The Glory Has Departed


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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Grumpy Lutheran - On WELS Hazing



Dr. Jackson,

Your recent posting had me thinking back to my long ago ZEX year.  

Just a week or so ago I would imagine the newest freshman class got mustered into MLS.

I remember how, as a freshman, the attitude and personality of the upperclassmen changed once the parents started to wander off after that "enrollment" Sunday and the dorms became pretty much devoid of adult supervision.  True, there was the occasional tutor, but the ratio was something like 2 tutors for over 140 male dormers leads to pretty thin coverage. 
It was definitely an "interesting" experience.  Whenever I read about the plebe year at military academies, or about English boarding school (such as Robert Graves' autobiography "Goodbye To All That") I always find myself doing an "experience comparison".

Although I have not kept in contact with my old alma mater, nor have I had any children who have subsequently attended MLS, I have been told the hazing that was so common during freshman year has all but disappeared.  Considering the age of a freshman in the dorm at MLS (13 or 14 years old), the "traditional" hazing would be a lawsuit waiting to happen, especially in today's litigious society.  In addition, the proliferation of cell phones with camera and video capabilities, as well as access to email, would tend to help police overt abuses.,

Our former pastor, who was about 30 years younger than myself and also an alumni of MLS, would often go on about the hazing of his freshman year.
He then made it known that he was a "townie".
Uh-huh....home every night, and home all weekend, every weekend.

"Boy, Pastor, that sure must have been tough"  ....eyes rolling....laughing hysterically (in private).

I will say this about the hazing...
While I never look back on my high (prep) school with fond nostalgia, I am proud of having endured that time without letting it break my spirit.

I even must confess that I look with some disdain on those students who entered MLS in their sophomore (or later) years and avoid that "trial by fire" ZEX year.
To a certain extent, I don't consider them to be full fledged alumni.  The same can be said for townies; sorry guys and gals, you just never had the full experience.

Ok, I guess that makes me a bit of a snob, and maybe even a little mentally imbalanced (denigrating those who did not "suffer" enough).  
Trust me, I have no right to "look down" on anyone.

Well, that's enough of walking down memory lane.
I will probably wake up screaming again tonight.
Just joking...my therapy sessions have finally silenced the night terrors.


Grumps