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Ask the Dean: What is one item you would want to have on a stranded island, and why?

Ask the Dean is a weekly column by MTU’s Dean of Students, Dr. Wallace Southerland III, where students can submit questions for him to answer. To submit a question, email [for online only — include link to our Google Form]


Q. What is one item you would want to have on a stranded island, and why?


Dear Submitter,


When I read the question, my first thought went to food: what would I want to eat and what would I need to cook. I’m shaking my head now at how ridiculous this answer is. I watched Gilligan’s Island TV show: they had fish, coconuts, bananas, and other stuff to eat. They made fire to cook the food. I’m just a city-boy at heart I suppose — God forbid I really get stranded on an island!

Thankfully, at the time I read this question, I was meeting with a student (Ian). I read Ian the question and his answer made so much more sense. So, inspired by Ian, the one item I would want to have if stranded on an island is…a satellite phone. I could use a “satt phone” to call for help to get my you know what off that island!

With a satellite phone, I could reach anyone almost anywhere, especially those places near the island. There might even be another side of the island that is populated. Remember the TV show “Lost,” which, by the way, is one of my all-time favorite TV shows. There was this one scene when the entire island was moved through time and space! Blew my mind.

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