Occupy College


The fall semester begins today! Yesterday I went shopping with my son for some new clothes. His girlfriend and I helped pick them out, but really I was just there to pay. That is how parents of millennials roll. Our parents had to duck and cover, our grandparents had to walk to school up hill both ways and our great-grandparents wrote on slate with rocks and played with sticks and got oranges for Christmas. They gave ‘til it hurt, but they got the gold watch and retired after 30 years. We give, it doesn’t hurt so much, but if 40 is the new 30, then work ‘til you die is the new retirement age.

We’ve come a long way baby…or have we?

Our adult children have it all, the car, the data plan, the inconvenient truth about how much it actually costs for food, rent, clothes, gas, insurance, electricity, running water. We’ve given them everything. I’m not sorry about it. I do wish we had insisted they save all of their birthday money for college, but hey, what can we do about it now? Forking over tuition, books, and fees, OH THE FEES, must be done if we want to live up to our potential.

Fun Fact: 15 credit hours costs the same as 18 credit hours. What a break!

So, if you have read many posts here you know I am racing my son to the mortar board. We are attending the same college, but he is in a super brainiac program so we will definitely not have any classes together. We do plan to meet regularly for lunch or dinner. Over the summer we walked off campus passed the bong store to have lunch a few times. My son informed me that they are not called bongs but water pipes. Seems water pipes are legal, bongs are not. “But they’re the same thing,” he explained to me. “Hmmm,” I said, “I’m glad you told me. I wouldn’t have known.” That must be why the college required me to take their online drug & alcohol awareness course.

Posts here may become a bit collegiate increasingly bitchy as I navigate the realm of higher, um, education. I will be studying like crazy. So, there will be less time for things like blogging…and sleeping. When I do have time to blog, it should be a laugh riot. Yesterday, after shopping with my son and his girlfriend, we stopped to pick up take out on our way home. As we got out of the car, I casually asked, “What do you two think about Occupy Wall Street?” You see, I’d been asked by my friend Madame Weebles to write a post about the protest for The Outlier Collective. The post was already written and submitted, but I was curious to know what these two dear, intelligent and youthfully informed twenty-somethings had to say. Well, they had plenty to say as they occupied P.F. Changs, waiting for me to pay for dinner. They had more, much more, to say as they occupied my car. 

My laughter became uncontrollable. I could not help myself. My son and his girlfriend are incredibly hilarious as a general rule, but as they shared their opinions about freedom and rights and authority and consumerism and corporate greed and the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Amendments, WWII, etcetera, yes is was a long ride home,  I tried to be sensitive, that is to say, I had to tell them I was not laughing AT them, I was just remembering hysterically. To be passionate, young and eager, forceful in your opinions and beliefs isn’t much different from being passionate, middle-aged, set in your ways and without a doubt certain of what you believe. The main difference is that by the time you reach my age, most people have acquired some useful knowledge through experience. The kind of knowledge that keeps you from writing a check with your mouth that your butt can’t cash. Most of the time.

21 thoughts on “Occupy College

  1. Cool, going to the same school as your kid. Think of the opportunities to embarrass him! They must have become water pipes when all those “smoking bars”, whatever they’re called, came into fashion. Good luck with school. I can’t imagine taking classes anymore, good for you for taking the initiative!

    1. Yeah, I’m like Thornton Melon only shorter and with less money. HA! Smoking bars, exactly. Can’t suppress people’s hookah rights. Next election cycle may hinge on the doobie debates.

    1. It is a work in progress, I assure you. We’ve had more than a little conflict in our relationship. My son has always amazed me. It is truly my privilege to witness him becoming a thoughtful and compassionate adult.

  2. Great set up. I can’t wait to hear your perspective of a place occupied with different perspectives. Since I hate being patronized, I’m wondering if it happens to you.

  3. Glad you know your place: they pick, you pay. Sounds so familiar
    What a terrific post – will be checking in for your guest appearance.
    I bet that conversation kept your funny bone occupied – wish I could have heard it.
    Good luck with your classes! (never get behind on the reading. never get behind on the reading)

    1. Oh, I know my place. I’ve been put in my place plenty of times. Problem is, I never stay in it. 🙂 Classes are going to be awesome! Learning for learning’s sake. Now THAT’S freedom. I’ll keep you posted (ha posted) on how it goes throughout the semester.

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