Hot Air has a link to an LAT story about Sarah Palin’s college years.  She apparently wasn’t remembered at all, not a collegeiate standout socially, academically, or even athletically.  Hard to do when you jump from college to college.  She’d go home during the summers and work.  She was steadfast, a head-down-and-focus kind of student, dedicated to getting an education, but not so full of ennui that she’d do merely enough to skate by.  These are the kinds of students I treasured when I was an adjunct lecturer at a large university:  always show up for class, always turned in each assignment, always participate in discussions, always showed up for conferences, always conscientious of their work.

I remember girls like that when I was in college.  The few times they would go out to a party, rarely by themselves – always in the company of at least one other, they would slide in unnoticed, usually hang out close to the door, and gradually make their way in to wherever the keg was (if they even drank).  They’d nurse a cup of beer for the entire time they were there, and if you were lucky enough to get their attention for a few minutes (if you weren’t already sloshed yourself, full of beer and your own overinflated sense of studliness), you’d have a nice conversation about classes you were taking, professors you liked:  the common college stuff.

And they almost always talked about their family, their home, with small anecdotes about their brothers or sisters.  The stories were warm, sometimes funny, but they never bored you with them.  Chances are you had similar ones you’d tell.  You’d both laugh a lot.  And since these were girls you wouldn’t try to put the make on, your heart wouldn’t sink if they mentioned a boyfriend back home.

From then on, every time she saw you on campus, she’d always say hi.  And she’d flash you a smile that always sparked something alive in you.

Chances are she still has that smile.

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