by Alana Ramsay
Meet David Lacy, English Professor, and Newspaper Club Advisor.
You can call him “David” or “Lacy” or “Master” (a title that hasn’t quite caught on among his students, but he’s still hoping). Just don’t call him “Mr. Lacy” because although he admires high school teachers, he’s not fond of the title. And don’t call him “Doctor” either, because he doesn’t have a PHD.
Lacy teaches a multitude of classes at Folsom Lake College. Primarily he teaches composition writing courses like English 51, 300, 301, and 302. He also teaches British Literature, Shakespeare in Film, and World Mythology, as well as Creative Writing. Creative Writing is especially fun for him because that’s the area he studied. His advice for those who wish to pursue a similar path is that “You have to enjoy it. You have to have passion for it. The amount of time it will take to get that full-time position will sap the life out of you.” He lamented how he spent a lot of time driving up and down highways to reach the colleges he was teaching at part-time. He also believes it’s important to get to know different teaching styles. Not every professor teaches the same, and not every student learns the same.
When asked why he chose to teach community college students over high schoolers or middle schoolers he said, “I remember when I was in middle school. I was awkward and on the perimeter and didn’t have a lot of friends and there were a lot of people who were punks and hormones were raging, and everyone’s little brats.” As much as he admires middle school and high school teachers, and while he thinks high school would have been okay, ultimately he was drawn to community college. Math was never Lacy’s strongest subject in school but it was two math instructors at the Sac City College Davis Center who inspired him to pursue community college. They were the ones to give him the study habits to succeed in multiple academic endeavors--from community college, to undergrad, to grad school.
He also prefers community college over major four-year universities. Community colleges offer a flexibility that four-years don’t. With community college, he can pursue activities outside of his classes but is not required to. In addition to writing on the side, advising Newspaper Club, and designing fun classes like Brit-Lit, Lacy is also writing a book about an Iraqi student. It details the student’s experiences and struggles as a former soldier who eventually ended up coming to the United States. Because he’s not required to do research, he can get to know students and not rely on TAs to teach his classes.
Lacy is going into his third full-time year here at Folsom Lake College. It’s enjoyable for him to be able to continuously invest into the same student population, an opportunity that isn’t afforded to adjunct professors. He enjoys getting to know his other colleagues. He’s made good friends with some of the other English professors on campus such as Professor Danner and Josh Fernandez. Another aspect he enjoys about Folsom Lake is the multiple centers. According to him, each of the three centers is “cool and unique.”
One way Lacy gets to know his students is through Newspaper Club. Although, there is a Communications program on campus, there is no specific journalism program. He loves watching the newspaper grow and is excited to see where it will go in the future, “we can make it as large as we want” and “the only limit is how much we choose to do.” Working alongside a great group of students is one of the highlights of his week and something he wishes he could do everyday.
Something that Lacy wants students to know about him is that he has Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Lacy stated that teaching has actually been good for him in regards to this, as it calms his nerves. Another thing that has helped him is having a good support system, especially with students. He encourages students who have GAD to go see someone in Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS). They can help students work with their professors. He knows that people sometimes get annoyed with people with mental health disorders, but it's important to remember that the people dealing with it are the first to want it to go away.
This directly leads into his guiding principle for life: empathy. Each semester, Lacy takes one class period to talk to his students about empathy. One of the examples he gave was homelessness, which continues to be an issue throughout our nation, but especially in California with the lack of affordable housing. When he holds this class, he gets a lot of the typical responses, “they’re lazy,” or “they put themselves there.” But Lacy takes the time to go over the statistics of homeless people. How many are veterans? How many are mothers? How many are children? He points out that even the homeless that use drugs often do so as a coping mechanism for PTSD, other mental health issues, or simply the trauma of being homeless. He helps homeless individuals in multiple ways. “I give them ten to fifteen dollars and say, ‘go buy yourself a burger and a beer.’ Not everyone on the streets is an addict. Who am I to judge someone when I get to go home and relax that way?” He also has donated cell phones. It is actually encouraged that homeless individuals have cellphones as a way to keep in contact with family, be contacted for job opportunities, and in case of emergency.
Lacy has great advice for students. He encourages them all to make the most of it. There are so many resources and opportunities available. Use them all to the greatest extent possible because, “time will go faster than you think and you’re kind of gonna miss it.”
Favorite Animal: Dogs. Lacy has two dogs, a husky and a lab.
Favorite Color: Blue. Except in nature it’s orange (autumn).
Favorite Restaurant: He went meatless in 2017 but loves seafood! A great place he went to with Professor Danner is called “Kru” in Sacramento.
Favorite “Lazy Day” Activity: “If it’s raining, I love to open the windows, open a bottle of wine, play music, and cook something!.”
Top 3 Songs for the “Meet FLC” Spotify Playlist:
Here you can find all of our articles up to 2018.