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Draper is a ray of light in Oasis

Rebecca Molly | Interrobang | Opinion | March 18th, 2013



Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.
I know that I can speak on behalf of many of the students at Fanshawe College when I say that often times we will make the trek across campus for a muffin or bagel, simply because of who will be serving it to us. I know that the times that I indulge in a toasted bagel with cream cheese, it normally has to do with the fact that Shirley Draper will be handing it to me with a smile on her face. Although her modesty shied her away from a photograph, I am sure that many students know who I am talking about — she ensures that Grinders, the coffee counter in the Oasis, is kept in good hands, and provides a smile and a sincere conversation with every interaction she has.

Draper, a supervisor at Grinders, is responsible for ensuring that everything continues to run smoothly in that area, and that all the delicious treats are awaiting for students and staff each morning. She finds herself behind that counter from Monday to Friday, and has been there for the past six and a half years. Draper has also been working at an after-school program for the past 27 years, and continues to work there from Monday to Thursday for five hours each night. She clearly puts a lot of time into working with people, and yet is one of the most humble people that I have had the opportunity to speak with.

Draper is also a wonderful wife to her husband of 40 years, and has six children and seven grandchildren. In awe, I asked her how she finds time for her personal life, and with a beautiful smile, she simply said, “Sometimes you just need to rearrange your time to account for everyone.” I'm not sure I can say it better than that!

I had the opportunity to ask Draper what is it about Fanshawe College that makes her job enjoyable, and without hesitation, she replied, “The students.” She commented that she has felt she has been able to build a positive rapport with a number of students, and tends to take on a motherly approach when it comes to many of them. She attributes the motherly approach to the care that she displays for the students at Fanshawe College, and never hesitates to remind us to drive safe if we are venturing out of London. She commented that when she talks about her job at home, her husband always states, “You've never been so sappy as to when you talk about Fanshawe.” I think it's safe to say that Fanshawe gets sappy when we start talking about Draper as well! Aside from the students, Draper couldn't say enough good things about the staff team supporting her, and truly feels like the staff at Grinders and Oasis bind together to create a positive and friendly work environment.

When I approached Draper with the title of “unsung hero,” she just couldn't seem to accept it. Her humility towards what she does, and her care and love for the students that venture to get a coffee or bagel from Grinders, seems to be more than enough for her to remain happy within her position at the College. Regardless of Draper's humility, I think that she is a deserving woman of the spotlight, as she truly creates a positive environment for the students.

Whether it's her smile, soft tone or friendly nature toward each and every person who approaches the counter, it is safe to say that Fanshawe College became a better institution when Shirley Draper joined the staff, and will only continue to be better with every smile and generous gesture that she emits.
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