A Tribute to Frank Laycock from a former student
I write to let you know how thankful I am that you invested your time and effort in me over 50 years ago. I was a confused kid with no aspirations, wandering aimlessly. Throughout high school, the only thing I looked forward to was working with theater productions. It gave me a feeling of belonging and built my confidence. And you were there guiding and supporting me.
Looking back on my career, I now see that you were my inspiration to become a teacher. When I graduated from WFB, I was still confused. Being a pragmatist, I decided to become an auto mechanic. I figured there would always be cars, so I’d always have a job.
I loved turning a wrench. I loved the work. The pride in a job well done. Then, one day while driving to work, an inattentive driver hit my car. Although the car was totaled, I wasn’t severely injured. It was a turning point for me. I feared my injuries may have a long term impact where I wouldn’t be able to lean over a car the rest of my life. I decided to return to school.
A friend suggested I join him at a University of WI school. They accepted me! My whole life changed. I had a purpose, a passion. Education became my addiction. Graduating with honors, I went on for my masters. I pursued a Business degree, but took electives in Adult Education, thinking that teaching adults (people like me with poor grades from high school) was my future.
I spent the next 15 years teaching part time while serving in various administrative positions at several colleges and universities. I pursued my Ed. D. This opened doors for me and I ran through them. I’m now a Professor of Business at a small community college. I work with students with high school performance like mine- those who have turned to education as a last hope.
As I approach retirement, I look back on my life and career with great pride. Not for myself, but for those students whose lives I impacted. My legacy is my students. And I am yours.
Frank, thanks for committing to your students. Never giving up on them. You inspired me to this helping profession. Thank you for changing my life.