Had a great few days. Little Tommy graduates high school in May and is making his decisions regarding college. His interest is in Journalism and he learned that the University of Missouri (Mizzou) is ranked #1 Journalism school by US News and World Report. He applied and had all the requirements for a direct admission to the Journalism College. The college has a â€œMeet Mizzouâ€ day for prospective students and family to spend a day there and learn more than you can just reading brochures. I was pleased that Tom called and asked if I’d like to join him and Tommy to the event.
Our initial plan was to fly but the logistics turned bad when we dug into flight schedules. Instead we decided to drive up. So this past Saturday at AM we headed off for Missouri. It’s a bit over 1000 miles, almost all Interstate so it’s an easy, fast drive. We arrived Sunday about noon and into a windy, sleety day with temps in the low 30’s. Still we braved the elements and walked the campus to familiarize ourselves before the official guided tour Monday. The campus is quite old; started in the late 1800’s so the architecture is mostly that era. Factoid: UM was the first public university west of the Mississippi. One of the spots not to miss is Thomas Jefferson’s original tombstone. I puzzled over why such an important monument would be on the UM campus. Answer – It was the first public University in the area defined as the Louisiana Purchase – engineered by Thomas Jefferson. They have done an incredible job of keeping that solid look while at the same time modernizing the interiors to the very latest designs. The campus is small enough to be walkable from end to end and then right into downtown Columbia. But it’s large enough to have eye opening facilities. It had the overall feel of the University of Evansville – personalized – but at the same time, the heft of UF. The prepared information sessions were well done and answered all the questions any of the three of us had.
One part of the tour that has to be mentioned is the student Recreation Center. It’s a new sports facility that is mind boggling. The highlights include 10 basketball courts, weight rooms and exercise rooms with more high tech equipment that I would have thought possible, a winding â€œlazy riverâ€ with waterfalls and huge hot tubs all around. Oh yeah, in all these areas the walls are lined with individual TV’s and/or theater size screens for watching movies or sporting events. An Olympic size pool – a meet was in process while we were there. Not just a pool but get this – the floor around the pool raises and lowers depending on the requirements of the event. So instead of diving off a board for those starts – the floor is raised or lowered. And of course all of this is indoors but there’s a major league outside pool too. It also has the big screen for watching ball games from the comfort of the pool The Recreation facility was rated #1 in the nation by Sports Illustrated. Oh, and they have massage rooms, manicures, hair dressers etc. etc. etc. Those are fee based but the rest of the facility is part of the tuition – so you pay for it whether you use it or not. Of course you’d have to be wacky not to spend several hours a week right there.
And the library – wow!!!!!!!!!!!
And the eating facilities – wow!!!!!!!
We were mostly interested in the Journalism school and that was no disappointment. A few factoids: UM had the first Journalism college in the world. In the world. The local newspaper for the town of Columbia and the NBC TV affiliate are all on campus and manned by students. Students along with staff drafted from major newspapers put it all together in what looks to be a very professional setting. The Dean of the college said it was modeled after the newsroom at the Chicago Tribune. The college opened in 1908 so this will be the 100th anniversary year and they will be dedicated a new expansion, more than doubling the size of the Journalism facility. So all in all, if Journalism is your game, Mizzou is the place to be.
So to me, the decision to go there is a no brainer. The only negative I could see is the weather and Tommy should be able to handle that just fine. I couldn’t but he can!!!
We dropped Tom off at the St. Louis airport so he could attend a technical conference in the bay area and just the two of us made the return trip. Uneventful, just the way you like it.
One political note – I’m totally blown away by how fast the Dem’s are dumping Hillary. Wow! I knew we Republicans really detested her but had no idea how deeply negative the Dem’s feel. How long before Big Al Gore supports Osamabamamama. I was totally confident that the Clinton machine would chew him up and then McCain would dump on her. Not sure McCain can beat Barackomon at all. So if Barack does triumph, I think my only hope is for Hezbollah or another mid east nut case to blow up something.