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The Cody Blog: Back to School, or, Weiners in My Ramen and Plasma in My TV

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Back to School, or, Weiners in My Ramen and Plasma in My TV

Last night I was a guest at a financial class of my friend, Scott Rothbort, who's a professor (and a Wall Street man too) at Seton Hall. I have to say that it was a great experience for one reason in particular -- perspective.

I'd flown to NYC the day I finished my last class at UNM. And I'm not sure I've been on a college campus since (not for sport events either, in case you were wondering -- I don't watch college sports because I have fundamental objections to the exploitation of athletes and waste/use of tax dollars that the NCAA perpetuates).

So last night I drove out to South Orange, NJ. And as I drove onto the campus, I was transported back to my days in college. There was a kid on a bike riding along the sidewalk as I pulled into the security gate. Bikes were always my primary mode of transportation when I was in college (heck, I still ride around in NYC all the time today, including on Monday when I was working from home and I rode down to Wall Street for a meeting with TheStreet.com, then to midtown for a meeting with my accountant... but I digress). So I immediately recalled that feeling of riding around the campus.

And then the whole atmosphere and aura of the campus was anachronistic. I think I've enjoyed most chapters of my life -- even those that were unpleasant I wouldn't want to change. College is no different. I was a hoopster on the team at both Blinn College and as a walk on at UNM, and I had a lot of fun playing hoops, meeting women, riding my bike around, hanging out, playing guitar, listening to music, writing, traveling with the team, raising hell around my coaches -- I mean, college certainly wasn't without heartache (had tumultuous relationships... imagine that!) and heartbreak (never did break out to become the big time hoopster I always wanted to be, perhaps because of one too many shattered ankles), and catharsis (such as embracing a moral code far different than what I'd been raised to believe in), but I pushed it and had a darn great experience.

Spending time on the Seton Hall campus took me back to that time and place. In the classroom, the time transport was furthered. Somehow as one of the kids (kids?! What am I, old, now?!), asked me some questions about using book value as a metric in valuing stocks (I think book value only matters in extreme cases), I was reminded of eating Ramen for dinner and being happy that I had some weiners to cut up into it. Why that memory popped up right then, I'm not sure. But then we immediately got into a discussion about Sony, and I brought up flat panel TVs. And that led to Scott mentioning Panasonic, and I thought to myself -- wow, here I am remembering cutting up carrorts and hot dogs into my 20 cent soup while I'm talkin about how I just bought a 42" Panasonic plasma television. What a strange segue, and one with so much contrast (hey, remember the "contrast" dial on the old TV sets?).

Anyway, it was pretty intense to be in an environment that I've been away from for so long. I've been back home to Ruidoso, New Mexico several times since I left so I'm not sure I get the same shock of change that I got last night. This going back to a college thing really tripped me out.


Anonymous joeblue3 said...

I live in Athens, GA, one of the great college towns in the country and love it. While I went to school in Chapel Hill (which was beyond compare), living in Athens feels so youthful. Whether it is Widespread Panic playing downtown, REM doing a surprise show or catching the B52s at a local dive, there is always something to do.

And don't think when I see a "walk of shame" or a fella stumbling home while I am going to run that I don't immediately go back to the brick walkways of Chapel Thrill.

Did I mention the scenery during sorority Rush?

10/20/2005 12:00:00 PM  

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