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Saturday, May 5, 2018

Andy's Angles: The Rotunda

I've told this story here before, but a repeat is in order because it's the 35th anniversary of my Marywood graduation.  This is what you see when you look up as you enter the Liberal Arts Center.

I will never forget my first time here.

Thanks to my own stupidity and a non existent high school guidance department, I applied to Marywood without ever taking a tour or talking to anyone here.  Yes, there were several visits, as a high schooler, to the library and that was about it.  I didn't know you could visit before you committed.  Yes, that seems absurd.  I knew Marywood had a radio station, and I was sold.

I arrived on a summer day to pick up a new student packet from the admissions office, which was at the back of the building.  You had to pass through the rotunda to get there.  I remember looking up, in absolute awe, and thinking I was in big trouble.  I was a kid, albeit with pretty good grades, from a lousy public high school.  I didn't belong here.  It wasn't too late to turn back, but I didn't feel that way at the time.  I wondered if I had made one of the biggest mistakes in my 17 years.

My packet was waiting.  I took it home to give it a good going over.  More terror.  This wasn't skating through high school.  This was serious stuff- and my parents were paying for it.

There was what might have been a defining moment.  As I had the catalog and all the other paperwork spread out on my bed, I had the radio on.  The song playing:  "Yesterday" by the Beatles.  All my troubles were not far away.  They were in black and white, right in front of me.

August rolled around.  Orientation.  New classes.  New surroundings.  Trying to make new friends.   I was so happy when that first semester came to an end.  As I tell kids today, that first one is the most difficult.  The college makes that first semester schedule for you.  They handed me 18 credits, based on my high schools grades and my SAT's.  That was the upper limit.  Dumb bunny me didn't know you could drop or modify the schedule.  I didn't touch it and it was a good thing.  I went heavy my first couple of years, so my last two were a breeze.  More on that at another time.

The moral of the story:  You never fully know what you can do until you actually try, and you might even surprise yourself.