“Last Lecture” series features two Clarion professors

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Professor George La Rue speaks in front of students as a part of the "Last Lecture" series.
Professor George La Rue speaks in front of students as a part of the “Last Lecture” series.

CLARION, Pa. – The National Residence Hall Honorary held it’s first Last Lecture Series on Tuesday, March 11 featuring Professors George La Rue and Sandra Trejos.
Vice president Yozaira Diaz said, “It is a very cool program. We wanted to know what our favorite professors would say if it was their last day to lecture.” She continued, “It is a reality check for the professors and us students. Students who come to these lectures actually learn a lot of things about their professors that they would not have known before.”
History professor, Dr. George Michael La Rue and Economics professor, Dr. Sandra Trejos both presented, both dabbling in their life stories and what they would like students to remember about them if they were never to lecture again.
La Rue, who has been teaching at Clarion since 1992, discussed his early childhood education and college years. He spent many of his college days, “hitchhiking from place to place. I often learned more hitchhiking with people than I did in class,” La Rue said. He urged students to always be open to new information, and then gave a personal example. In his many travels in the Darfur area, he was learning to speak Arabic.
La Rue also told the audience to understand that no piece of knowledge is irrelevant. He said, “Just because you are a math major doesn’t mean that you can forget about history. Everything comes back to you in the end, so don’t be afraid of new knowledge.”
“Now that will be on the final exam,” he said.
Sandra Trejos, an economics professor who has been teaching at Clarion since 2004, also spoke at the series. Before her lecture, she handed out a piece of bright orange paper. On this paper, she wanted everyone to draw a circle, and in the circle, to list things that contribute to one’s happiness. Students responded with things like health, self-worth, sleep, family and keeping a job.
Trejos’ No. 1 encouragement and focus during her lecture was happiness. She explains, “It has taken me years to realize what my pursuit of happiness was. But the best way to seek it is to just be you. Be you, know you, take care of yourself, and don’t settle for just an okay. You know you the best and the best thing that you can do is to be yourself.”
She continued to explain some aspects of her childhood, such as attending a French elementary school and then transitioning into a Catholic high school. “I hated leaving the French school. It was challenging for me, and I liked it. But was I going to just cry and suffer through my high school years because I hated the school and classes? No. The experience is what you make it out to be, so I tried to make it a good one,” Trejos said.
Trejos said that “family is very, very important. It is your roots and your identity. Yes, I hear students say well my mom did this or my dad did that and I hate my family, but you are who you are because of your family. If you are to cut your family roots away, you are more likely to hurt yourself.”
With her ‘last lecture’ coming to a close, she issued a challenge to her audience, “You grow so much when you are out of your comfort zone. Get out of your comfort zone, improve your sense of self and value. Make sure that when you leave, or when you give your last lecture, you can end thinking I made a difference.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_facebook type=”standard”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_tweetmeme type=”horizontal”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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