December 13 is always a memorable date for me since it is the anniversary of my two-day job interview process at Carroll for my first (and as it turns out last) full-time job. Below are some reflections from four years ago and a copy of the presentation I gave in 1977!
I can still see fog outside my Rankin classroom. Thirty-seven years ago I was in this very building giving a sample lecture illustrating how I teach as part of my two-day job interview to become a faculty member at then-called Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin. I still have a copy of that presentation (painfully typed out and with the original annotations!).
—and I remain at my first and only job for better or for worse. So much has changed—buildings, enrollment, technology, the institution’s name, the organizational structure, faculty, staff, administrators, trustees. I feel obligated to protect traditions and overriding institutional historical values, but there are fewer and fewer here that remember them. So many of my former mentoring faculty and staff friends have moved on through retirement or from life. I miss their wisdom but but I try to preserve their gifts to Carroll.
So here I sit proctoring an 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning final exam covering “Statistics and Experimental Design” taken by students several of whose relatives (aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters) were former students or advisees of mine. Aging is fascinating – and challenging.
they rejuvenate me with their energy, willingness to learn, and playfulness. I feel that way especially in the presence of my student research assistants—four of whom are graduating this year.
It has been a rough semester. I continue to find challenging the task of teaching three consecutive seventy-minute courses in a row with 10 minute breaks even when two of the courses are the same. And this year I am co-chairing the Planning and Budget Committee (with a delightful colleague and poet BJ Best). It has been the Dickens of a task: The Wurst of Times and the Best of Times. Younger colleagues like BJ, though, and the fewer and fewer remaining colleagues from my past reinforce my willingness to remain here and make a difference before departing.
The chimes just sounded. 10:00 a.m. Eight students remaining. Very good students among which several, should they wish, might yet join Dr. Simpson’s Neighborhood as student research assistants.
I have no regrets. But still, there are a few promises to keep.