Transformations

Personal stories of growth at Eckerd College

David Glass ('71)

I was definitely transformed by my Eckerd (FPC) experience from 1967-1971. Some of the highlights of my four years include: Studying with Dr. Albert Howard Carter, Dr. Peter Meinke, Dr. Fred White, Dr. James Black, Dr. Robert Detweiler, and other outstanding professors. I studied American, English, French, German, and Latin literatures in the original languages to varying extents. I took piano lessons from the late Niuta Isserlin, whose memory and instruction continue to inspire me today--I am a private piano teacher in Dallas, Texas, presently.

I was supremely happy during almost every day of my Eckerd experience. I have often wondered about the post-FPC experience of my roommate, Rex Klett, fellow literature student and organist extraordinaire. I was in the first group to go to the London center for Eckerd students and once I had completed my studies there and had them approved, I traveled: Scotland, 5 weeks in Paris, then Amsterdam, Freiburg, Munich, Florence, Rome, Naples, Venice, Verona (Romeo and Juliet's hometown), Milan, Switzerland, Vienna, Budapest, Yugoslavia, Athens, and other great places.

I remember very fondly Dr. Carter's classes in Shakespeare and Milton, Dr. Meinke's American literature and poetry classes, and my French literature classes. However, I truly appreciated and was thrilled by all my instructors. I have followed Dr. Meinke's illustrious career as a poet and short story writer and I plan to be on campus in May, 2008, and to include a visit to Peter and Jeanne Meinke at their near-the-campus home. I also warmly remember Billy O. Wireman, who presented me with a $150 academic award at graduation. One summer, I worked on campus, and one day, drove Dr. Wireman's son to complete errands in St. Petersburg. I love the Campus, and especially and warmly remember my days in the choir and its director, William Waters. I enjoyed one semester of organ lessons and was delighted to play for fellow students and my parents on the organs in the choir room and the chapel.

The most important and enduringly influential thing any teacher said to me was Dr. Carter's admonition-statement: "They'll never stop you from learning." I am so pleased whenever I bring to mind Dr. Carter's performance of "The Wasteland," his singing of an Edith Piaf song at a faculty talent show which he repeated after having said, "Parce-que vous insistez!" In reference to his wisdom, several of us students alluded to Dr. Carter by the term of endearment: "The Boddhisatva." I was impressed forever by his a-propos-of-nothing interruption of any given lecture with the statement: "There IS no brotherhood of man, without the Fatherhood of God." These words inspired me to write: "Memory, the gift of the Father, held in polished permanence, against the slip and slide, by us as best we can, admits us all, the brotherhood, to the messages of eternal life through the media of everlasting love."

I'm still reading--at present slugging my way through The Odyssey, a biography of Cicero, Thus Spake Zarathrustra, and, for enjoyment, rereading "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Greetings to all who knew me during my Eckerd years who happen to read these words!! The Eckerd experience was for me truly and lastingly transformational! Thank you, Eckerd College!