At the time, the honorary society included 68 seniors (or about 13% of the Class of 1968). Now six juniors had been elected, receiving the honor of early admission. Later, during my senior year, several dozen additional Class of 1969 members would join us.
My grade point average at the time was approximately 3.9, with 4.0 the highest possible. Presumably we six were the top 1% of our class.
The next night marked the start of the college's Mock Convention, which would nominate a candidate for President in the same manner as at the real 1968 Republican National Convention in August. This was a major event on campus.
However, according to the Oberlin Review, the students who impersonated convention delegates did not all agree on how to play their roles. Should they vote as if they were real-world Republican politicians, or should they vote their own consciences? Should they be conservatives or liberals?
Senior Bill McClintock and steering committee members advocated political realism as the most educational and meaningful criterion. Many students, however, recommended personal preference, hoping to use Mock Convention as an expression of student opinion. In the end, the Convention necessarily provided a mixture of the two.
The Steering Committee suggested that delegates consider equally what the Republican Party will do and what it should do.
Much of WOBC relocated to Jones Field House for the event. I described my part here.
Here's what I didn't know at the time about the invited speaker who gave the keynote address, Charles Goodell, a Republican Congressman from New York.
The following Thursday afternoon, May 9, I met at WOBC with seniors John Heckenlively and Paul Sturm plus engineers Tom Ammons and Gary Freeman. According to my report to the Board of Trustees later that day, Tom and Gary told us they'd learned a lot recently in their effort to build a very small console for use at Mock Convention as a mixer for the PA microphones. They almost got this mixer completed but ran into a problem in getting the various components to work together properly when connected to the same power supply.
It had originally been our plan that over the summer, Tom and Gary would tear out the aging control panel in WOBC's on-air control room and construct a new console at an estimated cost of $4,000. Why build a home-made console? Well, a professional audio board would have cost much more and wouldn't have been as much fun. But if similar difficulties arose, we might be left without any console in September.
Therefore, we decided to test thoroughly before buying all the parts and beginning to build. Final assembly might have to be delayed until the summer of 1969.
The engineers promised that the partial construction and repairs to be done this summer will put us in better technical shape this fall than we've been in for several years, despite the fact that the old switching circuitry is still threatening to give out within a year or so and must eventually be replaced.
A small prototype would be installed in the DJ studio in the summer of 1968, but I didn't get to see the new console until after I had graduated. It was stereo-capable, of course. However, WOBC wouldn't acquire an FM stereo transmitter for a few years more after that.
In May of 68 in the Garden of Eden, honey we played songs like this. We couldn't transmit them in stereo, but now, via YouTube, you can watch a video recorded that month by I. Ron Butterfly and listen in glorious two-channel sound. As an amateur organist, I especially enjoy the keyboard solo that starts at 9:08, with the Leslie tremolo kicking in at 9:57.
One evening, I took my camera to dinner at the dining room of the South Hall dormitory.
Worries Transmitted via ESP
Families today are in constant contact, texting each other with updates on their activities. But this was not the case in the Sixties. The only means of communication were telegrams (which were hardly ever sent), or letters, or telephone calls. A letter took time to write and to reach its destination, and a long-distance phone call was expensive.
Jan Olson admitted I call home very seldom, and her older siblings, brother Carl and sister Lynn, did so even less often.
I, on the other hand, generally phoned home every Sunday evening, when the rates were lower. That included a Mother's Day call on May 12. It happened that Jan's brother Carl likewise called his mom that night.
The day after Lynn's call, May 14, Jan confided to me that she was uneasy and felt she should call home. This wasn't because her siblings had done so she was unaware of that but because of a very bad dream the night before, in which both Lynn and her mother were in danger. Others in her family were in the dream too. She couldn't phone Lynn because she didn't have her number, but she could phone her mother.
Then you should, I told her.
Jan reported, When I called and asked if everything was all right there, Mom laughed. Carl called Sunday night for Mother's Day, she said. Then Lynn called Monday, and you call Tuesday because you feel that something is not right! I have been worrying recently, but I hadn't realized that the worry was reaching you!
Jan admitted that all of this could very easily be a coincidence, but nevertheless it was remarkable. She confessed, I do have a strong desire to believe in the supernatural. My interest in ESP (and in UFO's and in other galaxies) is related to this because I am fascinated by the mysterious and the unknown. They seduce my imagination.
Many Questions about Latex Drops
End of the School Year
classical music department was also beginning to loosen up its
formats as the semester drew to a close. Richard Rodstein took
over the station all day Saturday, May 18, to play recordings of four
complete operas: Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle. And on his
Tuesday Afternoon Concert, math major Bob Devereaux
(below) was choosing selections according to their titles:
Shakespeare, celebrations, and fire/water.
It was now time for final exams. One of mine, on Wednesday, May 29, was in Russian. I must confess that I never really achieved Russian proficiency. One day as we were leaving class, another student called out a remark to me, but he was too far away to be understood. I was in the mode of speaking not-English, so naturally I replied Ich kann Sie nicht hören! (That's not Russian, by the way. It's German.)
Here's a portion of my textbook Russian for the Scientist. I no longer can translate paragraphs like the one at the bottom, but I can decipher a few cognates of English terms. For example, the Cyrillic characters of the first couple of words can be read as Kriticheskiye temperaturi, which must mean Critical temperatures.
I also had a final exam in Physics 38 the day before, and a Physics 36 final the following Monday. And thus my junior-year studies came to an end!