Before going to Mount St. Mary's University on Monday, I had obviously heard of the school; I just didn't have a good sense of where it was. I think I have a good sense of direction and grasp of geography, but the vast expanse of Pennsylvania west of Philadelphia sometimes gets muddled in my head. I think part of it is my West Coast upbringing, where, to leave my house in Washington state and be in another state meant at least a three-hour drive--and that was just to get to Oregon. When I first arrived in Delaware for graduate school, I immediately called my mother and told her in astonishment that I could be in four different states in about thirty minutes. The idea seemed ludicrous.
So, it seemed ludicrous when I got directions to MSM from my soon-to-be-moved-from home in Pennsylvania that I would be driving in Pennsylvania for about two hours--and then about fifteen minutes in Maryland. Shouldn't I be driving most of the time in Maryland for a school that's in Maryland? My brain just still can't compute this geography, despite me having lived on the east coast now for 20 years.
Despite my brain's protestations, I did make it to MSM--or, as they like to call it, The Mount, which I think is awesome. And, it is on a mount: though not a place where one almost needs a sherpa like Duquesne, it does overlook the beautiful valley below, probably giving some much needed perspective to the students during those times of stress.
I met with the committed and engaged Career Center staff before talking with students about the program, many of whom were first-year students who were already thinking ahead. That's amazing to me, because during my first semester, I think I considered it accomplishment to remember to call my mom, let alone think about my future. I even had one student say that one of the top reasons he went to MSM was to come to Washington and intern. I can't wait to meet him when he does!
I also got to meet with a faculty member from the Business department, and she looked forward to sharing with her colleagues and students the possibilities of students coming down to DC to intern. We talked a little about how, despite DC being only 90 minutes away, it certainly is a different place altogether. I'm looking forward though to being back in the office, if only for a couple hours, and seeing DC once again.