STILLPOINT Archive: last updated 03/20/2009

Top Six: Trips of a Lifetime

Travels are among our most highly anticipated as well as easily remembered experiences. They have a way of diffusing jaded perceptions of the world and stirring curiosities. It was my privilege to ask a few Gordon College professors about the travels they have appreciated most in their lifetimes.

1  |  Freedom in Simplicity
During my sabbatical in 1989 I went to Nairobi, Kenya, to teach math at Daystar University. Mostly I think about the people. I listened to the Africans sing praises in Swahili—letting loose in a way they couldn’t in English. The people had such a zest for life, a sense of commitment to serving Jesus that is different in our culture. We lived without a car; my wife walked to the market every day. But I remember thinking, “Who needs more than this?”

RICHARD STOUT Professor of Mathematics

2  |  D-Day Memories
Normally 10 minutes on the beach is enough for me. But in 2002 I stood on the beaches of Normandy with a group of Gordon alumni. We listened to Dick Rung ’53, a Navy veteran, tell the story of D-Day from the site where he had landed on Omaha Beach. There were also two men who had been a part of the bombing raids—Rice Nutting (professor emeritus of music) and Cecil Bretton ’52. It was incredible to see and hear firsthand about the sights I studied and lectured on as a history professor.

RUSS BISHOP Professor Emeritus of History, Stephen Phillips Chair of History

3  |  A Balcony View
In 2004 I went to Cambodia for six weeks as a faculty advisor for Gordon students. I taught at a school and at an orphanage, practicing conversational English. We lived in Phnom Penh, where my most memorable moments were of the early mornings. I would sit on our balcony, watching a street market below being set up during the sunrise—watching the city come to life.

RINI COBBEY Associate Professor of Communication Arts

4  |  Sister Cities
In 1981 Duluth, Minnesota, along with Petrosavski, Russia, entered into a program called Our Sister Cities. We were the first non-Russians many of the people had ever met, but their hospitality was like none I had experienced. They gave banquets when they literally had nothing to give except their stories and a desire to share their culture. Growing up during the Cold War, I had the attitude that the Russians were the enemy; this trip diffused those thoughts.

JUDITH OLESON Associate Professor of Social Work

5  |  A Paradigm Shift
When I went to Cape Town, Africa, I thought, “What am I doing? I’m not the adventurous type. I’m the grandmother type.” I came to understand that when we diminish others we diminish ourselves. This is a worldwide phenomenon. I had gone to evaluate the Gordon in South Africa program, but instead of learning something academic, I experienced a deep, spiritual, life-changing concept.

DONNA ROBINSON Associate Professor of Education

6  |  Close to Home
Simplicity, quietness, and beauty of landscape are what I appreciate in a vacation. A venture to Nova Scotia, Canada, is my most relaxing trip because there aren’t the complexities of a foreign place. The people are French speaking and the pace of life is slower, making it somewhat exotic yet easy to assimilate into. I didn’t feel a sense of obligation to see all the sights because Nova Scotia isn’t known for its history. Being there was simple, pleasant, and only a seven-hour car ride from home.

MICHAEL MONROE Assistant Professor of Music


Nairobi, Kenya
Normandy beach
Cape Town, South Africa
Nova Scotia, Canada