The Right Coast

November 11, 2005
Deep Springs College
By Tom Smith

This unique institution came up at lunch today with my distinguished colleagues. I spent the summer of 1976 (I think) there, as a visitor from Telluride House, at Cornell. I loved the place. Regular students spend two to three years there, before transferring to other universities, typically. Check out the statistics. It is harder to get into, SAT-wise, than Harvard, or so says my eyeballing of the stats. The summer I was there the teachers were a well-known novelist and a prominent political theorist. I was in heaven, except that I was one of the more incompetent ranch workers in the long history of the place. I fell through the ceiling of a faculty member's house, broke a cable on some tractor thingy, but did manage to kill a cow (as I was supposed to). They ended up sticking me in the garden, where I pulled a lot of weeds. It is hard to screw up weed pulling. Not everybody there was happy, and some left, but it was a very impressive group of guys.