I'll just tell you right up front: I loved BYU. It was a great experience for me. Beyond just the fun-fun-fun of my freshman year silliness and the unusual but great experience of going through the rest of my undergraduate education as a married lady ... my education there was perfect for me. I had amazing experiences in Honors classes. I had a class in epistemology called "Thinking is Not Doubting." The subtitle could have been, "Everything you ever wanted to talk about in church but were afraid to ask." We talked about birth control, homosexuality, polygamy, the priesthood ban, you name it. Somehow this counted as a science elective. While I may have cheated myself out of a bit of science education by choosing this course, it helped me build a foundation that now lets me hold on to my testimony when the earth seems to be moving under my feet.
Some of my favorite things from my BYU days are not there anymore or just not the same - International Cinema and Eugene England come to mind ... and many things I have just lost track of. But it's still my school.
I took my kids to the old alma mater today for the kinder sales pitch. Even though my husband will probably be a professor someplace where they can get reduced tuition, BYU might still be cheaper. Also I might want them to leave home. And of course I would love for them to get what I got out of their college experience.
So we motored down to Provo today (we're staying at my parents' house in the SLC suburbs) and did a customized tour. Here's what made our list:
- BYU Bookstore. If you want to get off on the right foot with my kids, you start with candy and buying stuff. I'm not above that. We all got shirts, and the kids each got to choose a book and a dollar's worth of their poison of choice from the candy counter. And I got some chocolate covered cinnamon bears. It's an upgrade from the usual quarter pound of Swedish fish I used to go for about once a week in my Cougar days.
- Eyring Science Center. Hands-on exhibits in the lobby. I pointed out to my kids that BYU has at least four buildings for science and engineering. UC Merced (where G is finishing his Ph.D.) right now has only one. Of course, UC Merced is 3 years old to BYU's 133. Still, S was particularly impressed. K loved the dino bones.
- JSB. Replicas of the Golden Plates, Liahona, Urim and Thummim, and sword of Moroni. Z responded, "Wow!" I explained carefully that these were only replicas to help us imagine. Visited the Avard Fairbanks statue of Joseph Smith in the courtyard. Z waved goodbye to him as we left. I could not convince the kids to walk by my old workplace on the second floor. Sigh!
- Maeser Building. Just wanted to show the kids a building that was there when my dad's parents went to BYU in the 1940s. We were just with them at our Bear Lake reunion, so I think at least my older two made the connection. They are the only fellow Cougs on that side of the family; on my mom's side there are several more, though.
- Video games in the indoor games place. Does that place have a name? I never went there when I was in school. But it was a big hit with my kids.
Anyway, so we skipped some of the things I had planned, like going to the Creamery and tooling around the mouth of Rock Canyon where G and I used to hike almost every week. I'd also like to catch the Museum of Art with the kids when they are older. And I know my cousin wanted me to try harder to hook them on BYU football. I'm going to have to recruit him to help with that - I'm such an ignoramus.
We'll save that stuff for next time. It was a fun day - the kids really were good and I actually enjoyed being out with all four of them for an entire day! That's good, huh?
I think I planted some good little seeds. I really do believe it's never too early!