I got an email from the University of Virginia Alumni Association this week, asking me to take a survey about my experience, almost 25 years ago now. I expected it to be fairly straightforward - rate your experience 1-10, tell me how useful your University degree was, that sort of thing.
But I was surprised. It was strange, and deep, and impressionistic. At least it seemed so to me.
One of the questions?
In four sentences or less, describe your favorite memory from the University of Virginia. Who was involved?
How do you answer that?
I thought a long time and remembered.
A endless Friday afternoon in front of the lawn room of my best friend Dave O'Brien. It was warm and beautiful. I don't remember the time of year, but in my mind it feels like May.
We had a little grill and some food, but no grill tools. I made a spatula by cutting up a beer can with a pair of scissors - and it worked. We grilled and drank and watched pretty girls go by. Our girlfriends came to see us. We chatted with friends as they walked by between classes. We laughed and talked about this and that, not a word of which I can remember today.
We were young and good looking and funny and the future was very far away.
How do they expect us to answer that?