Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Finding My Way Back.. A College Visit

Early Saturday morning, we packed up the van and headed out for a long road trip out to Pittsburgh. Having never heard of Carnegie Melon University before Corey mentioned wanting to go to school there, I thought perhaps it was 4 or 5 hours away. I was quite surprised to find out it would take 10 hours with no traffic and no stopping. We had a hard time finding a place to stay, due in part to how many students were attending the 'Sleeping Bag Weekend', a Steelers game on Sunday that I wasn't aware of, and a University of Pittsburgh football game on Saturday. On top of that, there were several conventions going on, an Alumni weekend at another college (there are 7 right in the city) and so we ended up staying 40 minutes away. Our drive out got derailed by some traffic that has us sitting there for 1 hour and 45 minutes, which made all of us just  wee bit cranky, and so happy when we finally reached our destination. Mandy's Pizza (West View) for dinner. Let me tell you how nice it was to go out for pizza, for the first time in years actually, as I was never a go out for pizza person, and get allergy safe pizza that was delicious. I wish Ash had come with us and I could have shared it with her, but I already told her if he gets accepted there, we go every time we make the trip out for a visit. It was that good.

The rest of the weekend was fantastic. We got a tour of the campus. We had sessions with the head of Admissions who also talked about financial aid. We attended a special parents panel put on by campus security, the health dept, campus psychologist, the head of student affairs, the housing people, and the  head of the Greek houses. We attended sessions with the Computer Science Dean, the Electric and Computer Engineering Dean, got a tour of the C.S. building and had a question and answer session with the assistant dean of C.S. Corey had an admissions interview and was able to sit in on a class on Monday. We visited the bookstore and some of the school buildings Monday during that time and Sunday night after we left him for his stay over, we were given a trolley tour of the city compliments of the college before heading off on our way for a fabulous dinner at Bella Frutteto. It was a busy, information filled weekend, but I am so glad we went. We got a real feel for the school, and what it would be like for him to attend college there. He realized that what he really wants to do is major in Computer Science, not E.C.E (he asked some really good questions about double majoring in both), and it moved up to replace MIT as his number one choice for school.

The ride home was a post in and of itself, but one I probably won't make. We left at 1:45pm, hoping that we could get back ahead of the worst of the hurricane, and were derailed around 3:40 by car troubles. We were out of commission until 6:30 getting the car fixed, stopped at a Super Wall-mart for some provisions for me, McDonald's for dinner for them, and then hit the road again. CT closed the highways, so we had to reroute around there, and all in all it worked out for the best. We drove through the hurricane, but according to wunderground, the radar that I watched as we drove across showed us in the best place to be as we traveled across rt. 84. We had heavy rain, and strong winds, but it could've been much worse.   I'm convinced that our delay was a blessing in disguise, and after a long 15 hour trip back, I was never so happy to get home at 7:10am.

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