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Recently my daughter’s Facebook status said, “Filling out college applications will be the death of me.”
Not me. It’s the freaking campus tours that will be responsible for my demise.
After visiting several campuses I’ve come to the conclusion that the rolling hills, gently sloping valleys and an inordinate amount of stairs are created solely and wholly for the purpose of improving the parent’s cardiovascular health or hastening their deaths, whatever. And not, as you might expect, to foster a conducive environment of learning and pondering for the students.
From the artsy, quaint village of New Paltz, NY, to the leafy campus of Drew University and the urban jungles of Pace and FIT, we have marched through them all. But nowhere did I get a workout like I did at the sprawling, mammoth campus of Monmouth University in New Jersey.
The two-hour open house was more like the forced death march to Bataan than a peaceful stroll of the campus. Up and down the grassy knolls and dales, up and down the palatial terraced stairs that led in and out of the buildings and up and down the multitude of steps once inside. Up to the top floor, down to the lobby, over and over again.
Through it all, I searched for a place to rest my aching feet and knees whenever we would stop for a “talk,” but nary a toad stool could be found. So I just bit my lips — upper and lower — gritted my teeth, bore the pain and prayed that the end — of the tour — would mercifully come quickly.
When it finally did, I limped back to the car. Once in the safety of the front seat, noticed parents and teens in little golf carts zipping up and down. I stopped one and said, “Boy you are lucky, the walking tour is a killer. What did you do to get the cart?” The mother, very comfortable in her seat replied, “Nothing, we just waited a few minutes on line for a guide and here we are. It was all in the brochure under ‘Visiting the college.’ ”
Sure enough, when we got home — and as I continued my recuperation with my feet in a hot water bath and knees rubbed with Icy Hot — I read the material that the college had sent us in preparation of the tour, which, of course, I didn’t bother to read.
There it was: “Carts available.”
Not for nuthin, if taking college tours has taught me anything, it’s to read the brochures before going on the tour — not after.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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