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Not bad for a fat girl


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Back to the Dorm

Year two of college is starting for my kid, and today is his move-in day. Some observations about this event:

  1. I know what to expect this year, so I have far fewer nerves (yes, it’s all about me!).
  2. He knows what to expect, so he packed less stuff (not that he had much last year).
  3. His father and I are taking him together, just like last year, in spite of being divorced for many years. I believe this is a good thing for all of us. He’s still our son and we’re still his parents. This transition, even if it isn’t the first time, is still kind of a big deal, and experiencing it all together validates that fact.
  4. I’m hopeful that I’ll handle year two of him being away better than year one. Year one found me a bit down in the dumps, teetering on the edge of depression. I don’t want to go back there. Yes, I know he’s close by, and yes, he’s been great about staying in touch (weekly dinners and everything) but something about him being out of the house just unsettled me. I’m hopeful that I react better this time around.
  5. I’m excited for him. He’s got this. He’s ready to go back and he’s ready for classes to begin and he’s ready to be more independent again. I’m happy for him.

The building he’s moving into is brand new. It’s built to house 1,600 students. Wow. I’m looking forward to seeing it in person, so far I’ve only gotten a sneak peek from the local news station. The kitchens on the floors are nicer than the one in my house, but I don’t see him using it much. There’s a fitness center in the building and 3-d printers and all sorts of other amenities. It’s a far cry from Gilbert 105, my first cinderblock-walled dorm room. Still, that old building was a wonderful place to make memories; I hope his new home is too.

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Online Learning and Procrastination

51zS47EOayL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgMy son and I are both taking online courses at the moment. His is an intense, college level math course. Mine is a self-paced book study for professional development credits. We both tend to be procrastinators. Here’s what’s happening.

My course was supposed to start during my Spring Break, back in March, but the questions weren’t ready. I thought I would read the book, answer a few questions, and be done. Not so.

I read the book (The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion), and frankly enjoyed it, but still the questions weren’t available. I read it as a digital library loan, and others were waiting for it, so naturally I had to return it. Well, then the questions were posted. By this time I was back to school, and my time was far more limited. Still, I read through the questions and was shocked to find that there were 22 of them! Oh, and some of the questions required additional reading. Hey, wait a minute… nobody said anything about that at the beginning of the book study!

I ordered a copy of the book because there was no way I could answer the questions without a paper copy of it in front of me for reference. I got the book, put it in an easily noticeable spot, and carried on with my life, forgetting all about the book study.

Fortunately for me, the moderator sent out an email not too long ago reminding everyone that the book study was wrapping up at the end of May. Yikes!

Okay, I told myself, you have the last week of May off. School is out and summer work hasn’t begun. You can do this!

Well, so far so good. Last night I stayed up until almost 3 am answering questions that I could easily recall and find support for in the text. Those requiring more careful rereading and reading additional texts are still awaiting my responses. I’m about a third of the way done, and I’m sure I’ll complete it in time. At least that’s what I say now.

Deep down, however, I know I’m a procrastinator. I know that I’ll probably get down to the wire on this one. And I’ll probably scold myself for it, too.  Sad, but true.

Anyway, I’m a fan of online learning for the flexibility it allows, but it worries me because it allows you to put off your work until you’re in a position where it’s do or die. Those deadlines come and go, and if your work isn’t submitted, too bad.

My son, fortunately, seems to have figured this out more quickly than I have. He’s really surprised me. Every day he takes over my desk with his computer and his math book and he does his work. I sometimes wonder if this is really the same kid who never seemed to do homework in high school (but really, he did, I swear it). I can’t complain, whatever he’s doing is working, so I should probably change my ways and try to be more like him.

It seems that the student has become the teacher. I’m okay with that, I really am.


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Happy Birthday to my Boy

Today was the first time in years that I didn’t serve birthday cake for breakfast on this date. You see, that’s our family tradition, or at least it was. Today, however, my son woke up on his birthday away from home.Birthday-cake-clip-art-clipart-cliparts-for-you-2.jpg

Now he wasn’t far from home, just a few miles away in the dorm, but still, he wasn’t here. He turned nineteen today, and it was strange not starting the day with a little birthday party.

He’s growing up, and changing, and so our traditions are changing too. We went to lunch with his grandmother today, and that was a wonderful way to celebrate. Not the same, of course, but still we spent time together.

Frankly, I was pleased that he made the time to do it. After all, when you’re a college student so many things compete for your time and attention, and typically your mother and grandmother don’t top the list. He did it for me. I know that. I appreciate it.

My son has matured so much in the past year. The change from a senior in high school to an almost finished freshman in college has been remarkable. He’s accepted the change with grace. I can learn from him.

Happy birthday, son. I love you.