Sunday, March 13, 2011

The booby prize.

A big week for travel for the family as the Chancellor was off to Mexico for her birthday on what they were calling "International Girls Weekend", Oldest Son is in Rome for his semester abroad and Youngest son and I went to beautiful, downtown, Towson, MD. I must have missed a meeting or something when we were giving out assignments.

The Towson trip was for a college visit and tt was a packed house for "Destination Towson" as they were calling it. We checked in and found that some how Youngest son had been accepted as a business major instead an education major. At least that is what the school on his name tag read: College of Business and Economics.

We were digesting this news when I felt nature call and headed out to the Men's room. When I came back I found Youngest son chatting it up with some pretty thing. It turns out she was from his high school, now a hundred miles to the north and they had advanced Bio together. Small world.

And then she added "and I'm in your first period English"

To which he said "Your are?".

Excellent. The long line of painfully honest men continues in my family. It was a little awkward for a moment until I went off with the parents and he went off with the prospective students to our separate meetings.

(Later I pulled him aside and coached that when a pretty girl says she is in your first period English class, nod your head up and a down like a dashboard chihuahua, even if she isn't.)

img_1557:The Parents meeting was mostly a question and answer session with the parents peppering a panel of Towson parents, students and administration with the usual  "how are room mates picked?" and "Can my son/daughter change roommates?" etc.

It was all pretty boring until one parent in the back asked how accepting the University was to the LGBT community.

After explaining to the mostly white suburbanites over 50 crowd what the LGBT  community was, the administration folks were all over that one with how accepting they were and that they had clubs and generally how much they just love gay people. (Especially ones with money). The students on the panel piped up with similar responses.

My favorite was one young lady that hung out at the Rainbow club because there are not a lot of places to sit in the public areas of the University and the "Rainbow Club" had a lot of empty couches, so she sat over there with them.

I got stuck there for a moment.

I was trying to imagine what all this couch sitting in the Rainbow Club was like for her. I'm sure there had to be an awkward moment or two that ended with "err.. ahh... ummm... I'm just here for a seat", right? Looking back, I'm sure this is what happened to Rosa Parks. She was just looking for seat and look what happened there.

I snapped back to the present as one Dad followed that line of questions with  "did the university put roommates together on the basis of sexual orientation".

Clearly, you had a sense of where this was going and it wasn't pretty. It was as if he had just realized that his son could, potentially, have a gay roommate and this could somehow "rub off" on him.

I thought for sure that this was going to go off a cliff but the staff handled it well and the "situation" was diffused with grace.

After that we moved back to more mundane topics like "actually paying for school" and "how hard is it to change majors". Which reminded me that I had a question and so I asked:

"Hypothetically, suppose this friend of mine applied for the wrong major. How hard is it for him to change majors now? Hypothetically of course"

It turns out to not be a big deal as Towson accepts on the merit of the student overall and not for a specific school or major.

After that meeting we broke up into groups based on majors and now I realized I had a problem. Do I go with the one on the badge or the one that he intended to sign up for? Apparently, I chose more wisely that the meeting where we gave out assignments because Youngest son was in the room for the School of Education when I got there.

The rest of the day was lunch and of course a tour following a bright young cherub who walks backwards through dining halls and dorm rooms. Then the drive home.

Overall, I think he liked it. We have one last visit scheduled for next Monday and then a decision must be made.

Pictures here

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