A Familiar College Visit

Can you go back? To college, that is.

I loved college. My daughter Tara is now a junior at my alma mater, University of Dayton; my other daughter Devon is going to attend UD in the fall. I feel lucky to often visit this school that offered me so many opportunities, helped shape my adult life, and introduced me to some still-amazing friends.

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my UD graduation with my grandmother and parents.

UD has expanded, is way classier looking, has more fields of study, new restaurants to enjoy, but the heart of the school is the same . The upperclassmen housing area, the UD Ghetto*, is overflowing with students on porches and yards enjoying the first gorgeous summer-like weekend this year. The university still seems the happiest place on Earth. Sorry, Disney.

When I was a student, I never once had a thought that one –let alone two–of my kids could be living and studying here, drinking at the same bars, hanging out in the same houses did.  Kinda crazy, in retrospect. Every time I am on campus, I remember so much of my time as a UD Flyer. But as I walk through the Ghetto today, I feel like a …. mom.

It is this generation’s turn to experience college, make friends, find love, join new clubs, travel to new cities or countries, stay up too late, change loves and friends, sleep until noon then study until 2 am.

They will stress about  class projects and exams, life after college, money, health, jobs, fitting in, discovering who they are, and suddenly–what they thought they wanted to study, they don’t. That’s OK. Hopefully your advisors can help you change majors or classes. The emotional turmoil is part of the college experience. Know that these are some of the first adult decisions that you will make—and even after you leave school, many of you will change careers, change friends, move to new cities, have kids.

So, as I walk through the Ghetto with my daughter and a few other moms, I look with envy at these joyous, welcoming, sassy, smart, silly students and hope that you find your way. Experience all you can during these years—you won’t regret it.

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This weekend I will enjoy real conversation with Tara, the school sponsored 70’s themed block party, a few Ghetto gatherings, the infamous Timothy’s, running through the campus, the book store, then head home back to my daily life.

Until next time, when I will enjoy this campus again. Feeling like a … proud mom and UD alumni.

C

*term is UD politically incorrect, but student –and-alumni- correct. I know the school wants to eliminate that name but it’s been there since the 1960’s. Sorry admin.

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Early springtime haiku

Glorious sunshine today, quickly melting snow, ferocious warm wind.  Here is a haiku I wrote while walking my dog.

Tumbleweed circles

Papers escape with proud wind

Joyous springtime flight.

C

3/7–

I just realized the opening of this post is ALMOST a haiku–but not quite as good as the one above. Here it is with a slight addition:

Glorious sunshine today

quickly melting snow shimmers

ferocious warm wind.

Chicago Morn

A fabulous Sunday morning with stellar blue skies, Lake Michigan sparkling in the sun, flowering trees lining Millenium Park, Chicago is THE best city to be in.  Bob and I enjoyed a 1 1/2 hour bike ride yesterday–no kids, no schedule, no plans.  A rarity.  Boy, it brought back memories of riding my bike to work down Lake Shore Drive and taking Maxx to the lake. 

We certainly were not lonely on the lakefront.  Everyone had shed their parkas and boots and a few most of their clothes to enjoy a summerlike warmth.  People were biking, running, skating, strollering, walking their dogs, playing soccer/volleyball/baseball/frisbee, a brave couple swimming, building sandcastles, photographing, phoning, dining, snoring, sunning, watching, laughing, talking, kiting, biting, boating, singing, sunning, dancing, fishing, smoking, enjoying. Living. Loving. Being.

What a perfect morning. C

Rainy Day Sunday

Our weekends during soccer season are full of driving, directions, yelling, hoping, sitting, winning and losing.  But they are busy.  It rained hard almost all day yesterday, thunderstorms last night, and today we woke up again to cold drops pouring by the bucketful from the sky.  So those calls that game one-then game two-then game three were cancelled were greeted with Woo-Hoo!  Unexpected free time, a welcome treat for all.  Yes, the games will be rescheduled, but I will take this small gift today.

Unexpected time for me to head to the gym, run a couple errands on the weekend rather than at night or during lunch hour, spend some time with the girls in the kitchen as they and Tara’s friend spend the afternoon baking cookies and doing homework and giggling and drinking smoothies and just having fun. 

And then  the sun peeks through, the temperature now 70, and we rush outside to feel the sudden rays, the wind so reminiscent of our San Francisco days. 

Ah, to feel a little bit ahead is a great way to end the weekend. C

Zac and Robin

Thwack! Thud! Chrrrrrrrrrp. Thunk!

Those are the sounds of Robin, who has been repeatedly barreling in to our window, in a desperate attempt to get inside our home, to build her nest or roost in the kitchen or play the Wii, I am not sure which.

It has been three weeks since this confused bird has been smashing her body daily into glass to get into our home.  And several days of solid rain have left a bevy of wing marks, tiny feathers and bits of straw strewn across the windows, and white excrement covering the deck.  Not a lovely sign of spring.

We tried shooing her away, removing the tiny nest she finally started, and then resorted to our latest hopeful diversion–putting the life-size Zac Efron cardboard figure directly in front of the window, so perhaps she cannot see her reflection.

While any mention Zac draws Devon to you, we hope that his grin will scare this dazed bird away.  I know how creepy it is to enter her room at night to see a 6-foot “man” at the end of her bed, before realizing he isn’t real, after nights of seeing him there.  It is enough to keep me away. C

Spring Tease

We who live in the land of all-four-seasons have one day we look forward to all winter–the first day the air hints of spring, the sky egg shell blue, warming winds drying the winter-brown grass.  You can’t appreciate this day in the tropics, the dessert, the southwest.

On that day–today—we pull out our bikes and golf clubs and wash the car and walk the neighborhood and roller blade, anything, anything to soak up that smiling sun.  My kids pull out their capri pants and flip flops–who cares if it’s only in the low 50’s when they leave for school–because we are so tired of the same shirts and jeans and boots and gloves.

Birds abound, swarming the bird feeder and twittering away, the dogs lie on the porch and keep guard, the cat gets up from its lazy spot in the sunny window, stretches, and strolls to another.  (Do they do much more?)

Unless you spend the winter in freezing temperatures, snow days, icy roads, gray skies, you cannot truly enjoy the first day of springlike weather. Surely to be followed by another just-above -freezing day. But we can savor it until the next one, impatiently waiting for the next one to break through. C