Ever since Vincenzo started his sophomore year, our mailbox has been bombarded letters with such ferocity, you’d think Hogwarts was trying to get ahold of him. We open each in hopes of finding the “unsubscribe” button at the bottom. So far no luck, but in the search, we did find a nonconventional letter, sent by Kenyon University.
Transcription of back:
Ten feet wide, nearly a mile long, Middle Path runs the length of Kenyon, bisecting but never dividing. A central line that takes you where you’re going, invites you to cross over, to bump into one another, to pause and reflect. It’s our main drag, our beating heart, connecting us to this place and to each other.
Not to brag, but my college had paved paths. And to save you some trouble, it’s not in Kenya. It’s in Ohio.
The poster was the only thing in the envelope. Not a word of academics, no student testimonies, no glossy pictures of campus life, not even a mention of ROTC.
I looked it up. It’s actually quite a nice path.
I think we’ll hang the letter, if you can call it that, in Vincenzo’s room, as a kind of warning: get good grades or you will be choosing colleges based on the materials of their paths.
Oh woah woah woah, guys. Slow down! There’s controversy! There have been paving rumors! Not everyone is able to equally access Middle Path. Looks like Middle Path does “divide” after all. Proponents of the path say it should remain gravel, for tradition’s sake. Opponents say this is the same argument people use in favor of hazing. My question for Kenyon students is this: When the path invites you to “cross over,” which side will you stand on? Who will you accidentally “bump into” on the way?
Wait, where am I? What is it I started out writing about? I have strayed from the straight line the path was meant to keep me on! Let’s zoom out to look at this clearly:
There exists in this country (not in Kenya) a college that wants us to give them tens of thousands of dollars plus four years of our son’s life, and their most compelling reason to do so—no, their only reason to do so—is that they have a gravel path.
But what’s even crazier is that their campaign is working. Kenyon is the only college from the big stack of junk mail whose website I have visited. It’s the only one I’ve blogged about. It’s likely the only one you’ve read about lately.
I am normally a person who does not like to be manipulated, but honestly I am too awed by the strategy to be upset. The central line has, indeed, taken me where I’m going. Or at least to where I’ve been.
If only it could tell me where I am now.
Is “confused” a place?
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE: