It’s move-in week this week at the state university campus across the street from where I live and where I taught for several years. This occasion always reminds of the ominous first paragraph of Don DeLillo’s 1984 academic satire White Noise, which begins, “The station wagons arrived at noon.”

The station wagons and the provisions they carry have changed in 30 years, but the dislocation recorded by the narrator hasn’t. The students still “get younger every year,” as my colleagues like to joke.

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