I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I love working in the admissions office. February was particularly exciting because there were so many prospective students on campus interviewing for scholarships (read more about scholarship opportunities at Transy here).
Last Friday morning, I gave a campus tour to the parents of an interviewing student. Their son was off sitting in on a class, and they wanted to kill some time. They were from St. Louis, Missouri and had never been to Transy before.
While I’d like to say as a disclaimer that I have had nothing but great tour experiences while working as an Admissions Ambassador, this one was probably my favorite so far.
Everything was pretty normal for the first half. I showed them my friend Sally’s dorm room, we checked out the cafeteria, saw the William T. Young Campus Center. I pointed out the first-year parking lot and showed off the fitness center and athletic facilities.
Things got extra-exciting when we walked through the Mitchell Fine Arts Center. Their son wants to study music technology, so they were interested in this building.
As we were walking down the hallway to exit MFA, the mom peered into a classroom and saw her son. He was sitting in on a music class in that hall. Exciting enough for her to see her oldest kid in a real college class. What a coincidence, right?
But then, Dr. Polashek, assistant professor of music and expert on the music technology program, happened to turn the corner on the way to his office. He stopped to introduce himself and welcomed them to campus.
Which would be perfect timing enough. When Dr. Polashek found out that their son, who he had met earlier that day, was interested in music tech, he offered to show us the Fine Arts Technology Lab (affectionately abbreviated FAT Lab by Transy students). After all, that’s where their son would be spending a lot of his time, composing music, recording, and doing whatever else you can do on those fancy computers in there.
But that lab isn’t something I could have taken the parents into. I pointed it out to them when we walked by, but I don’t have access to the inside.
Dr. Polashek did. We spent at least twenty minutes in the FAT Lab, looking into the sound booths, checking out projects current students were working on, and learning about all the opportunities students have in the music technology program.
As we left MFA to head to the next building on the tour, I felt compelled to tell those parents that the encounter with Dr. Polashek wasn’t staged or planned for their tour. It was such a crazy coincidence, I thought they had to be wondering if I’d planned it.
While they laughed and said I didn’t seem that sneaky, I explained that something about that chance encounter wasn’t all that surprising. Even though I had never met Dr. Polashek before, as a Transy professor, it didn’t shock me that he took time out of his schedule to give them individual attention.
Our professors do that all the time. Stop to have a conversation with a student they pass walking across campus. Meet after class to discuss a project. Talk about concerns you’re having outside of academic assignments. Give career advice.
We are so lucky to have professors that treat students — and their parents — as real people, and not just numbers.
Sometimes that’s hard to convey during a tour, but those parents got to see it first hand, and when I met their son that afternoon, he’d had a great experience in the classroom as well.
After almost two years here, it really shouldn’t surprise me anymore to see a professor go out of their way to help students.
But it never gets old.