Where are the peeps?

<p>With all the talk of Mac being an up and coming school, and the terrific resources and reputation, why so little conversation here? Why the lack of enthusiasm for a school which seems to completely hold its own with the other LACs?</p>

<p>I have often wondered the same thing. I certainly would not label Mac students apathetic. Perhaps it is mostly due to the fact that Mac does not have as many applicants as some of the other colleges in this category. I do find that most CC posts are done by parents or prospective students. Regardless, Mac is a wonderful school and deserves its up and coming status!</p>

<p>My D, a rising sophomore at Mac, has never shown any interest in CC. However, she loves
Mac and I'm sure would be happy to answer any questions I might relay to her (as long as not too much identifying info is revealed-it is a small school!)</p>

<p>I don't think anyone should ever assume that a lack of current student participation in any forum reflects negatively on the school. Maybe it's a positive that the kids are so busy and invested in their experience that they don't need to spend their time on CC!</p>

<p>I think the threads for most schools are parents and prospectives, and those schools that have current students are usually the same few kids.</p>

<p>farfella....please yes, could you ask her if she knows anything about the classics program? DS is a Classics nut, and wants to be sure he is in a place where there is plenty of depth and breadth to the program (usually the deprtments are pretty small). He wants a small liberal arts college with easy access to a mojor city (there are not very many of those!) since that would facilitate trips to museums with antiquities collections (and would be great for internships, too).</p>

<p>Also, trying to get my son over the name recognition piece....we live in the deep south, and no one has heard of Macalester.....but I keep telling him, that's actually could be a great benefit for him when it comes to admissions. Honestly, with all I read about Mac, it seems to be the best kept secret around.....</p>

<p>Finally, we are visiting in July. Mac on one afternoon, the Carleton early the next morning. We were thinking it would be much more interesting to sleep in St. Paul the night between the two visits so that he could experience the city, walk around campus a while on his own to get the feel. Would the drive to Carleton be tough in the morning with traffic? We'd really like to stay in St. Paul that night, are there any hotels near the Mac campus? And any restaurants, coffee shops, places he shouldn't miss?</p>

<p>I wish he could see the school when the students are there, but it was very difficult to schedule since we start school in early August here, and I was able to get a great airfare for July.</p>

<p>I would love, love to hear anyone's reasons for choosing Mac over the other great LACs ou there! Thanks!</p>

<p>Yes, echo ilmkmom's interest in Mac. We are planning to visit in late August - similar schedule with first night in St. Paul, then drive to Carleton. Would love to learn more about others' impressions of Mac!</p>

<p>We stay at the Best Western-Bandana Square. It was on a list provided by Macalester for the accepted students weekend and we've found it to be convenient and reasonably priced (there is a small discount if you tell them you're visiting Mac), plus my husband is a railroad buff. :) There are overnight accomodations on campus in the Alumni House. If you are interested, you can view photos at the website.</p>

<p>Grand Avenue runs east to west through the campus and is the main shopping/dining area. We enjoy eating at the Khyber Pass, a block east of campus, and Cafe Latte, which is further east and not within walking distance. If you stroll along Grand Avenue you'll find any number/variety of places to dine or shop.</p>

<p>I'll ask my D about Classics (not her area, but she may know someone). Mac does belong to the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities through which students can cross register at several other colleges. A shuttle bus runs between the different schools. I mention it because there may be additional Classics courses at the other schools. I'll also ask her about travel time to Northfield-she's gone there for sports.</p>

<p>I could tell you all the things we like/she loves about Mac but I don't know that they would differentiate the school from other LACs. The thing that does make a big difference, as I think you are already aware, is its location. In my D's experience. the school reaches out to the city (make that cities) and the city (cities) come to the campus.</p>

<p>ilmkmom- I asked my daughter about the Classics department and she knows two young women, one majoring in Classical Languages and other in Classical Archaeology. The second is on a dig in Greece this summer. As regards to your other post about the Classics at Mac, she really can't say anything beyond they both love their studies.
As for the drive to Carleton, "We were on a bus, Mom, and I was studying. I just know that we got there on schedule." Sorry, we've less than a wealth of information!
Interestingly, though, she knows three sets of siblings where one has gone to Carleton and the other to Mac.</p>

<p>Hi, I was just reading my mom's post and the thread on a whim and your son's concern about name recognition certainly resonates with me and many of the Mac students with whom I am friends and with whom I am merely acquainted. All of us encountered blank looks and banal remarks like, "Oh...that's nice." when we told our friends and teachers that we were accepted at Macalester. I had trouble with this myself, and one of my teachers (a saving grace who knew about Macalester) put me in contact with his friend, a retired admissions officer at Northwestern, to give me an unbiased perspective on deciding between Mac and an east coast school. She summed up what all students at Macalester have to accept: midwestern schools of caliber just don't get the same recognition or have the same shroud of sophistication as east coast schools. That said, Macalester is a wonderful institution and just because a bunch of 17 and 18 year olds and counselors well versed in state schools and ivies don't know much about it doesn't mean it's obscure. I know it's hard to not get hung up on rankings and name recognition, but I honestly think it makes the Mac community all the more special. We all love Macalester, we all know we're getting a great education, and when we randomly encounter a Mac alum, the excitement and sense of connection is all the sweeter...and that fact Kofi Annan graduated from Mac certainly helps :)</p>

I've stayed at Alumni House several times. The location is great (it's right on campus) and the rooms are very comfortable. No email; you have to call to make a reservation.</p>

<p>I'm a University of Minnesota student (just down university avenue, 5 minutes away) and I can confirm Macalester's merit. Firsty, the campus is gorgeous. It's small, secure, intimate, etc. However, it's also in a fantastic part of St. Paul and offers a safe, comfortable campus while being very close to all the cities
have to offer. It's an ideal living situation. That said, every Mac student I know makes sure to tell me that the school is composed of students who LOVE and swear by all things academia. Although this is great, I have toured the campus on a Friday and Saturday night and seen a completely desolete campus with nothing going on other than a few kids reading at some picnic tables. If this is what you want- look no further. If you want more going on, this is still probably a good choice because you can obviously still be involved in sports and clubs, plus there are so many other colleges around that you're bound to
find something either at another school or in st Paul or Minneapolis. That said, my high school friends that attend say that you should commit before you get to campus to study on Friday and saturday nights- that's what everyone else does.</p>

<p>Isn't that pattern typical of a lot of schools in urban areas? The campus kind of empties out from people leaving to do things in the city/off campus? </p>

<p>I've heard a mix of things from students there actually--some people have described it the same way you do essentially and some people have actually said there's a campus bubble problem (the guy who said this is a bike nut who goes into the city every weekend, though). Studying on Friday and Saturday is a bit stronger than they've put it, and most of the people I talked to seemed to do a lot of non-academic/non-school stuff. That being said Mac is seriously intense academically (which is something I like). </p>

<p>I agree with you completely on the living situation observation, that's one of the main reasons I decided to go there. I have to stop reading AV Club Twin Cities because every time I do I find out about another amazing band that's stopping in the area. When I visited during the spring sampler I looked in the paper: Spoon, Quasi, Dead Prez, and Rogue Wave all stopped by in the same week. Minneapolis/St. Paul is a pretty happening place from what I gather.</p>

<p>As for non-city things that differentiate from other LACs I can't say much because Mac was the only one I really considered, partially because of the city and generally strong science departments. I'm doing neuroscience so the linguistics is definitely a plus. I would have to say that Mac is at the same time activist and not overly serious about itself, which is a pretty great combination. Understand that when I say activist I mean interested in solutions and action, I don't mean "likes to protest a lot." I suppose the second definition is true too, but as my host said "we could hold protests, but everyone would show up." It's a bit liberal if you haven't heard--but not everyone there is political.</p>

<p>By the way, I'm a rising freshman, so this impression is based on research/visiting not going there.</p>

<p>It's atypical to see an empty campus on weekends — that mostly happens during break periods, summer, or when it's really cold. </p>

<p>It can seem that way when there are no major events going on in the campus buildings, because students would likely be doing things in the dorms/off-campus houses. Most students don't just rush off into the city— it's kind of the opposite... too many people stuck on campus!</p>

<p>There's some amazing stuff going on in the TC (particularly in the warmer months), but it can take a while to discover some of the really great things. There is a huge DIY/artist community.</p>


<p>Not sure if you made your visit yet. You'll find lots of interesting restaurants in the miles up and down Grand Avenue, including near campus. It's also fun to drive up and down Summit Ave., paralleling Grand one block north. There are many restored old homes here, older as you approach downtown, that gives you a sense of St. Paul's history.</p>

<p>To get to Carleton I suggest you go east down Grand until you get to the somewhat undermarked exit ramp that takes you down to the spur called Ayd Mill Road. Take that south until it merges onto 35E, and take 35E south until it merges with 35W (in Burnsville) and forms 35 that goes to Northfield. Traffic on this route should be relatively free-flowing even on a weekday morning (about 45 minutes to Northfield). Don't try to work your way over to Minneapolis and 35W to go south. Much more of a headache.</p>

<p>I'll revive this thread a bit. While I'm not attending Mac next year, it was one of my top choices and I have the utmost respect for it as an institution. The Twin Cities are a great place to be and the campus is beautiful - there is definitely a wealth of activities around the school! And actually, my little sister liked it so much that Macalester has become her dream school. I would encourage anyone who is thinking of attending Macalester to DEFINITELY visit because it is an entirely different experience than simply reading about it.</p>

<p>IMO, I think the reason there are fewer conversations on the MAC site, is because people (students and their parents) drawn to MAC are somewhat turned off by the obsessive and competitive nature of CC. This was the case for my daughter who will be a Jr. and is very happy at Macalester. Maybe another reason is because they want to keep it a bit of a "secret" -- how wonderful a school it is.</p>