A Note from an "Elderly" Elder

I arranged to visit Troy and the Pi chapter as a batting mechanics instructor for the RPI baseball team for 4 weeks in the fall of 2007.  It was an exhilarating adventure in a number of ways.  Jim Ljunglin volunteered a bed for me at the Pi chapter, and I accepted gratefully.  I then turned my savings over to the Pi chapter via the "Capital District, etc."  Staying at the house for 4 weeks was fun and exhausting.  Thus the use of the "elderly" adjective above.  I must have aged 4 years (not weeks) in the process, as sleep was very hard to come by. The baseball team interaction was very rewarding.  The head coach (Karl Steffen) has done very well for approximately two decades.  This includes many league titles and two trips to the NCAA Division III College World Series.  He has collected a strong coaching staff, and my hope was to contribute in a narrow portion of this already strong program.  He was quite supportive of my coaching, and that included giving me a number of helpful suggestions.  The players were very cooperative.  They caught on to the scientific (mostly physics) foundation of my batting mechanics approach quite quickly.  What else would you expect from RPI students.

NCAA rules limited us to 4 days of coaching per week, so there was lots of time for other adventures.  The base running coach (Rich Worster) joined Ed Dauenheimer (my big brother) and I for a trip to the baseball hall of fame.  Our fathers had worked together during WWII, and we first met when Jim was the proctor of my freshman dorm.  Also, a trip was made to Troy by Jim Peta and Joe Mauriello.  The biggest interaction was with my young brothers.  It was also very educational.  A small sample follows:  I attended several Barker Trophy football & soccer games (plus several meals at the house: ugh!).  The Pi brothers are very athletic, and they claim they can win the trophy this year.  On the other hand, the house GPA is below the middle range for fraternities.  I also partook of two official house meetings, and was involved in many routine activities.  Jim Ljunglin suggested I collect my impressions and suggestions (like better meals) that might be considered for discussion among the elders regarding changes at the Pi.

Sincerely yours in Tau Kappa Phi, John White '62