It was a wild week. We left last Sunday to go into the city to visit Hofstra on Monday and for Alex and me to have a day on Tuesday (Rob had a big project meeting) and then to go to Philadelphia to see another school. The drive down was fun…and we loved driving through New Jersey with Alex exclaiming over the landscape, the sheer metal quality of that dystopic environment. It was beautiful to hear him process all that he was seeing, and see that world in a new way. We ended up down by the South Street Seaport (Peck Slip) at a Best Western hotel (very affordable) within walking distance to a slew of nice restaurants and stores…not the mall thing that the Seaport promises. It was great.
Monday, we got up and out to Hempstead, LI to find Hofstra, an oasis among the over signed stores, the tire companies and the sheer chock a block activity that Hempstead turnpike holds. Hofstra is a campus that is an arboretium—beautifully groomed with lots of quads filled with nice sculpture and brick buildings that are very low scaled —no skyscrapers. One side of the campus is the academic world, the other, on the other side of the highway (spanned by three well designed bridges that integrates one side with the other without the hassle of traffic) is the housing/sports etc. Food was good as we had lunch the two days we were on campus (Monday and Wednesday).
There is a busy, can do quality to this school with a diverse student body, Div. 1 Sports, and a music program that has an undergraduate degree in Music Composition. We visited the Music School (when we returned on Wednesday versus going to Philadelphia) and Alex was able to interview the professor of compostion/theory who writes film scores and uses students to help him. We is a bushy tailed, interesting, lively person who has great chemistry…and Alex was appropriately intimidated and stimulated at the same time. Last year the professor created 12 scores. The campus abbuts the Nassau Colliseum with the school bus taking kids there, the bus, the mall, and the Mineola train station to make it easier for the students to get around and about. Plus, the draw of NYC and the same with Jones Beach is amazing. I mean, all the culture and fun of the city with white beaches ten minutes away. He will have many, many options for fun and to learn.
There isn’t one particular type of Hofstra student…the thing that makes them consistent is an attitude, a reality, and excitement about the campus and what they are doing. We met with the group that offers support to students with learning disabilities—-and once again, we saw can do, no problem, no evidence that anything changes but help (scheduled) for the student…to help success to happen. It is not about short buses or being set apart. Alex was beaming after his interview as he loved the director of this program and her straight up, straight forward, clear way of communicating and not making him “special”. Alex started talking about possibilities that he didnt have to invent (like other programs), about internships, about how he can dive into his passion. Next step is an audition to see if he can pursue a BS in Music Composition (vs. a BA). What with the practice around NYSSMA, he will have a chance to use that work twice. My heart is lighter. I feel like there is hope for happiness and success.
Must go as its a late one…right now. More tomorrow.