Paul’s Perambulations

June 13, 2010

A 50th High School Reunion

Filed under: Education,General — admin @ 12:11 am

Fifty years ago I graduated from Mount Hermon, a preparatory boarding school in the middle of nowhere in northwestern MA. They have since combined with their sister school across the Connecticut River, Northfield School, to form Northfield Mount Hermon. The schools were founded for bright kids of limited means – this is not the place for the Bush’es of the world. The campus looks much the same, because it’s defined by being on hilly ground (outskirts of Berkshires) in the middle of a heavily heavily-wooded area. Fran and I were at the reunion for four days, and the dorm room we had was unchanged from a half-century ago except for a computer outlet. We visited the farm where this suburban kid learned to milk a cow. Back then we grew much of our own food, cooked it, cleaned the buildings, and provided the muscle for everything from the commercial laundry to shoveling coal for the steam plant. There were high academic expecations, and academic success was admired. An observation: We were nerdy kids then; we’re older now, but still mostly nerdy. But a nice group of people overall.

Some days I wore a shirt quoting John Kennedy, that war would exist until the day the conscientious objector enjoyed the same respect as the warrior. One woman said pointedly “John Kennedy was the biggest war mongerer that ever lived.” What do you say to such an irrelevant ad hominem comment? Perhaps fortunately, she walked off before I could ask how her feelings toward Eisenhower related to his famous statement about the dangers of the military-industrial complex. Other days I wore a button with Support the Troops, Bring Them Home Now . Another alum called me “still the rebel.” How nice – I never knew I was. On the other hand, a Northfield alum told me that her roommate had a crush on me 50 years ago. NOW you tell me. Fran and I enjoyed hiking through the woods, and one morning I participated in the alumni run. I hope that we are all doing as well for the 60th.

1 Comment »

  1. I was checking the number of Northfield Mount Hermon administrators today and in 1960. About 550 students at Mt. Hermon in 1960; about 630 in the co-ed school today. About ten full-time-equivalent administrators (assuming three full-time secretary equivalents) in 1960. Today, ignoring new areas such as IT and Public Safety, these same roles occupy about fifty full-time-equivalent positions. Doubtless better, but pricey.

    Comment by admin — June 14, 2010 @ 9:38 am

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