My recent post on Hillsdale as Avalon has garnered a few emails. Apparently College Friend No. 1 struck a chord. I got this response in the mail the other day:
Poor guy. I know how he feels. I don't know who he is, but I think he is Hillsdale Everyman. The only drawback to Hillsdale being the best of times and the worst of times is that leaving it becomes such a painful farewell to the land of our emotional birth. And sometimes, I, too look wistfully up the oval towards the end of the semester, almost thinking I could see the Wiley of the Apocalypse thundering down the path towards me, almost thinking I could hear his primal scream marking the end to the semester's angst, and almost feeling the breeze as his heronic legs pumped wildly by, wishing he could carry my spirit away, like the horsemen of legend.
How about we open a Hillsdale alumni cemetery, with the plots divided according to class year, and special monuments for the RA's. Our selling point could be "The Ultimate Reunion--Eternity!"
Hillsdale, it seems, has an odd effect on many of its alumni. For four years, we literally sat around and, like Socrates and the gang, talked about virtue all day--well, at least after we had stopped talking about Kappas or Waterman girls. :) Granted, the school did lack things. Latin and calculcus weren't compulsory. We didn't read enough Thomas Aquinas in the core clases. And the reality of the polity was always a little short of its catalogue. (The "Spenser and the 16th Century" class was never offered, for example.) But the 'Dale was, nonetheless, a really hard place to leave.