This is one Mean Old Lady!

This is one Mean Old Lady!
Self-portrait: 'Quilter on Fire'

Saturday, October 2, 2010

City of Colleges

Conway styles itself 'City of Colleges.'  The city has an official population of 52,430 souls, but ten months of the year it's closer to 70,000.  

It's the colleges that do it.  There is a small private college, Central Baptist College, that all in all takes up about one city block; its student body tends to be quiet and well-behaved.  

There is a somewhat larger private liberal arts school, Hendrix College, with an enrollment nearing 2000; this school is something of The Jewel in the Crown for Arkansas, and prides itself on educating the state's future professionals, leaders, movers and shakers.  It's affiliated with The United Methodist Church (though that does not mean the same thing it did when I attended Methodist colleges in the mid-Sixties.  No required religion classes here.)  Hendrix is in the process of building a 'new-concept' Village that combines homes, shops, restaurants, offices, green space....Mr. Roger's Neighborhood?  Hendrix has students from most of the 50 states and a number of other countries; the school is very selective, and the occasional students who get into trouble are usually in the kind of trouble very bright kids can think up. 

And then there is the huge state school:  The University of Central Arkansas.  It's gigantic by Arkansas standards, with an enrollment over 17,000 last time I checked.  It is continually adding new buildings--classrooms, labs, dorms, and an indoor practice facility (so that the athletes do not drop from heat stroke.)  Any school that large has a major impact on its location. 

What do these colleges have in common?  Cars.  As in, just about every student has one.  The impact on the city's traffic is impressive.

Not everyone minds.


  1. I've always thought it would be nice to retire to a college town: good libraries, athletic facilities, theater, interesting people.

  2. You know, we thought that, too. I will have to say that it felt more enjoyable while our daughter was a student at Hendrix (concerts, various events that brought us to campus) but we are less and less inclined to go out at night or struggle with the parking. Now I spend time trying to plot a route that bypasses campus traffic bottlenecks. Shoot! We're turning into curmudgeons!

  3. Well, back in the olden days when I was in school at UC Santa Barbara, it was rare for students to have cars. Lots of bikes but that was all. Nearly everyone lived on campus or in the student community right off campus. Except Michael Douglas and his friends, who lived on an estate in Montecito. Even our kids at JMU weren't allowed to have cars as freshmen and Alan never owned a car. I always thought it was safer to have all the beer drinkers walking.
    I know what you mean about becoming crumudgeons. When we have a night at home, we offer a toast to celebrate the occasion.

  4. Asheville is a city that has good libraries, athletic facilities, theater, fine dining galore, interesting people and many other attractions, yet we hardly notice the university students. We have UNCA, Mars Hill College, Warren Wilson College, and AB Tech - just to name the ones I can think of - but we really hardly notice their presence. I was just remarking to my husband the other day that we don't need traffic reports in the morning and evening. For the most part the traffic is pretty manageable.


Rose 'Crepuscular'

Asparagus bed--post harvest

Lake Conway Mutti und Kinder