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.