Monday, January 28, 2013

One college down, "X" number to go

So yesterday we attended an open house at one of the colleges my daughter is considering for college since those apps will be due later this year! GEEZ, where DID all the time go? Anyhoo, it took everything I had to keep from crying at the intro given by the President, students, ect, I don't know WHY I'm such a cry baby when it comes to my kid! This school is a majority institution, to be distinguished from an HBCU or Historical Black College or University, and is unranked for Engineering, to be contrasted with one of the top schools of engineering recruiting my kid since she was in middle school (so you can probably guess where this is heading........). But this school is small and after having a disturbing dorm stay last summer during engineering camp at that "top school" that's recruiting her, my kid wanted to look into other options. And this option lasted all of about 10 mins into the tour given by the school of engineering, LOL!!!

Now I guess I kinda get it that when your parents are graduates from top universities there's probably an enormous amount of pressure on said kid to follow suit. And my response to that is HELL YEAH IT IS!!!!! However, my attendance at a certain SEC university that was NOT top ranked, is the one "do over" I wouldn't mind having, so I'm trying to remain objective about my kid's choices.

*politically incorrect statement alert*

My first red flag was raised when I didn't see ONE Asian student at the open house for Engineering, NOT. A. ONE. And what I've learned that means in the last 25 years in and around academia is that there's some "quality" issues with an institution when NOT ONE Asian student is interested in their Engineering program. Okay, I knew that going in about the school's "quality", but not seeing ONE Asian student at this open house? Strike 1! The second strike came when we had to walk 3 floors to the basement (broken elevator in the CIVIL engineering building, WTH?) and that told me that the Civil Engineering department is the "step-child" of the department. Strikes 3 to infinity were the COMPLETE lack of ANY Black students in the program, few publications last year, most of the students needing to take out loans to pay for school (this was a private school, but d@mn), and on and on, and on. Needless to say, I was ready to go not long after I got there, LOL!!!
So while eating the great lunch they provided for attendees (I didn't dislike it enough to pass on a good meal, LOL!!), my daughter told us that she thinks she needs to just "suck it up" and go to "top school" if they accept her! And the clouds broke away and the hallelujah choir began to sing!!!!

Now DH attended a top Engineering school for undergrad/grad school, but was supportive of this visit (he's ALWAYS the "good cop" in 99.9% of parenting situations which REALLY works my nerves!!!). But when talking to me, he agreed with me, just not as....... how shall we say......... vocally, LOL!!!

Of course, I understand that this is not about me it's about my kid, I'd just like her to get the best education she can. And I also understand what she dislikes about "top school", it has over 35K students. But as I've seen over and over again, engineering majors tend to create their own "worlds", working together in ways that I've NEVER observed with any other majors. And given that "top school" has lots of Asian and some Black students, it has the diversity and status I'm looking for along with folks my kid can socialize and form friendships with.

Next visit, a top HBCU!!!

** Images from Google images

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