School Daze(d and Confused)

It’s Monday peeps, so it’s time to blog! Today’s topic comes once again from the Washington Post Editor’s Query. I’m trying to get away from negative self talk, especially in this season of Thanksgiving, but the theme — “Tell us about a time when you weren’t as smart as you thought you were” — was way too good to pass up. So … .


I was born and raised in New York City. For those unfamiliar with the magnitude of that statement, let me explain briefly. We, who were lucky enough to be born and raised in NYC, consider ourselves to be morally superior to the rest of society. We (think we) are more worldly than the rest of you hayseeds from states like San Francisco and Chicago and small towns like Houston and Philadelphia. Face it. We. Are. Smart. When we talk, people listen, because we know things.

Okay, you get the picture … .


When I was 17, I hadn’t been west of Pennsylvania, but, as I said before, I knew things. The summer before my senior year of high school, I attended Harvard Summer School. (Did I not say I was smart?)

There I met students from all over America and some foreign countries, too. Because we were all rising seniors, a frequent topic of conversation was college. Where are you applying? What’s your first choice? Are you applying early? What are you going to major in? And on and on … .

In the crowd of kids I hung out with, there was a girl named Julie. Julie was from California. It kinda figured to me that she was from California, ’cause she was blond and laid back and, I thought, sort of stupid. Julie was distinguished by the UCLA sweatshirt she never took off.

Now I had heard about UCLA. Well, to put it more accurately I had heard UCLA. That is to say, I’d heard the term UCLA and erudite young woman that I was, I knew it had to do with the California university system. (I’m guessing I knew the term from the 1985 movie “The Sure Thing.”)

One of the schools I was mulling applying to was Cal Berkeley — for their journalism program, if memory serves. So I was chatting with Julie one day about colleges and I confidently said, “I’m looking at UCLA Berkeley.” She kinda gave me a blank stare. UCLA Berkeley?

She tilted her head, furrowed her brow and said to me, “You know, Daphne, UCLA stands for University of California, Los Angeles. There is no such thing as UCLA Berkeley. It’s UC Berkeley.”

Whatever, Lady! You’re blond and from LA. Don’t try to educate me about things I so clearly already know all about. I’m from New York City and I’m obviously out of your league… . 

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  1. LOL!! You are so funny. I know the New York City attitude well–of course I do– I lived in Jersey and well…you NYC’ers are just blowing smoke. Obviously the Jerseyites know it all. LMAO. (Okay, I was a transplant, not a native–but I got enough of a taste of it to figure it out).

    Oh I wanted to go to UCLA once. That was a long time ago!! I had a professor at The Ohio State University from UC Berkley. She was a piece of work–but I showed her!! HMPH. Actually, I did–long story–if I ever have cause to blog about it–I’ll be sure to share. It is how I went over her head to get my papers graded fairly. She lasted exactly one quarter at our University. I guess she didn’t make the grade.

    Cheers, Jenn

  2. Me too! Left for one year to live in Boston and hated it; far too pristine and clean a city for me!


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