Commentary: Celebrating a year in time travel and Marywood history


Photo credit/ Katlynn Whitaker

Graphic credit Katlynn Whitaker

Katlynn Whitaker, Photography Editor

The year 2015 has proved to be an exciting one. How crazy is it that we are already 15 years into the 21st century?

For the Marywood community, 2015 has marked the centennial year of the university and the celebration of its growth since 1915.

But for us Marywoodians who are fans of the 1985 movie “Back to the Future,”  the year 2015 is special for another reason.

In the movie, teenager Marty McFly takes Doc Brown’s time machine (the iconic DeLorean sports car) to 1955, where he meets his parents as teenagers. His mother begins to fall in love with him, and he must work to undo his interference and make sure his parents fall in love. Otherwise, he will cease to exist.

The movie turned into a trilogy, with “Back to the Future Part II” coming out in 1989 and “Part III” in 1990. “Part II’s” story line revolved around Marty and Doc going to the future, while in “Part III” they traveled to the Wild West in 1885.

So why are fans of this movie (including me) freaking out?

It’s because the day Marty and Doc go to the future is Oct. 21, 2015, which is this month. I first watched the movie around the year 2004, so it blows my mind that the “future” I watched on TV is actually here.

I’m not really a Sci-Fi fan, yet “Back to the Future” remains my favorite movie to this day. Maybe it’s the chemistry and humor between the actors, or the ingenuity of the plot line.

Perhaps it’s the nostalgia of watching it in third grade at my friend’s house, where we wrote our own sequel while munching on over-buttered popcorn. It could be the boyish charm of Michael J. Fox as he runs around with his orange vest in the oddest looking sports car I’ve ever seen.

The 2015 depicted in the movie featured both scarily accurate predictions and some cheesy ’80s inspired ones. Hoverboards, flying cars, and clear neckties might have been a stretch. But fingerprint-activated devices, tablets, and video conferencing (a.k.a. FaceTime today) were predictions that director Bob Zemeckis got right. As for my beloved Cubs winning the World Series…well, with their recent advancing to the National League Championship Series, I’d say they are heading in the right direction.

Now, let’s go back to Marywood. In 1985, Marywood University was still an all-women’s college, and it celebrated its 70th anniversary by having a liturgy celebrated at St. Patrick’s Cathedral by Scranton Bishop John O’Connor. Imagine if the IHM Sisters were given a DeLorean to travel to the Centennial year…would they like what they saw? Would they try to change the future?

Marywood has come a long way, and I think the Sisters would love that. I love this school and everyone who has shaped its success and inviting atmosphere. But I think if the Sisters of the ’80s were to travel to 2015, they might also be sad that recent events have split the community and frustrated its members.

At the end of “Part III,”  Doc Brown says to Marty and his girlfriend that “Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one, both of you.”

In regards to Marywood, I think we need to take this advice and work together to solve the problems faced by our university. Otherwise, there might not be a 2115 in our future.

Our future at Marywood and beyond is determined by what we make of it. So as we celebrate October 21 and have a “Back to the Future” marathon (alright, maybe that’s just me), let’s remember that the future doesn’t stop here.

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