It's the time of year when seniors in high school choose colleges and I think back to choosing Kenyon, which I actually did early, in November. So I've been brought back a bit because Kenyon has been in the news via basketball - a bit funny as I never went to a basketball game at Kenyon.
I visited 3 schools - Kenyon was the last. I was sure I wanted to go to school #1 in Minnesota. I went there to verify it and left a bit puzzled - it was ok, but didn't feel quite right, and it was cold!
I visited school #2 and the cross country coach took a lot of time driving me around the cross country course in a golf cart, saying what a good runner I was. The students there were perhaps the most genuine of anywhere - Earlham - and before I was diagnosed with MS, a group of them who had met me sent me a well wishes card at Kenyon that made me cry. I liked that school, but... I don't know - not totally right.
November 2 - Kenyon. Leaves were falling off the trees - it was beautiful. I was driven to the middle of nowhere - where Kenyon is - by 2 animated and a bit strange guys who seemed to just love life.
I stayed with Jody (later a friend) who was quiet but nice. I went to a math class taught by a somewhat quirky professor.
And then I went to cross country practice. Nice coach (I'd better be careful - he could read this!) and team - a bit quirky (which I MUST be). And then they said, well, would you want to go to the soccer game? They were animated. Sure - a soccer game - this school loved soccer games. And the soccer game made it final - I wanted to go there.
It wasn't the academics like it should have been. It was the people - so animated - so cheerful. Kelley was the one I remember the most - a beautiful laugh - her humor in taking this high schooler to the game where there was a lot of smoking, but also a lot of good-hearted cheering. Kelley - the one whose car I borrowed so many times to drive to the doctor since I didn't have a car - the one who was with me when I was diagnosed. I went home and immediately changed my application to early admission - wondering, hoping I could become a part of that place.
The whole group of people I met had such energy and spark - maybe quirky - maybe that made it more fun -
it's part of the magic
that is Kenyon.
That magic, that spark - I don't think it exists in quite the same way anywhere else.
And so... choosing Kenyon. I was so lucky.