On Wednesday, General Krulak, our college president, visited our EH 204 class to answer questions about his writing life.
If you know the General, you know that he is way too interesting to focus solely on his writing life. So quickly the questions ranged from his opinion on sports team to how he met his wife of more than 50 years. Here are some of the things I found notable from what he said in class that day.
- The General told us, “I only write about what I am passionate about” and encouraged us to do the same.
- With valor, he has fought “36 years to give us each a right to live a life that is significant” which immediately makes me question every life decision ever and evaluate my life’s significance.
- Gen K believes that “issues that impact humanity are important.” For this reason, he has strong opinions against trafficking and torture. He described the “difference between intelligence and actionable intelligence” claiming torture provided neither.
- Also, apparently the General has been a professional surfer, three time champion lacrosse player, and “mean” wrestler.
- The General told us we should read the book A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, his college roommate, because the General generally knows everybody. The last couple lines of the famous John Irving novel’s preface read, ” And to three old friends — close readers with special knowledge — I am indebted: to Dr. Chas E. Bickel, the granite master, to Brig. Gen. Charles C. (“Brute”) Krulak, my hero; and to Ron Hansen, the body escort. To my first cousins in the north country, Bayard and Curt: thank you, too.”
- He also casually mentioned, “The CIA is not happy with me.” He wasn’t really concerned. He was just enlightening us.
- This is how he described meeting his now wife Zandi: “It was like being hit by a 2×4. Who was this mass marvel?” If anyone ever described me that way, I too would say yes to the dress.
- Another interesting fact: General Krulak has moved 39 times. That is almost double the number of years I have even existed.
- The General meets “every single student that comes on this campus.” He makes a point to make time for every daily group tour of prospective students and the individual stragglers, too.
- Lastly, I asked General Krulak if he had ever been in the BSC planetarium. He lit up talking about it saying he has been working on funding its re-opening and about all of his ideas for events “under the stars.” He said, “It has one of the oldest and most precise projectors. They don’t even make those anymore.”