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General Questions


Replies to: General Questions

  • A.E.A.E. Registered User Posts: 398 Member
    Baaa waaa haaa haaaa. Oh, you mean the movie theater on Spring Street? Baaa waaa haaaa haaaa. The nearest real cinema, you know, one that would show first run movies, is 6 miles away in beautiful downtown North Adams, Massachusetts. Do you want to talk about how nice North Adams is? Baaa waaa haaa haaa.

    It's showing The Black Swan right now. That's a first run movie, isn't it? Not to mention it's an independent, non-profit theater where tickets are $5 for students. I wish there had been something like that close to Swarthmore when I was there. It's not a full-blown cineplex, but it's 0.2 miles from campus and it gets a wide variety of movies that would appeal to college students.
    Honestly, it's laughable to even compare Swarthmore's location to Williamstown.

    I agree. Williams College has a walkscore of 100! That's as good as it gets. Swarthmore's is a very mediocre 68. Williamstown would appear to be a much more student-friendly location than Swarthmore. All this talk about taking trains to other places is irrelevant to the OP's question. I think I went to Media three times in four years at Swarthmore, and that was three times more than most of the people I knew. Swatties just don't make heavy use of trains to go to restaurants in Media. They order student specials (pizza) by the truckload and eat them in their dorm rooms/lounges or at on-campus social events.

    Bottom line: the surrounding community is terrible. It's not pedestrian-friendly, and it has little interest in catering to students.
  • involved mominvolved mom Registered User Posts: 122 Junior Member
    Parent of a Swarthmore grad - and have to agree with A.E. on this. I also recently attended a residential workshop held at Swarthmore so feel that I can address this question. We ate almost all of our meals in the dining hall - the food is adequate - certainly better than what was available when I was in college - but not as fresh or varied as the food available at my other two children's colleges. We walked into the "Ville" - not much there for students - although the little grocery store was a welcome surprise. Following ID's advice, we decided to hope on the train and go to Media for dinner one night - my take on this - this is fairly easy for a parent who has the time and money for this kind of outing. I think it would be more of a special event for a Swarthmore student on a budget - requires some advance planning to allow for the time and money necessary.

    My advice to the original poster: Look through the CC postings for your schools of interest. You'll get a much better perspective on each college through the postings - ask yourself, do people address each other respectfully? Do they answer questions without belittling the questioner? Are they contributing to a "civil discourse"? What you see may answer some of the larger questions.
  • libartsmomlibartsmom Registered User Posts: 124 Junior Member
    My, what a number of grumpy people we have posting on this thread. Should anyone actually read this deeply into the thread, I would like them to know that Swarthmore students come from all over the world and the "walk score" obsession of multiple postings here is likely to seem myopic for many. My daughter is a Junior at Swarthmore. She would not contest anything folks have said about "the Ville." However, she would put in a plug for the following:

    1) Picking up the train into Philly at the base of campus is a big plus. She goes into Philly regularly and finds that navigating the city works very well through public transportation. And Philly is a great city in many respects. She has never lived near a city before and has really enjoyed Philly and the fact that she get can anywhere she needs to in the city thanks to the trains and a good map of the neighborhoods.

    2) The accessibility of the airport is a plus. When we were looking at colleges (we live a 19-hour drive from Swarthmore), we were concerned about the logistics of getting to the colleges. I know of other families who have just given up on some fine liberal arts colleges because getting there is just too complicated. The shuttle system (or a taxi if one forgets to sign up for the airport shuttle) works fabulously.

    3) The most important "walk score" my daughter gives to anything at Swarthmore is the one she gives to her daily runs or walks in Crum Woods. The wall-to-wall population of the East Coast would be really difficult for her but for Crum Woods. Crum Woods is where she recharges her batteries, studies, paints, etc. It's just a step away from campus but she can be all by herself there. When she is not in the woods, the botanical gardens that constitute the Swarthmore campus also are sustaining.

    Swarthmore is a multi-dimensional place with lots of options for multi-dimensional students. Not all of them seek the same thing in a campus - the key is to acknowledge that in addition to the top education one receives at Swarthmore, there are other features of it that are invisible or of no value to some but are deeply appreciated by others.
  • A.E.A.E. Registered User Posts: 398 Member
    Look, I'm glad your daughter enjoys communing with nature in the Crum Woods; I'm sure that everyone should have that precise priority. And I'm glad you think the airport and the train to Philly are plusses. It's important that you feel like you're getting your money's worth, because, if you didn't, it would only serve to put a damper on your daughter's college experience, and nobody wants that. But, this has little to do with the question posed in the OP, the question that I answered and that you (among others) have seemed to change to something that fits better with your own subjective reality. The surrounding town is terrible. End of story. I defy you to disagree with that statement.

    PS - Remind your daughter to bundle up when she's frolicking in the woods this winter. Sometimes college students think they're immortal and forget that hypothermia really does happen.
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