Thursday, April 10, 2014

Omitted Aspects of my A.R.S.E

              Ancient History

William Penfound & Ted Noss & Cyrus Anderson
These three had fine reputations in biology and
sociology and education and  retired to Warren
Wilson to join our faculty in the  70’s when
distinguished professors resigned from big-boy
places to continue a career here.  We didn’t have
all the earned doctorate doctors  back then as we
do now.  

Two of these fellows eventually found
themselves falling into an idiosyncratic
obsession with aspects of their profession
that ultimately led to their neglecting the
common-place nitty-gritty  devilish details
of their discipline.

Noss fell in love with narrating his own
career and  Penfound got obsessive over
some aspect of environmentalism. 

Dr. Anderson would listen to the world
series in head phones while we were
planning monumental  changes in the
Core and Calendar.

My brother-in-law was an Episcopalian
Priest with degrees from Princeton, Yale
and Harvard  who took on the business
world as a career personnel executive
for Container Corporation.

“I walked through the back wall of the ‘church,’
he said  describing his progress.  A beyond-
goodies-&-weasels break through, perhaps—if
not beyond good and evil.

I walked though the back wall of “school” a little
later —several times in fact going back in at the
front door and sure enough: out the rear end. 
Of but not In.  In but not of.

A former student and current staff member sent
me an article on my hero, Gregory Bateson:

       “Old Men Ought to Be Explorers” 

That assumes some stalwart-ness. Some sense
of the  location of  frontiers yet unknown.

There’s more than a good chance I’m spiraling  into
the idiosyncratic compulsion and personal anecdotal
obsession of a Ted Noss and William Penfound.
Knowing it may be somewhat redeeming.

No country for old men.
An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
 Soul clap its hands and sing, and
louder sing For every tatter in its
mortal dress

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