Wednesday, November 3, 2010

St Mary's College of Maryland

Before I begin praising St Mary's College of Maryland, an important disclaimer: of all the wonderful benefits of working at Hilltop, the best are the tuition benefits. I got one of my degrees here free as an employee. Planet, should she go to Hilltop - and I've discouraged her from going here, which was easy - would get free tuition (we'd have to do room and board, and that's more than fair, yo). If she goes somewhere other than Hilltop Hilltop will give me one-third of whatever Hilltop's tuition is for that academic year to use on whichever college Planet chooses. One-third of Hilltop's tuition will cover one third of Oberlin's, Kenyon's, Bowdoin's, Hamilton's, Allegheny's tuitions. One-third of Hilltop's tuition would fully cover Planet's tuition and room and board at St Mary's College of Maryland. Doopty, I'm financially inclined to like St Mary's College of Maryland.

That said, SMCM was as impressive a visit, from campus to tour to information session to conversing with an admissions officer, we've had. The campus is gorgeous, marshes, woods, water, and it's laid out so it feels both spacious and monastic (the two schools it reminded of most are Kenyon and Allegheny). The architecture, even of the newest buildings, embraces the history of St Mary's City.

The campus is green. They're trying to restore, as much as possible, the habitat of the woods, marshes, inlets, in St Mary's City circa 1634. An incredibly cool vibe.

Most impressive though is that - and I know I was being worked, it's what colleges do - they seem to honestly want to compete against the private schools we've visited. When asked what he considers current peer schools, the admissions officer said William & Mary, Mary Washington, Gettysburg, Dickenson. My Hilltop friends who would know, people I know who have kids have gone, all glow about SMCM, think it's attempting, and succeeding at, a remarkable mission, a public school giving their students a quality education equal to the most elite of private Lib Arts colleges.

Here are two more disclaimers: St Mary's City feels three hundred miles away but is only a hundred. I would like my daughter to go to school only a hundred miles away from home, and so would her grandparents. Two, do you know that I pushed the plunger on O'Malley because Maryland is still a cool place, let the motherfucking crackers continue their siege of motherfucking Georgia, it strokes my Maryland bone that my state is trying something as excellent as St Mary's College of Maryland, which Ehrlich would have cut funding for. Oh, here's the view from the back porch of one of the dorms:

Anyway, we've told Planet we'll get her a good used car if she goes to St Mary's College of Maryland since Hilltop will cover the tuition and St Mary's City truly is out in the middle of bumfuck. Don't know if she go there given the choice, but the latest plan is that she won't be applying early decision to Bowdoin. Yay!

    D.C. United would like to cordially invite you and your family to a special event with D.C. United on Saturday, November 13th at RFK Stadium that will include several players and Kevin Payne (D.C. United President & CEO). D.C. United is looking to create an informal club made up of members of the local community who care about the growth of soccer and dedicate a portion of their time and energy to promoting D.C. United. We would like YOU to be a founding member and help D.C. United create the foundation of this club. This event will be an opportunity for you to learn more, ask questions, and give feedback for the development of this 2011 program that will unite fans, front office staff members, & D.C. United players. The event will be from 3pm - 5pm and will involve the following activities:
      • D.C. United locker room tour that includes a reception w/ small hor d'oeuvres
      • D.C. United player clinic for kids in attendance
      • Presentation of program by Kevin Payne
      • RFK Stadium field level activity
PLEASE RSVP by Tuesday, November 9th to (YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS OR PHONE NUMBER) with the number of adults and kids 16 and under that will be attending you. We ask that you only bring children in your family or other adults that would be serious members of this club. A confirmation email with itinerary will be sent on Wednesday, November 10th.
    • Again with the no-kaboom, but thank you, no, I humbly suggest I'm not the right person for this position. Fine metaphors abound.
    • Another reason I'm glad to have left typepad.
    • Nanowrimo? No. Three, four years ago this was a much talked about annual event in Blegsylvania. Now, no.
    • This week's new releases w/MP3. 
    • Arcade Motherfucking Fire is on my radio as I type this, and motherfucker, do they motherfucking suck. What the fuck is wrong w/people? 
    • Name that (non-Arcade Fire) totalitarian tune
    • Steam engine
    • UPDATE! Today's theme song, on multiple levels.
    • Richard's comment made me think of this song:


    Rachel Loden

    Consider the late Eurasian entity, how it lumbered
    into the groggy arms of history where it was

    buried. Which is more than you can say
    for Lenin’s body, chilly like a mammoth

    in an ice floe, if less hairy. An old man in the square
    asks ‘Who is laughing at us?’ then drifts unevenly

    away. The czar’s nephew comes alive
    in Finland like some cyborg, sent into the future

    with a mission to annoy; there are the plagues:
    evangelists, economists, and experts

    of all kinds, Americans who read the future
    in a glass of tea, and analyze ‘the Slavic mind.’

    At home, cold warriors, like dying jellyfish,
    grow dim. Why no joy in Washington, no dancing

    in the streets — we ‘won,’ but sleep uneasy
    in our victory. The evil empire, vanquished, seeks

    a plusher berth within — a red and rising sun?
    A few blocks from the White House, my city twists

    and keens, and someone’s child is bought and sold.
    — We do not die of darkness, but of the cold.


    1. I can always count on ST to garner a link, thanks, sir.

      Re: tuition, not that bad of a gig, I must say. I wonder how common such fiduciary kindness is, as I've never heard of a school doing that.

      Re: motherfuckers on the radio. I'm curious as to what the ratio is of radio vs. randomized mp3 player vs. albums whilst at work.

      I hope the fact that I'd rather listen to North Korean musical propaganda instead of Lee Greenwood doesn't put me on some kind of list.

    2. I don't believe St. Mary's is 100 miles. I get there in an hour and a half, often visiting the state park to the south where the Potomac meets the Bay. My brother went there -- not much of a recommendation. A friend from graduate school teaches there. Sailing is a varsity sport. I have never heard one single complaint from a person who attended or worked there. And there is a delightful Amish market on the way to and fro.

      It's even lovely in the dead of winter.

      I'm glad you visited whether or not it is where she chooses to land.

      (Election has to wait until I calm down because I just found out that my neighbor voted against the ambulance fee.)

    3. I too have heard only good things from a number of people who went to or were associated with Saint Mary's State. And it is smacktabulous that we're the only state in the union with a liberal arts college in the state system.

    4. Sorry, Landru. GA has a lovely small liberal arts school called Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville. You may have heard of it because Ben Roethlisberger has a lake house nearby and got into a bit of trouble there. The school is the former Georgia Women's College, alma mater of one Flannery O'Connor. I know this b/c Wisdommie attends there and loves it. Met Ben the night of, I might add.

      Jim H.

    5. You know, I always mean to measure then forget until I'm twenty miles away and then, fuck it, it's a guestimate.

      Took what felt like twice as long to get to than Gettysburg and Gettysburg is 60 miles, but a 120 didn't sound right so I picked 100.

      All selfish disclosures fully admitted, and she knows she can go wherever she wants that she gets in to, I'd be as happy, academically-wise for her, if she chose SMCM as any of the others. I've heard it's great because it's trying harder than Hamilton has to.

    6. The school sez 75 miles to DC which seems about right. Sailing used to be required for graduation. That works for me.