Where did you get you first degree and what did you like about the university?
I got my undergraduate degree (B.S.) in chemistry and environmental science at Dickinson College. It’s a small liberal arts school and it was such a great place for me. Despite being at a small private school of only undergraduates, I got to get involved in research really early on and got to work directly with a professor (not with a grad student or post doc) on my own project for 3 years. The classes were really small and most of my upper level chemistry classes had less than 10 students with a professor. In terms of research I was super well prepared to enter graduate level research with basically all of the lab skills I needed to be successful. Lastly, I think liberal arts schools are great because you get exposure to a variety of subjects. Being a well rounded person is important and it’s great to have interests outside of your primary field.
First, students developed The Peddler, a sustainable fair-trade-coffee cart on two wheels. Then they came up with a new initiative that blends sustainability, cycling and do-it-yourself culture in an ingenious and delicious way. The bike blender is a student-made contraption that runs on—you guessed it—bicycle power, offering a sustainable, fun way for students to get their smoothie fix…
This is a brilliant project by Dickinson College students. Can I put in an advanced order for a blueberry smoothie in May??
I don't know where to go to college and I need to talk to current students.
If anyone who’s currently or recently a student at Vassar College, Hamilton College, or Dickinson College sees this, please message me. I promise I won’t ask that many questions, I just need some advice.
I miss the shadows cast by limestone stacked so perfectly three centuries ago. I miss the trees in bloom, leaves throwing dappled sunlight onto my face. I miss skeletal branches catching wind better than a dream-catcher hooks onto my terrifyingly real nightmares. I miss the smell of books and coffee mixing together into a gorgeous aroma that reminds me of watching so many afternoons fade beyond the horizon. I miss you. I miss grilled cheese and cream of tomato soup, cheesecake brownies and something exotic called Florentine bars. I don’t miss the au gratin potatoes. I miss the taste of vodka and OJ, rum and coke. I miss you. I miss stumbling to the bathroom at two AM, the harsh fluorescent light leaving me wondering if it is day or night. I miss days and days of rain, flooded squares of grass the perfect place to go squelching through. I miss snowball fights with brilliant people, our laughter rising to the night sky where stars shine no brighter than our hearts. I miss you. I miss becoming frustrated trying to wrap my tongue around unfamiliar French pronunciation. I miss walking to Walmart and Panera. I miss conversations with near strangers, acquaintances of friends. I miss drunk dialogue with sober people, that’s always the most fun. I miss windows so tall you’d hurt your neck trying to find the top. I miss you. I miss knowing everyone and having somewhat insulting nicknames for them. I miss date tables, look, we can see everyone. I miss the sloped ceiling of my room, the posters tacked up with cheap tape. I miss the screeching beep of my microwave, so reminiscent of a harpy, and the reassuring hum of the refrigerator. I miss the hours and hours spent just talking, communally ignoring homework in favor of House or Top Chef. I miss you.
So I’ve been rather on-and-off about posting lately and part of the reason is that my family and I are in the process of moving from beautiful Oak Park, Illinois to Carlisle, Pennsylvania. After 9 ½ years as a stay-at-home dad, I’m returning to work at Dickinson College where I was previously employed for 3 years before moving to Illinois in 2002. (My wife is also an alum, class of ‘02.)
So we’re trying to sell our house and organize our five children and head 650 miles east by mid-August. Posting will be inconsistent but will continue even in Pennsylvania.
For those who are curious I will be the Interim Director of Student Leadership and Campus Engagement.
And to Tumblr for preparing me with all the up-to-date memes, gifs, and fandoms necessary to connect with the classes of '15-'18:
Amy Dickinson says her hometown of Freeville, N.Y, is mostly
a town of leavers and stayers — and she managed to be both. Dickinson went away
to college and lived in Chicago, New York, London and Washington, D.C.
Eventually, as her mother was nearing the end of her life, Dickinson returned
Dickinson is the author of the syndicated Ask Amy advice column and is a regular
panelist on NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell
Me! Her new memoir, Strangers Tend to
Tell Me Things, chronicles marriage, parenthood, divorce,
single-parenthood, being on your own, moving back, saying goodbye, saying hello
and starting over.
Meeting Elliot Miller was similar to what we imagine meeting a wizard would be like. We recently spent some time at his house in South Oakland and got to know a little more about one of our favorite local artists. He greeted us wearing a black t-shirt that read “Do Not Resuscitate” and lead us to what we think was initially designed as a kitchen, but now lacked a dining table and most ordinary kitchen appliances. The room felt quiet and full of something unseeable, something dangerous that made us feel meek. As he lit a cigarette, he answered some of our questions.