In July of 2013, I was standing in the front room of the famous Shakespeare and Company bookshop, on the left bank of the Seine, looking through a shelf of books about Paris. I thought I would purchase a book that would enrich my experience in the five days I had ahead of me in Europe’s cultural capital, but nothing was catching my fancy.
So there I was, sitting at a table outside the coffee shop in O’Shaughnessy Hall, writing in my little notebook and dreaming of literary fame, as I am wont to do during my idle hours. I scribbled a few sentences of timeless prose, paused for a sip of my coffee, and then stared out into space, savoring the familiar sights and sounds of college students bustling back and forth to their classes.
The cost of a college degree can seem like a staggering sum to most families today. Is it still a wise investment? Or is the price tag changing the game?
After years of toil and struggle at my craft, I became a rock star last month.
Well, maybe not a star. But I did play a college gig with a local rock band, banging out perfect chords on my state-of-the-art keyboard to a vocal and enthusiastic crowd.
“Rock band” might be an overstated description of the two friends of mine who play cover songs on acoustic guitar at local venues. And we happened to be playing at the college where I teach—I helped my friends get the gig, so they took pity on me and let me sit in on their show with a keyboard I borrowed from the college. And while the crowd was vocal and enthusiastic, it was also about a dozen strong, the majority of whom were our friends. By the time we took the stage, after an opening band of students warmed up the crowd, most of that crowd had decided to head out to the bars.…
It was finals week of my first semester: December 1987. I was sitting in my room on the 10th floor of Grace Hall, and a junior from the six-man down the hall walked into my doorway and threw a copy of Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis, into my trash can.