Monday, November 9, 2009

College Campus Visit With Rachel

With Rachel's senior year well underway, it's time for her to start thinking about what she's going to do after she graduates. The college reps have been hitting the seniors pretty heavily at school but one of the colleges that stood out for Rachel was Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford because the rep had pointed out that music scholarships were available without having to major in music. Well, that's just right up Rachel's alley. We registered for the Visitor's Day for parents and students and this past Saturday was that day.

It was just Rachel and me - Emily had a flute audition for a state competition that Clara had to tend to - and so off we went. A quick stop at McDonald's for some breakfast-on-the-road for Rachel and coffee for me and we were off. I had my iPhone, the perfect tool for capturing the experience with some hastily taken pictures.

Rachel had spent the night before at a friend's house so a likely late night, a full stomach, and the gentle rocking of the road proved too much:

(Sorry for the blurriness. I'm driving, drinking coffee, and taking pictures, too. What? They'll get better. Let me finish my coffee first.)

A beautiful November day for a drive. The skies were clear, the spaces were wide and open:

(The ghost image is my reflection in the window.)

Across the highway, this farm pond reveals how breezy it is out this way. A light to moderate chop on the water:

Some markers you just don't see anywhere else. Here the Chisholm Trail crossed:

Other than the sign, no trace of the trail is left. That is, none that I could see while whizzing past at 70 miles per.

Ah, look, it's Weatherford not far ahead:

It's only about an hour and fifteen minutes away, not too terribly far but far enough to give you a sense you went off to college.

I didn't take any pictures on campus or during the tour, opting instead to pay close attention to what was being said. Rachel already meets the entrance requirements and the estimated tuition costs were something a parent could more than live with. Rachel enjoyed talking to the reps from the various departments that she's interested in - chemistry, physics, engineering, mathematics. Heavy stuff but I managed to point out all of them begin with the same core courses. Oh, and we talked to the music department. They'd be glad to have her audition for a scholarship.

I did manage a final shot on our walk back to the car. Windmills! Waaay out there on the horizon. See 'em?

Western Oklahoma. The perfect place for a wind farm.

Rachel was happy with the visit and so was I - I'm glad to spend time with her doing pretty much anything but this visit, this planning for the future, was a little more than that. Hard to believe we're at this point. Wasn't it just the other day she was plunging into her kindergarten class? Wasn't it just the other day -

No. Best not to start thinking like that. Best to keep looking ahead.

Rachel has others to consider but for the first one to visit, this one turned out pretty well. Now, if she can just maintain her grades. . .

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