Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Brandeis is the Worst Place on Earth

March 16, 2014

To be fair to Brandeis, it was the worst place on earth circa 1998. Perhaps since then it’s become a Shangri-la of scholarship. Fortunately for the reader, however, I have no interest in being fair to the biggest vortex of suckiness that the universe has ever seen.

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They have a castle. That’s how they get ya.

I didn’t know when I got in that I had been accepted to fulfill some internal quota requiring that the school admit a minimum of 5-10 (and no more than 20) totally bitchin’ college students. For that reason, they didn’t send me the brochure they must have sent to the rest of the student body, which I imagine looked something like this:

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Welcome, Freshmen!

  • Are you socially awkward, and kinda ugly?
  • Would your personality be best described as “irritating?”
  • Are you planning on “letting loose” in college by amping up your religious conservatism?

Well, do we have good news for you! Come join your warty hands with your fellow uglies[1], and enjoy 4 years of junior high dances pretending to be college parties!

FAQS

Q: I like the idea of racial diversity, but am not really ready to commit. Is this the right place for me?

A: Brandeis boasts a highly diverse campus just the way you like it. None of the different ethnic, religious, or other social groups ever interact with each other! It’s a nervous liberal’s paradise! You’ll be able to make friends who are just like you and still brag at your Goldman Sachs interview that you have walked by people of all races, religions, and creeds!

The Curse Of Brandeis

When Anna and Jennie visited me, two of their tires popped in the Brandeis parking lot. When my pal Leeman came to visit, he also popped two tires. And then he split his pants.

So, in conclusion, let me say this to my non-existent teenage fan base: if you go to Brandeis, you will die a horrible death. It will probably be from a disease that doesn’t even exist yet, like terminal herpes or infectious reverse warts.[2]

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You, dying a horrible, horrible death. You’ve been warned.

Part II: Dating at Brandeis is the Worst Thing in the World

One of my three friends, Shoshanna, was deciding whether or not to accept the advances of a boy she wasn’t really interested in. A girl with a long-term boyfriend gave her some great advice:

“You’ve found someone who likes you. You must stay with him forever and force yourself to like him,” she said, furiously wringing her hands while she stared ahead in a desperate dissociative panic. With a dating climate like that, I was ready for romance!

desperate

Boyfriends are great!

And so I dated Plamen. He did have one thing my seventeen year old heart yearned for: foreignness. That mattered to me then because I was a turd. He had an accent, and even though it wasn’t a particularly good one, it was good enough for me. (Later on, in my “refined turd” phase, I’d only melt for English and French accents.)

He went by the self-inflicted nickname, “Space.” When Jennie came for a visit, she more accurately dubbed him, “Flathead.” And he was always wearing this black t-shirt that listed all the world religions’ philosophies thusly:

Catholicism: If shit happens, I deserve it.
Protestantism: Shit won’t happen if I work harder.
Judaism: Why does this shit always happen to me?
Buddhism: When shit happens, is it really shit?
Islam: If shit happens, take a hostage.
Hinduism: This shit happened before.
Hare Krishna: Shit happens Rama Lama Ding Dong.

(Fortunately, I didn’t write this offensive cosmic jiz, so I don’t have to feel responsible for unleashing it onto the world.)

I suppose another sign that it wasn’t going to work out was right at the start of our relationship. We were taking a hike in the mountains, and sat down for a rest. The sun was setting, and everything it touched was ablaze with gold. I leaned in for that first kiss.  But just before I closed my eyes, I made the mistake of looking at him. He had, without warning, suddenly mutated into an eager Gollum, leering at me from the shadows.

Gollum

Romantipulsive

It occurred to me as I shuddered through that romantic moment that maybe he wasn’t the right guy for me, but for some reason (coma?), I ended up staying with him for two whole months. Things did not get better.

So let that be a lesson to you, kids. Don’t date Gollums. Hold out for Hobbits. https://imogenflowers.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/things-i-dont-like-about-my-boyfriend/

Here’s another awkward moment in our relationship: I was in the middle of telling him I liked him very much, but tragically stuttered a bit. He responded with a smile and self-satisfied laugh, “I love you, too.” What was I supposed to say? Look, I was saying I like you, not I love you. I don’t love you. As for your loving me, I guess I can live with that.

Things went from bad to worse. One time we went to Boston and missed the last train back to Waltham. We were stranded there overnight. We wandered around and eventually squished our bodies together on a park bench. Oh, and did I mention it was November? Five hours later, we walked the 75 miles to the nearest train station. When we got back to campus, I learned that his sister lived in Boston, but that he hadn’t wanted to disturb her. Space was just lucky I didn’t have a gun.

Then came the death knell. It rang twice. First, on Thanksgiving, when he smoked pot with my dad. The second was back at school, when he cut his hair to look like Nicolas Cage in Face-Off.[3]

faceoff

Don’t worry, Dear. This is how love is supposed to feel.

I really shouldn’t have let it come to that.

The aftermath: he bugged me for the rest of the semester, making me Ramen Noodles while I was studying for finals. Space evidently thought I would sell my companionship for soup. Over Christmas break, he sent me a package containing a large plastic dinosaur that symbolized me and my destructive heart-killing forces.  Believe it or not, this didn’t win me back.

triceratops

My stony, stony heart was somehow unmoved.

The next semester, he started dating my roommate. She listened to Dave Matthews Band.


[1] My friends from home and I called Brandeis “The Ugly School.” This created some awkwardness back in Portland when my cousin Anna had a friend visiting. He was super nice, but a bit unfortunate looking. Our buddy Chris, thinking the friend had driven up from school with me, asked innocently, “Do you go to The Ugly School?” Anna and I quickly defused the situation by loudly and emphatically over-explaining to him that Chris was referring to Brandeis, and not his ugly face.

[2] You: what the hell is a reverse wart?

Me: It’s a wart that grows into your body instead of projecting out from it. It slowly crushes your internal organs and pushes through arteries and veins until they burst. I anticipate that it will be on the market by 2016.

[3] I decided I would be nice, and not mention his unrelenting impotence.

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