August 31, 2006
We've settled Joel in his apartment at Brown, more or less. The apartment is nearer the main campus and his classes than, I believe, any of the so-called on-campus housing he had. Last year's students left a huge amount of furniture that Joel and his friends didn't buy or want in the apartment, to the point that Joel's room didn't get painted or carpet-cleaned, so he's unhappy with what he calls the gross walls and floor, but it's a big room, very airy, two windows living room and kitchen, two other people, one male one female. That's one of the greatest changes in people his age: it's totally normal for men and women to be housemates and friends and nothing more. I think it's terrific, but then I think back to when I was at Barnard and students Linda LeClair and Peter Behr caused a total front-page-of-the-times scandal by sharing an apartment. That, of course, included a sexual relationship, and what's amazing now is living together without a sexual relationship. Much healthier, much better. Simultaneous, of course, with some of Joel's friends becoming fundamentalism in their religion and eschewing sex out of sacred marriage altogether.