February 20, 2009

Mount Holyoke

Elsa and I spent the night in Holyoke, MA. We had a very difficult time finding our hotel, in more than one way. I failed to remember the existance of the CT River-minor detail. Once we had directions, a map and phone support, we made it to the Country Inn and spent a quiet, restful night there. In the morning, we had breakfast and then loaded up the car to drive to Mount Holyoke College.

We went on a tour first, with an Anne Hathway lookalike junior named May who was friendly, thorough and cheerful. She showed us the campus and her dorm and room and talked a lot about the attributes and qualities of the school. Mount Holyoke is a beautiful campus, full of old brick and Hogwarts-style buildings.

While the campus looked great, the best part of our tour was our lunch with the Mount Holyoke soccer team. Coach Haneishi organized a "team activity" lunch to meet a recurit, Elsa. We ate in the dining room of one of the residence halls. The coach was just as sweet, cute and nice as she could be. The team was warm, open and welcoming. The food in the dorm was not bad either.

Each residence at Mount Holyoke has a Steinway in the living room.

After the lunch, we went on a tour of the athletic center with the coach. She showed us the facilities and the field, (equipped with lights) and the planned renovations for the sports center.

Then, we sat in her office and chatted for a long time. It is obvious that the Mount Holyoke team is on the rise, and that this coach is improving the program tremendously. This coach knows what she is doing. She has a vision for this school and for this team. She is firm and direct and seems to have the respect of her players. She is cheerful and friendly and seemed interested in Elsa, but also was clear that she would be honest and let Elsa know if she would not be able to help this team.

Both Elsa and I love this coach and her team very much. We were thrilled and honored to sit, eat and talk with them. The spirit we experienced with them, however, was not evident across the campus. The students I saw during the course of our visit seemed sedate and sad. This campus lacked the energy and spontanaity that we saw at Wesleyan. The team seemed energetic, but everyone else looked overwhelmed. The coach assured us that the student body and faculty is friendly and welcoming. We will probably have to give the school a second look. We love this coach. We love this team. Elsa likes Mount Holyoke. I am less enthusiastic.

Elsa's rating: 8. My rating: 7.5.

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