Once a teacher, always a teacher – or so I have been told. At least that holds true for former Kilgore College Instructor David Stroud as his lectures can now be heard via an Apple iTunes podcast. Titled “Mr. Stroud’s History Class” (so named by his daughter, Sarah Quinlan and the originator of the podcast) the history lessons now reach across the globe.
“So far my podcast has been viewed 9,910 times around the world including Portugal, Vietnam, Moscow, Germany and Australia,” said David. “More people listen to it in Longview, Washington, than they do in Longview, Texas,” Strough laughed. “I had never heard of a podcast and didn’t know what it was until my daughter set it up. She still helps direct it, but I have learned how to do it without her having to meet me somewhere to arrange the next class. And I have learned to track the classes. I had no idea what all you could do with a little gadget like a cell phone.”
Taking out his own gadget to pull up the podcast, Stroud noted, “For example, last Thursday, within a 24-hour span, it was played 150 times in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Former students of mine are some of my biggest followers, and I love it when they leave comments. One lady owns a print shop and tells me she and her children listen to it all the time. Some use it to make passing grades in classes others just like listening to it,” he continued. “One of my favorite comments came from Tom Warren who lives in Washington.”
According to Warren, “My wife and I listen to your podcast nightly over and over again. We absolutely love your history lessons.”
Now with 38 installments ranging from the Civil War to the Vietnam War on iTunes, it is the Battle of Gettysburg and the history of the Coahuiltecan and Comanche Indians that have become the favorites among Stroud’s listening audience.
He made it to Kilgore in a round-a-bout way. Stroud was born in Tyler, raised in Joinerville and graduated from Henderson High School. He joined the U. S. Marines where he served as rifleman, a radio operator and at the age of 21 became a drill instructor. In 1968, he saw action in Vietnam.
Stroud received his honorable discharge 10 days early to attend college the plan that was offered to him upon his enlistment. He attended Stephen F. Austin University where he received his Bachelors and Masters degrees. Stroud worked in the oilfields while attending college. West Rusk High school hired him right out of college where he spent the next eight years teaching eighth graders. He was then hired by Kilgore College where he taught U.S. History, Texas History, special courses on Vietnam, American Revolution, Civil War and a course in historical writing. He was with Kilgore College for 39 years.
The podcast keeps the gleam in this teacher’s eyes: “I try to talk like I taught in the classroom, only this time I am talking over a microphone,” he says. “I always tried to make it interesting and not just about learning a bunch of facts. You know, I never asked for dates on my tests.
“I would actually use the dates in my test questions hoping the students would remember the stories,” he laughed.
Stroud has published five books with the last one called “Ector’s Texas Brigade.” His “Inscribed Union Swords,” written in 1983 and published by Haas Publishing Company, received an accolade as the ‘Best Reference Book in U. S. History’ from one group of admirers. All of his books can be found on Amazon and at the Kilgore Public Library.
Aside from writing, the podcast is currently taking all of his attention.
“I would love to have a sponsor,” Stroud added. “I could do so much more.”
Once a teacher, always a teacher and as we wrapped up this interview one of his former students walked by and quipped, “and a darn good one, too.” Unaware the student was near, the joy it brought to Stroud was equivalent to being handed a large amount of money. May his classes carry on his legacy in Kilgore and now world-wide.
May His Love and Laughter Fill Your Hearts and Your Homes Throughout the Week.
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