Thanks For Asking
WHEN I GALUMPHED OUT TO THE MAILBOX THE OTHER DAY I noticed that mixed in with the usual bills, ads from politicians and “You may already be a winner!” junk was a card from my old Alma Mater.
At first I thought it was another begging notice asking me to include them in my will. Lotsa luck on that. This card was something else – it was an invitation. I was being asked to come to my 50th college class reunion. Considering that I had never gone to any of the previous reunions I think that this invitation was a real long shot.
My college career, lo these fifty odd years ago was a checkered affair at best. It started at a small college in my old hometown of Beaver Falls, PA. Geneva College – The Home of the Golden Tornadoes. I had been living in that town since I was a tyke the size of a loaf of bread.
After high school I went to Geneva for my Freshman year before moving to Cleveland, Ohio. In Cleveland – “The Mistake on the Lake” – I enrolled at “The Cleveland State University.” CSU – Home of the Vikings. My year at CSU started out poorly and went rapidly downhill. I had to take two busses to get to the campus every day and, giving it all little or no thought, I took a hodge-podge of classes that led nowhere, certainly not toward any well rounded education. After a short time there my college “Counselor” gave me some advice: “Maybe college isn’t for you.” How inspiring.
I did take one class that was both interesting and disastrous – “Public Speaking.” The class was a snap, but it got me involved with the college radio station. I enjoyed that a lot. I enjoyed it so much that I stopped going to a lot of my classes and spent my days at the station. The Counselor’s words came to life when CSU sent me a letter saying that “Since you are not going to many of your classes why don’t we make it official.” That was a nice way of saying, “Good-bye, and don’t let the door hit your butt on the way out.”
Not willing to admit defeat I did two things: I got a short lived job at a local radio station and I
started taking some classes at the local Community College. Cuyahoga Community College – “”The Home of the Fighting ‘C’ Students.” This was not a very good way to get an education
By this time in my life I had burned bridges at three different colleges and I was only halfway to any sort of degree that wasn’t printed on a perforated roll of paper.
Not wanting to be forced to get a real job I applied for admission to Baldwin-Wallace College – “Home of the Fighting Yellowjackets.” B-W was technically affiliated with the Methodist Church, but you wouldn’t know it unless you read the catalog. It was, and is, a pretty loosey-goosey Liberal Arts School. Their strongest areas of study were, and still are, in the Theater Department and in their Conservatory of Music.
Perhaps they saw me as a Reclamation Project or something that they just had to see for themselves. They took me in and I spent two years there finally getting a good education and growing up a bit.
Now, fifty years later, I am being invited back to the campus for this reunion business. I doubt if I will go. It is a five hour drive and I’m sure that none of my old professors are still there (or likely anywhere). I still do keep in contact with all three of the people I really got to know and appreciate there.
I’ve never gotten any invitations from any of the other schools I attended. I guess they are still holding a grudge.