On Friday morning Mr. Fix-it, Social Butterfly and I set out for Flagstaff to visit one of SB's college choices--Northern Arizona University.
This would be the same NAU that I suggested she apply to many times over the summer. The same NAU in which she wouldn't ever be interested. The same NAU that she said about, one day this fall, "Hey, what do you think about me applying to NAU?" In a bizarre turn of events, I thought that was the fine idea.
We spent Friday evening cruising through the town and campus and then Saturday morning got a tour and the inside scoop from the neighbor kid who is a sophomore at NAU. Oy! The dorm room of a quartet of frat boys is something to behold (and smell).
The campus itself was lovely. Brick buildings surrounded by Ponderosa pines and bordered by snow-capped mountains. The college has done a good job of integrating the newer construction with the older buildings. And the new construction? The most amazing recreational center I have ever seen--with an indoor track, rock-climbing wall and rooms for P.E. credit yoga classes. Oh, and the labs are good, too. The "cafeteria" was impressive with lots of healthy choices for those who don't want to eat Chick-Fil-A or Pizza Hut.
SB is thinking she might want to be a nurse, but is not positive, so right now we're thinking of a Public Health major and then she can do a fifth year to get a nursing degree if that proves to be her interest.
Flagstaff is a nine-hour, very easy drive from San Diego; after we had lunch on Saturday--at Brandy's Restaurant and Bakery, a Diners, Drive-ins and Dives pick--we looked at each other and said, "This was great! Let's go home, now!"
So, we went back to the hotel, asked for a late check-out, grabbed our bags and hit the road. I might have felt bad for cancelling the second night except the beds were horrible. As SB said Saturday morning "When a 17-year old wakes up with a sore back you know it's a bad bed."
We were home by 8 p.m. and it was, as it always is, wonderful to be back at home. It's also pretty wonderful to have seen a school that has so many of the things SB wants in a college--her major, a very different environment than Southern California, an outdoor activity-oriented student body and the perfect distance from home (not too close, not too far).
I must admit that the "Arizona" part of the school's name was a little worrisome to our liberal family. Governor Jan Brewer didn't make us feel any better by wagging her finger in our President's face. The school and the surrounding city had enough people in dreadlocks, as well as Democratic Student Club members trying to register voters, to help convince us that, like most college towns, Flagstaff embraces a wide variety of socio-political viewpoints.
I think it's entirely possible that my daughter might become a Lumberjack!