I have used the phrase in the title of this post on numerous occasions. Most people, except maybe my wife, think of me as an intelligent person. I was kinda shocked when I learned that my IQ was 136, which puts me in the top 1%, but I guess that is another story. 🥸
Anyway after a lengthy pause I end the phrase …
… All in the same weekend
I have pictures to prove that and will intersperse them here. When we lived in New Jersey for four years just before my retirement in 2000 we spent several long weekends touring the New England States. The Ivy League weekend was one of them.
I must admit that among those three places that Harvard was my favorite. Yale which is in New Haven, Connecticut was just kinda blah. They were getting ready for their commencement ceremony the follow day, so the yard was filled with chairs. It’s been over twenty-some years since our visit, so I can’t really remember much more than that.
Since I was an engineer MIT should have been my favorite, but even in those years my creative genes were beginning to blossom, and the place just seemed too sterile. Everything was the same color, and it looks like the place was designed by an engineer, not an architect!
Harvard, on the other hand, was just steeped in tradition. The 1978 TV series entitled The Paper Chase was still fresh in my mind, even twenty years later. For those who are too young to remember the show, here is a little about it from Wikipedia:
James T. Hart is a law student from rural Minnesota who enters the intensely competitive environment of a prestigious law school specifically to study with Professor Charles W. Kingsfield, the world’s leading authority on contract law . Kingsfield inspires both awe and fear in his students in his unremitting determination to prepare them for the practice of law.Wikipedia
I admit, that since I have always been one of them, that I am always in favor of the underdog, so James Hart up against a famous Harvard Law professor is permanently stuck in the back of my mind.
Getting back to going to Harvard, the Harvard Yard was almost a magical place. But, it did seem much smaller than I imagined. The statue of John Harvard proudly reigned over the yard just as I pictured it. The buildings, with all the real ivy over the arches made them seem surreal. When I found out that they had a school of architecture I had to stop by the book store to get a hat and T-shirt on that school. Even in the early days I thought I should have been an architect, why I never chased that dream is one of my many failures in life.
It’s been twenty-five years since that weekend visit and I still think that it was in the top 3 places for those years of living in the Northeast.