Madison Wisconsin

Old Jul 30th, 2006, 03:45 PM
  #41  
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Thanks, Lynn. Now we just have to worry about whether he'll get in!
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Old Jul 30th, 2006, 09:13 PM
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Hi Caph52 - oh yes indeedy it was HOT this weekend. Hubby and I went to a steakhouse -Johnny Delmonico's- near the Capital Satuday evening (hope you walked inside the Capital Building on Sat morn) and then took a walk around the Square. Even at 10 pm it was blasted hot.

By the way - my neighber will have two sons at Madison this year, one a freshman, one a sophomore. The sophomore is going to be at Liz Waters this year, but last year when he started school he was a bit wary of the size of the school too. He joined/lived in the Bradley Learning Community, which I think really made him feel a bit more secure, and made the campus feel a little less overwhelming. You and your son might want to look into it.
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Old Jul 30th, 2006, 09:58 PM
  #43  
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Thanks, HappyCheesehead. Is Bradley Learning Community the tall bldg with the sea-green panels? If so, the tour guide mentioned it. Our son thought it sounded like a good place to put first on his list of housing choices! However, Liz Waters sounded very good too. As did the new Og (?) bldg or center or whatever. The guide mentioned that it will have suites and singles.

Our daughter was in a single her freshman and sophomore year (she'll go into an on-campus apartment this year). But she was telling me tonight that she thinks it makes a big difference that she was on a campus where 80% of freshman are in singles. She said that she's been told that, on campuses where most freshmen have roommates, kids in singles tend to feel isolated. And that makes a lot of sense. However, since we have just the two kids, one of each, obviously neither has ever had to share a room...So much to consider!

I really appreciate your sharing the info about Bradley Learning Community.

Our extreme heat warning is supposed to expire Tuesday. Hope yours does too!

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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 06:46 AM
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CAPH52:

Glad you enjoyed your trip! I'm also a UW alum. I agree the size of the university can be overwhelming. Encourage your son to seek out new friends and contacts. As someone before mentioned, there is a niche for almost anyone. The key is finding it. Looking back, I wish I had been more assertive in doing just what I suggest.

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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 07:52 AM
  #45  
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Good advice, xxxx. Thanks!
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 09:36 AM
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Thanks for the report. I particularly enjoyed the parts about the heat. I remember when we visited to plan our move to Madison about 17 years ago, it was 100 degrees, and all the grass was yellow from a major drought. Coming from NC, I survived the heat, walking the entire campus. It was still pretty hot though. It is not a good indication of the weather in Madison. It was more of an adjustment to deal with the winter temps! Glad you liked the city. It is indeed a huge university, but the education is first rate, and there is lots to do.
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 01:22 PM
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Good luck to your son. I hope he gets in.

Our middle son graduated from UW in May (EE Major). He of course had a job lined up 2 months before graduation. Really, many companies recruit heavily there.
We loved visiting him there. He was in Ogg his freshman year. But you don't have to worry about your son being in the Gulag - our affctionate name for Ogg - since it has been torn down.
Most only live in dorms their freshman year, and that was true for him. But he swears to this day that all of the really good friends he made at school were in that dorm.

Our younger son at U of Minnesota (yes the games for the Ax were fun!) chose not to live in dorms and he took much longer to acclimate. He still hates going back to school in fall. He has friends, just not as many.

Glad you had a good time in spite of the heat wave.

Oh, and the kid that just graduated - he's working for a company is Schamburg!
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 05:21 PM
  #48  
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Thanks, angethereader. Our understanding from the tour is that they're building a new Ogg that will have suites and singles. I think the tour guide said it would be done for our son's freshman year.

I appreciate your input on dorms. I agree they help kids meet people and become part of the community.

I was a little disappointed to see you say that most kids only live in dorms the first year. I'm not crazy about the off-campus living thing. At our daughter's college, students can move in to apartments their second year. But they're on-campus apartments. They require their students to stay on campus the entire four years.

Good luck to your son with his new job! I hope he likes Schaumburg.
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Old Aug 4th, 2006, 02:48 PM
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Hi CAPH52:

I finally spoke to my neighbor to get a little more info on the Bradley Learning Community. Here is a link to the official information on the UW website:

http://www.housing.wisc.edu/bradley/

It seems to be set up to provide a little more organized support to new students who might be a bit nervous about the size of the school, and their place in it. Living at Bradley has an extra $300 surcharge per semester. There were group activities scheduled before the school year started to encourage the Bradley based students to get to know each other and start to make friends. There are group activities (sports, plays, outings, etc) during the school year and there are roundtable discussions for the students to participate in, and other educational and mentoring opportunities. I know my neighbor's son thought it was a great way to begin his college career, but of course each person is different - Your kid might think this is a geekfest, LOL.
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Old Aug 4th, 2006, 03:20 PM
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Thank you so much, HappyCheesehead! That was so nice of you! We will definitely take a good look at that.

What he heard on the tour made him think it might be a good idea. But it's definitely one of those things that he needs to know as much as possible about before making a commitment.

I also really appreciate the feedback from your neighbor's son. It's one thing to read up on something like that, entirely another to get a good report from someone who has actually done it!

Have a great weekend!
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Old Aug 4th, 2006, 04:40 PM
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Ah, I always love to read the Madison threads - I grew up there and also graduated from the UW, and have spent the past 17 years in Chicago.

HappyCheesehead, I had to laugh when you mentioned the male student who lived at Liz Waters; back in "my day" it was an all girls' dorm and we referred to it as the Virgin Vault!

And Dan Woodlief, I bet you're talking about the summer of 1988 - that's the year I got married, and all our outdoor wedding pictures have yellow grass in them! It was 102 degrees on our wedding day, and the church wasn't air conditioned . . .

Caph52, even though I was a local, I lived all four years during school in off-campus apartments with two girlfriends (we had some mysterious disdain for both dorms and sororities), and had nothing but wonderful experiences. I was up in Madison for dinner a few weekends ago and drove past one of the buildings - I got so nostalgic I almost stopped and asked the tenants if I could come in and look around! Only the fear of coming across as a lunatic stopped me, LOL.
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Old Aug 4th, 2006, 07:31 PM
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Hiya SusanM:

This is the very first year Liz Waters has men, I wonder if they will feel welcome those first few nights or a strange sense of "get out"!

I sure would love that gorgeous Lake Mendota view for myself. Wonder if this 40+er could just rent a room....
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Old Aug 4th, 2006, 07:42 PM
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CAPH52- Lots of choices for your son to make! You will have to let us know what he decides.

Hubby and I have a boat and we take it out on Lake Mendota quite often. We always cruise by the U and see the students sitting out on the terrace, and taking the little sail boats and windsurfers out. Of course, those are summer activities, in winter the lake isn't quite so appealing. It is a lovely setting for a school though.

By the way, not sure what the new green glass buiding is, but Bradley (at least right now) is kind of a plain brown brick place.
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Old Aug 4th, 2006, 07:47 PM
  #54  
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CAPH - Bradley is not the tall bldg with sea-green panels. There's a photo of it on the link Cheesehead provided. I lived there my first 2 years - this was back when it was just another res hall, not the current learning center. It's a great location, right off of Lake Mendota and the Lakeshore Path. The only negative is that it's about as far from main campus as you can get. I'm sure your son would be trekking down to the other end of campus frequently, which can be good and bad. Definitely will help keep off the Freshman 15. Liz Waters is in a beautiful location as well, and more centrally located. Plus, it has a great sledding hill.

I don't know how big Ogg is now, but it had a not-so-good reputation when I was there. I thought it was just too big and too loud. It'd be a great way to meet more people, but I remember hearing too many stories about speaker wars in the middle of the night. Unless they've done some major landscape work, it's a lot of concrete too.
 
Old Aug 4th, 2006, 09:39 PM
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My favorite dorm was Chadbourne--right at the base of the Hill, a few steps from State St, close to the Union.
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Old Aug 4th, 2006, 09:56 PM
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Thanks, everyone! Does anyone know what the bldg with the sea green panels is? I thought the tour guide pointed it out as being the way HappyCheesehead described Bradly; a sort of school within the school. But, then, you're given so much info that some of it kind of "runs together" so to speak!

Weasel, they're tearing down the old Ogg and building a new one. But what you describe is definitely not the kind of experience I was hoping for for my son! Speaker wars doesn't sound like fun! To me, anyway. He may see it differently!

I'm sure we'll be looking into all of this much more as he really gets going on his application. But does anyone know whether Madison has substance free floors? My daughter was on one her first two years at school and really liked it. As she says, it didn't mean that no one on the floor drank. But they knew that if they came back roaring drunk in the middle of the night, they ran a real risk of being kicked off the floor. So it kept things a little quieter! And it also gave her the opportunity to make a group of really good friends whose social life didn't revolve around partying.

I know that Madison has a reputation for being a party school. But so does her school! Actually, when you get right down to it, I guess most schools to do some extent.

Anyway, thanks again for all the input!
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Old Aug 5th, 2006, 09:55 AM
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Today I am going to the high school graduation party of my neighbors son who will be starting at Madison as a freshman in a few weeks. His brother is the sophomore that was in Bradley last year and will be in Liz Waters this year. Not sure where the freshman will be living - I think he chose one of the newer bigger dorms but he is very social compared to his older brother.

The family at this point seems pretty familiar with the set up of the school (they are a big bunch of over-achievers, LOL, and did a lot of research) so I will ask about the "substance free" floors and try to find out what that new building is.
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Old Aug 5th, 2006, 09:57 AM
  #58  
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CAPH - where was the sea-green bldg? Close to Bradley? I can't really think of anything close to it that fits that description.

Juaire House in Witte Hall is substance free. Look here http://tinyurl.com/ghklj for details. I would suspect that Bradley is fairly substance free as well though - I have to imagine that students that sign up to be in a learning community are a little tamer than average.
 
Old Aug 5th, 2006, 11:15 AM
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Thanks again to you both!

That green paneled bldg was over on the same side as the dorms that aren't lakeside. We weren't very close to it. But the guide pointed it out to us while we were on that side of campus. Had it not been a tall bldg, we wouldn't have been able to see it.

Thanks a lot for that link, Weasel.

I think my son will be buckling down and getting to work on all of this this coming week. I'm hoping he'll start really looking in to all the dorm stuff.After all, he's the one who'll be living there! But I'm going to have him read over this thread as you guys have been a great help.
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Old Aug 5th, 2006, 01:13 PM
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My first born is at U of Minnesota and took some "Courses in Common" her freshman year; the same 18 kids took 3 courses together. She also live in the "Foreign Language House" (one of MANY living communities)....the contacts she made from those 2 experiences constitute most of her friends. It is a huge place, but they do a good job of breaking it down into little groups. My baby is headed to the same school this fall and is opting for the Honors housing living community because she knows the community thing worked for her sister. I would think Madison has similiar options and would recommend them. I have been impressed by how many of my daughters profs seem to really know her and talk to her on campus. The Dean of the Liberal Arts college recognized her at a Habitat for Humanity 5 and 10k run this Spring and spoke to her. I too was very concerned about the size but I am a very satisfied parent and a staunch U of M supporter now. Warm wishes for your move-in and good-bye...that part SUCKS. I cried. A LOT.
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