Pied Piper of Chill
by Kevin Roberts
The Coltrane Effect
If you really want to understand Carlton Winslow, let’s do this properly. Pause for a minute. Put on some Coltrane. Take a few deep breaths...in through the nose...out through the mouth. Now, I doubt you really have the free time to practice that long enough to get your blood pressure down to Winslow level, but I imagine you can get yourself moving in the right direction.
To know Carlton Winslow is to know a confident, collected, and calm houseparent, teacher, and basketball coach. When I started as a houseparent, it took me a while to realize that this was his first year at it too. He just did it that capably, and he continues on many fronts. His patient demeanor has served Landmark well in his 13 years of houseparenting in Campus Cottage and close to two decades of Landmark teaching. By my rough calculations, his direct impact on individual people reaches into the thousands, especially if you factor in the parents who have benefited from the Winslow vibe that lulls them into the confident security that their son or daughter is well taken care of.
A Motivating Force
It’s no surprise that he’s very effective with the younger energetic boys—a soothing pied piper of chill. And since he’s so patient, he is also a very good listener. The boys of Cottage talk to him often about peer conflicts, knowing they’ll always be heard and respected. Seeing him in action in difficult student situations, challenging basketball games, or in spirited meetings with colleagues, he’s still just cool and controlled.
Many also know him as a passionate coach, but he’s tough and compelled to motivate his players to produce too—all without raising his voice. Simply put, he’s a calming force. With four of my own kids, and as a houseparent of many years, I need a good dose of the Winslow effect every morning at our 9 a.m. Residential Life meeting. I seek out a seat next to him, and let the de-escalation osmosis begin. If you can find the time to let his aura wash over you, it’s worth it. In the meantime, keep the Coltrane playing.
Article originally published in The Lantern, Spring/Summer 2018.