Monday, November 10, 2008

A Letter To My Alma Mater (with reply)

Reply below.

It's not Tuesday yet. I'm allowed to post a letter really late, if I have a good excuse. Tonight I took a bubble bath and afterwards felt dizzy.

Office of the President
Wittenberg University
P.O. Box 720
Springfield, Ohio 45501-0720
President Mark Erickson

Dear Mr. Erickson,

As a 2005 graduate of Wittenberg University, I’m always looking for ways to give back to my alma mater that doesn’t involve monetary donations. I have a brick with my name inscribed on it somewhere on campus, you know. Buried underneath that brick lies the secret that can save us all. Find the brick, Mr. Erickson, and you’ll find the antidote. Nah, I’m just kidding. There is no antidote.

Anyway, the reason I’m writing is tell you of an idea I had to broaden Witt’s liberal arts scope and teach the kids some useful skills for the future. While visiting my Grandmother this past weekend we started talking about the Great Depression. Specifically, I asked her for tips on how I could survive a Depression if it happened again. There was a lot of information! I was very impressed, so to compensate for my insecurity I told her what an iPhone is and how you can play Marble Madness on it. She had no clue what I was talking about, and I again felt superior.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that Wittenberg needs a major program based on Depression Living. Studies show that in the next ten years, the need for people with Depression Living degrees will grow by millions and millions. What a market to be in! I understand it can be difficult to build a curriculum from scratch, so here’s some course suggestions.

First, I think you’ll need a basic course on vegetables. How to grow them, how to can them, how to make thin, cloudy soups from them. Instead of lab study, teach kids how to make pickles and sauerkraut in their cellars. Did you know you can bury carrots in the cellar and they will stay fresh all winter? Are you calling my Grandmother a liar?

Another prerequisite would be advanced sewing. How to make a little girl’s dress from empty grain sacks, how to re-sole shoes using scraps from the rubber factory. I don’t know any of these skills, but I wish I did. Just yesterday I used shoe polish on my brown dress shoes for the first time. I was skeptical that the company knew exactly what shade of brown my shoes were, but there they are, looking slightly better. Who knew?

Of course, our new major has some fun electives in it also. Tomorrow’s Depression Living graduates will need to know the history of drifter folk music and its theory. Everyone should be able to diagram “Big Rock Candy Mountain,” and they will have to write a ballad for their senior thesis. Also, there could be a course called “Games Made of Hoops and Sticks.” That one might only be two credits, we’ll have to discuss it further with the provost.

I’m really excited to forge a new line of study at Wittenberg. Can you imagine the looks on Oberlin and Kenyon’s faces when they hear we’ve beaten them to the punch again? Lutherans – 1; Presbyterians – 0. Anywho, let me know when you’d like to meet to appoint a department chair (wink wink).


The Correspondent



Tom said...

I think I need that major...

Anonymous said...

I don't know why, but I can't read the reply from Wittenburg U.