Reflections on my past year at MNSU—the good and bad

Bill Hamm
Staff Writer

Success and failure, happiness and sadness, fire and ice, and ice, and ice—what do you expect, it’s Minnesota?

The first year at a new school is always a new adventure, a challenge that must be met, a memory in the rear-view mirror. Then there are the professors. What a crew of misfits you think quietly to yourself as you’re walking your last days down the hallowed hallways. You’re just happy that you’re not getting booted out for academic deficiency.

On the success and failure side, let’s look at my time with the Reporter. When I interviewed with Gabe Hewitt, our Editor-in-Chief at the MSU Reporter, I came in with a list of twenty plus stories I was interested in doing. I didn’t realize that if I could put 500 words together I was hired, but after he and my editor looked over the list, they marked about a dozen they approved. I am glad to say I think I got all of them and a couple more completed.

On the failure side was a story I did early that tried to get at predatory lending via a survey. The survey was a poorly designed product that had been committee cleansed (concerns were addressed) that failed to produce any conclusive data. Even worse was that after conferring with expert professor opinion, there was no workable solution to the situation. I hate when that happens.

Happiness and sadness both come from interaction with fellow students. Working several events like the Battle of the Bands, snow tubing, and Ninja Warrior with the Student Events Team gave me a chance to make myself useful. What a great group of hard working fellow students who willingly gave of their time for their fellow students. Leadership U presented a different sort of learning opportunity; after a kind of slow warming start, it became a place to grow great friendships via doing new and sometimes foolish things. Both the Veterans Club and the Non-Traditional Student’s organization were places I could drop in and either sit and listen or join the conversation.

I have also had the opportunity to meet the leaders and members of so many other great clubs and efforts on campus. Hell, I even had cordial discussions while working with the College Republicans Club. My positive connection also extends to experiences with all the MNSU professors here who’s classrooms I have blessed; even Fred when he gets that, “I don’t believe you said that,” look on his face.

Two summer courses will complete my political science work here at MNSU and that was my largest goal for traveling so far from home. Due to the financial realities I face, it looks like I will most likely finish my minor at either Duluth or St. Cloud. While I won’t miss the 550-mile and ten hours round trips to and from rural Bovey, Minn., I will miss the many acquaintances and friends I have made here at MNSU over the last nine months. While at times it has been awkward being three to four times older than most of my classmates, it has been filled with many friendly comments of encouragement going both ways. So, until we meet again on the field of battle we call life, take care and be happy.

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