Friday, June 24, 2011

An Escape From The City

This morning our cohort embarked on a scenic train ride north to visit Bard and Vassar College. Upon stepping off our train and taking a van ride to the Bard campus I was struck by how amazing the surrounding area is. Compared to the Bay Area, there was so much more vegetation from meadows to several species of trees. It was no surprise to me to see several summer houses which are owned by busy inhabitants of the Big Apple because the area around Bard was therapeutic.
A Trail at Bard
At Bard we were immediately welcomed into a private informational session where an admissions officer told us about what made Bard well, Bard. One factor that made Bard different from other colleges is that Bard is a liberal arts college and offers a three and two program with Columbia University. The three and two program was extremely interesting to me because it allowed students to take three years worth of classes at Bard and then transfer to Columbia University and complete his/her major requirements. After the information session, we took a tour of Bard which, to be honest, was disappointing. The facility I wanted to see the most were the new science wing and the theatre. While we did go inside the science wing I really wanted to look inside a lab.
Part of the English Department at Bard
Because our tour ran way longer than we thought it would, we rushed to F.D.R.’s house and only had enough time to walk around and look at the Presidential Library, and marvel at the structure of his house. 

In no time we were on our way to Vassar College. The journey from Hyde Park to Vassar was interesting by itself. Our driver thought he had pulled into Vassar but pulled in to Marist College instead. After much confusion, we made it to Vassar a bit late. All in all I thought Vassar was much better than Bard because it seemed as if Vassar offered everything Bard offered except it was better. Also, Vassar drew my attention when I learned that Vassar will cover the tuition that your family cannot pay and by the sheer amount of study abroad options.
F.D.R.'s tombstone
Vassar Library

1 comment:

  1. Eric,

    In a perfect world we could send you on site tours in the middle of the school year where you could see what the campus would be like in a setting similar to what it might look like if you were attending the school. The labs would be open, the libraries would be full and parking would be impossible.

    Absent that option this is the best we can offer.

    Sounds like we need to trust in no one when we head east. We need to bring our own maps and even portable GPS devices. It's bad enough when we get lost on our own but when the hired drivers get lost it costs us precious time we can ill afford to lose.

    We preach about time management but we need to practice what we preach. I think we need to be more realistic about what we can accomplish in a limited amount of time and we need to build in buffers to allow for contingencies when things go wrong--like drivers getting lost, power outages on the trains and tours taking longer than expected.