Chapter 2 Not All College Students Are Created Equal

Surprises Awaited Me in Marietta, Ohio.

Lloyd was the first person I met at the freshman dorm. Quiet, he was a math major from the Maryland. We became friends and went through fraternity rush together.

Rush consisted of a sequence of get to know each other beer parties after which there was a blackball session.  Surprise, Lloyd was invited back twice, and then he was blackballed! Seems Jewish people were not allowed into Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. I went crazy. Wanted to know how there could be a minimum of three fraternity brothers living in the dark ages. Andy, a junior, admitted to balling Lloyd. Claimed his being Jewish had nothing to do with his rejection and he felt there was something strange about him. Right!  I lost my battle with ethics and saw little of Lloyd after rush as he was very studious and my non-academic life style was fraternity oriented. 

Lloyd, a Phi Beta Kappa mathematics graduate, got a master’s degree in electrical engineering from UC Berkley. After graduation, he opened boutiques in Boston, moved to Providence Town and opened another, and then moved to Key West, Florida where he lived a somewhat Bohemian life style. I went out of my way in the late 1980’s to visit Lloyd because I wanted to know if Andy was correct. Was there really something strange about Lloyd? Not that it made a difference, I was just curious.  I saw his modest rented apartment, he showed me Key West, and we ended up at one of his favorite bars. If the way Lloyd reacted to an attractive women’s attention at the bar is any indication, Andy was wrong or maybe Lloyd was ahead of this time and enjoyed batting from both side of the plate.

In defense of Andy, he was old school. Fraternity members were tall, good looking, and athletic. Lloyd did not possess any of these characteristics. Neither did I, but I was a legacy.  Studies show that heights and looks are strongly correlated with economic success. Thankfully, I am not short; I just walk around in a hole. Being selective also meant small pledge classes and not being able to compete well in inter-fraternity competition and lousy parties. 


First in line gets a picture in the Marcolian.



And Now the Rest of the Story


A Surprise Awaited Me in Marietta, Ohio.

My twenty-year-old brother Stanley (nickname was Bones because he had the Antoniotti tendency to be more than a little overweight) insisted we drive to Marietta College about a week early. Why? My first college surprise was the legal drinking age for 3.2 beer in Ohio was 18 years old. Not as good as New York, where you could drink hard liquor at 18, but still good. We went straight to the Pinkerton Hotel bar and restaurant, a place I would spend many memorable moments. So there I was having my first legal drink with my brother Stan and his Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity brother Charlie P. Charlie had graduated Silver Lake with Bones and the two roomed together during college. It was like a homecoming party as everyone new Charlie and Bones. We left Pinks so late I did not get to see the college until the next day.


Charlie P ran into a problem one night in front of Pinks and I tried to help. It seemed a Marietta Police officer felt that Charlie had too much to drink and should not drive. My offer to drive him home was going well until the officer asked to see my license. Seems my license had expired. Charlie walked home.


Because of advance planning, I was one of the first freshmen to register for term one classes.  Hearing the line would be very long; I figured there had to be an easier way. The secret was an unlocked boiler room door leading into the gym where registration took place. Tried this again the term two but the door was locked and rather than wait in line, I registered the next day.

Chapter 3 Dan Quayle and I Avoid the Draft

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In late September, fellow freshman Paul and I decided a weekend at his parent's Moundsville, West Virginia home would do us some good. Paul was a very outgoing pre-med major who seemed  worldlier than most other freshman. Thumbing the eighty miles down the Ohio River quickly resulted in a ride. The conversation with our young male hosts centered on their prejudice toward black people. Organized integration by blacks was causing the value of white middle class homes to fall substantial. Middle America reacted negatively. Being from a small rural northern town with very few black people, I had never observed prejudice. I understood, but did not agree with their argument. I would have this discussion many times.


Homes were the middle class's largest asset classification in the1960's because few people had a company sponsored retirement plan and IRA’s were one decade away. Falling home values predicted a poor life style for most retirees. People were scared! Retirement possibilities picked up in the 1970's but then some marketing genius changed the name of home improvement loans to home equity loans and people began spending their retirement nest egg before retirement.


I had a great time in Moundville. We went for his mom's cooking because eating in the freshman cafeteria meant strict portion controls, no choices at all, no milk at lunch, and male\female seating at a coat and tie dinner.


After a nice home cooked dinner, Paul took me to a speakeasy with a peephole and everything. The Untouchables TV show was very popular so this was exciting for an eighteen-year-old from Kingston, Massachusetts, a town of about 4,500 citizens. Next day Paul showed me the world’s biggest Indian mound, the very old steel mill that supported the town ...  Sunday we thumbed back to Marietta.


My first semester was academically uneventful. I earned an A in Algebra, a B in U.S. History, and C’s in English, Public Speaking and Botany. The correlation between studying and grades was  negative, probably about -0.9.  I worked many hours at the C courses, but with a poor memory and atrocious spelling, C’s were unavoidable. More than half our dorm wing did not make a two-point average.


Marietta had three freshman mathematics courses, a four credit calculus courses, a three credit one semester algebra/trigonometry course, and two three credit courses, one in algebra and one in trigonometry. I wanted algebra/trigonometry course but was told business majors should take the two- course review.  Good thing. It was an easy A. My teacher was a little shaky. Maybe it was the rum he added to his coffee. Word was in had invented the automatic transmission. Who knows? 


A mental block resulted in my I cheated on a math quiz. There were many students mulling around the teacher’s desk as I began to hand in my quiz. The top quiz had a graph that eliminated the block. Without thinking, I returned to my desk and did the problem. Kind of foolish since my average was in the high 90’s.


Second semester grades were an A in Trigonometry, and C’s in English, U.S. History II, Physical Geography, and Introduction to Business. Not knowing how to make an adobe hut resulted in the lower history grade. Directions were under a picture in my never used textbook. All the first semester test questions came from Professor Murdock’s lecture notes. Why read the book? This test had a number of questions from the book and I missed many of them.  Interestingly, I was able to answer a first semester question concerning the miles of railroad track laid during five decades of the nineteenth century. It was in the notes and I had read and reread my hundred plus pages of notes many times. This was the beginning of my life long quest to do away with textbooks for courses where professionally prepared notes are an appropriate substitute. Marietta College teachers all lectured. Dr. Murdock never encouraged questions, just read from his notes. One day he opened his briefcase and there were no notes. He thought a second and started lecturing as if looking at his notes. No one ever asked questions. Immature students? Lazy teachers?


I didn’t take Zoology, the follow up course to Botany, because it required a vast amounts of memory time and two, two-hour labs per week.  I had completed my one lab course requirement and Physical Geography help with the math/science requirements. I paid extra to a fraternity brother for a used textbook with T’s next to topics covered by previous term's multiple choice test questions. Even that was not enough to make up for my poor memory and my philosophy of studying just enough in a useless memory courses to earn a C grade. Many years later I would impress a woman by naming the Stone Mountain outcropping near Atlanta Georgia.  She laughed knowing it was just my bull, but as luck would have it, within a few minutes the automated lecture came over the speaker and verified my vast knowledge base!  I remembered one rock formation and used it to impress an "Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground."



Sophomore Slump

One beautiful spring day my academic life became easier.  While walking toward down town Marietta, probably to celebrate TGIF, debit and credit accounting theory came together, made sense. No longer did I have to memorize accounting. My accounting study time dropped to almost zero. I could simply spend a few minutes looking at accounting examples in the book and that was it. Result, the grade of B earned in Accounting I became an A in Accounting II.  My major subjects would be cake.


There is another explanation for my A in Accounting II.  By declaring as an accounting major, my accounting teacher Mary Steers had become my advisor. Advisees always get higher grades, especially in unpopular majors that could be dropped from the school's curriculum. Professors must eat.


Because students earn better grades as they progress through college, many feel they are becoming better learners. Not true. Grades go up because students get to choose courses and teachers and because fewer low grades are awarded in upper level courses. A business major might get a D in a sophomore level America Literature course, but they would be unlikely to earn such a low grade in a junior level Prose Fiction literature course. Professors realize that there are less students to fill upper level courses and they need to fill their courses or they might have to leave education and go to work. My junior year I earned a B in Prose Fiction I and a C in Prose Fiction II. So in both literature courses sequences, I earned a lower second semester grade. I would love to see the sequence courses grades of students who took the second course before the first course. Am I paranoid? Thirty-five years of working with faculty will make one skeptical.


Good students work at developing their analytical skills. Here is a question for those determining America's education policy. When does the first derivative turn negative? When does the second derivative measuring a good student's analytical skills change from positive to negative. Can the first and second derivatives of analytical skills growth significantly change?  In which direction?


I attempted cheating while preparing for Dr. Chang's Macroeconomics tests.  Fraternity files had fifteen, twenty, and thirty-five question answer keys to his past true/ false tests. My frat brother Steven Lee and I memorized the keys. The test had thirty-five questions.  I quickly disagreed with the thirty-five question answer key and decided to disregard the answer key.  After the test, Steven Lee was very happy. His happiness did not last long. He got an F because the correct key was the 15-question key followed by the 20-question key.


I found economics courses logical. They required little memory time and I would use them to fulfill my business elective requirements and my MBA electives. Being happy with B‘s also made economics easier.

American Literature is an example of how I could have been at a disadvantage in many courses. Mr. Schumpeter returned our first exam and then began writing a number of words on the blackboard. Students started giggling and the giggles turned into laughter. They were all misspellings from one test. Mine! Thankfully, my grade of B allowed me to join in the laughter. My three-frat brothers all got D's. They could spell, but Mr. Schumpeter was looking for analysis.


Unlike a few of my fraternity brothers, I also managed to pass our junior writing proficiency test and avoid a one term writing seminar. My essay was short so I could look up every word in the dictionary and it contained only simple and compound sentences. No complex sentences for me! I might be dumb, as in verbally challenged, but I am not stupid. 






Sophomore Slump 2


Leaving my first girlfriend Susan and returning to Marietta College for my sophomore year was a traumatic experience. Boy, was I love struck so that I applied to Northeastern University and Boston University in hopes of transferring for my junior year. During Thanksgiving brake, the BU interviewer said I probably would not be accepted. My response was no problem as I had been accepted at Northeastern. I did the same thing at Northeastern. Got into both schools for the following September.

Christmas vacation was a disaster as Susan’s supposed cousin was really a very distant cousin. I got my fraternity pin back and returned to Marietta and away from my main reason for transferring closer to home.



Dr. B made my decision not to cut his 8:00 AM class easier by giving a quiz whenever anyone was absent. I went to fifty-eight out of sixty classes.  Missing a bus connection in Pittsburg while returning from spring break caused one absence and oversleeping caused the other. I almost had three cuts. Afraid of being late, I was running up the stairs as the school chimes started ringing toward eight.  Dr. B had closing the classroom door down to a science.  At the eighth chime, the slow closing door was closed. I was about ten feet away when it closed. No one ever dared enter late. I went in. He threw my previous day’s graded quiz at me, but he did not give a quiz.

Our all-inclusive Differential Calculus final exam lasted three hour.  I got eight correct and came close on the other two. Still got a D grade as my quiz average was too low and calculus learned was not being measured. I had been planning on taking more mathematics classes but decided to enjoy my senior year. Retook Differential Calculus at Boston University six years and earned an A.  Too late.

Maybe the easier teacher would have been more appropriate for my learning maturity. Now that the world is flat, people with my limited mathematical ability cannot compete for jobs requiring the ability to understand, do, and apply higher-level mathematics. Interestingly, just understanding what calculus means, what it does, is enough for most professions as machines can do the calculations.




Year three I become a living legend in my own mind and learning centers upon fraternity life.


Things really settled down my junior year.  Taking mostly business courses resulted in less study time.

The Advanced Accounting class was interesting because it consisted of all the junior and senior accounting majors, some of whom were my Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity brothers. Preston, president of our fraternity, was one such senior.  We were exact opposites. He wore a cardigan sweater, dress shirt, long pants, and socks and never missed a class.  Me, I was 50-50 on the socks and less than that on attending class whenever the teacher did not count cuts. Everyone was surprised when I earned the highest grade on the first test. As was becoming my practice, I immediately took a few classes off.


The next test was a little more difficult and I cut the following class. Why go when Mrs. Steers would not give the graded tests back and her lectures were boring. As it turned out, she had a surprise for me. She gave a second unannounced test. I found out at lunch when Preston and the boys gleefully informed me there would be no make-up test and my test grade would be an F.  I knew a B was the lowest course grade possible and gave the F test grade little thought.


Mary, who lived directly across the street from the Lambda Chi fraternity house, was advisor to all fifteen or so accounting majors.  The second test had been given to quiet the heard. One visit to her house and I would be back in her good graces. I was like a wayward son.


Mary passed the CPA exam on the first try, had multiple sclerosis, and was still a beautiful but feeble woman.  She walked with leg braces and a cane until a fall injured her hip.  It took a second trip to a Columbus hospital months after the accident to arrive at a correct diagnosis because the first x-ray did not reveal the break. Doctors thought MS was causing her to complain but I knew better, Mary never complained.


She lived with her two young children and a live-in house cleaner.  Her private accounting practice was located in the front room of her home.  The unpleasantness of her MS came up during one of my brownnosing visits when her house cleaner was unable to unlock her cramped legs and I have to help!


The world of work came into focus whenever I returned late at night to the fraternity house and saw Mary's office light still burning brightly. For me, summers were for working, school was for taking life easy.


Fall meant a new pledge class and Lambda Chi Alpha was ready.


Brother Steven Lee’s apartment was above Johnnie's greasy spoon and located across the street from the freshman dorm. It was the headquarters of our fraternity rush program and one reason Steven earned poor grades. Brothers Joe and Jerry were freshman dorm proctors. I was always available to coordinate and there were many other brothers interested in bringing in a large pledge class. My rush class had been only eight students and the next class was not much larger. The forty plus pledges we brought in was the largest  among Marietta's six fraternities.


Many pledges were shorter than those in Andy's class were but the large number meant more money, more parties and hopefully, a new "colored TV". The money would come from the profit made by our kitchen and monthly dues. I had been elected fraternity Treasurer for two terms beginning with second semester and my first project  was collecting overdue monthly dues. With the support of Dick, a defensive lineman on Marietta’s football team and President Tom,  I announced that people who owed monthly dues from last semester and had already paid this term's board would not be allowed to eat until their bill was paid in full!. There was quite a stink.


Almost everyone paid. Senior Eddie, a real operator, had financial problems.  I learned about Eddie's enjoyable personality the previous year when a group of us confiscated a half full leftover keg of beer from the previous night's party. We drove off in Ed’s old Buck just as my older brother and his friends showed up looking for the keg. They were not happy.  Too bad, so sad. We had a blast at the local drive in movie. Ed's financial problem was solved with a payment plan and by the end of the term; he was paid in full. Many years later president Tom informed me that Eddie had vehemently complained about the financial plan. I saw Eddie at his twenty-fifth reunion. He was a N.J. judge and I more importantly, his personality had not changed one bit!


The fraternity accounting books were a real mess. I did not mind working late into the evening fixing them because with a Mary class at 8 am, I did not have to get up. A few unknown bank accounts were located and the checking account was balanced to within a few hundred dollars. It had not been balanced for many years.


Tom had won a somewhat nasty presidential election against Rickey, who was going to be a minister. One reason he won was the unexpected support from former President Preston. Tom was also an accounting student.  We lived in the fraternity house and every morning after the alarm clock went off, one of us would loudly yell/squeal the others first name. This singled a discussion concerning whether we were going to Mary’s class.

I was not a big Preston fan because he was in the words of Ali MacGraw, “a preppie." He did not drink, but smoked like a chimney.  After graduation, Preston went to work for the well-known accounting firm of Arthur Anderson. A number of years later I read that he was president of the Buffalo, N.Y. Chamber of Commerce and had made partner for A. A.  He had made it. Good for him


I had a brief chat with Preston and his wife/college sweet heart Joan at his twenty-fifth college reunion.  Later I saw a reunion questionnaire he had filled out concerning his life after.  Hs biggest regret was not making full partner for Arthur Anderson. He probably could not bring in new business. That response took a lot of guts. I wonder whether the company would not have had to close in disgrace for poor ethical practices had people Preston's ethical beliefs been made full partner. A few years later, I learned that lung cancer had taken Preston. 



Dr. B made my decision not to cut his 8:00 AM class easier by giving a quiz whenever anyone was absent. I went to fifty-eight out of sixty classes.  Missing a bus connection in Pittsburg while returning from spring break caused one absence and oversleeping caused the other. I almost had three cuts. Afraid of being late, I was running up the stairs as the school chimes started ringing toward eight.  Dr. B had closing the classroom door down to a science.  At the eighth chime, the slow closing door was closed. I was about ten feet away when it closed. No one ever dared enter late. I went in. He threw my previous day’s graded quiz at me, but he did not give a quiz.

Our all-inclusive Differential Calculus final exam lasted three hour.  I got eight correct and came close on the other two. Still got a D grade as my quiz average was too low and calculus learned was not being measured. I had been planning on taking more mathematics classes but decided to enjoy my senior year. Retook Differential Calculus at Boston University six years and earned an A.  Too late.


Maybe the easier teacher would have been more appropriate for my learning maturity. Now that the world is flat, people with my limited mathematical ability cannot compete for jobs requiring the ability to understand, do, and apply higher-level mathematics. Interestingly, just understanding what calculus means, what it does, is enough for most professions as machines can do the calculations.



Cutting class was becoming an obsession.


I dragged myself out of bed for a coffee trip to the student union. Outside the union, the message "Today has been called off” on the daily bulletin board was all it took me to send me back to bed.


Spring semester meant statistics, a class I would cut many times. A grade of C was easy to earn because many class members were poor mathematics students.   One late April day, just as I was preparing to attend statistics, someone asked when I had last attended class.  My answer was when we got our last exam back. They responded, “that was in March!"  No way could I go to class.  Cutting the entire month of April seemed a worthwhile accomplishment.


Most of my fraternity brothers copied their statistics lab sets from fraternity file copies. Not me! The statistics lab contained about 25 fifty-pound mechanical calculators.  Numbers were literally pushed into the machine which then clanked loudly for 30 or 40 seconds. The result was only one statistical measure. I tried to do labs in one sitting but the noisy machines gave me headaches. About ten years later, I saw my first hand held statistics calculator while teaching statistics for what is now Southern N. H. University.  It cost $80 and weighed a few ounces. I let the student use it. He could not do the calculations using the calculator until after I had given back the graded exam. Understanding the statistics made using the calculator easier. Today, a $15 statistics calculator meets student needs.


About 8 PM, while doing my statistics lab set, Professor Gawthrop came into the lab and announced it would close in a few minutes and would not reopen over the weekend.  With the lab due Monday, my only recourse was to unlock a window and finish Saturday morning. Critics should notice that I was getting up early on a Saturday morning to do homework! Dedication and sacrifice were my middle name! The plan would have worked had Gawthrop had not visited his office late Saturday morning and heard my noisy calculator.  He was not overly upset, but I had to leave.


Gawthrop had the world’s greatest statistics lab manual.  We bought it for a few dollars and he also required an expensive useless textbook.  A traditional textbook was probably a school requirement. His class lectures consisted of reading from the lab manual and answering questions. I could read so why bother attend class. These notes resulted in my writing and publishing a series of course notes somewhat similar to Dr. Gawthrop's class notes. . I dedicated the statistics book of the Quick Notes Free Internet Books to Dr. Paul Gawthrop.



My practice of not making the honor roll continued in college. Had a chance second semester when I earned two A’s in upper level accounting courses. A four credit D in calculus defeated me. The D was my own fault because there was an easier teacher who gave mostly A’s and B’s, but I took Dr. Bennett because of his better teaching reputation. He turned out to be a photocopy of Mr. Heufelder, my high school chemistry teacher.  Jump to And Now the Rest of the Story Part 2














In the Student Union, right before the Intermediate Accounting II final exam, the question came up as to who had cut more classes, tall Steve or myself. Both of us had missed about 2/3 of the classes. A tie was declared so Steve cut the final. His prize for winning was being drafted.  Steve had been a member of our variety eight Dad Vail Championship crew.  He would be missed; over 40 years would pass before Marietta College would again win that championship.  I called Steve about 20 years later and found him very well and working as a finished cabinetmaker.



Like Steve, fraternity President Tom Lane had a positive effect on my accounting attendance. Both living in the frat house the first alarm to go off usually prompted a discussion of going to class. More often than not we both went back to sleep. That summer Tom also left for the military. After a tour in South Korea, Tom returned to Marietta during the drug culture days of the late 1960's and finished his degree.

Tom became a human resources consultant and retired many years ago. Readers of Tom's book
Perceptual Intelligence

will quickly see the profound influence I had on his ability to interpret life. Tom also authored


The Influence of a Father: How You Can Be the Role Model and Mentor Your Children Need and

He Still Speaks: Embracing the Prophetic Today

Senior year meant a low draft number and possibly going to war.


The semester got off to a great start. Having a car on campus really made life more enjoyable, but money was going fast. Then Steven Lee wanted to have lunch with his girlfriend and asked for a fraternity meal plan refund. This had never been done. My unique solution Solomon like solution was that I would eat lunches and Steve would eat dinners. Because dinners cost more than lunches, the appropriate rebates were 75% for lunch and a 25% for dinner. I could also have based the rebate on 90% of price as 10% of the term had expired but felt Steven, who was very good a cards, would not understand such complicated logic. If you believe this, there is this bridge... This was a very practical decision. Steve had plenty of money and I needed spending money.  A Libertarian, I made a socialist decision because it meant money in my pocket. Today's Neoconservatives would be proud.


“If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”  I hope Winston was wrong about me. By thirty I was conservative, by forty a centrist, and by fifty a centrist who voted Democratic because of a need to fix health care, a women's right to choose and later I added stem-cell research. It seems the more time I devoted to political issues, the more liberal I became. My contemporaries had families to support which meant less time and more financial responsibilities. Does this mean that as baby-boomers age, they will return to their liberal ways.


I signed up for an on campus job interviews with the General Accounting Office and promptly forgot about it. Seeing an accounting classmate wearing a coat and tie one morning about a month later alerted me to my 11:00 AM interview. I arrived with seconds to spare. The interview did not go well. It was embarrassing. I did not know anything about the GAO. I think the interviewers were amused. They had a list of eight or so characteristics that would qualify someone for a job and I made it with a B average or higher in my major and by being a fraternity officer. Within a few weeks, a letter came offering me a job. Being the first Lambda Chi senior with a job made me a celebrity. Soon a letter arrived announcing the annual governments pay increase. Told everyone about my raise. Then the GAO increased the starting grade level for new hires and I got another raise. People wonder how this could be happening to someone who seldom wore socks and rarely went to class.


I got depressed. Maybe it was my draft number of 53. I decided to make the eight hundred mile, sixteen hour drive to my parents’ home in Kingston, Massachusetts.  Left at 11:00 PM and except for a brief rest my eyes stop in NJ, I drove straight through.  Only stayed a few days and after calming down, I and returned to finish college.





Homecoming 1966

People say you cannot go home again but I did and it was great. I took Sandy to the dance and we both had a weekend away from problems.

Three Lambda Chi fraternity brothers were the talk of campus. It seems they were the first Midwestern students busted for marijuana. All were members of Lambda Chi's large pledge class brought in my junior year. Two of the three did well, as one earned a PhD in chemistry; one became a practicing chiropractor but the third one struggled in and out of homeless shelters. Later involvement with this pledge class would reveal they were probably tied for the greatest pledge class in Marietta College history.


Only five months had past and the entire culture of my college had changed. The baby boomers were in charge and they did a little booze, a lot of marijuana, and were not going to sit still for Vietnam. This was not the first time I had observed a substantial change in behavior caused by baby boomers coming of age.  Three years earlier, I had observed a substantial number of fans drinking alcohol at a Silver Lake High School Thanksgiving football game. The baby boomers were leading a societal charge and in this case, many of the older Silver Lake fans were very willing to follow.

I also got a chance see Mary Steers and Dr. Change. Dr. Change demonstrated his personality by remembering me as Alma's brother. She was one of his current students and what made the remark interesting was that when my older brother Stanley, an economics major from the class of 1964 returned for homecoming 1964, Dr. Change remembered him as Walter's brother. Stanley earned a Master's degree from Lehigh University and is a retired economics teacher and Alma, who graduated Cum Laude in 1967, is a retired programmer. Alma earned an M Ed from Harvard, tried high school teaching but quit after a few months, as the system thought her calling parents in hopes of getting them involved with their child's education was inappropriate.


And Now, the Rest of the Story or Looking Back as an Educator


The two A’s, one B, and seven C’s I earned my freshman year were about average. College education had yet to become the big business it is today and grade inflation was a few years away. The statement made at our freshman orientation, “look to your left and to your right, one of you three will not graduate” proved to be correct. Most would leave for academic/maturity reasons. Today, grades are easier so most eventually graduate, but many are finding they made a poor economic investment. Colleges rationalize by thinking they educate; preparing students for potential employment is not their business.


My decision not to maximize my cumulative grade point average was completely unconscious. I had always earned A’s and B’s in courses requiring mathematics, B’s and C’s in history type courses, and C’s and D’s in English type course and those that required a good memory. These courses required more work by me for a satisfactory grade and I did the work. Others didn’t and flunked out


Average grades in college had no effect on my life. Not taking more mathematics probably cost me acceptance into the University of Massachusetts Economics doctorate program.  But I did not stay long in the Doctor of Business Administration program I attended at Arizona State University and would not have stayed long at the University of Massachusetts.


One reason for my poor calculus grade was a lack of organization. There was nothing methodical about my personality.  This means I could never have been a successful accountant. I had the mathematics ability but not the bow tie personality.


Proof of my poor accounting personality came three years after graduation. I had earned an MBA from Northeastern University, Boston Massachusetts. Adding a CPA designation to my résumé seemed logical so I decided to accumulate the required accounting experience by working part-time for a local CPA. It took about four weeks for owner Charlie Hood to say my accounting career was over. I had not even learned to properly use a calculator. I was relieved. Four or five years of part time accounting would have killed me.


Neither Marietta College nor my advisor Mary Steers made an attempt to guide me to an appropriate major. Given my interest in economics and aggressive personality, finance would have been a much more appropriate major.  Few colleges then or now would direct a successful student not receiving financial aid to another department or college because of the student needs. It's about academics and taking the money. It's buyer beware when it comes to the economic return from any level education beyond the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic that are taught in the first few grades of elementary school.


Steven Lee struggled academically. His father, a Marietta College alumnus, probably helped with his acceptance. Steve didn’t graduate on time and needed to earn two B’s the summer of sixty-six.  He took two religion courses from Dr. Johnson who was the local Congregational minister, went to church every Sunday, and earned two A’s.


Steve went into elementary education and earned a Master’s Degree plus 15 hours from Eastern Michigan University. Working in one of the highest paid unionized school districts in suburban Detroit, his annual salaries was higher than mine, though I earned extra money teaching overloads in accounting, economics, and statistics.  After spending thirty plus years teaching at a number of elementary schools, Steve sold his future social security to the state of Michigan and took early retirement. The state replaced him with a less expensive teacher and hoped he would live a long time.


Steve didn’t speak the King’s English very well. This bothered some parents and administrators. On the other hand, Steve was a very nice person who always worked hard. While visiting Steve some thirty years ago, we happen upon a former student's parent.  The women thanked Steve many times for having had such a positive effect on her child. There were probably many parents who felt this way. Parents and administrators bothered by his style of teaching ability represent a miss guided majority who over emphasize the importance of the academic aspect of elementary education.


In 1986, Steve and I decided to increase the number of Lambda Chi Alpha brothers attending Marietta reunions. We targeted the 1988 reunion because of our large 1964 pledge class. E-mail had not been invented so snail mail was used to communicate a cut and paste photocopied list of phone numbers. Letters went to mid-sixties graduates with a request to talk with their brothers about attending.


The process worked very well. About 15 showed up with most being from our primary target market. 

Thankfully brother Bob Jensen, a computer whiz would take over the marketing after a few reunions.

Now held annually, it is one of the premier Marietta College homecoming events. The Lambda Chi pledge class of 1964 strikes again!   


This group of students was truly outstanding. Rob and Grant  would chair the college's board of trustees.  Academically, of the forty-plus students who signed as pledges, twenty-nine made it to the 1966 fraternity picture and the 2007 Alumni Directory provided information on the twenty-five Marietta College graduates. There were five lawyers, two PhDs, two MBA's two M A's, one MS, one M Ed, one CPA and one chiropractor.


I love read science, history and news publications and visited Greece to see the foundation of western civilization and Egypt to see where early civilization began. But to me, college was about career preparation. Poor academic ability and desire to use time economically just limited my involvement because I was there to earn a piece of paper.  See my Book Summaries Internet Library.


Dr. Hill, my Comparative Government professor, would enjoy this site where I publish summaries of books like Presidential Courage. For one of the few times in my life, I blew his final exam. I wrote for three hours on two essay questions.  On my way out of the building (no, I didn't see Elvis) the realization hit me that I had completely misinterpreted one of the questions. Zero points on one of two questions and I needed to pass this course to graduate! The next day I searched him out and sure enough, I completely blew it. He mentioned I probably deserved a B instead of the C he had given me and I had the feeling that a few minutes chatting could have changed the grade but I had no interest in a higher grade. I was off  to Pinks!


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