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On March 14, my husband and I attended a panel discussion at Carthage College regarding possible impacts on our communities related to the Foxconn project. The presentations were excellent and the audience seemed to appreciate hearing different and thought-provoking perspectives.

But, it was Carthage College staff and students who were the most impressive, memorable part of the afternoon.

At the first meeting, a week ago, the audience size greatly exceeded the room capacity. Carthage staff quickly found a larger space and relocated everyone. Unfortunately, we were unable to walk the distance to the new site and had to miss the presentation. However, Carthage posted a You Tube video of the event and we were able to view the program.

At the second meeting, Carthage was more than prepared for a large crowd, with a much larger room, shuttle buses from the parking lots and microphones to accommodate audience questions.

But, my most favorable memories of the day were the passing encounters I had with some 40-50 Carthage students. As I passed them on the sidewalks or building entrances, nearly every student smiled, said hello or nodded to me, making me feel welcome and acknowledged. As I waited inside a building, many students entered and exited, each one politely holding the door for one another. When I teased one young man about “drawing the short straw,” after holding the door for many passing students, he smiled at me and said, “I choose to do that.” I think his simple statement exemplified the civility and kindness that so many of the students I saw, demonstrated.

If the Carthage faculty ever wonders if their teachings are being practiced, I can attest that they are. Our communities are fortunate to have such an outstanding institution, one that not only teaches “book learning,” but community outreach and human kindness and consideration.

Joedy Simonsen

Mount Pleasant

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