Back East Schooling



This happens every time I meet an Ivy Leaguer. How hard is it to just say “Harvard” or “Princeton”. Really. But we always have to play the “Back East” game, which I love playing, especially when I figure out I’m playing it. This is a typical conversation I have, at least twice a year when I meet a Harvard grad:


Me: Oh, so you studied history in college? Where’d you go?

Douche: Oh, I went to school “Back East”. (light bulb flashes, the game has begun)

Me: Back East? Where Back East?

Douche: New England.

Me: I know New England well, where exactly did you go?

Douche: Ohhhh, I went to school in Massachusetts.

Me: Oh, great, I have family in Boston, where EXACTLY did you go?

Douche: Boston? Really? I went to school in the Boston area.

Me: Boston area? Come on, where’d you go? B.C.? B.U.? I know the area, just tell me already.

Douche: Close, I went to school just outside of Boston, in Cambridge.

Me: So you went to Harvard or MIT? Just tell me already!

Douche: Harvard.


The moral of the story is, if anyone starts the looong explanation of where they went to school with the words “Back East”, just guess an Ivy League school using the hints from the second piece of information they give you. Here’s a handy guide:


Phrases that follow “Back East” and what Ivy League school they went to:

-Upstate: Cornell

-Jersey (followed by a quick look of disgust): Princeton

-Upper West Side: Columbia

-Philly: U Penn

-Rhode Island: Brown

-Connecticut: Yale

-New Hampshire: Dartmouth


And you’re probably wondering why this is an Ivy League phenomenom? I have no idea. People that went to Notre Dame don’t say they went to school over in Indiana and people that went to USC don’t say they went to school in Downtown Los Angeles. Maybe its because their elitism makes them think that the mere mention of their school’s name will make you physically weak and unable to finish your conversation because of the overwhelming force of shame that will bear down on you because of your meager alumni ties? Or because they’re douchebags? I vote on the DB factor. 

So what do I do now that I know the game? The best thing is to start guessing the schools, starting with the shittiest ones. Connecticut? Scream UConn and then mention how great Okafor is with the Bobcats. School in Boston? Imply that they go to Bunker Hill Community College and then go off on how great Robin Williams was when he played a teacher there in Good Will Hunting. Upstate New York? Pretend to yak in your mouth and then run away.


4 thoughts on “Back East Schooling

  1. aaaaaaammmeeeeeennnnn. Or, as they call it in overprivileged- trust-fund-town-car-ridin’-gum-smackin’-no job-havin’-stylista speech: “The Village”. Eat it.


  2. Hey, I’m an Asian douchebag that went to school ‘back east’ at Cornell. I think it’s a shit school anyway, cos the Asian scene was WHACK! By the way I have a tip for you if you want to mock someone who went there and won’t cut to the chase:

    He or she will say that they went to a school in Ithaca. A logical pseudo-guess to play out this game would be Ithaca College – but don’t even go there. Swing for the fences and mention “C.C.C.”, or Cortland Community College – that’s where the ‘untouchable’ locals often go to school to get their certificate… it’s another shitty upstate New York town about 25 minutes away. Then maybe you can say that your cousin went there but flunked out and died cos he got drunk every day and drove off a road and into one of those gorgeous Ithaca gorges (Ever seen someone wear an ‘Ithaca is GORGES’ t-shirt? Now that’s a REAL douche, we know where you went, already!) on an icy winter day.


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