A couple of weeks ago I drove my oldest son out to Stony Brook University for freshman orientation. I’m not sure which of us was more excited.
It was a lotÂ different from myÂ college,Â the Brooklyn Center of Long Island University. ThatÂ was a collection of buildings around a concerete yard,Â euphemistically describedÂ as “anÂ urban campus.” ThisÂ was in the early 1970s. when Brooklyn hadn’tÂ recoveredÂ from theÂ DodgersÂ leaving town andÂ there was a dangerous scent ofÂ decay all around.
In contrast,Â Stony Brook is a big-league college campus that stretches out in all directions.Â This SUNY schoolÂ won’t be confusedÂ with Georgetown, or Fordham orÂ even NYU, however. There’s lots of utilitarian ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s architecture, thoughÂ Stony BrookÂ seems to be compensatingÂ withÂ lots of greenery andÂ newer buildings that have aÂ friendly and generous feeling.
My son went to his orientation session and I went mine.Â It was thorough and ranÂ 6 1/2 hours. They told us aboutÂ aboutÂ academics, meal plans, campus jobs, and dorms that sometimes squeeze three incoming students into a room meant for two. TheyÂ talked about campus security, and if my son didn’t get the message thatÂ the dorm room needs to be locked when he goes out, IÂ did.
Then they told us thatÂ theÂ billÂ Â for tuition, room and boardÂ would be arriving soon.Â Oh, and it needs toÂ be paid byÂ Sept. 15.Â But since it’sÂ one-third the costÂ of a lot of privateÂ schools, I’m a bigÂ SUNY fan. Â I told myÂ neighbor, and now she’s teachng her 4-year-oldÂ to sayÂ SUNY – over and over.
At lunch a few of the parentsÂ wanderedÂ around the campus. We liked what we saw andÂ we wanted to go back to school. As for our kids?Â Let them wait their turn. They probably wouldn’t appreciate it as much as we would.
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