college

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Debate, College, and Road Trip Music

Published April 16, 2014 by Britt

I’ve been busy the past few weeks doing various different things. Starting out with debate and zombie army crawling towards Spring Break. But now I’m doing the Spring Break thing and I’m super duper happy.

Debate is a really odd thing, especially my style of debate, Student Congress. It’s similar to Model UN only much more AMURIKA and serious. Odd things happen in the chamber. People act like actual politicians and it can get actually pretty scary. But then there are some people who make for interesting stories.For example, I was at regionals and someone goes up to give a speech. This guy (We’ll call him Reek because he got on my entire team’s nerves and it rhymes with sneak… cookie for reference) went up and gave a decent speech, then took out a pocket version of the Constitution of the United States of America. Yes, the We the People one. He reads a section from it and ties it into getting rid of tobacco subsidies being unconstitutional then THROWS IT ON THE GROUND. Literally. Not dropping it.

Like this.

Now, we do the whole congressional oath of office thing at the beginning of the tournament, including swearing to protect and defend the Constitution, and I think throwing it may be a violation of that. Somehow.

We tried to disqualify the speech and label the book as a prop (which we were pretty sure you can’t have), but the speech was included later on because apparently the prop rule was in the rule book… two years ago. So the director gave them benefit of the doubt and kept the speech, and Reek won the tournament, much to my team’s distaste.

Funny side note: One of my teammates is in theatre, so she taught us some vocal warmups they do in theatre and we were doing them in a circle. A girl we know came over and thought we were talking strategy but then she heard us chanting about mixed biscuits and became concerned and confused.

So once that exhausting tournament was over, spring break came down upon me like a gift from the gods of the universe and Neil DeGrasse Tyson (Yes, I’ve been watching Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey and it is magical).

Spring Break means vacation time, and vacation time means college touring.  It was while I was college touring that I have found the college of my dreams.

College is a weird thing. College is like a wedding dress. You have to try on a few before you find The One and it’s super expensive.

Randy and the other lady were my parents. I’m in the dress. Mel and Munchkin are on the couch.

My parents and I have pretty much been on the same page of the college thing. I made my expectations fairly clear to them, and they seem to have gotten it. They’ve been pretty okay with it too. So they took me college touring on this fine spring break, and we went up to Gettysburg College.

We pulled into town and I was in love.

We pulled into the parking lot and I was truly in love.

By the time we finished the tour, I was ready to pack my stuff and move in.

Gettysburg is a magical place filled with quaint historical houses, ghosts, and you probably are breathing the same air Lincoln breathed when he gave the Gettysburg Address. It’s a bit of a tourist area, but it has more local restaurants than chains. I mean I saw the chains, I ate at a Friendly’s and got Starbucks plus saw the fast food chains and a Domino’s, but it’s CHARMING. There was one restaurant we ate at that was in the tavern area of the oldest building in Gettysburg called the Dobbin House and it felt like I was eating in a tavern, complete with somewhat dim lighting and candles. The food was delicious and it was my favorite restaurant that we ate at.

The college itself has gorgeous buildings on a well maintained landscape, nearly in the heart of the historic area of Gettysburg,  and is a bit larger than my high school. It has the traditional feel of William and Mary but there’s less of a pressured vibe to it and it’s not like other schools in its own weird way. It’s scholarly, but it’s not intimidating, and it’s interesting. I felt like I would fit in perfectly there, and I would never want to come back home. I’m sure I will, but I love that college so much it’s a problem. The library is wonderful, the on-campus housing is beautiful, and I love everything and everyone. Mom and Dad really liked it too, and was happy that I was happy. I really couldn’t put it into strong enough words at the time so the best I could do was emit high pitched squealing.

While we were there, that stupid cold front that dumped snow on Watson while she was looking at Notre Dame blew through while we were tramping about on the Gettysburg battlefield. It was muddy, it was cold, it was rainy, and that probably muddled my concentration on remembering the battle, but it was still really amazing. It’s a huge battlefield, and we only saw a few of the monuments. We tried to find where Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address (which my mom was surprised was only a few minutes) but the only sign we found about it said that it was “nearby.” Eventually we gave up because it was cold and rainy and went to get hot chocolate from Starbucks.

Today we went to Chocolate World in Hershey and made our own chocolate bars while wearing sexy hairnets. And then we drove home for most of the day.

Road trips aren’t a bad thing, right? And then you get caught in D.C. traffic. So you turn up the radio to distract yourself from the annoyances. This wouldn’t be so bad if you hadn’t spent most of the trip listening to music from the 70s-2010s. I like that music, but it gets less nostalgic overtime. And I would want to go back to the modern pop hits because my parents don’t like my indie rock jams, but dear god can radio stations overplay songs. So can society.

Let’s do a case study.

“Happy” by Pharrell was originally written for the movie Despicable Me 2. It’s a positive and upbeat tune that doesn’t discuss drugs, sex, alcohol, violence, etc. because it was originally intended for a children’s movie. It’s also been nominated for an Oscar for best song, but lost to Frozen‘s “Let It Go.” By now, if you haven’t heard this song, you’re living under a rock and I would like to join you.

Now, I like the song. It’s a good song, it’s refreshing. The video features normal people doing a happy dance and it’s cute. The only thing I dislike about it is Pharrell’s ridiculous hat.

I don’t get it! What is he, a mountie?! Why is this a thing?!

But then it comes on so much you can’t escape it. And then your school does a video with the teachers dancing to it. And they play that song in the hallways. And project the video during lunch. On loop. For thirty minutes. The video was cute. But then I grew increasingly UNHappy. My taste for being happy was soured by a bad case of Overplayitis. And that’s sad.

Of course I tried to change the channel a lot, but I was trapped in the back seat, so my arms didn’t extend that far. I also had earbuds and freshly loaded CDs on my phone, but phones die eventually.

The music industry is weird nowadays. I don’t like how they’ve allowed so much screaming of sex and drugs to be played so often, and they’ve let autotune rule everything. Then they spoil a perfectly good song and then it all goes back downhill from there. I really liked “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons, and “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic. And then they beat it until it was beyond dead. “Happy” will be the same way. And looping songs like this made for a bad road trip.

I’m just glad to be out of the car. I don’t know how I got to this. It made more sense in my head, but it’s late and I’m tired. We’ll go with it.

Brittany went to college.

Published June 23, 2013 by Britt

Thursday night I spent several hours driving up to Annapolis, MD to begin the adventure that is college hunting! I know I’m a rising junior now, but college isn’t very far off. It’s looming like crazy.

Meanwhile on this adventure, we stopped at a gas station and Dad was forced to use a ladies bathroom since the guy in the men’s room took a huge poop. We checked into the hotel super late at night, and Mom stole a banana from the dining room because she was hungry.

The next morning, I went to brush my teeth only to discover I left my toothbrush. I had to go out to the vending machine and get this weird thing:

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This was impossible to open, by the way, but I got there eventually.

We then did a bit of exploring of Annapolis since we left the hotel early after breakfast. ANNAPOLIS’ HISTORICAL DISTRICT IS SO ADORABLE OMG. I LOVED IT SO MUCH. The buildings were old and right on the water. Did I ever mention Maryland’s flag is awesome?

This is just kind of magnificent. But then again, Virginia’s has an exposed boob on our flag, and for some reason, no one’s seemed to care.

Back on topic, we went to Annapolis to look at St. John’s College. This college has a somewhat unorthodox curriculum, learning mainly from the original books like Euclid and Homer. You know Drake’s weird song “Started from the bottom now we here” (Yes, I know that drivel. I don’t live under a rock)? They start from the roots and original theories and work their way up. Mom had originally thought this college was like that one college from Accepted, since they call their professors “tutors” and don’t have sports teams except for croquet, crew, and fencing. It’s hardcore. But it was a gorgeous campus. I took a picture of their dining hall, because it was stunning.

photo (3)

Yes, that is a functioning dining hall.

Suffice it to say, I loved it. We left at ten to drive to Ashland, VA to go tour Randolph Macon, only to arrive two hours late because of the atrocious traffic between DC and Fredericksburg. We were bed, bath, and beyond done when got to RMC, and jumped on a random tour because the admissions lady said so. I didn’t like Randolph Macon as much, but we missed a lot of information and had a tour guide that didn’t really connect with my interests. She dwelled more on sports than I was into, which turned me off a bit. But the campus has a train. Yes, a train to go home and to go to DC. Which is cool. And a wine making class in Australia. Yes, Australia is dangerous, but I wouldn’t mind making wine. I’m a classy girl.

Several hours and more traffic later, we returned home and ate Italian delivery, and slept like rocks because the beds in the hotel the night before were awful.

Colleges are filling my inbox.

Published January 23, 2013 by Britt

diploma

I think I’m going to start adding pictures at the top. Pictures are cool.

College. Most every person in high school wants to go there, or at least the people I know. Then again, these people are learning LAW for crying out loud, so we aren’t really the high school dropout type anyway.

In October I took the PSAT and I made the mistake (I think) of writing my email down in the box. And the colleges won’t shut up. I’ve deleted most of them, but recently I gave up and just glance at who and where it is.

But before I go into what I rule out and what are actually possibilities, let’s look at what I want in a college:

  • Driving distance from home. I don’t want to commute, but I want to be able to go home for the weekend if I want. And I don’t want my parents visiting me all the time.
  • Not huge, but not tiny either. If it has a famous football team, I don’t want it. But I don’t want to go to the tiny college my parents went to. Not that I’m going anyway, since it’s across the city
  • And this one is weird, but I want it to be historical. I’m a huge history nut, and I want it to be well maintained, but with historical value in it.

So basically, as I get these emails, I glance at them and check to see where they are because frequently they leave a nice return address. Some are more vague than others, such as Elon University in North Carolina (I don’t know where Elon is), but most are pretty clear. University of Denver has been bugging me, but Colorado scares me, and Florida as well. There’s something in the water there, I swear. I’ve also ruled out the Virginia Military Institute, mainly because I do NOT want to join the military. I would die. Drexel has bugged me a lot as well, but they just seem mediocre.

All girls schools have been immediately ruled out. Mainly because I fear I’ll be driven nuts by all of the drama. Don’t go saying that’s a stereotype, because ALL girls have drama. ALL OF THEM.

University of Georgia has been recently coming after me, but honestly it’s too big. And as I typed this, University of Delaware came in my email as well. Also too big.

Major contenders have been Gettysburg College, William and Mary, and Washington and Lee. Tulane is a huge maybe, mainly due to distance. William and Mary I’ve seen before, and it is GORGEOUS. And I only found out about Gettysburg last night and I was drooling a little. I’m terrible.

Anyway, readers, you all are quiet. I want to hear comments. What did/do you all look for in a college? What college did you end up picking? What’s your dream school? Leave it in the comments, I’m genuinely curious to know. I’m probably going to do this more often too. Make stuff interesting.

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