Rivenbark: Unheard-of colleges beckon, but daughter has her mind made up

October 19, 2013 

As the Princess gets closer to college-age, we are receiving tons of letters from schools that would love for her to visit and check them out. Strangely, many of them are in obscure parts of the Midwest. And they tend to be named after people you’ve never heard of, like Buckminster McHatterson or some such. Also they seem to have somewhat sketchy credentials ending with a too-long bragfest on things like “a rigorous Frisbee golf schedule!”

Every week, the letters pour in just like that time Duh Huby was in a fender bender and dozens of lawyers wrote to express concern. (“You may be much more severely injured than you realized. Is it just us or does your left leg look a little shorter than your right since the accident?”)

Each college seems so concerned about the Princess’ future that it’s almost worth visiting DeClaw University in Point-of-View, Wisconsin.

Almost. Some of these schools SOUND like colleges and universities you’ve heard of. Good ones, too. But it’s unlikely that anyone is going to be fooled for too long by “Harrvard” or “Princetown.”

Some of the smaller schools brag of impressive professor-student ratios and offer tons of financial aid because they have something called a “sizeable endowment.” Which, because I have the sense of humor of a 12-year-old boy, sounds vaguely nasty.

Every now and again, there is a school that I’ve actually heard of.

Last week, Vanderbilt reported in. I told the Princess that it’s probably a good school but, more important, it’s in Nashvegas, which is one of my very favorite places ever since I saw the mansions where the country music stars live outside town, and they really do have musical notes decorating the iron gates around the property.

It’s the little things.

It should be noted that none of this matters a whit. The Princess intends to apply to one college and one college only: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

I would like to say that this was a decision she reached after arduous research, numerous visits to other, er, campi, but, well, the truth is this has never been even remotely up for debate. Not since her first Halloween costume at age 4 months: a UNC cheerleader uniform complete with a Tar Heel tattoo on her cheek.

While several of my mom-friends tell tales of visiting as many as 15 schools, including treks to the West Coast and even overseas to find the perfect match for their darlings, at our house we are pretty much resigned to the fact that if the Princess doesn’t get into UNC, she will have to be content to spend the rest of her days sitting in her room eating spray cheese on Ritz crackers and watching Netflix. Which, when you get right down to it, sounds pretty awesome. At least to this 12-year-old boy.

rivenbark.com

Celia Rivenbark will speak and have a book-signing on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Program is free; signing line with book purchase. Quail Ridge Books & Music, 3522 Wade Ave., Raleigh. 919-828-1588. www.quailridgebooks.com.

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