Fernando the invisible wombat goes to college

16 Feb

“I like this idea of bunnies gone bad.”
girl that worked in Starbucks

So, I have been vaguely tweeting and mentioning on dailybooth about a road trip I was taking. Unfortunately, only one person took the bait and asked me where I was going, so, Mandi, this blog is dedicated to you.

Anyway, I drove up to Burlington, Vermont to see Champlain College. I liked the school online and loved the professional writing program. This was really all I knew about the school, other than the claims about Burlington being one of the best college towns in America. I was pretty much just looking for something to do over break and prior to the trip, Kenyon College had replaced Champlain in my number one slot.

My, how things have changed.

So, driving into Burlington was already an exciting part of the trip. The hill we drove up had a sign which had  COLLEGE DISTRICT printed upon the top and dangling down from it was the names of the colleges in the district. Driving through the college district, we passed University of Vermont, which was beautiful. The campus had grassy areas that would be green and vibrant in the summer, the trees over them the perfect shade for studying. The buildings at UVM were the perfect blend of separate modern and antiquated buildings. We drove past UVM and through a relatively residential area, to get to the Champlain Campus. When we rounded the corner, the stone sign reading CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE just  made me giddy and jumpy. The campus looked very little like the pictures on the website, which was definitely no disappointment.
The modern student center with its dark red brick and forest green roof and trim was beautiful. Walking through the student center was just incredible because I actually felt like I could be there. Hiking up the stairs, passed the fitness center, I could actually picture myself there. The yellow light from outside twisted in through the blue-green windows and over the chairs in the dining hall. Although I knew I looked like some idiotic high school sophomore, walking around with my mommy and having an expression that can easily be described as a cross between high and I’m-just-about-ready-to-pee-myself-nervous, I still felt comfortable.
I met with an advisor on a walk in, and she explained some things to me that made the school even better. The teachers were dedicated and there was almost no chance grad students would start to teach courses. The school had an upside-down curriculum, meaning you start with your major your first day. Also, the student body at Champlain was around 2,000 undergraduates, but since the town was so small and full of college students, it was really the best of both worlds: small classes with the feel of a big university once you step off campus.
And stepping off the campus may have been the best part. The town of Burlington was part car accessible, put part foot traffic. Since everything is in walking distance from everything else, this was obviously no problem. College students roamed the brick streets lined with shops and  trees dressed in white twinkle lights, music wafting through the cold breeze. I was in heaven. There was a shopping center, a bunch of my favorite stores, a Starbucks and a bunch of other amazing little things I would have loved to explore more.
I quite simply cannot wait to go back again, and I hope that it might before I go to college there. (Yeah, I am DETERMINED to go to college there.)


Books finished this year: 2
Blog soundtrack: Matt Nathanson, Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz.


4 Responses to “Fernando the invisible wombat goes to college”

  1. Alex February 17, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    Hey Fernando!
    Loved reading this recent post about Champlain College and Burlington. As the Director of Markteing for the College I always wonder if we are doing a good job depicting what makes this place special.
    If you do decide to come to Champlain (I hope so), I would love to talk to you about doing some work for the department. Good student writers are a great resouce for us.
    All the best.

    • wheretheducksgo March 17, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

      Wow. Thank you. I really appreciate the comment and the compliment. My name, as much as I wish it were Fernando, is Caitlyn. Fernando is my friend’s invisible wombat. It is a long and boring story. But anyways, I am very interested in Champlain and would love to do work for the Marketing Department if I attend the school.

  2. Natasha February 20, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    Hmm, I wasn’t aware your name was Fernando. 😉
    I love that feeling of knowing what you want to do after being clueless for so long. I have no idea what classes I’m taking next year, which is my senior year, but I’ve already decided that I want to major in English and minor in creative writing. I guess I’m getting a bit ahead of myself though.
    Love Matt Nathanson and Jason Mraz, by the way. I’m seeing him in concert next weeeeeeeek. 🙂

    • wheretheducksgo February 20, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

      yeah, Fernando is an invisible wombat my friend stuck on me. and he just had to follow me on my road trip.

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