Forbes Magazine released their list of the best and worst educated cities in America this week, and it turns out that I've been surrounded by smart people for much of my life. Number 1 on the list is my current home of Boulder, Number 2 is Ann Arbor, where I got my MBA, and Number 7 is the Southern CT, including Stamford, where I lived for 3 and 1/2 years, until I could no longer stand being surrounded by Yankees fans.
It is quite an experience to live in a town full of smart people like Boulder. Your bartender is likely to be conversant in far more than local gossip and sports trivia, your waiter might be working on a PHD (yet unable to get your order right the first time), and the guide on that silly bus that looks like a hillbilly shack has at least one Masters. And the woman who walks dogs for a living in my neighborhood has a PH.D in Anthropology.
When I go to the rec center to work out, the conversation is not usually about muscles or football, but politics, literature, or the feasibility of alternative energy. Where I go for happy hour, you can find a guy who is designing a new city in Africa, and a guy who graduated #1 in his class at Johns Hopkins. You get smarter just be having a beer in this town.
Of course, if I was actually getting smarter, I would be able to stop rooting for the Buffalo Bills! No such luck!