I'll always love you, though, New York...
And party every day...

Mama, you been on my mind...

We don't get to travel nearly as much as we would like to or that we may have at one point in our lives thought we would. We've got rather normal, sedentary jobs. We have a home. We have bills. All that good stuff.

What this means is that we tend to remember our few trips very fondly. We take time to talk about them and think about what we'd do when we go back. We also like to think about how a place we've visited may have changed in the years since we've been there.

Katie is a big fan of colleges. She likes to visit them just to see what they're all about, see if they fit her "ideal" of what a college campus should look like, and also buy a sweatshirt. She loves her college sweatshirts.

Together we've been to Northern Illinois (our alma mater... go Huskies!), Stanford, UW-Madison, Illinois State, University of Hawaii-Manoa, UC-Berkeley, and some others that I can't quite recall.

And I, during my own personal travels, have been to a few additional campuses. In all these travels, I've only ever seen one college that fit my ideal of what a campus should look like. Big, beautiful buildings that looked like pieces of art. Large, open expanses of grass with students laying out doing homework and playing frisbee. A student union that was unlike any I had seen up to that point. A garden of flowers that, when viewed from afar, formed the school's logo... an orange-bordered burgundy V connected at the top to the letter T.

It wasn't just the campus, either. The surrounding town was beautiful as well. And it was one of the first towns to be completely wired to the World Wide Web, with a company setting up Web sites for every little mom 'n' pop shop in the 'Burg. It was so ahead of the curve that you couldn't help but love it, admire it, and wish it was your own town.

I longed for the day I could take Katie there to show her what my brain and heart had forever internalized as the "perfect" college campus.

Sadly, due to the incomprehensible madness of one idiot, that ideal is forever ruined. Katie's first view of this beautiful locale is now through the lens of a video camera capturing the aftermath.

Of course, I'm talking about Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, more popularly known as Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, VA, the site of yesterday's armed slaughter that took the lives of around 33 people.

There's no need to go into details as they're all over the news and will be for weeks to come. But I would like to take a moment to remember those who lost their lives and offer my condolences to their friends and families as well as to those who work there and live in the neighboring town.

It's going to be a rough going for some time, Hokies. And it's a shame that you, or anyone for that matter, should have to endure this kind of pain. But my heart goes out to you all.

I love you, VT.



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I have always been partial to the Berkeley campus. Imagine that. Last night when I got home from work I immediately started watching the hours of saved television shows that I had. I didn't learn of the tragedy until I was talking to my aunt. It always saddens me to hear of things like that.


It's just...awful. I tend to think people are pretty fantastic in general, but when something like this happens, all I can think is that people are f-ing crazy.


Working in education is a constant reminder that all is not safe behind the walls of our classrooms...it's a sad, sad, day for all. My heart goes out to everyone.


Very beautiful post, K

The Exception

What happened at Tech is quite sad. My heart goes out to all the families and the students who will have to work through their own issues to return to school.

(Side note... Try UCSD and the University of Arizona in Tucson... the latter is like entering a world that is just about being young and in school. )


Dagny, you? Like Berkeley? The hell you say! It's funny because I'm on the Web all day and I didn't know about it until our receptionist came in and told me.

Sandra, I'm right there with you. I like to be optimistic, but then a few idiots blow the perception for me.

Foo, it's so sad when you can't have a learning environment that's peaceful.

diane, thanks!

Exception, it's not going to be easy for them at all, is it? Thanks for the recommendations. We'll have to keep those in mind!


I simply could not watch the coverage. Too savage and painful. Your post is a wonderful tribute.


I was a nanny in college and the oldest of my three girls I took care of is a sophmore at Virginia Tech right now. I called her cell and was overjoyed to hear that she'd slept through her morning class. I asked her to please stay in her room, keep away from the windows, and would she mind getting under the bed? My heart goes out to everyone who won't be getting news as wonderful as what I heard.


I was just talking to someone who's daughter is visiting colleges this week all over the place, anywhere but close to home...and he is freaking out about it. It is such a tragedy. I've been thinking of those hurt and killed as well as their families. Nicely said, in your post here.


I only have a couple stray pieces of clothing from when I was little, one of which is my Tech shirt. My favorite bear wears it now. Tech is a place with many family memories for me. Hang in there, VPI.

As for a perfect college campus, try Vassar.


holygirl, I feel obligated to watch it to some degree. But when you see the same images over and over, it becomes very painful.

Erin, thank god for the good news.

sotj, being a parent in this day and age cannot be easy. The prospect scares the bejeezus out of me.

claire, Vassar, really? How long has your bear been wearing the shirt?


i like how you framed this post. thanks for sharing, kevin.

The Kept Woman

I frickin' hate stupid people and feel for all those parents who lost their babies.

P.S. Go Badgers! (I have to say that b/c I live here and it looks good when I'm supportive even though I really want to yell "Hook 'em Horns!" and throw up the UT gang-sign)


sizzle, thanks for taking the time to read it.

TKW, "hook 'em horns" is so much fun to say, isn't it? And you can legally get away with throwin' up a gang sign.


I feel so bad for the families and everybody that lost someone at VT. What has made me the saddest today is the thought that somebody lived such a wretched, pitiful, depressed life that this is how they decided to end it. How it could ever get to that point is beyond me.

On a happier note, I'm glad to hear that Katie is just like me. I love college campuses too. I have been to so many, I have lost track. Whenever I go to a city that has a college in it, I have to check it out (it would be hard back east to do this, but out here they are a little more spread out).

If you are ever in the Los Angeles area, you have to check out Pepperdine. The campus buildings aren't necessarily special, but the setting is arguably the most spectacular anywhere. UC-Santa Barbara is also amazing, right on the beach. If I had it to do over I would definitely have gone to UCSB just for the eye candy alone.


I hate thinking that this guy felt the need to take others down with him. It's just terrible. Just so you know, when we have time, we visit campuses wherever we go. We're not always able to eke it in. But if at all possible... I will keep those others in mind the next time we're in SoCal. Thanks!




Thank you.


If ever you get to Toronto, you'll have to check out the UofT campus. That's what I think of when I think perfect campuses...


Suze, I've really enjoyed how everyone has been chiming in with their own "ideals." Pretty fun! Thanks.

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