Kollege Kampuses

I'm so alliterative, aren't I...

Yesterday, Shannon and I drove up to Rhode Island to visit Roger Willams University, then dashed over to UMass Dartmouth to check that out. On the way, we passed almost right through Klamperttown. (Hey Joel, you live anywhere near that big honkin' windmill? )

Two observations:

How can two schools so close together be so radically different?

College is way different from when I went.

I guess the differences are strengths. RWU us built right on the side of Mt. Hope Bay, a gorgeous stretch of water branching off Narragansett Bay. The campus is open and colorful, with beautiful, artistic buildings and resort-worthy waterfront residence halls. UMass is a brutalist paradise, like a bunch of concrete blocks in a big field, yet with coolness and atmoshphere all it's own. Talk about apples and oranges.

As for the college experience - wow... We ain't in Kansas, anymore!

The "dorms" are now "residence halls" or "villages"

"Libraries" are still "libraries" thank goodness (not the high school-esque "Media Center") but there are computers everywhere. Whole floors of computers. When I was in college there was one "computer lab" that had fifteen terminals. UMass has 80 computer labs, plus the library.

When I went to school, your meal options were the "cafeteria" or the "snack bar." Now there literally dozens of choices at each school. There are branded options (Starbucks, Papa Ginos...) There are late night grills in the "villages." There are kiosks everywhere. There are the ubiquitous (insert mascot)-cards that mommy and daddy can reload online! Whoopie!

A semester abroad is pretty much expected these days.

Most dorms (sorry, residence halls) are co-ed by door, meaning that men and women live on the same floor. (The fact that my dorm was co-ed by floor was pretty progressive at the time.)

Wireless everywhere. We were lucky to have cable. Oh, wait. We didn't.

Tutition at some schools equals the GDP of a small country.

And I'm not that old...


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