The Thinker: Rich Galen


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Homecoming 45750

Rich Galen

Monday October 15, 2018

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  • We'll get back to politics tomorrow, but today I want to revel in a long weekend - my 50th reunion weekend - at Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio 45750

  • I am sort of an honorary member of the Class of 1968. I started with that class in the Fall of 1964, but I only lasted three semesters before I was excused from further attendance for "failure to make progress toward a degree."

  • After two years of night school, active duty for training with the Army National Guard, and doing the obligatory construction work, I was readmitted. When I got back, I was a 2nd semester sophomore; the rest of my class were 2nd semester seniors.

  • One of the many advantages of going to a small, independent, liberal arts school like Marietta is: You might not know everyone on campus by name, but you recognize almost everyone as being a student.

  • Going to Ohio State - with its 66,000 students - does not offer that same socialization.

  • Those are the people with whom I celebrated, remembered, teared up, laughed, and - yes - drank this weekend. And I enjoyed every minute of it.

  • Writer and journalist Jeff Greenfield was the guest of honor. He provided a lecture on how America in 2018 is nothing like life in American in 1968. Politically, in 2018 (these are my words not his) we have Donald Trump acting like Donald Trump, but we don't have political assassinations, cities literally burning, machine gun nests on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, riots at political conventions, nor are we involved in a war in Vietnam in which over 58,200 American troops were killed.

  • None of that, for the record, was my fault although when I was in the Ohio National Guard I did participate in helping to close down Ohio University and to do crowd control at Ohio State.

  • One of my classmates asked why I didn't do that lecture and I reminded them that, although Jeff and I have five Emmy Awards between us, I have zero of them.

  • When we were freshmen in 1964:
    Tuition & Fees = $1,150
    Room & Board = 750
    Total: $1,900

  • According to an on-line inflation calculator, that would be $15,454.11 in 2018 dollars.


  • Speaking of 2018 dollars

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  • One of the big things for homecoming weekend is for the athletic department to pick an opponent that the home football team can beat. Football at MC goes back to 1892.

  • The Pioneers (our nickname) squeezed out a win over Ohio Athletic Conference foe, Wilmington (the Quakers) 63-21. That, my friends, is good scheduling.

  • The Marietta College football team is now 6-0 for the season, the best start since 1920 - even before I was a freshman.

  • Oh, the 2018 standard cost for an entering freshman (according to the Marietta website):
    Tuition and Fees = $36,440
    Room and Board = 11,390
    Total: $47,830

  • Which is almost identical to the cost of an out-of-state student attending Ohio State University,

  • Here's a free Mullings tip: If you haven't been back to your alma mater for a homecoming - don't wait until your 50th. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how much warmth and joy you'll share with people you might have not thought about in decades.

  • There's a reason it's called "Homecoming."

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Wikipedia entries for Marietta College and Jeff Greenfield.

    The Mullfoto is a very pretty shot of the central campus mall at Marietta College.

    -- END --

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