The most recent college campaign, the Macalester Moment, highlights the moments that make a Macalester education unique. A term originally coined by actor and playwright Danai Gurira ’01, a “Macalester Moment” is “that single moment of realization and self-discovery that may stay with you the rest of your life.”
We can, I think, all agree that these moments of inspiration and self-discovery are defining; however, these are not the only moments that make an experience here truly Macalester. I decided to take a look back at singular moments in the archives that seemed to transcend time; in other words, moments that students experienced or thoughts they had that students still experience today. Whether it’s the sudden “what am I doing with my life, do I even have any marketable skills?” panic or the love of Macalester traditions, the Macalester experience is unique in more ways than one. Note that these excerpts may not be Macalester Moments as we define them today (i.e. life changing); however, they are undoubtedly Macalester experiences.
On the human condition: October 1892 “So I was musing, when, just a moment ago, I was reminded that I have mistaken the spirit of men. My friend suggests that it is not likeness that we seek, but superiority. Yes, we seek likeness in seeking superiority one over another.” – Paul A. Ewert, editor
On proving ourselves: January 14, 1920 “In line with the policy of ‘Every dog has his day,’ it has been decided that the freshman class be allowed to edit The Mac Weekly for one brief, joyous moment; and we greatly suspect that ‘Even the worm will turn.’ By way of warning, however, we would like to say that there is to be no censorship upon their efforts and all that they print in the paper is theirs. We wish to remind you that we will bear no responsibility for their failures and for their slanders. Likewise, freshmen, we will give you all the laurels that you acquire.” – Helen McLean, editor, ‘1921
On our superiority in the MIAC: December 19, 1923 “Not since Paul Revere took his midnight ride was there a more suspensive moment than when Hand and Moran hung the Mac insignia from the Hamline tower. They were in a position to get a bird’s-eye view of the Piper campus at night.” – Jean McVeety, editor, ‘1923
On attending a liberal arts college: March 2, 1927 “And so—we stop for a moment and wonder. What have we done? What can we do? Have we made any real progress in these four busy years? Can we point to definite achievements? Too often we are forced to admit that we are ‘jacks of all trades and masters of none.’” – Mona Z. Mason, editor
On your favorite professor: Nov 12, 1965 “For we have found (sorry, but no statistical data yet) that when a professor assumes the role of a true teacher, rather than a syllabus regurgitator, and emerges from his confines, some of the most meaningful moments in our lives have been witnessed.” – Lee Kallsen, John Lindig
On Macalester traditions: February 22, 1996 “Oh, God! I’m sure if [Springfest] got really popular and a lot of people came, it would lose its mystique. Springfest is a Mac thing. It’s really fun to go out with your friends. Like that one year when it rained. It was just a downpour and the rest of Springfest was cancelled. Everyone went down the hill in front of Kagin, and did mudslides. People were soaked in mud and the RAs had to run back to the dorms and put up signs saying ‘Wash yourself before you walk into this hall.’ The showers were just filled with mud. That was a Macalester moment.”
On the realities of college life: April 29, 2005 (spotlight) Katherine Tytevich: Tell me your most embarrassing Macalester moment Ariel Dumas: There are many! KT: Tell me your most embarrassing. AD: I’ve [ashamed] worn two pairs of pants since September 1st.