Instructor reflects on past teaching experiences

Dr. Al Carnine, professor, often plays piano during class.

Dr. Al Carnine, professor, often plays piano during class.

Hallie Hocker

In his 27th year of teaching at Missouri Southern, Dr. Al Carnine, professor of music, still enjoys teaching students as well as working at Southern.

“It’s easy to work with faculty in all the departments I’ve ever worked with,” Carnine said. “I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t willing to give and take help. It’s very pleasant to work here. I like it very much.”

“I just love teaching,” he said.

His favorite part of teaching is the students.

He said he loves to see the “twinkle” in students who just received information they never knew.

Carnine said he especially likes when the information has some kind of meaning for students and leads them to want to talk about it.

“He’s probably the only teacher I can wake up at eight in the morning for and not fall asleep in his class,” said Kyle Lathrop, freshman criminal justice major.

Lathrop is in one of Carnine’s music appreciation classes.

Often, in his music appreciation classes, Carnine tells students about the history and biographies behind the people that are mentioned in the textbook.

“He can take a subject that would probably be boring to a lot of people and make it interesting,” said Joe Payton, junior undecided major.

In all of Carnine’s years of teaching, one of the most interesting things he said happened to him occurred when he took East Texas Baptist University’s concert choir to perform on Christmas Eve on international television in Bethlehem, Israel.

What made it unique was the fact they were flying on the first commercial flight directly to Israel from Europe since the Six Day War.

He said at each stop in their flight they were surrounded by the army of that country. They stopped in England and in Germany en route to Israel.

“Once we were on the ground, we were just like any other tourist,” he said.

While in Bethlehem, the choir sang on street corners to people who would come out of shops, peer out of windows and stop their cars to listen.

Carnine frequently tries to impact his students lives in several ways.

He said life is mostly a matter of attitude.

“I believe we’re put down here on earth to help each other, and that’s why I’ve always tried to help others in their endeavors,” Carnine said.

He said several people have helped him and those people do not work only in their own departments, but also help out with others.

“I try to create happiness for others and myself,” he said. “There’s no use being depressed. You have to get up and keep going.”

He said it is easy to be in a happy mood. He said he gets up and looks forward to Monday because it reminds him of Friday and the weekend.

He looks forward to Friday because it reminds him of Monday, which means Friday is coming again.

“I choose an attitude of happiness in hope that it will have a positive effect on others as well as myself,” he said with a smile on his face.

Carnine is originally from Bloomington, Ill. He received his bachelor’s degree from Illinois Wesleyan University. He then received two master’s degrees from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and earned his doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin.

Before coming to Southern, Carnine worked four years at ETU in Marshall, Texas.