An urgent start to my day at South Central College

South Central entrance

So it’s up-and-at’em at 5 a.m. for a 90-minute drive to South Central College, a two-year institution in Mankato.

I arrive around 7:15 expecting to sit quietly in the cafeteria, grab some breakfast and collect my thoughts.

(Oh, yeah — and I really have to go to the bathroom.)

Nothin’ doing.

President Keith Stover is in the lobby preparing for an exhibition, but he gives me a welcoming handshake — he’s one of those types who put you right at ease — and leads me straight on a little tour.

South Central President Keith Stover

He lays out the main sections of the campus. We chat about having met at a recent conference on vocational-technical education. He takes me into a computer integrated machining lab, saying it “might be the only one of its kind in the Midwest” — at least in terms of high-tech investment.

This is a lot to take in so early in the morning. Stover is a dynamo.

(Brian Fors, dean of academic affairs, later tells me, “Yeah, he’s on the go.”)

After about 15 minutes, I’m really conflicted. It’s pretty interesting, and Stover is a good talker and I hate to cut him off, but I’m dying here.

I tell the president, “This is really embarrassing. This is good stuff. But I’ve really, REALLY gotta go to the bathroom.”

The man is not fazed, and directs me to one of the nearby restrooms.

Thanks, President Stover. Looks like this will be a heck of a day.