Desperate college-touring mom accepts a ride from a stranger to catch up with her son

We're on our epic Indian monsoon journey, starting off our new lives with a slow oil drip Shirodhara ayurvedic treatment  – a stream of medicated oil poured over the forehead for 40 minutes, to release tension and stress and take you to a different level of mental peace.

Not sure where blogging fits in with mental peace.

Lots of drop off stories will eventually show up here, but first a report from a reader about a mid-summer college road trip:


- Our trip was
good overall. It was certainly informative, but what I already knew was
confirmed: K really can't take being with a parent for more than two

- The best story I
have about how far this trip was from a mother-son bonding experience
was in D.C. K and I did the Georgetown info session and tour, had
lunch, and then walked around M Street for a lot longer than I thought
he'd be willing to do. So far all was o.k. But then we set off to find
the Mount Vernon campus of George Washington. (We had seen the Foggy
Bottom campus the day before.) K grabbed the map and started walking
ahead. We walked
and walked in the 104 degree heat and I was getting progressively more
tired and thirsty. The gap between K and me grew. I figured
he'd slow down to let me catch up but soon he was nowhere in sight and
he wouldn't answer his cell phone, which he later claimed he couldn't
hear. I also couldn't find any taxis. Finally, I was so desperate
that I accepted a ride from a man I had asked directions of – something
I would be horrified to hear my kids had done. Soon after I got in the
car we saw an exhausted and confused K puzzled over the map. The man
screamed across the street, "K, get in the car! I've got your
mother." I've never seen such a shocked expression on K's face.

Other observations:
  • I
    was surprised and disappointed by the lack of coffee in the information
    session/tour waiting areas. On the other hand, there was often water.
  • Washington U. : The one tour where the guide has a mic and you could hear well. One of the buildings was described as “Hogwartesque”
  • Vanderbilt: 
    •  In
      the info session, the presenter had the students introduce themselves
      by stating their favorite TV show. Then the presenter gave them “points”
      for shows they liked.
    • It was mentioned that the squirrel: student ration  = 3:1
    • The residential houses were described as “Harry Potterish”
    • In discussing study
      abroad programs, they said they had places in “every continent except
      Antarctica." This would have been funny had I not heard the same thing
      at at least a couple of other schools.
    • One of the parents asked “What are the chances of tornadoes?” The response was, “I’m not a meteorologist.”
  • Duke
    • The
      student companion was dressed a lot more nicely than at other places.
    • In talking about the potential for on-campus clubs, the presenter mentioned that students had started an innertube water polo club. I know I heard exactly the same thing at at least one other school.
    • One parent on the tour referred to another when talking to the guide as a bozo. 
  • Georgetown
    •  They had coffee here!!!
    • The info session was the shortest of anywhere, but there was lots of information, just no jokes.
    • Most
      annoying question by parent: (to tour guide) “What is your least
      favorite thing about the school?” This was obnoxious because the
      daughter had asked the very same question on the George Washington tour
      the day before.


Submit your tour horror stories – Win chai with the neurotic parent, plus a free pen if your report includes at least two Harry Potter references.




Desperate college-touring mom accepts a ride from a stranger to catch up with her son — 3 Comments

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  2. My daughter and I recently visited several colleges in the midwest. The tour guide or info session leader at EVERY SINGLE ONE found a way to compare his or her institution to Hogwarts. Did anyone else have this experience?
    P.S. She’s going out tonight–a Halloween concert downtown. One day before EA deadline. Three days before the SAT. I initially let her make the choice to preserve my own sanity but it’s not working. I do believe I’m losing my mind.