Photo by Chris Jackson

Why it’s not called “Waste Valley” anymore

The sign says, “All On Campus Classes Suspended” because of “social distancing” over the coronavirus. Waste Valley–or I should say, West Valley (Community) College–has some online classes, so let’s hope students make use of those until the school can resume in-person service.

When I drove by the sign, I realized no one’s been calling it by it’s throwback nickame, “Waste Valley,” for years! That nickname was used a lot in the 1980’s when it’s students were said to be “waste cases” who loved to “get wasted” (not because they wasted time–although they clearly did if they were wasted).

Photo by Chris Jackson

The reason you won’t hear that nickname anymore? Most of the students there these day don’t even know what that nickname means. Gettin’ “wasted” is now an ancient term that you definitely won’t find on Snapchat.

Sure, today’s college students party, but they don’t come close to the San Jose/Los Gatos/Saratoga/Campbell party vibe of the 80’s – house parties every weekend when parents weren’t home, and rich kids gettin’ stoned since they were 13 or 14. Most of them went to “Waste Valley” after failing to get accepted into San Jose State.

By the way – in case you’re wondering about me…I did my time at San Jose State–where it only took me five-and-a-half years to graduate in four 🙂

– Chris Jackson



Chris Jackson

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