I went to the University of Chicago info session here in Denver. I left oddly unsatisfied, and maybe even a little sad. It was interesting to me that the first thing the rep discussed, and these info sessions are orchestrated and purposeful, was the athletic tradition at the school. She joked about how they are undefeated against Notre Dame– she didn’t say what sport. Then she went on to talk about what a fun place U Chicago is. She referenced Second City for a good 3 minutes and how it was started by U Chicago graduates. OK, maybe that’s all true, but that’s not what U Chicago IS. U Chicago has always been one of my favorite universities. The University of Chicago has always been the gold standard of education in my mind. I imagined it as the Holy Grail at the end of my quest to educate my kids. It was the ultimate treasure at the end of Montessori preschool. Somewhere deep in my consciousness it kept me driving 2 hours every day to and from the Challenge School. It seemed the logical next step after Mr. Dusto’s Honors Chemistry class at Cherry Creek High School. It’s not that I needed my children to actually GO there, it was more that it existed for them if they chose it. It was the center of the academic universe with its Core Curriculum, small classes, and the sheer neuron-firing synergy of the place. The University of Chicago has always been this quirky, super-intellectual place where the most brainy kids could go and just do their wonky thing. It’s depressing to me that they came off as a place now searching for a new identity. It reminds me of a beautiful and wise 51 year old woman (just sayin’…) who can’t see her own worth so she keeps visiting the plastic surgeon so she can look like the 37 year old sexy neighbor. The University of Chicago never needed collagen implants. I feel like they want to be just one more Ivy. If they become Yale-part 2 (and by the way, she mentioned Yale a couple of times) there will be a big hole left in the landscape of colleges–where the wonderful University of Chicago used to sit.