Lies and Untruths

Peter Gillette

Monday, I walked around a swarming, hovering, slow-moving cloud of admitted students outside of Lucinda’s. While I at first considered using the anxious students and their overbearing parents as bug shields, I decided to take my chances with the river flies.
Of course, it was the first “admitted students” lunch of the year, where prospies ask us, the students, what it’s really like here.
Last weekend, a kind freshman, Sarah Page, reminded me that I had been at her table during one of last year’s lunches. And so, in a spirit of self-reflection, I’ve decided to interview Sarah in order to gauge, one year later, my effectiveness as a lunch host. After I Facebooked Sarah’s screen name, our interview took place over instant messenger Monday evening.
Background: Sarah’s high school math teacher is a proud Lawrence alum, and so Sarah checked out Lawrence. Sarah was worried about Lawrence being too small but enjoys it now that she’s here. She also “kind of wanted to go to a school with old buildings and stuff.” At the time, she wanted to be a journalist, which is how she ended up at my table.
Peter Gillette: Do you remember your admitted students’ lunch? What did we talk about?
Sarah Page: Yeah. I was pretty much scared because my mom didn’t meet me like she said she would. We talked about newspapers and stuff because back then I had my heart set on being a journalist. Then I decided it was too scary for me.
PG: Was I scary?
SP: Well, at first I was scared, but then you and the other guy [at the table] were really nice and helpful and stuff.
PG: Is my small-talk okay?
SP: Haha, yeah, you did well. When my mom finally came to lunch she was impressed with how much you and the other guy seemed to know and stuff.
PG: If you ever ended up at one of those things, what would you talk about?
SP: I guess all that I know about stuff and I’d try to be honest. I guess people should only come if they want to, I guess?
[Sarah complains about the erratic size of Sage’s rooms, and mentions liking Wriston.]
PG: Oh, you draw pictures now, right? You’re an art major?
SP: Yes!
PG: I don’t think I want to be a journalist either. I think at that thing I was trashing the concept of journalism school. But then again, I’m using an edited AIM transcript as my newspaper column. Is that bad?
SP: No, not at all. And you were talking about how there’s a problem with newspapers wanting liberal arts people and journalism school people.
PG: I’m actually not sure if that’s true, just so you know. I heard it second hand.
SP: I don’t care. I like Lawrence.