Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.

Going to Arizona State University in 1982


I spent two years at ASU, transferring from Phoenix College in 1981, and finally getting my degree in 1983. I've never been very good at math, but according to my calculations, it took me way more than four years to get my four year degree, which I began back in Minnesota in September of 1976.

I started my Arizona college education at Phoenix College in 1977, and the tuition was so low that when I wrote home asking for "tuition money" my parents thought that I was joking. They had promised to pay for my college education all of my life, every time I asked for something saying that they had to save up for my college education, so I felt confident that they would pay it, and they did. I know that I took year off to "find myself" in Phoenix, but otherwise I really don't know why it took me so long to get to a point where I could transfer my 100 and 200-level classes over to the University. Like I said, I'm not very good at math, and have always had a tendency to wander off, so I think I took classes that I didn't really need just because they looked interesting. Looking back now, I'm glad I did.

I wish that I could tell you how exciting and glamorous my life was at ASU, but it wasn't. My parents paid my tuition, but that was it, so the budget was pretty tight for me. I got a student loan to help a bit, but mostly I lived cheaply in an old converted garage on Wildermuth Road over near the Tempe Canal. Nowadays people talk about the concerts they went to, and the wild parties, but I had no money for concerts, so I never went to any, and I don't recall ever being invited to a party.

I drove my car over to the parking lot by the stadium, and biked onto campus. I knew people who would drive around looking for parking spots but my nervous system could never take that, so I just parked "way out there" and rode my bicycle onto campus. I don't recall ever being in a hurry, but I've never had much patience.

As an art student, I spent most of my time over at the art building, which is just south of the Chuckbox. And I do recall going over there and grabbing burgers quite often. Mostly I would get a burger to go and take it back over to the art building, stuffing my face while I worked on paintings, sculptures, whatever. In those days there was a shopping center just west of the art building, including a place to go get ice cream (what a wild man I was in those days!) and a grocery store, an El Rancho Market. I seem to recall that I mostly lived on huge slabs of Colby cheese, which I just carried around and gnawed on.

I majored in Graphic Design, and I think that it surprises people that the degree included drawing, painting, sculpture, art history, and that sort of stuff. It made a good foundation for my ability to design, not just do technical stuff, which made a difference in my career. People who can do technical stuff are common, people who can do design are not. So thank you, ASU!

Thank you for going to ASU in 1982 with me!

Image at the top of this post: Behind the art building, next to my Saab Sonett, in 1982 at Arizona State University.

By the way, I'd also like to say thank you to my two favorite teachers at ASU - David Morgan and Lonnie Whittington! Thank you so very much!

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