After returning to work for a grand total of one day, I ran away from DC again to explore Ann Arbor. The campus visit was packed into two days, though at least I arrived Sunday afternoon (the 11th) and got some time to myself.
Upon landing in Detroit, I watched in horror as the taxi meter climbed to unfathomable numbers unsupported by an AmeriCorps stipend. As we approached the inn on campus, I stared, eyes wide, at how big and imposing all the buildings were. Some worker took pity on me inside the campus building, because the pure confusion I was feeling must’ve been written across my face—I assumed the inn would consist of, you know, one building, but instead it was located on the fourth floor.
Once I settled in, a current French student met me outside and took me on a tour of the campus and the town before leaving me to my own devices. I managed not to get lost as I wandered the busy streets and then made my way back to the inn to meet up with another prospective French student, A, and his partner. The three of us headed over to an Irish pub/restaurant for dinner, where, while we had a lovely dinner conversation, I yearned for the week I’d spent in Ireland. (Galway and Dublin were just too pretty.)
On Monday, I reluctantly forced myself out of the king-sized bed and proceeded to get lost in the Modern Languages building, but made it to breakfast early. The other 9 prospective students (3 French, 7 Spanish) slowly trickled in, and the graduate chair and graduate assistant held an informal Q&A session. Next on the schedule was a graduate teaching session, followed by a library tour (can I live there?), and then lunch with faculty and students.
I met so many people that I promptly forgot most of their names, oops. One of them took A and me to a local café for some delicious tea, and after I met with a professor, a bunch of prospective and current students sat and talked in a restaurant before heading over to the graduate chair’s house for dinner and a “party,” or endless social interaction that lasted until way past my bedtime…even though I left early before I fell asleep in my chair.
Tuesday was rather uneventful because I had to leave early in order to make it back to DC at an unreasonable time. A good chunk of us were probably half-asleep at breakfast, though at least some of us got an hour-long break to fight the urge to fall asleep. Current students came into the commons room to talk to us about housing and student life, and then we were supposed to go to lunch in small groups, but that plan fell apart and I went on a grocery store venture so that I could use my food stamps. #CityYearlife. A final meeting with a professor wrapped up my time at Michigan, because then I had to run out of his office to catch my taxi and get to the airport.
Everyone at my three campus visits has been so incredibly kind, I’m already dreading having to tell schools no. I’ve loved talking to all the professors, students, and graduate assistants that I’ve met, and having to decline their acceptances will crush a small part of me.