Friday, October 21, 2016

Our First OFFICIAL College Visit

Day #21



Some time ago, my friend told me she was taking her daughter and nephew to a university for an official visit on a scheduled day off from school.

She asked McDaniel and I to join her.

I filed it away in my mind.

As we did our Saturday football tours, it became increasingly clear that we needed an OFFICIAL for real visit/tour actually put on by the university.

Not that we haven’t gained important insight from our tours.

I think we’ve been able to get 
a good unvarnished look.

But we needed a guide that we could ask lots of questions that aren’t usually listed on the college website.

So I called last week to add McDaniel’s name to the tour list only to find it was full.

I was able to do an

“Aww, shucks! That’s her only day off from school 
this fall and she’s a senior.”

They put me on hold and came back to say 
that they found room for one more.

Which only happens to Monte.
Never me.
So it was a good, good day.


This wasn’t a school on McDaniel’s list but very similar in size to our last school tour so I thought it would make for a good comparison.

It’s a few hours away and we left in the dark.

My friend had the path mapped out on her phone.

The kids slept in the car.

I made the comment that we were going a different way then the last college we attended and I thought they were somewhat close to one another.

But this was a new area of Ohio for me, so what did I know?

We pulled into what we thought was campus to find only 2 or 3 buildings.

It was a branch campus not the main one!

We were 40 miles away and our tour started in 20 minutes!

I called admissions and they were so sweet and said they would have a student tour guide waiting for us whenever we got there for our own personal tour.

They told us to be safe.

Very impressive.

It was a pretty and very unseasonably warm day for October.

Perfect for walking around a campus.

Our tour guide had a great personality and easily learned the kids’ areas of interest and incorporated them into the tour.

She even fielded questions about scary clowns like a pro.

There have been no sightings.

Whew!

We really liked the campus--mainly because it was bustling with activity.

Something we haven’t really been able to see on a Saturday.

The university's colors are blue and gold and the mascot is the eagle.

They call themselves the Golden Flashes or just The Flashes.

Our guide said that the students have petitioned to get the mascot changed to the black squirrels.

I guess the “powers that be” felt a black squirrel 
wasn’t as intimidating as an eagle.

Tell that to the people that came up with
the fish with the teeth wearing a sweater
at that other school.

Our tour guide explained the history of the black squirrel.

Back in the 1920s or 1930s, the president of the university was in Canada and noticed all the black squirrels running around.

He decided he liked the looks of them.

So he caught four,

brought them back to Ohio 

and they populated the university campus.

We saw them running around and they are very black.

And big.

There are statues of black squirrels all over campus and inside the buildings.

In the winter, students put a hat, scarf and gloves on the squirrel.


This was in the bookstore. There is a selfie stick so you could post your selfie
to a specific hashtag.


There is even a Black Squirrel Festival every year.

You can see in the photo below what they think of Flash the eagle.

Too bad for the eagle. 

That is a perfectly respectable mascot.

The eagle seems to be clenching his teeth and saying something along the lines of “stupid black squirrel."


It was neat touring the campus with just us so the kids could ask as many questions as they wanted.

We decided that going to the wrong campus first was a blessing 
so we didn’t have to be a part of a bigger tour group.

Who might not have understood 
all our questions about scary clowns.

Or how excited McDaniel got when she saw they sold 
Boar’s Head lunch meat in the school market.

Our kids had three different areas of interest:

Journalism, fashion design and music.

I appreciated that each major had its own building
 and dorm close by.

McDaniel had to see the fitness center.

The gym was HUGE!

There was a climbing wall and a pool and a smoothie bar that we tried out before leaving campus.

We never even saw the football stadium and you know what?

It was okay.

College visit #4 down,

3 on the like list.


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