Posts Tagged ‘Troy’

The vitality of Troy, NY

Monday, September 21st, 2009

I spent four years of my life in Troy, NY, attending RPI. I would not recommend living there. RPI is a fine school, and while I have some serious issues with its leadership, my experience there was positive. That said, I have written about my feelings for Troy, and they are not positive. (I should clarify that when I referred to the “community” in my previous post, I really mean the city and area taken as a whole; some people are pretty fabulous, but downtown Troy is not.)

I did not expect to be thinking about Troy today. I was a bit shocked to learn that President Obama made a speech at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy. Initially I was incredulous — my first thought was “Troy? Why Troy?”. Later it made more sense: he had to visit Governor Paterson to give him a talking-to.

President Obama says that the United States needs Troy. I am inclined to disagree, but otherwise willing to hear him out. Now, some caveats: I freely admit I am being too hard on Troy. It is not a terrible place, just below average in some important dimensions. What does it in, in my opinion, is the opportunity cost of spending time in Troy. There are so many better places to be. It is no accident I got out the hell out of dodge as soon as I had my degrees in hand.


Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

It’s a good thing that the noun form of disingenuous is disingenuousness, or I’d end up confusing it with the opposite of ingenuity. From Wiktionary, disingenuous can mean “Not frank or open; uncandid; fake or deceptive.” So it didn’t surprise me when this word leapt into my head as I was skimming RPI’s public relations publication, Inside Rensselaer.

I was reading the article titled “Rensselaer Unveils Newly Renovated Residence Commons in Downtown Troy.” Personally I would have hyphenated “Newly Renovated,” and wouldn’t have capitalized every word, but that’s not my call. Then I got to the second paragraph, where they mention the “vibrant community of Troy”. That is just a lie. There are a thousand adjectives better suited to describe Troy. I would go so far to say that Troy is perhaps the most un-vibrant community I can think of.

I got used to this kind of public relations doublespeak while I was attending RPI. It’s kind of awful when the instutition you’re a part of needs to practically lie about things like censorship and budget cuts and staff layoffs. I truly hope my new school is a tad more reasonable.

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