-Last night I went with a group of mathematicians, physicists, etc. to a karaoke night at the bar in town. If grad students have a reputation among undergrads for being the out-of-place old folks at campus social events, where does that leave postdocs-and-same-age-significant-others? Before we headed out, we all made sure we had ID... only to be the one group not carded at the door. A sign at the door indicated that you needed to have been born in 1991 to enter. Weird, because it's 1997. Except, wait a moment...
The night was plenty of fun, but it at times felt as though we were crashing a frat party. These were the fittest, tallest, preppiest undergrads I'd ever seen, and they were in the process of something I'd only ever read about: the college hook-up culture. I kind of identified with Dan Savage on "Savage U," as though I were at the bar not to drink an entire beer and be asked by a mathematician I'd just met whether I was Scandinavian (first time for everything!), but to help The Youth sort out their love lives. Which isn't really my thing - as an instructor of undergrads, even if not these particular undergrads, I have the usual grad-student wariness of being out socially among them.
-Not to tread on Flavia's turf, but there's something - an Edith Wharton novel? a backstory to the Susan Ross character from "Seinfeld"? - in this obituary of an 104-year-old alum of the girls' school I attended for K-8:
She was almost certainly the last link to New York's Gilded Age. The daughter of copper baron [so and so], she was born in Paris the youngest of seven children. In 1928 at the age of 22, [she] was briefly married to [so and so], a business associate of her father's. After the couple was formally divorced in 1930, [she] lived with her mother and spent her time painting, playing the harp and maintaining her extensive doll collection.