Tag Archives: college

I’ve Actually Heard The Excuse ‘The Dog Ate My Homework’ But This One Takes The Cake. And Coming From A Teacher.

My daughter is attending one of our higher institutions for learning. It is a university with accolades galore. A good school. A recognizable name.

So, when she told me this story about one of her professors, I was a bit baffled.

She and her classmates had taken their last test before final exams a few days ago. The professor was handing back their tests and reminding them that they needed to study for the final from all of their previous exams.

“Oh,” she continued, “and I have to apologize. But my cat peed on your tests.”

Cat-Looks-Shocked

Whaaaa?

“Was she serious?” I asked.

“Oh yeah,” my daughter replied.

So, it smells. To high heaven. Of cat pee.

“I just feel sorry for the guy whose test was on the top of the pile,” my daughter said.

Okay. First of all, I’d be mortified, as a teacher, to hand back tests or papers that had been soiled in any way. Cat pee, being one of the most mortifying.

Secondly, why hand them back at all? Or, better yet, photo copy the tests and hand back the photo copies so that your student’s backpacks, cars and dorm rooms don’t have to smell like your cat’s urine.

Just a thought. Or two.

Nope. I’m still sitting here, shaking my head.

Simply baffled.

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Filed under I'm Baffled (And Because I Love The Word Baffled)

My Baby Is Heading Off To College. Help!

My baby. My sweet, adorable angel. My amazing little girl is heading off for college. College? Seriously? Oh, how I feel like my grandmother when I say this but here goes….Where DID the time go?

I love being a mother.

Wait.

Did I just say “love?”

I ADORE being a mother.

It has been, hands down, that absolute best job I have ever had. No commute time. Loads of benefits. Company car. My coffee breaks aren’t timed. I can take a lunch whenever I want. No company parties to attend. Free daycare. Casual dress code.

And, I’m my own boss. (Well, most of the time.)

But it’s one of the rare jobs out there with a limited lifespan and forced retirement. Oh sure, I’m still her mother. But no longer the day-to-day chef, nurse, chauffeur, laundress and maid.

Hmmmmm. Maybe this isn’t such a bad thing.

As much as I’ve complained about picking up after her, attending to her crisis-of-the-week, cooking the dreaded tuna noodle casserole (her favorite), I’m going to miss that little stinker.

She is bubbly and bright. A stinging sense of humor. She quick with a witty comment or a heartfelt hug  just when you need it. She entertains her little brothers for hours on end. She has the magic touch when they are sad or frustrated.

I am going to miss her. So much. Four hours away seems like forever away.

My heart is aching and excited for her, all in the same beat. Such a pivotal and exciting chapter in her life. But I’ll be on the sidelines, with binoculars, from oh-so-far-away, watching and cheering. I’d like to think it is going to be a pivotal and exciting chapter for me, too.

But right now?

I just miss her so much.

 

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Filed under children, Growing Up, Motherhood

If I Could Have Just One, Make That Ten, Do-overs

If  I could just have one do-over, I would have let Scott kiss me and said, “Yes. I will go with you.” (“go with” as in date…well, as much as you can date when you’re in the 6th grade.)

If I could have nine more do-overs? I would have…

…gone to law school immediately after college. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

…found a way to live closer to my favorite place in the world. (Don’t laugh) Yes, that would be Disney World.

…stopped every stupid lesson plan that started going wrong and pushed my students harder instead of letting them (goof off) explore their creative impulses.  

…stood up to my mother more in my twenties when I was an adult and in charge of my life.

…pushed and pursued a singing career with a little more effort. Opportunities just fell into my lap and I took them all for granted.

…called my grandparents more often and begged to hear story after story after story and written every single one of them down afterwards.

…listened to my mid-wife when she told me that losing weight after a baby is difficult. Even more difficult when you’re having one at age forty. And then, I would have eaten less and better.

…been a heck of a lot more confident in high school. Because, really. How much of that crap matters now?

…waited until I was a little bit older and a little bit wiser to get married for the first time.

But I didn’t.

I said no to Scott, let’s just be friends. (even though I had a killer crush on him) I floundered after college. I stayed in the same place after college. I let my students run over me sometimes, not wanting to squash their creativity. I let my mother dictate my life until I was in my 40’s. I thought there would always be singing opportunities. I talked more about my life with my grandparents than I listened about theirs. I fed my cravings of ice cream and McDonald’s french fries when I was pregnant. I pretended I was confident in high school, but deep down I was pining to be the popular one. I married at the oh-so-wise age of 21 because, seriously, I knew everything there was to know about what was good for me.

But.

And it’s a big but.

I wouldn’t change a thing.

I have an amazing husband. Three fantastic, beautiful children. A career as a stay-at-home-mom – and who knew I would love it so much? I have a life with regrets and accomplishments and friends and scars. And I wouldn’t change a thing.

Because I like who I’ve become. And I wouldn’t be me without all my experiences.

So, if I could have ten do-overs? I wouldn’t do it.

Nope.

Because then, I wouldn’t be here.

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Filed under Lessons Learned

Elevatin’ To Another Level – Not Higher, Just Different

I always wanted to be the party girl.

No. Scratch that.

I always wanted to be included.

But I wasn’t.

In high school, the guy I had a major crush on, and who I thought had a major crush on me, went to see Rush perform at the local university without me. I was disappointed and I asked him about it. He said, “I didn’t think you were the type.”

What type is that? Sure, I didn’t smoke pot. Yes, I was the one nursing a beer all night long, pouring sips down the sink when no one was looking so it would look like I was finishing my drink at an appropriate pace. I suppose he and his friends didn’t want me tagging along, judging their smoking and drinking and having a good time. But I didn’t judge. Not really. It just wasn’t for me. I still enjoyed their company. I still wanted to be included. And while we did a lot of things together, I still didn’t feel like I belonged.

That group I so desperately wanted to feel a part of was brilliant. I mean it. All were in Advanced Placement classes. One (my crush) went to MIT on full scholarship (but then got kicked out for dealing drugs.) One went to Berklee and his girlfriend went to Juilliard (she dropped out to become a psychologist.)  Another was in med school when he died of a brain aneurysm. His dad was a surgeon who demanded an explanation and rumor has it, a full autopsy revealed that it was from prior drug use. How they determined this, I don’t know – it is rumor, after all. Maybe it was to scare us straight. Maybe the family wanted to cling to something because Tony had been clean for years.

They were bright. They were funny. They were wild.

And I wasn’t.

Enter college, and I was married by the time I was 21. Still finishing college. But now I was an old married lady. Fellow students wanted to go out and celebrate after a big test but I had a husband to get home to. Pull an all-nighter with a co-ed study group? Too awkward with my husband at home who had work in the morning. With all the detours in my life – changing majors, schools, getting married – it took a little longer for me to finish college. My peers were only a little younger than me but they looked up to me, like some wise sage. Oh, the difference a few years makes when you’re young.

They were bright. They were fun. They were free.

And I wasn’t.

I had my first child when I was 29. Two more when I turned 40. That ten-year span puts me at odds again. The parents of my daughter’s friends are exploring new hobbies, going on more vacations, spending more time out with friends, experiencing freedom again. But we still have two small boys at home. Having a blast with them (with less energy than their friend’s parents) we’re a little more tied to the home front, still acutely aware of how much raising children costs, getting to bed early even on the weekends. The parents of our boys’ friends are the ages of my former high school students. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – but there is something to be said for those 10 years of life experiences.

They’re still interesting. They share in parenting joys and frustrations. But every once in a while, a comment will reveal that they’re still green.

And I’m not.

The paths I have chosen have always kept me out of the loop. I’ve never quite felt as if I belonged anywhere, really. And those choices have kept me from being included in things. Parties. Concerts. Study sessions. Play groups.

The odd one out.

Most of the time, I’m OK with that. Most of the time.

But some days, it’s lonely.

I’d like to think that, all my life, I’ve just been on a different plane, a different level.

Not higher, just different.

And some days, it sure would be nice to be dancing with everyone else – at the same concert, at the same party, on the same level.

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Filed under Music, Ponderings