Saturday, January 7, 2012

Mount Branyon Campus Tour

The wind was still bitterly cold, but at least the snow had disappeared from the ground by the time the envoy of perspective students from Apple Valley had arrived on Mount Branyon's campus for a tour. A new term had begun after the holiday break, and the campus was once again flooded with students and professors, mulling about campus and going about their business in the chilly winter air.

Upon arrival at Prentice Hall, the students hurried into the warm confines of the old, well-kept building, but their chaperone, Ginger Grey, took a moment to take in the rather grand old structure.

"It's one of the oldest buildings on campus," their tour guide, Professor Remus Outridge, explained as he gestured to the tall stone hall. "Not to mention one of the oldest in the area. Our school was founded what was once called Olde Simberig, the heart of the settlement that began Simberry Fields. Many of the buildings in this area are hundreds of years old, and have been restored and incorporated into the University. Prentice Hall houses many of our classrooms, including the Art History, Literature and Conservation classrooms, as well as an off-shoot of the main library. Weathered though it is," he explained, "The building is carefully maintained, and we're incredibly happy to be able to give our students a taste of the past when they come to class."

The three students that had come to tour the campus - Annie and Bryant Grey, and Amanda Winsloff - were shown around campus by various alumni, and saw everything from the various halls and laboratories to the dorms and annexes, and the research and administration buildings. Their tour was winding down as they began to explore Prentice Hall with Professor Outridge as their guide.

The small library in Prentice Hall was perhaps one-twentieth of the size of the Main Library they have visited the previous day, but it was cozy, and well-stocked. Current Mount Branyon students mulled around within the confines of the room, taking notice of the newcomers.

Senior Raj Pratap struck up a conversation with Amanda Winsloff, and explained that he was a Finance major at the University.

"It's been a good experience for me here. The professors are all really involved, really knowledgeable about their field, you know? One of my professors is actually the former financial head of Simberry Savings and Loan! It's that real-world experience that makes the things the professors and instructors say resonate with you. And yeah, classes are tough, but if you're struggling, you can always find a tutor - the bulletin boards down in the Dining Commons are always plastered with adverts for them! Plus, there are groups that meet in the Study Center in Manchester Hall every Wednesday night if you find yourself falling behind."

Meanwhile, Annie Grey was discussing classes with Anouk Bramley, a junior Music major. "Well, yeah, class sizes are pretty reasonable," Anouk said with a wave of her hands. "Only about ten students or so to a professor in any given class. There are some that are more heavily populated, granted, but those are mostly your pre-req classes, your maths, your Simlishes. You get the idea. But your classes are pretty individualized, you get to know your professors, which is a good thing... most of the time. Then again, if you get Professor Prewett, best of luck to you, because the woman's a right old slave dri... erm... hello there, Professor Outridge. How's it goin'?"

Meanwhile, Bryant Grey and chaperone Ginger were sitting in on one of the Literature classes upstairs.

"... Now! Poetry! Why do we study it? Anyone, anyone... put your hand down, Mister Kiel, let's see if any one of your peers knows the answer. Come now, I'm sure one of you can offer an idea!" Professor Lambrick said from the front of the class.

"Because it's in the course book?" One messy haired boy said from the back of the classroom. Professor Lambrick appeared nonplussed.

"Not quite what I was looking for, Mister Quigley. Miss Thewes?"

A mousy-haired girl sitting just in front of Professor Lambrick's desk let her hand slip from the air, and cleared her throat. "We study poetry because poems are one of the most powerful literary devices used to convey ideas or opinions. Poetry is, is... beauty, when crafted well, and as sims, it helps us connect with the beauty in the world around us."

Professor Lambrick grinned. "Spoken like a true poet, Miss Thewes. Excellent. Now, take note of these types of poetry...." He turned and scratched out the words 'Epic', 'Haiku', 'Fable', and 'Free Verse', before the boy called Quigley interjected, "What about limericks, Professor?"

Professor Lambrick glanced over his shoulder with a chuckle, and nodded. "Yes, Mister Quigley, limericks too."

Downstairs, Annie had encountered Christoph Emmerich, senior Political Science major and head of the Student Union.

"Leaving your friends is always hard," he said sympathetically, "But staying in contact with sims in your hometown is easy, with phone, email and inter-hood visits. And besides, you're sure to meet new friends as well."

Ever on the look out for new members of the Student Union, he added, "With all the groups and clubs around campus, I'm sure you could find sims with similar interests. There's the Arts Association, the Film Society, the Chess Club, the Dance Team, the sports teams... and we're always organizing mixers and socials at the Student Union!"

Later in the day, when they were given the change to meander around the campus on their own, Amanda and Bryant found themselves in the main library, discussing the prospect of becoming students at Mount Branyon, and whether the University would be a good fit for them.