Or Irving, rather. But it is called The University of Dallas.
Yes, I went to UD! Last Friday and Saturday, I found myself once again on campus, this time with a sidekick. Dad.
We were there for the Aspiring Scholars Preview. Basically you go to classes and a bunch of info sessions where you learn about the various aspects of the university, and admissions and financial aid.
The classes? WERE AWESOME! We went to history (Western Civilizations II), English (Lit Traditions IV) and drama (Shakespeare Through Music). The history class was fascinating. Great professor, he covered the 1790s in France, in fair detail, in less than an hour. I don't know much about that time period/the French Revolution so it was mostly new info for me. I didn't take notes, though...I'm not real experienced with that so I prefer to just listen. Dad (who was a history major) took three pages of notes.
English class, again, absolutely fascinating. The teacher was Father Robert Maguire, a Cistercian priest. He gave a lecture at Arete so I was more or less prepared for little things like this:
(Father points at a student) "You're daydreaming."
"Huh wha? Yes Father?"
"You were daydreaming. You were, weren't you?"
"...yeah? Yes? I was?"
"You know how I knew you were daydreaming?"
"Wanna know how I knew?"
"I used to be an expert daydreamer."
Their class was just finishing up Moby Dick. Neither Dad nor I have ever read Moby Dick, but Father's explanation of the plot and the underlying themes was so incredibly fascinating that Dad bought the book for himself at the school's bookstore afterwards. I intend to try my hand at it this summer. I really really hope I get to be in that class someday so I can hear the classes for the rest of the book.
Shakespeare Through Music was also taught by someone I recognized from Arete. Dr. Dupree is a truly remarkable fellow. He plays I don't know how many musical instruments...his areas of expertise could probably span half of the curriculum...he speaks at least 8 languages and a couple of ancient ones.
The class was on "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (woo! something I'm familiar with!), and we listened to parts of a recording of a performance with incidental music and cue music. I think it was mostly, actually it might have been all, Mendelssohn's work. Of course, I recognized the wedding song. EVERYBODY has heard that. I loved how you could really tell the difference between, for example, the fairy themes and the players' themes. We did hear some of the dialogue, and I've decided that the mechanics should always be played with Cockney accents.
After all that began the various information sessions. The welcome speeches, the admission counselor panel. Fun stuff like that. We ended the day with a taste of student life; ice cream and a movie with the Society of Physics Students. The SPS consists of about a dozen people, who were joined by one or two friends and us. This particular event was not on the list of recommended fun stuff for the ASAPers, but Dad and I found out about via posters. It was quite fun, actually. The ice cream was being made right there: with liquid nitrogen. They are all science majors, after all. The movie? None other than "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure". You gotta admit, it's nice after a long day of classes and information to just sit back and laugh at some sheer stupidity. It's especially funny because, for instance, everyone there had studied Socrates, so this little piece of dialogue:
Bill: "The only thing I know is that I know nothing." *puzzled face*
Ted: ......That's us, dude!
Probably got the most laughs for the whole movie out of the UDers.
Saturday dawned, and started with an info session about spiritual life at UD. The spiritual director talked all about the Catholic aspects of it, and how open it is, and how she tries to make sure everyone, no matter their creed, get's to the church they need to go to. There's even a group there that call themselves the "Protestant Posse" who arrange for rides to nearby Protestant churches. :-D They do encourage everybody to go to Mass and they have RCIA for folks considering conversion.
And then- dundundun! -The Test. The Aspiring Scholars Award Program test (usually abbreviated to the ASAP). It was one hour questions, one hour essay. The whole idea of the test is to give you a sample of what they study in their Core Curriculum, and pretty much to test your UD compatibility. Good scores also happen to earn scholarship money. Other benefits of taking the ASAP are that when you apply to UD, you don't have to pay the application fee and one letter of recommendation is waived. I'm not sure if this is a benefit or not, but the essay you write for the test becomes you application essay.
It wasn't too bad. It was hard, certainly, since it consists of college work and we were all just lowly high school juniors. My essay could have been better, could have been worse. :-/ The really sad part of all this? I don't get to find out how I did on the test until I get accepted to UD.
After the test was a session about the Rome semester. Which is amazing. I'm not going to get into all of that right now but if anyone wants to hear more about it (or anything else about UD) they can email or FB me and I'll gladly rave about it all. Then a goodbye talk, then we all filled out a survey about the weekend. For doing that we got free t-shirts, win! After that, lunch and a special meeting for all the homeschoolers with the homeschool admission counselor. Dad and I hung around for a little while after that, went up in the Tower and drove back home.
Farewell, Carol (Sister Geraldine)
11 months ago