Just finished the college tour this week. My youngest daughter, a high school junior, is deciding on what institution of higher learning is deserving of emptying my bank account. We visited four colleges..oops, make that two ‘universities’, as most are now known, and two colleges. As most parents of soon to be college students can tell you, visiting institutions of higher learning is a mind numbing experience.
How many times can you look at dorm rooms,..here is our double, and here is our triple. Here is a our gym, here is a our college hangout/eatery, this is our meal plan, here is our blue light call the cops system on our incredibly safe campus, here is our swipe card with bonus bucks that you prospective students can blow through and mom and dad can replenish after your 50th Slurpee! Wheee..ain’t college life great!
Given this monotony, it was like falling into the Twilight Zone or possibly a Saturday Night Live skit when we toured a well known Connecticut college. Our female tour guide, a freshman, was being ‘evaluated’ and was accompanied by a fellow male student. She was pleasant enough, but not suited to the college tour industry.
During our tour, when referring to dorms she declared, ‘I like boys!’ followed by, ‘Boys are stinky!’. I watched as the young male members of our group exchanged smirking glances. While walking though a dorm hall we heard, ‘Bathrooms are cleaned daily.’ Later when she referred to a geographic formation on campus, which look seemed rather obvious, she declared it took a few weeks for her to recognize what the silhouette formed.
The topper was near the tour’s end where our freshman told us there is an ‘athletic facility over the top of the hill, just a five-minute drive,..obviously there is a road up there!’ What!? Throughout the tour the evaluator’s baseball cap was on backwards, all the while he bounced his water bottle off walls and low roofs. What a disaster!
Feeling that we wasted the last two-hours of our lives, my wife and I drove away feeling that having a freshman in a sales role was not an exercise in good judgement by the school. This theory was proven wrong the very next day in Ithaca, New York.
Ithaca College was the school. Josh from Long Island, a freshman, was our tour guide. I quickly learned that he likes to drink Coke and that there were a lot of Pepsi machines on campus. He also demonstrated a great knowledge of the school, great personality and knew exactly where his tour was supposed to be. Everyone was paying attention when we were showed Rod Serling’s Emmy Awards in a library showcase. A look around the group I was with confirmed that Josh was connecting.
This was our fourth college in three-days, from Boston through Connecticut to Ithaca. While shy of the Bataan Death March, it certainly seemed long and tedious. The fact that we had a stinker of a tour and a five-hour drive before our encounter with Josh had primed my snarkiness gene. I am happy to say he certainly was not stinky.