Sunday, May 27, 2012


Tomorrow, May 28, is Memorial Day. This is a movable holiday that commemorates everything our armed forces ever did to keep this country from being swallowed up by foreign influences (unfortunately, they could not have foreseen Citizens United vs. FEC, which allows foreign corporations, including those dreaded Chinese, to take over our government by surreptitiously influencing our elections with their advertising dollars). The greybeards have returned on their Harleys to visit the Vietnam War Memorial and to cause traffic jams in other parts of town. The typical Vietnam War veteran is just now getting old enough to qualify for Social Security, which is another reason we fought the war - so that the Commie Pinkos couldn't take away our Social Security and our Medicare. We are, after all, rugged individuals who don't need government handouts; long as we still have Social Security, Medicare, the VA, the GI Bill and the various branches of the military to protect our property rights, who cares if we get hosed by the mortgage companies and the guys who make car title loans?

For MIT, this is known as the beginning of Senior Week. It is the week after Finals are over, when the parents arrive to see their sons and daughters receive their MIT degrees, which for us was a sunny day on June 5th, 34 years ago. The entire week is given over to celebration, pomp and circumstance (with or without Edward Elgar). I got contacted by the Senior Class officers (well, it wasn't difficult, since I was one) to help design the masthead for their newsletter. In 1978, we are still in the Dark Ages; no SmartPhones, no Internet, no blogs, no chat boards, no MS Word, no PC Paint, not even DOS. We didn't even have word processors, just IBM Selectrics; the Tech had some fancy newfangled computerized compositers that enabled them to lay out newspaper pages on a computer screen, but that was them. The Class of '78 just had scissors, paste and access to the copy machines in the basement of Building 10. And my services. The result was the Screamin' Beaver...
All the news we needed to know about what events were where was in this handy little four-pager. Plus there was information about the Class Gift and other things that soon-to-be alumni and their parents would be interested in.

We have long since departed; now, some of our sons and daughters are graduating (some have already graduated and are ensconced in the business world). After this, there would be reunions once every five years, where we would measure how much hair we had lost and how much avoirdupois our middles had gained. Thanks to the marvels of e-mail and FaceBook, it is possible for us to all stay in contact with each other. And to suck up infinite hours of the day playing Farmville.

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