Mike McElroy

Profile Updated: August 22, 2009
Residing In: Raleigh, NC USA
Spouse/Partner: Elzbieta (Ela)
Homepage: View Website
Occupation: Econ Prof., North Carolina State University
Children: stepson Philip (1981)
Attending Reunion

No

Comments:

I won't be at the reunion -- never have cared for social gatherings -- but I've gotten a great deal of enjoyment from the RRHS 59 class website. Seeing the variety of activities (work, family, and community) that we've collectively undertaken is fascinating. The best part has been reconnecting with several long-lost friends from those early years. Many thanks to Bill Koenig for setting up this website.

After graduating from Miami I went to grad school in economics at Northwestern. Following a post-doc year in New York City, I took a job teaching economics at North Carolina State University (and later, for 14 years, also at Duke). Still enjoying it and no plans to retire. Married Ela (Elzbieta) 20 years ago. Regular visits to her family in Warsaw, Poland enable us to explore the rest of Europe, which we do as often as possible.

School Story:

The stories that interest me most now are less about the pranks and more about things I didn’t understand or appreciate at the time. Having spent my adult life as a teacher I marvel at what those who taught us went through and how little understanding and empathy most of us had for them. Some were obviously in the wrong profession. They killed our curiosity and treated us impersonally or worse. Not surprisingly, we did what we could to make their lives difficult.

But think of the rest who created and maintained the environment that, little by little, moved us in the directions we needed to go. They did the unpopular things like set standards and enforce rules. They worked long hours for little pay and less recognition. I took them for granted, too clueless to see and acknowledge their dedication, dignity, hard work and sometimes real personal kindnesses.

We each have a list of favorites. For me it's Vince Gandolfi, Bob Cawrse, Don Nichols, Randall Motts, Roy Bullington, Dorothy Gray, Virginia Richmond, Goldie Strawn and Robert Payne. In junior high it was Ed Simmons and Miss Parrott, and at Beach School it was Miss Spence, Miss Gall, Mrs. Schraft and Mr. Murton. Each gave me something lasting and good.

On a less happy note, I wish I could go back and undo my part, explicit and implicit, in the harassment that made those years a real ordeal for some of our classmates. It seemed so important to be accepted within the narrow social standards of that time and place that I gave little thought to the feelings of others. I did my share of teasing but feel especially guilty about saying nothing when it escalated into mean-spirited bullying of anyone who was perceived as 'different.' A small example of bigger things, it makes me all the more aware, historically, of those few who take big risks to speak out against and try to change things we all know are wrong.

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Oct 01, 2018 at 4:33 AM
Mike McElroy's has a birthday today.
Oct 01, 2017 at 4:33 AM
Mike McElroy's has a birthday today.
Oct 01, 2016 at 4:33 AM
Mike McElroy's has a birthday today. New comment added.
Oct 01, 2015 at 8:29 AM

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Posted: Mar 08, 2014 at 12:00 AM
With Ela in Sirmione, Italy