Better Know a Building Attendant: Rosalva "Rosie" Lupercio (Wohlford)
Over the past couple of weeks, the Forum’s Better Know a Building Attendant series has featured a number of our veteran Building Attendants here at Claremont McKenna College. Sylvia Gonzales and sister Jennie, for example, have nearly half a century between them at CMC – a commendable feat. This week, however, we turn to Rosalva "Rosie" Lupercio in a bid to offer a dose of fresh perspective. “I’m brand new,” she points out herself. Rosie joined our community this past summer and is the brand new Building Attendant for Wohlford Hall. This interview is the fifth of thirteen. When we met up with her, Rosie was on her lunch break, having only just stepped outside of Story House. It appears to be a busy day inside, with people scurrying about as we settle down to chat in the patio bordering Ryal Lab. Given the hour, the conversation naturally meanders down to food. “Mole,” she says thoughtfully, is her favorite dish of all time. Fettucine alfredo garnished with shrimp, makes a close second. Rosie recounts a favorite dish that calls for shrimp marinated with lemon juice, listing off the ingredients at such delicious speed that we pause to wonder if we have a closeted chef in our midst. “Not really,” she laughs “but when I get home, the kids are already asking ‘what’s for dinner?’ So I cook.”
Of course when she does get home, the kitchen may be the last place she wants to be. “It’s going well now,” she says “but when I just started here, I would go home and I would be exhausted. I could manage a couple of minutes of TV but then I was done. I am getting used to it. Now I can go home, cook and do everything I need to.” Claremont certainly keeps her busy. Fortunately, Rosie is an energetic and active woman herself. Don’t be surprised if you run into her, sweating it out, at Ducey Gym. “Three days a week I work out there,” she says “I would go more often but getting there at six in the morning is difficult from Perris, where I live.”
Rosie’s journey to CMC has been an interesting one. As a young woman, she began with her own freelance housekeeping business but later chose to integrate herself into a nursery founded by her husband. The business was on track until, like so many stories we hear these days, the economy crashed and things took an unexpected turn. Rosie has since worked an array of odd jobs. At one point, she was selling prepaid legal services to truck drivers. “I had to leave because, you know, how truck drivers are,” she adds with a laugh. Finally, on a stroke of luck, she applied to CMC where she began as a temp over the summer, helping to prepare the campus for a brand new year. She has been retained by the College and assigned Wohlford Hall where she is now gradually settling down.
It cannot be denied that over the past year, there has been a conscientious effort to party responsibly and be kinder to the environment on our campus. By all accounts, even Dirty Berg has cleaned up its act. Naturally, we are curious to know whether the winds of change have reached as far north as Wohlford. It seems as though they have. Rosie has no complaints about Wohlford and this prompts a double take on our part. North Quad is often lovingly referred to as “the Jungle” and her appraisal of the dorm was, to put things delicately, surprising. “The kids are all nice,” she says “I do enjoy talking to them and getting to know them.” We wonder if she has seen anything wild on the job but she promises it hasn’t happened to her, yet.
On her down time, Rosie says she likes to spend time with her family and friends. “I’m a talker,” she admits “and I like to chat and joke with everyone.” She has been married to her husband for thirty years (he was her prom date) and is blessed with five children ranging from ages twenty nine to sixteen. “I love watching movies, too, when I am free,” she says. She certainly enjoys the mushy love stories but don’t take her for a softie. Case in point: “Face/Off” starring John Travolta and Nicholas Cage, is a favorite. Favorite actor? Morris Chestnut, she replies, noting the actor’s undeniable good looks. “Angelina’s husband – Brad Pitt – looked good, too, in Troy,” she adds coyly.
As the lines outside Collins wane down and our rendezvous nears its end, Rosie reveals that she is a traveler at heart who enjoys venturing outside of Southern California at every opportunity. Honolulu, Maui, Rocky Point and Cancun have been hits with the family thus far. She wants to travel further in the future but with the current climate, Rosie is now watching her expenses. Hopefully things will turn around soon. Meanwhile she has much to look forward to so as she welcomes grandchildren into her life and settles down here at sunny Claremont.
So there you have it folks, Rosalva Lupercio, the charming Building Attendant from Wohlford Hall. Interested in getting involved in appreciating our support staff? The Worker’s Support Committee (WSC) meets on Thursdays at 7:30pm in Marks Lounge. Each month WSC holds student sponsored appreciation events for our service staff.