The Wall. Our humble and benevolent Olin Wall that provided us with security and safety from the reality that was asbestos and demolition. Beyond the rumble and bustle that we heard from the great beyond, the Wall was simply just a wall. But then, tragedy struck. We all saw the snapchats of that fateful October evening as the wind gusts blew over our beloved while we sat shivering in our damp dorm rooms, waiting for the apocalypse to begin, as it surely must when such a wall is reduced to nothing. For when our wall came crashing down, so did our inhibitions and the notion that we were in fact safe from the horrors that lay beyond. But is it really such a surprise that such a monument came crashing down upon us? I think not. Slap on your conspiracy theory caps, because after careful digging and consideration, I’ve somehow attempted at trying to understand why this day, why October 28th , 2018? Here are some of my attempts at making sense of this tragedy.
One of my thoughts begins with our dearly beloved founder, Philander Chase. Philander was born on December 14th, 1775, and died on September 20th, 1852. Let’s break down these numbers. First, look at his birth date, 10/14/75, and if we add these three numbers together we get 99, divided by three is 33. Now take his death date, 09/20/52, add the three numbers together we get 81, divided by three is 27. For my sake, let’s add these two numbers together to get some sort of sum to amount to his life. 33 + 27 = 60.
If we look at the year in which Kenyon was founded (1824), we see that adding up those four digits to 15, and dividing by four gets us 3.75, to which we shall round up to 4.
Now, if we take our earlier date of 60, and subtract the number we get from the year of founding, we get the number 56.
If we look at the date on which the Wall fell, it was October 28th, 2018. In number form, this is 10-28-18.
If we add all the dates together, we get 56.
COINCIDENCE?!! I think not.
But okay, I see that maybe I don’t have you quite convinced. Let’s try another route.
If we look at Kenyon College’s website under “Our History & Tradition,” there are three things that stick out to me. 1, the mention of U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes. 2, The Kenyon Review, and 3, the welcoming of women in 1969.
Rutherford B. Hayes’s entire lifetime was between 1822-1893, the common number between these dates being 18.
In terms of the welcoming women, we can break down the number 1969. 1+9+6+9=25. As this is the third thing mentioned, 25+3=28.
And lastly, upon examination of the Kenyon Review, one of its highest praises is the fact that many poems first appearing in the Review have been reprinted in the Best American Poetry Series, appearing in a total of 10 editions.
These three numbers, put together, equal the date in which our wall fell. 10-28-18. The exact date on which the Olin Wall collapsed upon itself!
Legend holds that when Bishop Chase came upon the top of the hill, he said “Well, this will do.” If we were to assign each letter of the alphabet to its numerical correspondent (A=1, B=2, etc.), then this is what the phrase would come out to be.
Again, we see this magic number of 56 appearing again and again from the first instance in which we add the three numbers of the date (10-28-18) together. What fun and coincidence!
I admit, these pathways are tough to follow and a bit of a stretch. And maybe we don’t actually need a reason as to why the Wall fell on October 28th, 2018. But I’d like to believe in some sort of twisted fate that brought these walls crumbling down before us, and after racking my brain, these seem to be the only logical connections I have found.