Monday, September 3, 2012

University of Kansas Tour

So the time has come again for me to continue the search for what college I am going to enter when the fall of 2012 comes around. I am on Spring Break this week, as most students (especially college students) should be, and a few weeks ago my mom and I decided to go and check out of a couple of colleges since we had the time. The first one that we decided to head out to was the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. 
I hadn't looked into Kansas very much because I had really never heard of their journalism program and I had only learned of it through one of my mother's work friends. So, I decided that I would check out the website and I liked what I saw and so I requested info and signed up for a tour. On Monday, my mom and I left Fort Collins for the eight hour drive to Lawrence. The drive was nice, straight, and easy, but Kansas is very empty and kind of boring to see just fly by the window for eight hours. Sadly, my mother did not let me drive on the way out to Lawrence. I don't know why, but she just did not want me to drive.  But oh well, we made it and that is what matters. We got into Lawrence around eight or nine o'clock and checked into our hotel, got some dinner, and basically just went to sleep. 
The next day, my "Jayhawk day" started at around 8:00-8:15 AM in the KU Visitors center where as with every other tour I have taken, the day started with and information session about the school, the students, and just what was interesting about the school. One of the things about KU that really struck me that I loved was how tradition rich the school is. The students at KU are very superstitious and have many different traditions that they adhere to. I come from a high school where tradition is also very, very important so I loved that. The many traditions at KU range from things with graduation, traditions with their clocktower, many statues on campus, and many more. After learning about the school in the info session, the large group that was there was divided into three smaller groups and put onto buses so that we could go to where the tour started at the Kansas Union. The buses that we were on were part of the bus system that can take anyone anywhere they want on campus. The routes are a little weird and would take some time to get used to, but after awhile, I believe that one would just know them. I learned on my tour that one bus takes students to the local Target, and that was also pretty cool. After reaching the Kansas Union by bus, each bus was then broken down into at least three, if not four, even smaller groups, led by KU student ambassadors for the tour around campus. The ambassadors took the groups around the main part of campus, which is pretty much just the main hill on campus. From there one can see almost every building on campus no matter how far it is away from the hill. 
After the tour my mom and I went to Stouffer-Flint Hall for a meeting with Cassie Keefer, the Recruitment and Retention coordinator for the KU J-School (that's what they call the journalism school) with two other prospective students interested in journalism. We met with her and got her spiel about why you should choose KU over any other school. What really impressed my was the many college Pulitzer prizes that KU has won and is currently in contention for and that KU is also winning many awards in many other disciplines of journalism too. That was really, really impressive to me. After hearing that we went on a tour of the journalism buildings and then we found their TV studio. All I have to say is wow. And this is not the TCU wow, this is a completely different wow. KU's TV news set is completely virtual. There is no set, no desk, only chairs. The desk and the set that you can see behind you on the TV in the studio is not there and that was really cool. The virtual desk even had the reflection of the person sitting behind it. That was amazing and was hugely impressive. I know that the fake desk would take some getting used to, especially having the fake desk in front of you while reading the news. 
After seeing that and talking to some people on the TV and newspaper staff, the journalism tour ended and I went with my mom to find the rec center and the Allen Fieldhouse. The rec center is insanely nice. It has a full quarter-mile track, a gigantic weight room, at least six basketball courts (4 full, 2 half I believe), a floor hockey/indoor soccer rink (if that's what it is called), boxing stuff, a tae-kwon-do room, and aerobics room, and a virtual golf course. It was amazing. Then came the Allen Fieldhouse. I didn't get to go into the basketball part of it, but the Booth Hall of Athletics is AMAZING! Holy crap, it has all of KU's championship trophies from Big 8 conference, Big XII conference, bowl game, and national championships. One of the trophies that KU has, and I believe that it is for having the best record in the country in basketball, was a gigantic crystal basketball on a pedastal and I just wanted to hold that trophy because it just so cool. In the trophy case for sports other than basketball, KU has an Insight Bowl Trophy, an Orange Bowl trophy (which is way bigger than I thought it was), a ton of championship rings and trophies for championships that other sports have won too. The KU hall of fame is also very impressive. 
After seeing the Booth Hall, my mom and I were kind of tired, so we decided to head to the Kansas Union, grab some lunch, go to the bookstore, and then grab a bus and head back to the visitor's center. On the bus back, we met a KU ambassador from Denver and he gave us a lot of additional information that we needed, especially about housing, and after talking to him for awhile, we felt that we had a good grasp of KU, so we went back to our hotel, and I learned that I was so tired that I slept for four hours. It truly was a great day.  
I am also going to give ratings (out of 10.0) for each college I have visited so far: 
Info Session: 8.0/10.0 
Tour: 9.0/10.0 
Staff Meeting: 10.0/10.0 
Total: 9.0/10 

Info Session: 8.0/10.0 
Tour: 6.0/10.0 
Staff Meeting: 6.0/10.0 
Total: 6.67/10.0  

Info Session: 8.0/10.0  
Tour: 7.5/10.0  
Staff Meeting: 8.5/10.0  
Total: 8.0/10.0 

PICTURE TIME!!!! (KU Edition): 
 view on the hill  Memorial stadium from the hill  Me on the KUJH set  The actual "set" of KUJH 

 What KUJH looks like to people watching  KU basketball trophies 2008 National Championship trophy  The Gigantic Crystal Basketball!  1988 National Championship Trophy 2008 Orange Bowl Trophy and 2009 Insight Bowl Trophy  The KU Rings and a list explaing what they are James Naismith! (KU Hall of Fame Pics now)  Dean Smith!  Wilt "The Stilt" Chamberlain!  Larry Brown!  Raef LaFrentz!  PAUL PIERCE!  KU rivalry display

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