I guess many Antiochians know that there are many couples who are Antiochians who have met here and then have fallen in love. For some, romance was transient, and for countless others, forever.
Some decades ago a smiling older couple came into the Olive Kettering Library during a Reunion and said they were going to walk over to the very stack where they had met. Their joy was palpable. They disappeared into the stacks while holding hands. I hoped they got to their exact destination!
Many years later on a hot summer day (2008) while I was working at the College Revival Fund on Xenia Avenue, I slipped over to the OKLibrary during lunch to see how my ex-co-workers and the shuttered campus in general were faring. I saw a couple who seemed to meander in the horseshoe area near the McGregor Building. They flagged me down and asked, “What was happening with the College?”. Then they pointed up to McGregor and said, “We just wanted to see the place where we first met.” That turned out to be an Entrepreneurship course taught by Catherine LaPalombara ’78, former Professor of Management. They were driving across the country and wanted to take a quick detour and pilgrimage to the spot where they met. They didn’t know we had closed. Who knew that a class in entrepreneurship could start a great new venture like theirs? That just figures.
And speaking of figures, once during a 2010 phonathon to get people to a San Francisco Chapter meeting, about 10 local volunteers scattered around South Hall (the only building open at that time other than the library). We used temporary Virgin Mobile cell phones to call everyone we could in the Bay Area. The newly re-opened campus had had most of its phones removed! As luck would have it and the way the database got printed out, I received sheets of just “couples” in the Bay Area. Believe me, it was page after page of couples. I started wondering in awe how many Antiochians must be married to other Antiochians, I guess, for me, each of these “come to meeting” calls was a two-fer, yet more people than one could count easily. I was amazed!
After I returned back to the library in Fall 2011, as the first few classes in years arrived, it wasn’t too long before some people bonded in a romantic way. One night at the library’s closing, I bumped into some romance happening in the basement area where Antonio Gramsci and other revolutionary thinkers are shelved. So I walked around to the other side of the basement and closed it first to give them and myself some breathing room. That particular romance did not last forever, though. Another night some months later and also upon closing, the door to the “Joe Cali Room” was closed, and when I opened it to tell them we were closing, the atmosphere was heavy and full of very intense conversation. That only meant one thing. Close the door!
In the time since I have seen several of the more recent grads meet, get married, and through the wonders of Facebook see that among them one couple has had two blessed events along with two master’s degrees. Also at the College, there were a few students whose parents were married Antiochians from the ’70s, ’80s, or ’90s. There must be something in the water if it isn’t in the classroom or community. Yellow Springs and the campus is collectively really quite a romantic place. (Co-op in its own way too!) For some city people, the giant trees and natural environment may seem to get in the way or be too quiet, but perhaps that lack of constant city distraction allows some sparks to start fires, maybe through a classroom or maybe in local political activities. Romance may be a revolutionary act whether you are hanging out near Marx or Gramsci, in the classroom, or even heading out to a Co-op together. If you are between 18 and 22 and traveling all over the country and then then look back…it is a romantic notion of a different kind.
Some first-year students are currently slowly getting ready to solidify their first Co-ops. I imagine a few more than usual will be near Yellow Springs or perhaps near students’ parents’ homes as this era is so crazy.
But some students will be taking their first Antioch Adventure (Co-op) to places that to many of us might seem to be romantic by their very location.
I became aware of one because of being on a committee that helps give Co-op stipends to students of color. The following proposal with its thoughts and aims seems to be really its own revolutionary act of love—of a different kind—but also what makes for a future victory for humanity. Maybe for them, and if we are blessed maybe the victory will include many, many. It may give you a sense of campus life now even in this time of terrible travail. What follows is a Co-op stipend proposal submitted to the Alumni of Courage for Diversity group and contains thoughts of the College itself. It will tell you in simple terms that “Antioch College Works” in all ways.
My name is …….. and I am a first-year student here at Antioch. I enjoyed my time here during the Fall term, and I am now preparing to go on Co-op for the first time. I really admire the Co-op Program and the opportunities it gives students to learn and grow as human beings. One of the reasons why I chose Antioch was that it was unlike any other college I had heard of before and is extremely non-traditional when it comes to academics. I felt that Antioch was the only school that could properly support my desired career. I wish to study Alternative/Integrative Medicine and Women’s Health with a focus on Chinese traditional medicine. Even though the medical field is slowly accepting alternative ways of medicine, there still aren’t many options for studying my specific major. So in the end, I chose Antioch to follow my dreams and study my specific career. Now that we are in the Winter term, it is time for students to pick their Co-ops and pursue them.
The Co-op that I found on the list was an internship at Kokolulu Farm and Cancer Retreats. The founders have studied many ways of healing the body through natural practices and products. They are specifically passionate about the practice of Qigong, which is a traditional Chinese form of healing the mind, body, and soul through slow movements and putting oneself in a meditative state. They use Qigong along with all natural healthy eating and activities to help teach others peace of mind and potentially recover from terminal diseases. On top of those healing methods, they also have a hot spring, Chinese temple, and various fruits and vegetables growing right on their farm. I had done some research and decided that Kokolulu was the best fit for me. That sense of belonging took over me, and I had become more excited about the opportunity everyday. I chose to apply with the help of my Co-op advisor Beth Bridgeman and quickly scheduled an interview. The founders continued to explain what they do at Kokolulu and why it’s a special place not only for patients, but for interns as well looking to learn more about natural healing and experience life in such a spiritual place.
I recently have received the news that I was accepted into their internship program! I am truly grateful and I am excited to see Hawaii in the way of healing and positive energy. However, since this Co-op is in Hawaii, the price of fees and other expenses are quite high at the moment. I am requesting $500 from you to assist in my travels to Hawaii for this experience of my very first Co-op. I am from a low-income family, and while they wish to help me with my studies and anything I need, they cannot fully support me with any extra funds that are greatly needed. I deeply appreciate your kindness and willingness to help students in need of financial assistance.
Thank you so much for your time and consideration
Of course, giving this humyn a stipend is a no-brainer. I wish them the best of an Antioch Adventure and a future romantic remembrance of coconut palms and learning some new, yet very old, and revolutionary methods for healing.
To tie some love and other revolutionary acts together I sometimes remember an art exhibit that John Sims ’90 brought to the College before we re-opened. It was called the Rhythm of Structure and was all about the intersections of Math and Art. John is a mathematician and an artist who does art with math but also deals with matters of the heart, including revolutionary performance art, like projects dealing with the Confederate Flag in unusual ways.
When his exhibit came to the Herndon Gallery, there was a piece called “The Square Root of Love.” (Check out John’s plans for 2021 in partnership with the Arts and Cultural Alliance Sarasota). I think many Antiochians work on solving this “equation,” Sometimes as couples and sometimes as people doing or undoing things. The results are seemingly revolutionary, but yet, acts of love. John, also in conjunction with Bill Chappelle ’95 and villager Faith Patterson, helped get a February African-American Cultural week going in YSOH (which later became African-American Cross-Cultural Works, 24/7/365) and got an Antioch Cross-Cultural field program up and running at the Penn Center in one of the less-developed South Carolina sea islands. Perhaps these are some partial solutions for that square root of love.
Wishing you all a Happy Valentine’s Day or at least some “romantic” and “revolutionary” moments or memories.
Please stay in touch! If you move often like Antiochians seem to do, please send the Communications Office your new address, email, and phone numbers. If you have a lead to a Co-op, contact Brooke Bryan ’03, or if you know someone who is just meant to have an Antioch Adventure, be sure to drop Toni Dosik ’67 an email and she will get the Alumni Recruitment Team in gear and more!
“A Buffalo Grazing” is a regular feature by alum Steven Duffy ’77, known to many as the Buffalo or simply Duffy.