|By Dadofsam (Dadofsam) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 08:44 pm: Edit|
Scene of the crime: Brandeis University, Waltham MA, one of the many former factory towns outside Boston. Time: last Friday through Monday. The charge: starting our sole offspring and hope for future generations on The Journey.
Okay, probably too melodramatic and overstated, but I do have a propensity for doing that at time in order to make some point, which often brings in the Law of Unintended Consequences to ensure that the point I make is not the one I had in mind.
So much about me; this posting isn't supposed to be about me.
We flew in to Boston last Thursday, with S and about seven pieces of assorted luggage, having shipped bedding and a laptop. He had been assigned to a triple, but we did not know the size or layout, and consequently, what if anything could be bought that could physically fit in the room. He was to have one roommate from Ohio and one international.
We started the move-in Friday morning, so that he could get first crack at the beds and because he was scheduled to take part in a special program for the next day and a half, after which the rest of the freshmen were supposed to arrive.
The room turned out to be a double, laid out as a triple; a bunk bed, a third bed lofted over a desk and dresser, two closets with a dresser in each. S quickly grabbed the top bunk and chose a nearby desk and dresser. While I was trying to figure out how to make best use of the space, he figured out a better floor plan and I soon was engaged in pushing furniture around (which wound up being one of my main contributions, the other being driving around to shop).
We then retrieved the shipped items so that he could make up his bed. After that, we took off on the first shopping trip - this one to Staples for more school supplies, and he went off to the program. We caught up with him later that afternoon. Saturday we were in Shabbat services while he was in the program. At the end of the day, I having ascertained the location of the nearest Trader Joe's, we bought some of the cereal and snacks he likes, and dropped them off.
Sunday his roommate from Ohio turned up. I think the two of them will be a good match. The third roommate hasn't appeared yet and it looks as if he's not coming at all. We have no idea why. So now there are two in a triple, but the school may place someone else in there, perhaps at midyear.
The freshman move-in was done very well. Kids in various colored shirts were all over the campus, giving directions, moving stuff for you, checking freshman in, keeping cars out, providing advice, and personally picking up the new students to head off for a barbecue after the ceremony. A great way to start at a new place!
After talking with roommate's parents, we went shopping again, this time for a mini-fridge. We dropped it off, went to lunch, and then headed off for the welcoming ceremony. It was held in the gym. The school set the stage by having parents and students separate when they entered, with students seated on the gym floor and parents in the stands. Several very nice addresses followed, after which it was time for most parents and students to say their goodbyes. We talked with the roommate's parents for a short while, but we still had one more round of shopping, so off we went to Staples and Trader Joe's. Now that we had a fridge, we could buy some milk (a major food group for S has been cereal).
So we shopped some more then stopped by to deliver. It was now early evening, Sunday. The moving-in hubbub was gone, as were most of the cars that had been flitting around, and most of the helping students. The fridge was now plugged in. We dropped off the rest of the purchases, and it was now time to say our goodbyes. S was surprised; he thought we were coming by again the next day. But, like the Lone Ranger, our work was done, and it was time to move on.
So we hugged, smiled, looked serious. I had a few tears in my eyes (surprised DW, who didnít know that I sometimes do that on emotional occasions). But the feeling was overall a good one.
Our S had started his Journey, his great adventure. (Okay, overstatement again. In a couple of months he'll be home for a visit and then there will be more. Who knows, he may move back). But, as opposed to other rites of passage such a Bar Mitzvah or graduation, this was a genuine change of status. From that point, he would be starting to be on his own, responsible for arranging his schedule, shopping for his own stuff, making sure he's fed, taking care of his responsibilities, with no-one to make sure that everything was done. Free to make his own mistakes - all to a certain degree, of course, since we are funding it all and are still here as a safety net - but it's still the beginning of a process. I do hope though, that the trip takes less time than Odysseus' did.
So, like others, we have a missing element in our lives. In our case we've gone from a small family to empty nesters in one fell swoop. And like Zorba at the end of the movie, I have so much more to tell him (but I'm not sure that when he comes back he'll stand still to hear it; after all, now the relationship should have changed).
He's a great kid, now about to start becoming a great person in his own right. I really look forward to seeing the changes in a couple of months.
And this has already gotten too lengthy. Time to end.
|By Achat (Achat) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 09:32 pm: Edit|
Dadofsam, great account. I enjoyed reading it. Congratulations to your son and good luck to him! And congratulations to you too.
|By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 09:43 pm: Edit|
I enjoyed your report immensely and it sounds like everything started well. Of course, I totally can identify with your feelings that you stated so well. I have barely ever seen my hubby cry but for this, he sure did.
I'm sure your son will have an eventful year !
|By Robin (Robin) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 10:43 pm: Edit|
Dadofsam, your report was deja vue for me. My son is now a junior at Brandeis. I still remember freshman move in day as though it were yesterday. The school does a wonderful job of moving the kids in and getting them settled. The orientation program is terrific. My son referred to it as camp Brandeis. It is very social as well as very informative and helpful.
Best of luck to your son. I hope he loves it as much as my son does.
|By Ilcapo (Ilcapo) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 11:59 pm: Edit|
I don't understand the whole Jews go to Brandeis philosophy.....enlighten me?
|By Willywonka (Willywonka) on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 12:16 am: Edit|
Well, Ilcapo, Brandeis has a higher percentage of Jewish students than most, if not all non-rabbinical colleges. I would imagine it was probably one of few schools not practicing anti-semitic admissions policies "back in the day," but I'm really not certain.
The only thing I know is that it was named for Louis Brandeis, first Jewish Supreme Court Justice and FDR darling. <3
|By Robyrm (Robyrm) on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 12:31 am: Edit|
Brandeis was specifically founded to allow Jewish students for whom there were quotas at other schools to attend a high quality university.
|By Momof2inca (Momof2inca) on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 12:38 am: Edit|
What a moving account. I have tears in my eyes. Best wishes to you, your wife and your son. Let us know how he is doing once in a while. -- Momof2 in CA
|By Marite (Marite) on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 06:30 am: Edit|
As Robyrm notes, Brandeis was founded specifically to allow Jewish students to attend a quality university. It was founded in 1948 (the same year as the state of Israel). In its early days, luminaries such as Eleanor Roosevelt and Leonard Bernstein taught there.
Although a Jewish University, it also attracts non-Jews. It has three non-denominational chapels. It also has the Wien International Scholarship which provides full scholarships to foreign students.
Ilcapo, the days of Jewish quotas, intended to keep Jews out of top universities, are not so long ago. The first Jewish prof to be appointed to Wellesley College retired only a few years ago.
|By Marite (Marite) on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 06:33 am: Edit|
Wonderful account. Waltham was the home of the Waltham watch a few decades ago. It now has a surprising number of fancy restaurants. It also has a fun toy shop called, I believe, Construction Site? I'm sure your son will enjoy himself at Brandeis.
|By Dadofsam (Dadofsam) on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 05:27 pm: Edit|
Thanks, all, for your appreciation, good wishes, and patience in reading my lengthy post.
Robin: since you have experience at Brandeis, you might be able to help out Thisoldlady; see her thread "too much data" on this board.
After one week, S is still excited and having a busy and a great time. Classes started yesterday; he got into one that was oversubscribed and switched out of one that in combination with the others would give him, he said, too much reading overall. I will be interested in how he spends the long weekend; perhaps he will go into Boston for a day.
My understanding is that Brandeis was founded by a group of Jews to provide a place where Jews and others who at the time were discriminated against (Jews were not the only group) could obtain a high-quality education. The school has been historically majority Jewish but as its reputation has increased the percentage of Jewish students has decreased. I'm not sure how they track this quantity, but at this time the student population is estimated to be about 60+ % Jewish.
When we were there we saw a significant number of students of various colors other than "white". Brandeis also offers some international scholarships.
|By Mini (Mini) on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 05:37 pm: Edit|
There was a Jewish quota at Williams when I attended in the late 60s, which was pretty interesting 'cause they couldn't ask for religion on the application. Always 10% (Amherst in the same period was about 25% Jewish). Herbert Lehman was one of the college's largest contributors, but they wouldn't put him on the Board of Trustees. No Catholics were allowed on the Board of Trustees either.
Things change. The last two Presidents of Williams have been Jewish.
Report an offensive message on this page E-mail this page to a friend
|Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.|
|Administrator's Control Panel -- Board Moderators Only|