1976 – Monterey, California – My roommate was a huge Marshall Tucker Band fan. He was from Mississippi. His mom was always sending him boxes of ‘Mississippi Mud Cakes’ … a kind of really rich chocolate brownie with nuts and stuff. He didn’t care for them. I was the beneficiary of good music AND some of the best brownies in the world … plus my dorm room looked out over the Monterey Bay.
Back from December 1975 to January 1977, I was a student at the Defense Language Institute, Department of Defense, studying Czech and Slovak. My roomie was a Russian language student. We both arrived about the same time. Was a good year or so living the life out in California. Lots of folks may speak bad about California but there is a reason that so many people love the place once they go out there.
I never ever made it back to California to live. In summer of 1981 I did get the chance to go to Smith College, a school for women in Long Beach. Was a glorious summer. There weren’t any women at the college during summer … so the 6th Army rented its dorms for living space. I could walk to the beach from my dorm. Nice. During the weekdays we would be bused to an Army base where we ‘refreshed’ our foreign language skills using transcendental meditation, or a form thereof, called ‘Super Learning‘. We were the guinea pigs. Great results! Our class had a colonel that sat in and monitored the class. His mission was to report back whether ‘Super Learning’ was of benefit to learning and expanding foreign language knowledge. It was, but my assumption is that his report said otherwise. He was not comfortable with us zoning out in order to zone in.