This past weekend Emily and I drove to her college where she’ll start her junior year. Like last year, all went well during the 600-mile drive there, as well as the actual move-in day. And like last year, we made the trip in two days. I reserved separate motel rooms for us, which is more expensive but since I snore, I'd rather ensure a good night's sleep than risk both of us becoming sleepy on the road.
The I-70 trip is quite familiar to me, thanks to years-ago trips between Connecticut (where I did my masters degree) and my parents' home in southern Illinois. I noticed a few places from those student days, like a non-chain motel called the Regal Inn where I stopped nearly thirty years ago. The Knights' Inn at St. Clairsville, OH---another place that I stayed once--still operated but as another kind of motel. My taste in motel chains has changed over the years; we almost always stay at Hampton Inns now.
Emily lives on the fourth floor of her building. Arriving early on moving day, we commandeered two reserved spaces that were convenient. Do any schools have handy and adequate parking? We worked four hours to get stuff to her room. We and the other families had to go down one first-floor hallway, turn right down another hallway, take the elevator (with doors that you open and close by hand) to the third floor, and then walk down another hallway and carry stuff up to the fourth floor.
Chatting with other parents was fun. I worried about dads who, though heavier-set than I am, lugged refrigerators up flights of stairs. Last year, one mother and I talked about the $50 fee that the college had charged last year for dorm-room clean-up. The mother said she’d mopped and dusted her daughter’s room but the college still claimed it was dirty. I recall that my college levied similar, foolish little fees for various reasons; I imagine most schools do. At least this year, all the students including Emily got an iPad!
Emily has a terrific room with a nice view. After we got her stuff into the room, we went off, napped, had lunch, and went to Wal-Mart for supplies. My wife likes to call this the "world's greatest Wal-Mart" because, compared to some we've seen, is spacious and easy to navigate.
The next day, I made my way home. We didn't hear from Emily till Tuesday evening; all was well and things were falling into place for the new semester, although she complained of unreliable wifi.
Just another small adventure in our family, like similar adventures happening in many families around the country here in late summertime. One ol' friend was taking his youngest child and only daughter to college for the first time this fall; I felt like sending him a box of Kleenex, just to empathize.