Features profile inspires a reflection on College childhood

What a nice idea to profile in last week’s Record some winsome faculty kids (“Faculty kids,” Oct. 28). Having brought up four children here, my wife and I can second the view that faculty kids make the campus their own and in their own particular ways. Their year, too, is in some degree framed by the College’s liturgical round of diverting ceremonial occasions, and the kids are prone to making the campus one of their playgrounds. For our own kids the College’s athletic facilities, and especially the skating rink, proved to be a great focus of social as well as athletic life. Snack Bar loomed large in their cosmography (I think it was the navel of their micro-universe), and the iconic grilled honey-bun gained an enduring purchase on their affections – one that they now seem intent on transferring to their own children. Having lived for some years in faculty rental housing on campus, they experienced no mystifying gap between parental workplace and the arena of their own day-to-day living and playing. Even after we moved out to a house in South Williamstown, our Irish setter, Siobhan, who had also grown up on campus and clearly remembered it, would periodically disappear to make her way over to Stone Hill and back into town, where one or another of my kids and I would almost invariably find her comfortably (if somewhat reproachfully) ensconced in either Garfield or Wood House. It was (and is) a very special setting in which to bring up children.

Francis Oakley
President Emeritus
Professor Emeritus of History

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