Friday, July 18, 2014

One Small Step

I don't remember the exact date, but I do know it was 35 years ago, around this time of year.

Let me back up for a moment.  I pride myself on being a wise consumer.  I research potential purchases and decisions endlessly.  That's why my actions 35 years ago strike me as totally bizarre.

I applied to, and was accepted at Marywood College, now Marywood University.  I had never set foot on campus before the application.  I never toured the place.  I never spoke to anyone there.  Nothing.  My high school guidance counselor seemed to focus on the two people in my graduating class he thought would succeed, and the rest of us could go to hell.  I had no idea what to do.

My grades were good.  The same goes for the SAT's.  The application and acceptance process seemed to be a breeze.  Marywood fit my criteria-- close and affordable.  The radio and tv department, back then, had a good reputation.

And then, reality set in.  It was time for my first visit as a soon-to-be Marywood student.
The admissions office is on the first floor of the Liberal Arts Building.  It's still in the same place-- beyond those double doors in the lower middle of the photo above.  To get there, you had to pass through the rotunda, that magnificent rotunda.
I looked up, stood in awe, and thought to myself  "I'm a kid from a public high school, and a bad one at that.  I will not survive here.  I will not last here.  I will not fit in here."

I swallowed hard, put one front of the other, walked in to the admissions office, and picked up a packet of information and material freshmen needed to know at the admissions office.  I went home and looked it over.  Overwhelming emotion:  fear.  I thought to myself that I really wanted to do this radio and TV thing, and I had to go to college.  It was too late to back out now.

Well, four years later, I was walking out of there with my degree in hand, runner up for a medal for distinction in communication arts.  I might not have fit in, totally, but I made it.   I've disagreed with many decisions Marywood has made over the years, especially when it comes to the operation of the radio and TV stations, and its fondness for naming buildings after felons.

I do not regret going there, and there are times, like yesterday, while I was walking around campus, that I really miss it.