It’s no secret that I really like to read. Fiction, news articles, historical biographies, riddles and memoirs are all fair game. And apparently, I’m not alone. Recent Reporter articles about novels by retired FBI agent Jeff Rinek ’74 and biographer Bob Spitz ’71 led to a number of emails and calls suggesting other alumni books. As a result, this issue’s exploration into 13 books penned by Albrightians helped me to add new titles to my ever-growing list.
But I’m also a bit of a music buff. So I found it really interesting when last issue’s “A Look Back” feature sparked great memories for readers. As it turns out, the photo was from Spring Weekend, in April 1984, when the Hooters visited campus — exactly one year before their first Platinum album, “Nervous Night,” hit the airwaves. Thanks to an awesome sister, I was lucky enough to catch their act around 1984, too. In fact, I think it might have been the first mainstream band act I ever saw.
Records tell me that a long list of great bands have roared for the Lions over the years, from the Blue Oyster Cult to Harry Chapin, and from Chuck Berry to Chicago. Each conversation I have with someone about college music always brings out great memories and stories (like the legend of Bruce Springsteen chucking his advance copy of the “Born to Run” album into a Kutztown-area hotel swimming pool after hearing it for the first time).
I can think of oodles of songs that instantly transport me to different places and times in my life. Clint Black actually wrote a song about that phenomenon, called “State of Mind.” And of course, every time I hear it, I’m taken back to the early morning drive from Pottstown to Reading that I made almost daily in 1993. When I hear that song, I can still see the light filtering through the deep canopy of trees on route 724, reflecting off my muted yellow dashboard.
So this got me thinking — what songs transport YOU back to your college days? Which songs were blasted from dorm windows when you were a student or worn out on college road trips and now paint vivid pictures of moments in time on Albright’s campus? Drop a note and share your stories with me. I can’t wait to sing along!
– Carey Manzolillo, MBA
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THE LAST WORD
The Hidden Curriculum of College by Howard Levin, M.D. ’07
As a child and adolescent psychiatrist, one of the most rewarding yet challenging populations to treat is the “transitional age youth” graduating from high school and leaving for a four-year college. While most go on to have very successful college experiences, there are always a few who “fail to launch” and end up returning home before the end of the first semester. College can be one of the most difficult life transitions as adolescents embark on their journey into adulthood.
Recently, the American Psychiatric Association changed the diagnostic criteria for the age of onset of ADHD from 7 to 12 years old. To explain this change, one must compare the executive functioning tasks of a 7-year-old to that of a 12-year-old. Most 7-year-olds are in second grade with one teacher for all their subjects and supportive parents (at times “helicopter parents”) at home helping them with homework assignments, organizing their schedules, and keeping them on track academically and socially. Most 12-year-olds are in middle school with different teachers, receiving much less help from parents on homework assignments, and are more independent in terms of managing their time and social interactions. So students who may be able to function with ADHD symptoms at age 7 may struggle at age 12, when they are expected to start functioning more independently.
A similar transition takes place as adolescents become young adults, deemed “the hidden curriculum of college.” Suddenly, young people are placed in a whole new social environment, where they hope to make friends while living in a new city or state with little knowledge of the community in which they live.
They become suddenly responsible for many things that may have been automatic growing up: having clean clothes to wear, meals to eat, money to pay bills and balancing a social life with academic demands. They have classes on different days and times as their peers and are studying for different concentrations or degrees. They must balance the new rigors of college coursework while still becoming active socially in the college community. Those who struggle with executive functioning may find themselves missing classes, allowing partying to overtake academics, or struggling with social isolation as they are trying to adjust to the new academic workload.
So for those who make it through the first year, there is a sense of accomplishment and a big step toward adulthood. As these young adults continue on through college, they learn to carve their own path and develop a personal identity. They learn how to overcome adversity and realize both personal strengths and limitations. And they build an extended family that will stick with them for the rest of their life.
For me, there was no other place I would’ve wanted to spend my college years than the close-knit community of Albright, where I met my wonderful wife, made lifelong friends and took the first steps toward my career in child and adolescent psychiatry.
— Howard Levin, M.D. ’07
Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at St. Luke’s University Health Network
Clinical Assistant Professor, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences