Tag: college (page 1 of 5)

Beginning college: See them off in style

Dear Readers,

This week we’re bringing you another Saturday list—and we thought we’d address what’s on a lot of parents’ minds right now.

If your kids are heading off to college this week, whether for the first or the fifth time, we’ve gathered up a great big pile of resources to help both of you cope. Continue reading

Kids packing for college? You’ll be okay.

Dear Readers,

Two years ago this week, my youngest child was in the final stages of getting ready to leave for her first year of college…and I was, how shall we put this, freaking the hell out. Continue reading

Another year gone: Let’s do the Time Warp again!

Dear Wendy,

Time: it’s a funny old thing, isn’t it?

I honestly don’t know how this happened, but Rachel is done with college for another year. Exams are done, final projects handed in, lockers cleaned out, dorm rooms emptied (a whole other story, which my aching back will be happy to tell you about for some time to come), and…that’s a wrap, kiddies!


Good-bye, dorm kitchen!

College: Year 2 is done and dusted.

In September 2012, when we first dipped our toes into this whole “mostly empty nest” thing, it seemed like the school year would last forever.

I remember bidding a slightly tearful farewell to Rachel at Thanksgiving in October, and thinking that it would be ages before we saw one another again at Christmas.

This past September, I was a lot more sanguine about it, and sure enough, this year has zipped past as if it were on fast-forward.

If this keeps up, she’ll be completing fourth year in about five minutes, and her master’s degree in five seconds flat. I’m pretty sure she won’t be doing a Ph.D., which is a good thing since at this rate, she’ll have finished it before she even started.

The journey out is always longer

Actually, I have a theory about this whole time-compression thing.

You remember when we were kids and our parents would take us on those seemingly interminable car rides around the Nova Scotia countryside to visit the pilots who worked for Dad? It was a bit like when the Queen goes walkabout, except it involved driving to places like Herring Cove, Lunenburg, Digby, Shelburne, Port Hawkesbury, Bridgewater, and North Sydney.

We’d set out on a Saturday morning, and from my queasy, carsick point of view in the back seat, we’d drive aimlessly along interminable highways and country roads for hours and hours and hours. Eventually we’d locate that week’s victim’s house, where we’d disembark and be told to sit quietly and not make nuisances of ourselves, while Mum and Dad partook of the hospitality of the house.

Eventually we’d leave, and the drive home always seemed to take about half the time of the trip out—because now I knew where we were going, I recognized landmarks I’d noted on the way out, and each minute took us closer to home (and merciful relief from carsickness).

My point, and I do have one, is that when you know where you’re going, and you’ve made the journey already, each successive trip seems shorter by comparison.

The parenting time warp

As I think about it, this applies to parenting as well.

For instance: back when Adrian was a baby, it seemed to me that my life would never be anything other than an endless round of diapers, drool, and breastfeeding. From the perspective of a brand new parent, babyhood seems like it’ll never end…until finally, you graduate into toddlerhood, preschool-hood…and then the school years. (I was going to say “school-hood,” but that starts to sound like it has criminal overtones, so let’s leave it at that, shall we?)

By the time you and your child are in the school years, things take on a kind of sameness from year to year, and suddenly you know pretty much where you’re going from one September to the next. You understand the rhythm, you have a general idea what to expect.


How is this even possible? Beats the heck out of me. All I know is that it took about five minutes, tops.

And that’s when the whole time-speeding-up thing starts. By the time our kids are in high school, we’re acutely aware that our time with them at home will be limited (and we’re right).

Incidentally, go ahead and tell all this to a mother who’s just had her first baby. Go on, I dare you. You’ll come away with a bloody nose, guaranteed.

I can’t even tell you how many times some well-intentioned soul told me, “Savour this time! It goes by so fast!” while I was trying to cope with the whole shit and stringbeans deal. I remember smiling sweetly, nodding, and thinking to myself that I would like to stab that person in the hand with a fork.

And yet, by the time I had Rachel, I knew very well how fleeting her infancy and toddlerhood would be; I knew what to look for, how long the ride would take…and most of all, I knew that each phase would be a lot shorter than I expected.

I also knew that the trip likely wouldn’t involve me being carsick, which was a total bonus.

So as we embark on another summer with Rachel at home, I need to remember that the time between now and September will be infinitesimally short…and that we should enjoy it while it lasts.






The Revolving Door: Parenting in the not-quite-empty nest

Dear Wendy,

Back before Rachel left for college, I had this naive idea that I was about to become an “empty nester.” Continue reading

Awesome Advice Central goes all the way…

Dear, like, Awesome Advice Central,

I’m, like 22 years old, right?  And, like, a girl?  And I’ve got a boyfriend, Trey?  Like, he’s totes awesome and all, and I love him, okay?

The thing is, though, like he’s not my, like, first, know what I mean?  There was Chase, Lauder, Mandible and Thor, but like, it was only physical with them.

Like, I liked them, okay?  I just didn’t like, LOVE them.  Not like I like, LOVE Trey.

He just makes me feel, like…squee!!

alt="IMAGE-champale-advertisement"So, like the other night?  Finally, after some Baby Duck Champale and some oysters on Ritz crackers, I put on some Barry White and Let.  The.  Good.  Times.  Roll.

Trey wouldn’t mind, if I, like told you, that this was his first time, right?  So I guess you could say I was in charge of this rodeo, haha.

Things are going pretty good between me and him, and suddenly, I whispered in his ear, “Oh, Cha-, I mean La-, ZOMG, NO, I mean Ma-Thor-ey!!”

Things went kinda downhill from there, right?  Know what I mean?  Like, it was sooooo not cool.

I was like, totes embarrassed and now he won’t talk to me in class and I don’t know how to make it up to him.  I mean, I guess I do, but I was told it was illegal in 3 states, and like, I’m a law student and don’t wanna break the law, right?

It really sucks, cos I love him so much. But, like,  now I’m worried that he’ll fail me in class, just cos of this one teensy mistake.  Like, okay, it wasn’t that teensy, but like, you know, it wasn’t like, major BIG or anything, just an innocent mistake.  Right?

Help me, please?

Pleading not guilty,  your honor!

Sandy S. Axemouth

Dear Sandy,

We here at Awesome Advice Central feel that you really ought to take responsibility for the consequences of your actions.

alt="IMAGE-cat-suicide"For example: the first translator we hired to decipher your most interesting missive lasted approximately 5 minutes. We found her crouched in the corner of her office, gnawing on her own wrists and jabbering unintelligibly. The poor woman had to be sedated, and we’re not sure we’ll be able to use her again.

Fortunately, the second translator was made of sterner stuff, and managed to slog through your abominable communiqué—just. Before she expired, she was able to gasp out the gist of your problem, which we will summarize as:

“I am an ardent heterosexualist with a penchant for men with odd and/or naff names. Using a combination of cheap hooch, unpleasant hors d’ouevres, and cheesy music, I managed to seduce my law professor—possibly because he lacked experience and didn’t know any better. Unfortunately, while we were doing the deed, I let slip that he was neither my first, second, third, nor even fourth conquest. He took this news rather personally, and I now fear for my academic future, as well as my love life.”

Assuming we’ve got it right, we’d suggest your course is clear.

Your ability to rattle on without communicating anything of substance, your instinct to weasel out of situations rather than facing them head-on, as well as your grandiose overestimation of your own insubstantial charms, indicate a brilliant future for you as a politician.

In that spirit, we suggest you tell Trey that you are really, really, really sorry; if you’re lucky, he’ll buy it. (Hey, it worked for Rob Ford.)

And for God’s sake, next time you’re in flagrante, keep your damn trap shut. Honestly, we shouldn’t have to spell this out to you.

With some trepidation, we remain,

Awesome Advice Central


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