Sample Interview 6
I met B- last night at the Java House. The thermometer at the florist down the street read 3 degrees.
B- looked a little tired—he had just come from a long swim practice. But his eyes brightened as his apple cider began to warm him and we started talking about Bates. B- was a bit quiet and reserved at first, but it did not take long for him to come alive. He is a very intelligent young man, an independent thinker and highly motivated. He adds four-hour daily swim practices to a regular school course load and a linguistics class he is taking at the University. I found him to be humble, and he characterized himself at on point as a geek, but all his descriptions of his academic and family life impressed me with a very high level of sophistication.
B-‘s mother works in the new Department of Public Health at the University where I teach in the English and Rhetoric departments. She has expressed concern to B- about the teaching at the U because many faculty members are interested primarily in their research and subsequently too many courses are taught by graduate instructors and teaching assistants. I explained that at Bates all classes are taught by faculty and that the 10-1 student-professor ration helps facilitate close relationships and superior instruction. These descriptions seemed appealing to B-, and he admitted that he is shadowing a professor at U who studies neurosciences and is currently working on rats whose brains have been made to glow. When I said that my best friend had done her senior thesis in bio-psychology using rats in her experiments, I could see that his mind began churning with possibilities.
B- places a high level of value on community. He loves I- City and talked about his community of friends at school as well as on the swim team. I think that the potential to find intimate communities at Bates was very appealing to him. He talked of walking home from school with his best friend “a substantial distance” and having debates along the way. It was in moments like these that B- impressed me with his intellectual curiosity and individualism.
B- lives on –Street in an historic part of I- City. Some friends of mine just bought and old Arts and Crafts style house on –Street, and my husband and I considered this neighborhood to be an ideal location for our family. When I expressed interest in the area, B- grew very energetic. He recommended a book on the area and began telling stories about the park across the street from his house where bricks were once minded and about M-, the neighborhood historian, who lives in a tiny house with two giant Irish wolfhounds.
By this point, it was getting late, so we bundled up and were ready to brave the cold again…From here he talked about his amazing stay-at-home dad who can, according to B-, do anything. I was impressed with by the respect with which he spoke about his parents. B- is an only child, a fact which he used to explain him close connection to his parents. He told a wonderful story of traveling back to I- City from Seattle with them. Their van broke down, so the three of them loaded their pets into a small trailer, hopped on a bicycle built for three, and headed down a dirt road to the Smokey the Bear campground where they stayed fro three weeks while their van was repaired.
B- was not showy about his academic abilities and accomplishments, but his vocabulary was clearly advanced and he spoke confidently and fluidly and asked lots of good questions about Bates and my experiences there. He did admit that he took the ACT in the sixth grade and could have earned a partial scholarship to the U then. He wasn’t bragging so much as he was explaining his search for greater challenges that the U might be able to offer. In fact, he has conducted a very thorough college search and seems to keep coming back to Bates. He loved the school when he visited in the early fall and was impressed by the gym and the swimming facilities…
It is with great confidence that I recommend B-. I think he would be a humble but valuable addition to the Bates Community, and he would make his mark in quiet, yet dynamic, ways. I have no doubt about his potential for success…