Who am I?

Born the third son of parents who desperately wanted a girl, I was immediately rejected by my father. From my birth to his death when I was fifteen, he only spoke to me twice neither of which was a father/son talk. My mother abetted this by making excuses and accusing me of always attempting to gain attention. Was I? Yes, I would do most anything from try to sit by him to steal things just to get his attention. I prayed he would yell, scream even hit me just to let me know he cared but he didn’t. He went to his grave a stranger to me.

When my father died, my mother turned to my older brothers for aid and comfort. Then, when I was sixteen, my niece was born, bringing an end for me in the family. I became an outcast displaced and alone, a member of the family in title only. Sans positive role model I began a search for one but having no idea what that was, I failed.

    I married in my mid-twenties, had two sons and thought I knew what a real father should be. A father, a dad for real and that was surely something I could be proud of. But lessons I should have learned as a young lad weren’t taught and there too I failed. In my thirties, I fell into a period of self-doubt which manifested in excessive drinking and episodes of erratic thinking that lasted for a number of years.

Thankfully, in my early fifties with the help of a good therapist I was able to become the good man I know I am now. But, on occasion I remember and ask the night sky, why dad?

A Student’s Choices

Welcome to college – YOUR WORLD OF NEW CHOICES

Perhaps for the first time in your life, you are choosing your educational path

 

Choices you HAVE MADE TO DATE on your path:

 

What your preliminary educational goal.

What subjects you want to study.

What subjects you need to study.

What class hours are best for you.

What days you need to attend.

 

Choices you WILL MAKE to stay on your path:

 

To come to class on time and be prepared to learn.

To participate in class by asking questions and sharing your knowledge.

To seek help outside of class when needed – advisors, tutors, et al.

To follow the Professor’s classroom instructions and syllabus.

To follow school policies and procedures.

To respect everyone on campus, including yourself.

 

Choices you MUST MAKE to succeed on your path:

 

It is your education, OWN IT!

It is your future, SEIZE IT!

 

SEIZE TODAY AND OWN TOMORROW!

To My Teachers

 

July 31, 2014

 

To my teachers,

 

Thank you!

Thank all of you who taught me, encouraged me and graded me.

I came to college thinking I knew what I wanted.

You taught me what I needed.

Doors I once thought closed have burst open.

Ideas long forgotten have bloomed like myriad colors in a garden.

Webs of dreams are becoming lines on a page.

You taught me what I am, what I can do.

You took an old clay pot full of memories

And turned it into a wellspring of words.

How do I say thank you?

 

I share with others, the lessons you taught me

That I may honor you.

 

Pila Maya,

R J Papa Nyk Lindsoe

 

 

 

 

What College Means to Me

 

What does Meramec Community College mean to me?

 

Having survived my first year at Meramec Community College I am anxious to return this fall to experience the myriad opportunities to learn.

I can hear my detractors now, “Dude, you can only take so many classes each semester.” They’re right but, I said myriad opportunities to learn not myriad classes to take.

When I started at Meramec as a full time “Freshman” (Love that term.) in the fall of 2013 I was under the impression that all learning takes place in the classroom and only professional instructors, teachers, professors and lecturers were qualified to teach. No disrespect to the instructional staff but damn, I was naïve!

From the very second I set foot on campus I started to learn. I learned I wasn’t as smart as I thought and yet more intelligent than I knew. Sounds a bit odd, doesn’t it?

Let me explain, I think I had a bit of the dreaded teenage invincibly disease. I felt my years (number 71 in progress), had taught me all the wisdom one might ever need and I know I was bursting with knowledge, experience and sage advice. I was so very right and equally so very wrong. Confused yet? It gets better.

Driving to school I learned how early I need to leave home, the fastest route, the most convenient parking spot and how to find my classroom – I learned all by myself – proud of me? If I can do that, why do I need to go to class to learn? It took a combination of knowledge and skills to get me to my classroom on time. Did I come by these skills naturally or was I taught some, if not all? Unless I was driving illegally, which I wasn’t, someone had to help me learn to drive a car plus a third party had to test my driving knowledge and skills, right?

For me, going to college is the same. We all have knowledge and skills to bring together as a student body. We need to share those with others and, here comes the biggie, we need to learn from those same others as much as we learn from our professors.

Two things you weren’t hear from me now are:

1. I’m too old to learn.

2: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks!

Moose feathers! My opinion, unless you’re dead you ARE learning every nano second of every day of your life! But what you may not be doing is processing all that information.

May I have a tympani here please?

Enter Professor Perspective, Choreographic Architect.

Years ago, I taught Emergency Medical Technician Courses in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. If, as an instructor I learned anything it was this: The best teacher has to be the best student in the classroom.

A good professor is one who is constantly assessing the skills and talents of a student through observation and interaction. The professor will choreograph that student to assist her/him in such a way as to bring forth hidden knowledge and skills that may be applied to current and future relationships, education, employment and so forth.

The best students in the class will share their knowledge with their peers and, through sharing in class, the professor.

I don’t if I can count the number of times I’ve left a lecture hall, gone to the cafeteria for coffee and met classmates who will start talking about the lecture and how it affected them. I wanted to shout out, HEY DUDES, YOU’RE TEACHING! But being the shy and withdrawn man I am, I didn’t.

 

I’m learning that wisdom knows no age, nor gender, nor race, nor sexual identity, nor nationality, nor IQ, nor any of the other archaic barriers society once established.

For me, wisdom is the willingness to learn, the determination to improve myself, the humility to learn from life and the eagerness to share my knowledge with those willing to listen.

Like every other creature on this campus, I am a student and I am a teacher for I am learning wisdom as I share it.

 

Papa Nyk

To My Kids In Korea

Someone has lit a multi-colored candle in Seoul.

Can you see the light?

Do you feel the warmth?

Will the flame be carried to others?

Will they see the light?

Will they feel the warmth?

One day Seoul will be surrounded by light and warmth.

The light of knowledge and the warmth of love.

The beginning of a new world.

For what matter the candle’s color

If the flame is always the same?

 

Cost of a Tear

 

Today a tear came to my eye,

Just one little tear my want not to cry.

It glittered like crystal as it grew in form

A raindrop of emotion in a life of storm.

What cost a tear?

Was price too dear?

 

Today a tear came to my eye,

A single reminder of things gone by.

An abundance of love I once knew,

Shared of myself with only so few.

What cost a tear?

To liberate of self for what I did fear?

 

Today a tear came to my eye,

A memory I’ll keep until I die.

It spoke of a future built on the past

A monument to tolerance – designed to last.

With bricks of forgiveness, and mortar of love

It will soar to the heavens highest above.

 

For the cost of a tear

New life may be earned.