Tuesday, April 03, 2007

On the Mission Trail

Whew...we have been covering a lot of ground. We've seen a lot of schools already and we're still not in LA yet!

It turns out g-girl is a Mills alum - Mills is an incredibly beautiful women's college in Oakland. It's more like a park than a school, and there's a lot to be said for all-women's education. Fiona liked it a lot, and said she'd be happy to go there. She also like USF well enough, mainly because it's in the middle of San Francisco, which is great. St. Mary's was acceptable as a lower choice.

Santa Clara was the favorite coming out of SF and surrounding areas, though. And who could blame her? It is the most beautiful campus, with incredible gardens, gorgeous buildings and friendly staff. Check out that wisteria!

This morning we were in Sarah-Hope's neighborhood, UC Santa Cruz. Fiona loved it so much she had to dance through the woods. It's currently in first place, at least until we hit Santa Barbara tomorrow.

And then this afternoon we rolled into San Luis Obispo to take a look at Cal Poly, which is down near the bottom of the pack. It's okay, and it's a good education, but it's so big.

And the best thing about road trips? How else would you see a giant artichoke?


g-girl said...

omg! you were in Castroville? I know exactly where that giant artichoke is. lol. that's hilarious..no berkeley? Santa Barbara is nice. I got accepted to USF but my parents weren't willing to pay the tuition. :( I adore Mills! :) Undergrad is strictly female but grad is co-ed. It was an empowering experience to attend Mills..and the dorms are awesome..not to mention the dorm food! ;)

Windansea said...

We were in Berkeley too - we've seen so much I forgot!! And yes, coming down from santa cruz to SLO we went through castroville - the funny thing is I've been through there before, more than once, even - and I've never seen that artichoke!! I must've slept through it but this time I'm the one driving!! Yeah, we loved Mills too - and the dorms are awesome, your own room, dining hall right there in the freshman dorm - she may end up there yet! Lydia

Anonymous said...

My two cents' worth on colleges, if it's wanted (if not, feel free to ignore)--

I'm also a Mills grad and wanted to give a shout out for the value of small colleges in general and women's colleges in particular. As a smart, capable, but headstrong 18-year-old, I would have fallen through the cracks at a large school both academically and socially. I could get my homework done, but needed real-world contact with the instructor to stay engaged, and would have fumbled about in large lecture classes. I needed an instructor who noticed if I was absent and asked me about it. During my four years at Mills, I had four classes in te 25-50 student size; all the other class I took there had enrollments of 24 or (often significantly) fewer. The dorms (as you've noted) were also lovely--and remarkably peaceful for college dorms. I could fall alseep when I wanted/needed to, and I didn't have to find alternate locations for studying. That said, if you go to a small school you do need to be sure it has good faculty and support programs (internships, for example) in your field of interest. The benefit of a women's college in particular is that you spend four years where EVERY leader and EVERY best-at person is a woman--student body officers, top students, club leaders, RAs, etc. That changes one's expectations in a deep and fundamental way. (Interestingly, I found that when I started grad school I could jump easily into the male-dominated discussions because I assumed I belonged. My female colleagues did eventually speak up, but only once we were well into the first year of studies. Our first fall quarter it was just me and the boys.)


Laura said...

mmm giant artichoke. oooh wisteria! I'm jealous of the road trip. Almost makes me want to go back to college, or find some 16 year olds to escort.

r said...

OMG. The giant artichoke!!! I'm 27 and live in Sydney Australia now, but I actually went to fifth grade @ Castroville Elementary School which is right next door to the Giant Artichoke. Talk about flash from the past...wow!!

Jennith said...

my grandmother is a mills alumni.... she was one of the few women of her generation to have a professional career. But that might be my grandmother's hutzpah, rather than her schooling. She did love it there though.