Road Trip

I had not considered blogging on the college visits today, but I may offer a few words at this time.

My family lived in Kansas City from 2002 to 2008, and we’ve gotten good care for our daughter’s heart condition there. When we returned to Iowa four years ago, we declined to find a new cardiologist in state. We return for twice-a-year checkups at Children’s Mercy Hospital, a very good place.

I appreciate the offer of prayers. I would never decline them. But for the twelfth year in a row since we adopted her, the report was full of positives. She had been complaining of some pain in her sternum, but it seems that is just irritated bone/scar tissue perhaps bothered by her lifting weights at the high school. A small thing to watch, but no major worries.

The young miss is only a sophomore in high school, but is beginning to form some ideas about going to college and what to study there. Since we were burning a school absence anyway, I suggested we make something of it and try a few test visits in the neighborhood. After getting the great medical report from the doc, we lunched, then scooted to UMKC for a two-hour visit. We spent about fifteen minutes with a graduate student/counselor, then a student took the three of us on a campus tour. Things sure have changed since my college days. Fridges, microwave ovens, and cable tv hook-ups in dorm rooms. Restaurants and groceries in basements. Lots of ways to recreate: athletic center, theatre, concerts, spectator sports. Lots of help for students: counselors, tutors, peers, grad students, and even a writing center where other students will review a paper and give pointers to make it better. UMKC is a big school–close to 20,000 students. Not quite as big as Iowa State, where we live. But big enough.

By 3pm, we made it to Rockhurst University, a private Jesuit school not far from our first visit. Many of the same amenities though with only one-seventh the student body size of UMKC. I don’t think the young miss suspected she was getting hoodwinked to visit a Catholic school. But I thought the atmosphere and culture of a smaller university would give her some perspective on the possibilities. I liked the subtle presence of the Jesuit style, the emphasis on service and leadership, and the sense of a tight-knit family of a smaller school.

At dinner, she wasn’t very talkative about either school. When the teenager doesn’t want to talk, there’s not much point in pressing the matter. About the only thing she “knows” for sure is that she doesn’t want to go to college in the same town as the parents’ home. I can accept that. In almost three years I’ll have to let go for real. We’ll see how ol’ dad does then.

It might be we were premature on college visiting today. I have a sixteen-year-old daughter who thinks she is more mature than she really is. It could be that she’s not quite ready to think of herself as anything other than a high school student in a small Iowa city. Maybe we’ll restart in earnest next year. Unless she’s been bitten by the bug and wants to go road tripping again. There’s no way I would think I was an expert in young female behavior, so I have no idea of the impact of today’s visits.

Back to regular blogging tomorrow.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to Road Trip

  1. Jen says:

    Hrm. I wouldn’t worry about the college thing. It’s still a bit off, and I had no clue what I wanted to do as a sophomore. She’ll figure it out. :)

  2. crystal says:

    You’re such a good dad :) My parents never even talked to me about college – I just decided myself after high school to go to the nearby state college and worked my way through. Maybe she’ll change her mind and will end up staying close to home after all.

  3. I’m so glad to hear that she has had another great report from the doctor and that the pain is not a problem.

    Yeeeee…. I have a 16 yo stepdaughter. The thought of college! In fact, PSATs are this Saturday for us.

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