Wednesday, October 3, 2007

They are Called Freshmen For a Reason!

I barely survived my son's freshmen year in college. He was suppose to be a walk-on at the GREAT University of Oklahoma, where his fantastic skills at football were all but guaranteed to win him a position on the team. You know, the 7-time National Football Champion team of the Oklahoma Sooners...that team. Didn't happen. The boy had an academic disadvantage - he only got a 1.7 GPA. Seems the GREAT university would have to wait on his more physical skills while he sharpened up the pencils at the local community college. He did sharpen his skills, and he did actually pass, but boy-oh-boy I felt like pulling my hair out with every twist and turn of his enrollment, his acceptance, his pell grant application, his failure to turn in this sheet of paper, or his failure to sign that piece. I made it a point every single semester (to my own students) to be sure and write out a declaration that every single freshmen have at least one real adult that I can discuss things with because I just seem to get the message of how to enroll and stay enrolled through to the more experienced members of the family!

My girls, and I say this with all love, honor, and respect, are NO different than my son, or any other Freshmen on any other campus when it comes to making silly and needless mistakes in the Finanical Aid Department, the testing center, not bringing their school i.d. to class and being asked to leave the campus, or it may be that they simply didn't bring their books to school - again. FRESHMEN drive me crazy! It's as if they wake up and write out long lists of what they can do to really get me going - and not in a good way.

Caity, for instance, lost her i.d. Not only did she lose it, she lost her back up and her state i.d. as well - probably not so much lost as it was just under the couch or something. I had to drive to the vital records to get a birth certificate to prove she's alive. No picture, but it proves she was born. Laura couldn't be outdone by her sister, so she promptly left all of her study materials and books at home the next time class met, and this was the class she actually decided to attend on a regular basis. That's right, I got the notice in the mail - or actually Laura did, but YES I opened it and read it. I do that, I call first of course, but threatened to withhold food if they decline my nosy Momness. She was being academically withdrawn for not attending a particular class - why? Why? Because she wasn't interested in it after the first meeting. FRESHMEN! We're paying for it of course, it won't count for or against her, but we're paying for it.

So, where does this leave me? Well, I'm still sane. I decided to drag the two of them from department to department in the school, forcing them to pull the earbuds out of their heads, forcing them to speak face to face with office personnel, and from time to time I almost felt as if I was pulling a string on Laura's back to make her mouth move. I remember nodding my head, shaking my head, using sign language, and opening my eyes UP REALLY WIDE to make an emphasised POINT over this or that issue. They got it through their collective heads - you must go to class, you must pay your bills, you must do the work, you must show up on time, you must have your work, you must have your i.d., and if you're required to, you will test, and you test until you get it done!

Welcome to adulthood - one kicking kid at a time. What happened to my plan to emancipate these two? Oh yeah, I remember, they decided that being adults wasn't as fun as they thought it was going to be. I let them live on their own this summer. I should have taken the opportunity to move...instead, I volunteered to be their parent for another year. Please pray for me. Thanks.

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