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.