Saturday, July 28, 2012

Skull&Bones 8

Today was the last full day with the kids. Together with Ms. Kronenberg and Mr. Ramsey, we drove up to Wesleyan University, 45 minutes north of New Haven off  highway 91 in Connecticut. Wesleyan is the only school we've visited that has Saturday tours, thus the large turnout.

Part of the charming and aptly named Middletown, the university is beautiful, of course, stately and spacious, more groomed and compact than the slightly wilder, less tamed grounds of Vassar, which is outside of its satellite town and hence closer to nature and the country. 

Like Vassar, Wesleyan has about 2,000 undergrads, living on campus and creating its vibrant artistic and athletic culture. For those who are from the big city and want something more intimate but not too close to the woods (and for whom New Haven is a bit grungy in that big city way), Wesleyan may be the place to come.

The architecture is an interesting mixture of colonial, Gothic (Hogwarts, again), and modern--a mixture that works aesthetically. If one judged by the layout of the campus, one might also get the impression that the mixture of arts and athletics works aesthetically as well. The tour guides, with whom we had a chance to chat after everyone else had gone, supported that impression, by providing many personal and second-hand anecdotes of both the diversity and the togetherness of the student body.

Although Wesleyan is, as of this new term, no longer a need-blind school, in which admissions and finances are completely separate so the latter does not influence the former, the guides explained that Wesleyan is "99%" need-blind, and that there is a strong student push to put that 1% back. 

After Wesleyan, it's back to New Haven and a bit of rest before our cabaret night. The Yale Summer Cabaret offering of the production of "K of D" is a one-woman storytelling tour-de-force. For an hour and a half, we are hypnotized. Ahh, the college life: quality culture, in quantity and on the cheap.

Yale Summer Cabaret, through the red door

Tomorrow morning the cohort says goodbye to Ms. Kronenberg and Mr. Ramsey, our spiritual and physical guides who must get back home. The cohort also says a temporary, two-week goodbye to me. I know I'll be a lot sadder about it than they.

Yale University from my hotel's top floor

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