At Colby Sawyer College, after the show, we hung out with some co-eds from there who told us about school and what they were studying. There were several Women's Studies majors and they were telling us about feminism and rape culture and stuff like that, a lot of which sounded very similar to the stuff we talked about when I was college.
So the next night I decided to bust out my Details article "HOW TO DATE A FEMINIST" at the UMASS show. (This instead of reading the part in RECOVERY ROAD about UMASS-- Maddie goes there when she can't get into SMITH, even though she's from Oregon and it doesn't make sense to go that far to go to a big state school, but you have to read RECO ROAD to understand ....)
Anyway, I have never read HOW TO DATE A FEMINIST in public. It was considered pretty controversial when it came out, making gentle fun both of feminism, and the kind of dumb men's/women's glossy magazine articles about how to date different stereotypes. Anyway, it went over big, and got a lot of laughs and though it was clearly dated in some of it's references, ("doc martins") pretty much all the points were still perfectly valid. "Almost all smart women are feminists, but not all feminists are smart".
The rest of the show was great, including the finale in which a witch put a spell on all of us ... and the best part there were like 500 people there. We filled a whole BALLRROOM!!
And I came to like UMASS too, despite what I said about it in my book. It is a HUGE state school, but it is very Massachussettes, meaning it is just a little smarter than your average state school, and not pretentious and full of nice little nooks and crannies to hang out in and work in and nod off, and drink coffee. They had a PEOPLES MARKET thing in their student union that was some sort of student run co-op, full of that distinctive Western Mass kind of hippy kid/queer kid vibe that seems familiar to me.
At one point we also went to Emily Dickenson's house where Ali Liebegott dazzled the tour guide. When asked if anyone was a fan of Emily Dickenson, Ali pulled up her shirt sleeve and showed the older woman her full arm tattoo of Ms. Dickenson's portrait. The woman--thus energized--was great, full of gossip and conjecture. The best kind of tour guide. And we got to see Emily's white dress, goddess like and ethereal. Dresses are so awesome.
Then on Friday i got on a plane and flew to Houston for a TEEN BOOK CONFERENCE that was super interesting and held in a huge contemporary public high school which was brand new and full of nice kids. A night out of TEX MEX that night completed the fun. There were a bunch of cool people on hand but Stephanie Perkins and Lindsey Leavitt and I closed the bar, or at least the shuffleboard game thing, new friends, yay.
Then onward, back to meet the SISTER SPIT crew back in William and Mary tonight!