Terry Carroll recalls transferring from aerospace engineering to science education and how his experiences serving in the military influenced his decision to change majors. Interview on April 22, 2011. (2:50)


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I started in aerospace engineering, I'm still very much of an introverted nerd, 00:00:00.000 - 00:00:05.232
but I love to build, I love to design, I love to make stuff 00:00:05.232 - 00:00:10.061
except, particularly when I went in the service, and actually a little bit--. I'd already signed up 00:00:10.061 - 00:00:20.782
but I'd helped several people do some stuff, and I wasn't the most brilliant student. 00:00:20.782 - 00:00:26.644
Actually I was kind of a jerk my first few years at State. 00:00:26.644 - 00:00:30.719
I had freedom. I was a farm boy. I'd never--. I didn't where the library was but I knew where the gym and the student union were. [laughter] 00:00:30.719 - 00:00:36.900
I knew those well, but I didn't learn where the library was until my junior year. 00:00:36.900 - 00:00:41.740
I'm being a bit facetious. 00:00:41.740 - 00:00:45.410
So the reason I was sharing all that with you is that I had helped several people get some studies 00:00:45.410 - 00:00:52.374
and somehow they were all just like, wow, okay? 00:00:52.374 - 00:00:56.275
Well then when I went into service, which I was still kind of in the aerospace mode but really thinking about going to become a teacher, 00:00:56.275 - 00:01:03.591
I really--. I'm almost afraid to say this on video, 00:01:03.591 - 00:01:10.770
video, but I kind of got a shift from better people from better bombs, okay. 00:01:10.770 - 00:01:16.975
hat I saw--. And I had a lot of people that--. I had some phenomenal officers that were over me and I mean they were incredible, 00:01:16.975 - 00:01:27.737
but they were very big on me coming back and teaching. 00:01:27.737 - 00:01:31.177
They knew my background 00:01:31.177 - 00:01:34.627
and of course that was not what I was doing in service or anything else but I was working with these people, 00:01:34.627 - 00:01:39.950
so basically there was this desire that we never make this mistake again 00:01:39.950 - 00:01:45.572
and I heard that from more than one officer, and it's like, you need to go back and teach high school. 00:01:45.572 - 00:01:50.449
So I already had a foot in that door before I left so when I went back I made if final, 00:01:50.449 - 00:01:59.514
but I stayed in physics which has always been my first love. It was the hardest one for me. [laughter] 00:01:59.514 - 00:02:05.540
I made worse grades in physics than any of the other sciences. 00:02:05.540 - 00:02:09.013
It was my favorite. So it was like, okay, well you can teach school 00:02:09.013 - 00:02:16.162
and then you can do your physics, so you got your science but you're still doing your teaching. 00:02:16.162 - 00:02:20.508
So life kind of started there 00:02:20.508 - 00:02:24.401
and it stayed on that track and every time I tried to get off the train it didn't let me, 00:02:24.401 - 00:02:29.139
until about a year and a half ago when I retired. 00:02:29.139 - 00:02:31.836
So that was the big change and I think the war and service and all that 00:02:31.836 - 00:02:38.915
really had a big influence on my decision. 00:02:38.915 - 00:02:42.528

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