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Alumni Profiles
reed magazine logoSpring 2009

Around the World in 80 Seconds

By Rachel Adrienne Hall Luft ’95, alumni board president

The Internet: for years, rescuing awkward introverts from social isolation. Now the rise of social-networking sites makes it even easier for people to share their stories without the nuisance of real-time interaction with actual others. It offers opportunities to chat on myriad topics whilst keeping conversational partners at a safe distance of entire hemispheres. Or, for the very outgoing, it can bring people together to, like, meet for real, in person. And won’t you be delighted to discover that Reed and its ambassadors (read: alumni) now cater online to all levels of intro- and extroversion?

Luft and son

Rachel Luft and her son, Konrad

The Reed web pages alone offer more than I have room to address here in detail. Fly—fly, I tell you!—to iris.reed.edu to set up an account on the Integrated Reed Information Service (IRIS). It is well worth the 90 seconds’ investment. Within IRIS, you can speedily get a Reed email address for yourself, submit Class Notes, look up other Reed alumni in the online directory, see who’s signed up for your class reunion (Are you? It’s going to be really cool this year. See www.reed.edu/alumni/reunions/.), register as a volunteer, make a reservation at the Ski Cabin, and update your contact information.

IRIS also includes the Reed Stories site. There is some fantastic Reed lore there, but it falls short of its potential, people. I did a search for Portland’s legendary late-night adman Tom Peterson and came up with nothing. Humanities Building groundbreaking…where are you? And the food fight stories are wonderful, but how about the subtle and omnipresent humor of the Commons trays? If you know what I’m talking about, jump on the Reed Stories site and share.

The Reed alumni influence goes far beyond the official Reed pages (the “pages of the Man,” if you will). The Reed Web Conference has been going strong without the college’s influence for nigh over a decade, and its loyal denizens are very welcoming to newcomers. A new online social forum has been developed for Reed alumni, called the Griffin Forum. It’s just a baby, but I have high hopes for the initial topics (Parenting, Arts & Culture, and Green) as well as any more that emerge in the future. Come meet other Reedies with common interests; this doesn’t have to happen only at reunions.

And for the outgoing, several geographical communities of Reedies have created a presence on Facebook, so you can meet Reedies near you, get together for pizza, hold a swap meet, or honor Nitrogen Day. Right now you’ll find groups in the Bay Area, Boston, New York City, Portland, Rainier, Southern California, and several others. While you’re at it, do a search for your class year and major. If you’re feeling unrepresented, stop sulking and start your own group! This is lawless, untamed territory—make your mark! Or join everyone else on the very popular “I went to Reed and all I got was this crappy GPA” group. What do I care for your sense of anarchy?

This is just a sampling of the delights available to Reedies online, but I hope it will be enough to motivate you to explore on your own. After all, no physical movement is required, there are no deadlines, and you don’t even have to meet anyone!

reed magazine logoSpring 2009