Chapter 5 Year Five Brings Applying to Graduate School
We move to Marblehead
John’s lobster dinner one hot summer Saturday evening resulted in our property owner asking us to move out. The problem had been John’s decision to leave the lobster shell cleanup until Monday morning and with many wide-open windows, every fly within smelling distance moved into our kitchen. John soon found us a Psychiatrist’s summer place about twenty miles north of Boston in Marblehead, Massachusetts. It was literally on the water as a northeast storm that winter would soak the windows of the sun solarium located at the end of our long narrow new home. Entry to the solarium was from the living room through a floor to ceiling sliding door/window to the nicely furnished small room had ocean views on three sides.
In those days moving meant packing my car with important stuff first and if it did not fit, it did not go. Living in a wealth tourist town proved rewarding though my commute went from a short hour to a long hour and leaving by 6:30 AM because being late for an 8AM accounting class was not an option. Mary would be proud. Interestingly, not only did I not do late, I almost never missed class.
Years later managing the Franklin Pierce College Evening Division Rindge Campus I found the unionized faculty playing an interesting game called maximize hourly pay. They would miss many classes. Some even cut their own exams by having the evening division secretary hand out the then un-proctored exams. I stopped the practice. Sometime later, a retired economic teacher came to visit and mentioned how he and I had gotten off to a bad start. I had no idea what he was talking about until years later when reading my all old memos, I found one to the faculty stating they had to make up missed classes. Evening classes met for three hours so a missed class was really three missed classes. Bad start for him, not me!
My brother Stanley had a Jekyll and Hide personality when it came to missing class. As a full-time unionized faculty member, he took all his allowed contracted sick and personal days, even if it meant going on an unscheduled vacation to use days that did not accumulate. I was the opposite. I made up missed classes by scheduling an optional extra help session on some other night or Saturday morning. A few time I had two sessions, as some students could not make the scheduled make-up class
My mom had a long battle with Parkinson’s disease and I had to decide what to do when she passed. I decided not miss a class and fretted a little how it might be a tough night. She left us on a Saturday morning so missing a class was not a problem. Stan took four personal days. Stan had a different philosophy for evening overload teaching. Working as an adjunct, he seldom missed class because adjuncts that miss class were not invited back!
I had been teaching a four-day week for a few years and Friday was my off day. Ten to 12 hour days for four plus days became a way of life until I semi-retired to evening teachers, writing, and just looking good!
Friday morning in Marblehead began with John using his Smith-Corona portable to type cover letters for this week’s ten job applications and with me doing a little teaching stuff as I was traveling less on weekends as Ben had graduated and group of four members Dwight had gotten married.
Dwight the last Group of Four Member.
Dwight possessed the most math/verbal intelligence of our group and led in Interpersonal Intelligence. Almost blond hair and about six feet tall with a body builder’s body, girl drifted his way. Too talented and spoiled for his own good, he had floated through high school, spent two years working in Germany as a trooper for the Army, floated for a while and then because marriage meant responsibility, had gotten a very good job as an IMB typewriter repairman (too early to call him a repairperson). Wearing his expensive suit, white shirt and matching tie, he looked like Don Draper and to me, was acting like Jarod the Pretender as this was his first civilian job. He had tried to work his senior year in high school but quit over Christmas when it became apparent that with me home for the holidays and with both tall and not-so-tall Dennis leaving for the service, working meant missing quite a few parties.
Dwight was about ten when he moved to Kingston and had immediately challenged my year younger sister Alma for the top fourth grade academic student spot I met him that summer when he immediately threw me the Gray’s beech second raft. Band of four members tall Dennis introduced us and we would be inseparable throughout until our mid-twenties.
Another Good Basketball Team
The arrival of a great basketball play at NEAI continued my tradition of being involved with great basketball teams. Having used all his basketball eligibility attending NHC and a southern college did not affect his junior colleges eligibility. We won many games but a problem arrived right before Dave’s graduation. It seems his English teacher was going to flunk the young man in what would be his last college course. I explain my problem with her how I had a problem with three colleges over six years receiving substantial publicity because of about 150 basketball wins, numerous championships and no Associate’s Degree. The teacher was unresponsive to my request. Then I pointed out this may have resulted from an English Departments inadequacy. Maybe we needed more time to provide students with the extra help needed for success. Perhaps an adjustment to next terms class schedule I was preparing could provide more student tutoring time. She knew this meant her schedule of five classes would begin at 8AM and end at 3PM with a class during the lunch hour she often enjoyed with her two amigos. A passing grade resulted.
While not academic, the student had leadership qualities and he looked like a 6’5” Atlas. We had an interesting altercation one Friday evening. I was on campus because the black students were having a dance and as Dean of Men, I needed to be on campus. After returning from an away baseball game, most of the team went straight to the dance. Some decided to shower.
It did not take long for our mostly white team members who had enjoyed coach bought beer on the ride home to cause an unintended disturbance. It quickly ended. Not seeing my basketball star, I began the one hundred yard walk through the thinly grown tall pine forest toward the dorm. We met half way and as I suspected, he had heard of the disturbance and was not happy. Talk about David and Goliath. Only this time David was a short and very weak Italian Not Stallion. It took a while but he settled down. I was not as we had number of inner city black students and they were a docile group. He was big and strong but not aggressive and especially not mean.
Applying to Graduate School
I completed a sequence of three recently added courses to the Northeastern MBA program requirements. Applications were sent to Arizona State University and the University of Colorado for DBA Programs and to U. Mass. for an Economics PhD. The first two were chosen because of their high fast graduates rates and the later because I had taken four courses there over two summers, knew the place and because I like economics. The DBA programs required the Graduate Record Exam while U. Mass required the Graduate Record Exam in Economics. The latter exam went uneventfully until I wanted a not allowed smoke brake. Not happy but I was not thrown out.
My score in the DBA required test came back and I got the expected 80th percentile score I usually received when testing with an academically oriented group. The 99th plus percentile I received in the economics test was unexpected but explainable.
Why was I refused admittance by our beloved University of Massachusetts? First, my test score was dramatically inflated by teaching basic economics for five years. For this test, I had a photographic memory, which is not relevant to anything but party tricks and personal enjoyment. Second, a lot of those taking the test were math majors with little economics knowledge who needing an application for their skill set. Thirdly, I had taken a Differential Calculus course at BU that summer, which I hoped, would prove enough ability in mathematic. It did not.
John Gets a Strange Phone Call
One bright spring Friday morning, John seemed a little bewildered while answering the phone. I could feel the tension. The conversation did not last long and a bewilder John soon explained the bazaar call. It seems one of John’s BU classmates had just hysterically chastised John for having two jobs offers and the caller who had worked and slaved for years did not have a single offer. John gives new meaning to the term cool but he was bewilder, shocked, confused… Economic growth was slow, jobs were scares, and this student had just lost it. I wondered whether the student had taken a difficult analytical undergraduate degree like accounting, had earned a Master’s degree, worked full time while attending law school, and spent every Friday morning for months sending out about two hundred resumes. All he earned for this extensive effort was one law company job-offer and an offer was from the prestigious Arthur Anderson Accounting partnership. John went with Arthur Anderson for a high for the time yearly salary of thirteen thousand dollar. The law firm was paying an apprentice salary of $5.000 because then, as now, there is an oversupply of law school graduates. However, times were different. My teaching salary had grown over five years from $5,500 to about $7,000. I had bought two new cars each costing $2,700.
Leaving NEAI is Not Easy
Year 5 might be the last at NEAI as I accepted an offer from the Arizona State Graduate School. Having been a large fish in a small pond had been as enjoyable but a career in college teaching required a terminal degree. To signify what a few thought was my importance to the school they created the Walter G. Antoniotti Best Business Student award. Being the Dean of Men at 22 had made me a “Living Legend in MY Own Mind” and this honor added to the legend. Leaving this small close family and heading off to what I hoped would be three years of graduate school had my GI track unhappy. Possible ulcer was the diagnosis. However, off I went with all I owned packed into my 1969 Mercury Comet.
And Now the Rest of the Story.
Many years later Tom Cross, 1970, organized and contributed to a collection of funds to recognize the three outstanding business teachers during NEAI's first ten years and this long discontinued Antoniotti award became the Antoniotti, Solomon, Watson award honoring Jane Solomon and Jerry Watson. Contact the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.
Our basketball star went on to played professional basketball in Mexico for a year or two. Upon his return, I called assistant Celtics coach John Killalea who had coached our Silver Lake Indian Hoosiers type basketball team and asked if he would give my former student a tryout. He was very nice but said player in Mexico were scouted and if he deserved a tryout, he would have gotten one. There is a big difference between the 99th percentile and the 99+ percentile it takes to make the NBA. Some like me might look like the best out of 100 candidates but the experts can see the difference. I lost track, but I heard that he had returned to his hometown where he had done very well working to the top of the Parks and Recreation Department. This did not surprise me as he had many of the personal characteristics required for succeed. I am betting he did OK.
Dwight with wife Betty and first son Darin
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