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May 23, 2019
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College Visit

Mar 14 2019

Our 17 year old, Rose, is a senior in high school. She has been saying for a while that she wants to major in nursing when she goes to college, and in her research found that the University of Maine at Fort Kent has the best nursing program in the U Maine system. Never mind the UMFK is 350 north of here and has notoriously long, cold winters. She was accepted during early admission, and has already been awarded significant scholarship money already.

Monday was 'accepted student day' at UMFK, so Rose, Sue and I drove north Sunday (staying about two hours ahead of a northbound snowstorm), stayed in Fort Fairfield with family-friend-almost-daughter Tammy (love the new place, Tammy!) woke up, cleared the snow off of our car, and drove the remaining 40 miles to UMFK. Whew!

UMFK is a nice, small campus surrounded by the town of Fort Kent, which has a Subway, a couple grocery stores, pharmacy, churches, and a movie theatre that has free admission for all UMFK students. The college put on a good program for both the accepted students and their parents. Rose got to spend time in the nursing lab. Apparently they have robotic 'patients' who can be programmed to tell the students their symptoms, develop rashes, bleed, have a pulse and other vital signs, and one even gives birth! No wonder its rated #1 in Maine.

Then the school had the incoming Freshmen do a scavenger hunt around campus. Rose was with two other girls from southern Maine (there is no further northern Maine when you're in Fort Kent). When we reconnected in the dining hall, Rose discretely made it clear that she wanted to sit with her new friends, and Mom and Dad could make ourselves scarce. Good thing, too. During lunch I spilled an entire cup of coffee in my lap. She would have been mortified.

The food in the cafeteria was really good for college food, and there was a variety of choices. The head of the kitchen- who looked remarkably like the Skipper from Gilligan's Island- greeted all the guests as we came in and told us about their food plans. They do a lot of international meals, which I know will appeal to Rose. She loves to try new foods.

So we left UMFK feeling very confident that Rose had made a good choice for next year: good food, amazing educational opportunities, free movies, and friends like Tammy and other people she's known her whole life from our summers up north within an hours drive. I'm in no rush for September to come when Sue and I enter the world of the empty nest, but when it comes, it's nice to know she's to the right school.

PS: For a school of under 1000, they pride themselves on having a large number of foreign students. This is important to us, and something Rose is looking forward to. We met students from England, Ireland, Nigeria, Jamaica, and Trinidad / Tobago. There was even a girl from Canada. But she probably walks to school.

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