Story by Benjamin Diaz / Staff writer
It’s common to hear smartphone-dependent students complain about glitches in the PeopleSoft system. Well, imagine an all-paper system where students stood in lines with hours-long wait times.
Retiring from a career at LBCC that began in January 1974, Records specialist Myrian Baratie knows intimately such scenes that took place at the beginning of each semester.
“It was all manual. Registration was horrendous. I was in one room packed with a line of students waiting for me to code them,” Baratie said when describing a registration process that would take the admissions department over four weeks to complete. “We had to go one by one.”
State-of-the art electric typewriters were in use at LBCC when Baratie began working at the PCC. It used to be the department’s responsibility to generate the roll books and distribute them to each teacher.
At the end of the semester, the teachers actually stood in lines at records and admissions to turn in their roll books. Later, when computers were introduced, Baratie would have to scan documents by eye to make sure what was on screen matched hard copies. No scanners were available.
When a scantron system was introduced, Baratie said teachers were initially upset that they had to do the scanning themselves. She said they would gripe about having to go above and beyond, that they were required to do teaching and not clerical work.” With time, they became used to and came to prefer newer systems.
The records specialist looks back fondly at working with students, “It was upbeat, it kept you young. I liked to have a rapport with the students.”
In 1993, she inherited the certificate program for achievement and accomplishments. Before then, certificates were handled by each department.
She said she really enjoyed the task because she could get more connected with the students. She and her colleagues could go out of their way to help the students, suggesting things and looking out for their best interest.
Being involved in their success brings former students coming by to give updates. She finds updates very satisfying. International students keep in contact too. One who now lives in Japan keeps her posted.
She said she misses her old managers, “They were old school and had really good work ethics.”
Maria Rubalcava, a records specialist with the department for 15 years, said she considers Baratie a co-worker and a friend. “She handles a huge volume of certificates. We offer help and she says ‘I’m done.’ She paces herself. The department will be missing her knowledge. We will miss her laughter and personality. I will miss her laughter.”
In her spare time, Baratie enjoys camping and working out. Her daughters keep her active. Together they’ve gone gold mining. She plans to travel to Italy. “Oh and my husband, guess I should mention him too.”