Although I had spent much of my senior year in high school taking the bus down to Milwaukee to hang out with the Tense Experts, I learned that spring that I had been accepted to all three schools where I had applied.
The University of Chicago offered me a $100 scholarship on its annual $10,000 tuition; the University of Wisconsin Madison offered me $500 if I would take up electrical engineering. And then there was New York University.
My father, who was about to invest much of his savings in my tuition, insisted that we visit all three. He had been to New York on business, and I think he was convinced that one view of what was then a dank, crumbling city - it had nearly declared bankruptcy seven years before - would scare me back to UW Madison, his preferred choice.
We stayed in a Sheraton Hotel near Times Square, which in 1982 really was the Times Square of legend. There were junkies, porno theaters, hookers, card sharks, and a whole lot of drunks.
"That man is sleeping on the street," my father pointed out to me.