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Kenyon College
Where We Arrive Children and Leave Adults
26th-Feb-2006 02:36 am
Early prospie here. Here is an obligatory survey.

Eight Questions of Doom:
1. What is your favorite thing about Kenyon?
2. Academics- any general criticisms or complements?
3. What do you not like about Kenyon? How often do people complain?
4. Anyone take Anthropology or Religious Studies? If so, opinions? How about Creative Writing or Music? How difficult is it to get into ensembles or fiction classes?
5. What's the religious majority? Is religion a social aspect at all?
6. Besides studying, what do you do around campus?
7. How often does it rain?
8. Why do you think you got into Kenyon?

Thank you muchly!
26th-Feb-2006 09:22 am (UTC)
It's 4am and I can't sleep, so I'm gonna do this. I'm a freshman here, mostly undecided, major-wise, but very sure about concentrating in IPHS (Integrated Program in Humane Studies) and sort of toying with the idea of going into Psychology.

1. Kenyon's just such a little world unto itself - you come here and it's like you're in a theme park, almost. Main Street USA. This can be aggravating, but most of the time it's soothing to have no other obligations other than just being a college student in a little college village. I don't know if I explained it well enough - I guess it's just this vibe of serenity that I get here.
2. The things the viewbooks tell you about accessible professors are true - office hours are convenient and most of the profs I've met are willing to discuss anything and everything with their students. The academics are challenging, but people aren't competitive, which translates into a sort of "god damn this essay is hard" camaraderie.
3. It's extremely easy to go a little stir-crazy here - we really do live in a little bubble, so once in awhile you just gotta get out, go to Mt. Vernon or Columbus or something.
4. I know that Intro Anthropology classes are somewhat difficult to get into, but most people who are in Anth classes really love them. You start out taking Bio Anthropology and then move on to the cultural side of things. I've heard great things about Religious Studies. I can't help you with the Creative Writing or Music questions. I'm in the Community Choir here, which is basically completely open and a lot of fun.
5. Jeez, I don't know. I think it's a pretty secular campus, but I haven't really delved into that scene. I don't get a vibe of any religious majority really dominating the religious life here, though.
6. I'm not very involved, extracurricularly (that's not a word. oh well). When I'm not studying, I'm doing normal stupid teenage stuff with my group of friends, who are all amazing. On weekends we usually go out, wandering around campus, going to parties in dorm lounges or in the apartment residences. The party scene is pretty low-key here - people are laid back and usually very friendly, and I really don't think there's such a thing as an exclusive party here.
7. Oh, god. Is rain a bad thing to you? Do you melt? I don't think it rains a lot here - I mean, in late autumn it rained a lot but I think that sort of comes with the season. We got socked with an arm of Katrina - torrential rain. That was fun. I wore my poncho. Good times.
8. Well, I had the GPA and the ACT score to give me a pretty good chance, but I think that in the application process it all comes down to essays and interviews. I struck up a good rapport with my interviewer and I write pretty well, so I think that helped out my case a lot. I also applied ED. But if you're looking for a good admissions strategy, I would definitely recommend making yourself known - call with questions, e-mail, whatever. Get yourself out of the crowd, give yourself a voice, you know?

Hope that helped. Obviously I love to talk (especially at 4am!), so feel free to ask me whatever else.
26th-Feb-2006 09:33 am (UTC)
To answer your question, I adore rain. Recently, it rained here in Dallas for more than a straight 24 hours(it's rare for it to be that steady), and I haven't been this weather-happy in forever.

Thank you; it has helped.
2nd-Apr-2006 05:13 am (UTC)
1. The professors. Not only do they know your name, they know your name two years later and ask after your family. My freshman Russian professor basically adopted me, and I would actually count one of my history professors and one of my political science professors as friends, not just teachers.
2. Well, classes vary greatly, of course. One thing I learned since coming here: 8 AM classes are sadly abnormal and not to be indulged in except under extreme duress.
3. People complain about the food, but it's kind of a comfortable griping, more than anything serious. I've been here for three years now, and the food's gotten better every year (and is much better than the schools I visited on my pre-applying-to-college trip).
4. Music I can answer (it's my second major). The professors are great. Doc Locke (choirs, orchestra) is an iconic figure. Prof Buehrer (theory, jazz studies) is a really great guy, but his theory classes, which are required for the major or minor, are the hardest classes I've taken at Kenyon. Professor Sanders (history, Bach scholar) is fun and his history classes tend to get taken up a lot by music clips (a good thing if you like listening to the music and/or didn't do the reading). Professor Malawey I don't know much about, as she's new this year, but she's finishing up her doctoral dissertation on Bjork, so I figure she's interesting. H (Professor Heuchemer, history & symphonic wind ensemble) is quirky and fun - I took a seminar with him that had me, one other guy, and an alumna in it, and it was a mindblowingly incredible learning experience. That's the faculty, and then there's all the adjuncts who teach the lessons and some of the ensembles. As for how hard it is to get into ensembles - Chamber Choir is incredibly hard. If you sing like Renee Fleming, you might get in. Community Choir is open to everybody, including professors and community members, and it rocks. Orchestra depends on the instrument and how good you are. Symphonic Wind Ensemble is not hard to get into. The smaller ensembles (like Flute Choir) don't require auditions.
5. Religion? Let's see. Hillel (that's the Jewish community) has a house and puts on events for the Jewish community and community at large. I know about a lot of their events because my PO-box-mate never checks her mail and so there's always stuff from them piling up in there. The Catholics don't maintain much a presence at all. The Episcopalians have a choir and the beautiful church that's been here from time immemorial. There's a nondenominational Christian group that meets Friday nights (Friday Night Fellowship), which has a lot of amazing people in it. But overall, no, I don't think religion is much of a social aspect. It's there for you to find if you want it, but it doesn't make itself forcefully known.
6. Practice flute & voice. Work at the library (8 hrs. a week). Work as a Russian Apprentice Teacher (one of the most rewarding things I've done at Kenyon. 6 hrs. a week). Usher at music concerts. Serve on the History Student Committee. Play in Flute Choir. Play in Orchestra or Symphonic Wind Ensemble or sing in Opera Workshop (i.e. not in all semesters). Hang out in the amazing used bookstore. Read outside on sunny days. Go to history lunches. Hmmm, I can't think of anything else right now.
7. Depends on the season. Much more often than California, where it rains off and on during the three winter months and not at all the rest of the year, so I'm going to go with a whole heck of a lot. Compared to my previous experience, anyway. You might want to get a Midwesterner for a more accurate assessment.
8. Well, you're looking for honesty. Two reasons. First, I had a 35 on the ACT, along with 9 APs and nearly two years worth of community college credit (though it didn't do me any good here). Second, I was an oddity, and colleges are always looking at diversifying their classes. I was a fifteen-year-old (sixteen by the time I matriculated) homeschooled kid with geek scores yet a writer and a dreamer. If you're looking for advice, I second Nina's - make yourself stand out in some way. Don't send cookies to the admissions office or anything crazy, but do make it so they remember you. An interview is always a plus.

I hope all that helped! Back to writing a paper. :)
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