Thursday, July 18, 2019

Know Your Profs: Leslie Painter on her crazy cats and love of Mexican food

April 3, 2019 by Katy Weicker, staff writer

Know Your Profs is an ongoing series of profiles on the instructors at Camosun College. Every issue we ask a different instructor at Camosun the same 10 questions in an attempt to get to know them a little better.

Do you have an instructor who you want to see interviewed in the paper? Maybe you want to know more about one of your teachers, but you’re too busy, or shy, to ask? Email and we’ll add your instructor to our list of teachers to talk to.

This issue we talked to Accounting instructor Leslie Painter about her Camosun roots, Christmas carols, and her deep love of The Walking Dead.

1. What do you teach and how long have you been at Camosun?

I teach intro financial and managerial accounting as well as accounting software packages. I also teach first-year technology courses. I started working at the college in 1991 as a computer lab tech instructional assistant and began teaching in 1998. I guess that makes it a total of 28 years this August.

Camosun College Accounting instructor Leslie Painter (photo by Adam Marsh/Nexus).

2. What do you personally get out of teaching?

I love teaching. It’s very rewarding when I can see my students understand a concept and the light suddenly dawns. Teaching a subject that students often fear—accounting, anyone?—is a rewarding challenge. If I can help them to love it—or at least like it—I have achieved my purpose. I enjoy having fun with my students in class, like the time we sang managerial account formulae to the tunes of Christmas carols; very fun! Education can change people’s lives for the better, and I love being a small part of that kind of change for students.

3. What’s one thing you wish your students knew about you?

I was a Camosun student. I’m a graduate of the Camosun Music Performance program and of the Office Administration Certificate program, specializing in Records Management and Automated Accounting. As a Camosun student, I did a co-op work term with the Ministry of Environment, and when I graduated I went on to work for the Ministry of Labour. This is all to say that I can relate to how hard students have to work in their various programs and how well our courses prepare them for the workplace.

4. What’s one thing you wish they didn’t know about you?

I not-so-secretly like watching The Walking Dead—although this season is a bit meh.

5. What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you as a teacher here?

This may not sound like the best thing to happen to me, but hang on—it gets better! In the middle of the semester, one of my pets had to be put down. I had to have it done unexpectedly before I came to work so I was a bit late for my class. I wasn’t expecting to be as upset as I was and, as a result, I had trouble getting the lesson started. One young man saw my distress and came up to the front of the class and said, “You need a hug,” and gave me one. I was surprised and a little embarrassed, but it was one of the most compassionate things to happen to me ever while teaching—or trying to teach—a class. I gained a new respect for all of my students after that. 

6. What’s the worst thing that’s happened to you as a teacher here?

There was a power outage in the middle of me teaching a complicated lesson in Excel where the students were following along on their own computers. We all made the best of it, but it was a bit tricky to try to explain the concept without having the technology working.

7. What do you see in the future of post-secondary education?

It’s hard to prognosticate about the future when so many teaching fads come in and out of favour through the years. I think something that will always be important in education is providing students with relevant and applicable skills to help them succeed in the workplace. Camosun does a good job of that.

8. What do you do to relax on the weekends?

I like to walk, go to movies, sing, play with my crazy cats, sing to my crazy cats, read, watch Netflix.

9. What is your favourite meal?

Mexican food.

10. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

The misuse of the word “myself.” For example, “Contact myself or John if you require more information.” (Contact me or John, people!) Or, “Jill and myself would be happy to help.” Does this make sense: “Myself would be happy to help”? No. “Jill and I would be happy to help.” As you can tell, it’s a big pet peeve. You asked!

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