On my list, I included visiting several colleges. I’ve always liked being on college campuses—both my alma matter and others.
It’s fascinating to learn about that college is famous for, find the interesting/wacky buildings & statues, and people watch.
Also it’s a free to stroll around. And especially awesome when you later read a book that takes place there and you can squee with delight “I’ve been there!” #cheapnerd
(this is where I would insert some pictures of some of my favorite college campus visits; however, I realized I didn’t take pictures of some (NYU, University of Washington) or when I did (University of Florida, University of Arizona) I did so on FILM. yeesh).
So here’s my flash-from-the-past example, Berkeley:
Berkeley happens to be a short-ish train ride away from where I live now. The other campuses I recall visiting fondly were part of bigger trips that required leaving the state and whatnot.
What didn’t occur to me until recently—as in, I lived 26 years without realizing this—that one of the closets colleges to where I grew up, in terms of miles, is actually one of the most famous.
(not that I just a college on fame and what not. but still.)
Of course I knew where Stanford was. I knew where I lived. I just never put it in terms of miles.
Socially and culturally, the Silicon Valley is pretty must it’s own island, from where I stood, growing up. While there was always reason to visit San Francisco and LA (plays, sports, theme parks, museums, class trips, ocean front property)… sorry, what San Jose and its surrounding cities might have in terms of businesses and universities with global influence, they lack in reasons to visit. Or think about. Totally my (possibly ignorant)opinion and my experience, but there you have it.
So that’s why (or perhaps how) I lived my first 27 years without visiting Stanford.
That changed a couple of weeks ago. My sister was attending a shower in the general area. I drove over with her and my mom one sunny Saturday. While my sister was at the shower, my mom and could have wondered mindlessly wondered around a Target, or something. Instead, we trekked to Stanford.
And wondered around mindlessly around there.
It was beautiful. And oh so academic.
It would have been awesome to go on a tour or ad least get a map so we could have an idea of what we were seeing.
However, it was Homecoming. The sheer number of people present was mind boggling. As was the police escort for the opposing team.
This sounds weird to say (write?) but I feel like a more well rounded, well traveled person. Even if I didn’t venture too far from where I was born.
(also, in another dork moment that erases any levity the above statement may have, being that it was homecoming at Stanford, I couldn’t help think of this episode of Chuck. well that and all of the technical, medical, legal innovation that university is credited with)