Rose Hill

Rose HillInterview with Alumna Rose Hill

Rose Hill – full name Alta Rose Sobotka Hill 1949-51, AA Accounting 1966
Wyoming’s Poet Laureate

What is your job title and where do you work?

At this time I am Wyoming’s seventh Poet Laureate; my term began July 10, 2015, and will end in July 2016. I am gainfully employed as bookkeeper-accountant for Ace Radiator LLC.”

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my three children (one deceased), six grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren; my husband and I were married 64 plus years before his death on Christmas Day 2013. I am also very proud to be Wyoming’s seventh Poet Laureate. I am also proud of my work as a published poet.

Why is Sheridan College important to the community of Sheridan?

It allows students to go to college who could not receive a college education if it were necessary to attend a faraway school. It’s important in that it makes the arts, technology and job training available to the whole community. It provides job training as well as job opportunities to the area. It fosters awareness of the community in the whole country.

Share with us something you will never forget during your years at SC.

I will never forget the friends I made there, the tremendous effort of so many people to start Sheridan College, the outstanding teachers, and the wider-world view they imparted to their students. I remember Director Tom Kuiper who staunchly opposed the New Deal and would not even carry a Roosevelt dime in his pocket. I remember a student-faculty gathering in Story at a time when “Goodnight, Irene” was popular and how the group made up new verses, drove Mr. Harold Gilbert crazy singing verse after verse at the top of our lungs on the way home. I remember Ione McClain and her efforts to build a library for the college with limited space (a corner of an office on the main floor of Sheridan’s City Hall) and limited financial capability; how she was not only mother confessor but took in more than one student when funding and housing failed.

Education is a lifelong journey. What did you learn at SC that best prepared you for your present career?

I learned I could go on learning whatever I needed or wished to learn and how important continued study is; I believe that has made me a more productive poet, employee and entrepreneur and I believe I’ve been a happier person as a result.

In your opinion, what is one thing that a student today at SC must do to succeed after graduation?

Graduates must continue to learn, to be aware of how learning can give students new opportunities for stepping up in whatever career is chosen.

For you, an old scholar of SC, what is the most important issue regarding the college and its future?

As a former student of Sheridan College, I believe its most important issue is to be aware of needs of potential students and of the community as a whole. It seems to me the college administration and faculty are responding well to those needs. With training possibility and arts participation it is bringing Sheridan and Sheridan College to the attention of the country as a whole.

Poem by Rose Hill

Grandma Tol’ Me Long Ago

Grandma tol’ me long ago, she tol’ me many times
if dinner burnt ‘n black break out that tuna can ‘n smile, honey, smile

’cause cryin’ won’t help.

Grandma tol’ me long ago, she tol’ me more than once yo’ car got two flat tires
roll up yo’ sleeves ‘n

smile, honey, smile ’cause cryin’ won’t help.

Grandma tol’ me long ago, she tol’ me every day
coal bin show up empty, go chop some wood ‘n smile, honey, smile

’cause cryin’ won’t help.

Grandma tol’ me long ago, she tol’ me not to scold Junior trackin’ in the mud; hand ‘im up a mop ‘n pail ‘n smile, honey, smile

’cause cryin’ won’t help.

Grandma tol’ me long ago, she tol’ me through her tears words done broke yo’ heart, in pain so bad, can hardly smile, honey, smile,
then’s when cryin’ might help.

© 2008 A. Rose Hill
Previously published in Western Nebraska Community College’s, Emerging Voices, 2009