DUBUQUE- Monday through Friday from 9 p.m to 3 p.m., you can find her stocking and checking at the Duhawk Market. Peggy Wilson is a friendly face we all see regularly but may not know much about. I sat down with Ms. Wilson during her shift one day to learn more about the woman we all smile at every day.
And what is your position at Loras College?
I’m a cashier and I’ve been here for five years.
Can you describe some of the high points of your job?
I think some of the high points are interacting with the students and getting to know them. Sometimes just giving them a hello, or that it’s going to be a good day encouragement. That’s the part I like best about my position.
Can you describe an example of when a student came in?
Sometimes the students come in and are very anxious because they’ve been studying all night for an exam and I just encourage them that they’re doing just fine and they’re doing the best they can, and even if it doesn’t go well that they’ll get past it and do better the next time.
What’s a lower point?
We have a lot of windows in the market and students are just like little kids; they put their fingers on everything so that’s one of the down points.
If there was one thing you could change, what would it be?
I would like to see them have a couple sets of tables and chairs in here for the kids to come and mingle and listen to the music. I think it’d be nice for them to have something for them to sit down and just have those few moments to relax.
How did you get here?
I started with Loras five years ago as a cook down in the Café and once my health started deteriorating, I got older, I found that I couldn’t do that physical labor type job anymore. And this position became available, so I moved up here in the Market to the cashier position, which I absolutely love. It keeps me involved with the students far more than when I was down in the café.
How would you describe your relationship with the students?
I’d like to say it’s a good relationship. I have some students who will come back from break and come in here just to give me a hug and say hey I missed you it’s good to see you. I’m kind of like a grandma you can go to.
What’s something about you that not everyone might know?
There’s a couple things people might not know about me. I grew up on a 300 acre beet farm. I was huge on showing cattle and showing horses when I was younger. Another thing that people may not know or understand about me is that I’m a survivor of abuse. I have no problem sharing that with people, what I went through and how I survived it, because it’s important for others who may have similar issues and they need to know that they’re not alone. You need to have faith. Have trust in the Lord. Speak out. Reach out. Find someone you can confide in. If you don’t have someone, reach out and find someone like that. It takes that special person and if you try, you will find that person. And if anyone ever needs that person for them, I’m also always there.
Thank you so much, Peggy. And finally, what surprises you the most?
I think that the world we live in today is very impersonal, very harsh. Very cold. That is not what I find here in the students and young people who go to school here. They are encouraged, they are upbeat, they are pleasant, polite, kind; they’re considerate. Totally different world and a different surprise from what I was used to.
We’d like to thank Peggy for her openness about her story and message. If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse of any kind, please reach out to someone who can help.
Adrienne is currently a senior at Loras College from Byron, Illinois. She is the sports producer and reporter for LCTV News and a staff writer at the Lorian. After graduation, she hopes to work as an editor in creative video production.