Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Paul H. Tyson
Let's see, freshman year was the takeover of the administration hall, Parkhurst. I was sunbathing on the lawn when that happened. Some of my classmates were hauled off. Sophomore year was Kent State. Junior year was something else involving Vietnam. I mean, the protests were there.
People had friends at other schools. Dartmouth had a student body that drew from the country as a whole, so there was an awareness of it. It was much cozier; you sort of knew everybody. I mean, it's not like Wisconsin with 30,000 people and I've never seen them, it's the guy down the hall or someone who was in this or that class.
Q: What were you taking?
TYSON: Government and urban studies. I was interested in pol/sci [political science]and international affairs. There was no separate international affairs; I just biased a lot of my pol/sci courses towards that. I had an ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) scholarship and the army withdrew that, so by the end of my sophomore year I was going to possibly have to transfer, so sophomore year I loaded in a lot of my major courses. Turns out I didn't have to; Dartmouth came up with some money and I stayed on. But by junior year I'd actually had a lot of what I needed to do out of the way, so winter quarter I went off and did an “Outward Bound” quarter, which Dartmouth runs through the Tuck Foundation, a special center that they've got there. Since they own substantial chunks of New Hampshire, they've got the facilities to do that.
Q: What did that mean, “Outward Bound”?
TYSON: It's survival courses; this Hurricane Island and experiential type of things. It was winter camping for twenty-four days. Then living out in cabins in the snow and doing stuff on experiential education groups and stress and all of this. And then teaching a twenty-four day winter survival program. When we taught it, it was with some people from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and actually some New Hampshire high school kids, including a few literally on parole out of the reform school. It was interesting because of all of the college students, I got along best with the kids out of the reform school, mostly because they were very similar to people I'd gone to high school with. We could talk about cars and girls, and girls and cars.