Patrick Kasperitis '86

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  • Brenna Ross
    Brenna: Turn that on. If you could just say your name, where you currently live...
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: I’m Pat Kasperitis, class of ’86. I live in Corpus Christi, Texas.
  • Brenna Ross & Pat Kasperitis
    Brenna: So, why did you come to Grinnell and what’s your first memory?Pat: Those are two really easy questions. Why did I come to Grinnell? It’s kind of a long story, but my best friend and I went to the college fair in downtown Philadelphia. That’s where I grew up.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: We had, the previous summer, we had been to a pre-college thing out near Pittsburgh, and they had these little animals there that were a little bigger than the squirrels here. They called ‘em- and what happened, they’d run on the high wires and they’d get electrocuted once in a while and when they got electrocuted, their little hands would grab onto the wires and they’d flip over. The locals called them grinnies, ‘cause they had these little grins on their face when they fried. So, it was kind of a cop. Well, when we went to the college fair, we saw Grinnell. We had never heard of it. We said, “Oh, we’ll be wise-makers. We’ll go over and ask ‘em if their mascot is the grinnies.” And, nobody got the joke but us, but I liked what I saw and pursued the College.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: I never came to visit, though. My first memory of the campus was when I got here for school on New Student Days. That was it. I showed up at the airport, I was seventeen. I had never really flown before. I show up at the airport, and I get on the bus, the shuttle, and there’s some Iowans that were pointing out things in Des Moines as we’re driving through on our way to the I-80. I made the mistake of saying, “Wow, what a quaint little town.” It’s the capital of Iowa. They were a little taken aback, but I was used to Philadelphia, used to.. So, as we’re driving I-80 the corn was interrupted occasionally by pigs. I was like, “What in the world did I just do?” And, the rest, as they say, is history.
  • Brenna Ross
    Brenna: So, was there a specific professor or student, staff member who influenced your life?
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: My advisor was Al Jones, and at Baccalaureate, at Graduation, the class asked me to give one of the addresses at Baccalaureate and I did. Al Jones gave one of the- gave the Faculty, we asked him to give the Faculty speech and since he got the last word, I got drilled a little bit. But, I came back for ten, tenth year reunion, and Al, he didn’t really remember me but I wasn’t worried about that. He had, he asked a really good question and it’s kinda stuck with me since then. The question, he said was, “Are you successful?” And he asked it in his typical idiosyncratic way. “Are you successful? Are you successful?” and I didn’t really know the answer. He said, “Well, do what it takes to be able to answer that question positively, and you’re successful.”
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: I didn’t know what he meant. Did he mean... what did he mean? I’m not- I know now what he meant. You have to, within yourself, believe that you have succeeded. If you do that, then it, the journey’s all worth it, and if you’re still searching for that then you’re still on the journey. So yeah, Al made... I mean, I enjoyed all the classes I took with him. I took several. I had- but that encounter with him at the tenth year reunion was very... it kinda stuck with me. I was sad to hear that he passed away a few years ago.
  • Brenna Ross
    Brenna: I guess then, what are your best memories of your time at Grinnell?
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: Oh, there’s a lot of really good memories. I, our little group, we played a lot of cards. We would play Hearts. We would play Spades. We would play Pinochle. We would play at all hours of the day and night. So, there was no specific thing. It was just kinda like when you see that show, that 70s Show, and they do the pan of them going around in a circle and they’re showing them all, just shootin’ the breeze? That was kind of what our social time was like. Whiling away the time ‘till the pub opened or it was time to go do whatever, do what college kids do. But, yeah.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: That was kind of fun but, I played on the club Ice Hockey team, senior year, and that was a blast. That was, I played on the Baseball team for a couple years and I.. I wasn’t very good but it was fun. But, the Hockey team, that was a blast. I don’t know if they still play Hockey here.
  • Brenna Ross
    Brenna: No, was there an ice rink on campus?
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: No, no. It was, we didn’t really- we had to practice in the old PEC. They had that interior room, like the, I don’t know, the handball court or whatever in the middle, and we would do a little bit of practice in there but not much. We had to rent the ice in either Des Moines or Waterloo to play our games. We would go play University of Iowa’s B team. Cornell played. They were pretty good. Kind of gave us a beating every once in a while. We went for a tournament over in Dubuque, and we played against Loras. That was kind of fun. But we didn’t, we didn’t practice a whole lot. There was really no place to practice. It was club team. It was fun. A bunch of guys that liked playing hockey. I brought my jersey to reunion. I still have it.
  • Brenna Ross
    Brenna: Sounds very fun. So I guess, kind of on that note, what other activities were you involved with?
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: That was about it, really. I did Baseball, did Intramurals. I did Hockey. But I didn’t really, I didn’t do SGA... oh, I got fired from KDIC.
  • Brenna Ross
    Brenna: Ooh.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: Yeah, that was.. They- I signed up to be the newsreader, to be a newsreader, and they didn’t like that I editorialized on some of the news so I kind of got uninvited back. They took themselves a little more seriously than I thought was appropriate. But yeah, it was, that was about it. Mostly sports.
  • Brenna Ross
    Brenna: So, where did you live on campus?
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: Well, if you’re sports, it’s North, right? So, I was mostly North Campus. Cowles 3rd, Younker 2nd, Cowles 2nd, and then senior year I went to Loose. I was on Loose 2nd but then mid-semester, mid-year I went and lived off campus. Second half of the year I lived in an off-campus house.
  • Brenna Ross
    Brenna: And what were your dorms like?
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: Y’know, they’re not a whole lot different now than they were then. It was weird because, on Cowles 3rd, I had a roommate so we had... but he left at, he decided... I don’t know if “decided” is the right word, he learned, or discovered that he was gay midway through the first semester, and so he moved out, I guess to explore that part of his life. So, they gave me a new roommate from California who was kind of... sort of viable. Bizarre guy. We got along fine. The guys on my floor were great, though. Those, the guys on my floor, Cowles 3rd, ended up being the guys that I hung out with the rest of my time here. So, it was just a little rowdy sometimes.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: But, the rooms- but sophomore year, when I went over to Younker, the room was a little bit bigger but my roommate spent most of his time living with his girlfriend. So I kind of had a double, but it was a single for me. And then I had a single on Cowles 2nd, and by that time I was kind of ready to not be on campus anymore ‘cause it was weird. When I came to campus, I was seventeen. I was young. But, so, by the time it was junior year I was just getting ready to turn 20, no, not even 20, 19 right? But, the new kids coming in just, so young. They were so frustrating. They were so annoying, and I guess the same thing happens with kids now is, you get world-wise or whatever.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: But it was... I thought it was comfortable. I was comfortable, but I didn’t have- I’ve heard some stories about overcrowding in the last couple of years. I didn’t have any of those issues. I liked it, but I had three brothers and three sisters so we always... we always had roommates. My whole life I had roommates. That’s how- it was.. and some of them were pigs and some of them were neat freaks and some of them didn’t wash their socks regularly. It’s a matter of getting used to.. It wasn’t hard for me.
  • Brenna Ross
    Brenna: So, I’m just kind of going down the list, what kind of clothes did you wear?
  • Pat Kasperitis & Brenna Ross
    Pat: Pretty much the same stuff I wear now. Really, my style hasn’t changed a whole lot. Everybody used to tease me. I think they took bets. They never told me this ‘cause they were afraid I’d get upset, but they would take bets. I had a bunch of shirts of my favorite teams. The Eagles, The Phillies, The Flyers, the teams that I- the pro teams that I watched, and they would bet which one I was going to wear ‘cause it was always going to be one of them. And, so I could see them having to pay off the bets that they lost. And then, Hawaiian shirts, I wore a lot of Hawaiian shirts and I still- it hasn’t changed a whole lot.Brenna: How 'bout your class?Pat: Casual.
  • Brenna Ross & Pat Kasperitis
    Brenna: So, what memories do you have of the town of Grinnell?Pat: Y’know where the Voodoo Lounge is now? OK, that basement used to be a place called The Bar and that’s where we spent a lot of time. When the Pub was too crowded, you go to The Bar. If the Pub wasn’t open, you go to The Bar. So, we spent a lot of time hanging around The Bar.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: Now, the movie theater wasn’t refurbished yet. It was still a dank hole in the wall. It was horrible. Now it’s like, a palace almost. It wasn’t that- so there wasn’t a whole lot to do downtown. We would, every once in a while we would go to, over to Pags for pizza, maybe every once in a while. Some people made the bakery runs. I was much too lazy for that most of the time. That required walking in the middle of the night which... we could stumble in the middle of the night but walking was out of the question. But, personally, didn’t spend a whole lot of time downtown. Cunningham’s. We’d go to Cunningham’s once in a while.
  • Brenna Ross & Pat Kasperitis
    Brenna: Where was that?Pat: A pharmacy. It was like a, soda fountain. We would go there. It was just like an old style, like 1950s style, pharmacy. I think it was above there that there was a sandwich shop, and people would order sandwiches from the sandwich shop. And they delivered, they’d bring the sandwiches over. I think it was above Cunningham’s it may have been just around the corner. Mostly it was, we came to town for sustenance, not for culture.
  • Brenna Ross & Pat Kasperitis
    Brenna: So, how do you think Grinnell has changed since you were a student?Pat: Well, the physical changes, have, I mean the town itself is just strikingly the same, but the physical changes on campus.. is amazing. Amazing. It’s like night and day. Y’know, a lot of the buildings, like Darby Gym, the old Darby Gym, gone. PEC, gone. I spent a lot of time at those places. The new soccer field out there and the new practice football field, and the new tennis courts, amazing, I mean amazing facilities. Still get a little bit of a shiver in my spine when I walk by the Science Building. Scary, the Science Building always scared me.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: I did- my campus job was in the Library and so when the AV room opened in the basement of the Library, I worked in the AV room for the first couple years it was open, so it was nice to see that that’s still up and running. People still use it. It seems to be on the same kind of system. And back then was when they were first starting to introduce CDs. Everything was still records, and so we’d have to put the records on back there, and every once and a while the records would be skipping and it was.. it was fun.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: But yeah, the town, I haven’t interacted with anybody in town yet while I’m here this weekend. Probably will in a while, but the town has, looks like it’s stuck in the time warp. The College is light years different from what it was, just physically. But, I like to, I like all- I’ve enjoyed interacting with the students that I’ve talked to. They have that same... I studied French when I was here so I’m gonna slide right into, 'je ne sais quoi'. How do you describe what a Grinnell student is like? You just know it when you see it. It’s still there. It’s still there. They’re still a special breed.
  • Brenna Ross & Pat Kasperitis
    Brenna: So student-wise you’d say we haven’t changed much?Pat: More conservative. I think students are more conservative right now. I was just stunned that there’s not open revolt over the no-smoking policy. That’s just stunning to me, that people were not openly- I’m sure there are still kids, students here that smoke. They just find a place to do it. I’m sure the security people don’t ticket everyone that smokes, but the fact that they can put these signs up and there’s not open rebellion, I thought was a little weird.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: I think, when I was here the drinking age went up from 18 to 21. It was 18 the first year I was here, so I turned 18 while I was here and 18-year-olds got grandfathered in, but it went up to 21. I think that that probably changed the culture a little bit, too, in the last 25 years, but it seems like students are a little more conservative. I see a little bit less... I haven’t been here, except for one or two days, when school was in session so it’s really hard for me to tell exactly what the vibe is, but they seem a little more conservative. Which, is fine. It’s just different.
  • Brenna Ross & Pat Kasperitis
    Brenna: What was something that was on campus that…Pat: The Pub, the Pub. It’s where Bob’s Underground is now. We had a place that was called the Pub and it was a business run by students. I guess Lyle’s, I don’t know if Lyle’s is run by students or not.Brenna: I think it’s partially run by students. I know Bob’s is 100%.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: The Pub was like, dank, beer, smoke, smelly cigarette bar, I mean a cigarette-smoke infested hole in the ground, literally that we loved, and we were there all the time. That was the social hub. Some people, the social hub was the Forum, or they’d hang out in front of the Forum or they’d hang out at the Forum Grill, and for some of us we were Pub rats and that was the main thing. Lyle’s is kind of antiseptic, but the Pub was a little- I mean really it was, you wouldn’t go there if you didn’t have to, but we loved it. I think someone has brought a playlist on their, y’know on their MP3 or whatever, of old Pub songs off the jukebox from the Pub. That’s gonna be in the party tent that we have outside Loose. We’re gonna be playing,- be rockin’ that tonight so that’ll be fun.
  • Brenna Ross & Pat Kasperitis
    Brenna: Sounds like a lot of fun.Pat: Well, come on by.
  • Brenna Ross
    Brenna: Academically, what would you say your favorite academic experience was, or maybe the most memorable?
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: There were a couple of things that, the one that really stands out to me is, I think I was a junior here, and they were hiring a new professor in the History department, and the professors who came to interview were invited to give a lecture and the students were invited to the lecture. The lecture was basically a dry run of what a classroom session, y'know a little lecture to students would be like, and three or four different professors came by and basically auditioned, was what they were doing. That process, I thought, was really interesting and I thought it was really interesting that the History department invited us to come and participate and ask questions and participate in the lecture.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: It was, I felt really bad but there was one guy, he was giving a speech on, or his lecture was a presentation regarding the Economics of Medieval Serf Society and he was trying, I think he was trying to draw a parallel between that and early twentieth century United States working class people. I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand the parallel that he was trying to make and I felt bad because he didn’t get the job and I felt bad maybe, that the fact that he could not answer the question that I was asking him may have made him look bad in front of the History department people that were evaluating him but I really did not understand.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: When he answered the question, it was kind of like watching Fox News, y’know, where you ask a direct question and since they don’t know the answer, they answer a different question that you didn’t ask. That was kind of what he was doing and I said, “Yeah, but that’s not really what I don’t understand, what I don’t understand is this.” I kept coming back to it. I guess I was kind of a pain in the neck to have and I- I felt bad for a while. I thought maybe because he couldn’t answer the question that I was asking and I kept making him come back to it and he still didn’t answer it. That made him look bad and maybe he didn’t get a job because of that. I remember that. Well, what I thought was really impressive was that the History department thought enough of the opinion of the upper class students that they invited us to participate in the process. That was kind of unique.
  • Brenna Ross & Pat Kasperitis
    Brenna: So what was your, well I guess you said the Pub, right, was your favorite place on campus.Pat: Well, yeah, we had, we liked the Pub but also we did a lot of stuff on Mac field. A lot of stuff on Mac field; we played Softball on Mac field; we played Frisbee on Mac field, but we had Relays at Mac field. Relays was decadent, really, really over the top decadent, the whole Relays process. It’s one of the things that, since my daughter’s coming here in the fall, I’m kind of glad it’s gone. But, for everybody else in the last 25 years that hasn’t had the same Relays experience, wow.
  • Brenna Ross & Pat Kasperitis
    Brenna: What were some of the competitions?Pat: Well, it was all, it all revolved around drinking way too much beer. I mean literally, 100 kegs of beer they brought in. It was an all-campus event. It went on for three days and there were all kinds of satellite parties that were attached to it. I mean, it was completely decadent.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: Professor Moyer was like the ringleader, the, and he had this old hardhat, and the symbol of the Relays was like an old toilet and the toilet would be set ablaze, kind of like the Olympic flame. The toilet would be set ablaze to kick off the Relays, and it was a takeoff on the Drake Relays but none of the, the games all involved, they were all like drinking games.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: So, everybody’d be out there, and one of ‘em would be, one of ‘em was, run the bases. You had to do like the, make a home run, so you had to go from first base, er from home to first base, drink a beer and do ten twirls on a, around a baseball bat, then go to second base, do the same thing, then go to third base, do the same thing, and then try and survive all the way home and it was a race. So there were two people doing it at once, oh... that one.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: They had relay races, there were sack races. But somehow, some way, the ingenius game masters would figure out a way to incorporate drinking a lot of beer in these games and, oh, man, it was horrifyingly decadent. The field smelled like beer until, y’know for about a month. Nobody seemed to mind so, Mac field was a special place, too.
  • Brenna Ross
    Brenna: Sounds like a lot of.... Oh, let's see. Knowing what you know now, would you have done anything different?
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: Yes. The one thing I wish, there was only one thing I really regretted about when I studied here. I didn’t study overseas, I didn’t study abroad, I didn’t think I would- I didn't want to. I just didn’t want to go overseas, but the people who went to Grinnell-in-London; the people who went to Barcelona; the people who went to Moscow, all had such a great time.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: It still, even a couple years after, I didn’t really mind it that I hadn’t studied overseas but now, looking back if I had the chance when I was young, didn’t have anything to worry about, that’s the time to travel and I wish I had done that, and I just keep, with all of my kids, I have five kids, with all of them I just keep telling them, “Go to a school that has a solid overseas study program so that you can at least get a semester abroad when you’re in college.” I think it’s important and I wish I had done it.
  • Brenna Ross
    Brenna: Where would you have wanted to go?
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: It wouldn’t have mattered because I wasn’t a very worldly person, but I probably would’ve gone to London just because I didn’t take speech, or I didn't take learning how to speak French seriously enough to go to France. I think they had a France program as well, but I wasn’t gung ho about going. I think just being overseas would’ve been enough. I probably would’ve been lazy and gone to London. Usually, the London programs had more of the history-type classes. That would’ve been interesting to me. I, that’s probably what I would’ve chosen if I had gone.
  • Brenna Ross & Pat Kasperitis
    Brenna: So how was the Grinnell dating scene?Pat: Hoo. I don’t know. How was it, or how-Brenna: How was it, or how did that whole…?Pat: Well, most of the time you ended up meeting somebody that was interesting to you at the Pub or at an all-campus gathering, and then your friends figured out if you were an item with somebody because you were in the Dining Hall together. That was kind of it. There was not a whole lot of formal, y’know, courting or anything like that. It was, y’know, you ended up, and then you ended up with the people who were dating… in our group when people were dating we kind of tried to assimilate the boyfriend or the girlfriend into the group.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: But, it was weird because our group was about ten, twelve people basically that we all hung around most of the time. Very rarely dated within the group, but people who were who the people were dating were welcome to come with the group. Then they had to put up with us, I don’t know. Scared some people off, I think. It wasn’t real intense. It was kind of laid back the dating. The people who had the intense relationships, they were a little bit too dramatic for the group I was with. We didn’t have time for that nonsense. So, I didn’t personally, I didn’t date very much when I was here. I wasn’t overly interested in that scene. Just hung out.
  • Brenna Ross & Pat Kasperitis
    Brenna: So, let’s see. Just kind of along those lines, how was campus life then compared to how it seems now?Pat: How was campus life? In some ways, it was really laid back and in some ways it was so hyper-intense that you couldn’t understand it. And again, I haven’t seen this yet so I don’t know if it happens still but when we were here there were, the two dining hall system was in place. So, Cowles had a dining hall and then Quad was a dining hall. And so, most of the North campus people ate at Cowles and most of the South campus people ate at Quad and we segregated ourselves that way.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: But, there was this group of people, like, say Dining Hall opened up at 5:30. They’d start lining up at 4:30 so they could be first in line to get into the Dining Hall, and so other people would go, “Oh, geez, now it’s gonna be a long line so I wanna be next in line so I don’t have to wait in line.” And they created this line to get in the Dining Hall because somebody wanted to be first, and they started lining up to go to dinner, like, 'This is insanity. I don’t want to wait in a line to go in there and eat hash!' It was horrible.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: So in some ways it was pretty intense but then in other ways it was really, kind of laid back. There was, it was just kind of weird because everybody pretty much walked everywhere, everybody, at least on the North campus side. If you didn’t know everybody, you recognized everybody, and they recognized you. So yeah, socially it was kind of laid back but then some hyper-competitive stuff too. Bizarre. Bizarre dichotomy.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: But y'know, dinner time was social time, so. What was really funny was, it was, a few of the people that we hung out with were Science majors. Y’know, Chemistry or Biology, a couple of ‘em ended up as doctors. But, when they had Organic Chemistry and they had to do their lab experiments and they got the stink all over ‘em from lab experiments and then they, we’d have to wait in line with them at dinner, to go in. Ugh! Yeah, memorable. The smell of rotten eggs or whatever it is. I don’t know what experiments they were doing that made the, fumes or whatever would get in their clothes. Oh, it was horrible. Horrible for us because we had to be around them. We did get a little bit of extra space in line. We had that going for us.
  • Brenna Ross & Pat Kasperitis
    Brenna: So something I kind of, you mentioned that you could always recognize people on campus, did you have nicknames for anyone? Y'know like, "Oh, it’s that guy."Pat: Well, yeah. Some that they know about, and some that they don’t. But yeah, there was one guy who was, he skateboarded everywhere, so he was the skateboard guy. There was this one girl, she wore shorts all year round, even in the brutualest of cold. So, you could recognize her. There was one girl who, she, we called her trayhead because she would walk through the dining hall balancing her tray on her head. So, "Ah, there’s trayhead, showin’ off again."
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: Yeah, so everybody, a lot of people had their own nicknames, and within our group. We all made up nicknames for everybody, like within a week. So, we had those going for us. It was funny because the people on the North campus always referred to the people on the South campus, that live on South Campus as granola eaters. "Ah, the granola eaters are all down there". And the people on the South Campus, "Oh, the stupid jocks are all up there." It wasn’t a tense rivalry, but it was, yeah. In roles, the South Campus teams would like to beat the North Campus teams.
  • Brenna Ross & Pat Kasperitis
    Brenna: I bet. Did you have any nicknames?Pat: None that stuck. My, one of the people, there was, well, when you’re in college you don’t have any money. Before Wal-Mart came and ran everybody out of business, in town there was this little shoe store and they would sell off their shoes. Just cheap. I didn’t have a whole lot of money. The only shoes they had in my size were red Converse high tops. The price was right; they were my size; my other shoes were in tatters and I just got paid. I'm buyin' these shoes.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: So now I come back to campus, I’ve got these bright red Converse high tops on and the people I was with went to town on that. So, my last my last name is Kasperitis, they started callin' me Jasper. They- I guess they assumed that if they made me, if they upset me that they would keep doing it. So I didn’t really like it, but I didn’t let them know that I didn’t like it, so it kind of faded away.
  • Pat Kasperitis & Brenna Ross
    Pat: But they still, I’m sure, when Sandy gets here she’ll, we always called her Puddin’. I don’t remember why, I just remember that we’d call her Puddin’ and she’d call me Jasp, and she didn’t like being called Puddin’. It had something to do with someone, I don’t know. I’m thinking that the story that they told of why they called her Puddin’ is different from the real story of why they called her Puddin’. ‘Cause her boyfriend was calling her Puddin’. I’m thinking of the different story.Brenna: Quite possibly.Pat: Yes. So, a lot of people called her Puddin’ and she didn’t like it. I still call her Puddin’ and she likes it now.
  • Brenna Ross
    Brenna: That’s nice. So, I guess, kind of wrapping it up, if you were writing a history of Grinnell, what would you include?
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: Well, let’s see. The thing that, looking back, I find really momentous about the time that we were here was that the students here were in the vanguard of social awareness regarding divestment in South Africa. That was the big issue. That was, people were always griping about. So, the Trustees came to me. They would protest and they would be demanding divestment and that was the big thing they wanted, and this was before apartheid had gotten as much press as it did, so y’know here we are in this little college in the cornfields and the students here are raising cane about divestment.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: When Apartheid ended and when Mandela became president and it was all the result of, they all resulted at least a part from the financial pressure that was put on totally by international groups that were divesting in their companies and refusing to do business with them. I knew all about that because people in Grinnell were doing that before it was fashionable. But the four years I was here, it made a big difference.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: So, what amazes me is, still to this day what amazes me about people that come out of Grinnell is that they do things, important things, little things that become big things. The people in our class of ’86, we’ve always kind of been right on that edge of things. I don’t know if other classes feel the same way about that but we’ve always been kind of right on the edge. People born in ’64 are like the very outside edge of the baby boom, right? They always- they- the cutoff is around ’64 when they describe the baby boom.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: So we’re like, right on the edge. Cell phones and a lot of the computer technology was just coming into the fore in the early 1980s when we were here so we were right on the edge, y'know, right at the beginning of it. The divestment motion, right on the edge.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: And even now, as we’re coming back 25 years later, there are some things that we’re on the back edge of that we don’t really realize. Like, all the dynamic change here in the College, it’s all just, it’s all brand new. We're right on the edge. And, I think going forward we’re going to continue to be right on the edge, and there’s two ways that that can be. You can either become an outlier and not engage, or you can embrace being on the edge. The people in our class I think have embraced being on the edge and it’s kind of cool. I think that that was, it’s been a theme for us since we were here. Life on the edge. Just don’t fall off.
  • Brenna Ross
    Brenna: That’s a good way to put it. Well, is there anything else you’d like to add?
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: Yeah. I’m here on my 25th reunion, and I came for my 10th, I came for my 20th, and my daughter is starting here in August, class of 2015. She’s one of my twin daughters, the other one is staying close to home, and all the things that we talked about are things that I- stories I've told her, that convinced her that she was willing to come from sunny, scenic Corpus Christi, where it’s probably about 108 degrees right now to where it can be minus 8 for a little while, in the fall she was willing to do that because of the things like the things we discussed.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: I think that says a lot about the institution and the ambience and everybody here, one of the ways the College markets itself is the Grinnell experience. You’re going to have the Grinnell experience. Everybody’s Grinnell experience is different and so on and so forth, and that’s true. But, I’m trying to pull out of my colleagues, my classmates, is, let’s be nostalgic for about ten minutes about our Grinnell experience, but really what it’s about is the post-Grinnell experience.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: What is our post-Grinnell experience? Are we successful? What did we succeed at? We all succeeded at something, what was it? Where did we make a difference? And it’s there.
  • Pat Kasperitis
    Pat: In every different way, in every different person, in every different community you’ve gone to and that we've come from, the post-Grinnell experience has been an amazing thing and I think that’s what Reunion is about and I think that’s what makes me happy that my daughter is coming here and now I’ll be a little bit more in tune with an ongoing Grinnell experience that I can add to my post-Grinnell experience. It’s going to allow me to continue to grow in awareness of the College and the Community, and I’m looking forward to it.
  • Brenna Ross
    Brenna: That was very nice. All right.
Alumni oral history interview with Patrick Kasperitis '86. Recorded June 3, 2011.