Write In Between

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

What a Mom learns at college (revised)

I continue to be away from my family for a few weeks as I take another graduate course. It’s a sacrifice for my family to live without “Mom” and it’s a sacrifice for me to be “away from home.” But besides theology, I am learning many things…

About life in the dorm...

The level of cleanliness in the dorm rises as does the median age of the occupants on the floor. (Yes, I’m grateful us ‘older students’ are grouped accordingly.)

You can lose all track of time when you close the blinds on your cubicle (uh, dorm room) and your only source of light is the fluorescent overhead.

You can always tell the difference between a grad student and an undergrad…undergrads weekends are way longer.

You really can over-sleep if you don’t pull the clock-radio doo-hickey all the way over to “alarm.” (It can also happen the next day too if you screw up the AM and PM settings on the clock radio.)

The one place in the dorm I avoid: The shared kitchen. (No, thanks, I’ve got one of my own at home to clean!)

The need to find a functioning change machine that works for the coin-operated laundry is directly proportional to how soon your clean underwear runs out.

It is good to own a car.

About life on campus…

College cafeteria food is not made for middle-age, hormonal women.

You really are invisible to the younger students on campus when you are a middle-aged student. Either that, or they ask you, “Do you work here?”

Every summer session should have the “ice cream man” (remember the neighborhood truck?) come to campus between classes.

Getting your exercise by walking across across campus carrying a load of books is way over-rated.

Coffee is a food group.

Again, it is good to have a car.

About calls from home…

They always come when I am in class so please leave a message!

They are never long enough.

They can be the best part of the day.

It’s good to be reminded that there is a life beckoning us back from the study-eat-sleep-repeat cycle.

And no, I have no idea where the carpet stain remover is, why do you ask?

And remember, Mom loves email too.

About the nature of my course work…

If you have not thoroughly read the material and taken copious notes, you can guarantee the prof will call on you to present a coherent summary to the class.

You know you are one of the oldest in your class when the professor recalls something from your childhood as a historical point of reference.

Always save your work under multiple file names. And never walk away from your computer without saving your work first.

And if you accidentally lose 4 hours of work on your computer becauseofyourownstupidity, don’t cry. Pray to Jesus and Mary for help. They really will help you write a better paper. Don’t ask me how I know this.

It’s 3 credits in 3 jam-packed weeks. I call that a deal. I wish I got credit like that for the other 49 weeks of my year!

Copyright 2006 Patricia W. Gohn

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