You may catch Tim Foote in A-118 wearing one of his iconic ties//Jessica Rodriguez

You may catch Tim Foote in A-118 wearing one of his iconic ties//Jessica Rodriguez

By Gabe Wanissian, Editor In Chief

As Bergen’s Academic Counselor Tim Foote left the “jock” table at his high school reunion to go talk to another group of friends, a few had remarked to him saying, “There goes Tim going to the other side again.” Upon hearing it, Tim had thought “what the hell did that mean?” but it had been a reaction he was all too familiar with.

Never fitting into any specific group or clique, Foote was still one of the more well liked people growing up in Pine Bush, NY due to his quirky sense of humor and honesty; the same traits that make him easily the most requested counselor at Bergen Community College.

“I just like people, and humor was something that I always fed off of,” says Foote. It is also his relatability that has made him universally liked. When he wasn’t on the baseball team, he was playing instruments, collecting records, or doing theatre.

The “out there” personality is known by many, as he’s notorious on campus for wearing outrageous ties and brightly colored outfits. “Kids will laugh in the hallways sometimes. I love it. I get a kick out of it,” says Foote.
Foote speculates that his out of placeness possibly stems from the fact that he was adopted. His father, a World War II veteran, and his mother, an artist, had become educators and adopted three kids; Tim was the third and youngest adopted child.

“My family didn’t have much, so my siblings really strived to make money,” said Foote.

“My brother is the VP of a trucking company, and my sister is a doctor. I was the odd one who couldn’t figure s–t out,” he added.

It took a while for things to come together, as he dropped out of College one credit shy of graduating. Moving to Florida and working at a restaurant, the early 20s Foote was in a state of utter confusion, and after eight months, Foote had realized “I hate this, I can’t do this anymore, I need this degree.”

He returned home, refocused and determined, and received his Masters of Business Association, but he was still not satisfied. “I hated it,” said Foote “Everybody said ‘do business, do business, you’re probably going to make a lot of money!’ and I probably would have, but it wasn’t for me; regardless of what I ended up doing, it needed to be helping people.”

Foote then gave teaching a try, as well as child psychology, but it wasn’t until, on a snow day, he ran into an old friend who had formerly been a Minor League pitcher who became a counselor. “I had been working as a mailman as a side job, and all of a sudden I hear ‘Footie how are you doing man?’” he recalled. The conversation led to his friend recommending he take a job as a counselor back at Long Island University, and the rest was history.
“If he wasn’t home for a snow day… It’s those freaky moments like that make you believe in fate,” he said.

Today, Foote’s office in A-118 is littered with papers, snacks, photos of his hiking trails and Boston Red Sox games – it’s perhaps this casual down to earth environment that keeps people at ease. “It’s about people being comfortable in here, I don’t try to tidy up the place and come off like I got my s–t together. I am who I am, and I guess they like that.”

Foote’s style of counseling, while light hearted and humorous, is very direct and sometimes brutally honest, so much so that one student once called him “the nicest ***hole ever,” he laughed. “I try to give them the tools, but I don’t have the answers, that’s how you help,” says Foote.

At times, he enjoys it more than the students, citing his profession as being his natural source of euphoria. “One kid came the other day and said ‘I want to see you again, I feel like we bonded’ after only one visit. It wasn’t the first time someone said that, but that moment I said ‘wow.’ It’s a high sometimes.”