Changing Majors

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 2011-04-22


00:00:00.000 I started in aerospace engineering, I'm still very much of an introverted nerd,
00:00:05.232 but I love to build, I love to design, I love to make stuff
00:00:10.061 except, particularly when I went in the service, and actually a little bit--. I'd already signed up
00:00:20.782 but I'd helped several people do some stuff, and I wasn't the most brilliant student.
00:00:26.644 Actually I was kind of a jerk my first few years at State.
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]
00:00:36.900 I knew those well, but I didn't learn where the library was until my junior year.
00:00:41.740 I'm being a bit facetious.
00:00:45.410 So the reason I was sharing all that with you is that I had helped several people get some studies
00:00:52.374 and somehow they were all just like, wow, okay?
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,
00:01:03.591 I really--. I'm almost afraid to say this on video,
00:01:10.770 video, but I kind of got a shift from better people from better bombs, okay.
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,
00:01:27.737 but they were very big on me coming back and teaching.
00:01:31.177 They knew my background
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,
00:01:39.950 so basically there was this desire that we never make this mistake again
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.
00:01:50.449 So I already had a foot in that door before I left so when I went back I made if final,
00:01:59.514 but I stayed in physics which has always been my first love. It was the hardest one for me. [laughter]
00:02:05.540 I made worse grades in physics than any of the other sciences.
00:02:09.013 It was my favorite. So it was like, okay, well you can teach school
00:02:16.162 and then you can do your physics, so you got your science but you're still doing your teaching.
00:02:20.508 So life kind of started there
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,
00:02:29.139 until about a year and a half ago when I retired.
00:02:31.836 So that was the big change and I think the war and service and all that
00:02:38.915 really had a big influence on my decision.