If there’s one thing you learn as an undergraduate, it’s that trouble can always be found on a college campus. More than a few of us will recognize facets of our own schools in Don’t Follow Me, I’m Lost by Richard Rushfield. Rushfield here writes of his years at Hampshire College “in the twilight of the 80’s.”
Hampshire, in Massachusetts, comes off as the east coast version of U.C. Santa Cruz. At this college in the woods there were no grades, students could design their own learning program and attending classes was – well – optional.Rushfield majored in drugs, alcohol and trouble. He found his way into the major trouble-making group on campus, the Supreme D—s. The Supremes sound a bit like the Yellow Turban Alliance from my own first college – a legendary group whose exploits may have been real or fictional. (Very real or highly fictional.)
The first few dozen pages of Don’t Follow can irritate the reader due to the fact that the young Rushfield is not easy to relate to. But whether you wish to or not, you’ll soon be laughing at the exploits of Richard and his friends. At one point in the memoir, they’re already in trouble (with administrators and their fellow students) when they decide to form a 3-member fraternity. Oh, they decide to do this since it will make them eligible for the social activity funds (party money) distributed by the student council. Never mind that they don’t seek recognition from the national fraternity’s headquarters.
You can see where this is going, can’t you? And you can probably see why it took Rushfield two years to learn that he could no longer “try anything” on the Hampshire College campus, and a full five years to graduate.
Once you get a good start on this truly hilarious read, you’ll find it hard to put down! Recommended.
A review copy was provided by the publisher.