And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naivelychose a college that was almost as expensive asStanford, and all of my working-class parents' savingswere being spent on my college tuition. After sixmonths, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no ideawhat I wanted to do with my life and no idea howcollege was going to help me figure it out. And here Iwas spending all of the money my parents had savedtheir entire life.
So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out ok. It was pretty scary at the time, butlooking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stoptaking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked farmore interesting.
It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms. Ireturned coke bottles for the five cent deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the seven milesacross town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it.And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be pricelesslater on. Let me give you one example:
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country.Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully handcalligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided totake a calligraphy class to learn how to do this.