It’s hard to not be sentimental when I see the various machinery and barriers closing in on the School of Education. I imagine most of us from the School of Education would agree that it is a bitter sweet ending of an era.
My family left Miami, FL and moved to Lynchburg, Virginia in 1986 so that my Mom could teach at Liberty University. She had just completed her doctorate at UM and it sparked a series of changes for our family. I remember her first office in the hallway they are prepping for destruction. She shared it with her friend and colleague, Dr. Rebecca Carwile. I remember hanging out in what was already a small office to share. At age 13, I would play with Dr. Carwile’s paper cranes until I figured out how to make one. My Mom, Dr. Parker, later became the Chair and Dean of the School of Education. Dr. Carwile was her Associate Dean for a time before losing a battle to cancer.
My Mom had the same office in the School of Education for about 20 years. To the best of my knowledge and because of much construction and growth, I imagine that no one currently at Liberty University has stayed in the same office longer. There are many memories of times spent visiting my Mom in her office, tears because of grades and frustration with school, memories of visits from my sisters there. And then the more recent memories of holding what I call “marathon meetings” with her in her office.
Of course, I was also a graduate of the School of Education, where I did my bachelor’s degrees. I had my colleagues as professors, Dr. Carwile, Dr. Pantana, and Dr. Black just to name a few. I still struggle to call them by their first name. I sat as a student in what used to be desks now replaced by tables, I recorded my first lesson plan and delivered presentations to my classmates in that building in the early 90s.
So as I walk the halls and see the white boards being removed, boxes being packed, I imagine that there all precious memories for all of us being stored until the School of Education finds a new home to fill up with new memories.