Congrats amh333! Are you sure where you're going yet? And where else did you apply?
I considered Landsea but I hate being wet and nature so I don't think I'll do it. However I too would like to know your take on the K experience. I'm a dedicated student as I'm sure most are at K, but is the work significantly harder or at about the same level as say an AP class?
My son is very happy. He's kind of nerdy, not a hard-drinking partying kind of guy, and he's happy to find others like him to hang out with.
He loved LandSea. He reports that the solo was no big deal. The leaders come around a few times to check on each camper, so he didn't find it scary or anything like that. I was worried that it might be cold and rainy, but instead the weather was so gorgeous and sunny he came back sunburned and peeling. His patrol was physically strong, so they zoomed through the hikes in the morning and played Euchre, a Midwest card game, in the afternoons. He's a California boy, but evidently he learned quickly.
Several Kalamazoo people told me the LandSea people tend to be close all through their college years, especially freshman year. Fang Jr usually takes a long time to make friends, but he came back from LandSea with friends already.
The whole Fang family likes the small size of K. Fang Jr gets lots of personal attention. The first meeting of his freshman seminar was during orientation week; the professor had already read all her students' summer essays and admission essays and prepared written feedback. Also, when we first heard/read about Kalamazoo nobody mentioned how beautiful the campus is. It's gorgeous.
Negatives-- well, for us, the distance is a negative. Some people might think the small size is a negative, though we don't. And it's a bit annoying to have to explain over and over again that yes, Kalamazoo is really a place, it's a small city, there's a college there.
Oh, as to how hard K is compared to a high school class, well, we're homeschoolers, so we can't help you there. Fang Jr says Kalamazoo classes are harder than the AP class he took online, and a bit harder than his community college classes.
Thanks for the help. I'm from Michigan so Kalamazoo isn't far from my home which is a bonus. I'm pretty excited for the freshmen seminars, it is one of the reasons I'm thinking about choosing Kalamazoo.
Thanks Ruby, congrats to you too! I really don't know where I'm going yet. I applied/am applying to a bunch of schools. Macalester, American U, Earlham and Occidental are some of them. What other schools are you applying to?
Thanks for the info Fang. Another question for you... do you know if kids at K have fun? Everything I've heard so far makes me think that attending K means the end of your social life. I'm not a huge party person either, but I do like to relax and have fun on the weekends.
Yeah I know. Didn't mean it like that. I was asking more about the atmosphere of the school. I've heard its pretty competitive, which is great. But I'd also like to go to a school where kids don't feel like getting the best grades is the most important thing in the world to them.
I visited a few months ago and they had a panel of students speaking. One of the students said that they chose Kalamazoo because it was a less competitive atmosphere. Everyone cared about their grades and such but they were more concerned with getting a good education rather than beating someone else out for a score.
Congrats AnagramPanda! It's nice to "talk" to other people that applied to K. I think two people from my HS have applied in the last ten years.
That's good to hear Fang. Two more questions for you:
What's the diversity at K like? I know most of the kids come from in-state, but I was wondering if there was at least some diversity among the students. Either race or socioeconomic. I was able to visit last year but I couldn't get a good feel for the student population because we visited on a weekend or something and not a lot of students were walking around or talking classes.
Also, how does Fang Jr. feel about the quarter system? Has it been tough with the breaks happening at different times than the rest of his friends?