Clarion's Very Own Home-Away-From-Home's Grandmother

One of the best parts of Clarion that everyone on campus can agree on is that we have the best home-away-from-home grandma in the entire world. Patty from Gemmell is all of Clarion’s students’ loving and positive grandma, “I treat you kids like you’re mine.” The best part about Patty is that, as we all know compared to other workers, she is so beyond positive that she instantly brightens up our day, “You kids make me stay positive. You come in and you’re always usually good natured, everybody is!”

Our darling Patty talks about positivity and how it just comes naturally for some people, like it does for her, “That’s life. If you don’t have that kind of attitude, you’re not gonna do well in life. That’s just the way I’ve always been.” The best part about her job is the students that come in to Gemmell.

 As she is ever so positive, she could not come up with something so terrible about her job other than the fact that other co-workers sometimes do not pull their weight. We have all experienced that in our own jobs, and Patty recognizes that. She wants everything to go smoothly for everyone, so she stays positive that everyone will do their jobs and will pull their weight. Patty recognizes the difference in workers around her age and the younger workers; not just at the university but in our society, “We still have that installed in us, that we don’t have the attitude that stuff is given to us. We work for it. And a lot of the kids today have the attitude that it’s theirs for the taking and they do not want to work for it.”

Patty has worked as the secretary to the superintendent and secretary to the high school, worked at a bank, was a stay-at-home mom raising 3 daughters, survived breast cancer, and has been working at Clarion’s Gemmell Food Court for the past 5 years. Throughout everything, Patty loves us like her own, "to have you kids come to me if you need something, that’s just the way I am.”

Patty’s optimism flows through even the darkest of her times, “I had breast cancer, so they took the tumor out and I had chemo and radiation. So I was bald once. When I first started here, after the first year, I had to have part of my colon removed because it was bad. That’s what my mom and brother and everyone had died from, was colon cancer.” The entire time she spoke of the darker parts of her life, Patty kept it light hearted with her laughter and cracked jokes at her coworkers never letting her optimism faulter.

When asked how Patty felt about the Clarion apple being painted “Patty for President,” she claimed to be embarrassed and became very modest saying how she did not like to be in the limelight. We all know that even if she does not like to be in the limelight, she is the shining star of this institution. She is part of what makes us happy to be Golden Eagles.

For women everywhere, not just Clarion students, if you ever want to be as widely and genuinely loved and upbeat and positive, Patty said, “Well, I guess it has to be part of you to be able to do that. I don’t know if I can tell you how to change or do anything like that if you’re not that way. You have to have a positive attitude in order to do that. It’s just that I have always looked at life that way. I think it was because of my dad being in WWII, and my mom being a stay-at-home mom too, and just different things.” Thanks to Patty’s outlook on life, we are able to look deep into ourselves and find our reasons for being a positive person. Patty sees the good in all of us, and we all need to start seeing the good in ourselves as well, so that we can become the best person we can be. 

Thumbnail Photo Credits: Megan Foster