In the early hours of a Saturday morning almost two weeks ago Jack and Tony left for Ann Arbor. To be honest, the actual “farewell” was not so bad (for Mom). Jack has been coming and going for extended periods for the last three or so years, and we’ve done our job well as parents in preparing him for launch into young adulthood. At least we think we have.
Four suitcases and his trumpet. And he’s off!
There is a great deal of comfort in knowing that although Jack is 7.000 kilometers away from “home,” his new home is a familiar place to us. Family members are less than two hours away, as well; and, a fellow schoolmate from AISV is a sophomore at Michigan. So, he’s not exactly alone.
Once in Ann Arbor, Tony wasted no time repatriating Jack. Their first breakfast was at a campus institution, Angelo’s. The Wiener Fruhstuck is good, but for a Teenage (American) Boy nothing beats a big platter of scrambled eggs, meat, and potatoes. Thank goodness I don’t have to feed him anymore!
Hard to believe, but by lunchtime they were ready for yet another campus institution, Zingerman’s Deli and mile-high pastrami-on-rye sandwiches. Have I mentioned how thankful I am not to be feeding Jack any longer?
Throughout the day, some sightseeing and a little orientation. This photo needs no caption. Jack has since reported that his first Michigan football game was “awesome.” We know, Jack. We know.
Dorm move-in was the following day. Yep, looks like a dorm. His air freight arrived later that week, so he and his “stuff” are together.
A trip to Target (on a Sunday!) for remaining essentials prompted an email, “Everyone was so friendly! Must be the Midwestern hospitality!”
During orientation Jack’s counselor calculated that his AP and IB scores from high school place him at first semester college sophomore level. Only three years of tuition to manage! And with out-of-state tuition and room and board at just about $50,000 annually, this news was possibly more exciting to us than his acceptance letter.
Tony hung out in Ann Arbor for a week to get Jack settled and to catch up with his former professors, and even gave a casual midday brown bag to a bunch of starry-eyed graduate nuclear engineering students who still believe they can change the world. He and Jack also caught a Tigers-Yankees game, ate Coney Island hot dogs, and that was that. Time to go.
Last night was the first telephone call from Ann Arbor. First day of classes went well. Dorm food is “okay,” but after less than a week Jack is already thinking he’ll move off campus next year so he can cook for himself. Like mother, like son.
And the roommate? An engineering student who, to quote Jack, “He’s nice, but, well, let’s just say that he’s afraid of bugs, and I’ve eaten bugs. But I think it’s going to be okay.”
It will, Jack. It will all be okay.