Thursday, February 2, 2012
College road trip
I was up early in my assigned dorm room at Rochester College after just a few hours of rest. Our tour of campus was set to start at 8:30 a.m. with breakfast.
Andy made it on time, too, despite experiencing a taste of dorm life by staying up about all night with new friends.
We had to borrow an umbrella. It was a wet day for the walk around the campus in Rochester Hills, Mich. (near Detroit).
Many things impressed us. Atop the list were the welcome we received and the friendliness.
No one made fun of us, but we talked to a lot of folks about our “Southern accent.”
One of the Northerners put it best, “We say you guys; you say y’all.”
We visited classrooms, the library, the student union facility and the administrative building. The 80-acre campus overlooks the scenic Clinton River. My favorite part of the walk was a path in back of campus through the woods to the gymnasium.
Andy’s interview for a leadership scholarship lasted about 30 minutes. I waited anxiously. As a father, it was a proud moment when the two gentleman conducting the interview told me afterwards, “Your son did well. He’s a fine young man.”
We met the college president, who spoke at chapel that Tuesday morning (January 17). He has family connections in Mississippi.
Later, we visited with a kind and knowledgeable representative of the education department. Andy plans to major in secondary education math with a minor in English. He wants to be a teacher and coach. She was very helpful.
We had lunch on campus, and about an hour afterwards, said our goodbyes and thank yous and began the long ride home. We decided to drive as far as Cincinnati, Ohio, and spend the night. It was very, very windy on the interstate.
We had looked for a college basketball game to attend and could not find one. Then Andy searched the high school circuit via my iPad.
We rolled into the big city of Cincinnati in time for a contest between LaSalle High School, the defending Division I state champions, and Akin. It was an electric atmosphere at the private, all-male Catholic school. The host Lancers, who could really hit the threes, won the game.
We left there and found a hotel on the outskirts of Cincinnati, in Florence, Ky. We found a sushi restaurant still open. It was good, but not as good as our favorites around here.
When we got back to the hotel, there was some sleet mixed with snow. I called Pam’s cell phone to say “good night” but said nothing about the bit of icy weather. The next morning, there was no snow on the ground. The roads were fine.
Our sights were set on Holly Springs when we left Kentucky. We made a few pit stops along the way – like for a quick lunch, gas, some souvenir gifts for Erin and then a break and dinner in neighboring Tennessee.
Many people have asked, “How was your trip?”
I quickly respond “great.”
It was long – approximately 25 hours round trip (1,595.5 miles). But it was fun.
My other response is – “Andy and I got to spend four days together. With his busy schedule as a high school senior and mine as a newspaper publisher, that’s nearly impossible. We talked and talked and talked some more. Those are the memories I will cherish.”
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