We awoke to heavy rain and the prospect of touring two schools in that rain. I was not excited.
Our first stop was Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. Dean had already visited Wheaton with Clare on what he describes as a perfect fall day: abundant sunshine, colorful trees, crisp but not too chilly. Today was not a perfect fall day. It was a dreary spring day with, what we’d discover later that afternoon, record breaking rain.
I’d misplaced my (still wet from yesterday) gloves and forgot to take my Connecticut College poncho into the admissions office and didn’t want to go back to the car to get it. I was cranky and cold.
We were divided into groups and took off across the campus with a cheerful senior tour guide. Luckily for us we spent much talking time inside buildings and were able to walk quickly from one warm building to another.
As we entered our second building I heard a female voice behind me asking Dean if we were part of the college tour. I didn’t look around, but wondered why the newcomers had not joined the second group.
Later I saw the newcomer – a tall young woman with long dark brown hair dressed in opaque gray tights, a yellow cashmere cardigan under a waist length charcoal gray (leather?) jacket. On her feet she wore dark gray ankle-height Wellingtons. She was definitely the most stylish student in the tour group. I also took notice of her because she flashed a lovely smile at everyone she saw. No one, that I saw, returned the smile. I felt bad for her.
We continued the tour, and when we went into the residence hall I saw the mother of the newcomer. She reminded me of someone, but I couldn’t quite place her. Someone I’d seen on television or in the movies. I assumed that I’d figure it out later – who this woman looked like. We exchanged a couple of words in passing (excuse me / pardon me)
As we ended our tour another woman approached me and asked if I’d noticed the movie star among us. I said I thought I recognized someone, but couldn’t place her. The woman whispered, “Diane Lane”, and added, “but I don’t think she has kids the age of our kids.”
I snuck a few more glances at “Diane Lane” wondering if it could really be her. I convinced myself that it probably wasn’t her. She and her daughter left while I was using the bathroom. Neither Dean nor Andrew really noticed the mom so they couldn’t judge whether or not it was, in fact, Diane Lane. However they both noticed the daughter.
On the ride home we checked IMDB which told us she has a daughter born 9 months after Andrew was born so she could very well be looking at colleges this year. Andrew found a photograph of Diane Lane and her daughter on a website – tall, dark hair, same shaped face. That cinched it. We were convinced Diane Lane and her daughter were on our tour. I just checked again and saw more photos of her. I’m sure it was her.
Oh, and the college was cool too. Andrew might consider it, depending on whether or not Diane Lane’s daughter goes there how his other college visits go.
We drove through Boston via Boston University and Harvard (just to look) to get to Medford and Tufts University. I didn’t go on the tour because my coat was still wet and I still couldn’t find my gloves. I sat in the car in the parking garage while Dean and Andrew walked in the [record breaking] rain. The university is on a hill, so the wind was very strong. I do feel guilty for not trekking through the rain along with my husband and son, but the fact that I was warm and dry was enough to squash the guilt. Andrew probably won’t apply to Tufts because of their foreign language requirement.
So far this trip has been quite useful. Andrew is learning what he likes and doesn’t like about schools and will be able to make informed decisions about more schools he might like to visit and ones he knows he probably won’t like so much.
We’re on the road to Vermont now where we’ll stay in Rutland and drive to Middlebury tomorrow morning.