Every day, CJ gets mail from colleges. All sorts of cool brochures appear in our mailbox, along with personalized letters inviting our son to come to a local information session or even a special day on campus for athletes. CJ has even been getting mail from highly-competitive schools that turn town 85% of their applicants. But they still want him to apply so they can become even more selective.
On Friday, a 6"x8" glossy postcard arrived from a fine institution – Indiana University. The front of the card has a photo of a cool-looking Jason Bateman lookalike, with a five-o’clock shadow and Prada glasses. It says, in multiple cutting-edge fonts: "CJ, There’s Life after 1040 Franklin Street" (our address).
Here is the text on the other side of the card:
We think you should have an amazing life. See the world. Be an Olympian. Learn new languages. Write new laws. Create your masterpiece. Save the environment. Discover a cure. Meet the Dalai Lama. Start your own business. Win the Nobel Prize.
Indiana University students get more than just college degrees. Our brilliant faculty, innovate programs, incredible facilities, and rich resources inspire and nurture new ideas, creative vision and awe-inspiring achievements.
Where will you go from 1040 Franklin Street? We invite you to start your journey in Bloomington.
Wow. I rushed into CJ’s room and found him trying on beanies, because his friend had inadvertantly created a checkerboard pattern on his scalp while trying to give him a buzz cut.
"Look at this," I said, "This came from a great school that not only thinks you should get a life and move out of here, but will also help you save the environment, meet the Dalai Lama and win the Nobel Prize."
"Don’t I have to win a Nobel Prize before I apply?" he asked.
Not only did the people at Indiana view him as more than "Dear Occupant", I explained, but they also seemed realistic about when kids are supposed to do great things. There he would not have to start his amazing life until after he has left home.