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The Slice

Remembering college catalogs

Physical college catalogs probably still exist. But it seems like a reasonable guess to assume that most young people wanting to check out info on Whattsamatta U. or Faber College do so by going online.

That works out fine, I'm sure. But I cannot help suspecting that they are missing out just a little bit.

I say that, of course, because a million years ago when I was a college student planning to transfer to another school, I spent hours at the campus library paging through dozens of catalogs.

Eventually, I looked at the volumes in my stack o' finalists over and over.

(This was back before parents planned their lives around escorting kids to check out one far-flung college after another.)

Studying photos of the school grounds and facilities, I would picture myself in the scenes. These fantasies featured generous scoops of wishful thinking and a few dollops of self-delusion.

“Maybe I'll wind up being friends with some of the kids in this photo of the activity center. Especially that one student with the floppy Carly Simon hat.”

Which isn't to say you can't do all that online. It's just that holding the catalogs in your hands could feel like you actually had a handle on your future.


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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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