Monday, September 3, 2012

University of Missouri Tour

And now it is time to take a look back on another college tour. The tour I am going to write about today is, as the title says, about the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. Being a prospective student interested in journalism, this, like Northwestern, should obviously be one of my top choices because, not only is Mizzou the original journalism school, it is also one of the best journalism schools in the country. The Missouri School of Journalism is famous for its "Missouri Method" which is basically this. When a student is a junior and senior, they will be out getting real world experience in some sort of news media (and no, I did not get that from the Mizzou web site). One of the most popular, is KOMU, the Columbia (mainly University of Missouri) NBC affiliate, that is mainly student run. The reporters are all students on the newscast and that gives students a great idea of what it will be like when they move on and get actual jobs in the near future. 

But back to my experience. The day after my tour in the first part of the KU-MU Border War, my mom and I took the 3 hour drive from Lawrence, KS to Columbia, MO. It was a pretty easy drive that took us straight through Kansas City and past Kauffman and Arrowhead Stadiums, which are right on I-70. When we reached Columbia, we were not exactly sure how to get to the campus, so I suggested getting off on Stadium Boulevard and heading down that way. After driving for a little while, and hoping that we went in the right direction, we found Mizzou. The first thing I saw on campus was Farout Field. That stadium is impressive. It is a pretty open stadium, one could see straight down from Stadium Blvd. to the field. I was very impressed by that stadium, I would love to see a game there. After seeing that, I looked across the street and saw Mizzou's gigantic Medical Center. There's the Truman VA Hospital, The Student Health Center, and the Health Sciences Center. It was impressive. (Wow, I just realized that I use a form of impressive a lot. I need a thesaurus)
After getting some lunch, my mom and I drove around the campus. We went through Greek Town, up Maryland Avenue, down Rollins Road as far as we could go, down Conley Avenue as far as we could go, up 5th and 6th streets, down Elm St., down 9th street, down Paquin St., down University Ave., down Hitt St., and down Virginia Ave. and College Ave. That gave us a very full picture of the Mizzou Campus. After that we went and parked in the Conley Ave. Parking garage to wait for a friend of mine, Will Heckman-Mark, a freshman journalism major at Mizzou, and the person that got me interested in journalism, to get out of class so that we could talk to him, ask him questions, and learn about what life was like at Mizzou. We quizzed him about campus as he took us on a tour and told us what the buildings were, and then when we sat down to dinner at Addison's (which is really good, I had the Pulled Pork BBQ sandwich, and it was great) we quizzed him about life and the School of Journalism and basically what he has done since he has been at Mizzou. Everything Will said about Mizzou sounded amazing and it basically jumped Mizzou to #2, and very close to being tied for #1 with TCU, in my list of colleges that I want to attend in the fall of 2012. It was great to see him, especially since I usually only get to see him for about a week or two during the summer. 

The next day was the big day, it was tour day. And as with every other tour that I have been on, it started with an information session. One of the things that I liked about this info session was that before it started, a movie was playing in the room they had us in that showcased famous alumni like Brad Pitt, Sheryl Crow, Sam Walton (wasn't in the video that one is thanks to, Chris Cooper, John Anderson, and Kate Capshaw among many others. I also learned that Mizzou's mascot is named Truman the Tiger after President Harry S. Truman, a Missouri native. I also learned all the basic facts about Mizzou, and something that was notable to me was how they went way deeper into the scholarships available than any other college I have visited so far. After the info session, the walking tour of campus started. The tour took us through the main area of campus, which is Francis Quadrangle, past the Thomas Jefferson statue and tombstone (don't worry, TJ is buried at Monticello, the original tombstone was just given to Mizzou because Mizzou was the first land-grant university opened in the area known as the "Louisiana Purchase"). The tour took us through Lowry Mall, Ellis Library, the Mizzou Student Center, the Student Rec Center (which is insanely nice, the coolest one I have seen so far), and into a dorm room in Defoe-Graham Hall before letting us go for lunch. It was a great tour, probably the best on I have been on so far. 

After lunch, my mom and I went and tried to just meet with someone in the School of Journalism, since we wanted to skip the tour that we had set up for 2:30. We had a 12 hour drive ahead of us and we just wanted to get home. So we went and met Suzette Heiman in the Journalism Office real quick to get some more information about the School of Journalism. She sat down with us and gave me a ton of really good information that made Mizzou sound like a really, really good place to go to school. 

Right before we left, i made sure to get some pizza from Shakespeare's Pizza. It was amazing pizza. If I do end up at Mizzou, I am going to live at that place. That is how amazing it really is. On the drive home, I realized that I was kind of sad to leave Mizzou. Who knows, maybe I'll back in about a year and five months for a longer stay. 

Here's my ratings for Mizzou: 
Info Session: 8.0/10.0 
Tour: 9.5/10.0 
Staff Meeting: 9.0/10.0 
Total: 8.83/10.0 


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