Randy Rothchild

Randy RothchildEducation

Truthfully? FOOTBALL. This was during the "glory years" of Husker football. I enjoyed all four years at UNL; meeting new people; some interesting and thought-provoking professors; campus life on both East and City campuses. 
I changed majors from pre-med/dental to Education as it became apparent my GPA was not going to be sufficiently competitive in the admissions process. This was in part because I worked the last three years of college in order to pay tuition and expenses and in part because I got married my sophomore year. But I loved the campus life and the seasonal changes. I enjoyed the summer sessions when campus life was slower paced and relaxed. Overall, I look back at my experiences at UNL in a very positive manner.
I was certified to teach secondary science following graduation. I student taught at the old Lincoln Northeast High School. I became interested in flying during my Junior year and attained my Private Pilot License my senior year. I decided to pursue a career in aviation and applied for and was accepted into the Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School from which I graduated and was commissioned in February following my UNL graduation. Upon earning my "Wings of Gold" I served a career in the Navy as an Officer and Naval Aviator and consider myself fortunate for having "seen the world" and sailed six of the seven seas (the exception being the Arctic) including two deployments to Antarctica. Late in my career, I was stationed in Omaha and updated and renewed my teaching credentials at UNO. Following my career in the Navy, I moved my family to Texas and taught High School Science in a large suburban School District for 15 years. I obtained my Administrator Credentials during this time and served as an Instructional and Curriculum specialist and teacher mentor/coach in secondary science. I retired from the teaching profession after our children had completed their education.
I used my University of Nebraska experience in a typically pragmatic way - to prepare myself for the job market. While I think (this) is still a worthy goal, I think at the time I was too focused on post-college life and didn't fully live in the "present" and soak up the collegiate experience. There is nothing wrong with being goal-oriented - in fact it is necessary - but I don't think we should let it consume us. I encouraged my children to enjoy their time at college as it will pass far too quickly and (thankfully) we were in a financial position to ensure they didn't have to work while in college and could concentrate on their studies and soak up the experience(s) . I feel my experiences as an undergrad at UNL prepared me for life in many ways. My major course work was in Biology and Chemistry. Yet, I fondly remember classes and professors of the humanities. At the time I remember thinking "why do we have to take these silly courses?" But today I realize the value and the need for broadening our horizons. The graduation requirements of my era (in my opinion) gave students a well-rounded education. I am a life-time UNL Alumni Association member and I am proud to call myself a NEBRASKA Alum. There are many challenges and opportunities that we encounter throughout our lives that we may not fully appreciate or realize the impact UNL had/has on how we tackle them. But I am confident without my UNL background, my life would not be as full and rewarding as it has been and is.
ENJOY your time at the University of Nebraska. Indeed, be serious about your studies. But, don't let your studies consume your life. The years you spend at Nebraska will pass far too quickly - the blink of an eye. Spend time developing friendships. Get involved in campus activities. Take care of your physical, emotional and spiritual needs. You are practicing how to be an adult. So, act like an adult. Respect others and earn their respect through your own behavior. Be open to new ideas. Welcome speakers whose philosophy may differ from yours. Remember you are not "special". You are one of thousands of students going through the same experience on campus. Embrace things that at first may appear foreign to you. Use these experiences to become the person you think you want to be - not the person you think others want you to be. Don't believe everything a Professor says when s/he is discussing politics or History. Be aware that Professors are human and many have an agenda. Don't swallow everything you hear hook, line and sinker. Be inquisitive. Ask questions. READ a lot: novels, history, biographies. Don't focus on the degree - focus on the present. And last but not least, GO BIG RED!
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