Not everything changes along with the times

Lyle Burrow - Assistant Technical Director

Lyle Burrow – Assistant Technical Director

Lyle Burrow

Circles, things move in circles it seems like.

There are lots of songs about circles, “May the Circle be Unbroken,” “Ring of Fire,” and most recently the “Circle of Life,” from the Lion King. It tells us that life takes us in circles.

As children, we play “Ring Around the Rosie” and ride on the merry-go-round and we can’t forget about riding the carousel. As we get older and start school the wheels on the bus go round and round and we get to drive go-carts on, yet another circle. When we become old enough to drive, there becomes another important circle, or wheel, the steering wheel. It engulfs our life and becomes our primary focus, cruising the square which does what? Yes, it takes us in more circles.

After high school, there is college, and that brings us to Missouri Southern, another large circle. Having been on this campus for the better part of the last 23 years, first as a student and then as a part-time staff, and now as a full-time professional staff. I have found things change, mostly the people and the landscape, but they still change and yet they still remain the same.

One large circle, revolving around and around never ending. I started on this campus in the fall of 1985 as a freshman theatre major, I was ready to change the world. Doing lights, setting up sound, building scenery or whatever, I could make a living in the theatre. I learned a very valuable lesson my first year on campus between working on shows, going to classes and trying to have a social life. I found there were not enough hours in the day and I often found myself robbing Peter to pay Paul. I was always juggling to keep things on the level and not always succeeding.

There were days I would find myself coming and going. As my college years progressed, another circle began to loom on the horizon. Yes that is right, the wedding ring. It was just another ball thrown up into the air. In my final year of college I was juggling a new marriage, my senior year and looking for a job. Graduation came and I started the new employment circles. I started working for Southern and it was a new circle, but in the same place with the same people, but on a different level.

As life circles, people move on, the staff and students all circle away, and then return. As always things progress, the grass grows green then withers, the snow falls and then melts away. As time has gone by, responsibilities have grown and accountability has grown with it.

As I walk across the campus Oval, the same one I walked as a freshman so many years ago, I still see familiar faces, faces that walked that same oval 22 years ago. They have changed in appearance with a few more lines or a little more gray. But all in all, it is very reassuring when I see those faces. Knowing they are still here doing what they do to make the university the best it can be. The song goes “what goes up must come down, spinning wheel has got to go round.”

I have found myself going round again as I have chosen to further my education. I have come to complete a full circle on the campus of Southern, once a student searching for knowledge, questing to save the world, or at least make it a little better place to live. As the song ends, we hear “till we find our place on the path unwinding” in the “Circle of Life.” One circle ends and another begins, but never terminating, just continuing and unending.