Terry Carroll describes how his experiences in large classes at NC State taught him how to learn. Interview on April 22, 2011. (3:24)


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Between life, NC State, and UNCG I'll say it this way: 00:00:00.000 - 00:00:08.063
I realize in retrospect I've gotten a hell of a good education, 00:00:08.063 - 00:00:11.696
okay, and I have to give them all equal due, not just State. 00:00:11.696 - 00:00:17.147
But I've been very fortunate in that education. Now with that, 00:00:17.147 - 00:00:23.518
as someone who's taught at Appalachian I can see some similarities and differences between State 00:00:23.518 - 00:00:30.282
and I don't agree with the large classes. That's a bad idea for a lot of reasons 00:00:30.282 - 00:00:36.541
but I understand the economics of it. 00:00:36.541 - 00:00:38.939
But the one thing that it does teach you to do is survive. To learn on your own. 00:00:38.939 - 00:00:45.006
So while that's not necessarily the best way there's value there 00:00:45.006 - 00:00:52.681
and then of course we had a lot of great courses. Both schools, I've had some phenomenal professors, 00:00:52.681 - 00:01:03.515
and there have been poor ones too. 00:01:03.515 - 00:01:06.603
When you got people like Kelly and Petrea and Norm Anderson and any number of professors, 00:01:06.603 - 00:01:13.065
and then you have a lot of young professors who were not that different than you and really could still know where you were 00:01:13.065 - 00:01:20.178
were but maybe didn't cross the boundary but would get up next to it in terms of relationships; that was nice. You get that. 00:01:20.178 - 00:01:26.336
So I think that as I look back, I'm sitting here doing theoretical work on thermodynamics and optics and I say, how do I know that? 00:01:26.336 - 00:01:37.680
Where did that come from? And I think it has to go back to the schools and of course, you know, learning to learn. 00:01:37.680 - 00:01:44.785
That's a very big deal. You get static and you're stuck there, 00:01:44.785 - 00:01:50.575
and of course as you get older you tend to get static more frequently, but we won't go there. 00:01:50.575 - 00:01:55.962
But I would say that that exposure. 00:01:55.962 - 00:02:01.538
The one that I think that--not the one thing but one of the big things--is problem solving. 00:02:01.538 - 00:02:08.013
I realize that my experiences, you know, State had a lot of labs, 00:02:08.013 - 00:02:15.068
even though you could do them ahead of time and go in and turn them in, which is kind of bad, 00:02:15.068 - 00:02:19.094
but anyway a lot of good labs, 00:02:19.094 - 00:02:25.667
and then it just being the '60s and early '70s you had all the social stuff 00:02:25.667 - 00:02:30.536
and you saw professors on a different level, and there were a lot of professors that had issues with the war. 00:02:30.536 - 00:02:35.238
I think grade inflation came along at the time. If I were a professor realizing if I'm going to give this guy a grade that maybe he earned but that that would be his meal ticket into the army, 00:02:35.238 - 00:02:45.691
that's stressful for the professors. Why do you want that responsibility? 00:02:45.691 - 00:02:51.561
So I think there was a lot of things very positive about that. 00:02:51.561 - 00:02:56.910
I think learning to think, learning to get information, I think networking with people, 00:02:56.910 - 00:03:01.947
all those were good, and I still have a deep love for NC State. 00:03:01.947 - 00:03:07.941
I mean the alma mater always kind of makes me tingle, so I feel that way. I feel that way about service and the American flag as well, so, you know, they're right there. 00:03:07.941 - 00:03:17.351

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