There are some people who drift in and out of your life over the course of time. Such is the case with Stanley Trollip. You probably are aware of the “most interesting man” ads from Dos Equis. Stan would be my nominee for this title.
We caught up with Stan after about a dozen years at a book reading at Subtext Books in Minneapolis. It was a Day of the Dead event featuring crime fiction writers and Stan (one half of the writing team of Michael Stanley) was reading from one of the Detective Kubu mysteries and promoting an upcoming books. The Kubu books are set in southern Africa (Botswana if I remember correctly). Stan is originally from South Africa. Kindle has some “shorts” for $1 and I suggest “Detective Kubu Investigates” if you are interesting in checking out their work. These works are very well written and you learn a little about the culture within which the books are situated.
I would describe Stan as possibly the most gifted person I know. I met Stan at the University of North Dakota when he worked for what is known as the John Odegaard School of Aerospace Sciences. This was the time during which computer based instruction made some sense for “training” when training had to be conducted at multiple locations and this was Stan’s area of expertise. His international experience also was valued by the university and he seemed to spent a lot of his time recruiting trainees from all over the world. Stan and I drafted the proposal for what would eventually become the Instructional Design and Technology graduate program at UND.
Our personality characteristics are what make us unique. If I had Stan’s gifts, I would probably have been an accomplished scholar at some prestigious institution. Stan was not suited for the routine of the academic life. I would describe him as easily bored. He came to the University of North Dakota from the University of Minnesota. He preferred the life style in Minneapolis and kept an apartment there even while working in North Dakota. Flying back and forth was a priority – when Northwest partnered within UND he could take their flights, but he also flew his own plane. Eventually working in North Dakota became too much and he left. I thought his job was pretty cool and I would have stayed, but this is what I mean by personality differences.
Stan wrote multiple landmark books in the field of instructional technology with a colleague from the University of Iowa – Steve Alessi (Computer-based learning / Multimedia instruction). He wrote a book on human factors as applied to pilots. Now he writes crime novels. Developing the scope of experiences to pull this off would certainly be beyond my capability.
Stan keeps telling us to visit him when he is in South Africa. Maybe I will, but I have enough difficulty locating him when he is in Minneapolis.