Today I did two different college fairs at schools. I love events like this because I don't have to figure out a schedule at all. And they feed me. Rather than babbling on like I normally do, I'd like to share a series of conversations that I had today, in no particular order:
(Girl who clearly belongs at Lit House walks up to the table)
Me: Hi! Are you interested in anything in particular?
Girl: (quickly) I want to major in Environmental Science and minor in Education, Japanese, and U.S. History.
Me: Well, that's great that you have such a range of interests! We don't actually have a Japanese program, but we do have a few classes. Everything else--
Girl: (very seriously) It has to be a minor. (walks away)
You just know she's going to be an English major.
(I've been talking to this kid for a while, and he's adorable and really interested in the school)
Him: So what's your mascot?
Me: Well, technically we're the _____, but we don't really have anyone dress up at games or anything. We use a lot of different images for our sports teams. I guess that's our fun quirk.
Him: So if I wind up going to your school and I have ideas for a mascot, who can I talk to?
And at two different extremes:
Girl: Is this an Ivy League school?
Me: No, we're a small liberal arts school in ____.
Girl: Is it hard to get in?
Me: Well, for this year's freshman class, the middle 50% of students had a GPA between a 3.1 and a 3.6, just to give you an idea.
Girl: What about a 3.8?
Me: ...That would fall above the middle 50%.
Girl: Oh. I want to go to Princeton, but they're not here.
Seriously? If we were an Ivy League school, don't you think you would have heard of us? Let's think about this. And I don't think your GPA will help you if you can't figure out that a 3.8 is greater than a 3.6. At the second fair, I received the opposite:
Girl: (wandering aimlessly looking at all the tables) Ooh! (split second later) Never mind, it looks too smart. (walks away without stopping)
And, for those of you who are facebook challenged (obviously I'm not delusional to think anyone is reading this who I haven't known for several years):
Girl: (looks at my table) Ooh, you're in the south! I love you already! (looks at table next to me) Ooh, cool pens! (looks back and forth for a minute) I'll be back later. This is too difficult a decision for right now.
So those were the highlights. I also realized today that I am a huge snob when it comes to potential history majors. Our school is very historical, as is the town in which we're located; you can't help but be swept up in the past while you're there. Usually when a kid mentions an interest in history, I talk about a house we just bought that's 20 minutes away and used to be part of the Underground Railroad. I mean, how freaking cool is that?! Even if it's not the era or geographical area you're interested in, how can that be uninteresting? Thus, my history major litmus test. You are obviously not a historian if you find no joy or fascination in the freaking Underground Railroad. Losers.
P.S.-- If you are a potential English major and tell me your favorite book is Twilight, I do judge you.