Back to School

This is such a changing season of life for me … maybe because we aren’t where I expected to be … maybe because we are RIGHT where God wants us to be.  Maybe He needs me to be solely dependent on Him because if my life were easier right now, I’d forget to ask Him for the Daily Bread that sustains us; I might not see His Hand so clearly in small things such as an unexpected windfall.  I’m not sure what God’s purposes are … I just know that I need Him.

As with most families, our lives seem to be a series of ups and downs.  One of the highs is that our son has started college – the lows are that he had no idea what he was getting into that first day!  The university here has started with its highest enrollment ever – over 27,000 students, most convening on the same campus at or around the same time.

Take, for example, the premium of parking – as a town student, Drew has to drive in to school and despite the fact that he bought a permit for the commuter lot, there aren’t enough spaces there to accommodate all the permit holders.  The very first day of class, he didn’t need to be on campus until after 11:00 a.m. which left him trolling the lot with a few other unsuspecting students, looking for a parking space – and as class time rapidly approached, he, at least, gave up and paid $5 to use the visitor parking garage.  Now he has to decide how to go to a late morning class – either go and hang out on campus for hours in the earlier morning or plan something else.  And what to do next semester?  Buy a more expensive, more convenient permit or continue the logistical nightmare of parking in the cheaper remote lot.

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(above image – a glimpse of campus with “Old Main” in the foreground)

Then once you park, you have to walk – many blocks – often uphill (the university’s Freshmen slogan is “HEADED TO THE HILL”) to get to the building where your class is held.  Then you have walk some more to get to the bookstore or the library or wherever it is you need to be.  At least Drew is getting A LOT of exercise!  That is one – actually fond – memory I have of my college days … walking all over campus in the flow of the hundreds of other students all around you.  For Drew, it is a little bit different as he says of the thousands of people he’s seen every day, he has seen only 2 or 3 people that he recognizes and only 1 he has actually talked to so far.  It is a sea of strangers, kind of like visiting a foreign city!

On the happier side, we found out this week that Drew has somehow merited another scholarship from a business college donor in the amount of $3000 towards his Freshmen year!  We are SO thankful for the blessings of several scholarships this year – and 2 of them that will seep over into the next years.  His goal to get out of college debt-free seems to be a little more realistic.

When I ventured to college 28 many years ago, things were so much simpler – even though I was pretty apprehensive as it was!  I remember what a blessing it was to secure an electric typewriter to share with a roommate so we could type our essays and papers.  Now, every student has their own laptop, and the campus has wireless access throughout as a matter of course.  My professors had moved on from blackboards to white boards with those smelly, erasable markers … the professors now have “online blackboards” on which to “post” their assignments and notes.

One thing that hasn’t changed a lot of the high cost of textbooks!  Thankfully, Drew was able to rent 2 textbooks this semesters – given that he returned them in good condition.  Well, today ruined that prospect because it rained.  Normally, if he didn’t need to be in class or a study group, he could have found shelter, but today he was going to have to get home to watch his little sister while our other daughter was on a field trip that extended beyond school hours.  And so, Drew ran through the pouring (and it was a gully washer!!) storm to get himself home after class – and in the meantime, all the textbooks in his backpack got soaked through!  Even the rented textbooks, which, of course, renders them un-returnable once the semester is over, and he’ll have to pay full price for them.  And it turns out Annie was back at school before dismissal time anyway!  One step ahead … two steps backwards, sometimes.

In any case, the first week of college is now complete!  Next week, Drew will approach campus a little smarter, better informed.  And I’ll be able to relax a little more as well.

I can’t believe my son is a college student.  At least I haven’t really had to “let him go” yet since he lives at home, although between his job in the evenings and mine during the days, I do hardly see him.  Then again, a boy needs to appease his momma sometimes, and we had lunch together on Tuesday after his early morning classes.  I love having a grown-up child – a friend, really.  He is understanding responsibility, making plans, and dreaming dreams.  It is fun to watch!

Meanwhile, we have the girls back at school for 2 weeks now.  Annie is doing SO MUCH better this school year, and in fact, there is a new girl, who has great potential of becoming a good friend.  Another creative, theatrical, old-time-TV-show watching, musical-lover, and vintage clothes fan – who also isn’t athletic!  Ha!!  In any case, I’ve enjoyed watching my Annie-Belle mature this summer – with the help of some good counsel and just the passage of time.  She is hopeful -and I too hope this comes to pass -that this will be her “best year yet”.

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Mimsy is in 1st grade, and she LOVES her teacher.  Her teacher has many years of teaching experience and is very nonplussed by having a room of 20+ 6 year olds.  She is – I believe – the only teacher in the elementary school who doesn’t have a co-teacher or aide (this may change as she’d like to have one but they just haven’t been able to find her a helper).  I think we’re going to have another great school year!

And so, time goes on … I’ve written at least 10 other blog posts in the last month of things I’ve learned and observed and thought about – especially in regard to us finding a new church this summer as well as what God is doing in my own heart.  But I haven’t had the liberty yet to push the “post” button on those thoughts, so for now I will contain them and just share what’s new with the kids here on my on-line journal.

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One Response to Back to School

  1. Tanya says:

    I’ve been praying and wondering about the church search.
    It is different to have an “adult” child. I am so sorry about the rented textbooks. We rented one, too, and they said the same thing that if it got wet it would break the rental agreement. I was kind of thinking, “What about smoke??” (or some other worse case scenario). Anyway, textbooks are crazy expensive!
    Love and miss you!

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