Ferris State University 1974-1975

Memories of David Ullian Larson

Ferris State College/University is in Big Rapids, Michigan. They offered a B.S. program of instruction in Trade and Technical Education. No other school did. So I was a commuter student from Lansing, Michigan. Take out any map and you'll see the road distance is about 100 miles between the two.

So off I'd go three days a week. Fifty miles west. Turn right. Fifty miles north. Turn off the engine. Go to class through the day. After the last class, get in the car and repeat the process in reverse. Quite a routine. I did this for the Winter and Spring Terms.

My credit load was 25 term credits each term. I did great graduating with a mana cum laude B. S. in 1975.

The State of Michigan had a scholarship program competition which I won. So I paid no tuition. Just fees. I couldn't afford most of the books. But that was nothing new to me. I just read the books in the library or borrowed from another student and read during class. I can recall reading six chapters of a book in the book store. Let that be a lesson. You don't have to buy all the books to get good grades.

The instructors/professors are not clear in my memory. I do recall requesting independent study and doing a great instructional module for technical education students. The concept was based on the Steinbeck novel Grapes of Wrath. So read the book or watch the movie. And come away with the strong feeling that an updated occupational education is essential to maintaining family stability. If only Rose 0 Sharons' husband had gone through with the technical training he was always talking about as advertised on the inside of a match book cover. But no. Wow. What a powerful novel and what a powerful lesson to learn

I worked hard to get all the required courses and appropriate electives worked into a commuter schedule. But speech, a required course, just didn't seem to fit. Then I remembered taking a University of Maryland night school course in speech at Zweibrucken, Germany. I checked on the U of M transcript, showed it to my admissions counselor, Keith Bancroft, and wammo. My speech requirement was fulfilled by a course I had taken eleven years earlier. You just never know how things will work out.

I paid my cap and gown fee the first day on campus since it had to be paid two terms before graduation. And graduate I did. My memory of the school is so minimal, I am shocked. But the hectic nature of that period of my life probably explains a lot. You see, while I was attending FSU, I was also working as a teaching technician, full time, at Lansing Community College.

 
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