1: Well, I'm not any smarter...I still can't put a picture on my blog.
2: Things are not always the way it would seem...I expected Chicago students to be pompous and unapproachable. Instead they were as we passed them on their way to classes, kind of geeky-looking. It's true though that every one of them that we asked had no idea where the admissions office was. They must forget after they get there. They do know where to get pizza, though.
Kenyon students, however, did not look geeky. If I were to classify them, I would say they were more preppy in appearance. I did not get a chance to talk to any, but my husband did, and that student told him that he was just telling his parents the night before how much he liked it there.
3: Sometimes what you don't say is revealing...or is it? At Chicago, the academic life was emphasized. We heard such things as "Chicago; where fun goes to die." "If you aren't really interested in learning, and like to avoid studying, you'll be unhappy here." "Nobody is going to give you a hard time if you say, 'Well, I have to go study.' Instead they'll probably say, 'Yah, me too.'" "Yah, well, that's what we're here for."
At Kenyon on the other hand, academic life was not brought up on the tour until I asked what kind of semesters, quarters, or trimesters they are on. Instead we heard about their theater presentations, their new athletic facility, their meal times and stuff. We did get to see an actual freshman dorm, which I was glad to see.
4: Kenyon admissions was much more friendly and accommodating. When I called to set this up, they set my daughter up to sit in on a class, set us up for the tour and an informal interview. Things were tightly scheduled, so when the student guide left, thinking he had no charges to lead around the campus, the admissions lady arranged for my daughter to interview early with an admissions counselor instead of a senior, so we could take the next tour and hit the road at a reasonable time.
Chicago on the other hand gave out no more information on the phone than was necessary (that for which I specifically asked). I was told to go to their web page to find a class to sit in on and arrive a few minutes early to get the prof's OK to audit the class. Their website was baffling and I'm sure a second semester freshman or first semester sophomore is finally able to manuever without guidance or error. (Of course maybe there are parental controls.) Being unable to break through the controls, I called and asked for assistance. They told me that they could help me out when I got there.
5: Chicago has the second largest private police force in the country and have worked very hard the last 30 years to be very safe. Although a student would not be wise to walk around campus at 3:00 am alone, if he needed a ride, he could call security and get a ride home; no charge, no questions. The campus police can be there in less than 60 seconds if you push one of the many security buttons around campus. We did not test them. STUDENTS FEEL VERY SAFE THERE.
At Kenyon, the tour guide told us several times that this or that building is open 24/7 but she never mentioned security, so I asked if a student would fee safe walking home from one of these buildings at 3:00 am. She said that she doesn't think they have a crime rate, actually. STUDENTS FEEL VERY SAFE THERE.
6: God is God and the world is His footstool. There is no place where you can go that He will not be there. Chicago is in the middle of a city. Chicago loves Chicago and vice versa. On top of that, Chicago is in love with itself. There is a chapel (beautiful) on campus that is used by any religious group for any type of service to worship any god. However, with all this going on, God can be there. It's actually sort of a mini world, albeit kind of smart.
Kenyon on the other hand, reminded me of something left to itself and fermenting in its own juices. I did not feel as good about this school coming out as going in. This surprised me. The people were nice, the grounds were beautiful, and it seems like it is a nice isolated place to send your daughter for four years, but I don't know...
So here we are, still trusting God and asking for His guidance and providence. I want Him to block paths that He does not want us to travel, but is this being lazy? I don't know, but I do want Him to make things clear to me.
Lead me Lord
Lead me in Thy righteousness
Make Thy way plain before my face.