Saturday, August 22, 2009

What is College?

When you are six…..

College is the place where your big sister goes to live.

College means the big sister’s room is now clean and empty.

College means having your own computer.

College is far away.

College means the teens that are always around are now gone.

But what the six year old didn’t know was that college is also school.

School? Katie is going to school?

So began the explanation of how Katie lives in an apartment with her friends and walks to another building to go to school.

Complete puzzlement on that one.

How do you explain college to a six year old?

You don’t. You have to show her in person.

Today we made the drive into Atlanta to find “college.”

Oh yes, and to see Katie too. I had warned her we’d need to come up within a week of her leaving so the little girls….and mom….could see where she lives now.

We pulled up outside her building and parked in what Katie calls the ghetto parking lot. Evidently you just put your money inside the slot marked with what parking space you chose. If you fail to do so, you may return and find your car booted.

Lovely. Welcome to Atlanta.

Since we cannot enter her secured building without her presence, we waited ever so patiently in the aforementioned ghetto lot.

And then she appeared…..much to the delight of two short people. But, they were also fascinated by the large puddle lurking nearby so didn’t show quite the excitement I had expected.

Now, to haul all the requested items into the building. Hmmm. Had she not considered the fact that we had a bunch of stuff to carry?

Where were the back-ups?

Upstairs eating.

Well, tell them to stop eating!

In a short time, Katie’s roommate, Natalie, and The Boyfriend, Catlan, arrived. Cat does not attend the same school but was there visiting as he is not that far away. I had things to deliver to him from his mom so told him he’d better still be there when we showed up!

The Beverly Hillbillies, aka the eight of us, trooped into the building with Wal-Mart bags hanging off our arms, lugging chairs and barstools, with two Chinese girls very energetically leading the way.

Yep, I’m sure we were a sight to behold.

Did you know college is a hotel? I guess it would appear that way to a six year old. But, it’s a hotel with no maid service. And no cook.

But mom is good and brought along food as well as the George Foreman grill. Perhaps they’ll eat more than spaghettios and ramen noodles for dinner now!

Food put away. Check. Chairs assembled. Check. Bounced on Katie’s bed. Check. Opened the new printer. Check.

Time for lunch!

The Hillbillies headed out the door to begin the walk to Hard Rock Café. You see, Katie’s school is located right in Atlanta. To get to class or food, you walk on the city streets. Past the lovely odors of the sewers and other such great things. Past the ever so generous people trying to give you a flower in exchange for money. Past the homeless guy asleep on a bench.

Nah. We didn’t see a homeless guy. Truly. At least not in the portion of the city we walked today.

After only a few short city blocks and lots of whining, we arrived at our destination.

Evidently a party of seven is hard to seat so we waited, and waited……for about five minutes. Looks like it was longer, huh?

Seated. Lunch ordered. Coloring and catching up on the news.

Both college teens are happy at school, meeting new friends, and getting into the groove of homework and sports. Both are staying out of trouble, focusing on priorities, and enjoying their new freedom.

What more can you ask?

Lunch done…headed back toward campus. Well, back to the dorm.

Being an urban campus, everything is all over the place! I love the city but living there?? Not my cup of tea….nor Cat’s!

One last look at the room (before curtains!),

at the view from her window (I-85, yippee!),

the kitchen which needs a cook,

and hugs from two of my most favorite teens….

we were gone.

But now we know all about college.

Perhaps we'll sleep better at night.....


Denise said...

Wow, a dorm room with a full kitchen! Cool! Does Katie like it? Does she like her classes?

Jenna had a very hard time when Trace went away so I completely understand the girls reaction.

Hang in there girl! It's bound to get better! I'm here for you if I can help in anyway.

a Tonggu Momma said...

She has a full kitchen? Wow... why didn't I have that back in the day? Heh.

Kim said...

Oh, how we can relate. We tell Hannah her brother's are away at, "College home". I try not to use the word school because I don't want her thinking when she starts school she's going away. She certainly misses them when their gone.

Glad Katie is doing well and enjoying this new journey. Dorms are certainly different from when we went to college.

Jboo said...

I'm sure the little girls feel better now having seen where she's at. Nice that she has kitchen -- important for making that microwave popcorn and ramen!

Have a great week!


The Johnson 5 said...

her room is great! How awesome for her, this has got to be very exciting.

Keep up the good work mom :)

Carey-Life in the Carpool Lane said...

Too funny to try and figure out what college is from a 6-year old's perspective! Great photos. Glad it was a great trip!