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They've taken the college out of college...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

We just moved our daughter into her college dorm room a few weeks ago in East Lansing. And remembering how it was when my parents moved me in to my dorm room, I expected total chaos. (I went to a small liberal arts college with 1500 students. Our kid is going to a Big Ten school with 48000). I mean, how does a major university organize 12000 incoming freshman who are required to live in the dorm and move in on the same day? I figured traffic would be backed up out onto the highway. Instead, we got in around noon, moved her stuff in, met her roommate and her roommate's parents, and were off for my kid's last non-dorm meal by 4 pm. When we came back from dinner, all the kids seemed moved in and in the process of getting settled. Now, don't you remember that first night in the dorm? Wasn't there music playing everywhere, each room louder than the next? In my kid's dorm, I was struck by how quiet and calm everything was (as a parent, I'm not sad about this, by the way).  I mean: Where's the college in the college? I remember as I was moving stuff into my dorm that I'd note which rooms had my kind of music coming out of them and use that information as a first indicator of who some of my future friends might be. Every door open, jams blasting out everywhere. The most important thing each kid had was his stereo system. And you displayed your music like a welcome mat, hoping for other students to stop by and congratulate you on your tunes, or stick around for a little while and listen with you.

None of that happens anymore, and I wonder why. Have we become a nation of people so isolated with our earbuds that we don't really want to care whether anyone else cares what we listen to? Are we afraid that strangers might involve themselves in our lives?

As a parent, I'm not altogether upset by the fact that the university tries to keep the dorm rooms under control. I want my daughter to have a great education. But I want her to have some fun, too. Now: We haven't heard much from her since moving her in, so I take that as a good sign. Maybe the fun is just way more secret. I'll keep you posted.

Cheers,

Kevin

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Playing Since: 2005
Experience Level: Novice

Interests:
[Jamming]

Occupation: Marketing

My Instruments:
Epiphone MB 200;
Deering Vega Old Tyme Wonder;
Mastercraft auction beater

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Pete Seeger, Bela Fleck, Union Station, Dave Matthews, Zucchero, Toots and the Maytals, Joan Armatrading, Beethoven, Be Good Tanyas, Eric Clapton

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Created 11/2/2006
Last Visit 4/12/2014

Ex German teacher, ex ESL teacher, linguistically gifted, musically challenged. Banjo birthday Oct. 05 forced me to give up my air banjo and actually learn something. Weekend pancake maker extraordinaire.

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