Thursday, November 29, 2007

On cultural capital, ctnd.

I spent my high-school years staring at the pine trees outside my classroom window and picturing myself on the campus of an Ivy League university, where my wealthy roommate Colgate would leave me notes reading, "Meet me on the quad at five." I wasn't sure what a quad was, but I knew that I wanted one desperately. My college friends would own horses and monogrammed shoehorns. I'd spend weekends at my roommate's estate, where his mother would say things like "I've instructed Helvetica to prepare those little pancakes you're so fond of, but she's had a devil of a time locating fresh cape gooseberries." This woman would have really big teeth that she'd reveal every time she threw back her head to laugh at one of my many witticisms. "You're an absolute caution," she'd bray. "Tell me you'll at least consider joining us this Christmas at Bridle Haven; it just wouldn't be the same without you."
I fantasized with the nagging suspicion there was something missing, something I was forgetting. This something turned out to be grades.
David Sedaris, "the imcomplete quad", in Naked, Back Bay Books, 1998, p143.


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