Thursday, November 29, 2007

Beware what you google

Sometimes you go looking for information and what you find is so not what you expected that you almost wish you hadn't gone looking in the first place.

In cleaning out the house recently, during one of my "everything must go!" rampages, I pulled out a white 3-ring binder labeled "Addresses." I compiled this notebook years ago, back before I was digital, when we lived in our first home. It's fairly organized, and I've just sort of kept stuffing everything in there as we went. The invite list for our wedding is in there (that's actually a keeper, but in our memories boxes, not stored on the limited shelf space in my digital darkroom), and several sets of pages printed from contact lists from when I'd leave a job and move on.

I brought some of those into work so I could go through and make sure I have everything entered electronically, which is perfect timing as I started addressing Christmas cards last night. Plus there are some vendors I've forgotten about and like to have readily available should I need, say, an anorak emblazoned with our spa's logo.

So here I sit, going through these pages and checking names and addresses, and filling some in, and recognizing way-outdated addresses. It's going swimmingly, and I've already got a nice pile of paper to recycle.

Then I stumbled across a couple names that were real blasts from the past. Two old college professors who were fantastic and whom I adored, and whom I only kept in touch with for about a year or two after I graduated (Bad alum! Bad!). Every once in awhile I'll google them and see how they're doing and what they're up to. I did the first one, and she's now head of a communications department at a good university, and they even featured a picture of her on the site, which I love, because I like to see that she looks healthy and good and hasn't aged a bit and, "Oh, look, there's Birgit! She's so cool!"

And then I googled the other one. Sigh.

I'm not sure why I think it's sad that my old professor is now a Remax real estate agent in Flagstaff, Arizona, but there it is. And yes, there was a picture included and so it was confirmed that he, indeed, is now an "Arizona Department of Real Estate Certified Instructor, teaching salesperson and broker prelicensing plus continuing education course for the Best School of Real Estate and Appraisal, Sedona, Arizona."

This is the man who once held my future in his hands, for whom I had to drive to Kansas City, Missouri, to present a semester-long project that developed a year's advertising campaign for Farmland pork producers to him and the Farmland muckety-mucks. He led my capstone course, and asked me to serve as his TA (which I respectfully declined, having already been asked - and accepted - to TA for my favorite copy writing prof). We used to debate ethics of journalism and work through major campaign issues for hours.

And now he has a "hard to find, affordable, FOUR bedroom, two-bath, 1344 square foot home built in 1992" that he'd like to sell me. Good news, though, it "features a large master bedroom, bright and room country kitchen/dining room combination, comfortable living room, vaulted ceilings, textured walls, efficient wood stove, and two full baths." Wait, didn't he already state that it had two baths? Ach.

So, there it is. My view of college professors living on academic pedestals has been shattered. What do I know, though? Maybe the real estate market in Flagstaff affords him an opportunity he just couldn't pass up.


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