Let’s talk about office-al love

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By Kawira Nyagah

By Kawira Nyagah

The process of love and the struggle of lovers has become an American obsession, since the union of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline and the split of Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston. And though we are in a time of great recession, relationship gurus like Cosmopolitan have not suffered financial depression. It seems that Americans have a dire need for relationship advice on how to love and be loved.

Popular sources claim that love can be found anywhere. In the case of Riverside City College English Professors, Kathleen Sell and Thomas Allen, love was found in the office next door.

Working together at RCC for over six years before their nuptials, both instructors agree that their relationship “developed through their time of friendship,” a shared passion for literature and keep “searching.” Kathleen defined “searching” as a term they coined for “an ability to question yourself and develop; growing.”

Despite sharing this beautiful philosophical theme and both being English instructors, it is hard to ignore their blatant differences.

Sell has been at RCC for nine years and is the current head of the honors program. Having been a committee member of the District Board of Trustees and taking an active role in the Union, she is highly involved and inspired. She enjoys leadership, learning about different cultures, and cooking exotic cuisine. Her uplifting personality and passion for her work is a motivation for everyone around her.

On the other hand, Allen has been at RCC for 23 years. Dwindling his affiliations and participation, he looks forward to retirement; “I would like to be a handyman. I want to be able to, finally, instantly see the results of my labor,” Allen said. A poignant man, his humor is dry and understated, but he offers certain affection for his current profession and for the delayed gratification in student success stories. A self-professed outdoorsman, he appears to be Kathleen’s total opposite.

The two are an unlikely couple, Sell’s chipper disposition versus Allen’s “critical.” Yet the Feng Shui opposites forge a fascinating union, because they seem to have mastered the art of marital bliss. By leaving themselves open to each other and dedicating time to passions they both share, they have created an endearing and healthy love. No absolutes and teamwork are their motto and “leaving work at work,” is the key. They are sure to arrange carpooling and spend the evening together, even though they may just be grading papers. And although they are no Will and Jada Smith, they are able to enhance each other in every way. “Let’s just say, when we combined our libraries, we didn’t have any duplicates,” Allen said.

He said, she said

QuestionIf your wife could choose one thing of yours to get rid of what would she choose?

Her Answer“His stacks of stuff…he’s kind of a pack rat.”

His Answer“She would probably say my bluntness.”


How would you complete this sentence? My wife is a natural born…

Her Answer“He’d probably say: Mom.”

His Answer“Searcher.”

QuestionIf you had to change jobs what would you choose?

Her Answer“Chef. I love food and learning about different cultures.”

His Answer“Handyman. When you build and repair you see results. You don’t always see that in teaching.”

QuestionYour wife is waiting at the doctor’s office. Which magazine will she read?

Her Answer“Cooking Light.”

His Answer“She will probably be grading papers.”

QuestionWhat was the biggest thing that went wrong at your wedding?

Her Answer“It was cold.”

His Answer“Nothing.”

QuestionWhat one thing does your wife have too much of?

Her Answer“I think he would say books.”

His Answer“SHOES!”

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