Sunday, October 12, 2008

Girl seeking college

PPP and I made a short road trip, a "college visit," since she IS a senior already. There were a few other things to be done in NashVegas, so it wasn't ALL about the college, but mostly. We thought.

First, be assured that for a teacher, being gone from school is not as simple as making sure an adult is in the room with the hooligans to prevent bodily harm during the assigned hour. I have a formula that tells me that for each and every hour I am NOT at school, I spend 4.613 hours preparing to be gone, and another 3.728 hours when I get back, figuring out what happened when I was gone. Because I do more this year than teach - as in 'school events' -multiply times 21. So, it took me all week to get to the point of leaving. But we did. PPP was in a hurry to get out of town too. She was concerned that I might change my mind. Valid point.

My BFF the Photographer, has a spare apartment in NashVegas; her son, my Bonus Boy was 'free' so to speak, the plan was that we would all meet up when we arrived at 7:45 p.m., as determined by a series of text messages:

ME: we're leaving now, we'll be there about 7:45
Bonus: OK
ME: So, plan to get there about then.
Bonus: OK
ME (to the Photog): What's your plan?
Photog: Working, then headed your way.
ME: Do you have a time frame?
Photog: We'll see, it's busy. I'll get there eventually.

Note that I am the only person who seems to have a notion of time here. Promptly at 5:32, which is when I usually walk in the door at home, I got starving, and sleepy. Too bad I was driving the car. It's a good thing PPP can drive, because she does not take a nap at 5:32 every afternoon and she drives way faster than her mother.
Eventually, we got close, so I texted Bonus Boy to confirm that he was where I wanted him to be - at the apartment at 7:45. TIME was becoming important to me, because I was hungry and exhausted. Also, I had an appointment at 8:00 a.m. the next day.

Me: We'll be there in about 20 minutes
Bonus: OK, I guess I'll head that way.
Me: Where are you?
Bonus: At home (45 minutes away)

And, to the Photographer:
Me: What's your plan?
Photog: I'm going to leave work in a few minutes and go home to get some things then I'll be there.
Me: Any time frame?
Photog: When I get there, I guess.

So...that went on for a while, while we drove up and down the street looking for Chick-Fil-A and a bathroom clean enough for a Princess. We didn't find Chick-Fil-A, though "clean enough for a Princess" is directly proportional to how long one looks for said facilities. . . we eventually found one.
We eventually found Bonus Boy, and were so glad to see him, and his mother's very clean apartment, with its beds. We wandered the downtown streets, eventually finding dinner. PPP and Bonus Boy quickly developed a plan in which they would enroll in college somewhere nearby and live in said apartment, for the sheer joy of it. The Photographer, when she eventually arrived at some point in the middle of the night, said "No." And we all went to bed.I got up early, had some early a.m chatty time with my BFF, took care of the business part of the trip, and returned to find PPP immersed in her waking up routine.Her waking-up routine centers around coffee and wrapping herself in a blanket. "You can never get bored at the Photographer's place, because she has so many catalogs." Duly noted, PPP. Also, stuff like this. I always keep my telescope ready to look out my window, don't you?OK, seriously, we spent the night in a Neiman-Marcus catalog, or something. The crooked pillows are proof that I was there, not a photo stylist. Bonus Boy's waking up routine involves looking out the windows. Looking for landmarks. "Everything you could ever need is just around the corner from here." Bonus remarked. "Except a college." I said. "Oh, yeah." Bonus and PPP in unison. Deflated.Anyone feeling any sense of urgency to go look at this college, and finish our business, and head home? Anybody?Eventually, they had to get hungry ...that would be breakfast at 11 a.m. PPP and Bonus Boy seemed to have dropped into an eventual time warp, because nobody was in a hurry. I was mentally checking off in my head all the things that I was not doing, while I watched them mosey through the morning, looking out the window and flipping through catalogs.
When we got down the street to our college destination, we found this. A fence, fencing in another fence.
That banner behind the fence tells us that the next Presidential debate would be held there. We had made an appointment, but we couldn't get past the guards, at every single entry point of the campus. They sent the students HOME for the debate to make sure it would be all authentic town-hallish.

Rented fences with gates and guards around the perimeter of this urban campus. Tents and tents on the tennis courts. It was very clean and elaborately landscaped. No students, no tours, no college life.
So... It didn't matter that we looked at catalogs and searched for landmarks from 29 stories above the sidewalk, or that we ordered breakfast at 11:00 a.m.
Because the only unfenced part of this school we saw was the picturesque and photographable granite sign.

When we got home, PPP said that she doesn't think she likes this college. "I didn't see anyone walking around who looks like me." That is correct, you saw a rented fence around the entire perimeter of the campus. Also, driveway guards.

So, while she took the SAT or ACT or some multi-letter standarized test that claims to determine her future, I developed an elaborate document called: PPP's college grid which contains all the info that she considers key to her decision, and no extra information that she deems superfluous.
PPP's grid doesn't look just like this elaborate and intriguing thing, but sort of. Because while they were gazing out the windows, I was entertaining myself with the Photographer's always interesting knick-knacks. Like I always do.


kikibibi said...

Dear Friend: I am so glad you're going through this journey a few years ahead of me and can advise when we get to this point! I took some great photos at football yesterday, a la Young Son. Interestingly, NKB was wearing #12, not his usual number #21. We found out later that NKB was nearly benched the entire game because HE FORGOT HIS JERSEY. Please tell me thing like this happen in your house too? Will try to find the strength/creativity to post my football boy's photos soon. kk

PPP said...

sweet stalker pics mom! my fav is me and t being batman/batwoman. we're really cool, we know.

Rue said...

Hi Ann :)

My favorite part of this post was....
PPP said that she doesn't think she likes this college. "I didn't see anyone walking around who looks like me." That is correct, you saw a rented fence around the entire perimeter of the campus. Also, driveway guards.

Ah... kids. LOL I hope she finds a great college. My son Alex is going to OSU, but wants to tranfer to Arizona State and thinks he wants to live with his grandma. $100 bucks says he'll change his mind two months into that ;)