When my grandmother arrived for my graduation ceremony at Boston University, she looked around at Kenmore Square and up Commonwealth Avenue, and asked, “Where’s the campus?”
“You’re on it,” I replied, as the “T” trolley zoomed by.
“This isn’t a campus,” she assessed. “This is a street!”
She was right, of course. BU doesn’t have the swaths of green grass associated with the traditional college campus, like you see in movies. But the city school had suited me just fine for four years, and I was glad I went there.
“BU — Big and Ugly,” I offered, though the Ugly part isn’t quite true. BU’s now 175-year history shines through in its fine architecture. And there are a few strips of grass here and there. Still, it seemed to satisfy Gram’s assessment of my soon-to-be alma mater.
Now my son is looking at city schools — art schools — for college. We’ve visited Suffolk University in downtown Boston and the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. We have a trip back to Beantown planned to see MassArt, Lesley University, and yes, BU. We’ll visit Philly in 2015 to see the Arts Institute and Temple University, too.
I can picture my son playing the accordion for cash out on the Boston Common, or in the G train subway stop near Pratt. I see him climbing over mounds of shoveled snow to get to class in January, and I can envision him drawing in the cafeteria while someone invites him to see a show downtown.
Wherever he winds up, he’ll have the city school experience that I loved (and my grandmother didn’t quite understand.) And I’ll get the chance to walk through my
sidewalk campus once again, remembering my years at my own city school.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Kaplan Test Prep. I received compensation to write this post, and any opinions expressed are my own, and reflect my actual experience.