13 July 2014

Postcards from Our College Tour

Here I sit, finally home after more than two weeks on the road.  Funny...sounds like I have been touring with a band.  Anyway, my plan before I left was to write a "postcard" every day.  The thought of sharing experiences of our road trip reminded me of blogging in England.  I was really excited to have the opportunity again.  Then it happens.  You know, LIFE.  You start out fresh and organized but it is a short journey to worn out and disheveled.  And if I think back to the day of departure, I don't know about you but I rarely leave *fresh*.  More like exhausted from all the preparation.

I still want to share some of our experiences so I will give you some photo postcards and the thoughts that come to mind.  Here goes:

Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia

First stop:  Washington and Lee University.  W and L is a cozy school in a quaint town in the rolling hills of the Shenandoah Valley.  Everything about the school is manageable and the thought of sending my first born here makes my heart happy and at peace.  It feels like high school kicked up a notch.  It feels safe, like nothing bad could possibly happen here.  It is well-manicured and well-run.  It is small enough that for the most part, like the bar Cheers, "everyone knows your name".  What mom wouldn't be happy sending her baby into the world in such a gentle way.  Gentle reminds me of genteel which reminds me of the South and the tradition of gentlemen.  Both George Washington and Robert E. Lee were, if nothing else, the consummate Southern gentlemen.  This legacy is strongly felt in the Honor Code.  The W&L website explains it best: 

The Honor System is one of Washington and Lee University’s most important traditions and traces its roots to the mid-1840s at Washington College.  During Robert E. Lee’s presidency (1865-1870) the Honor System under which students live today took form.  Even more important, he did away with the former written rules and regulations and established one central idea: that each student "conduct himself as a gentleman."  As a result, today’s understanding of the Honor System has one central tenet, that breaches of the community’s trust will not be tolerated.  Trust, safety, student autonomy- just a few more reasons that W&L is such an unusual place.

A school that encourages my son to "conduct himself as a gentleman".  What's not to love?

More postcards to come,

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