April 21 Day 409: An Eleven Hour Whirlwind

It’s crunch time. My youngest needs to make his college decision. But because of the pandemic, the only college visits he had were three years ago when he was dragged along on his brother’s tour. I promised before he made his final choice, we would visit the campuses he was considering.

I can neither confirm nor deny that there may-or-may-not have been a visit to Portland two weeks ago to walk around a closed campus. However today we officially visited Willamette University in Salem, OR. Three and a half hours driving down, three and a half hours exploring campus and downtown, and four hours home.

The weather was glorious. Seventy one degrees and clear skies. It felt like summer. We started by exploring the Riverfront Park.

I was jealous because in this one picture, I could imagine three different Math Around Town videos (the pedestrian bridge, the globe, and the Frank Gehry Pavilion currently under construction.)

Next we visited campus and talked with a friend (thanks Josh Laison), had a private tour (and even got into several buildings including Sciences, Math, and Music), and also talked with a current student with similar interests (Thanks again Josh. Seth was great.) We got to see the original piece of art that is on the cover of this month’s Math Horizon magazine and the MegaMenger Sponge.

Before returning to Tacoma, we went in search of the best local Chai latte and ended up at the Governor’s Cup—Guv’s Cup for those in the know. Zach confirmed that the chai was most excellent.

The Governor’s Cup where cephalopods pull shots, steam milk, and apparently participate in open mike performances.

The way home had many beautiful mountain views as I tried to attend the opening session of NCTM. My iPad had decent signal for the presentation by Jose Vilson. But I cannot recommend actively participating in a Zoom session while in a moving car. Just to confirm, I was not driving but it might have been distracting to the driver. And the signal strength diminished as we got further away from the city. I got dropped entirely but I tried.

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

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