So I wrote a hugely long post this morning that was really ridiculously long before I even got halfway done. It's about the confluence of college in my literary life right now. First, there is the issue of my being distracted from my true calling of reading all these books for you, dear surfer, by the siren song of "unfinished homework," and didn't we all think we'd left that behind with our 20s?
Second, there's the novel I'm reading called Long May She Reign, which is the fourth and most recent book in the young adult classic The President's Daughter series by Ellen Emerson White. Among the other appealing factors of the book, the main character, Meg, goes to college at my alma mater, and the amount of local flavor and detail is astounding. But it's also more troubling than I expected, because the book came out last year, and the author clearly has more recent knowledge of the campus than I. So if you live in Sage E (as does our protagonist), then you have to go down the hill to eat at Mission Park, because Baxter is no longer a dining hall. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's no longer even called Baxter. And it has a Great Hall. I heard about these things, but it's still a through-the-looking-glass moment when you read about it. She has classes in Griffin and Hopkins, and the lecture hall where her Intro Psych course is taught is clearly Bronfman (though there were no lab reports for the Intro Psych lecture). But she also gets a lot of coffee at Goodrich, which was an art building when I was there, but is now a student center. But they still eat at "the deli on Spring Street," though they don't mention the incredibly. slow. service, or the mix-in frozen yogurt machine.
Ah, those halcyon days. If I had lived on the Frosh Quad, or if she was majoring in psychology, it would probably be worse.
The third point on my college triangle for the day is a book I just finished called My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student, by the pseudonymous Rebekah Nathan. This is a pop-anthropology account of a professor's enrollment undercover as an undergrad, and what she found there. It was a light thing, maybe even a bit of fluff, but I kept thinking about it for several days after I finished the five hours it took to read it, so I wanted to talk about it.
And then the post started to ramble. So I broke the "college" post up into two, one of which you're reading right now. And tomorrow, I'll talk about what this professor learned and was shocked by when she lived in the dorms. The answers may surprise you. Tune in next time!
I love The President's Daughter series - I didn't know there was a new one! I'll have to get it. Thanks for the tip!
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