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The World of Special Olympics

The following is a guest post in the form of an open letter from Special Olympics athlete and global messenger John Franklin Stephens to Ann Coulter after this tweet during last night’s Presidential debate.

Dear Ann Coulter,

Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow.  So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?

I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow.  I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you.  In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.

I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child…

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College Tour

This is like the second post to the previous one. I’m more about the college tour I took today with my CC. It was so much fun; we visited Stevenson University formerly known as Villa Julie. It was cool driving there, me and my friend Josh were pointing out all the beautiful multi-million dollar homes. [When people think Maryland they automatically think Baltimore City, which has pockets of wealth in some areas, but the state overall is very wealthy. I wanna say especially the counties, but it would be kind of only the counties, really because Maryland is not a big state. We have some cities, and though I haven’t been to all of them, but besides Baltimore, I don’t think the rest are as urban as Baltimore lol. Anyway, the wealthy (millionaires/billionaires) basically live in the counties is the point I’m trying to make, and in really nice houses].

When we arrived to the school, it was just small and fresh and nice and quiet. There are two campuses. The Owings Mills campus and the Greenspring Valley campus which is 15 minutes a part and more into the country. There’s a dining hall on each campus, though the one on the Owings Mills campus is much more exciting (just don’t order Alfredo noodles, they sucked). The dorms are amazing (we didn’t get to see the apartments, not enough time). There’s a MAC room on the Greenspring Campus, the libraries are really great, there are game rooms, a coffee cafe [there’s one on Goucher campus too]. There’s just so much and a lot of stuff that we didn’t even get to see because there wasn’t enough time and we had to go visit Goucher, but it was amazing. One of the student guides said that the parking spots were small, and when we went outside for the actual tour and I saw the parking spots up close and really looked at them, and I have to say they are DAMN small. There was a Mazda parked, and we all know how small they are, it was a little over the line on one side!

The university has really expanded and plans to continue expanding within the next two years when they add new facilities near the Owings Mills campus for the Science and Design schools. One of the guys who works at my school, we’ll just call him C, graduated from Stevenson and as we we were driving to the Greenspring Valley campus we noticed these vacant buildings and our director J said that they reminded him of old mental institutions. To which C replies that they did in fact used to be mental institutions and in fact the school is thinking about buying that. I hope that they do. I would really love to see the school expand in terms of facilities. I hope that they don’t expand in terms of students though. There are so many students like me who are looking for small, tight-knit colleges and universities, Stevenson and Goucher provide that and I hope they continue to. I want Stevenson to be more like Goucher in terms of facilities.

The student guides also talked about how rigorous Stevenson was and I like that. I want to be challenged and I want a great education and I’m willing to put the work in. The school is also very heavy on providing students with skills and know how that are going to  [Goucher is the same way] carry them through their entire working careers, skills that they are going to be able to use no matter what you decide to do because now a days people have many jobs/careers unlike 20/30 years ago when people would work at one job their whole life.

Fun Facts: I learned that the girls outnumber the boys 2.5 to 1 lol. I also learned that the building dedicated to the athletes for their workout and wellness used to be the training center for the Baltimore Ravens.

I really wish I had some pictures to show that I took on the tour but since I don’t here are some pics I found online. The campus is really beautiful:

 

Goucher of course was amazing. I mean the academics are out of this world and I have to say though it may be expensive, [don’t worry no one pays sticker price] you get what you pay for. There are so many freaking facilities! There’s even a room just for pilates (dancers get to take classes for free)! There’s a dance room, art studios, the library is on humongous, there’s a computer room filled with MACs that use both MAC and PC format and the regular PCs are just on the other side. There’s a stable that houses 35 horses, an outdoor basketball court, an old indoor basketball court for practice and fun, and a new one but we didn’t get to see that. There’s a court inside one of the buildings just for indoor volleyball, tennis courts outside, swimming pool inside, a weight room, and two cardio rooms. Lots of green just to lay on. It’s just a big and beautiful sprawling campus. Once again another a rigorous academic setting.

Here are some pics of the Goucher College Campus:

This is the Anthaneum. It’s one of the newer buildings, it’s really awesome, the floors are made out of recycled materials and the ceilings basically have huge skylights that allow for the lights to be turned off during the day.

Rewind

Okay so a little rewind is coming. As anyone who reads this blog, and actually keeps up with what I post, knows I go to a community college at the moment. My last posts stated that I was going to apply to the four-years for Fall of 2013. I’ve changed that. I visited two colleges today that I really loved: Stevenson University and Goucher College. I really loved Stevenson University! It was small, close-knit, friendly, and basically my CC on steroids LOL. So I’ve decided to go there. I have however decided to stay at my CC for an extra semester (not including the upcoming Spring semester). I’m still going to major in nursing, but I’m going to double major (that I’ve been going back and forth about since high school); I haven’t decided on the second major yet though. I think it’s going to be something in design.

 

P.S. I know I was rooting for NYU but I was just completely turned off by the things I was reading about how they’re expanding so much (and unnecessarily). When it comes to schools having great facilities and a few extras for the students and faulty, I’m good with that, but from what I hear of NYU the new stuff they’re adding is not necessary and the students are going to be the ones paying for the costs with their tuition.

P.S.S. If I were going for a traditional liberal arts education I would totally be going to Goucher. It’s a great school, the campus is over 200 acres and had an equestrian program, every sport, 35 horses, etc.