Tuesday, October 23, 2012

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College visit recap

So I took my daughter, a 16 year old, homeschooled senior, to Wesleyan College, a school she'd been looking at for a few years, this past weekend.... Actually, it was Sunday and Monday.

Three of the four schools she has applied to have been women's colleges (and I think I'll discuss that later), and each college has a different draw for her.  The ideal school would be a smash-up of the three.  The thing she likes the most about this school is it's personality.  I.e. the way the people just... are.  The kind of people it attracts.  The women of Wesleyan College from an outsiders perspective seem to be, fierce and independent, with a wicked sense of humor, and tons of love and guidance.  My daughter fits into this demographic well.  If we would take this college, and sit it in the geographical location one of the others, and the theater reputation of the third, they would have her deposit and this conversation would be over.  Based on the draw of the other two colleges, her excitement for this school had sank to the bottom of her list to the point that she began to sulk about the visit, but once she
got there, she remembered why she loved it.  (It is listed among a number of "Colleges that change lives").

If you had heard the grump, grump, grump, on the entire 2 hour drive to the college, you probably would have turned around and gone home, seriously.  But within 15 minutes of arriving, we were sitting in a student panel where current students talked about their experiences, and there was one young woman, who had been a theater major like she plans to be and she really, really liked what she saw.  Then she was all like... I love this school.  No, you're exaggerating, I was excited about this visit. (Pffft.  Whatever. ) So we did a tour and a couple other touchy feely things, and I was excused to go to my hotel, while she spent the night at the college.

I was welcomed back the next morning to a very happy girl, ready for her music and theater auditions.  We finished off the remainder of the tours and talks, and I got some info on financial aid (yeah. we're not getting any, per-se) and she attended a class.  Then it was time for the auditions.  She got nervous.  Wow.  That's a really good sign.  It means that she cares.  She went in with two male faculty members and I sat a in the closest chair I could find out in the hallway where they left me.  "mom.. sit.... stay."  Sigh.  I heard her sing her prepared songs.  One in German and then one for The Mikado.  Then they were like... "That's lovely, so let's see what else you can do.  They tested her music theory.  They had her play piano.  They had her sing a pop song while playing piano, and they talked a lot.  I could tell by the tone in her voice that she was enjoying the conversation even though I could not tell what they were saying.  When it was over, they thanked me for bringing her... I could not tell what they thought... they were just extremely polite and reserved.  I tried hard not to say anything stupid.  Then it was time for her theater audition.

She wasn't prepared for the theater audition, because when I made the appointment I was told that it was more of a workshop than an audition, but fortunately, she had been working on a monologue for a competition she is in next week.  (I need to back-track for a minute and mention that she did a one week intensive that this college 2 summers ago, and was being auditioned by women that remembered her... and she used a monologue they had introduced to her.... actually, I think both the men remembered her too.)  I could not hear this audition all because I knew it would be kind desperate to move myself to a chair outside of the other audition room.. so I held my breath and stayed put.  Her 1/2 hour audition approached an hour, and when she was done, she and the two theater instructors were walking toward me at full speed asking for grades and test scores.  There is a very generous scholarship that she could get based on her obvious talent if her academics measure up... and they do.  So there is a good chance that we will be returning in February for a scholarship competition.

Then we had to drive home two hours and do it quickly as had to beat the Atlanta Rush hour... so even though I was exhausted (because my hotel room sucked and I slept with one eye open)... I drove home while she slept next to me in the passenger seat.

I think it was a good visit.

BTW, this college is now back at the top of her list.  I think it is my favorite too.   Also, she was already accepted at this school and awarded a merit scholarship, the additional scholarship would mean that we don't end up in the poor house just to get our kids through college.



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