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« And If You're Real Good, I'll Make You Feel Good | Main | I Am a Geek »

May 17, 2005


Danny, I went to college so late in life that I gobbled up every minute of it with glee. I was mortified when I got my Ph.D. because I could no longer study in that formal context again. I even registered to take a second degree in Social Work just so that I could continue studying! Thank goodness one of the professors put me off that idea and, instead, thanks to you, I channelled all that enthusiasm into a book.

I have a colleague in Buffalo who agrees with Mark Twain. She says that "school is unhealthy for children."

The description of your time in France makes my mouth water. I adore Paris. By the way, the photograph of the college you is gorgeous!

Danny: Oy.
1) In Gabie's 3rd grade class each kid has to build a model of a notable downtown building. Gabe's is the Merchandise Mart. Sure you can't come up with that documentary?!
2) I backed out of going to Madrid for a semester. That will surely make my list of 10 things I never did but wished I had. You look in your element on the Paris streets there. Though, come to think of it, you seemed pretty comfortable in that haunted house...

Tamar, you bring up a point that I meant to make in this post—that college was wasted on me because I was too young (I was 16 when I started). I enjoy taking classes as an adult so much more. Even attending David's book talk at the University of Judaism last month was very stimulating for me—I loved being around those students and wanted to instantly enroll in that school! How about this new plan: after high school graduation kids go and live in another country for two years. Then they work for a few years in this country. And THEN they think about going to college! Makes more sense to me.

David, if Gabe needs anything about the Mart (including a tour), I still have connections there! Does he know it's the second biggest building in the U.S. in terms of area space (only the Pentagon is bigger)?

Danny, yes definitely a great idea. I always felt that in Israel the kids took college way more seriously than many undergraduates in America. Because in Israel they go into the army for three years as soon as they graduate high school and many of them take a year or two off AFTER that to see the world!


My son Adam turns eighteen in two days. He will be going to college at Cal Poly in the fall.
We offered him the option to stay closer to home and he refused. He said he really wanted to "get away" and be on his own.
I remember that passion to be on my own. It is true when I take classes now that I have a much bigger passion for learning. However, I also remember the true excitement of leaving home and being on my own and learning to spread my wings that I experienced during my college days.

We will be going down the second week of September to "parents weekend orientation" to get him set up in the dorm and attend a few Bar BQs. I am still shocked that I am going down as a parent. It seems like just yesterday that I was in the dorms and we were all giggling and hiding the boys in the closet when the R.A. came to check our rooms.

"fucking a T.A.?"

Okay, Danny. Now you're just TRYING to get Googled.

I also commuted from home to save money, and with similar results: college was largely wasted on me, except for the year and a half I spent abroad, which was life-changing. And though I was only a year younger than my classmates, I do feel that in general education is wasted on the young. I get to meet a lot of undergraduates every year, when a local college brings enviromental science classes up to tour our private nature preserve, and consistently it is the returning adult students who ask the most questions and seem to get the most out of it. If I were in charge of things, kids would have ten years of mandatory sex, drugs and rock and roll - say, from about 15 to 25 - before being allowed to study anything seriously. I remember reading in another blog some time ago that the Hasidim traditionally did not encourage a man to study the Kabbalah before the age of 42 - the real beginning of understanding, in their view.

I think it's a matter of mind-set, Danny. Some people enter college thinking that the next four years will be the best years of their existence. On the other hand, there are those who see college as the last steps towards the "professional" life they've been yearning for. I don't know what was on your head that time, but I'm happy for you because things have turned out fantastic. I hope you're doing great, Danny! :)

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