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The Good Stuff by Shelley Bennett

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by Shelley Bennett

Hopefully you have all survived Spring Break, second Winter, the Eclipse, and any other natural phenomena to come your way. I thought we had made it through the Middle Ages, when we made up myths and folktales to explain the unexplainable. Apparently, there are a few folks still hanging on.

I was unable to fly to Texas today to witness the totality. When the next solar eclipse appears, I’ll be 74. Maybe my schedule will be a little more open then.

Last week was filled with car trips and walking. We drove over 1600 miles on a trek to visit as many college campuses as we could pack in and then walked all over those campuses to try and find the sign that tells us, YES! This is the one!

From Linfield University in McMinnville, OR to the University of Oregon in Eugene to UC Davis, we saw close-knit small campuses to spread out, city-like footprints that I would need a golf course to navigate.

Our daughter Sofia is on a quest to pick her place for the next four years and there are lots of boxes that need to be checked:

  • Sense of community
  • Nursing program
  • Rigorous academics
  • Safe and sane social life
  • Opportunities for growth in other hobbies and activities
  • Roomy dorms
  • Food court that serves Mac ‘n Cheese and Chicken Nuggets every day
  • Financial Aid package

Sounds sensible, right?

Sofia has worked really hard the last four years to make sure she has options. With college and AP classes added to an already academic schedule mixed with sports, dance, and lots of community service, it has all paid off.

I am so proud of her. She is a little like her mom though and decisions are not easily made. For the record, we also spent a memorable three-and-a-half hours picking out a prom dress last week.

Acceptance letters and gifts have arrived in the mail and we have been rating their swag.

University of Oregon comes in strong with eco-friendly confetti that contains flower seeds, a box that turns into a VR viewer, and chalk paint with stencils that spells out “Oregon Bound.”

The Ohio State sent buckeye decals and UC Santa Barbara’s contribution was a small tapestry to be hung in a future dorm room. She even got a fancy keychain from Centenary College of Louisiana, Jacob’s alma mater.

It’s all very exciting though! If you want to feel hopeful about the state of our country, visit a college campus. The grounds are beautiful and the buildings feature all the latest technology. They have Welcome Centers, groups tours, free postcards, and food courts that put our restaurant choices to shame.

The best part though is the students. They are there to research, challenge the status quo, and make a difference in our world. We snuck in a visit to our son Landon at Cal and as we walked to the bookstore I overheard two young women talking about their internships at NASA.

What? NASA?! My mind was blown. These young adults are going places!

Just like my girl will in August.

I trust Sofia. I know she will make the right decision for her.


Remember when news was ‘newsy’? When you read about weddings, family events and engagement announcements in the newspaper? If you have something that might be newsworthy, please submit it to shelleybennett24@gmail.com and I’ll do my best to include it here in “The Good Stuff.”

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