Nestled among the Blue Ridge mountains lies a gem, or rather a castle. As the largest private residence in the United States, Biltmore Estate spans over ten miles and is home to 250 rooms. Constructed from 1889-1895 for George Vanderbilt, the house and grounds look like pure fairy tale fiction. Although used as a private home, it was opened to the public in 1930 with the hope of increasing tourism amidst the Great Depression. Since then Biltmore has been a treasured destination, made even more magical by its different exhibits. Currently the exhibit Designed for Drama lives within the home. Costumes from award winning movies and mini series ranging from Pride and Prejudice to Sherlock Holmes create charming tableaus in the various rooms. Each period piece fits with the decor of the estate, but the connection is more than just aesthetic. All of the movies are based on the books that George Vanderbilt read. In addition to enjoying the exhibit, guests at Biltmore are encouraged to traipse from room to room listening to an audio tour. The audio tour not only details the history of the estate, but also doles out tidbits like the secret hallway that connects to the library that allowed guests to grab a book and sneak back to their rooms without being seen. From there I would recommend grabbing a refreshing ice cream cone in the courtyard before moving to walk on the grounds and enjoy the serenity of the gardens. One could spend an entire day in Biltmore and it still wouldn’t be enough time to fully explore and enjoy the estate. The sheer beauty of Biltmore is too elusive for words, so do yourself a favor and plan your trip now!
We have 5 days left of high school. Of course, now, more than ever, college is on everyone’s mind. Most people have made their decisions, while a few are still wrapping up loose ends. Regardless of how it manifests, college is guaranteed to be a hot topic of conversation.
My least favorite form of college small talk comes in the endless barrage of questions — Where are you going to college? What’s your major? Have you found a roommate?
Is that really all there is to me, or any senior, for that matter? Have we really been reduced to our plans for next year? What difference in your life does it make, knowing what and where I’ll be studying?
What about the uncomfortable position these questions force those who will not be attending college into?
“Where are you going to college? . . . Oh . . . You’re not? Seriously? What will you do?!”
Is it really anyone else’s business but your own, and maybe your family’s? If you’re truly that desperate to know where your peers, or your children’s friends, or your students, will be going next year — and they haven’t willingly offered the information to you, unprovoked — it may be time to evaluate some aspects of your thinking.
Why does it matter to you? What do you gain from knowing? Could this nosiness stem from a place of deep insecurity within you? Is your self-worth built entirely upon the prestige of the college you attended/will attend?
It’s time to butt out of everyone else’s business and ditch the college interrogations. Be present — focus on the now — and enjoy these last 5 days of high school.
without regard to something else, especially something
specified; ignoring or discounting
having or showing no regard; heedless; unmindful
without concern as to advice, warning, hardship, etc.;
regardless of, in spite of; without regard for (Dictionary.com)
(Online Etymology). Grammar Girl refers to it as “a double-negative word that literally means ‘without without regard.’”