Several of you have asked how it’s been having the boy at home again, after his first year away from college. You may remember late last summer when I composed a series of posts, Letters to My Son in the days leading up to his departure. Remember this? Or perhaps you recall The Freshman Ten (Michelle, I still laugh when I read #4 and remember your reaction.)
Truth be told, I had a tough time after he was gone. It may have been peri-menopausal hormones, but I’ll admit I may have cried myself to sleep a few times in the weeks after he left.Â Then, of course, I adjusted. There was, after all, less housework. There was less worry and better sleep, uninterrupted by a boy coming in to say goodnight hours after I’d fallen asleep. So the school year passed and in the spring, the boy announced that he would not be going back.
He came home at the beginning of the summer and worked two jobs throughout. At the end, he began his second college, a commuter school which allows him to continue living at home. He kept one of the jobs. Being back in Charlottesville means he can spend more time with the allergist’s daughter, which makes both of them happier. Overall, he seems to be having a much better year, despite his busy schedule. (Although I don’t hesitate to point out that I worked, went to school full time and raised him from the ages of 2 to 5, did housework, cooked and somehow pulled off a 3.89 GPA).
To answer your question, it’s fine. Yes, there’s more laundry, more groceries to buy; food disappears overnight and we sometimes go for days without seeing him. But he’s here, and when I do bump into him, he makes me laugh.
Our schedules are completely in conflict – a couple of times I’ve gotten up early only to find him just going to bed. Once I woke up at 5:30am, wide awake. I stumbled downstairs and was shocked to see him on the couch, watching TV. “Are you still up? Or are you up early?” He said, “I’m still up. What are YOU doing up?” I looked at the clock — it was 1:30am. Somehow I’d either time traveled on the way down the stairs or I’d looked at the clock without my glasses upstairs and misread the time in my sleep-deprived stupor.
So we’re ships that pass in the night — mostly in the kitchen, where he still asks what’s for dinner, or lunch and what is there to eat?
I’m glad to have him back.
I think of #4 all the time too. Naive is my middle name.
I took my first 28 credits at PVCC before transferring to Tech. For the first two years of classâ€”which tend strongly to be intro classes that many, many students requireâ€”I think community college is a far better option. It’s a lot cheaper, for starters, which means that kids who discover that college isn’t for them have to spend a lot less money to learn that lesson. But, more important, the classes are 10% of the size of the classes at large colleges. The teachers are way better, too. My western history teacher at PVCC is a respected scholar on the history of cartography. The class had about 20 students, of all ages and experiences. Class frequently consisted of discussions, to the point at which we’d turn all of our desks around, forming a circle. My intro classes at VT (philosophy, political science, statistics) had several hundred students in them. Most were taught by adjunct faculty, some of whom were younger than me (a late-in-life college student). They were pure lecturesâ€”no discussion, no interactionâ€”and not really very good.
I’m a big fan of starting off at community colleges.
Oh MJ so glad I get a chance to peek in on your life at 2 in the morning and see that the more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s always something isn’t it? (And I’ve just started Traveling with Pomegranates per your suggestion.) D-