Brian Grossenbacher '90 - August 17 rolled around and after a couple years of planning I was driving to the fly shop to meet a small group of Wabash students for the start of their freshman tutorial. I felt good, I felt strong. As I checked their fishing licenses to make sure that everyone was legal I suddenly felt sick. Not the kind of sick that can make you miss a day of work, but the kind of sick that kicks you in the stomach ... the kind of sick that makes you want to buy a Corvette or a hairpiece or a gym membership.
These kids were born in 1990 - the same year that I graduated from Wabash. Impossible! As I stumbled to my truck, I resented them for their youth - and like Joseph Conrad, I cursed them for it. It seemed like yesterday that I was reporting to football camp, pledging Beta ... how is it that almost 20 years have slipped by?
I remembered the confidence that I brought to campus. The cocky swagger that was knocked into submission by homecoming week.
Suddenly, I could taste the lack of sleep, my miniscule grade point average at mid term, final term. Just as I was brought down to earth by my first semester at Wabash, the trout had something in mind for these incoming plebes. On the water, we were all reminded that according to Teddy Roosevelt that, "All men are equal before trout." I watched one frosh miss over 30 fish. On the hook set, he was either too fast, too slow or sometimes non responsive. Regardless, he never quit, and more importantly his attitude never changed. As a true Wabash man he committed himself to making himself better, he sought advice to achieve his goals, and he committed himself to achieving them. At the end of the day he had a smile on his face, and a trout to his name.
Of all of the students that filled this course each showed themselves as gentlemen, and more importantly scholars that will hopefully go through life with a fly rod in their hands and special thanks to the Wabash Community.
In photo: Grossenbacher with Professor Hadley. The Grossenbacher family hosted the Tutorial group for a dinner the night of their arrival.