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The sound of the bagpiper at Opening Convocation has almost settled. I’m proctoring the 2nd of two two-hours exams I am giving today—and reflecting as I begin teaching year number 38 at Carroll.

I first got into the habit of awakening at 5:30 am. and being on campus by 7:00 a.m. when I was Faculty and Assembly President.  The sun-rise colored, dewy campus is beautiful in the early morning and bustling with activity. The football team is often practicing. The physical plant staff are inspecting their hard work before heading to the Campus Center for some much needed and deserved coffee and heading home after an eight hour shift. In those earlier days of my Carroll experiences, I got to know many of our physical plant staff personally and friendships developed that continue today (Thank you Dennis W. and your Dad, “Ott”). I had a number of their children as students (thanks for sending Heather my way—and yes, you have reason to be proud that she graduated summa cum laude).  I  learned much from them about the challenges they faced in making the campus a welcoming, safe, environment conducive to working and learning. They play an especially vital role right now polishing the campus in anticipation of our imminent Home Coming weekend.

Of course, there are others on campus already. If I so wanted I could text John G. or many other colleagues to join me for a quick coffee and conversation—either now or later in the day. Some of my staff friends are already working in their offices.  Some are no longer here, having retired after more than 25 years of service. I miss Jean Olsen’s red car parked by Voorhees.

A stream of student nurses (identifiable by their uniforms) passes me as I walk up the hill from the theater building where I must park my car because of the new science building construction. Construction cranes tower above Rankin Hall and where Maxon Hall used to be. Hours ago the construction workers restarted their work from the day before. A chorus of their hammering accompanies me as I climb up the stairs to my office.

I send an email invitation to the daughter of one of my former students suggesting that she stop by and say hello. I promised her Mom (Kit V.) at an Admissions’ Day event that I would be an unobtrusive guardian angel for her daughter if she was attended Carroll. I give my research assistants (I am again blessed with talented youth) some unsupervised tasks to do for me and head off to my morning classes.

So much positive activity goes on “behind the scenes” and keeps me here. I have been afforded numerous on and off-campus and virtual interactions with Board of Trustee Members. Thank you trustees and former trustees Charmaine P., Cathy D., John R. and Jim S. for enlarging my perspectives about this institution which you love. I appreciate your support across the years that we have worked together. Thank you, PE MacAllister for your recent guidance about when I should retire.

Regular interactions with former and present students continue to enrich and inspire me. Michelle B. informs me that she just started a five-year position as an oral examiner for the ABPP neuropsychology boards and that she will soon start a position as a national advocacy liaison on behalf of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology. She will be starting the APA Women in psychology leadership training program in DC next month.

Current student Davis E. stops by to share an idea for an honor’s thesis for his English Communication major He modestly shares that he had recently published a Milwaukee Journal “article“. We make an appointment for him to teach me what he knows about EverNote. Once he has taught this Old Dog, I’ll probably add it to my list of learning technology tools I use.

Current student Kevin S. stops by to drop off a thank you letter for my Uncle James Stover for funding his summer research (which was recently recognized as best in its class). These two world-wise military veteran students enrich the campus and my life through their unique perspectives. Uncle Jim is so pleased by the return on his investment in Kevin that he decides to invest again, this time targeting deserving freshmen and sophomores. Fortunately we have many needy and deserving students who meet our criteria.

Thanks to all members of my extended Carroll Community for sharing, caring and daring to preserve the integrity of the institution while being aware of where there might be a need to change.


Posted by Professor David Simpson

Professor of Psychology, Carroll University (USA), Lover of Dogs, Reading, Teaching and Learning. Looking for ways to enhance cross-global communication and to apply technology learning tools.