Trip to Hillsdale, Part 2 (and other stuff)

12 09 2009

I woke up a bit later than expected this morning, so I don’t have much time to hang around and post much.  We’re playing Notre Dame today, and since I didn’t sell my ticket, I should really make an appearance at the game.  It starts at 3:30; I find those later-starting games to be a pain.  They really eat up a good part of the day.  Ah well.

So I realize that I never bothered following up on my first post on my trip down to Hillsdale College.  That was partly because I was caught up in the Welcome Week festivities here in Ann Arbor, and partly because I wanted to get settled here in hopes of offering a more balanced take.  Mostly because I was caught up in Welcome Week though.

It looked a lot like this when I visited, except the weather was terrible.

It looked a lot like this when I visited, except the weather was terrible so I didn't bother taking any pictures.

As I previously explained, and as my first week of econ has made pretty clear, Hillsdale’s academic approach seems more in sync with my own method of understanding.  I’d have the opportunity to study under professors who might actually share my views at least some of the time—something very unlikely here at U of M.

So why haven’t I already transferred?

Well, for one thing, Hillsdale is small.  Very small.  As in, the size of my high school—1,300 undergrads.  While this means that the faculty:student ratio is very high, it also means that extracurricular life is bound to be less vigorous.  And I’m not just talking about drinking opportunities; one simply can’t sustain the number of clubs and organizations at a small school as one can at a large school.

I hate to make extracurricular activities a deciding factor in college selection, but I’ve been told time and time again that they are at least as important as the hours spent in the classroom.

I over the past two days, I’ve met with members of the Michigan Review and the College Libertarians to plan for the next semester of activities.  Interest in those two groups alone is almost overwhelming, and despite Ann Arbor’s liberal reputation, there are hundreds if not thousands of students here who are looking for a political or philosophical voice or an outlet that I can help provide.  It may seem backwards, but I’m beginning to think my efforts might have a greater impact at U of M than at an institution that largely shares my views.

I definitely need to schedule a followup visit to Hillsdale.  I’d like to meet with someone in admissions to see where my standing would be should I make the switch, and it would be nice to see campus when students are in town.  Perhaps I can sit in on a class or two just for some contrast.

But this early in the semester, it’s impossible for me to say what I’ll do in the long term.  I’m not sure whether greater academic satisfaction is worth giving up life on a big, active campus, and I’m not sure whether opportunities outside the classroom justify sucking it up and graduating from a program I’m not entirely happy with.

Oh, and did you hear about the 9/12 March on DC?

Unless you’re a talk show addict or a FOX acolyte, probably not.  But the million-plus people who showed up in DC today didn’t seem to mind your obliviousness or the media’s near-total lack of acknowledgment:

Dang.

Dang.

That’s a lot of people who believe in limited government.  This has the potential to be bigger than Obama’s Inauguration, something that would be an incredible coup should it occur.

Kind of like "Think globally, act locally" but 100% less likely to appear on SUVs in the Whole Foods parking lot.

Kind of like "Think globally, act locally" but 100% less likely to appear on SUVs in the Whole Foods parking lot.

Protester sign quality was widely varied, but there were a lot of edgy, clever signs on display.  You can see a live feed of pictures from the event here.  No Nazis in attendance as far as I could tell.

Some signs were quite esoteric…

Awesome!

Awesome!

…but relevant.

This event will ultimately be too large to ignore.  Even by MSNBC.

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5 responses

12 09 2009
Min

Graham,

Here’s a wild idea. Do they offer online classes at Hillsdale? Is it possible for you to take online classes there while attending UofM and get credit for it towards your degree? I took classes at Wayne that transferred credits.
When I was still at Ford, there were a few people getting masters degrees online.
I’m just curious….

13 09 2009
Karen

Graham,

I did hear about 9/l2. In fact, I caught some of it on Fox News. I also know someone who left Friday morning heading to DC to be a part of that march. I didn’t notice him in the crowd. (HA) I’m sure he’ll have alot to tell me Monday.

14 09 2009
Gordie

You won’t see a football game like that at Hillsdale – GO BLUE!!

14 09 2009
Graham Kozak

Can’t argue with that. I may miss the game this weekend—but will you be at the substation for tailgates this season?

16 09 2009
Mary Lou

We’re at the substation before every home game. Drop by to visit! BTW, I have relatives living in and around Hillsdale and spent many, many Sundays there in my youth — we’ll talk at the next family gathering but suffice to say, you’ll not find much “off-campus” life!

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