Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic
Stephen M. Silverman
October 10, 2007 09:30 AM

To shelter daughter Violet from developing a sense of entitlement, her celebrated parents Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are looking at schools in Los Angeles and New York – and in Georgia, where the family has a country home.

Of course, they do have some time: Violet isn’t quite 2.

Still, her proud papa, 35, considers his little girl “the best thing that ever happened to me,” he tells Parade magazine for its Oct. 14 issue.

“She is happy as hell and talks like crazy!” says Affleck. “She has the ability to make me smile and feel so good and be so charmed that, when I’m not with her for a while, all I want to do is go home, just to be around her again.”

It wasn’t always that Affleck found contentment in his personal life, he also tells Parade in comments that appear on the magazine’s Web site.

“I grew up in a home environment where I wasn’t getting esteem for anything I did,” he admits. “I played sports, but I wasn’t great at them. … There was alcoholism at home because of my father. I changed schools [at 8 years old], and I didn’t really know the kids at the new school. I felt alone.”

An Early Loner

The isolation only grew worse when he went to the University of Vermont, which he says he chose because he had a girlfriend (who wasn’t interested in him to begin with) going to a school nearby.

“Two weeks after I got there, I called her room, and some guy answered the phone!” he recalls.

“Then, when I was playing an intramural basketball game, I fractured my hip. I was miserable,” he says. “I was now on crutches in the coldest university in America, living in the dorm farthest from the main campus, and I didn’t know a soul, nobody!”

After eating by himself in the cafeteria and skipping Spanish class for five weeks, Affleck got hold of his childhood buddy, Matt Damon, who was at Harvard.

“I called Matt,” remembers Affleck, who told his pal, “You’ve got to pick me up! I can’t walk that well. Come and get me now!”

Sure enough, says Affleck, “Matt was there in six hours. That was the last I ever saw of the University of Vermont. I never went back. I don’t think I have any credits. It was not money well spent.”

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