Author: Varner, Marty


As some of you guys are aware, I am in my senior year in high school, which means that I have been spending much of the past six months deciding where I will go to college. Late last year was spent researching and deciding which colleges I should apply too along with creating all of the application materials. After creating these steps the best I could January and February were spent in eager anticipation of what the results from the colleges would be. March madness then came upon me, which was spent receiving application status letters. I am happy to inform all of the readers of this welcome column it went much better than I could have possibly hoped for. I believe because of the help from Rick Cornish, Darby Brandli, Tim Edes, and Ingrid Noyes, I was accepted to each private college I applied to: Clark University and Hampshire college in Massachusetts, University of Puget Sound in Washington, Willamette University in Oregon, and Whittier College in Southern California. All of these schools gave me very generous aid along with Whittier College giving me a music scholarship!

Since it was the closest one to visit, last weekend my family and I went to Whittier College. Before we went we did not know to expect. On one hand it is the hometown and alma mater of President Richard Nixon, but one the other the town and college are named after Quaker, abolitionist poet John Greenleaf Whittier. When we arrived, we soon realized that it still possessed characteristics of the latter. Some of my readers may know that my father is an habitual runner (or at least it is the motion of running), when he went for his daily run through the town of Whittier he couldn’t help but feel great joy when each passerby said a charming “Hello!” or rang their bicycle ring when they rode pass him. We were very impressed by the town of Whittier, but the college itself needed to be evaluated.

The weekend we went Whittier College had an event inviting all of the accepted applicants to the college to hear about the college from the school’s faculty and students. When my family and I arrived we were amazed to see the huge palm trees and fields of green that surround the modern architecture. The one issue we found is that the entire college is on an uphill slant, which is impractical, but a great way to avoid the freshman 15!

When we listened to the different speeches we planned I was impressed by the teachers ability to well... teach! One of the different speeches was presented by the English, math, and political science teacher. These three teachers were to present the tag team class idea at Whittier. These classes combine two supposedly unrelated subjects like math and history to create another more specific class that can be taught by both teachers. One of the classes that was done by a math and history teacher was code breaking. In this class they would look at codes from Mary Queen of Scots, the Nazis and many others and try to decode them. The students, some of whom would be interested in the code and the other part interested in the meaning and context would then work together in the class instead of being constantly separated like what happens at bigger universities. What I enjoy about Whittier and the other colleges is that the class sizes are very small. Instead of having possibly 100 people in a class, a class at any of the colleges I applied to will never get past 25. This type of setting I believe is best for me and will lead to my success in the future. Along with thanking people like Rick, Darby, Tim and Ingrid I want to thank anybody who feels like they ever put me aside and told me what I needed to hear to become a better person, because I am sure you all did.

Posted:  4/5/2014

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