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Student Spotlight

Pamela Peigler

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 Matthew Connor is a teaching assistant for the department of instructional design and technology and a graduate student at Western Illinois University.

 He grew up in Carthage, Illinois and said his teacher from high school had the greatest impact on him.

 “We had these classes called early-bird classes,” Connor said. “It was taught by the local community college. You had to show up at seven in the morning. It was taught by two teachers; one was a minister and the other was a lawyer and they were really funny friends that had a good rapport. I thought that class was really interesting. I got to delve into philosophy and learn more about my world view.”

 Connor said that when it comes to his taste in music, he isn’t picky. The last concert he went to locally was at the Café and was one of his friend’s bands.

 “I like a lot of different music, pretty much everything but pop country, so a lot of indie rock and hip-hop,” Connor said.

 He said that he also had played music himself.

His first musical instrument was a cello.

 “I took cello lessons when I was really young, at age four,” Connor said. “So I kind of remember playing the cello as a little guy.”

 If he could do anything else, Connor would prefer being by the water as a scuba instructor, because swimming is one of his hobbies.

 “If I could just hang out in the ocean all day that would be great,” Connor said.

 He is most proud of his undergraduate degree, but he is also proud of the fact that he has three nieces from his older sister.

 He said that he found out that life isn’t fair at a young age when he was growing up playing board games with his sister.

 “I was playing monopoly with my sister,” Connor said. “I was like six years old and she beat me. She is smarter than I am, so I am sure she beat me at a lot of board games.”

 After Connor graduated high school, he went to University of Illinois. He then returned home to Carthage for work.

 Connor chose Western for his graduate degree because of the proximity to home and the fact that he had a friend that went through the instructional design and technology program.

 “I talked to him about what he was doing. I thought that sounded kind of cool and I kind of wanted to get into computers,” Connor said.

 If he could choose any other time to live in, Connor said he would pick the future.

 “I want robots to do all of the work for me,” Connor said. “I am tired of all of this manual labor stuff. The future has robots like the Jetsons.”

 He said that he is not worried for the future and is not intimidated by the thought of machines taking over.

 “I am kind of into futurism and there is this scenario where the machines take over, which I think is interesting, maybe it sounds a little crazy but I don’t know.”

 When asked whom he would have dinner with if he could pick any five famous people from history, Connor said he would have dinner with Jesus, Mohammad, Teddy Roosevelt, Genghis Khan and Mr. Rogers.

 “I am not a really religious guy and it’s not even proven that Jesus was alive but he had such an impact on modern day morality,” Connor said. “It would be interesting to see, if he was in fact alive, and if so, his teachings. Same with Mohammad.

 “Teddy Roosevelt, I read a biography about him one time and he is a very interesting person. He got shot while giving a speech and continued giving the speech. He chartered the Amazon, and all kinds of crazy stuff. Mr. Rogers seems like a nice guy, I listened to this podcast. And Genghis Khan and his army were responsible for wiping out one fifth of humanity’s population. Supposedly he was a great military leader.”

 Upon graduation Connor said he would like to work for a university, either with online classes or managing content, and move to the west coast to Oregon or Washington.

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