MHCC Student Recalls 2010 as a Year of Firsts:
He Wins a Spot on a Parade Float and Returns to College after 30 Years
Posted December 17, 2010
Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) student Terry Blosser will cap off the year by riding atop a float in the Tournament of Roses parade on New Year’s Day.
While the 50-year-old Troutdale resident is waving to the crowds in Pasadena and across the planet via television, he will no doubt spend a few moments quietly reflecting on 2010. The past 12 months were a mixed bag of summits and valleys, triumphs and tragedies for Blosser, as well as a handful of amazing “firsts.”
He’s never ridden a float, visited southern California, met anyone famous, nor been on TV. On New Year’s Day, however, Blosser will experience all four for the first time in his life, thanks to winning the Natural Balance sweepstakes. The company awarded him a one-year supply of dog food and a seat on its float in the 122nd annual Pasadena Tournament of Roses. He will be joined by actor Dick Van Patten and Tillman, named the “world’s fastest skateboarding dog” by Guinness World Records. Blosser will share this once-in-a-lifetime experience with his guide dog, Bryson, a three-year-old yellow Labrador.
Blosser retired from a management position in Ohio when his deteriorating vision and hearing made it increasingly difficult to perform his duties. In 2009, he visited Gresham to pick up and train with Bryson at Guide Dogs for the Blind in Boring, Ore., and, as typical for many people, fell in love with the area.
Another “first” for Blosser is his return to college after a 30-year break in his formal education. He recently completed his first term at MHCC and plans to transfer to a four-year university for a bachelor’s in history, then graduate from law school. His “life dream” is to become a lawyer and help people with special needs, such as injured soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I could not sit idle throughout retirement, “says Blosser. “I still have a lot to contribute to society.”
What’s it like to return to college after three decades – especially when you are vision and hearing impaired? “MHCC made me feel very welcome and made the transition easy,” he says. The College’s Disability Services Office provides many tools and accommodations to help students such as Blosser with reading, note-taking, testing and finding their way around campus.
“Thirty years is a long time to be away from college,” says Blosser. “I am grateful to the MHCC students, faculty and employees for making my first quarter a pleasurable learning experience. Their patience and understanding have made my and Bryson’s life a lot easier.”
Winning a national sweepstakes, returning to the academic environment, meeting new people – 2010 was quite a year!