Monday, April 14, 2008

Continuing Ed

Our Boomer Gal columnist, Kathy Norton got me thinking with her parenting rant, "College Undergrads get dumb before they smarten up." I taught my mother a lesson or two my first few months as a SUNY New Paltz freshman. Here they are:

— Parent phone call hours are Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday, between 5 and 6 p.m. All other hours of the day are off limits, especially hours before noon, when I'm asleep. If you violate the phone policy, you leave me no choice but to rack up an outrageous long distance bill, and you will have to pay the balance, plus late fees, in order to stop campus administration from shutting down my tele service permanently... and to get my end of semester grades.

— I was looking rounded, not well rounded... and it wasn't the orphanage-quality gruel that is served in the campus dining hall. Go ahead, check my meal card. Still shinny and new, like an unauthorized credit card. There's two good reasons. 10 cent wing and $2 pitchers at Cuddy’s.

— When I told you I was being thrifty with my savings account, I meant that keg parties only charge $5 for a bottomless cup!

— Remember that money you sent for the mid-Semester Psychology textbook, the professor sprang on us? Well... thanks for buying my tattoo!

Did your mom interrogate your roommate? Call you at 7 a.m. Saturdays? Send you embarrassing care packages in the mail? Share your stories!


sarah said...

in the end, tho, i think Kathy was right. i think i went through an adjustment those first few semester at school, that actually made me dumber. that is why i have TWO tattoos and spent my savings account money on "recreation".

what part of your life did you feel smarter?

Chrissie said...

this is one topic i can't really relate to i guess (we are odd after all)!

i went to DCC after high school, so i didn't have that "on campus- home away from home" living experience.

and then when i transfered to marist, i was working full time and living on my own, so school was always like a second job to me.

some people ask if i think i "missed out" on anything... and i really don't. but i think going about things the way i did, leaves out that time where we "get dumber."

thus: i have no tattoos, and in light of the "full time school full time work" at the same time thing... i have no savings either;)

sarah said...

i worked too, mostly work-study in college gym and day care center, and then there was the 6 a.m. bakery job, followed by the summer job at Friendly's (if anyone remembers when New Paltz had a Friendly's), and finally settling into a full-time gig at Ruby Tuesday in the mall for five very very very long years.

But if there was one thing that taught me responsibility it was having to pay for most of everything.

Stan Alam said...

College was like summer camp. That's how I am always going to remember it. I can't believe I actually took this social institution seriously. I used to think that earning a PhD or contributing to humanity was something noble. I look at the poor grad students and PhD students who are literally doing defacto slave labor. (on the needs of deferring their loans) As far as the adage goes, "work smart not hard", I never believed it. I disliked it when people would say that. I felt like I worked hard, too much. Now I understand that there's a saturation point for hard work. Being adaptive is a greater advantage than knowledge. I think this still holds true in a post-industrial society as it did in the last ice age. I don't learned anything.