Your Mom’s Guide to the Hippie(ish) Colleges of the Northeast — Part 2 (Days 6 and 7)

You know those dreams you have where you are in familiar surroundings but everything is just a little off?  Yesterday was the lucid version of that dream for me.

Day 6 of the college tour dawned with considerably less drama than the previous morning.  I found the car keys.  I found the car.  And I found the best parking space ever on College Hill in Providence (no mean feat) — just steps away from where we needed to report for the information session and tour at Brown.  It was as if the gods were making nice for the mean trick they had played on me the day before.

Apparently, many kids these days would like to go to Brown.  I like to think that’s because I went there. The info session was crazy crowded.  Given the massive turnout, I half expected to see Brown alum Hermione Granger leading the info session.

The info session was blah, blah, blah.  Systemically, Brown remains pretty much unchanged from my days except that what used to be called the “New Curriculum” is now called the “Open Curriculum” — a reminder that a few years have passed since my Brown days and that what was “new” back then is now “not-so-new anymore.”  I guess they figured that “open” was a better descriptor than “middle aged.”  Because it is officially middle aged.  Boo’s eyes did widen when they talked about how you can take all your courses pass/fail, but otherwise, she was unmoved.

After the info session, we broke up into smaller groups for the campus tour.  The tour guide asked a couple “can you guess this?” style questions.  I appeared to be a genius by answering all of them correctly until I fessed up that I was an alum — and immediately became less a genius and more an annoying know-it-all.

And while Brown remains systemically the same, physically, I barely recognized it.  There are all sorts of new buildings and even the old ones that I could recognize from the outside have been completely modified inside.  I felt like Alice through the Looking Glass.  They also have electrical outlets in all the street lamps.  If they had that back in my day, I was woefully uninformed.

So what did Boo think?  Her thoughts were succinct — “nice school, too big.”  I agreed.  So it looks like the Barnes family is one and done at Brown.

After our tour, we hopped into the car for the drive to NYC.  We had to drop the car off at JFK and then get into the City, so it turned out to be a 6 hour affair before we made it into the apartment we rented.  We dropped our bags and immediately headed for the TKTS booth at Times Square to try to get tix to “The Color Purple” only to discover that it starts at 7:00 instead of 8:00 on Wednesdays and we were too late.  So instead, we got tickets to a frothy little off-Broadway musical starring Diana Degarmo from American Idol!  Squee!  (Actually, she was very good.)

And on the 7th day, we rested — except for a trip to Kmart to buy some supplies for Boo’s summer at NYU and a delicious Peruvian chicken dinner.  I was seriously tempted to drink the chimmichuri sauce.  It was that good.  I think I may need to move to Peru.

And tomorrow is a momentous day.   Tomorrow will likely be my last college visit.  Unless I can figure out a way to make money by visiting hippie colleges.  Any takers?

Next up — Day 8

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