College Tour 2008: Days One and Two

Day One (yesterday)

Left about 40 minutes behind schedule this morning.  Not bad for us, actually.  Stopped at the supermarket to pick up a couple last minute items.  And we got to Baltimore only a little later than I expected, allowing for a couple of rest stops.

A few observations about the trip down:

  • People don’t seem to have gotten the message to slow down to save gas.  Holy smoke.
  • Thank God for GPS.  We ended up being routed through New York on the Cross Bronx Expressway.  It was fine, but no way I would ever, ever have figured it out on my own.  And it’s soooo much easier than dealing with a map.
  • Baltimore, what little we’ve seen of it so far, is nice.  We had dinner at Tamber’s, a Fifties style diner with American, Italian, and Indian dishes.  The palak paneer, salmon tandoori, and shrimp tikka masala were pretty good – fortunately, our oldest enjoys trying new flavors (though sometimes more in concept than in practice).

Tomorrow we actually visit the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus, only a block away from where we’re staying, before the drive to Fredericksburg, Virginia and the University of Mary Washington.

Day Two (today)

First, a postscript from Day One.  After dinner at Tamber’s we  walked up to the east gate (not gated, but a main entrance) of the JHU Homewood Campus, only a block west of where we were staying.  There had been torrential downpours and thundershowers earlier, but they seemed to have abated.  Seemed to, that is.  We got soaked jogging the block and a half back to the Hopkins Inn.  Among our other tasks this morning before the campus tour – finding umbrellas, which we did.

The Johns Hopkins Homewood campus is in the Charles Village section of Baltimore.  A colleague told me that JHU wasn’t in a very nice part of Baltimore, but I wonder if he was referring more to the medical center (or if his knowledge might be a little outdated), because the Charles Village area seems to be going through some redevelopment and seems like a pretty nice place to be.

The information session was informative (good start), but not really much different than anything we had already heard from our daughter’s guidance counselor or at the “Surviving the Admissions Process” meeting we attended.  The spiel from the admissions intern who conducted the session was thorough, and she had clearly gotten it down, but it was much along the lines of all the college propaganda information we’ve been getting in the mail (“we’re big, but we’re small” or “we’re small, but we’re big”, etc.).

A couple of things we hadn’t heard before:  JHU doesn’t have undergraduate “core” requirements as such.  Instead of everyone taking English 101, they have what they refer to as “distribution” requirements.  Without digging a little deeper, I’m not sure there’s much of a real difference there, but the philosophy seemed to be more aimed at a diverse education rather than an extremely focused one.  The admissions intern mentioned a five year BA/MA program with JHU’s DC-based School of Advanced International Studies, which caught our attention.  What also caught our attention is that JHU does not give AP credit for English and history.  That left more than one student in the session a bit dismayed, by the reaction.

JHU’s Homewood campus is beautiful.  The rain held off, so we never did need those umbrellas.  When we left Maine, all but the last vestiges of snow were gone, but spring hadn’t really gotten started yet.  In the Mid-Atlantic spring is well underway, and everything (that’s supposed to be) is fresh and green.  The student-led tour was good, though a little long.  Over lunch we talked about this experience.  We agreed that it will be easier to gauge what we heard at JHU after we’ve been through a couple more tours.  She said as long as she can go to a place where she can make some friends, have some of her comforts, and not feel like a stranger, she could handle it.  Of this I have no doubt, and what she saw of JHU and Baltimore didn’t seem to have given her any reason to think she couldn’t find those there.

Tonight it’s the Best Western Central Plaza in Fredericksburg (hey, don’t laugh – it’s right next door to a Waffle House).  Tomorrow it’s all Washington, all the time.  The University of Mary Washington is in the morning and GWU in the afternoon.

P.S.  Didn’t try the Waffle House.  Did try the fried soft shell crabs and hush puppies at A&G Crabshack and Deli.  Just the kind of place I like to find.

3 thoughts on “College Tour 2008: Days One and Two

  1. Pingback: In Praise of GPS « Rummaging About

  2. Pingback: A Colonial Christmas « Rummaging About

  3. Pingback: College Tour III: The Final Countdown « Rummaging About

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