Sweet home, Toccoa

Walking into Gina Bailey’s was a bit like stepping into a time warp. For those of us who remember the look of Jerry Fliger’s office, walking into Bailey’s gave a sense of cognitive dissonance. Where Fliger’s desk once was, is now an empty space. Where the Martin Luther King Jr. poster used to be, now resides a map of Bermuda. The book shelves are still full, but it’s not the same.

Sitting down in her yellow and white comfy chairs, I prepared to grill the new Communication professor:

TC) “Mrs. Bailey, thank you for having me.”

GB) “Thank you for coming.”

TC) “Ok, the first, tough, Pulitzer Prize winning question is a choice between: ‘What are your thoughts on Martin Buber’s statements on Dialectical tension Ethical Paradigm vs. the Enlightenment’s Dualistic, Epistemological Ethics’ or ‘what is your favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor?'”

GB) “Um… I’m going to go with Ben & Jerry’s and it would have to be Americone Dream.”                                                                                      

TC) “Good choice. Ok, dialecticalism vs. dualism later. So where are you from? Tell me about your family.”

GB) “My husband’s name is Chris and I have two daughters. Aiden, who is 8 and in 3rd grade and Anna, who is 7 and in 2nd grade. I am from New Hampshire, but I spent some of my youth in Florida.”

TC) “Right, next Pulitzer question.. how did you hear of TFC and what was your journey here like?”

GB) “Oh, the transition has been kind of tough but the journey was really God led. I was teaching at New England College and I felt that my time there was over. It had always been a dream of mine to teach at a Christian college and so I went on the CCCU website and searched the job listings. I found the listing for a Communication professor at Toccoa and I talked with my husband about it and decided to check out the school. I wanted to check out the mission of the school, the faculty and student policies to see if it was something I wanted to attach myself to. This was back in March. I decided to apply and I received an email from Curt Wanner on a Friday asking me to do a phone interview on the next Tuesday. I wanted to take this process one step at a time because I wanted to make sure that God was calling my family and I to move across the country. After the interview I was asked to come to the campus for a visit and so I began packing my things in possible preparation of moving to Toccoa. When I came to Toccoa I taught Communication Theology for a day and I just loved having the ability to mix my passion for communication and my passion for Christ. It just felt right. After the visit I had to wait 6 weeks but I got the call in mid-July and moved down on the first week of August. And it’s been great ever since.”

TC) “Wow, that’s quite a story.”

GB) “Yea. I really wanted to keep this transition down here focused on walking in faith and make sure that this is where God wanted my family.”

TC) “That’s completely understandable. We’re all striving for that. So any embarrassing college stories you’d like to share.”

GB) “Well, I used to sign for the deaf students in the chapel service, so I would stand off to the side of the stage and everyone would stare as I signed the words of the speaker. One chapel, we had a speaker that was discussing sexual purity and used rather graphic terms to describe some things; I could feel 1500 pairs of eyes on me as I had to sign these graphic terms. Meanwhile, my fiancé, who is now my husband, and the deaf student I was signing for, were laughing hysterically. It was definitely a beet red moment.”

TC) “Wow, that’s pretty funny, you might have to share that in class one day. Last question, what would you like the students of TFC to know about you?”

GB) “I want them to know that I am approachable; you can come to me for anything, even if it’s for chitchat. I have an open door policy.”

TC) “That’s great. Thank you for sitting down with me.”

GB) “You’re welcome.”

All of this works together to let the people of TFC know that we have a new professor on campus. Bailey has made the place her own, and she has settled in quite nicely.