My turn

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: My turn
By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 12:36 pm: Edit

I've read all your stories of dropoffs with your kids (teared up on many of the anecdotes), so I"m going to share my own, as I am back from dropping off our daughter at Brown the past two days.

The entire trip and drop off went terrific. We drove down on Tuesday (move in day was Wednesday). We got there late in the day and our hotel was a mile from campus. We were able to get everything into our car and had to put the fridge on the top. We headed over to the campus, which my husband had never been to so we did a little bit of walking around to show him the lay of the land. My D and I had been to Brown twice before. We had never been to the area, however, where her dorm is located so we went to check that out. She (and we) were delighted with the dorm location and set up. It is on what was once the Pembroke campus, where there is a grouping of several dorms, as well as a dining hall. There is another "area" where a lot of dorms are located on the other end of the Brown campus. That end is a bit closer to the classrooms. However, this end is a five minute walk. But these dorms had advantages that my D realized were more advantageous in her mind. First, she is steps off of Thayer Street which is a street adjoining the campus that is full of shops and cafes catering to students (a smaller version of Harvard Square to some degree). She said "this is exactly what I was looking for in a college" in terms of the setting. She wanted to be able to walk to things, yet have a nice campus. So, right on this street are all the service type things she needs plus fun shops and places to eat and the movies. For a kid who grew up in a rural area where you cannot walk to anything, this is a novelty and exciting. Also, downtown Providence itself is in walking distance but she likes not being located downtown in a city. Anyway, there is one dining hall which is for this end of the campus (considered the better of the two dining halls) and we found out she only has to go downstairs to get to it and not outdoors! She realized in winter, going to breakfast, etc, this was going to be great. While I ate in dining halls at just about every college we visited, it is funny but I have never been in a Brown dining hall, though my D has! I did not get to see in one this time cause it was not yet open. We could not get a room key at that time of day (though really did not expect to get into the room til the next day anyway) but someone let us in and offered to find a room for us to see. They were like, "hi, I'm your counselor!" and I felt like we were back at camp!! They do have resident counselors and of course they are not supervising these kids like at camp but they are there to be helpful but it was feeling like camp a bit to me as we got to the rooms and they had made signs on the doors with the kids names on them and it was just like at my other D's camp. But I digress. We got into a room that two girls were already moving into that was just like my D's was going to be and it was very helpful to see it. Then we ate dinner on Thayer Street. Meanwhile, my D's roommate kept trying to connect with my D on their cells after her family had flown into town so that maybe they could meet that night. Ahead of time, they had discussed going to dinner with one another's families but my D had an athletic meeting to attend and anyway, the timing for dinner did not work out. However, after we ate, her roomie and her family met up with us at the dorm and she had been able to get a key to their room and we were all able to go in it and talk for a while.

On the seems like the perfect match!! I feel as though my daughter is very lucky. While they have not yet lived together, there is a gut feeling you can get from spending a day together, plus they had been emailing for a couple weeks. Both girls were outgoing and sociable and very easygoing. They had a lot in common in that both did sports and music and had traveled. Her roommate had a different upbringing in terms of she grew up right in Chicago and we live on a dirt road in the country. Her roommate went to a top notch private K-12 prep school, where (get this) out of 80 graduates, SIX are at Brown, including five ED kids!! At our high school, it is a rare breed to even get into a school like Brown. Nobody but my D in her class of 150 went to any Ivy league school. Her roomie's mom had attended Brown, the year after my older brother did. Then, we find out that her roomie's mom's maiden name is the same one as mine, which was quite something as the name, particularly the spelling, is not that common. They seemed to hit it off very well and us parents did too.

Then we parted and we went to the meeting for varsity athletes, though my D is not a recruited one, she will be on the varsity ski team there. Then we went to an ice cream social outside that a bunch of kids were at who were there early for international students and another diversity type program. A dean came over to my hubby and me, as we sat aside from the mingling kids (many of whom's parents were not there as these kids were there earlier than the majority of freshmen and had moved in already) and he chatted with us.

The next day was move in day. After reading some hectic sounding stories on here of the madhouse it can be, I was expecting that. But it was sooooooooo easy/smooth and not like that at all. We were able to pull into a very small parking lot adjacent to the dorm where they allowed people to unload their cars and it was not too busy or bad at all. We did get there when it began however. They also had helpers there. My daughter is only up one flight too. We spent several hours unpacking and setting up the room, plus hubby did all the technical stuff, including internet on her computer and hanging things and wiring things. My D had bought this shelf thing that had to be assembled that my hubby thought was insane and took a while but it all worked out. All of her stuff fit in great. The room feels quite spacious to me. It is 12" x 16" and had been refurbished three years ago and so all the furniture, etc. is new. We used bed risers and she has a lot of storage tubs, etc. under the bed. Each girl had a desk and hutch shelving, a wardrobe closet and dresser. We brought things like fridge, microwave, drawer sets, etc. Her roomie's family went out and bought a TV and VCR for the room. My D was against bringing any fans (though we own many sizes/shapes of them at our house in VT) and felt she did not need one, yet it was hot and the other family went right out and bought one! The girls had decided in advance that they wanted to wait til they met and got there to go shopping this week for a rug, curtains, or other comforts/decorative stuff that was mutual. They should have fun doing that. My D had her own stuff but now will go in on the mutual stuff.

The way this dorm was arranged was pretty great, we thought. While there are rooms off a hallway, they are in sets of two where there is like a little alcove with two doors. We met the two girls next door, very nice, one from NC, one from Romania (but went to school in Greece), all four girls had M names which was like a tongue twister to say at one time! Then these two rooms shared a locked storage closet right outside their doors. But the best of all is that both rooms shared a semi-private bathroom! So, they not only don't have to walk down the hall to the bathroom, but it is not like a lavoratory type at all. It is like a real private bathroom that only one person uses at a time. They are going to be able to keep their towels and bath totes in there and were going to shop for things for it. Then across the hall from them is a full kitchen, laundry room and sitting area, which each floor has! Very convenient and really nice too. Also, residential life is organized in what they call "units" and so they do some things as a unit (I think that means about 40-50 kids), and in fact, their first dinner was to be done as a unit, as well as other meetings this week.

There were bank reps right on campus and we had thought our D would have to go to a bank this week and set it all up on her own but we were able to take care of it all yesterday and that worked out great to have that out of the way. My D is a saver, not a spender and had saved up a lot of money from working and has way more than she will need in college, plus the allowance that we will provide. I only hope she now feels free to use some of it and do what she wants in college, as that was the whole idea of her working, earning, and saving this all up.

Freshmen orientation is for a week. Everywhere we went, the kids all seemed extremely friendly. The plans for the week are so organized and chockfull of a great array of activities of all sorts. Some of it consists of meetings on topics for the entire freshmen class, hitting on just about every aspect of college life, academic advising (with both her faculty advisor and her senior peer advisor), activity orientation arrays, and many fun things like midnight movies on the green, dances, talent shows and a walking tour of Providence. It is well thought out. I like that she can have a week to get to know kids, all the opportunities, plan out her academics, take care of other things like buying books and just having fun before actual classes kick in.

Seeing the campus, the kids, and the academic offerings, as well as activities, reminds our D and ourselves, that this school just is such a great fit for the kind of kid she is. While we believe she could thrive at many different schools and get a great education at any of them, it is wonderful for her to be among the student body itself at Brown because this is the first time in her life to be among so many kids who are motivated strong students like herself, hardworking, very involved outside the classroom, and most of all, quite diverse from all over the world and many different backgrounds. It is just what she wanted in a learning/living environment. I know my D had long range goals in high school when it came to college and it is very satisfying for my hubby and I to observe that her hard work paid off so that she is able to have reached her goal to go to the kind of learning environment she so much craved. We are happy with where she grew up and the opportunities afforded her but it was nothing like it will be like at Brown. We never opted to send her to a boarding prep school, like many in our community who had a kid like this one seem to do and would expect for her to do, and while she would have really enjoyed some prep schools, we like that she grew up with us and went to a school with kids from various backgrounds, some not even going to college, and now will be her time for this broader experience.

We both are very excited for our daughter, but not worried about her at all. We feel she is going to have the greatest time of her life and we can tell she thinks that too. It is all very exciting and she was very ready for this. She is not the homesick type at all though is one to stay in touch (I can't wait to get the first call and hear about it all!). She has spent her summers away from home where she did not know anyone ahead of time and it always went fine as she just made it a point to meet kids. She is so easygoing and seems to get along with everyone so I am not concerned. I hope she makes great friends, meets boys, all of it.

When we had to say goodbye before she headed to dinner with her unit for the first time, she was all happy and excited but for us, we were feeling so emotional. She is not one to cry. She hugged us and in her true fashion THANKED us for giving her this opportunity. She felt fortunate to be allowed to attend any college she wanted (that she got admitted to) without restrictions from us, even though she had a free ride at one college and substantial scholarships at a couple of others but preferred this school over those. She knew it will be a sacrifice on our end and all those who have helped her get there but she was grateful. We felt she did her part to achieve it and now it is our turn to make it happen for her cause she earned it. My husband and I are in tears only because it is just very emotional to have this ending to this chapter in our lives with our daughter, even though we are truly so happy for her. We are going to miss her terribly. My husband never cries but did when we both got in the car. Every time I think about her being out of our daily lives, I do feel emotional about it all. Everyone's child is special to them of course. This child just has been the easiest child to raise, never a problem, always a joy, someone who others always praise and everything she does makes us proud. She is just a total pleasure kind of person to be around. We are going to miss her here so much. We have been away from her before but this is very different as not only is it longer, it really is the end of her growing up with us. Still, it is such a happy time in her life and we feel that excitement too.

So, that's it and now onto the college process with the other child who is applying right now.

Thanks for sharing your stories. And I will love reading about the coming weeks as these kids really settle into their new adventures. I can't wait to hear all about my own kid's too. No more hearing about it over the dinner table anymore or going to all her events each week! Ah, what a change!


By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 12:53 pm: Edit

Susan, Thanks for sharing this - I feel like I KNOW your daughter personally, even though we're 3,000 plus miles apart, so it is a joy to hear about the end result of her college search. Congratulations Mom! You done good.

By Patient (Patient) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 01:10 pm: Edit

So glad to hear it!!! What a joy that it is perfect. I hear from one of my friends (one of whose daughters is at....Brown!!) that it is now so much fun to have them come home again, they have become adults and are so much fun and interesting to talk to as they build their own independent lives and worlds. Keep having fun!

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 01:13 pm: Edit

Glad it went so well. Last year there was a real dearth of move-in helpers -- fine for us, we're pretty young parents, but some of the older folks looked like they were having trouble. It may have been because we (and a lot of other people) moved in a day early, since we didn't stay overnight.

The Em-Wooley dorms are nice, newer than Keeney, where my D was. And the V-dub is reputed to have better food than the Ratty, although apparently it's really all the same food -- maybe it's just a nicer environment or something.

I don't know whether it works for everyone, but the roommate thing worked out well for my D, too. Well enough that they are living together this year, and the two girls who were across the hall from them in Keeney will be right next door.

Orientation week is apparently VERY busy with activities, so I'm sure she'll have a great time. We didn't go to any of the orientation activities with her, as you did with your D. Convocation on Tuesday should also be nice -- they cancel all noon classes so the whole campus can cheer on the new freshman, and they open Van Wickles gates for them to walk thru -- the only other time the gates are opened is graduation, and they walk OUT of the gates rather than in. On my D's convocation last year it was raining, so the speeches were indoors somewhere (not sure where), but fortunately it cleared up in time for them to walk thru the gates.

By Achat (Achat) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 01:18 pm: Edit

Susan, welcome back. Very glad to hear about your daughter!! Congratulations to you and your husband!

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 01:25 pm: Edit

Hi Rhonda. Actually my D is in Morris Hall, which is next to Emery Wooley. We did not attend orientation events for parents. The night before move in day was this thing for athletes and their parents, that we eventually joined our D at and why we got there when we did as opposed to arriving later at night. We spent the move in day with moving in stuff, not any parent events. I had attended plenty of those at the April open house for admitted students. I know about the Van Wickle gates tradition and that does seem very neat.

Where is your D rooming this year? My D had stayed in Keeney Quad for the overnight in April but I had never gone into it myself. They look nice on the outside though. Morris, on the outside, reminds me of my freshman dorm at Tufts but this one had new furniture, plus the set up with the private bathroom was really nice. Also, I thought it was kinda unusual to have the kitchen and laundry on every floor considering that the dorm is not that big.

The only thing nicer I have seen than this on visits was the suite arrangement you get at places like Yale or Harvard where kids have a common room with small bedrooms off of it. Then again, the arrangement my D has allows her to not be in such a tiny bedroom, even though she does not have this large common space. The way they had it set up felt like some private space for each girl on each side of the room, then this common area in the center for things like gathering around a TV or something. Overall, it seemed pretty good to us in the scheme of things. I don't think one needs to be best buds w/ a roommate, just be able to get along. However, I have this gut feeling that these girls will hit it off well. I was friends with my freshman roommate way back when too.

We carried most everything upstairs ourselves between the three of us. But there was one upper class girl there to help and so I let her help us carry some up with us and it was very nice of her. It felt pretty painless in that regard. The pain for me was having to say goodbye and that we are apart on a long term basis, even though I really want this for her.


By 1ofeach (1ofeach) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 02:37 pm: Edit

Susan, Thanks so much for your post. I was wondering how it went. I was tearing up at your description of your beautiful daughter. I'm sure she'll love Brown. It's clear that she's the type who will take advantage of all it has to offer. My daughter is only a junior but has Brown on her radar. So I'll be especially interested to hear about your daughter's adventures and impressions over the next year.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 03:46 pm: Edit

happy for D, yet feel sad for you and hubby for temporarily losing/sharing this shining star

By Marite (Marite) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 03:49 pm: Edit


I love how you and your Ds are so full of life and positive energy! She'll love Brown and Brown will love her.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 10:21 pm: Edit

Thanks for the support everyone!
1ofeach: Please remind me as the year goes on if any questions arise that your D has about Brown, now that I have a kid there, I am sure we can try to help. Rhonda (poster above) has a D who is a soph there so is ahead of us on that score. Also, and I am very serious about this, if you and your D do a college visit to Brown and your D wants to chat in person with a current student, we will find a way that I can give you the contact information. I am sure my D would welcome/host her even for an overnight. So many kids did this for my D on our visits and now with my next child who is currently looking at colleges. Often we knew the kids but sometimes we did not but it really really helped my D get a first hand account of the college in person. I thought as we went along, knowing the kind of kid I have, that someday she would want to turn around and do this for the next kid who came along. I feel certain she would do this for your daughter. So, don't hesitate as the year goes on if you plan a visit or even if she just wants to talk to a current student, ok?

Well, my D called us around dinner time which was about 24 hours after we last saw her. I knew she likely would call us within a day or two as she is good about that and likes to stay in touch and knew I would really like that. I talked to her for a bit, so did her sister, and then my hubby got home during the call and also got to talk to her. She said it was the first available moment she even had to call since we saw her as her day and evening have been packed. She is loving it so far and meeting kids, etc. She and roomie got some stuff for the room (rug, little table, curtains) together.

She had a meeting with her advisor who will also be one of her professors this year (an advising set up at Brown) and today it was with all his advisees (five!), though tomorrow it is one on one. Also each student is assigned an older classmate advisor to give a student perspective in this process. My D's is a senior who is a theater major. She is involved in all these theater groups on campus. My OTHER D has a friend also involved heavily in theater at Brown, with whom she attended a summer program for several years (she has many older friends). So, this boy's name came up in their meeting and my Brown daughter mentioned that actually her sister had been friends with that boy and so her student advisor asks her sister's name and then says, "I have heard of her!" When my daughter told me this on the phone, I was thinking, how in the world has this 21 year old girl heard of my 15 year old here in Vermont? But I guess she said that the boy at Brown in theater often talks of the kids in his summer program and has mentioned my younger kid's name before. So, that was quite funny.

Mom101, if you are reading this, my D said that the girl in the room next to her went to St. Paul's but then took a year off before Brown. A girl that my D went through school with here in VT, went to St. Paul's and was in this girl's class.

Anyway, sounds like it is going great. Over the summer, she selected a preliminary list of courses for the fall. Now, with advisors, it can be finalized/changed. As well, there is a two week shopping period at Brown (similar to Harvard). My D is possibly switching one course she chose in summer, based on some good advice from her advisor. He wanted her to have one more small class, as opposed to too many of the larger ones. It is nice that there are so many people there to help and give personal attention.

She also met up with a girl she had been writing for a few weeks that she met online who tap dances like she does. I'm sure in a few days, she will know quite a few kids. They are doing some things on purpose to build their residential "unit", a good idea too.

I am sure she is in heaven with finally having "arrived". The journey was long to get there but the chance to experience all this and be on her own is one she has looked forward to and I am sure is relishing in it. I saw the excitement she had the morning we drove to the college to move in and I bet the smile is still there. I admit that I loved hearing from her.

My hubby came home from work and remarked that when he saw my D's car (really the "kid" car, not "hers" per se) in the drive way, it made him think she is home and I had that same feeling when I saw it out my window today but had to remind myself that the presence of the car no longer meant she was in the house. And there have been moments today where I hoped nobody was watching but I felt teared up...such as making one of her favorite dinners and she was not here for it, and food shopping and realizing I was not buying for her anymore! And so it goes....


By Redr002 (Redr002) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 10:47 pm: Edit

Thanks so much for the detailed posts. I really enjoyed reading all about Brown as it is on my Senior Daughter's short list. Georgetown is her first choice, though. If I was picking for me, I'd pick Brown. We loved our visit to Brown in March. I'm sure your daughter will flourish there.

By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 11:02 pm: Edit

Congrats, Susan. The Pembroke campus was always considered gracious back in the old days when I attended (right after Pembroke was eliminated). And even then people said the food there was better. Excited for your d on all fronts.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 11:02 pm: Edit

Red, my daughter did not have one clear favorite. Her favorites were a "clump" of sorts. During the fall of senior year, she had two first choices. As winter came on, she had three that were equal as first in her mind. Close to the admit days, she started to say that the fourth school was nearing being tied with the other three! Well, it is over now. Brown was among the pile of three in winter of senior year so all is good. I kinda liked that there was not one school it just HAD to be.

But my D reminded me the morning we took her to Brown (yesterday), that it is rather funny looking back to how she had started the college process exactly two years prior to starting Brown. It began with perusing those big college directories, after which she said, "Brown is my favorite!" and then going to a college fair in our state and meeting the Brown adcom and coming home and telling me that was her favorite. Soooo much took place from then til spring of senior year. And Brown was not the clear favorite in fall of senior year. She had two other first choices and then by winter of senior year, Brown again was tied for first with those two in her mind. So, it kinda went full circle cause ironically at the very first step of the process when she barely knew a thing about colleges but what she read in those thick college guides, Brown stood out in her naivity and now, she is actually enrolled there. Maybe those gut feelings that juniors have at the start of junior year really mean something! I had no inkling when the admissions letters came, that she would pick Brown in the end.


By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 11:08 pm: Edit

Thanks Aparent. Actually I forgot to mention another plus about her dorm location. It is closest to athletics and since she does a lot of sports, it is sort of a plus. I wonder what year you went there? My brother was in the class of '74 at Brown. And my D's roomie's mom was in the class of '75.

Hope all of our kids have the time of their lives at college now that we have all lived through this long process. I kept thinking yesterday at the drop off, this had to be the biggest longest (two years for us) build up of most any endeavor I can recall with her (even childbirth was not this long...though hers was VERY long). And after all this time, she finally was entering the college! I mean ,there really was a climax finally! Or I guess was acceptance the climax?


By 1ofeach (1ofeach) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 11:09 pm: Edit

Susan, thanks so much for the offer to answer questions and provide a link for my daughter to talk to yours as we get closer. Our high school hasn't sent anyone to Brown in the recent past and we don't know anyone there so your offer is so nice. Last year's val was accepted to Browns' special med program (PLME?)
but opted to go to Northwestern's instead. Glad you got that info filled, happy phone call today. You'll sleep well tonight!

By Sybbie719 (Sybbie719) on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 09:47 am: Edit


Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I am glad that everything went well. I hope your daughter has a wonderful 4 years at Brown.

By Achat (Achat) on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 10:01 am: Edit

Susan, when she comes back, tell us how the first few months went. I loved Providence when we visited, it is such a great college town.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 10:22 am: Edit

1ofeach....Good! I hope you remember when the time comes for you to visit Brown or just have a student contact! It bodes well for your daughter if last year's val got into that very selective BA/MD program at Brown (PLME I think it is called). At our high school, the val two years ago got into Brown ED and I am not sure if anyone had ever gotten in prior to that. Ivy league schools are not common at our high school, but often one or two kids per year do go to them. When my D met the regional adcom at a college fair in our state, the adcom remembered the boy from our high school who was admitted and also our GC met up with the adcom and she remembered him as well. Every little bit helps, ya know? Not that I would ever use this as an excuse but just to compare, Yale and Princeton have not taken kids from our school (unknown rural high school) before and those were the only two schools on my D's list that she did not get into...Yale was an EA deferral, then rejection and she got on the waitlist at Princeton. Sometimes it is hard to be the first from an unknown school, though it is not impossible. I imagine it helped a teensy bit at Brown that they had taken the val two years ago. My D was val this past year. I certainly don't give this aspect a lot of weight but clearly it is one of the many many factors that go into college admissions. As I mentioned above, my D's roomie's tony prep school had six out of 80 seniors go to Brown and so you know they have heard of HER high school! LOL

Sybbie and Achat, I look forward to hearing how your kids like their new experiences in the coming weeks and months.

I happened to talk to my D this morning, not that I planned on it. I was just trying to leave a message on her cell to remind her that it is her grandmother's birthday tomorrow and not to forget to call her (though she already sent her a handmade thoughtful card). I did not expect her to answer, knowing how busy she is booked this week. But she was walking to her dorm and picked up. She said she went on this organized run at 7 AM and I thought she is nuts cause I know that she went to a midnight movie on the green and that is like no sleep! She said, "Mom, I know I got no sleep but I am still on this natural high and energy just being here!... so I got up easily and went on it." Her roomie likes to run but said no way at that hour, lol. Then she said, "guess what? The cafeteria has my favorite cereal, Kashi!" like as if this was the greatest news! There is not much that beats a natural high. I hope she never comes down, lol.

Take care, everyone!

By Sybbie719 (Sybbie719) on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 01:31 pm: Edit

The cafeteria has my favorite cereal, Kashi!"

It's those little things in life that makes them happy.

D is away on her DOC trip and on't be back until Sunday. Then she ill finish packing for move in day on Monday the 13th. All of her friends except one who is going to Drexel on the 24th have left for school so she is really excited about starting.

Our turn will come soon

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 10:00 am: Edit

I thought I posted a response on Sunday, but must have hit "cancel" instead of "post." Oh, well, here's a shorter version --

Dropped her off for soph year on Saturday, and I have to say it's easier the second time. She's in a very small dorm, only four rooms (all doubles) on her floor, 100-year old building w/high ceilings and a fireplace (!!) in the room. Great location, too -- Keeney's was good, but this one is REALLY central. All new furniture, too. I figured soph housing would be the worst, since they're at the bottom of the lottery, so if this is the worst, not bad!

She has two friends living next door who were VERY happy to see her, as they had already been there a few days. Also they had birthday cards for her, since her b-day was in late August (nice of them to remember). Her roommate showed up a couple of hours after we did, and by the time she had been there a couple of hours already had messages on her cell phone from people looking for her. So it was nice compared to last year, which was fun and exciting, but of course was all new things and people. I think she felt more like she was "coming home" this time.

And it was nice that she knew everything this year, compared to last year when we were all trying to figure out where to pick up keys, etc. .. but I'll still miss her!

We took her to lunch before leaving (Antonio's on Thayer St -- great pizza -- Soozie you should try it sometime, it's very cheap and thus popular w/students. Also open till 2 am, and my D tells me they often go for a late night slice... the pizza was v. good.)

We saw groups of kids wandering around together (my D said "freshman!" since they tend to wander in herds, lol), and I wondered whether any of them were your D, Soozie! It sounds like she is jumping in w/both feet, and will have a wonderful, productive, challenging, and happy four years!

(just a note on your long labor comment -- mine was 70 (yes 70) hours, no meds ... I always tell people that's why I have only one child!)

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 10:29 am: Edit

Yikes, 70 hours! And I thought my 26 were LONG. My 26 hours of natural childbirth with that child ended with a C section. The second child's was nine hours, no C section. But that was so long ago, lol.

Sounds like a great start for your daughter the second time around. Is she on the main green then? The boy we know who is a junior from our HS is in a dorm on the green.

Ya know, I already tasted Antonios! When we were setting up the room on move in day, the dad of the roomie brought in some take out from Antonios and I walked over (not far from my D's dorm) and brought some more back to the room and you are right, quite the selection and it was good. My D finds it a novelty to have all these places in walking distance of her dorm, having grown up on a dirt road where you do not walk to anything but your car or mail box! Yesterday, she went on the organized walking tour of downtown Providence and got the lay of the city and found it helpful.

The first week at Brown has been kind of like camp! She has had a fantastic time and is loving it and sounds thrilled with each experience. She has called every other day and told us all her happenings. I think the orientation week was very well thought out with a healthy mix of informative things, planning, and social things. She said it was really great how some things were organized by living "units" so that her residential group got to gel. She has met many kids and is figuring out her EC activities there. As you know, classes begin today! The feeling of camp may change, lol.

I will think of her today as she passes through the Van Wickle gates, the tradition for freshmen and graduates. It is times like these, where we are so used to sharing or attending, that will be so weird for us this year to not be there in person. We will see her next at Parents weekend in late October. My inlaws have decided to do an Elderhostel in RI next month so they could see my D and her college.

It is funny your D's comment about the herds of freshmen she has run into, now that she is no longer a frosh!. My D made a similar comment when she said she was sitting on Lincoln Field (one of the academic greens) the other day and was waiting for her appointment with her advisor and she saw a tour group of prospective students walk by and it felt funny to think that was just her not too long ago and now she is a true Brown student.

I don't know what EC activities your D does at Brown but ya never know if the girls will end up meeting. Obviously your D has a set of friends in place. My D seems to be making ones in the various things she has participated in (plus is friends with her roomie) and now will meet new kids daily as she begins class and the EC things, etc.

Here's to a great year for them both!

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 12:12 pm: Edit

D's dorm is actually on Lincoln Field, although her windows face Thayer.

D did theater heavily last year, first semester. She had done it in HS and wanted to continue. Ended up taking WAY too much time, so didn't continue second semester. Also, she had a few gripes with the "theater clique" as she called it. So she's involved in only a couple of things now. Her roomate (a PLME, so I'm sure she's VERY smart) ended up dropping all but one EC because of time problems.

My D also thought orientation was a bit too long last year, and was really ready for classes to start. I think just by her nature she had had enough of the "orientation activities" after a few days, and her dorm itself was so social that she was meeting lots of people anyway. I'm pretty sure the "group of four" that went in for rooms together (she, roomie, two other girls) were in the same unit, so you're right the unit does become close.

There is a LOT of work, although it of course depends on what courses you're taking. My D's schedule was (and will continue to be) humanities-heavy, so lots and lots and LOTS of reading, plus writing papers. Her roommate has the heavy science classes, which have their own challenges, of course! But from what I could tell the kids she knows work VERY hard.

Don't know if you thought the same thing, but I noticed this year more than last that the "stereotype" of the hippie, alternative Brown student really is not reality. I saw a lot of what seemed to be "preppy" kids, at least in terms of how they were dressed. I didn't see a single piercing (other than earlobes) and only one kid with unnaturally colored hair (and that was only a couple of pink streaks in otherwise natural black hair). I didn't really notice last year, but we were probably too caught up in the newness and the move-in stuff to notice as much.

I'm definitely going back to Antonio's next time -- I had pizza with fresh tomato slices, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil leaves ... mmmmm.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 01:15 pm: Edit

Rhonda, as far as observing other kids on campus, I did not get to do it a real lot due to moving in but they did not appear very "alternative" hippie to me. They looked like a regular bunch of kids. I guess I saw one girl with pink streaks too (possibly same girl!). But overall, they looked like a conglomeration of many types, including some in the typical prep or everyday teenage clothing.

This daughter does a variety of EC things and has hopes to do several of them at Brown but will now have to piece together what will fit or work out there. She has done a bunch of musical theater in the past but was unable to do the high school musicals due to conflicts with the ski team. She did go to a summerlong program for four years where she did focus on musicals, however, and was thinking of perhaps seeing if she may participate at Brown but again, that may not work out with all the other EC there she plans to do. I know there is a student run musical theater club called Musical Forum that puts on musicals. It so happens that her Mikkeljohn (student) advisor is a theater major and very involved in theater. And that senior is close friends with this junior boy that my younger D knows from her summer theater program. In fact, for some odd reason, her Mikkeljohn advisor told my D that she had heard of my younger daughter (the one who is heavily involved in musical theater) and that was odd. Anyway, my D attended a musical cabaret put on during orientation and said there were many talented kids. But her senior advisor told her that the committment for the student run musical is SIX nights per week, from 7-11 PM and that may kill that because I am not sure how she'd do that and do the other things she definitely wants to do there. That seems like a lot to me. Last night, she was attending a meeting on theater things at Brown and will see about that. I believe she will most likely be doing varsity alpine ski team, club tennis team (travels), club or intramural soccer, the tap dance repertory troupe, and is going to try to look into wind ensemble or other instrumental groups and see what she can work into her life there. That is why I am not sure if theater will work for her there if it is six nights a week for four hours each night! We shall see. This is the first time in her life where she is the one who has to figure out her schedule, not me!


By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 01:20 pm: Edit

Susan -- I think that six nights a week is what my D was doing (it was fewer nights some weeks). And it was exactly the same problem -- she said there were other things she'd like to get involved in, but this plus schoolwork (oh yeah, schoolwork!) left no time for that.

I agree the kids just seemed like regular kids at least from outward appearances. It just struck me a little b/c I noticed it this year, and also b/c people seem to have this idea that Brown is the "alternative" ivy.

By 1ofeach (1ofeach) on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 08:38 pm: Edit

Susan, Yes I agree that the Ivys seem to tend to take kids from high schools they know. My daughter goes to a "fair at best" public school in southeastern Massachusetts. The only Ivy that our town kids have gone to in the recent past is Harvard. Harvard makes a point of taking the best local kids to foster community relations. Other than that, most kids go to Umass, Northeastern and BU. We have a couple from last year going to Tufts and Georgetown which was good news. I never questioned my decision to stick with a public school till I started reading this board. The advantage of having a guidance system with personal connections to the admissions offices now seems huge. Our high school has 3 guidance officers for 1300 students. We're definitely on our own and will have to do everything in our power to get admission officers to look at a kid from a school they never heard of. I know it can be done, but depending on what side of the bed I got up on, it can seem overwhelming. It certainly doesn't help that everyone tells my daughter that she'll be able to go to any college she wants. Everyone who reads these boards knows that is so not true. .... Well, we're just back from a few days in NH and unpacking and laundry call. I'll have to rework our guidance system and all my relatives' college perceptions another day. LOL

By Cheers (Cheers) on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 10:02 pm: Edit

S-Did she get into studio by lottery? Sounds like she is in heaven....!

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 10:41 pm: Edit

10feach, I know it seems overwhelming and at this point last year (fall of D1's senior year), I felt the same, and somehow it all came together. I am now in this process with second daughter and feeling about the same again. I know my kids also go to an unknown high school like yours. And while we love our GC as a person and he is so supportive of my girls and has gotten to know them over the years, we were basically on our own with the bulk of the college process itself, though his rec was a big plus for the girls.

Our school sends only a few to selective colleges per year. We have three guidance counselors for the entire middle and high school and that figure is about 800 kids so not quite as many as you do. My kids had the same GC throughout. I would not fret that your kids (or mine) are from an unknown high school. I mean, sure, they clearly don't have that connection that kids coming from a well known private or public have between their school and selective colleges on an ongoing basis. As I mentioned, my D's roomie went to an elite day school where six of 80 graduates are going to Brown, what a difference, eh? But on the other hand, some might say kids like mine or yours might have a different "advantage" coming from an unknown school where few kids will be applying to the very same elite schools as one another. Afterall, even the best colleges do not want 20 kids from Deerfield or Andover. They do take more than one usually but those kids are competing, in a way, against one another for the few slots they would allow from any one school. I don't regret our choice to send our kids to our local public. Private is not an option in my region, unless a ski academy or Catholic day school (which is not even nearby), so those who opt out of our school send their kids away to boarding schools and we were not willing (nor could afford anyway) to do that. I feel my kids had some advantages growing up in our rural area and community and got to attend a school with a variety of kids from various economic backgrounds and with various intentions after high school. Now, I am glad my older daughter does have a larger group of motivated kids (had one at home but it was a subset of the entire school) and she has this private opportunity in college. So, no regrets. My husband thinks our younger D would have been better off in a performing arts boarding school but again, I would never have sent her away and we have made the very best of her setting here, augmenting school with much enrichment. She has certain "gifts" so to speak and not all has been ideal at our school but it has had its good points too, and some opportunities she may not have had elsewhere. While we have had a few really bad situations with teachers, my feeling is that that could have happened anywhere and they were the minority by far. I digress, but in essence, don't regret your D's school, she is who SHE is and not so much what school she is coming from. Her star will shine wherever she goes and she will be evaluated on her own merits.

I also want to tell you that I relate to your experience where relatives and local people continued to comment to my older daughter (when a senior) that she could go anywhere she wanted due to her achivements in and out of the classroom. And they were well meaning and affirming but local people really do not have a sense of the current situation with elite admissions. Being qualified and being a great candidate does not insure admission at the lottery ticket colleges. I found myself explaining that over and over again, even to teachers who felt she could go anywhere. So, you are not alone on that one. I always felt that my daughter had what was needed to get in but was very realistic that after that point, a lot of it was a crapshoot at the very top schools on her list (which of course were not the only kind of school on her list). I feel like deja vu now when other parents or educators comment that D2 can get into the very selective BFA programs she is applying to and they just again, do not realize that the chances are so slim even if the kid has what it takes (according to them). I am confident of my D's abilities but am realistic of the odds. Some think I am nuts to be worried if she can get in but the odds make me feel that way. I see soooo many talented kids, even if she is among them.

Cheers, no my D did not get studio in the lottery for first semester. She had put in for it but if she had had her pick, she'd rather take it second semester because there were more courses that interested her first semester. But she put in for first semester studio because she wanted to just get the course and not be picky as to when. Her advisor said that when they register for it next semester, she can let them know that she needs the course for her intended major (architectural studies) in order to go onto the next level and that can help the odds. But in any case, we are aware that even if she does not get in next semester, often you can approach the studio professor and get in. She thought of doing that this time but likely will not push the point, unless she really wants to change a course during shopping period. She has thought of going to a studio class during shopping period to just see it and just in case she wants to go for a switch with another course. Otherwise, it seems more likely she will do whatever she can to get in next semester as it only mattered to her to get in this year, not which semester.

Yes, she sounds as if she feels like she is in heaven. Have not spoken to her today, the first day of classes, but will be interested in now that that big facet of college has kicked in. She works so hard on her schoolwork, that I was really grateful that she had 2 1/2 months off to not have to do homework for a change. I will be interested to see how she thinks of the workload as it was pretty heavy in high school as well and she is not one to ever cut corners. I have to say that so far, I have never seen her happier.


By Backhandgrip (Backhandgrip) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 02:44 am: Edit

Wow Susan, what a nice post!Can just see you all zipping down the interstate with the refridgerator on the roof!Good luck to all!

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 08:15 am: Edit

BHG, the fridge was wrapped in a tarp so you could not tell it was a fridge, lol. I thought it might rain, but it did not. It could have fit in the car if we had eliminated my daughter, but I did not think that it would be a good idea to not take HER, lol.

Maybe people will start recognizing me on the interstates as I tend to get around, lol. Tomorrow I am going to NYC and back in one day (12 hours round trip) with my other D!

By Achat (Achat) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 08:44 am: Edit

Wow, Susan, I don't envy you. Good luck if it is for an audition!

By Achat (Achat) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 08:53 am: Edit

By the way, many of the streets in Manhattan are flooded today. Hope it clears up by tomorrow.

By 1ofeach (1ofeach) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 09:02 am: Edit

Susan, Thanks for the encouragement. You're right, I wouldn't really want to change my daughter's public school experience. It has shaped her into the fantastic person she is. (However, there IS that pesky GC issue. Today is the 1st day of school and as of right now she doesn't even have a GC. Hers quit suddenly a couple of weeks ago.) But public school has provided some big plusses, such as really allowing her to shine and giving her the opportunity to develop close friendships with kids of very different abilities and talents. She's such a happy and capable kid, I know whever this college quest ends she'll be more than fine. Now if only I can get my parents to stop saying that Dartmouth can be her safety. LOL
Have a safe trip tomorrow!

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 09:08 am: Edit

Achat, yikes, that does not sound too good in Manhatten. Actually, this is not for an audition. Though I was enroute to NYC on Sept. 11 (THE Sept. 11) for an audition and had to turn back half way there. So, this will pale in comparison. And another time, I had to turn back half way there when there was flooding in NYC and things were all cancelled too (I just remembered that). Gee, I hope none of that is the case tomorrow. They are calling for heavy rain up here tomorrow. There too? I have to leave early in the morning to make it so there is no way to find out ahead of time. Maybe half way there, I can call to check if it seems like a problem. This trip is a total quickie (though have been there and done that plenty of times) in that I will only be in the city for three hours, which is totally nuts coming from six hours away! But I can only let her miss one day of school (with other missed days ahead to go to colleges) and also she just got cast in a show up here and they rehearse at night so I cannot start out tonight as she does not get home til 11 and she can't miss many rehearsals. When she auditioned, we only listed conflicts for her scheduled college visits and cannot add more or she would not have been cast, lol. This trip is related to college, however. She has to get new headshots done as hers are 2 1/2 years old and were taken when she was 13 and she looks older now and surely could not use those for college auditions. She has had these done twice in the past by someone who does this in NYC. I know it is far to travel for it but not only does he do great work, but photographers up here do not deal with theatrical headshots of this type and one really needs to have someone do it who deals with this type of work. We even have the copies made in NYC. It is expensive but we will not have senior portraits done up here for my D (like my other D got) and will just use this for that purpose as well, though this kind of photo is in black and white.

If it sounds like things are closing in NYC for some reason, let me know! My track record is such that it is possible to land on the day that we go. Anyway, hopefully she will get some college work done on the long trip, as well as homework.

You hearing great stuff from your son at Swat? Or are you hearing from him at all, I should ask? LOL


By Achat (Achat) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 09:16 am: Edit

Susan, I forgot about 9/11!! yes, this Saturday is 9/11.

I'll let you know. Today almost all the subways running thru 42nd street (N, E, A, C) are not running (hope temporarily) because of flooding in the tracks. I come early, therefore I just managed to get in. I was wet even when I had an umbrella. I'll let you know tomorrow.

Susan, if you don't find anyone when you call half-way through your trip, you can call me too. My public email is in my profile. I work uptown, though (57th street and 5th avenue), I don't know where you are going. I can give you my work number...if things are bad you'll know and can turn around.

By Achat (Achat) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 09:23 am: Edit

My son isn't very communicative but he's enjoying himself at Swat. The workload is heavy but nothing he can't handle. He's joined many activities and has a job too.

By Kissy (Kissy) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 09:25 am: Edit

Susan- It was great to read your heart-warming story of your D's arrival at Brown. Since you both put so much thoughtful effort into the college search and selection process, it sounds like she's found the perfect place to live and learn. For we parents, this passage is so bittersweet. I'm sure that going through the college admissions process again this year will be keeping you busy. How does D2 feel about being an only child at home now?

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 09:44 am: Edit

10f each...yeah, relatives just do not have an idea of the situation with competitive college admissions these days. I think part of that is cause it has c hanged over the years. I think it used to be if you really had the credentials to get in, you had a very good chance. Today, that is not enough. But with a kid like yours (who sounds similar to my older D a bit), she is bound to get into SOME of her challenging schools and you just do not know which one. As long as she likes several, then all is good cause she could be happy at many places. My older D is one who is very easygoing and while I do now realize that Brown was a good fit for her, I could easily see her at many of the schools on her list and she had no one particular favorite that it HAD to be. That is a good way to go into this crazy process.

I am sorry about the loss of the GC ! When your D asks for her new GC to write the rec, please make sure she writes a cover letter outlining various highlights of her HS career, any points/strengths about herself that she hopes to convey on her part of her application (that the GC might also send a similar message) and include her activity list with it. The more information she shares about herself in her letter for the rec, the more effective that rec will be. My girls did this and that was with a GC who really knew them so I definitely think your D should do this with all her rec writers. My D just sent those letter requests out yesterday. And don't rely on the GC to help much on the process. We did it all ourselves. Where the GC came in was that we stayed in touch and conferenced and let him know what we were doing basically. It is not like he guided the process but he was informed. His main role was support and writing the rec, I think. But the process itself, including college selections, were all done at home.

Good luck. It is a crazy time but if you put some kind of plan or timeline of tasks in place, it gets manageable.

By Garland (Garland) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 09:49 am: Edit

1ofeach: I know where you're coming from. We sent our kids to barely adequate public schools, too, and for the most part, we never questioned the choice, because we were commited to the idea of a non-"elite" upbringing. We basically wanted them to have a good enough education, supplemented by what we gave them at home.

Looking at what other kids have as I read these boards, I've been tempted to question the wisdom of this path, at times. They just didn't have the advantages that some others did.

However, the bottom line is that they were both accepted by great colleges (though D had to transfer to do so--which is one of the downsides of doing this with bad guidance, one of the reasons I found these boards for S.) So, in the end, I don't think the less than stellar high school was counted against them, and the lack of all these national awards and special programs didn't hurt them either.

Best of luck to both of yours!

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 10:03 am: Edit

Hey Kissy, great to hear from you! I would love to hear how your daughter is finding it in her first year too! As far as the other one being the only one at home, I can't say for sure as it has only been a week. It is different, yes. She has spoken to her sister on the phone a few times. Both had led very busy lives before in different directions each day so that part is not all that different, though they used to take tap dance together and that is no longer. And the older one drove the younger one to school in the morning, and so that is different. But for the past two years, the older one could drive so she drove herself to all activities which enabled me to be able to drive the second one to her things with far less time conflicts than I used to have when driving both girls. Also, dinner was always such a puzzle with both kids' activities overlapping dinner time and long distance drives and some times they did not eat at same time and there were "shifts" whereas now it revolves around just one kid's schedule. It does mean the talk at the dinner table only revolves around her and not the other one. For the show she just got cast in which is an hour from us, it means early dinners many nights plus my being away from the home all night til late (cause of rehearsals far from home) and while the other kid could have managed with that if here, it is easier that she is not here as it would have taken me away a lot. I don't really know how this one feels about the whole deal. She certainly has undivided attention which is not a bad thing in that I have to help her with the college process without juggling that attention with another kid. Then again, I feel the older one got more and more independent her last two years at home given that she could drive. But it is weird just cooking for three (same with laundry, but in a nice way on that account), and my younger one did ask me if the absence of her sister was affecting my food shopping or cooking. I guess we are getting used to it. I have had my kids away from home before but never for the long run like this, and that is the new part. I miss attending her things and seeing her each day but am glad she calls often. I read online about her convocation yesterday and the tradition of passing through the gates as a new student (next time will be at graduation) and it does dawn on me that she will now be doing things like this that we cannot attend like we always attended all of her "events". At least I could read about it even though I did not see her in the photos in the article! I could picture it.

All of our kids are setting sails on quite an exciting time in their lives. I guess soon they will settle into a routine of sorts. Let me know about your daughter!!

Achat, that is so sweet of you to suggest my calling you. I could but also I have the photographer's phone number so could check with him if it is still on. I will not be using subways. I will not have my car in the city either. I will be driving half way to NYC, which is Albany, three hours from me, and leaving my car there and then getting on Amtrak into Penn Station. That way I do not have my car in the city which is difficult for me, as well as uses more time. And I am the only driver and this is a 12 hour trip in one day that will go late into the night. Once we arrive, we take a taxi to his studio which is on West 37th. I am always in culture shock when we arrive on the street out of Penn Station as you cannot get a much different setting than here on my dirt road in the mountains! There the mountains are buildings! For some reason, my D finds it very appealing! It is such a different lifestyle. It is hard to be in NYC for just three hours and not get to do anything or see any friends, but she has been there countless times and I have no way around this with school and all. It will be hardest on me as it will be a very long day and now if it is heavy rain driving late at night, not too fun but I guess it beats snow.

Thanks for helping me!


By Achat (Achat) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 10:18 am: Edit

By the way, if the roads are clogged with rain and taxis not running tomorrow or there is a huge line for the taxi, then West 37th is not far from Penn Station (34 and between 7th and 8th) which is also westside. You could ask him (the photographer) what avenue and just go there without the hassle of the taxi.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 10:24 am: Edit

Thank you Achat...I just realized it may not be that far away though we have a time crunch. I know where Penn Station is and I have been to his studio before but do not recall the cross street. The address is 4 West 37th, so does that imply a cross street? Anyway, I guess I should find that out if it means walking. Do taxis really stop in these situations? Have you heard that it will be bad tomorrow? Because maybe you are getting the heavy rain today and then I know it is heading this way tonight and tomorrow which may mean by tomorrow, it is done with in NYC.


By Achat (Achat) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 10:32 am: Edit

Susan, I haven't heard anything about tomorrow being bad. I did a mapquest on 4 West 37th and it looks like 5th avenue to me. I don't think it is too much walking. You can see Madison Square Garden in the map (between 7 and 8 avenue) and then you can see you'd have to walk 3 blocks north from there and 2 avenues east of where you are. The red star is your location.

Here is the mapquest link:

p.s - If you can't see this link (doesn't work), then go to, choose maps and then type in the address 4 West 37th Street, NY, NY.

By Achat (Achat) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 10:33 am: Edit

And if you can see this map, then just click on '4 West 37th street' link in blue at the top of the page.

By Achat (Achat) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 10:36 am: Edit

Ahh... It is 5th avenue. So you need to just go east from 7th avenue to 5th avenue and go north 3 blocks from 34th to 37th. I wouldn't take a taxi if I were you. They charge too much (rates have gone up since November of last year).

By Kissy (Kissy) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 11:01 am: Edit

Susan - My D's been really happy and excited about her first week at school. H drove cross-country with her since she'll be keeping her car at school. He said that after moving her in, saying good-by at the dorm was a lot more difficult for him than he had anticipated. I stayed behind at home as my other kids were starting school and we're hosting an exchange student who's been a great addition to the family! Between getting our newest family member settled in and stepping up my work commitments, I've been busy enough to not get sad and weepy. Maybe it'll hit me like post-traumatic stress disorder or something, lol! Anyway, we'll be going out to see her for Parents' Weekend and S may make it out there to see us,too.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 11:12 am: Edit

Kissy, sounds like it is going great. I think I recall where your daughter is going and in fact, I was thinking of her last week as I saw a sign for an exit for her college when we were enroute to Providence (gee, I hope I have this correct). Freshmen can't have cars at my D's school, though she would not have had one anyway as the car we got for her to use in high school now is for the second child to use (as soon as she gets her license). At her college, everything is in walking distance so it works. Next year, when this second child goes off to college, it may be an option for my older one to get the kid car and take it to college. The more "weepy" part for me was the days leading up to her going when my mind turned to the meaning of it all, plus the moment I said good-bye (am very sentimental type person) and the couple days afterward. She, of course, is not weeping, as it should be! As I mentioned, my hubby found it very teary in the days before she left and right after we walked away from her. It may have helped in your case, that your good bye was at home and not really seeing it before your eyes, if you know what I mean. We also will go to Parents' Weekend in late Oct., the first time we will see her that I know of. Her sister has yet to see the college and she will be coming to that. She did ask me if she can ever go visit on her own and I think that would be fine but have no idea when she would have the time, but it might happen. I recall doing the same with my older siblings when I was in high school.

Achat...I will go take a look at mapquest. Boy, you are really being a great friend/help! I may just walk it as it sounds close but I will see if it is a driving rain, we could be soaked, plus her appointment is just 30 minutes after our scheduled arrival so I will play it by ear. Thanks for showing me that it was this close by. I can't recall if I walked it last time as it was so long ago. The forecast tomorrow sucks, lol. Many thanks again for putting yourself out.


By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 11:18 am: Edit

Achat, I just printed that map and it really helped to see it, thanks so much again.

By Achat (Achat) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 11:20 am: Edit

Susan, I wasn't put out at all, glad to be of help. But the taxis will take you anywhere, don't worry about distance. I took the cab from Penn station to 41st street the other day. There is an line in front of Madison Square garden for a taxi and everything actually works (for a change in NYC).

By Achat (Achat) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 11:23 am: Edit

By the way, Penn is between 33rd and 32nd, not 34th as I said. Sorry. You can also ask the cops if you have a problem orienting yourself, they are helpful.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 11:30 am: Edit

Thanks again. I have been to Penn Station countless times so am familiar with the taxi situation (though it changed after 9/11 as far as not being under the building there but on the street) and about where it is located. I am not a city girl (anymore) and never knew my way around NYC in my youth but due to this child and all the trips I have made there, I am proud of myself that I have gotten around pretty well and even have driven my car in NYC a couple times! I used to have no clue on the streets but have a little sense of it now, though not a real lot. This trip will not involve going around the city very much due to the brevity!


By Achat (Achat) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 11:43 am: Edit

yes, I know what you mean. The first time I made the commute so many years ago, I thought 'where have I landed'. It is overwhelming at times and very 'in-your-face'.

By Momoffour (Momoffour) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 02:35 pm: Edit


How is your niece enjoying Penn State? I am interested for my daughter #2. Everyone I talk to says they loved the school and found a niche so that the size wasn't overwhelming.


By Mauretania (Mauretania) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 05:31 pm: Edit

Wonderful report on your daughters start at Brown! I could actually picture the area after my daughter having attended the summer program at RISD, last year.

Now I know where 6th, 7th Avenue's are in NYC, as well. We just got back from taking my daughter to NYC from Texas. She started classes yesterday and seems to be managing fine on the subways etc..

By 1ofeach (1ofeach) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 05:44 pm: Edit

Susan, Thanks for the ideas. We will do just as you suggested and make it as easy as possible for the GC and teachers to do a good job on their letters!

Garland, thanks for the encouragement. I LOVE to hear the success stories of students coming out of ordinary public schools. It's so uplifting (and comforting.)

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 08:32 pm: Edit

I have not spoken to my niece or my brother (her dad) since she arrived at Penn State. However, I have spoken to my mom who said my niece has called her twice since arriving on campus and has sounded very happy and enthusiastic. I wish I could tell you more. I know this school seemed like a good match for my niece who is a good student but not as exceptional across the board as many on these forums. It so happens that my younger daughter is applying to Penn State this fall. Her situation is a little different in that it is not like she was sooooo interested in Penn State itself in ways that other kids may select criteria like size, location, etc. but her list is comprised of colleges that offer the degree program she is pursuing (BFA in musical theater) where there are not that many of them. Penn State's is a newer program but so far is very well regarded. Unlike the rest of the university, they only take 5% of applicants, which is about 15 kids into the program! I have to say that my contacts so far with the counselor in charge of that aspect of the program have been very good and she has called me back and spoken at length, very attentive. As well, the printed information they have sent from that department (I realize it is a reflection of that particular department) has been the most comprehensive and nicest packages sent from any school on my D's list. We have not yet visited and won't be going there until my D's audition in winter or I could tell you more. I think Penn State's reputation has improved over the years. I think it is for good students but you don't have to be exceptional to get in (not counting the program my child is striving for!lol).

1ofeach, Garland and I both have kids who come from ordinary high schools and truthfully kids from such schools really can get into very good colleges. It is just that less kids in their high schools are going for that or end up attending such colleges compared to kids coming from more elite high schools. But no matter, it can be done. Elite colleges really do like to have students from a wide range of backgrounds and locations, so don't fret. If your child has the goods, then she stands a chance like anyone else going for such colleges.

Mauretania...hey! great to see you here! So, how was NYC?? I am so glad your daughter is happy so far. She must really be in heaven, what a contrast to Texas! (not that there is anything wrong with Texas but I meant it is exciting to try a totally contrasting environment). My girls love NYC, though my older one would not choose to go to college there, they find it really fun there.

So, my D just called! And the first thing she said enthusiastically is that she has LOVED every single day and has found each one to be just fantastic and she is so happy she picked this college! She was full of one report or vignette after another. She has gone to each class once and is set with her choices. She remarked on the independence expected of students, unlike at high school. She even felt that some of the work she did with a great teacher here was going to be excellent prep or overlap for what she thinks are in some of these courses. (listening 1ofeach?? that is from our "crappy" rural high school with less AP courses but very demanding courses heavy on writing and more akin to college style) She has met so many kids and is doing so many things each day. She said that the convocation felt like graduation. She is now trying to figure out piecing together her EC plans and what each entails in schedules and such. She has to pick between the club tennis team or the club soccer team (both compete and play other colleges) but the good news was, it was not a hard choice because each team has a spring season so she can choose one for fall and one for spring, much like she had in high school (then has varsity ski team in winter). She has met some freshmen who will be on the ski team, one who went to the boarding school ski academy in our town and they are even working out in a gym together (though there is no coach as the varsity coach recently quit and they are searching for a new one), and she is going to do the Tap dance troupe. She has been friends with her roomie and does some stuff with her but lots with other kids as well. She said that her dorm (unit) is a really great bunch of kids and they have done stuff as a group too. She is not used to so much social stuff! It will be interesting how it all works out with studying and all. I am actually happy to hear she has so much social going on as at home it was more school, homework, and her EC activities (which are social when at them) but did less misc. social things cause of lack of time mostly. I think she may have more balance that way at this college. Of course, studying has not kicked in much yet. Still classes take up less hours than she is used to. She said her roomie might take a hip hop class and I asked if she wanted to (took hip hop at home) and she was like, yeah, in my spare time! So, it is all filling up. I will be curious how the weekend goes as it is the first unscheduled time block really, because the orientation week had lots going on (then again, I imagine there is always campus happenings). But she will be scheduling what she wants to do, as it is less structured than orientation. She said she is not quite up to that yet but will figure it out. Sounds like there will be more than enough to do and that she has made friends and will meet more. I asked how the boys were and she was like, they are good, and they seem much older. And I asked, even the freshmen? She said, yes, for some reason (compared to home). Not sure why but of course there are way more there than home. Plus she has always been the youngest in her grade and so everyone is older than her there. Well, it really is great when your kid is bubbling over with how wonderful every moment has been. She said Dean is coming to speak tomorrow and of course, he is from our neck of the woods, which is neat. When my D was little, she used to compete in chess and so did Dean's son (same age) and I recall standing there as observers side by side me, the most boring of all the EC I have ever had to watch as a spectator where nobody can say a word!


By Achat (Achat) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 09:57 pm: Edit

Susan, if you are reading this, the weather forecast in NYC calls for more rain in the next 12 to 24 hours. Sorry, I did not see this before. It might be bad coming into the city.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 10:54 pm: Edit

Achat, yeah, I knew the forecast was not good but we have had the appointment for a long while and are going to make a go of it. I am not as worried about the NY part, or the train part. It is more of the driving part tomorrow morning if it is raining cats and dogs on windy country roads, to Albany and also very late tomorrow night. I have the back up of spending the night at my inlaws in Albany if we had to but do not wish to as I don't want her to miss more school. She is missing again in ten days or so to go to UMich and will be missing for college auditions and I don't know what else inevitably. They do have a limit there. She also misses for dance performances and such.

But thanks for the heads up. It will only be an issue in NYC if things are closed or the appointment is cancelled. I will call from Albany before boarding the train perhaps. We can walk to the appointment or hail a taxi, either way, so no subways are involved, unless you think it would affect Amtrak? Well, just another hump to deal with. I have had some terrible rides in snow and so I guess I can deal. I recall some on the way home from NYC with this child and one home from Cornell with the other child, and luckily I am still here to tell the tale ;-).


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