We didn't ask why a small liberal arts school in Meadville Pennsylvania calls its sports teams the Gators, assuming the double alliteration assonance then alliteration (doh) and rhythmic echoes of Allegheny and alligator the reason. Despite the stupid, we, and more importantly Planet, despite expecting not to from our drive-thru the night before, really liked the place.
Best: there are no core courses, but students must, at a minimum, major/minor (they can major/major), and the major and minor (or second major) cannot be from the same area of study: if you major in a social science (or natural science or humanities), you must major/minor in one of the other two. The cleverest way I've seen to guarantee a traditional liberal arts education.
It was also the first time this trip that Planet, who had scheduled the interviews herself, was interviewed by an actual Admission's officer rather than a rising senior. I was shocked - stupidly, I'm told - when a rising senior interviewed Planet first at Oberlin, then Kenyon, then Hamilton; that's standard operating procedure, I'm told.
I understand the interview serves mostly to show the potential student's level of interest in the school, but fuck that. I understand Oberlin and Kenyon and Hamilton don't give a flying fuck whether Planet applies or not, but Allegheny (and Earlham and Gettysburg) do. That's worth something, and if the cache an Allegheny degree defers isn't as cha-ching as an Oberlin degree, I'm not at all convinced the education and experience Allegheny delivers isn't as good if not better than Oberlin's. Or is this loser talk?
So we just walked out of the Admission's officer's office (he interviewed Planet for 45 minutes then brought me and Earthgirl in for another half an hour) when my cell vibrates, and it's Landru. He and Ilse are speed vacationing in Niagara Falls and then Toronto, which to get to requires them to I-79 north through Meadville Pennsylvania - they're sitting in a Ponderossa Steak House just off the interstate. SHAZAM! a twenty minute meet and greet! Heh. Luckily, they'd already eaten, sparing us. The cheerful, toothless, tongue-plugged waitress thought it charming.
We're home. I think we're done with first visits except for Carleton, in Minnesota, where Earthgirl went to school, which we'll (or at least Planet and Earthgirl will, depending on expense) fly out to see this fall. Planet will decide in the next month or so which schools she wants to do an in-semester overnight.
If I had to guess I'd say she wants to do all of them, which is to say that after all the visits of the last year, she's no closer to knowing where she wants to go than before we started. I say this sincerely: excellent.
Jeebus, sparse links: these really are the blog days of August:
- Yes. I mean no: "Does anyone doubt that once a society ceases to be able to afford schools, public transit, paved roads, libraries and street lights -- or once it chooses not to be able to afford those things in pursuit of imperial priorities and the maintenance of a vast Surveillance and National Security State -- that a very serious problem has arisen, that things have gone seriously awry, that imperial collapse, by definition, is an imminent inevitability?"
- If only.
- Quiet Coup (h/t).
- UPDATE! Betcha a pint Greenspan is sick, knows he'll be dead within a year, and is worrying about his legacy.
- Yes, well I demand the soccer gods return Marco Etcheverry circa 1998 to United's line-up tonight.
- What the tea party gets right.
- Remember when you were creaming over Weiner screaming at Peter King and I said hold your jism?
- Props to Fareed Zakaria.
- UPDATE! Tony Judt has died. An appreciation. His Postwar is a non-fiction book I not only finished, but enjoyed.
- UPDATE! Night.
- UPDATE! Meritocrats (sub rqrd).
- Because Laura Bush never vacationed overseas.
- I've been required to attend one of these.
- Babs is resolute!
- It's your fault for liking trees.
- Another reason not to ride Metro. A co-worker has been saying for a year this shit is getting worse re: pack-hassling, pack-robbing.
- Hans Keilson?
- Steve Carey? As with the above, it's a good thing I have access to a university library's stacks (and/or ILL).
- Our home computer, after eight years, is dying. I'm sick of Dell. Go ahead and suggest a Mac if you must, but if we stay PC, what desktops are better?
here among them the americans this baffling
multi people extremes and variegations their
noise restlessness their almost frightening
energy how best describe these aliens in my
reports to The Counselors
disguise myself in order to study them unobserved
adapting their varied pigmentations white black
red brown yellow the imprecise and strangering
distinctions by which they live by which they
justify their cruelties to one another
charming savages enlightened primitives brash
new comers lately sprung up in our galaxy how
describe them do they indeed know what or who
they are do not seem to yet no other beings
in the universe make more extravagant claims
for their importance and identity
like us they have created a veritable populace
of machines that serve and soothe and pamper
and entertain we have seen their flags and
foot prints on the moon also the intricate
rubbish left behind a wastefully ingenious
people many it appears worship the Unknowable
Essence the same for them as for us but are
more faithful to their machine made gods
technologists their shamans
oceans deserts mountains grain fields canyons
forests variousness of landscapes weathers
sun light moon light as at home much here is
beautiful dream like vistas reminding me of
home item have seen the rock place known
as garden of the gods and sacred to the first
indigenes red monoliths of home despite
the tensions i breath in i am attracted to
the vigorous americans disturbing sensuous
appeal of so many never to be admitted
something they call the american dream sure
we still believe in it i guess an earth man
in the tavern said irregardless of the some
times night mare facts we always try to double
talk our way around and its okay the dreams
okay and means whats good could be a damn sight
better means every body in the good old u s a
should have the chance to get ahead or at least
should have three squares a day as for myself
i do okay not crying hunger with a loaf of
bread tucked under my arm you understand i
fear one does not clearly follow i replied
notice you got a funny accent pal like where
you from he asked far from here i mumbled
he stared hard i left
must be more careful item learn to use okay
their pass word okay
crowds gathering in the streets today for some
reason obscure to me noise and violent motion
repulsive physical contact sentinels pigs
i heard them called with flailing clubs rage
and bleeding and frenzy and screaming machines
wailing unbearable decibels i fled lest
vibrations of the brutal scene do further harm
to my metabolism already over taxed
The Counselors would never permit such barbarous
confusion they know what is best for our sereni
ty we are an ancient race and have outgrown
illusions cherished here item their vaunted
liberty no body pushes me around i have heard
them say land of the free they sing what do
they fear mistrust betray more than the freedom
they boast of in their ignorant pride have seen
the squalid ghettoes in their violent cities
paradox on paradox how have the americans
managed to survive
parades fireworks displays video spectacles
much grandiloquence much buying and selling
they are celebrating their history earth men
in antique uniforms play at the carnage whereby
the americans achieved identity we too recall
that struggle as enterprise of suffering and
faith uniquely theirs blonde miss teen age
america waving from a red white and blue flower
float as the goddess of liberty a divided
people seeking reassurance from a past few under
stand and many scorn why should we sanction
old hypocrisies thus dissenters The Counse
lors would silence them
a decadent people The Counselors believe i
do not find them decadent a refutation not
permitted me but for all their knowledge
power and inventiveness not yet more than raw
crude neophytes like earthlings everywhere
though i have easily passed for an american in
bankers grey afro and dashiki long hair and jeans
hard hat yarmulka mini skirt describe in some
detail for the amusement of The Counselors and
though my skill in mimicry is impeccable as
indeed The Counselors are aware some thing
eludes me some constant amid the variables
defies analysis and imitation will i be judged
america as much a problem in metaphysics as
it is a nation earthly entity an iota in our
galaxy an organism that changes even as i
examine it fact and fantasy never twice the
same so many variables
exert greater caution twice have aroused
suspicion returned to the ship until rumors
of humanoids from outer space so their scoff
ing media voices termed us had been laughed
away my crew and i laughed too of course
confess i am curiously drawn unmentionable to
the americans doubt i could exist among them for
long however psychic demands far too severe
much violence much that repels i am attracted
none the less their variousness their ingenuity
their elan vital and that some thing essence
quiddity i cannot penetrate or name
Woke up with this aoodom5fse in my head: