Friday, July 26, 2013

Pinch Me

Yes, I attended one (well two) of these...
This is where life gets surreal... where a tart becomes a mom of a COLLEGE student, even while believing she is barely out of college herself and remembering such freshman shenanigans as stealing the pallets we used to prop out twin beds in the air (thereby increasing floor space drastically), to Crisco Twister in the hallway, to the midguided Everclear Party... I refuse to name names (except when I periodically blackmail my friend Joann—the worldly Portland gal across the hall, who, it turns out may have been more cultured, but not more experienced, than yours truly... only so much to do in a small town, after all) in hope that nobody names me. Ah yes... these skeletons are STILL dancing. I love them, in fact. But Do I really want my daughter creating her own?

I've written the check... she is registered... I went to orientation last night. She is going to a community college for two years and so living at home. In a way this is SUPER nice. It is a lot cheaper and I think community colleges do a much better job of teaching kids to be college students. Four-year schools it is more a 'dive in and sink or swim' deal. And my daughter could use the floaties at first. She is more artistic than academic.

Wait... Is this Phi-Psi's?
That said, when I think about those dorm years especially, but my sorority years too... I loved the group living. And I loved what leaving home did for me being able to 'create myself from scratch'--the contrast of high school me to college me is very parallel to real life me versus Tart Me. In a new place you can try on things and be a little outrageous in a way that old (or professional) environments don't really allow. I want my daughter to GET that fresh start. Not that she NEEDS it—her self here is fabulous. But I think it is liberating to do—I think we learn something about ourselves when we venture out.

In more violent Surreal News

Weird stuff in Ann Arbor. Know how I live in a place with the safety of the 50s, culture of the 70s and lifestyle of the present? Well reality has struck this week, and too close to home. A 25 year old medical student who lived a BLOCK from my office... like RIGHT THERE, was found dead in his apartment “under suspicious circumstances.”

Maybe it is the murder writer in me, but doesn't that mean they suspect homicide? I mean if it were a drug overdose (something POSSIBLE for a medical student because they DO have some access) they'd just SAY that—looks like an overdose... right? But they aren't releasing information. It's sad. Clearly he was bright. I'm sure he had a promising future. AND FOR PETE'S SAKE THIS IS ANN ARBOR! Homicides aren't supposed to happen here....nearly never do.

And then closer to HOME... Armed bank robbery 4 blocks from my house. Holy crap! Did somebody forget to tell us that when Detroit declared bankruptcy, they also decided to migrate west?

And then the Physical Part

My boss has this great new job... which means I have this great new job (same pay, twice the responsibility—all that—but seriously, I love the WORK we will be doing)--but what that MEANS is we will be moving office soon. And so I've spent the better part of this week sorting what needs to be shredded, ordinary recycled, and packed... lugging boxes of paper. Every day this week I've FILLED a 'confidential' bin (the shredding) that is 4' X 2.5' X 2.5' FULL of paper. EVERY. DAY. In fact on Wednesday my boss came in and made her niece steal a second bin from down the hall and we filled that, too. [note: my boss is not a thief so much as a diva... a FABULOUS diva... but when she wants something, she wants it NOW]

Bonus for reading to the end...

FRUITFLY DEATH... we are having a bad fruitfly year and my buddy Jackie told me this... mix apple cider vinegar with dish soap... put it in tiny bowls... fruitflies can't resist... It TOTALLY works. I put 3 in various places in our house and have killed like 47,000 fruitflies.

Reality hitting anybody else where it hurts?


Cruella Collett said...

Ooh, I want to try the fruit fly thing! They are EVERYWHERE in our apartment, and I'm getting real sick of them.

And yay you for the cooler job - I'm voting for that turning into cooler pay as well in the future (not sure I have the right to vote in this matter, but since it's election year in Norway I'm really aware of my democratic rights at the moment, so I'll try anyway...)

And and NO WAY Thing One is a College Kid. NO WAY! They grow up so fast! I'm sure she'll get to do the "fresh start" part of it soon enough, though. In many ways I think it's a little healthy to do these things in stages - both start a new school with all new people AND move away from home at the same time? I see kids every semester who struggle to no end to deal with the double load of that - this way it won't be quite as big a shock, probably.

Diana Wilder said...

Ah, college...
I lived in a dorm that smelled of popcorn (some smelled of pot and some of sweat...)

I don't know about current crime, but I was thinking, this past week, of a fellow I worked with for a few years and liked a lot. He went back to NYC to work and I took another job. I remembered him from time to time, and t'other day I thought, "I wonder what Joe L is up to?" (He'd introduced me to sushi; I mean, I OWED this guy!)

So I went to Google typed his name, a comma, and the word 'attorney', and watched what came up.

There he was. Joe L. He started working in NYC on September 9, in Tower 1 of the World Trade Center. He was in a meeting on one of the upper stories when the plane hit. (His name was in a listing of victims.)

It's been 12 years, nearly. I was stunned. Reality breaking in and hitting someone I had known and liked.


Have a great weekend! Diana at About Myself By Myself

Em-Musing said...

I hate when reality breaks into my peaceful existence. I used to live near Ann Arbor, and it truly seemed like a city by itself. Here where I live in Mexico, I thought I was exempt from crime, but there have been a few break-ins. Damn!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Whew, lots going on with you! :) Good stuff - college, new job - and not so good stuff.

I used to think there was something wrong with me when I would hear a news story and start twisting it around or looking at it from a different pov, etc. but then my husband would just shrug and say, "You're a writer. It's what you do." :)

jack welling said...

Murder. This one doesn't appear to be an Uzi on the front steps killing, though. Not too worried.

Now the guy who wrote "Kill Kathie" three times on his Evernote to do list... That's some murder right there. With a kitchen knife, too.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I live in a small southern town and homicides are rare here, too. That would freak me out.

Maurice Mitchell said...

I'll have to try that tip since the local fruit store always his flies, but great fruit. Thanks Hart!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I hate fruit flies.
University is a learning experience and it's sink or swim. I did well, but my roommates (dubbed the beer elves) did not. Your daughter might miss some experiences, but she'll be grounded and more mature.

L.G. Smith said...

I've got two more years before my only child goes to college. I think he will have to live at home as well, unless he can get a scholarship (fingers crossed). But, yeah, will he then miss out on all that personal learning that takes place living away from home?

And nice tip on the fruitflies. Here's one for you. If you have slugs in your garden, you can put out a shallow bowl of beer overnight, and they will crawl in it and drown in a frat house inspired drinkfest. :P

Helena said...

I was miserable in high school but ended up loving my dorm years (freshman and sophomore years) in college. I met great new friends and felt liberated. But I was also too young to choose my major wisely, damn it.

I don't have a fruitfly story, but seriously this evening I saw for the first time ever two ladybugs having sex. I didn't know little bugs had sex, which tells you that I didn't learn enough in college.

My heart goes out to the family of the young med student.

Christopher Allen said...

Hoping all works out with the new college entrant! And the new job, and the 47,000 fruitfly funerals. That's a lot of eulogies to do on the fly. Couldn't resist.

CA Heaven said...

Kids leaving home. Mission completed, as a parent. My older son finished high school last spring. Then he spent a winter on the slopes, doing nothing nut skiing. And then he found that this was enjoyable life, so he also plans to spend the next winter doing nothing but skiing. It's now or never, he says. I hope at some point he wants to go to college >:)

Cold As Heaven

Jill Haugh said...

College years? (shudder)
I can't even imagine. I'm sending mine to seventh grade after homeschooling her since forever.
I liked the photo of the pool party. I'm surprised the floor didn't cave in.
And in regards to the middle paragraph where you described the goings-on in Ann Arbor, I felt like I was reading the opener to your next novel! Hmmm.....
My goal today is finish reading Ill Omens today and sending comments by tomorrow!
~Just Jill

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I'm also a fan of the community college, and of the small local college-- we've done both, as well as sent kids away to large universities-- and they've all done just fine! I think it's harder on mom than anyone. Too bad about the crime in your neighborhood. It's one thing to read about things like that happening elsewhere, always a shock when it happens in one's own backyard.