I came across this little ditty in the LA Times today, describing a new luxury student housing complex being built at that un-mentionable school across town where tanning beds, hot tubs, HD televisions and a club room are all on the amenities list.
When do we move in?
Wow, this has my old college apartment on Beloit and Santa Monica Blvd. in West LA beat all to hell. It gave new meaning to the term “freeway close” (I think it officially was in the slow lane of the 405).
Then again college kids these days miss out on the joys of paying the rent to our landlords Joe and Muriel’s tattoo encrusted son Duke every month. (He was actually harmless, though I am not sure my female roommates felt the same way)
Of course this reinforces the stereotype of our friends across town but it looks like UCLA is getting into the act as well, though I am not sure that installing free Wi-Fi and a new paint job really rises to this level.
An old, two-time, college roommate, now a college professor, noted to me that, “I assure you, most students still live either with their parents or in cheap, student ghetto housing, crammed full with multiple roommates. About 10-15% of our students live in on campus housing. I was faculty in residence there for three years, and I can assure you, no one considered them luxurious…”
But still, what fun is all that if our generation can’t reminisce about the “good old days?”
My Nephew (yes, I changed his diapers, ONCE!) is about to enter college as a Freshman in the Fall. A few weeks ago, during his college orientation, I got to look at typical dorm suite with a magnificent view of the Redwoods and the Santa Cruz coastline. It was idyllic and wonderful and situated on a meadow overlooking the Monterey Bay and reminded me of a time where the future was limitless and the possibilities endless. (Though, in fairness, I was also told that the architect that designed the buildings at his college, also desinged Japanese prison blocks and on second glance I can kind of see why.)
One day, I suppose, my Nephew, too, will wax prolific about the “First Rain” yearly tradition, which is celebrated when the first rain of the Fall quarter falls where students run naked through all colleges, much to the amusement of other students, or the practice of naked sliding down a warm-jello-filled slip’n’slide. Then he’ll have to deal with his own teenagers and their rolled eyes as he reflects on his own personal geezerdom.
But back to the topic at hand. Isn’t living in a college hole just one of those stories we love to share with the next generation, waxing proflic about those halcyon “good old days?” Yes the good old days where college tuition was $500/quarter and the thought of staying in college another year was just great because unemployment was 12% and the chances of landing a job after college were slim to none…er, wat a minute…
And by “hole”, I really don’t mean to denigrate the little community we built for ourselves lo those many years ago. I sometimes think back on that place and time with nostalgia-tinged memories. That was certainly fun and part of my own growing up process.
And besides it allowed me to remember the good times sitting out by our jacuzzi-less pool taking 25 units a quarter, driving a piece of junk, puke green Ford Pinto 45 miles to my first teaching job at Temple Beth Israel in Pomona, oh, and walking to school uphill, through the bone-chilling, daily West LA snowstorms , both ways…barefoot!
But the kids these days just don’t really understand…they’ll never understand…
WE HAD IT ROUGH!