Life Changed in the Blink of a Jeep

As I flipped through the cable channels last night at the Jack Daniels Motor Inn I stopped on the movie Sixteen Candles for a minute. In the scene I watched, a very young Anthony Michael Hall and Molly Ringwald were sitting in an open-topped Jeep in a garage.

And suddenly I realized that the entire course of my life had been changed by a Jeep.

Back in the early 1980s, one of the recruiting tools used by Trent University was a 10 minute film that told the story of a student arriving at Trent for the first time. She arrived in her cool Jeep, and as she pulled into the parking lot a gaggle of fresh-faced coeds emerged to help her move in. She then proceeded to benefit greatly from small-group teaching, stunning architecture and the proximity to the Trent Canal.

I was hooked. And I think it was the Jeep that sold me.

And so I went to Trent. Dropped out. Stayed in Peterborough. Left. Came back. Met Catherine. And the rest is history.


andrea's picture
andrea on March 15, 2006 - 15:41 Permalink

When my sister was at Trent, a bit before you got there, someone stole a copy of that promotional film and made a mock version of it. My sister could tell the story better — but it involved a bunch of people sitting around the Hangman (is that what the pub at PR was called?) one night watching that girl jump out of the jeep over and over and over again. The whole thing sounded great in that twenty-something “gee, aren’t we subversive” kind of way.

When I was a teaching assistant in Cultural Studies 101 a decade later, someone hauled the jeep thing out again to show the students in a lecture given about buying university, or university and branding. If I recall correctly, it was used to demonstrate a low point in Trent’s marketing campaign, when they were striving to appear more like Western and Queens. Funny. Did you consider either of those institutions before choosing Trent?

I had a student in my tutorial who told me, unabashedly, that she had gone through Linda Frum’s Guide To Canadian Universities and made her selection based on school colours. She chose Trent for being the right shade of green. So there you go.