Karl just might be the only Canadian-Swedish-US citizen from Shepherdstown. He has his Swedish and US passports and a birth certificate to prove that he is Canadian. A third passport is not possible.
He graduated from a small preparatory school in Maryland. When Karl began his college research he used Naviance as an aid. After Karl selected twenty private liberal arts colleges, he asked his college counselor: “What college is the exact opposite of this prep school?" The reply: Evergreen.
“My mom brought me out to visit Evergreen. We did the Information Session and the campus tour. I stayed overnight in the dorms and attended class with an Evergreen student. The class visit really did it for me. I got a really good feel for Evergreen and what it would be like to go here. This visit made me so excited!
“On the way to Seatac (airport), my mom turned to me and said, ‘Karl, you cannot go to Evergreen.’ <pause> ‘Because I want to go there.’ <whew>”
Karl has lived in D and G dorms, but spends a good deal of his time off-campus with friends. He is a farm to fork devotee, and does his food shopping at the Co-op and at the farmer’s market. He appreciates the locavore challenge, though it can be really hard. He enjoys cooking his meals with friends every night. When dining on campus, he chooses The Flaming Eggplant – the student-run café that cooks up seasonal recipes based on locally grown, organic foods.
Karl has favorite Olympia restaurants, too: Indian Cuisine (great, cheap buffet), Quality Burrito (yum), and Wally’s Sandwich Shop. A favorite hang-out is Burial Grounds Coffee. Serving coffee until midnight, they offer vampire/zombie-inspired named beverages with a student discount.
Reflecting on his first quarter at Evergreen, Karl stated in his self-evaluation: “It felt as though I was being intellectually reborn now that I was able to express my own thoughts effectively in an academic setting.”
The coolest benefit being at Evergreen: “It’s okay to come here and not know what you want to be, what you want to study. But, you have to come here and know that you want to do something. Take advantage of your time here and explore what’s out there.”
Karl’s general college advice to parents: “Your college experience is not the experience for your student. The college experience you had is at least twenty years old. You cannot expect that what worked twenty years ago will work now, and that your child will be better for it.
“There are so many colleges in this country that are fantastic. Your student needs to be exposed to new ideas and thoughts that will foster their understanding of the real world. Be surprised. Expect the unexpected.”
Karl recommends the RSA Animate – Changing Education Paradigms on YouTube. This animation captures about 12-minutes of a lecture offered by Sir Ken Robinson, PhD, author of Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative (2001) and The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything (2009).
“When I went home that first winter break, I was so excited to share everything I’d learned. I had soaked up so much. It motivated me to reexamine everything in my life. I was talking to a really good friend of mine and he asked: ‘Where’s Karl?’”
Karl is a Student Ambassador for the Office of Admissions. He has found that he is much more “passionate about this place” and wants to share his experiences with prospective students and parents. “Evergreen is a place where it’s easy to get excited.”