don’t know what a slide rule is for


This entry is going to be short, and you know why? Because I discovered the “search” function on my online UNC alumni database! Hey, you chick on the ninth floor of Hinton James in 1985 – I CAN SEE YOU!

Why is there always this morbid – or at least insatiable – fascination to find out how (or where) people ended up? The database occasionally only gives out a current address and spouse, and I’m forced to fill in the eighteen years in between, often with some pretty bizarre stories.

Anyway, instead of writing a real blog, I was searching for a bunch of you and “inviting you to be my friend,” which I like for its irrepressible creepiness. I couldn’t find several of you cats so: UNC grads, go here to register, so that we can be “friends”. I never did friendster or myspace or anything, so this is my stab in that direction.

And if you didn’t go to Carolina, why not? What led you to your undergrad school? That is today’s CODE WORD, so let the stories unfold.

0 thoughts on “don’t know what a slide rule is for

  1. litlnemo

    I went to the Evergreen State College for two reasons, maybe three:
    1. CHEAP
    2. Utterly freaking GORGEOUS campus that was not in Seattle
    3. “Alternative” school with no grades, interdisciplinary programs, and independent study
    4. Did I say CHEAP?
    I don’t think I ever knew UNC existed until much later.
    I actually got accepted — even got scholarships, in one case — to several private colleges, but my parents refused to contribute penny one to my education, so I had to go to a school that I could scrape together enough financial aid to afford. A scholarship isn’t much help if you still have a ton of money left to pay.
    It took me 9.5 years to get around to graduating from TESC, but it was a good school and in the end, I am glad I went there.

  2. litlnemo

    (And in the previous post, when you said “Everyone gets monumentally depressed their junior year of college, which is why most people spend it abroad” — my immediate thought was that you definitely went to a different school than I did. Not that some people at Evergreen don’t do the junior year abroad thing, but it was the exception rather than the rule. I don’t know a single person who was so lucky.)

  3. scruggs

    Funny, you bring this up, because I logged on yesterday to update my info and ended up spending 3 hours looking up person after person. I couldn’t really find out anything exciting (like someone with a prison address), but it was fun. You can find someone with pretty limited info, as I could find ole LFMD! Also, Ian, you and the Mrs. are nonmembers of the GAA…what’s up with that? I refused to join for a while b/c my sister didn’t get admitted. However, I have this fear that when our son applies in 15 years, admissions is going to check the membership roster before giving us any alumni preference. And the magazine is snazzy.

  4. Matt

    I went to Iowa State University for the chicks, its football dominance and its civil/enviro engineering program. One of those are true, anyway.

  5. Andrew

    I had done the southern swing during my spring break from high school and unfortunately visited UNC when it was their spring break. Campus was empty and it was raining. After getting into or not getting into the schools to which I had applied, I made a another trip to UNC because I did not feel I had really seen what it was like. I sat on the steps of Wilson Library around noon on a sunny spring day and people watched. Decided right then it was the place for me.
    Had gone to dook that same rainy weekend on the previous trip and decided after the first 30 seconds on campus that it was not the place for me. Depressing place in the rain. Told Lorna that you said “hi”.

  6. Emily

    I chose UMD because I wanted to be near a big city (DC) and this was as far as I could get from Pennsylvania on my parents’ dollar. I love the campus, my program, the professors, and my friends, but the College Park area is dangerous even in the daytime (carjackings at 2pm, robberies at dinnertime). If I knew what this “college town” was really like, it may have changed my decision.
    And this alumni thing sounds a lot like, which I have mixed feelings about. Within hours after I joined and put up my facebook profile, I had been contacted by several people from my high school. This makes me think that these people just sit around looking through their highschool’s roster on facebook and “friending” anyone new who comes along. (You also have to request friends on facebook, which is pretty funny. It’s almost a power struggle: are you the desperate one friending people the day after you meet them, or are you the aloof facebooker – waiting for the requests to roll in?)

  7. SMS

    I found this alumni directory a while ago and also had lots of fun looking up people and wondering what they had been up to. I recently looked up an old friend of mine from UNC on a whim and discovered she not only lived in my city (not big and not in NC) but that she lived 1/2 mile from me. truly bizarre. We picked right up where we left off and now our kids play together every week.

  8. LFMD

    Hi Scruggs! How are you? Any Julia Roberts sightings in Smyrna lately? I am telling you. . . if you can get a photo of Julia and her twins, you’ll have your son’s college tuition paid for!
    Yes, Scruggs tracked me down. It was a pleasant surprise! The wonders of the internet! It works both ways, though. One of my creepiest “track down” experiences occurred when I was 8 months pregnant, sitting at work one day. Out of the blue (Hey, isn’t that one of Carolina’s new email pitches, like this crazy TarNation thing?), I got an email from my old boyfriend from college. He was the first boy I ever kissed, we dated for 3 years, and while I did not realize it at the time, it was not a good relationship. One of my biggest regrets is that I wasted so much time with him. Anyway, he sends this cheerful email telling me how great his life is, how successful he was, working at (the now defuncted) Arthur Andersen, blah blah blah, . . . how was I? I wrote back that I was married, about to give birth, and I did not want to hear from him again. And, since he was now so successful, perhaps he could send me a check for all of the money that he owed me?
    Ugh. I was so disturbed by the fact that someone I did not care to ever hear from again was able to easily find me. The internet is a stalker’s dream, no? Not only can a creep track find your phone number and address, he can get a satellite image of your home. Wonderful!
    I am going to spend some time in this link that you sent. I was too cheap to spring for the GAA membership, and I see that lots of stuff is “closed” to cheapskates like myself. Don’t be surprised if you get an email to be my friend. . . if I can figure this thing out. . .

  9. dean from Bub's and Troll's

    Why did I go to UNC? If you don’t know, then you’ll never know. Those of us who have been blessed by the mannna that is UNC need not explain it to the great unwashed. Just kidding. . . .sort of.

  10. Anne

    I hadn’t even considered Brown U, but as we were returning home (near Cape Cod) through Providence from a college tour of New England, my dad insisted we drive up College Hill. His best friend from high school had gone to Brown, and Dad had visited him there and liked it.
    I guess I must believe in love at first sight, because it was pretty much that simple. Of course I returned later for the full campus tour and interview, but my mind was already made up. :-)

  11. LFMD

    Argh. I just tried to send you an invite to be my friend, Ian, and I was rudely informed that only dues-paying members of the GAA may send such invites. Why must everything be about money? Wasn’t the payment of my out-of-state tuition enough money for the GAA? I suppose that I will have to remain “friendless”.
    Although now Scruggs has made me a bit paranoid about the admissions folks checking the GAA member list when my daughter applies to UNC. Maybe I should cough up the dough. Hmmm. And, Scruggs, your sister not being admitted is an OUTRAGE!

  12. Andy

    Ian – I sent you an invitation.
    And, oh yeah, Hansbrough announced yesterday that he is coming back next year. We are going to be loaded.

  13. caveman

    I went to Carolina as an undergrad at the request of Dean Smith becasue he didn’t want any of his competitors to lock up a gangly, 6’2″, slow-footed, white boy who couldn’t dunk a tennis ball on his best day. I never went abroad because I was afraid I would miss something important like dollar night at Molly’s.
    I went back for MBA school becuase I needed to start cold gettin paid in full, yo (and I didn’t want to miss another dollar night at Molly’s).

  14. scruggs

    Typo, I was on the directory a few months ago, not yesterday. Anyway, just went on this morning, and it looks like Ian has since joined the GAA, so he’s official.
    I was leaning towards going to a small 2000 student univ. in the south on a track scholarship because my h.s. boyfriend would be going nearby and weren’t we going to be together, like, forever!? Ha! The head of our Target program had me pulled out of class to come see her when she heard I had gotten into UNC and was going to pass it up for a “lesser option.” She talked some sense into me. Plus, my dad had gone to UNC and put me in Granville so I could meet and marry Eric Montross. Strike two!
    The admissions stats these days are CRAZY scary. The most recent alumni magazine has a spread on it. My sister was a triple legacy, super involved, 1380 SAT & 4.4 gpa, and still didn’t get in (out of state). LFMD, don’t feel bad for her…Phi Beta Kappa at Emory and a 2L at Michigan, she’s already got a job lined up making more than her sis 10yrs her senior! Maybe I do need a Phinneas and Hazel sighting.

  15. Josie

    One Simple Reason: It was the best school we could afford.
    Although, I tell ya, the culture warp my family lived in really may have hurt me here. They immigrated from a country where one leaves her parents’ home only by marriage or death.
    I was given the chill for applying to, and later practically disowned for choosing, UVa. That is, only until several persons in the [adult] mainstream told them what a great school it was, and that getting in was considered an accomplishment in itself. And, voila, I was an acceptable daughter once again.
    It was twisted, but I do love them so.
    Shamefully, I’ve not been back since my 5 yr reunion.

  16. tregen

    Angelo State University – Closest university to the ranch and I could afford tution by working as a cook four nights a week. I was so country at the time that I did not know other schools existed or even what a liberal arts degree was. I often wonder about the people I met and hung out with and occassionally try to track them down, with little luck.

  17. karin tracy

    Oh, can I take credit for today’s blog entry? Thanks again for sending over the Taylor Branch article.

  18. the other Lee

    I am a native North Carolinian and there was no question that I was going to UNC, it is a great school and since I was in-state I could afford to go and also got a lot of help with loans and scholarships. In hindsight I almost wish I had taken a year or so off before going to school because I had no idea what I wanted to do, I just wanted to go there and see what happened. But then again had I not went to college right after high school there is always the chance I might never have gone, and that would have been the worst mistake I had ever made.
    tregen, how funny you went to Angelo State because my fiance graduated from there and a girl I went to MBA school was also an alum, small world isn’t it.

  19. emma

    As a native NCian, I was brainwashed from an early age and only applied to one school, UNC. Its a good thing they let me in. After attending a smaller law school, I discovered that academically, I probably would have done better at a smaller school, but it sure wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun!

  20. Kevin from Philadelphia

    West Chester University was fairly close to home, and recieves alot of money for social research, political polling, and the like. Grad school at Temple becasue I am in the Philadlephia area, and again, they have a good rep for their political science dept. I have been more than happy with both choices.

  21. Claudia

    Good Code Word.
    1. The school has a great reputation;
    2. It was/is ideologically on the same page as me in many respects;
    3. I was rebelling against the suburban high school I hated.

  22. Tany

    Ian, you’re on my friends lists now. I discovered the alumni directory about a year ago and wasted a least half a day at work looking up everyone I could think of. It is truly addicting…
    My choice for UNC wasn’t really in my hands. My folks said that if I wanted them to pay for college, I had to attend an in-state school. Either that, or I would need to get a scholarship that would cover the price difference. So, I ended up at Carolina, and from the first day I stepped foot on campus for C-TOPS, I was totally and completely hooked. My parents will take credit for my love of this university, and it pisses me off, since they didn’t care which one I went to. But anyway, my passion for Carolina surprises even me some days…it must be something in the air – possibly generating from Davie Poplar. :)

  23. Bill

    I’m one of those rare New Jerseyans who ended up at Chapel Hill instead of dook. Reason I first looked at UNC: great journalism school. Then I visited the campus the summer before my senior year and I was hooked. I had lunch with my mom and best friend at — of all places — Hector’s (maybe the only time in my life I at there during daylight and sober?).
    Anyway, I applied early decision and got in, thank god. My parents had spent all fall trying to lower my expectations, I assume to create a soft landing when I was rejected (which the odds said I would be). But the acceptance came, and good things fell in line like dominoes after that: got a room in Connor, made fantastic friends right off the bat (including upper classmen with key Franklin St. connections), landed at the DTH, etc. AND it was cheap, relative to the Northeast liberal arts schools most of my friends and my sister (F&M) chose.
    LFMD: I read that book, and I recommend it. Great reading for any Tar Heel fan/dook hater.

  24. LFMD

    Bill — I am with you! Count me among the New Jerseyans who dissed Duke and opted for UNC. By the way, when did they stop calling us New Jerseyites and start calling us New Jerseyans? Anyway, I could not believe how relatively cheap UNC was for an out-of-stater. We would have paid more for in-state tuition at Rutgers. Getting admitted to UNC was like a scholarship in and of itself.
    The real deal at Carolina was the Morehead Scholarship. Good grief. . . I don’t know if the Scholarship still offers what it did back in 1986, but I was amazed when I realized what those Moreheads received. Any Moreheads in the house?

  25. kent

    My first undergrad school BYU was selected for me, to ‘straighten me out.’ That didn’t really work out. I had great professors there, but if you don’t go to church all the damn time, there’s no social life beyond hanging out with the Iranian and Indian exchange students.
    My second undergrad school, University of Iowa is a great school, but I went because it was the default. Ian and y’all had more of the ‘college experience’ than I, since I only lived on campus for one term, and then I was off campus, working 1/2 or 3/4 time while in classes. For one year, I actually lived in Cedar Rapids and hitchhiked to classes in Iowa City every day.
    I’m a fan of Iowa City, having been here (mostly) since 1976, and living and working here continuously since 1981. But Iowa doesn’t inspire the sort of ‘baby blue mafia’ misty-eyed reverence. I am only in touch with one or two people from when I was an undergrad, and they aren’t like my best friends or anything.

  26. kevin from NC

    I went to NCSMoo as UNC didn’t have the degree I wanted (or so I thought at the time).I too am a native NC and state supported was the only way I could afford to go.
    I wanted to major in computer science until the ass kicking I got in Mathematics classes in second semester (did okay in the first). Then, I was hanging with a friend from H.S. that was doing the same major as me. Our class assignment was to write a program that would do some small task. I spent two hours and 24 steps writing the program. My HS friend did the same thing in 10 minutes and 7 steps. At that time,I learned about natural talent and realized that in this avocation i would be sorely lacking.
    Anyhoo.. I found something I liked and here we all are.

  27. Rebecca

    LFMD: Wasn’t Tessa a Morehead? I think I read that somewhere…
    Okay, so I registered, and I did feel a little creepy looking up Ian’s profile. So I find it, and it says this:
    Ian Williams is not currently your friend. You have no common friends.
    I died laughing! In the real world, that is so true, but thanks be to the internet, I have asked Ian to be my friend. It seems so second grade somehow.
    Neva, Laurie, Ian and Tessa: We got back Henry’s biopsy report and he is negative for Hirschsprung’s Disease. Hooray! There are some other possibilities, but I think that was the worst-case scenario. The best-case would be that he is truly anal-retentive. Bizarre. But I’m so glad the waiting is over and he doesn’t have to have surgery.

  28. xuxE

    ok, fine, FINE! i did it. are you getting kickbacks from the GAA or something? you should be on the payroll to promote the school. what do they call that, boosters or something?

  29. LFMD

    Rebecca — congratulations on the great news about Henry! It is wonderful to be able to cross off the worst-case scenario.
    P.S. — I would like to be your friend, but it would cost me $600! Perhaps we can be pretend friends. Ha!

  30. CP

    I almost went to north carolina school of the arts. got in, visited winston-salem, went bowling, ate KK donuts, everything. instead I ended up doing my undergrad at duke.
    I kid, I kid!
    it was actually between NYU/Tisch and NCSA (SUNY/Purchase being way too small and weird, though the tuition was great and the knicks practiced there, a definite plus.) by a hair, I chose NYU, because the academics (which Tisch made one take) were far superior and the student loans that much higher. also, I was either scared to leave home or wanted to experience the city on my own. probably both. north carolina was lovely though. it’s the only time I’ve ever been. I hope one day to return. (I have an actor friend, from NYU actually, who used to shoot one of those teen shows down there, and would go on and on about the insane carolina barbecue. if nothing else, I visit places for the food…)
    that said, NYU was a trip. as much as I like food, I tend to like people even more, and there were always plenty around to keep me sufficiently engaged.

  31. Sean M.

    I went to Michigan State because it was the furthest I could get away from home and still pay in-state tuition.
    OK, that’s not entirely true…because when I was waitlisted in the program I wanted to get into at MSU (James Madison College — sort of a specialized, writing-intensive, political science program that accepts only about 250 kids a year) and told that I was so far down the list that I’d never get in, I accepted my offer from USC (Southern Cal, not South Carolina)…which was, and I’m sure still is, obnoxiously expensive. But alas, as soon as I paid my deposit at USC, I got a letter in the mail saying that I got into the MSU program. I quickly changed my plan and had a pretty amazing, memorable 5 years (two degrees, not necessarily a slacker) in East Lansing.
    The end.

  32. mcf

    ’cause she’s too humble to “out” herself, i will report: neva was a morehead…
    and rebecca: such fantastic news about little henry!

  33. Ian

    I’m no booster or anything, but $35 a year ($45 with the wife) was worth it. I think $600 is for a Lifetime Membership.
    I just realized how patrician, yuppie and entitled my statement yesterday about “spending junior year abroad” was. Suffice to say I couldn’t afford it either.

  34. Mid Mass

    I went to Dartmouth, a school that’s been called down once or twice on this blog. A lot of what you Tar Heels love about Carolina isn’t that different from what I love about Dartmouth. (Well, except for that annual March Madness thing…). When you write about your enduring fondness (passion?) for Chapel Hill, I get it, because that’s how I, and many others, feel about Hanover.

  35. John Schultz

    Ian- UNC should cut you in on some brokerage fees. I just signed up “FOR LIFE”. scary.
    Coming out of a private school in Winston, I probably should have gone somewhere smaller than UNC. I applied to the same places everyone else did (Wake, W&L, Davidson) but got in early at UNC and never looked back.
    In fact, my three older sisters all went to UNC too. What a deal for my parents!!

  36. litlnemo

    Because of this thread I just went to my alumni site to see if we have any cool database thingy. No, we have a lame database thingy. No Friendster-like activities. And I can’t use Facebook, because alumni don’t get email addresses from Evergreen. (Instead, I am on Facebook as faculty at the college where I teach, and that is incredibly lame. I guess I will have to keep using Classmates for my social networking needs.)
    But, on the other hand, all graduates of Evergreen are automatically members of the alumni association; there are no paid memberships. So that’s kind of cool, at least.

  37. Andrew

    LFMD is right. UNC tuition was a steal even for out-of-staters. Don’t know what it is now. But I remember my mom’s sigh of relief when I told her UNC was it for me rather than other not-so-inexpensive schools.
    And the Morehead scholarship? Crazy. A friend had it and it seemed like the school was paying him way above and beyond tuition and room/board just to be there. Pissed me off because he was much dumber than me.
    Question: Was Morehead something you had to apply for separately and you had to know about it, or were all admission applications screened for it and the select few were asked to apply for the scholarship?

  38. Chris M

    This is a good one — here goes:
    Michigan State University, (1983-1987)
    1. A much older brother graduated from MSU in the 1960s. He and I — the youngest — are the only ones to graduate college out of six children. Some friends from high school were going, too.
    2. I was clueless about higher education and had virtually no guidance.
    I never took the SATs. I took the ACTs because MSU used them. I had no idea that one could prepare for a college placements test.
    The night before the test, I did what I did every Friday night: got out of work at 8 and cruised around town with my buddies drinking Stroh’s. I did pretty well on the ACT.
    3. I grew desperate to escape my family, but felt like I was trapped in a nightmare and could not run away.
    After a childhood surrounded by a large, selfish, and self-destructive family, another storm of insanity blew in about half way through high school. I had alway been the one who was supposed to make things better, but I now realized it was futile. Numb, I didn’t do much work during the last half of high school and my grades reflected it.
    4. During senior year in high school, I calmly moved out with my parents’ permission. They were distracted by their own issues. I lived alone in a mostly black, poor to working-class, Detroit suburb in an old one bedroom house on a dead-end street. I worked part-time, paid my own bills, and showed up at school and tried to pretend I lived a normal life.
    5. My family was neither poor nor rich. My father wore a tie to his union job.
    6. My grades tanked so badly senior year, MSU rejected my application. I had to apply to Wayne State in downtown Detroit at the last minute. I moved back home with my family for my freshman year of college. So did my sister and her illegitimate child who *constantly* screamed and cried. Apparently the little tyke didn’t know the good news: his father had been aquitted of the murder charge by a Detroit jury! Defense: it was self-defense. Implement: knife.
    I made the Deans List, applied to MSU again, and was accepted for sophomore year.
    7. It was not always easy blending in with all the shiny happy people at MSU, but by the time I got to senior year, I made my own friends, had studied abroad, and developed something like a vision for my life.
    8. After a couple of years of travel and work, I moved to NYC, went into massive debt to get a law degree, and struggled for another ten years to make a full life.
    9. I couldn’t have done it without MSU, a school I would not want to send my child too, but that did alright by me.

  39. Andrew

    Ian: When you are looking for a CODE WORD topic and can’t get one, try this: In the typical week, how much time do we each spend at work reading this blog? What is the most amount of time each of has spent on any particular day?

  40. emma

    Andrew – I believe the Morehead is something that you are nominated for by teachers, maybe? You go through different rounds of interviews. You are interviewed by former UNC alum and maybe former Morehead scholars. There is a local level, then maybe a regional level and eventually you get to the finals, where about one-half of the nominees at that point get the scholarship. I understand that today if you make it to the final round, even if you don’t make the cut and get a Morehead that you still get a free ride, but that is new since the 1980s.

  41. LFMD

    xuxE: the $600 was for life membership. Scruggs had me freaked out about my daughter’s application in the year 2017. . . I figured that if I was going to buy the membership to help my baby, I would need to sign up FOR LIFE! I need to spend that $$ on my daughter’s private school tuition first.
    Neva! You go girl! And, Tessa! Don’t be shy about those Morehead scholarships! You are among friends! How awesome! If I had won a Morehead, I would have screamed it from the rooftops, and been insufferable, probably.
    Andrew: I was valedictorian of my high school class and thought I was the deal. I heard about the Morehead scholarship and wrote to the school to inquire how I could apply. Like I said, I was full of myself. I was informed that out-of-state-students from only certain select high schools across the country could be even considered. Oops. My little NJ public high school was not on that list. Thus commenced the period of my life called “When SmartyPants Laurie Got Put in Her Place” which was followed by “When SmartyPants Laurie Finished at the Bottom of her Class during First Semester of Law School and Nearly had a Breakdown” Ick. Memories.
    But, yeah, I loved Carolina.

  42. Ian

    The out-of-state Morehead used to be only awarded to students at prestigious prep schools and those in England whose families already owned castles, thus giving a free ride to select humans who needed it least. However, it did bring an amazingly diverse crowd into Chapel Hill, which I still think is invaluable. There are some Moreheads that truly made UNC special, and they would have otherwise gone to Stanford/Harvard/etc.
    Tessa interviewed in 1986, and at that time, even if you didn’t get the Morehead, you got basic acceptance into UNC (not sure about the free ride, but I’ll ask). She said she was going to UNC whether she got the Morehead or not, which is how cool she is.
    Apparently there are now a few scholarships available to students who are neither from NC nor go to the “correct” prep schools. Like an at-large bid. I have no idea how it works, but that’s a great development.

  43. xuxE

    i got nominated for a morehead scholorship and i had no idea what it was until way afterwards. i was in the running with two other people in high school, this geeky math whiz friend of mine and this popular all american type.
    i went to the interview cold and clueless because no one told me what it was or what to expect but it was “an honor” (did my school even have a guidance counsleor? i wonder…) considering that i refused my national honor society invitation, i wasn’t really that into it just for the “honor”.
    anyway, the all american type got it, he grew up in nc and i have to think he was at least a little prepared… i wouldn’t have minded so much if the math whiz kid got it, he was pretty brilliant.
    i’m not saying i held a grudge or anything, but when they asked me what book inspired me, my answer was ‘a canticle for leibowitz’ and his was ‘rambo’. i think he impressed them despite the rambo answer because he had that vote-for-me type of personality and was an eagle scout, interviewers love that type of shit.
    not that i’m competitive or anything, but i did beat the math whiz to win the high school math award, so, you know, just for the record.
    but anyway, between getting the nomination and going to this summer program at unc where i got some pseudo credits or something, it seemed like a good (easy) choice. i wasn’t even going to fill in any other college applications so my dad said he would pay me $10 for every application i would complete. i regurgitated onto a bunch that came in the mail to make the money but still hated it.
    the only other place i contemplated going was bard because i heard that you could get in without writing any applications, just an intensive 3 hour interview. that would have been great.

  44. eric g.

    I went to Carolina on the Johnston scholarship, which was like the “Morehead Lite.” No living expenses, no cool summer stuff. Just tuition. But I would’ve gone to Carolina if I’d had to pay for everything. It was the only place I was going to go. I lived in Chapel Hill when I was a toddler, and all I ever wanted to do after we moved to Virginia was move back to Chapel Hill. In 1987, I got to.
    We won’t talk about where I went to law school.

  45. LFMD

    xuxE! You were robbed! I can’t believe that a guidance counselor did not at least prep you for your interview. Good grief. Rambo, for God’s sake!?
    Ian — your wife is indeed cool!
    Hey, I started reading “Collapse” by Jared Diamond. Have you read it? If your oilpocalypse post from a while ago did not scare me, this book certainly has. We are all on the environmental highway to hell. . .

  46. LFMD

    Eric — inquiring minds want to know. Where did you go to law school? It didn’t start with a d and end with a k, did it? Horrors!
    I went to Washington & Lee University Law School. Don’t ask me how that happened, but such is the mysteries of life. Granted, the Law School is a whole different world from the undergrad, but. . . Robert E. Lee is buried on the campus! And his horse Traveller, too! And the undergrad only started admitting women in 1986!

  47. Cris

    I debated all day whether to post in response to this topic, but what the hell. I went to Duke for my undergrad because they gave me a scholarship and it didn’t cost me anything. Simple as that.
    Still, it wasn’t a particularly easy decision. I grew up in NC (for all you Tarheels on this board … I’m from Alamance County.. my parents have been college music professors at Elon for over 30 years now). When I went away to boarding school at 14, I really fell in love with New England. I just wasn’t particularly motivated to come back to NC for college. Yet, perhaps out of laziness, I just didn’t apply to a lot of colleges and for some reason, Duke ended up on the list. In the end, my only other option was Brown. I think Tessa looked there also, because I remember afterwards talking to her about the fact that we were both going to come to NC. For me, it just came down to money: I couldn’t justify borrowing all the student loans for Brown when I could go to Duke and graduate debt-free.
    There’s certainly a ton of Duke-bashing that takes place on this board – and a lot of times I get frustrated, thinking the particular criticisms to be inaccurate. But as a liberal gay man who went to Duke in the 80s… believe me, I have more than my share of actual Duke horror stories. It was not an easy place to come out.. at all. When I would visit Tessa at UNC, or when she and I would visit Benjy Feldman and friends at Yale… I was jealous of their environments. Still, I wasn’t the only liberal-minded type at Duke. I met wonderful, wonderful friends there who I still consider family.
    After Duke came a few years of working in labs before I eventually went back to grad school.. this time at Carolina. My fellow Tarheel alumni in Boston tell me that, as far as schools are concerned, I eventually got things right.
    P.S. Off topic and a few days late, but LFMD: I loved the adorable photo you posted of you and Helen a few days ago. So cute!

  48. eric g.

    LFMD, yes, indeed, I went to the dark side for law school. I fell under the spell of Terry Sanford, for whom I worked from ’92-’95. He convinced me that it was the place to go for law school. I spent most of my time in law school hanging out with Chip in Chapel Hill anyway.
    Washington & Lee, eh? I played on the tennis team in high school with a guy who was Robert E. Lee’s great-great-great (not sure how many greats) grandson. He applied to W&L and … didn’t get in. His family was incensed. They threatened to pull all of their donations. And … he still didn’t get in. He ended up going to Virginia Tech, and I’m sure he has had a happy life. Pointless story, but I got a chuckle out of remembering it when you mentioned W&L. Another high school friend of mine was a woman who started at W&L in ’87. She said it was a brave new world indeed.

  49. LFMD

    Cris — thank you! Aren’t you sweet! No need to be sheepish. Good grief, man. A full scholarship to Duke?! Truth be told, I was accepted at Duke, and if they had offered me a free ride, I probably would have gone! I loved UNC, but I love avoiding debt even more.
    Sorry to be such a horrible blog hog today, Ian. This was one of my worst blabbermouth days ever. I thought this was an interesting topic, and I enjoy reading everyone’s thoughts. And, I just couldn’t help responding to Cris’ kindness. Good night.

  50. salem's little sister

    I was 12 when my dad and I moved Salem up to Carolina. After unloading the car, we walked over to Franklin Street where I saw a guy walk past us with a racoon on his shoulders. I turned to my dad and said “I’m going here for college!” I think if we replayed the sounds on the steet that day, you would faintly hear the sound of his Wolfpack heart breaking.
    Years later during C-Tops, Salem got me drunk as shit on Tequila at the purple house and I knew I had made the right decision.

  51. LFMD

    Oh. . . I just saw Eric’s comment. Ian, your blog is like crack for me! I can’t help myself!
    Eric — I cannot believe that Robert E. Lee’s descendant was not accepted at the school! Are you kidding me??? REL is worshipped and glorified there! They even celebrate REL Day! I am surprised that the family did not try to exhume the general’s body out of the crypt of Lee Chapel over that! Hmmm. Was the guy a big dope?
    W&L Law is actually a wonderful school and I loved it there. Very friendly, very diverse students. I mean, if you want to go to law school, you couldn’t pick a more student-centered program. The undergrad is another world . . .very conservative, very white, very Greek, and . . . um. . . really conservative. One thing I noticed — W&L must have the most beautiful student body in the US. Everyone looked like they stepped off of a JCrew catalogue. Quite a stunning gene pool over there in Lexington.

  52. cluverc

    Wow – How does Brown do it? Anne D and I had the exact same experience. And to this day, I miss Providence so.
    Coming over to the States from Germany to look at schools, we all figured I had to hit a “big name” for it to give me the options of returning to Europe and landing a fabulous job – like dominatrix of the other side of the free world.
    After three schools and countless trips to college bookstores, which saw my family, my boyfriend and best friend kitted out in Harvard/Princeton/Yale paraphanalia my father was about to strangle us all – which made Brown (a place I had never heard of) the last school on the list.
    Before seeing schools a very wise friend had said to me – “pick the place where you feel at home” regardless of what your parents think (my mother was pulling strong for Princeton, at this point). One foot on the Brown campus and I was in love. No core curriculum – the freedom to do what I wanted when I pleased, to try things I had never done before and not be graded on them. It was academic bliss. And don’t get me started on the people – that Admissions office has some knack for bringing together an amazing bunch every year.While the most boring of us did a year abroad, I had friends who took a semester off to build cars and another who founded a whale habitat. Some of the brightest people around.
    Granted, when I wear a Brown shirt in Germany people like to point out that, no, really, my shirt is green. I just send a Ky-i ya ya right back at them.
    Ever true.

  53. babdbob

    The only one we could afford along with a partial athletic scholarship! In those days tuition/R&B cost $2300 year at Storrs.
    In those days not everone went to college, most went straight to work/ it was like- special.

  54. eric g.

    Yeah, he was kinda dopey. He wasn’t a bad guy, I just doubt he bowled them over. I was still pretty surprised he didn’t get in.
    As for the good genes, yeah, the woman who went there from my high school was the prettiest woman in school. Cheerleader, the whole bit. I guess she fit right in.

  55. kmeelyon

    Well, I went to UNC, but if you must know, I really wanted to go to Sarah Lawrence, and my heart was set on going there. I wanted to be a writer. I drooled over my Sarah Lawrence application which required me to write three separate essays. I wanted more essays, MORE, MORE!! Plus, they had lots of out lesbians at Sarah Lawrence which I admit was a bit appealing to me at the time. Anyway, I got into Sarah Lawrence, but my dad fainted over the tuition and told me that if I got into UNC, and went there for a year, he would send me to Sarah Lawrence at the end of the first year if I still wanted to go. It was a bit of a fake-out since I made friends and fell in love with Chapel Hill. So I stayed. But it always ate at me a little bit and I wondered what it would have been like to go to Sarah Lawrence.
    I happen to have a life membership to the life membership to the alumni group at UNC. My dad got it for me while I was still going there. I added you, Ian.
    I’m sure this won’t appeal to you if you never got into friendster or myspace, but my latest virtual playground is Check it out:

  56. Neva

    Wait, wait, wait.. I come back to town today and discover two things by back reading these blog comments .. one, Rebecca I’m glad all is well with the biopsy, great for you and your family! And.. two I’ve been designated a Morehead after the fact. I was a finalist and a wannq be but didn’t quite make the cut. Thanks for the memory of me as one. Maybe my parents have been paying you guys?


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