Minnesota School of Business student Keith Lammers was featured in the Fargo Forum Sunday Paper on October 30th, 2011. The story is printed below courtesy of Fargo Forum education reporter Amy Dalrymple.
MOORHEAD – Sixty-year-old college student Keith Lammers is reinventing himself. The Fargo native became unemployed in 2009 when the bank call center he worked for in Arizona closed, eliminating 450 jobs. Lammers looked for work in the Phoenix area but didn’t have any luck because so many people were competing for similar jobs.
“That’s quite a few positions to try to fill,” Lammers said.
So he returned to Fargo to help care for his parents and look for a job. But Lammers didn’t get job offers with the level of wages he was accustomed to. Then a chance encounter with an acquaintance who had recently graduated from the massage therapy program at the Minnesota School of Business in Moorhead left him inspired.
“That sparked that little possibility that maybe that would work for me as well,” Lammers said.
Lammers checked out the campus and met with admissions representative Tricia Braaten.
“He had a life career change just hit him out of nowhere,” Braaten said.
Lammers decided to enroll in the massage therapy program, initially apprehensive about becoming a college student again at his age.
“I walked in, and I remember thinking, ‘All the students look so young,’ ” Lammers said. “But after a while I got over that because everybody made me feel so welcome.”
Right out of high school, Lammers attended Minnesota State University Moorhead for three years, pursuing an art major and a mass communications minor. His life took a detour when Lammers, his brother and some friends formed the band Spectrum. Lammers played keyboards and sang for the band that toured full time in the tri-state area from 1973 to 1990.
One reason Lammers thought he would be good at massage was the dexterity in his hands he developed from those years of playing the keyboard. Now Lammers is in his second quarter of the program and expects to earn a diploma in the early summer.
He discovered that the massage program is more academically challenging than he thought, requiring students to have a thorough understanding of the human body. Lammers is enrolled this semester in anatomy and physiology for massage, kinesiology, deep-tissue massage and massage for pregnant women and special populations.
“There’s a lot more involved with getting a diploma in massage than I ever realized,” he said.
After graduating, Lammers said he would like to work with hospice patients. He’s more interested in the medical aspects of massage than relaxation.
“I think it will be very rewarding,” Lammers said.
Massage instructor Amanda Erickson said Lammers is a good student and his life experience adds to the classroom discussion.
“It’s been really nice having somebody come in and trying to restart themselves and finding a new path,” Erickson said.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590