Saturday, September 20, 2014

And It Was A Great Feeling

So today I went to an application workshop at Point Park. Basically, you drop off you transcript, fill out their application online, attend a Q and A session with students, and then take a tour. The goal? By the end of three hours, they have an academic decision (based on your transcript and that sort) for you.

We began in Lawrence Hall's lobby, proceeded to the ballroom, and I ate a chocolate muffin. This has no bearing on anything, but yeah, I ate a chocolate muffin. Filling out the application was quite simple, even if it was on a Mac (turns out I can actually use those if I try...). It's now submitted and floating on a server somewhere downtown.

After the application, we made our way through the campus tour. I was there with my father (who hasn't been to Point Park for any reason) and mother (who accompanied me in October when I went the first time).

There's something to be said about the feel of a campus. There are campuses where you feel that you're being immersed in the grand tradition of academia, and there are campuses where you feel like you're a part of some other grand tradition (go sportsball!) or that you're surrounded by just your major. There are campuses where you feel isolated and others immersed. I decided early on that I didn't want to go to a university simply for the sake of going to a post-secondary institution. With High School, you don't get much choice in the matter and more or less just participate enough to get by or accomplish whatever multi-tiered goal you established at some point.

I want to go to a university that felt like I was going to be a part of something - a part of the real world with the bonus of being educated and being essentially weened into that real world.

I've visited RMU, CMU, Pitt, and Point Park. At CMU and Pitt I felt the grand academia, and at RMU I felt just a bit too isolated. Point Park, being in the middle of the city and simultaneously being an actual campus just seemed to fit. So I went back again just to check, and I felt so welcomed, like I was wanted. As a person that is rarely 'wanted' for much of anything, feeling like you belong is an amazing feeling.

So then we went back to the Lawrence Hall lobby where they had letters waiting for us with the results of our academic acceptance or whatever. I went up to the table (last name P-Z) and asked the nice gentleman for my letter. I gave him my name and started to spell it when he stopped me and said, "I remember your name. Not a weird one, but not generic. It was fun looking over your transcript". I didn't know what to say honestly, so I said thanks, asked if I could open it (which was the whole point) and then, well:
I AM ACCEPTED WITH A SCHOLARSHIP OF SEVENTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR! So in that moment, all the ACT nonsense, scholars classes, AP credits, SAT Prep Classes, SAT taking, all of it suddenly materialized into something amazing and tangible and so worth it. And in that moment, I felt comfort, genuine joy, and for once it just clicked, and it was a great feeling.

Am I committed? I can't, really, yet. Am I applying elsewhere? Probably. Is this my first choice though? What do you think...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

To Stand In the Shadow of Giants

In May I visited the World Trade Center Memorial for the first time. I never really saw what stood there, I just remember the images of what was and what happened. You really can't get a sense of just how big these two towers were until you go and see. My sense of size came from rehashed television images and satellite imagery and that sort.

To stand at the corner of the footprints of the buildings; it hits you all at once. It's a quiet place, even if it is in the middle of New York City. Then you realize that there are rows of names running the perimeter. It's impressive, and hard to process. I could do nothing but pray the whole time I was there. And that was that, standing in the shadow of giants.