Liberal Studies with English Minor
In 2013, Larry Brown retired from a career in sales representing lighting, aerospace, manufacturing and food processing industries.* He has certainly not stopped working, however. During the past year, for example, as part of the “Visiting Angels” program in Lombard, he has been a part-time caregiver for senior aged persons living in their homes.
In Spring 2011, prior to retirement, an interest in literature and writing led him to enroll in his first online course at UIS, Exploring Literature (ENG 201). He graduated with his Bachelor’s degree on May 16, 2015. Throughout his program, he appreciated the encouragement from professors and peer reviews that he received through discussions in Blackboard.
Looking back, he is particularly proud of two achievements during his program:
- His work in Expatriate Paris (LIS 432), an interdisciplinary course that examines the influence of immigrants from other countries on French culture;
- His interview of a Vietnam Vet and the resulting article about the vet’s war injuries, which Larry completed for Advanced Media Writing (COM 444).
He considers UIS a great place for a liberal education for those who learn best by self study. “I especially recommend online study for older students,” he says, “because you can set the pace, and reread and rewrite as much as needed, until the lessons are learned.” He does wish, however, that professors would respond more quickly to submittals.
Now that he has finished his degree, Larry says he will continue working in elder caregiving, spend some time writing short stories, and return to his previous volunteer work, tutoring reading either through the People Educating People program at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn or at his local library.
Adults need help learning to read for a variety of reasons, he says, because they are new arrivals to the UIS from foreign countries, for example, or need to improve their reading skills to pass their GED.
In the coming years, Larry will also continue learning, this time through self study in the literature of Will Rogers, William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, and others.
Larry’s parting advice: Now that we know, we need to express…
*Larry shared some highlights of his sales career that might be interesting to you:
- Lighting industry – Our company made the first computerized lighting system for professional use. It debuted in the 1970’s on Broadway with the production “A Chorus Line.” Later in that decade I sold discotheque lighting systems that were widely used – you might have danced under lights I sold!
- Aerospace industry – Our company made motors and other electromechanical products for a variety of military aircraft in use today, as well as most of the commercial airplanes you have probably flown in.
- Manufacturing – My sales agency sold impression-marking systems used to date code, serialize, etc. any manufactured product or component. Most of the parts on your car are marked with equipment that does this type of marking and identification, and many a stolen car has been recovered by using the marking to determine the rightful owner.
- Food processing – The company I finished my career with made world wide turn key, fully automated, food and beverage processing systems. Products like Budweiser beer, Frito Lay potato chips, and most other products in your food pantry were likely packaged by the company I worked for or other companies like them.