Friday, December 31, 2010

April 10, 1935 (15 and 4 months)

Asimov jumps ahead in his book (In Memory Yet Green) to April 10, 1935, "one of the few exact dates I remember for the period before I was 18.") (It was at age 18 that he started keeping a diary.

He'd ever traveled into Manhattan (from Brooklyn his home) by himself, and he didn't do it this day, either. His father came with him, but waited outside the school building.

Asimov recounts that he made a very poor impression. He was "too eager, too talkative,too nervous, too lacking in poise and self assurance, too obviously immature."

He was interviewed by only one man, apparently, and despite his transcript grades he was rejected. However, he was only rejected for Collumbia College. Columbia University was a huge establishment of which Columbia College, "the elite undergrauate school" was only a part.

The interviewer therefore suggested that he apply to Seth Low Junior Colllege, located in Brooklyn - "another undergraduate college of Columbia University and no means elite." One had to be 16 to enter (as one did for Columbia College) and the student body was mainly Jewish with a smattering of Italians.

After the interview, he and his father went to see a movie, Richelieu, witj George Arliss, Edward Arnold, and Ceasar Romero. In this movie, Richelieu was the hero, which Asimov had some difficulty getting used to as he'd read The Three Musketeers where Richelieu was the villain.

They also stopped in at a museum - which one he doesn't remember - and saw Albert Einstein, though they did not speak to him. (And Asimov remembers the date because of this event, not because it was the day he interviewed for Columbia College.)

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