away, and we knew you were a good writer,” Kim told me recently. They connected me with Raquel Pidal, my eagle-eyed and owl-wise editor. As I told her Emerson College graduate students last week, like a good muse, she knew the right questions to ask. Good teachers do much the same.

Throughout my teaching career, I worked closely with other teachers, often from other disciplines, and I want to tip my cap to these “brothers and sisters of the chalk,” who also asked the right questions and trusted me. From my students, I learned what worked in the classroom and what didn’t work. They also showed me what courage looks like because these community college students overcame so many obstacles. Readers learn about these important relationships one story at a time in OPEN ADMISSIONS.

Other readers and writers, like Mark Lyons, helped me with their eyes and ears, their brains and hearts. I also want to thank my immediate family, Kathleen, Stephan, and Anna, whose belief, support, and love always make a positive difference, whether I’m making a book or a stew. They know how important the cause of nontraditional students is to me. And each of them has a community college story.

Jordan Galarza & Ned Bachus

A year later, I feel even stronger about the importance of community colleges. Thank you for your part in my journey!