Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hollins gets its Science going

Oh LOOK! Still not my window! The last day of the trip to Hollins was more positive on the science front. It HAD to be more positive on the science front because all the other days had been filled with horses and creative writing. In the laundromat just down the road from Hollins we saw a sign warning about blankets with animal hair. I am not the least bit veterinary, but the only animals I know of that have blankets are horses. Have you ever heard of a goat blanket? a rabbit blanket? a chicken blanket? No, you have not. You have indeed heard of HORSE blankets. So, PPP's possible trips to the laundromat at Hollins are potentially laden with girls sneaking their horse blankets into the laundromat. Another scary thing for her to fret about.
Take a look at PPP - because her body language will tell us about her college hunt.So...happy, smiling PPP with Auntie Bootza on her 18th birthday, pre-horse farm.
And....PPP, freezing on a tour of Hollins that included nothing of interest to her. . . with random snow flying around.
If you cannot read body language of our 2nd daughter, that posture says: "Fine. Just FINE. I'm going, but I don't want to."
"And NO, you cannot take my picture."
And this says exhausted and possibly bored. PPP spent the night....with a very, very sweet creative writing major, whose assessment of the student body was "Pretty much everybody does Creative Writing here." There was a party planned for the girls visiting for the weekend. Hostess Laura offered a 'slam poetry performance' at a coffee house instead. Did they intentionally engineer this situation so that PPP would be discouraged? I have visions of girls huddled in the corner of their dorm rooms, crouched over a notebook writing poetry, in their riding boots, with hairy horse blankets piled on the floor. Don't tell. Also...coffee house? Didn't that expression end in the 60's? Don't we say 'Starbucks' now? Perhaps coffee shop?

PPP got up at dawn, and went to a chemistry class in which there were 3 people. Lunch with a chemistry professor, one of three in the whole school, confirmed that the ratio of equine creative writers to scientists is about 750:3, considering that the undergraduate enrollment is 753. Perhaps our girl will make that 4 science majors. She also met the lacrosse coach, which was a nice touch, since all we had seen was one lax goal, pushed off to the side, and a field with some faint lines. They gave us some slick recruiting papers about the strength of the science department. And they were totally awesomely nice to us both. That would be after I had a chat with the President of the University, the President of the Parents Council and the Assistant Director of Admissions. My basic premise was that we had driven really, really far, and thanks for asking us....but if they are so all up in the sciences, where exactly are the people? We met all of them the next morning. In rapid succession. Things got awfully scientific after that. Then we drove home, because of the impending first lacrosse game of PPP's season.The afternoon was warm and westward - driving home. PPP and I got pretty sleepy. But we drove fast. AFTER we left Virginia and it's militant highway police who dare to stop people in the middle of the night. Sleepy + fast = don't tell.We stopped, for coffee.We stopped for chocolate and Diet Coke, anticipating the Lenten fast upon us.And with all the stopping for coffee and Diet Coke and Green Tea, we stopped some more to relieve ourselves so we could drink some more.
10 hours 30 minutes worth of random observations from the drive home:

Things were a lot better in the morning at Hollins than they were the night before. Still, it looks better to Mom than to the potential student.
Bootza was right...every single time she told us about the mountains and their blueness.
The Blue Ridge Mountains are blue.
We appreciate the value of a women's-school education. Bleh, bleh, bleh. Not sure about the slam poetry.
Internet access is SO worth $10 a day.
Which is better? A ton of personal attention for 3 or 4 science students or a enormously competitive and peer-challenging course of study? Hmmm...can we flip a coin? Also, is there actually a job market big enough to absorb all these art history majors?

What is slam poetry? We had to phone a friend to find out. Stargazer reports that it's random and twisty and makes no sense to anyone but "the poet". Sounds like the 60's to me.

Why didn't they bribe all the bubbly fun Hollins girls to spend the weekend at school, so that it didn't look so deserted and mopey? Attracting scientists doesn't compare to parties at schools with boys.

Hollins is a really good school. And it might be a great place to go. While we were about 37 seconds from going home on Sunday night, we didn't. I''m glad, because they fell all over themselves to make PPP feel like...a science Princess. That was nice.
PPP is definitely not a creative writing/equestrian/art history major with a minor in performance music. Ruled out completely.

It only took us 10.5 hours to get home, rather than the anticipated 12. I cannot fathom how fast we must have driven because we stopped every hour.
PPP does not eat gas station hot dogs. Just...no. There's another place that she really likes a lot.
A whole lot. Anybody can read THAT body language.
We're listening. We really are.

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