April 16, 2009
From Franklin and Marshall, Elsa and I drove in the rain, west on Route 30 towards Gettysburg. Route 30 is, at first, a four lane highway, but at some points there are lights, and the last 30 miles, it became a two lane road with lots of truck and roundabouts to slow the traffic down to a crawl. Even without stopping for lunch, we were almost late for a 3 pm info session, and felt we had to call the school to warn them.
The info session was good. It was well attended, maybe 15 families, and it was led by a young male admissions officer and a junior student, Tara. Both were articulate and enthusiastic and gave us a very favorable impression of the school. Tara traveled to Seville, Spain as a sophomore and became fluent in Spanish, and then qualified for an internship in Nicaragua for three months over the summer prior to her junior year.
After the info session, three guides showed up and we selected Dominique because she is an anthropology and French double major. We had a private tour. She was informative but not overly enthusiastic and she and Elsa did not really connect. Funny how that really affects one's impressions of a school. It was cold and rainy, our guide was fine, but not thrilling and our overall impression was : it's okay. It's actually a very attractive campus. I liked it a lot.
At this school, the soccer coach, Matt, had practice scheduled at 4 and was not going to be able to see us. I wondered if his schedule would change because of the weather, or if we could watch the practice for a bit, but Elsa was just as happy to drop of her information and video in his mailbox instead.
One of the things that slowed us down about Gettysburg is the Greek life. All three of these target Pennsylvania schools have fraternities and sororities, but Gettysburg has the largest number and the highest percentage of students involved. There are, I think, 6 mens and 7 women's. Dominique is a member, and explained to Elsa about rushing. This school does not allow it first year. Originally, Elsa wanted a school with no Greek life at all, but that's hard to find, especially in warmer climates. Even Wesleyan has one or two, although they are less of a force on campus than in other places, I'm sure.