Sunday, July 5, 2009

Peace & Quiet

Today marked our very first college tour since we stepped into New York. By Amtrack, the ride to Poughkeepsie lasted about an hour, which was fortunate for many of us. We had a late night last night, due to the Fourth of July celebrations.

The very first impression that hit me when we first stepped into Poughkeepsie, was 'quiet'. We walked out of the station to find a wide expanse of area, occupied by just a few buildings. One of us mentioned that it seemed like we were in the middle of nowhere. It turned out that we had actually exited through the back of the station.

After breakfast, we found a taxi to bring us to Vassar. As we drove through the town, I saw old types of houses, weed lawns, and scenes that reminded me of either a haunted country town, or Gilmore Girls (tv show).

Vassar is full of large green lawns/fields, trees, red brick buildings, gothic-type structures, and beautiful gardens. I found it to be one of the most peaceful places I have ever been to in my life, and I absolutely loved walking through the campus -- minus the heat. If this campus was closer or maybe even in the city, I would most definitely love to go here. But from what I saw today, I didn't find the surroundings too appealing. After dorming smack dab in the middle of New York and having access to city aspects, Poughkeepsie was quaint and cute but maybe not someplace I would like to live in for four years. Oh, which reminds me: Vassar has no graduate schools. Although it has been around since the 1800s, they have not established a graduate education. And on another note, but another interesting fact about the college, the dorms are coed.

I still consider the college though. The campus itself was very much appealing, and the educational spectrum seems wide enough for a student like me to appreciate it. I am also very pleased with the fact that Skinner Hall has 20 practice rooms, each with its own Steinway grand piano! The thought was too enticing -- I wanted to sneak into one of the practice rooms right then and there and just play. Thankfully, I was distracted by the gorgeous and meditative Shakespeare garden. It actually reminded me of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Overall, I enjoyed exploring the campus. If I hadn't visited, I probably would never have discovered what other options I could be missing.


Don Gosney said...


Darn it girl, don’t sugar coat it. Tell us how you really feel about Vassar.

We all talk about going away to college and when we compare colleges we often compare academic offerings but if you’re going to live someplace for four years you had better like the place. Otherwise, it can affect your ability to learn. You have to be happy where you’re going to school, Jackie.

And yes, it’s nice that they have the practice rooms and the Steinways but there has to be more. I’ve done some research and Steinway has sold pianos in places other than Poughkeepsie so you’re allowed to look and consider other places.

By the way, do you have something against weed lawns? If I didn’t have weeds my lawn would be all brown.

Madeline Kronenberg said...


Poughkeepsie is a wonderful town -- but rural settings are not for everyone. I'm glad you're seeing what works best for you. Touring the campuses can give you insights you'll never acquire any other way. And those "insights" can give you some important questions to ask -- questions that matter to YOU.

When you get a chance, take a look at the College Match page on the College Board site:

It will help you zero in on your own preferences and how they match up with the 3,000+ colleges available to you.

Enjoy your last week in NYC.

Charles Tillman Ramsey said...

Thanks Jackie,

Don and Madeline said it all. You know what you want and Vassar does not hit the mark. However, continue to explore your options and see what works for you. I am glad that you have a better idea of what you are looking for in a college.

Glad that you got back to the Big Apple.

Take care.

Charles T. Ramsey, Esq.
School Board Member
West Contra Costa
Unified School District

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