UCHICAGO parents...how did the moving in go?

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: UCHICAGO parents...how did the moving in go?
By Kdos (Kdos) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 02:30 pm: Edit

I know we have some UChicago Freshmen parents....how did moving in go? What was the dropping off like? How are they settling in??


Karri, a "hopeful" UChicago parent for the Class of 2009

By Mstee (Mstee) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 02:40 pm: Edit

Karri-- see the "They never call, they never write" thread and you'll find my experience and Sillystring's. I have a non-communicator, you see. But he seems to be "settling" well, as far as I can tell! My biggest concern at present is not how he's doing now, but how he'll be doing in Jan/Feb/Mar. He was born and raised in the Bay Area, and has no idea what winter is like!

By Er222 (Er222) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 04:37 pm: Edit

I thought the moving in went as well as could be expected. From a logistics standpoint, I was amazed at how easy it was. We pulled up outside my daughter's dorm at around 10 am. Immediately a half dozen students came up with carts, unloaded the car, and directed me to a parking lot. By the time I came to the dorm (around 5 minutes later), everything was up in my daughter's room and she was unpacking. The convocation was very good (although many thought the Dean of the College's speech was too long - (I found it interesting)). I particularly liked the Dean of Admission's deadpan announcement of how this marks "the death of our long-time friend, Fun," and his intelligent and witty discussion of what true and sustaining fun can be. After the convocation, parents and freshmen followed bagpipers out of Rockefeller Cathedral, where we left our kids at the gate to the school. (It did strike me like something out of a prison movie -- but I found it charming.) Since then, thanks mostly to cell phones, our daughter has called us a few times, including one long conversation with my wife ("I just called to chat"), and seems to be playing very hard (up until 4 am last night), has registered for classes, and "is beginning to like it more.") Our bottom line -- she's adjusting as well as can be expected at this date, and so are we.

By Massdad (Massdad) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 05:09 pm: Edit

I will echo Er222's comments. The move into Max P. was flawless. We arrived at 7:45. We were able to park and wait for the 8 AM opening right in front of the dorm. The student aids with carts were designated by house. I was able to grab one at about 8:15. We took a few trips to unload (D does not travel light), I moved the car to the parking garage (free for the day) and helped to unpack. Later we went to the Office Max in Hyde Park for supplies.

Food was plentiful. O aides were everywhere. The IT guy came by with a CD and help in setting up the computer even before we had it plugged in.

One thing we did which minimized hassles was D got her ID on Friday. That avoided a line and sped things up.

Overall, I'd give it an "A" for organization and smoothness. Oh yeah, the weather was perfect and the campus looked great.

By Kdos (Kdos) on Saturday, September 25, 2004 - 08:32 am: Edit


Thanks for the heads up to the other thread. I enjoyed reading it. Your son is cracking me up and I fear I will be in a similar situation next year! I sometimes call my son "nonverbal boy".

It sounds like UChicago has move in down to a science. I am glad it went so easily for all of you. The weather in the midwest has been awesome all this last week so their first few days of college have been a delight in that way for sure. (One advantage to being here..no hurricanes)

Glad you are all adjusting as well to the changes in your lives..it must be tough. I'm not so sure about the "leaving them at the gate". Seems kind of final and symbolic somwhow...the clanging door shuts...OOHHHH!

We are kind of going through the prep time for my son's departure slowly all this year. He is taking 10 quarter hours at our local state college (my alma mater) and only 2 high school classes after a fulltime schedule of college classes this summer. All of his friends have graduated and many are at the local college as well. You can see where this is headed...they all moved in last weekend and classes started Wednesday. He spent the night on campus with very close friends last night (in the dorm next to MY OLD DORM!). Anyway, I admit to some weird feelings last night as I dropped him off. I guess by the time he actually walks out the door I will have had plenty of time to adjust mentally, I don't know. I cried reading everyone's goodbye stories....can't imagine it yet.

Thanks for sharing..Karri

By Mackinaw (Mackinaw) on Saturday, September 25, 2004 - 02:41 pm: Edit

As the parent of a fairly recent UChicago grad, I see that the "system" remains in place for accomplishing the three most important tasks on move-in day: (1) get the kids' stuff to their rooms (and plan a dorm meeting for late afternoon), (2) pat the parents on the head, and (3) separate the kids from the parents before sundown.

Seriously, they do a good job at Chicago.

By Mstee (Mstee) on Saturday, September 25, 2004 - 02:44 pm: Edit

Er222--thanks for the mention of the "death of fun" remark. My husband dropped off my son, but missed the speech, (had to leave for the airport), so didn't hear about that. When did UChicago become the place "where fun goes to die?" I don't remember that phrase being used back in the 70's (when I was there). I do remember gargoyle t-shirts from that era with the phrase "ho ho ho the University of Chicago is funnier than you think" or something like that, though.

By Momof2inca (Momof2inca) on Saturday, September 25, 2004 - 08:21 pm: Edit

Could any of you Chicago parents recommend a hotel near campus? We'll be visiting there October 22 and 23, flying in. We're not planning on getting a rental car unless necessary. I've looked at the recommended hotels on the UofChicago website but I have no clue how far away they are, if there is public transportation from them to the University, etc... The Wooded Isle Suites looked promising but they are booked that weekend. Where did you all stay? Thanks! Momof2 in CA

By Sillystring7 (Sillystring7) on Saturday, September 25, 2004 - 09:23 pm: Edit

The University of Chicago is not really near any hotels that I know of. We have stayed near Midway and downtown, but both require a cab, a ride on the el train, or a rental car. There is a nice group of hotels at the Midway Center (65th and Cicero). We stayed at a comfy and clean Holiday Inn Express (suite with king bed and sleeper sofa for $128 per night). In the same location were several other hotels, including a Courtyard by Marriott, Holiday Inn Select and Hampton Inn. We have also stayed downtown at Hotel 71 -- pricier, but the rooms are fantastic and ours overlooked the river. The cab ride from downtown was about $30-$35 with tip.

Maybe some other parents are more knowledgable and have seen some hotels we are unaware of, though.

By Momof2inca (Momof2inca) on Saturday, September 25, 2004 - 10:35 pm: Edit

Thanks, Sillystring! We'll look into those suggestions. Any other ideas from folks? I'm sort of surprised there aren't more hotels near the university. Is it in a residential area?

By Sillystring7 (Sillystring7) on Saturday, September 25, 2004 - 11:38 pm: Edit

Yes, pretty much a residential area. Some of the bordering areas are nice, some are not. Let's just say that one side of the university is adjacent to Lakeshore Drive/Lake Michigan. One side borders a rougher neighborhood, around 63rd Street. It's definitely an urban campus, with all the benefits and dangers that go with that. I don't want to alarm you, but facts are facts.

By Massdad (Massdad) on Saturday, September 25, 2004 - 11:58 pm: Edit

The lack of lodging at UC is strange. 20 years ago, there was a Hyde Park Hilton. I think the hotel is still there, just not a Hilton, but the fact that UC does not even mention it tells me it's moved waaaay down market.

You can take public transit to UC pretty easily, and it avoids the parking problem. There's an express bus from Midway airport, and commuter rail and bus service to stops near the campus. The nearest EL stop is about 10 minutes walk away, and only safe in daylight hours.

By Mackinaw (Mackinaw) on Sunday, September 26, 2004 - 12:21 am: Edit

We always stayed in the Loop, such as at Palmer House Hilton. Often you can get very good weekend rates.

By John123 (John123) on Sunday, September 26, 2004 - 06:59 pm: Edit

is the chicago campus OK? i visited it and it seemed so, well, urban.

anyone want to comment on this, and how important a campus is?

also, how is social life at uchicago? i've heard some terrible stories about chicago.

By Massdad (Massdad) on Sunday, September 26, 2004 - 07:06 pm: Edit

John123, you're asking the wrong group if you want dirt on UC - our kids are going there afterall.

Go read the postings in the U. Chicago section of individual schools. It's under top 25.

Yes, UC is urban. It's in a big city, after all. At the same time, it's a pretty compact, self contained campus that spreads only slightly into Hyde Park. Truth is, though, Hyde Park is pretty quiet for being the home of a large major university. I suspect locals, and UCers, prefer it that way. They'd say if you want a party scene, check out Northwestern...

By John123 (John123) on Sunday, September 26, 2004 - 07:19 pm: Edit

Well see, the only thing that bugs me about this admissions game is the concealment of truth -- I'm trying to find somewhere I can learn what things are really like. I thought you open-minded folks could aid me somewhat.

By John123 (John123) on Sunday, September 26, 2004 - 07:48 pm: Edit


By Mstee (Mstee) on Sunday, September 26, 2004 - 08:15 pm: Edit

John123--I've never felt that admissions was trying to hide anything. In fact, I find their bluntness rather amusing at times.

By Sillystring7 (Sillystring7) on Sunday, September 26, 2004 - 08:17 pm: Edit

The campus is urban (after all, it is in Chicago) but there is an abundance of green space. It would be hard to point out too many negatives when our kids have been there only one week! My daughter seems very happy -- just talked to her and she has no regrets about her choice. Here is one negative item, though: She had one of the last registration appointments (it is randomized) and a class she needs for her major is full. She has to petition the professor tomorrow to be let in.

By Marite (Marite) on Sunday, September 26, 2004 - 08:21 pm: Edit

Someone who teaches at Chicago said that Hyde Park is one of the safest neighborhoods there is because it is so heavily patrolled. She rides her bike to classes. I've also heard from a student who went there that it can be iffy walking to the EL at night (as Massdad noted). So UCers stick to the campus, and when they want off-campus entertainment, they go downtown. One person also said that the university has spent a lot of effort combatting the impression that UC is the place where fun comes to die by organizing lots more on-campus activities than before and sprucing up dorms. I talked to a few people who really enjoyed their time at UChicago, one in classics, a couple in math, one in English, one in history. None of them, however, qualified as partyers. One was heavily involved in theater, however. fwiw.

By Patsfan (Patsfan) on Sunday, September 26, 2004 - 08:26 pm: Edit

My wife and I went to a alumni sponsored Chicago send-off in our area. In a question and answer session, it was mentioned that professors were liberal about allowing students to be in their course.

If you start to attend the class, they sometimes allow you to stay.

By Mstee (Mstee) on Sunday, September 26, 2004 - 09:09 pm: Edit

Sillystring7--just e-mailed S to find out if he got into all his classes. Not that I expect an answer, LOL.

Do let us know what happens with that. Good luck to your D!

By Momof2inca (Momof2inca) on Sunday, September 26, 2004 - 11:00 pm: Edit

One of the reasons that our son is applying to urban universities, including Chicago, is to enjoy the urban lifestyle and get off campus once in a while. He loves walking and public transportation and envisions popping into the city to enjoy non-university related jazz, author visits or bookstores, etc... Do students at Chicago do this the way they do at Berkeley, GW, Georgetown, etc... Or is it more of an isolated campus feel and too risky to venture away? He is not applying to rural colleges for that precise reason, does not wish to feel bound in by a campus. Trying to get a read on the culture at Chicago (he's already sold on the academics!) He is by no means a party guy, just an explorer of sorts. -- Momof2 in CA

By Mackinaw (Mackinaw) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 06:31 am: Edit

How much UofC students take advantage of the city varies a lot. It is a demanding curriculum, and some students seem to get stuck on campus for extended periods. My son definitely did not follow that path. I remember when he first came home during his first year, when we asked him "how do you like being at Chicago?" he answered, "I'm living IN Chicago, not AT Chicago." He made a point of getting well off campus at least a couple times a week, including to restaurants, clubs, and sporting events (he wanted to be in a "major league city" in more than one sense). The public transportation really does work,but also some students have cars and he went by car to some places.

By Massdad (Massdad) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 09:42 am: Edit


You should note that UofC subsidizes an express bus to downtown.

Here's an excerpt from the student guide:

"When heading downtown, you have several transportation options, including buses and trains. In fact, transportation gave downtown Chicago its nickname, the Loop—referring to the elevated trains encircling the area. Bicycling down the lakefront is an option, too; it's about 7.5 miles from Hyde Park to the Loop. On weekends, you can take your bike on CTA trains.

CTA #173 (Lakeview Express)

Where: One of four University-subsidized CTA routes (see Transportation in Hyde Park for the others), the #173 Lakeview Express takes you from Hyde Park to the Loop and the Near North Side. You can get on or off the bus at designated stops along the route. See the maps beginning on page 102 of the print edition of this guide or on the CTA web site. The fare is $1.50.

When: The bus runs daily during the school year, departing from the Reynolds Club at 5:10 p.m. and then every hour beginning at 6:00 p.m.; on Friday and Saturday evenings additional buses run beginning at 8:30 p.m.

Sunday—Thursday: last departure is at 10:00 p.m., returning to Reynolds Club at 11:45 p.m.
Friday—Saturday: last departure is at 1:00 a.m., returning to Reynolds Club at 2:45 a.m."

BTW, I'm sorry John123 did not like my post, but...(s)he really should go to the other section.

By Momster (Momster) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 09:45 am: Edit

Does anyone know if their french dept is strong?
I recently read that it is weak in romance languages. My D seems like a good fit for the university but she will definitely take many french classes and probably do study abroad.
Many thanks.

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 09:47 am: Edit

I have a good friend w/a son at Chicago (he's a soph) and he loves it. She was worried about his ability to deal with the urban lifestyle, even though they live close to DC -- Chicago is much bigger. And he's a very, very bright but somewhat absent-minded boy and I think she was worried about his lack of "street smarts" lol.

Anyway, his first year went very well, he made a lot of friends (including grad students he hung out with) and from what I heard did go into Chicago, out to dinner, etc. I'm not good with sports, but I have a memory of her telling me that he and a group of friends went to cheer on the Cubs during the playoffs last year -- hung around outside the ballfield with the hordes of fans.

Of course, keep in mind that the students are working hard so it's not like they have loads of leisure time, but my sense is that they enjoy the city to the extent they can.

And yes it was cold in winter.

By Massdad (Massdad) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 10:01 am: Edit

And now for the post I've been holding off making, for fear my D might be lurking about. Now that classes have started, I suspect not.

This is a good news/bad news post. First for the bad.

This summer, D learned that her roomie was from SW rural Kansas. She also learned that roomie professed to be conservative. No problem - differing views can be refreshing. A few days before we left for the school, D learned that roomie is a member of Campus Crusade for Christ. So evangelical meets Jewish Massachusetts liberal. Should be interesting...

Fast forward to move in day. Roomie shows up with a large TV. When asked why, she said she "watched a lot of TV" and needed to watch Fox News every night. OK. Then, we noticed an Ann Coulter book on the bed, the only book visible. It appeared to me that this situation could get interesting.

Now for the grand finale. D put a notice board on the suite door. Roomie had to put up her own, so she could put Ann Coulter quotes on it. Other students started posting nasty messages on roomie's board. Then, some other students, when they heard who D's roomie was, told D that her roomie had been active in the new students' website, and made a nubmer of homophobic and racist posts.

At this point, D sought some adult help, thank goodness.

The good news? She has not complained for quite a few days, she likes her suitemates, and maybe she realized it could be worse. Roomie is a "big" girl, so unlikely to compete for dates, won't be throwing up on D's bed, won't be having "sleepovers" etc. Stay tuned.

The other good news is that D tested out of all frosh math. She ended up going to the master of undergrad biological sciences to discuss courses, and seems to have connected with him. She's also looking for a lab job, and has already gotten several offers to to paid research. What a relief that, rather than finding a stultifying beaurocracy, she's finding the opposite!

By Marite (Marite) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 10:07 am: Edit


I'm definitely staying tuned on the roomie saga. What a contrast!

By Marite (Marite) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 10:09 am: Edit


I don't know how well French is taught at UChicago, but I've looked at the list of courses in French literature and it looks wonderful. Wish I could go back and read some of my favorite authors! Your D won't run out of truly interesting courses at U Chicago.

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 10:29 am: Edit

Massdad -- even your bad news has some good news -- your D is handling what could be a very unpleasant situation quite well and maturely, it sounds.

By Mackinaw (Mackinaw) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 11:34 am: Edit

Last time UChicago's French faculty was evaluated by the National Research Council (doctoral program rankings), it was 16th in the country -- which is very good. It wasn't up to Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Duke, Stanford, Berkeley, Cornell, Michigan, or Wisconsin -- but it was ahead of Harvard, UCLA, Brown, Texas, WashU, Indiana, Northwestern, and many others.

By Kdos (Kdos) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 12:07 pm: Edit


Your d sounds like she is handling her challenge pretty well to me. That would be so hard. I wonder if the election time will prove to be an issue...maybe she's not political?? (Fox NEWS though...YIKES!)

By Momof2inca (Momof2inca) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 12:50 pm: Edit

"And he's a very, very bright but somewhat absent-minded boy and I think she was worried about his lack of "street smarts" lol"

Rhonda, that's exactly my son! Good to know there are others there and it's working well for them.

Massdad-- thanks for the info on the bus. S takes the bus everywhere in our suburban town and would hate to feel limited if he could not in a great city like Chicago. As long as the bus stop near campus is in a safe area, I won't worry too much.

Guess we'll know more when we visit in three weeks!

Also, Massdad, it sounds like your D is doing well. I hope that the tension between her roommate and others in the dorm lessens as studies get under way. I do feel for your D if that t.v. is on a lot. My kids have not been allowed to have a t.v. in their rooms, in part, because we want them to have a respite from all the electronics. (Well, that will change in college, since S will have a computer in his room...). Does every college kid bring a t.v./dvd player to school? We planned to send S with a laptop, a walkman and that's it.

By Garland (Garland) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 01:06 pm: Edit

I think TVs in dorm rooms are gnerally not a good idea. Some kids have them, and some don't. Especially since my S is in a single, we wanted him to have to walk down the hall to a communal room to catch the Giants game, rather than hole up in his room.

Obviously, our devious plan worked, as he is apparently *never* in his room!

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 01:07 pm: Edit

Momof2inca -- I actually think TVs in dorm rooms are a terrible idea. I think quite a few kids have them, though, and I'm sure other parents here will tell you it's not a problem and can even be a good thing. But I am pretty set in my views on this one!!

I think there is plenty of time left in life to watch TV if you want to. And there are better ways to spend your time in college (like STUDYING!!!) than watching TV. Certainly, at times kids will get together to watch a show -- my D and her friends had "Alias" night every sunday last year, sometimes they would order out Indian food or even cook up a batch of mac and cheese, but they watched in the dorm lounge. Most dorms have a "public" TV or two, and IMO that's sufficient for the kids if they want to watch something once in a while (or even every week).

And as for watching movies, most computers now play DVDs -- I know my D and her roommate have rented movies and watched them on a computer screen.

My D also didn't have a TV in her room at home (we have only one in the house, in fact, and it's only a 19" screen). I think TVs in HS kids' rooms is also a bad idea -- just encourages the isolation so many kids that age tend towards anyway. We have only basic cable, so we don't get a lot of the shows teenagers watch (Real World, etc). Other than the Simpsons, I don't think D really watched anything regularly in HS (she picked up the "Alias" habit summer before going to college). She also didn't have a computer in her room, although of course with laptops now that wouldn't be an issue.

D was afraid her roommate last year would bring a TV, and unfortunately Brown's dorm questionnaire didn't ask whether you wanted one or not (frankly, the questionnaire was pretty paltry, she was lucky to have gotten a good roomie!). Roommate did not bring a TV, fortunately, and the two of them are rooming together this year again. No one on their floor has a TV (only four rooms), D says she thinks someone upstairs may have one.

I really think there is NO NEED for a TV in your room in college, and esp freshman year it's not a good idea.

By Marite (Marite) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 01:18 pm: Edit

Not that I share the roomie's views, but I suspect if she depended on the communal TV, she might never get to watch the programs she prefers, considering that hers must be a minority perspective.

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 01:19 pm: Edit

True, Marite. I still think it's a bad idea, even for those who want to tune into Fox News. She could listen to the radio (doesn't Sean Hannity have a radio show?) or read a newspaper. A few years w/o Fox News (or anything else) won't kill her.

By Midwesterner (Midwesterner) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 01:21 pm: Edit


If you want a balance between the campus and downtown, I'd recommend the Chicago Hilton at 720 S. Michigan. Look at the 173 bus route on U of C's website (under Getting Around Chicago); the hotel is near Balbo and Michigan. You'll be on the south edge of downtown, and, if the bus is not your style, you can grab a cab without sitting through the traffic jams on North Michigan Avenue. Avoid the neighboring Congress Plaza Hotel.

Downtown (The Loop) is easily accessible by El train from both Midway or O'Hare airports. You won't want a car in downtown Chicago; parking fees alone are over $30 a day for most hotels. If you stay out by Midway, you will want a car, but the neighborhood though safely middle-class, is pretty dull.

By Marite (Marite) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 01:24 pm: Edit


Well, actually, I want all the college students to watch the presidential debates--and vote.

By Mstee (Mstee) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 01:32 pm: Edit

My goodness, interesting scenario Massdad. I am wondering how long someone "who watches a lot of TV" will last at UChicago. And then there are the other issues of intolerance, etc... will stay tuned!

I also do not think TV in the dorm room is a good idea, but S's roommate brought one. Waiting to see how the roommate thing works out.

On another note, S said one of his classes was full (a music class, not his major, but it is only offered every other year, so he doesn't want to wait two years), but the prof expects enough people to drop that it won't be a problem. I know I said he was a "non-communicator"--I've been pleasantly surprised by hearing from him more frequently than I thought I would so far, though the e-mails are short, and it helps if I ask very specific questions.

Classes started today. I can't wait to hear what S thinks about them!

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 02:12 pm: Edit

Marite -- my guess is you can find a dorm lounge or other "public" TV on campus to watch the debates!

I remember back when I was in college, when no one had a TV in their room, a group of students used to collect each afternoon to watch General Hospital in the dorm lounge! I really think some of them scheduled their classes around it.

By Kdos (Kdos) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 02:21 pm: Edit

LOL Rhonda63,

For us it was DAYS!

By Momof2inca (Momof2inca) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 05:07 pm: Edit

Marite-- same here about GH! Ha,ha... haven't thought about that for so long.

By Momof2inca (Momof2inca) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 05:08 pm: Edit

^^ oops, I meant that for Rhonda. :)

By Momsdream (Momsdream) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 06:27 pm: Edit

Wow Massdad. Well, I suppose your D is learning to deal with people of VERY different opinions and convictions. And, she seems to be handling it all very well. Good for her!!

Though, the TV issue would worry me. How can one roommate decide when the time is right to watch TV without disturbing the other? I agree with others...TVs belong in the common areas, not in rooms. (same for home TV around here)

By Massdad (Massdad) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 07:57 pm: Edit

The good news is that the TV seems to have disappeared. The resident head counseled the roomie to be more tolerant of other views, and nicer to others. I can imagine her shock at the environment. In her home town, the nearest restaurant is 40 miles away, so she says, and a McDonalds.

Sillystring7, what math did they recommend for your D? Mine seems in between. She placed out of all frosh math, but they did not recommend honors analysis. So, it looks like she'll take no math this year.

By Sillystring7 (Sillystring7) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 08:35 pm: Edit

Hey, Massdad. Miracle of miracles, my daughter does not have to take any math! She did well on the placement test and received a 5 on the AP Calc AB test. They gave her credit for AP Statistics, so that took care of the math requirement. She was elated, because she is definitely a humanities person. (Math has always been difficult for her . . . she really had to work hard and put in many hours to do well.)

Also, she was able to get into the language class she needed for her major (the one that was full when she tried to register). All in all, a good day. She placed out of two quarters of PE, so she only has to take one quarter.

By the way, re your daughter's roommate. I remember discussing some of her posts on the message boards with my daughter. Your daughter sounds like a very tolerant girl -- you must be very proud of her. I hope it works out for her (and you). It sounds like the resident head is on top of the situation. That is good news.

By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 08:43 pm: Edit

Regarding the college roommate:

This is exactly why I am so skeptical of the "quotes" from the ISI's Guide to Colleges, published by a right-wing political lobby organization. They get their quotes from students who attend their right wing student political conferences.

The quotes are inevitably "great school academically, but I feel like my ideas are not tolerated because the campus is so 'liberal'" or "the teachers are so left-wing that they won't even allow discussion of alternate viewpoints....".

Now, imagine if the these quotes came from the roommate Massdad described? Perhaps the ideas would not be well-received for darn good reason? I can think of some "ideas" that even Newt Gingrich wouldn't accept for discussion in his college classroom.

By Sillystring7 (Sillystring7) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 09:02 pm: Edit

Re televisions in dorms. My parents gave my daughter a small flat-screen TV and combo CD/DVD player for graduation. The TV speakers act as the speakers for the stereo. It has a high "cool" factor, but there is absolutely no television-signal reception in D's dorm. If she wants to watch TV, she'll have to get a cable hookup. I talked to her today, and she says she may eventually do so in order to watch the news and the history channel in her room (she's in a single). But she's in no hurry because she watches very little TV anyway. So, even if your kids' roommate has a TV, he or she may not be able to watch it!

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 09:40 pm: Edit

Massdad, I feel badly that your D has a roomie who is not only so very different from her but may be somewhat "in your face" about it. I think your D is handling it quite well from how you described. While it is unfortunate, it is part of what college involves, having to deal with these situations. I feel as freshmen, the most you can hope for is to get along with the roomie, you don't have to be friends. I hope they can coexist and have a working relationship with tolerance (though am more worried that the other girl act tolerant and not try to push views). It is also encouraging that the resident counselor seems tuned into the situation to mediate anything that is not too kosher about it.

I think my daughter lucked out in that I could tell from the very beginning that she and her roomie had some common interests but also seemed like they would become friends personality-wise. While one grew up right in a city (Chicago) and one in the country (rural Vermont), they just were such a great match. My gut seems to have been right about it as I believe they are very good friends and do things together, have some common friends (and others as well that are not) and have kids into their room, and so on. I think she is lucky that they are actually good friends, which was more than I thought one could hope for.

Reading your daughter's situation at the very beginning there....seemed like such a contrast to an anecdote I recall as both our families were settling the girls into the room. The roomie took out some political buttons and a bumper sticker for Kerry and put them on her desk and first asked my daughter if that would be all right with her (you know, in your D's roomie case, it is not so terrible if she is of a different political persuasion but it is about common courtesy and tolerance and not pushing ones views onto another to make them uncomfortable)....and my D smiled and said, of course it is all right, we are from Dean country! Still the girl wanted to make sure to not offend. Unlike your D's case, this is a situation where both are of the same religion and liberal, easier situation. So, while I think your D is in a less comfortable situation, she will learn from having to make it work, even though we'd wish for her to have a more enjoyable situation. Luckily she is making other friends and as long as the roomie can get along respectfully, it will work out.

Also you mentioned:" In her home town, the nearest restaurant is 40 miles away, so she says, and a McDonalds." While I understand the great difference between Brookline, MA and rural Kansas (or was it Nebraska? sorry!)....that sometimes can be interesting to know kids from such vastly different worlds. Moreover, even IF a kid is from such a different living environment, that does not always translate into the differences your daughter clearly has with that particular girl. For instance, we don't have a McDonalds either within maybe 30 miles and our state capital is the only one in the nation with no McDonalds. We have no fast food or any chains in our town. We do have nice restaurants only cause it is a resort town but the next town over would not even have a supermarket, just a country general store. Though my kid comes from that environment, her way of "thinking" is not so different than her city roomie, at least not politically speaking! They had different experiences but on the other hand, they seem alike in many ways. So, I am not sure if it is all where the girl lived as other things about her beliefs or personality that may be the issue.

As far as the TV, I think all cases are so different so it is hard to assume what a TV in a room might be like for different kids. I realize some kids watch a lot of TV so having one in the room might not be a good idea. But my kids barely ever watch TV. They have them in their rooms but could go weeks without turning them on. They are never home or don't have time when they are home to watch TV. They may watch the news or a special event so the availability of a TV for them is worth it for special instances but is not something they rely on for entertainment or to pass the time in lieu of worthwhile endeavors. So, a TV in the room for them is not a big deal but a convenience in certain situations. My D talked to her roomie ahead of time as to who would bring one and the roomie said her parents were going to buy one for the room when they arrived and they did that day. My D had not wanted to buy a DVD player as she felt she could watch one on her computer if needed. But this girl also bought a DVD player for the TV. But she showed us right away that she had also bought these neat headphone things I have never seen that let someone watch TV from afar and it gets the signal and so the sound need not be on for others in the room. I doubt my daughter is watching TV much. But I know that a couple times, kids have gathered in her room for a movie party. For my D, it is a novelty to socialize in this way which she never had time to do at home (nor could kids just walk down the hall and come over....friends here could live 15 miles away). So I don't mind that their room has a TV. I know my daughter and I am sure she barely watches other than for events or a movie gathering. It works for her.

On the math, like your D, MassDad, mine placed out of some math levels from the AP courses (which made her very happy). While at Brown, there are no required courses or distribution, math and science are strengths of hers. Should she go into architecture as is her current intent, she may want to study some engineering type courses and so she was happy to place out of some math levels and decided to not take more math just to learn math but was able to place into an engineering course (that required placing out of the maths that she did) that is a prerequisite to further engineering courses should she take any related to architecture down the line. She said it is challenging and a lot of math in it but it is not like just learning plain math. I think the hard work for the math AP paid off to let her bypass math in college and go straight to an application type thing.

Good luck to your D, MassDad. I think she is being pretty mature here. I hope things go as smoothly as possible without much difficulty in what could be a difficult situation depending how the other girl handles their differences.


By Massdad (Massdad) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 10:52 pm: Edit

Sillystring7, my D is a science type, so she'll take more math. What, I dunno. She received placement credit for 3 quarters of calc, whatever that means.

Regarding the roomie, the TV situation is even more comical given the fact that we are a non-TV family. We have one old set connected to the DVD and VCR for rental movies. Because we're on a hillside blocking most stations, we get one fuzzy station. Oh yea, we do NOT have cable, whatever that is. (is that the service where you pay money to receive MORE commercials??).

But stay tuned. As others have said, it can be a learning experience.

The one thing to watch here is that, while U's are big on freedom of speech, they do not tolerate hate speech. And some of roomie's postings could be considered the latter, I've been told. She may be on thinner ice than she thinks.

By Mstee (Mstee) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 11:39 pm: Edit

Day 1!

Well, first day of classes is done, and sounds like it went pretty well. S says his math class, analysis in r^n, (I don't know what that is, not a math person, just quoting his e-mail . . .) turned out to be "analysis for third year econ majors" so he switched sections. He was hoping to get into Honors Analysis, but did not, I guess. He found the Honors Physics textbook on Amazon for at least $50 cheaper than the bookstore. (is that a good idea, to order through Amazon?-- is it really the same book, I wonder?) The music class had 40 people in it, and the cap is 25, so he is not that hopeful now, of getting in.

I'm contemplating going to parents weekend with my sophomore D, since I didn't get to "drop off." Also, would be a good excuse to expose D to a college campus, see what her impressions are. Because I guess, next year, it will be time to start thinking more seriously about where she wants to go!

By Gianscolere (Gianscolere) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 12:33 am: Edit

interesting thread....keep posting

btw, there are plenty of hotels along north michigan avenue in downtown chicago...try to find one near roosevelt and north michigan since uchicago is only a 20-min ride on Metra from the roosevelt street station around there. or you can even search for hotels around north michigan & van buren or north michigan & roosevelt (both are designated metra stops as well).

"Because we're on a hillside blocking most stations, we get one fuzzy station. Oh yea, we do NOT have cable, whatever that is. (is that the service where you pay money to receive MORE commercials??)."

that's funny...our tv blocks blocks out channel 2 (CBS) for some reason, so we're left with only ABC, WB/WGN, PBS, NBC, FOX, and UPN to watch. no cable channels here either but the basic ones are more than enough for us b/c we hardly watch any tv. i haven't watched tv in days in fact.

By Mackinaw (Mackinaw) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 09:24 am: Edit

Mstee, yes buy books wherever you can get them cheaper but be extremely careful that you're getting the right edition (they update every 2-3 years), and, of course, be sure about delivery time because a student can get behind very very fast. Also, your son can usually buy a used book at considerably savings.

By Achat (Achat) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 10:21 am: Edit

Take a look at this website for cheap books. I can't vouch for how good it is, I just got this from somewhere else:

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 11:22 am: Edit

To make sure you h ave the identical book, compare the ISDN numbers and make sure they are the same.

I understand that TVs in rooms are more common, both at home and at college, but as I said, this is one issue I'm not flexible on. I don't care how responsible your kid is, what could possibly be the point of giving them a TV in their bedroom at home????? And if they're really so anti-TV, it seems like there would be even LESS reason to do so.

Brown offers free cable hookup in every dorm room, which I think is a TERRIBLE idea.

By Mstee (Mstee) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 11:38 am: Edit

Thanks for the book tips! I passed them on to S.

By Sillystring7 (Sillystring7) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 07:49 pm: Edit

Hello, all! I just thought I'd let those considering Chicago know that my daughter is loving the school. She has joined several clubs in her areas of interest, and really likes her classes. She was a little distant during orientation week, but is a lot more relaxed now that classes have started. She was surprised in one class today to be just one of two undergrads -- the rest are grad students. That would be intimidating to me, but she seems fine with it. Mstee, MassDad, et al, how are your kids liking Chicago?

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 10:40 am: Edit

Sillystring- that's great news! I remember that my D was a little bored w/orientation by the time it ended and was dying for classes to start! And she also had a class freshman year that was mostly grad students (I think there were five UG students, and she was the only freshman) -- I would have found that VERY intimidating when I was 18. But I think this is one of the advantages of a university -- the opportunity to take graduate seminars and also to interact with grad students. In fact, a friend of mine has a son at Chicago (he's a soph, I mentioned him above) who became good friends with some grad students during his freshman year and socialized w/them quite a bit.

By Mstee (Mstee) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 11:53 am: Edit

Sillystring7--from reading between the lines of the e-mail tidbits my son throws my way every now and then, I think he is liking it.

By Massdad (Massdad) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 01:20 pm: Edit

It's been hard to get a read from my D directly. I can only infer from a lack of complaints that things are fine, even with the roomie. Otherwise, our only chats have been very targeted.

We seem to have an interesting division of labor in our house. D calls spouse to discuss social issues: roomie, breaking up with boyfriend etc. She calls me to discuss science issues. A lot of her time O week was spent visiting labs for possible employment/undergrad research. So far, her biggest problems seem to be (1) a lot of offers and (2) her favorite is reluctant to pay her.

Classes? I have no idea. I'm not even sure what she's taking. I think honors chem, intro spanish, a hums course and a music theory course (but not the intro one?)

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 02:34 pm: Edit

Massdad -- that's a nice division of labor, a real team effort!

I'm glad to know there are other parents here who are not completely sure what classes their kids are taking!

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