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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Choosing


Emily narrowed her college choices to Ohio Northern, Wooster, Heidelberg and Hiram, all in Ohio. All offer the degree she wants, and were recommended by her programming teacher. We have a window of opportunity in August to visit, and I began looking at how to get to the first three. Hiram I know.

Looking at the maps, I saw I could easily narrow my choices, too. Emily was booking a tour reservation with Heidelberg while I continued searching for Ohio Northern, in Ada. I called her to come look. Route 30 runs straight through Ohio, about a quarter of the way down. Demographically, it separates the blues and the reds. Ada is south of Route 30.

A liberal arts college is not necessarily liberal. If ON leaned right, it could be an uphill slog for a young woman with liberal views. I zoomed in on the town and the college. The latter is bigger than the town, several square miles in size, looking like a separate county, filled with parking lots, probably surrounded by cornfields. And a football stadium and sports complex consuming one third the campus. She fell in with my prejudices, and Ohio Northern may never be visited, except possibly for a visual illustration of my prejudice.

While she went back to fix a visit to Hiram, I looked up the College of Wooster. I’ve lived in Ohio all my life, have visited every part of the state many times, and must admit I’ve always had a slight prejudice against Wooster. Not because Route 30 slices neatly through the bottom of the city, leaving the college on the north side. No, I questioned the mindset of the town after they hired a dynamo friend to integrate the IT systems of all the schools, and after she had them humming like a top they “downsized” her in favor of a person half her age and half her salary.

To be fair, though, I looked at the city website. The first thing I saw scrolling through the side bar: Weekly Community Prayer Services. Finding Emily’s grandma too liberal to be pleased with that, in spite of a lovely little campus in the heart of the city, we sent it down to right above Ohio Northern. We may never visit.

Heidelberg and Hiram both are in charming old Connecticut Western Reserve towns. I know several Heidelberg graduates who think Emily would fit right in there, and one Hiram drop out who dropped out of even the University of California at LA. She won’t care where Emily goes. We’re off to Heidelberg as soon as Emily comes back from band camp, and the Hiram date will be settled on Monday.

I hope Emily takes a great liking to one or both of them, and then we can begin the funding process. And, dear universe, please keep us north of route 30.





41 comments:

  1. Good luck, always a tough decision.

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  2. How about the University of Hawaii, my alma mater? Lol. Just kidding.

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  3. Hari OM
    Getting closer! all best for interviews Emma! YAM xx

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  4. Dear Joanne, back in Berlin I learned something new from you: there is a Heidelberg in America too? All I can say is: here in Germany it would be a very fine joice for taking up one's studies - such a lovely, lovely town!

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    1. This Heidelberg was founded in the 1850's, as a sister to Heidelberg in Germany. Good solid German stock founded that corner of my state.

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    2. There is a Heidelberg in Australia too, it's a suburb in Melbourne, capital city of the state of Victoria.

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  5. My grandson made this whole decision on where to go to school so easy. He is joining the Marines. And Harley still has another 3 years of high school, but thinks she already knows where she wants to go.

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  6. Best of British luck with your search. (Says a Canadian to an American..but you know what I mean!)
    Jane x

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  7. It is so good to see that you are taking the time and the thought to help her to make the right decision. I do hope all goes well.

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  8. I wouldn't be so quick to write off a college based only where it is in the state. We have a couple of very nice ones that are a dot of blur in a large sea of red.

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  9. One thing I learned when debating is that to truly understand your beliefs you must understand your opponent's beliefs. I can understand you not wanting any sort of indoctrination attempts from the outside but perhaps some exposure to the other side would help cement the views you wish her to have. While you are wise to narrow your choices you might wish to investigate the two you have eliminated. You might be surprised.

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    1. College is about healthy debate, not about sexual orientation or the color of skin. I see little use in attempting an education where the mindset of the general population has been tested and found wanting. Let her go debate monetary policy and foreign relations and the existence of a supreme being, not questions that have been resolved in this family for the last hundred years that I know of.

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    2. I agree, not that you need my approbation.

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    3. I thought you were strictly speaking about political affiliations. You should certainly stay true to your beliefs and keep your granddaughter safe. Her safety and education are the main goal.

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  10. Good luck. An important decision, but not easy. For any of you.

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  11. Would love to see her here! Wishing her all the best in finding a good fit.

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    1. Me, too, but no degree in programming.

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  12. Being southern doesn't make you conservative. Our very liberal daughter did well at the University of Georgia and found many like-minded friends and professors.

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  13. I hope all goes well.
    Merle..............

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  14. I haven't made an extensive search of the political leanings of higher ed, but my impression was that colleges and universities as a rule have a reputation of tilting to the liberal side, regardless of where they're situated.
    Exciting times for Emily - and you!

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  15. Some interesting comments above, eh? One is often 'Liberal' universities are located in isolated areas in red states. If you look at each state mapped liberal vs conservative there is a marked demarcation betwixt city and rural, and whether or not a state was red or blue was dependent on the total rural vs urban population.

    What is college about....an interesting subject, and interpretation is dependent upon how old you are. The generation that is attending should be the ones to decide and write the reason, not what we might want to think, having seen it from some distance.

    I hope the girls do well, and sail off on their own courses.

    And good luck to you, with your fewer paths to choose.

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  16. College choices! How exciting! The Hurricane's alma mater is in a very small town in Iowa,, yet it is a liberal arts college that is liberal. I don't think The Hurricane could deal well with a school that's conservative. I can't wait to hear about the trips and what the two of you like and don't like.

    Love,
    Janie

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  17. I'm intrigued by the complications of choosing a place to study....

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    1. Cost is very important. People are always astonished when I say The Hurricane's college gave her a generous scholarship, and I called a financial aid officer and asked for more so she didn't have to go where she had a free ride. He acquiesced and increased the scholarship by quite a bit. So I always tell people, when your scholar receives a scholarship from the school, call and ask for more.

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  18. We think alike! However, I think most colleges, except the fundamentalist types, will give you both sides and it is always good to question. We learn so much more than when we are preached to by the choir of our beliefs.. It is easier, though, to be comfortable with the environment we are in and find like minds. Either way, it is most important to find a school with classes and courses that will ensure that all that money for higher education will pay off with a career they love and a paycheck that will be able afford the student loans.

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  19. Reading this post made me smile! You and I are about the same age. I have a 17 year old granddaughter, too. I so much hear where you are coming from, and so much agree with you! Living in the RED state of Texas makes me an expert on what it is like to have "conservatives" in control. Just watching the local news drives me up the wall; the way they break every rule I learned in high school journalism! Which news they choose to report, and their choice of words to "report" that news! How fortunate are those two girls to have you in their corner. I am also with you about the " community prayer" thing. In my own life, that would be a turnoff! I am so glad to know you. Oh. Do hope your pains are more tolerable?

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  20. She seems like she is doing great with her research and good both that you guys will be visiting will be in the same state and your state!

    betty

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  21. good luck with the choices, hopefully any college she chooses will broaden her perspectives

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  22. Oh to be a kid again, and have you adopt me! Emily is so fortunate to have you in her corner... and I think you're doing the right thing, helping her winnow out the places which might not be a good fit.
    The kidling insisted on her first choice although I was concerned it might not be a good fit for her, despite the fact that the academics program in her area was reputed to be excellent.

    6 months later, she was home. Fortunately she quickly moved to another school, where she flourished.

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    1. Yes, I want to be adopted, too, by someone with Joanne's wit and intelligence and beliefs. I'm 56, Joanne. Is it too late to take me on? I don't know if I've ever mentioned that Willy Dunne Wooters is a programmer at a very large company. It's an excellent job. When he was younger he had some difficulty obtaining jobs because he insisted on programming his way, which didn't necessarily match what the company wanted. He once turned down a job with Apple because he wouldn't program their way. He is a stubborn man, but his political beliefs and world view are so close to mine that we get along quite well.

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  23. My grand daughter has just finished her degree course and is now a B.Sc She worked hard and got a 2:1.. I am off to her degree ceremony this coming Tuesday. I am so proud of her and obviously she has her grand ma's brains!! Good luck to Emily

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  24. Best of luck on the college selection and funding applications. This is an exciting time for all. x

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  25. I'm glad you and Emily agree on what environment would be most desirable. It's hard when parents/guardians and child disagree on something so basic and so able to further divide them. Don't ask how I know...

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    1. Jenny to the rescue once again. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. We took an impromptu tour of Hiram today; we were nearby. Emily and Laura walked all over the campus. When they came back Emily was smiling broadly, and Laura, for the first time in four years, is expressing an interest in college. She needs to come back for a real tour soon.

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    2. Fantastic - so good to hear that.

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  26. That looks like a lovely campus.

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  27. You ask if we have wrens Joanne. Yes we do but I suspect that it is a different wren to yours because our variety is extremely shy and would never come to the bird table - he feeds under the hedge most of the time and we often see him because his little tail tips up in the air.

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  28. OK. this is tough for you joanne. Emily needs both conservative and liberal. SHE needs to decide. Love ya anyway.

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  29. I find I'm on tenterhooks about the final decision. And the whole Route 30 divide? Fascinating for this outsider.

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  30. My father graduated from Wooster oh so many years ago!!

    Good luck in the search!

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