Monday, October 21, 2013

Meet the Larpers

As mentioned in recent posts, last weekend I took my two daughters on the Great Northwest College Tour.

Or, as I like to refer to it, The Let's-Find-An-Institution-That-Will-Drain-Daddy's-Bank-Account-And-Put-Him-In-A-Dirty-Nursing-Home Tour.

We started in Spokane (vehemently pronounced Spo-can) and saw Gonzaga University. It's a Jesuit University. We knew that going in, but within 5 minutes my daughter --who already attends Catholic High School -- said she had seen enough crucifixes.

For this lifetime. And the imaginary one that follows.

I don't blame her. Religion goes with college like chocolate goes with plumbing glue.

From there, we traversed the state of Washington, which reminded me of upstate NY and is truly beautiful and came down the back side of the Cascade Mountains into Seattle.

My daughters loved Seattle. And my youngest described it perfectly when she said, "It's just like San Francisco. But with wetter homeless people."

Of course, in all my logistical genius, we scheduled our tour of the University of Washington, UDub, the same day they were hosting a nationally televised football game against Oregon, their arch rivals. The campus was awash in drunken fans, from both universities.

We arrived in time to take the official UDub tour with other visiting parents hoping to achieve instant poverty.

In the very casual meet-and-greet that preceded the tour, we were treated to an hour long question and answer period with a campus rep. That's when the group had the opportunity to meet a mom from Sacramento and her precocious teenage daughter. I'm sorry, honors program teenage daughter.

You see, this inquisitive little girl asked the campus representative a gaggle of questions. And she was quite intent to let everyone around her know she was an honors program student.

"If you're in the honors program, is there a different dormitory you can stay in?"

"If you're in the honors program, do you get special meal plans?"

"If you're in the honors program, is there a reflective yellow vest you can wear around campus to let everyone know of your superior IQ?"

Yeah, we get it Einstein, you're a gifted scholar. But if you were really smart you'd keep your mouth shut so that some wise ass blogger wouldn't go home and publicly shame you before millions of people. OK, maybe not millions, but you get the point.

Our last stop on the tour was the aforementioned University of Oregon. The school is in Eugene, where by chance, a friend from Suffern High School happens to reside. Because our names are so close alphabetically, we used to sit next to each other in many, many classes.

We met for coffee and caught up on our vastly different lives. It was very casual and 180 degrees from the artifice of a staged high school reunion. We both remarked how fast life goes and how hard it was to believe that we were already 44 years old.

Later, we walked around the very sleepy campus and came across the LARPERS (pictured above), who my daughter explained are Live Action Role Players. I was astounded that students would literally spend their free time, dressing up as medieval characters and donning nerf swords and shields.

I thought college was about getting drunk, stoned or laid. Ideally, any combination of the three.

We still have one more trip planned. We're going Back East to check out Boston University, Boston College, Georgetown and my alma mater, Syracuse.

Before you know it, my daughter will be writing thesis papers on the Rise of 18th Century Nihilism and The Birth of the Dada Movement. And I'll be writing 5 digit tuition checks.

Hello dirty nursing home, I can already feel your soiled linens and taste your pureed peas.


Jeff said...

Pureed Peas. Roxy '97.

Justin said...

I grew up in Ossining and still remember thanking God that I didn't have to wrestle Suffern's James Canty.