Yikes! pretty much sums it up. Now that Jack is officially a Wolverine, we, the parents, receive paperwork due date reminders, general information about campus life, and newsletters specifically designed to help us “Prepare our Wolverine” for college life.
This week’s newsletter was devoted to campus housing selection. We parents were encouraged to consider the following questions in order to help us guide our student’s housing preferences:
Does he get himself up for school on time? Really? How many moms are giving their Teenage Son a “wake-y, wake-y” call in the morning?
Does she know how to work a washing machine? Sexist much? Both of our children have been doing their own laundry more or less since the age of 10. Life skills.
Does he understand how his health insurance plan works? Of course he does. It’s not Obamacare, for goodness’ sakes.
Does she know how to use public transportation? We leave our children home alone here in Vienna when I am in the mood to travel with Tony. Not only do they cook for themselves, but they manage somehow to get to and from school without issue, and brush their teeth before they go to sleep. By this criteria, they are ready for grad school.
Once upon a time when Tony and I were coeds at Michigan, back in the days of personal responsibility, housing choices were either quad-rooms in the large buildings, or for lucky gals in the dorm lottery, a room in one of the all-girls old and charming houses on central campus. I was one of the lucky gals who “won” a space in Betsy Barbour House.
Betsy Barbour House was like a sorority but without the drama. (Except for my second year, when I and “Maria” had adjacent single rooms at the end of the hall, and I would help her sneak her boyfriend’s German Shepherd into her room when he had to work weekends. This is a story for another time.)
The house was always clean and quiet; and we had a lovely living room as well as a true dining room rather than a cafeteria. Civilized campus life, if you will. In warm months some of us would sit atop the sun room roof and “study.”
This photo was taken a few years ago when we were in Ann Arbor over the summer and Anna Grace and I snuck into Betsy Barbour House, but recent photos look very similar.
Central Campus was the place to be for the non-Engineering student; all the classrooms are there, and everything is walkable. Engineering students lived up on North Campus near the College of Engineering; the geeks were all a bus ride away from Central Campus.
Now, thanks to a generation of participation-trophy coeds, Central Campus dormitories are generally reserved for the “Michigan Learning Community.” The students who reside in most of the Central Campus dorms are now those who haven’t learned to set their own alarm clocks and dress themselves “need individual attention to ease their transition to college.” Since Jack thankfully does not meet that criteria, he will be stuffed into the dormitories on the North Campus, a bus ride away from the heart of Michigan’s campus life. But! The North Campus Recreation Building is “new and improved!” Nice.
We have no doubt that, “Preparing our Wolverine” will be a tedious process as the next weeks progress. Whereas we were once worried that because Jack is attending late orientation that his preferred class choices might not be available. Now we are concerned that he will have a roommate who needs tucking in and a bedtime story each night.
Hail! Hail! To Michigan. The Leaders and the Best?