Wednesday, December 19, 2007

University of Toledo

“Well, there’s always UT”

At my high school, it was a guarantee that the majority of the graduating class would attend the University of Toledo of Bowling Green State University. I always pictured UT and especially BG as an extended high school, with the potential of running into old Algebra classmates very high. I never considered either school for undergrad, just because they didn’t fit what I wanted (small, tough academics, out of Ohio) but it was a joke at my high school.

In my last year of German in high school, our teacher went around the room asking everyone “UT? Or BG?” and we’d all laugh as the majority answered one or the other along with a few “Ohio State” or “Kent” thrown into the mix.

I have friends at both schools, and they like it. Both schools have good programs, I’m sure, but yesterday was one of those days I was glad I never went to UT.

Once I edited a paper for a friend who attends one of these schools, and it was something that would definitely earn a C or maybe a B- at Randolph Macon, but this person received an A after my edits. He joked that he had passed the “foreign language proficiency test” after taking two years in high school of a very light foreign language program. I knew I made the right academic choice with RMWC, but I am more glad than ever that I never chose UT.

Whenever I was facing a really difficult calculus or macroeconomic theory test, my friend Michael (who attended UT Law and had a great experience there) would always joke “Well, if it goes badly, there’s always UT…..”

Several weeks ago I had to call and schedule to take the GRE at the University of Toledo. My school schedule this last semester was hectic, and I frequently had a “phone calls to make/return” list that extended down a sheet of paper in my to-do book. Whenever I had a chance, I’d make a few calls, and one day I thought that scheduling the GRE would only take a few minutes. Well, whatever student was employed by the testing center was strangely unfamiliar with scheduling people. It took over 20 minutes just to sign up, and I had to spell my last name four times (my last name is ten letters, but it’s not difficult). He also tried to tell me that there was no Graytown, OH, although I assured him that I lived there. He told me they don’t accept cash, and even though I didn’t like giving my credit card number to this guy over the phone, I had no choice. This student also put me on hold after every question he asked. Our conversation went something like this.

“What test do you want to take?”

The general GRE.

”I’m putting you on hold.”

“Okay, what day?”

Any day in December in the morning. After the 15th is good.

“Okay, let me put you on hold.”

“Okay, I’m back”

And so it went on for nearly half an hour.

After I was finally registered for the test, I joked to my mom “Wow, I definitely made the right choice not applying to UT…”

Well, yesterday I did take the test, and what an experience. First of all, for several days before the test most of Northern Ohio experienced a huge snowstorm that cancelled school. The day before the test, I went off the road about 2 miles from my house, and the roads were definitely dangerous. Just to make sure, I called the testing center simply to ask what would happen if it was too dangerous to come take the test. They told me that if they were open, I should be there. When I explained that I lived 45 minutes from Toledo, they told me I might be excused if I could fax them a CNN report about how dangerous the weather was where I lived. If CNN ever covers Graytown weather, please let me know.

With that in mind, my mom and I figured that I had to get to the test. My car was in the shop getting the muffler replaced and my mom had to be at work in the morning and my brother needed to get to school. We got up at 5:30 in the morning, left my brother at the bus stop, and drove to Toledo.

I finally got there and took the test, which was pretty stressful. Afterwards, I asked the student in the testing center if he knew of any cab companies or busses. He seemed baffled that I didn’t have a car. Since this place (the Scott Park campus of UT) also administers the ACT, a high school test for college entrance), I thought it would be pretty common that some people didn’t have cars. I guess not. Perhaps it was my fault that I was relying on the students employed in the testing center, but they were all UT students and this one even had a “student government” shirt on so I thought he could help.

He informed me there was a bus stop about two miles from the campus, although he didn’t know what direction.

I called my mom and we found a cab company. At 11:45, I was told by the cab company that it would be about an hour before they could get to me. That wasn’t such a big problem.

The Scott Park campus is dead- completely dead. First of all, it’s after exams, and I have no idea what UT actually uses Scott Park for the begin with- the library was the size of two small classrooms, there was no wireless access, and vending machines provided the only link to food.

After an hour, no cab had showed up, so I called back. The same guy at Checker cab told me their radios were down but he was trying to get someone to come get me ( I just wanted to go over towards the Westfield mall near Monroe, which was a short 20 minute trip).

I kept calling the cab company back, but my mom was in her board meeting and I felt like I had no link to the outside world. After three and a half hours and repeated phone calls to the cab company, I was frustrated. I had asked people in every office in the building, and they knew nothing about the cabs or busses. None of them offered to help me, although many tried to give me driving directions. I had to explain multiple times that I didn’t have a car, and no one could even offer me a phone book!

Finally, my boyfriend, a knight in shining armor yesterday, called and pulled into a parking lot to look up cabs on the internet. He found a cab company that showed up within five minutes, and this cab company seemed familiar with the problems of the first company. I think I will report the bad company.

So, after eating breakfast extremely early, I finally ate lunch at 3:30 PM over near my gym in Toledo before working out. What a total mess!

So, I have to say it again:

I’m SO glad I never went to the University of Toledo!

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