To paraphrase Dickens — It was the best of times. It was the time that you were reminded that you are traveling with a teenager.
Day 3 (Sunday) was spent again in Philadelphia on a walking tour — this time of colonial era sites. Boo tends to get very up in arms when someone’s version of American history does not completely jibe with the version she learned from the Socialist British hippie who taught her U.S. History class. (Yes, she learned about the Revolution from someone who came from the losing side. Reminds me of how it’s done in Texas — only with less outright denial of facts.) Fortunately, Boo had few complaints about our guide to colonial Philadelphia. He’s probably a socialist and secretly British too.
At the end of our tour, we hopped into the car, drove up the New Jersey turnpike, waved at the skyline of Manhattan, and landed in Wallingford, CT where we had a father-free celebration of fathers’ day. We went out to dinner, followed by watching my ankles swell into cankles while the Warriors lost. I probably should have just watched my ankles swell. It would have been less painful.
We got up bright and early for a visit to Wesleyan University. I was absolutely positive that Boo was going to love Wesleyan. It’s hippie. It’s artsy. It has no required classes. It has a super-impressive list of alumni. (Joss Wheedon, Matthew Weiner, D.B. Weiss of Game of Thrones, Lemony Snicket, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Thomas Kail from Hamilton, and of course there’s my college roommate’s husband, Seth. Hi Seth! Bill Belichick went there too — proving that no place is perfect. ) There are 10-20 theater productions per semester! How could Boo not love this place?
Well, I’ll tell you how. She was tired and in a bad mood. Her interviewer asked her a bunch of pre-programmed questions. (Q: “What’s your greatest academic achievement?” A: “Um, I go to a hippie school. We don’t think that way. I didn’t even know that my ACT score could affect my college prospects until after I took the test. Next question.”) The information session was not the most riveting (although far from the worst we’ve seen), and worst of all, I hadn’t heard Boo say something that led to some confusion and got her pissed at me. That’s how she could not love it.
After that, we decided to skip our “might as well since we’re in the neighborhood” visit to Yale. (She’s not going to go there anyway.) Over lunch, after she had eaten and her irritation with me had subsided, she conceded that Wesleyan actually does have pretty much everything she wants and that she knows not to judge a school based on her mood and an interviewer mismatch. (I HATED my Brown alumni interviewer. He was a pompous, sexist jerk.) So I think that Wesleyan will stay on the list — just not as high up the list as I think it should be. But I’m not the one going to college, so it’s her call.
Even though mother knows best.
Next up — Day 5
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One thought on “Your Mom’s Guide to the Hippie(ish) Colleges of the Northeast — Part 2 (Days 3 and 4)”
We didn’t love it and why is hysterical. When we first got to town we landed at this completely hippie cafe. (he did a neighborhood crowd fund before there was crowd funding when his restaurant burned down the year before) The guy couldn’t have been more of a college ambassador. He went on and on to William about how much he would love it after he informally made sure William was Wesleyan material. When we went on the campus tour there was a brochure about visiting and places to eat etc. When we inquired about why the college didn’t list this guy on their brochure they talked about how it was paid for etc. How in the heck can a hippie college not support their biggest hippie fan?
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