RPI

We visited Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) this afternoon. Our third in-person college tour. It’s interesting to see how each school greets prospective students, what information they focus on at the visits, what parts of the campus they show, etc.

RPI is apparently a pretty prestigious engineering school, but we all kind of agreed that they didn’t put their best foot forward. The tour started with a luke-warm welcome at the admissions building, an old building with even older white guys pictures hanging on the walls. It was clear their heritage was important, however the dirty/broken bathrooms and abundance of sticky sanitizer everywhere did nothing to enhance the perception of prestige.

The student leading the tour was friendly and knowledgeable about many things, but she glossed over the two areas of interest for my group, comp sci and physics. She was a chemistry major and apparently knew little about the other majors. The campus is sprawling and full of old, old buildings. The school was founding in 1824 and the buildings look the part. Many have their build date carved above the entrances. She took us through dark hallways and into a basement-ish classroom. She showed us a dorm that was very institutional looking, small and dark, and not at all inviting. One of the parents asked if it was an older dorm and the tour guide said “Yes, our newer dorms are bigger and air conditioned.” Umm… why are you showing us this scary prison dorm then?!?

They had one really nice, new building that was impressive. She said it was built with money from an anonymous donor, with the stipulation that it would be used for offices, not classrooms. What?! It was a nice looking building though, and the tour maybe should have started there. They also have a really nice auditorium space with lots of opportunities for music and performances, including stage and tech crews. That caught Lex’s attention.

Back through some other old buildings, then the tour guide left us in the parking lot. It was weird. We weren’t entirely sure what to make of the whole thing, but definitely didn’t walk away feeling amazing about RPI.

After charging up at the mall (the car and the people) we continued on our route to Rosy’s house. It was a long drive and we were all very tired.

Lex is ready to start filling out the Common App to apply to WPI and Champlain. We are also going to tour MIT this fall, so he might add that to the list as well. He was undecided about RPI as of this afternoon.

Champlain College

We went on another college tour today. This time it was a whole day event! They had swag and sessions and presentations and tours and lunch! It is a really nice college in a beautiful city. Lex is definitely interested in their Game Programming major.

Their gaming center was a big hit.
This is where students learn and play
(and probably play and play and play!)
The professor said they put out pong for the parents, but I saw plenty of kids playing too. 😄
Accidental twinning
My new favorite photo! 🤣
Fight club! They make medieval weapons from foam and stuff and then “fight” on the quad. 😄

WPI

WordPress isn’t working properly so I can’t update the blog from my computer. Hopefully it works here ony phone.

We went to Worcester Polytechnic Institute this weekend. It was a beautiful day and both boys really liked it. Alan said he wants to go to college there too. 😄

Who is the prospective student here?? 😄
A classroom with whiteboards everywhere. They said the rooms are designed for collaborative learning or something like that.
I like this cool riser setup. There is a HUGE screen facing it. This building houses a 3D printer room, a ton of makerspace type areas and freshman dorms upstairs.
Does he look like a college student here? 😬
This building was designed to look like a church because someone wanted it that way, but it actually houses the music dept. They have multiple band opportunities! Also, that’s our tour guide, Sam.
This is the admin building. Our tour guide said students never see the inside of this building unless they are misbehaving. 😄
Toga and I enjoyed our day.
I love these masked not-babies.
This corner of the athletic center had a really great view of the athletic fields and tennis courts. The tennis courts are built on top of the parking garage, which was a student project years ago.
Just a cool building.
The library.
This doggie loved the fountain! 😄 Sam told us that the fountain used to be programmed to reach a certain height all the time, but on windy days it would blow and get people wet. So a group of students designed a system of wind monitors stationed all around the area that control the fountain. When it’s windy, the fountain doesn’t go as high and therefore doesn’t get people wet. Smart!
I took a picture of these pants figuring they were a joke I’m not smart enough to get. I showed Lex later and he told me it says WPI. Of course.
Gompie the Goat. Official mascot. Masked for our protection. 😄
Eve tried to hug it but the horns made it difficult.
While Alan and B’Lake talked physics with the admissions people, the rest of us took some down time… apparently we needed space. 😄