I Started This With…

We lost Bob Cooley.  But then it dawned on me – probably because of the phone calls I received.  We didn’t lose Bob Cooley – we simply shared him with the folks in heaven.

Bob taught Mathematics here from 1962 to 1999.  If the calls are any indicator, while he stopped teaching in the classroom, he continued teaching in the hearts and minds of his students…

I think the term is “profound impact”.  We would all be so lucky to have folks say that about us.

For a great piece by Steve Charles, click here.

Rest in peace, Bob Cooley – you certainly earned it.

Note: A Memorial Service is planned in Crawfordsville on Saturday, January 1, 2011 at St. Johns.

Merry Christmas – See You Next Year

The Grunge's Christmas Train

The Grunge is 61 years old.  When I responded that to a question asked by my grandson Karston, he rolled his eyes and said “Aren’t most people dead by then?”  I assured him I still had a few sorties in me.

And, I’m still a kid at heart at Christmas.

One of my traditions is the Christmas train.  The train runs around an “aux” tree…one of the four or five we have.  The train is a “just because” item.  There’s no reason to have it set up other than “just because”.

I hope you have a few “just becauses” as well.  I have a couple of more.  Smile Train. American Cancer Society.  March of Dimes.  Just like that silly old train, knowing they are there and not going away, and that I helped a little bit, makes me feel better. ..and hopefully someone else does as well.

I hope your other “just because” is Wabash.  Just because you believe in what we do here for young men.  Just because Wabash changed your life.  Just because Wabash men make a difference.  Just because…well…just because.

I’ll be GaBunge starting this weekend.  I have heard there’s already a “spoilage alert” in part of the US.   See you back here in January…

Travel safe…

Look Who Stopped By

Santa Claus - A Wabash Little Giant Fan

I was making my way into the basketball game last Sunday afternoon when I just happened to look over and see Santa Claus at the game.  I was even more excited to see Santa was definitely a Little Giants fan.  Santa waved to the crowd and made the day of a couple of small children just by winking at them.  None stopped to wonder about Santa coming all the way to C’ville during his busiest week of the year.

I could have easily explained it.  Santa borrowed Dr. Keith Baird’s (’56) red Porsche for the trip to C’ville…so he was here and gone in a flash.  In fact, I am pretty sure Doc Baird is Santa’s personal flight surgeon.  We couldn’t have a head cold slow down Santa, could we?

Wabash Alumni Officiate New Mexico Bowl

New Mexico Bowl

Hope you took the opportunity to watch a little football this past weekend, especially the New Mexico Bowl.

Two Wabash alumni were a part of the officiating crew:  Steve Woods ’93 was the umpire and Tim Maguire ’86 was a fieldjudge.  That might qualify them to be future Deans of Students!

Seriously, selection for a bowl game is a very big deal and demonstrates their skill and reputation.  Well done Tim and Steve!

Get Out Those Calendars!

Here’s the Div. III basketball poll from last week.  Two NCAC teams in the Top 10…and Witt is not one of them!

So, get your pencils out and note the following:

Wooster AT Wabash – Saturday, January 8, 2011.  (Students still on break – that’s a hint!)

Wabash at Wooster – Saturday, Feb 5, 2011 at 2:00 PM.

So, I WILL see you in Chadwick Court on Jan 8th…right?

New Book by Phil Coons '67

Phil Coons ’67 and his wife, Liz Bowman, have just published a book Psychiatry in Indiana: The First 175 Years. Liz and Phil address the history of Phychiatry in Indiana using a combination of in-depth scientific research and personal anecdotes.  (I wonder how many of Phil’s classmates are mentioned in the book?)

To see more about the book and to order it, click on this link.

Congratulations to Liz and Phil!

Midnight Munch

You already know…I love this event.  Driving home from Chicago yesterday I thought of 57 different reasons that I didn’t need to go this time.  I was tired.  It was cold.  There would be plenty of people there.

All of the whinny stuff. (Correction:  Mr. Avery Nickelson was nice enough to tell me that horses whinny but I was whiney.)

At 9:15 PM (real time was 2115), I jumped in the shower and headed out the door.  I wanted to get there early enough to share Line #3 with the regulars.

Makes It All Worthwhile...and then some.

Here’s a small example of why this is so much fun.  That’s Lexie Hoerl, professor of Political Science, talking with a student.  You can see right away they share the Wabash experience.  She won’t change one bit her grading and the student, if he is in one of her courses, wouldn’t want that to happen.  That’s not the purpose.  The night really is about the Wabash community coming together and wishing the guys the best of luck.

The perfect "flip"

Pat White loves the evening as well.  He’s the Presidential pancake maker as I have said before.  Last night, the challenge was to make a “W” pancake and then flip it perfectly for the completed “W”.  After a practice or two, and a little wrist action coaching by Ethan Hollander (Professor of Political Science), Pat landed a 3 1/2 double twist, flip something-or-other perfectly.

For a few more photos, click here.

The Season To Be Thankful…and Helpful

No photos for this one.  No silly graphics.  Just a request of you nine out there.  You know who you are.

We all love this time of year.  Gives us a chance to take a deep breath, help those who need it, and be thankful for all we have, and watch in wonder as special things happen for children of all ages.

We have some members of the Wabash family out there who face significant health challenges.  There’s Mike, there’s Chris, there’s little Aubrey…and I know there are many more that I don’t even know about.

I’m not asking for a dose of bone marrow, a kidney, or anything else.  Simply your knee to hit the floor and you to thank your God for everything you have and add a special prayer for these fine folks who are just like us except that they are in a fight for life.

You’ll feel better and we pray they will as well.  Thanks from Grunge.

A Must Read

This is NOT Lon Porter

Last Thursday evening, the Hays Bell Dodgeball match, between Chemistry and Biology, took place.  Now those of you who know me know that a Grunge Report on that would read stale and straightforward…

“Chemistry XXX – Biology XXX”.

Lon Porter’s report of the same match is full of life, amusing, and or me, a long trip to the dictionary.  I laughed and laughed.  Heck Lon might just talk me into being a Chem major (I know…no way!).  Here’s Lon’s report…

“Another epic night of interdisciplinary dodgeball, red in tooth and claw, rocked Allen Center this evening.  The seniors dedicated this year’s match to a couple of Hays Hall giants, Olsen and Munford.  As the games began, a new leader emerged to help the chemists in their quest to prove that chemistry is much more than the benevolent “central” science textbooks would have us believe.  Wally “Le tigre” Novak stunned the biologists with his cat-like reflexes and sage tactical acumen.  Joined by Chem/Bio dodgeball veteran Lon “Molybdenum Prime” Porter and his adamantium knee, the chemists looked to maintain ownership of the Hays Bell.  The chemistry seniors aimed to exert kinetic control and extend the three year winning streak to four.  The biologists naturally selected to pursue other plans as they hoped to secure a victory tonight that would break the series 3-3 tie and take the lead and bragging rights.  The biologists clearly looked to lay down the central dogma and introduce the chemists to their new niche…pain.

The entropy of the court quickly confirmed the second law’s impact on the opening games.  Uncertainty ran rampant, but guys were quickly reminded that wavefunctions for particles with these masses are very small; you really can ascertain the position AND momentum of a dodgeball with GREAT certainty when it knocks you flat.  Le Châtelier smiled on the chemists as equilibrium quickly shifted away from the biologists.  These early victories were not without great survival costs; opportunistic predation resulted in early chemistry injuries.  These palled in comparison to the biologists that migrated away in hopes of mate selection…and 50 cent Keystone Lights or Cactus Cups in more northern field ranges.

Given the upsetting desertion, the biologists threw the entire phylogenetic tree at the chemists for the Hays Bell match.  The remaining senior, junior, and sophomore bio guys herded together and took on the uninjured senior chem majors for the final prize.  The first game of the Bell match was a nail biter and shifted back and forth like a clock reaction.  After following major metabolic pathways, ATP was expended and the chemists claimed first blood.  While exciting, the second game had a much shorter half-life and also went to the chemists for another clean sweep.  Electrons were pushed, activation barriers were overcome, and Punnett squares were filled…however, in the end…the biologists folded like a protein.  There is no joy in Down House – mighty Darwin’s men have struck out.  While the Bell remains in the chemistry side of the display case in Hays, the bonds of friendship and scholarship remain ever strong (covalent of course, right about 154 kJ/mol at last glance).  Following the Bell game, the biologists did rally to win a friendly game or two.  It was great fun and yet another tradition that many of us hold dear.  Thanks to all the folks who participated and to those who came to laugh at the spectacle.  As many of us settle down with a cool beverage and a crossword puzzle (as Polley might recommend), we hope that those anti-inflammatory, organic synthetic targets kick in and work their biochemical magic…until next year, Wabash!”