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Speaking Out

The Big Mellow

The multi-talented Clifton Cherpack has once again provided the University community with a valuable service by introducing it to the Wonderful World of Mellow in his February 3 letter.  Down with Type-A behavior!  Away with the pressure of deadlines!  Having recently been elected Second Vice President of the Northeastern Gland Society (I am a regionalist to the end) and having several West Coast friends fluent in CalSpeak, I can really get behind the Mellow concepts that Cherpack endorses.

Far too many of us have been running empty in the fast lane of academic life; we shun the life-enriching elements encompassed in The Big Mellow: we must adopt a Hot Tub Culture here at Pennsylvania.  Professor Cherpack has provided the intellectual speak to start us along the correct path to Mellow: What we need next is Leadership to take us all of the way to the Nirvana of Laid Back.  

The leadership must, of course, come from the new Administration in College Hall.  (Do not count on the one in the White House, folks.)  President Hackney should institute without delay a set of Mellow Hours. At these relaxing gatherings, to be held in the Jacuzzi now being installed in his College Hall office, we would each have the opportunity to take turns being Acting Provost (one hour is the current half-life for that position, I gather).  “First Lady” Lucy Hackney could supervise the serving of Mallowmars to the Chocoholics present (another subculture that needs nurturing desperately).  Besides such Mellow Hours we could inaugurate “toke-ins with the Trustees,” “Gropes with Girifalco,” and other affairs to raise the spirit and otherwise enhance our lives.

The long-term implications of this change in University life style are truly important.  First, People Magazine would become required reading for English 101 (now, only the faculty read it). Second, the University could follow the advice of the President’s Commission for a National Agenda for the Eighties, abandon the Northeast, and move to the more relaxed atmosphere of Marin County, where the grass is not always greener.  Some day we may see Professor Cherpack, complete with his shockingly pink roller skates, “Jaws III” surfboard, and that yummy bean sprout quiche recipe of his, strolling jaunty and jolly along the streets of Mill Valley (the World Capital of Mellow).  I can relate to that.

The mind-expanding possibilities of the wide-scale adoption of Mellow are nearly endless.  I would continue writing, but Dr. Cherpack’s Primal Therapy Group is meeting down the hall and I can’t really concentrate above the din.

Norman J. Glickman, Associate Professor,
City & Regional Planning and Regional Science


Originally published in Almanac February 17, 1981




Cherpack Letters Index: