Monday, September 01, 2008

Dropping Baby Off At College

When I read stories like this I just have to laugh, as they're so different from my own experience.

I left for West Point in the days of regulated airline fares; if I recall correctly, it cost more to fly from Sacramento to New York back then than it does today! Anyway, there was never any thought about any of my family going with me--no, a handful of family members took me to the airport, we said good-bye at the gate (anyone could go to the gate in those days), and off I went. On my own. With one suitcase. And that was that.

I got to New York and stayed in a hotel near Central Park. That hotel had a package deal for incoming cadets, and I was roomed with a classmate from the US Virgin Islands. We took a bus tour of NYC (I only remember St. Patrick's Cathedral and Wall Street), and later than night my roomie and I went out for a "final" dinner and dessert. There was a huge tub in the bathroom, and I took a long, hot soak before going to bed.

The hotel filled a couple of buses with incoming cadets the next morning, and maybe 90 minutes later we arrived at the West Point football stadium--where I was surprised to see others with their parents. Honestly, it had never even occurred to me to have family accompany me there.

17 comments:

hobbitt said...

What does one need to bring to West Point? Most of my stuff I brought to Basic training was put into storage.
For colleges we moved our daughter from one college in our state system to another one nearby. The already moved in roomate (who was on summer break) had fill every closet and dresser. "my god if this is what she wants at college, what does she have at home? There are more shoes here than I own!"

Darren said...

What does one need to bring? Not much! Everything you *need* is issued to you, including a comb and toothbrush. A couple of nice-to-haves, including my journal, were in my suitcase, as well as a change of clothes for the day were were in NYC.

The contrast between that and the linked story could not be more sharp!

gbradley said...

If you like, you can dust off that journal and post some of it here.

Darren said...

I still maintain that journal--on the 5th book now :-)

As for posting parts of it here, that's not something I've ever considered. It's very personal. Something to consider, though.

Scott McCall said...

in order for me to move to tucson, i packed my mom's Honda Pilot to the roof and took a 14 hr drive with my gf (i needed company so i wouldnt get bored). once i got in town, i unloaded everything into my apt myself, and it took about a month and a half for my parents to come see where i'm staying, and that was way before the fall semester. by moving in during the summer, it saved me time and money

gbradley said...

I bet that some of your positions have changed somewhat. Probably not as much as mine have.

Francois Guisot (1787-1874): "Not to be a republican at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head."

Darren said...

I think/hope you meant "NOT to be one at thirty...."

gbradley said...

I always thought that it said Not to be one at thirty. I didn't pay attention when I copied the quote.
It really doesn't make sense the way that I quoted it.

Superdestroyer said...

Did you read the list of schools mentioned. Those are universities that draw from the enitre nation and are big deal because they have selection rates of around 10%. The kids feel lucky because they get to pursue long-normally distributed careers instead of settling for normally distributed careers.

Of course since they are at elite universities, they are traditional college students.

Ben There said...

Republicans are seething evil creatures that are hatched in dark caves miles below the earths surface. Have you ever seen Lord Of The Rings, how they create orcs? That's how republicans are made!

Just kidding man.

Darren said...

The school I attended draws from a nationwide pool and is fairly selective, too.

Superdestroyer said...

Darren, I believe you attend USMA over 20 years ago. That was before the time of US News rankings, pro-fro weekends, and the winner take all mentality of applying to college.

Who would have tought 20 years ago that being accepted to a certain college would have such huge effects of career choice that it has today.

Darren said...

While it certainly seems more ravenous today than in the past, to think that we didn't consider the status of our potential university picks is just silly. Stanford was a big deal then, it's a big deal today.

Anonymous said...

The quote about the Republican party... which one? his lifespan would have seen both Jeffersonian Republicans and the later anti-slavery Repbulicans. Interesting to note considering the two are now known as the Democratic and Republican parties.

rightwingprof said...

My parents drove me to college. Even if I'd had a car (I didn't), I wouldn't have been able to take it. Underclassmen weren't allowed to have cars on campus then (and wouldn't life be easier here if no underclassmen had cars).

Marianne said...

Hi Darren,

I often forward various posts from you to my Dad and brother (USNA graduates) - I was looking for your email on the site (but not finding it, just the yahoo IM) to forward you the pictures my Dad sent me of the USS Bancroft set up on the green at the USAFA yesterday. Maybe you've seen them somewhere else, but they made me think you'd get a kick out of them.

If you'd like to see them, my email is mcooley@nethorizons.com or mariannebc@gmail.com (which is what I've used the couple of times I've commented.) -- Then, just ditch this comment!

Darren said...

One of my midshipmen plebes sent me a picture of the USS Bancroft. Hilarious!