Friday, August 19, 2011

move-in day (lyn)

Everything goes smoothly. We arrive at 11.  The campus is swarming with red-T-shirted people directing us every step of the way. It is all very organized and comforting.

With the help of some Cornell volunteers, our entire car is unloaded in minutes.  Someone asks Alexander if he has a single, double or triple.  When he says he has a double he’s told, “Man, you lucked out.  The doubles in Jameson are the best.  They’re the same size as the triples.”  He’s right.  Alexander’s room is huge.  Dirty, but huge. 

The blind is broken, and sits at an angle. We take it down.  Some boys nearby tell us the shower doesn’t work.  And the windows look like they haven’t been cleaned since 1972 when the dorm was first built.  I’m sure everything will get fixed in time. 

We borrow someone’s Pine Sol and start cleaning.

While we are unpacking, Alexander’s roommate, Benjamin,  comes in.  He seems great.  Neat.  Well-mannered.  And fun.  He also gets up early which is a plus, given Alexander's sleeping habits.  Benjamin is unpacked and gone hours before me and Alexander.  Other kids and their parents pop their heads in to say hi, and they all comment on the size of Alexander and Benjamin's room.   Everyone is friendly, and warm, and an undercurrent of excitement is everywhere.

After a few hours of unpacking and organizing, Alexander and I walk from his dorm in North Campus (where all the freshman live) to College Town where we have lunch at College Town Bagels.  Everywhere we go seems to be a 15-20 minute walk.  It starts to rain on the way.  But even the dreary weather doesn’t diminish the wonder of the day.

I am not thinking too much about my food consumption, as I eat my second bagel of the day.  The first was topped with cream cheese; this one is covered in egg salad, tomatoes, and bacon.  Even yesterday’s healthy lunch won't compensate for my atrocious eating today.

The rain is gone by the time we finish lunch. We make a few more stops on our walk back to North Campus, and I wish I hadn’t worn my Naot sandals.  They’re fine for casual walking, but not for walking miles and miles, up and down hills. I wonder if I could have done this two years ago?

Around seven, I head off to a lecture about being a Cornell parent.  It’s a good talk but a long walk.  Around nine, I’m ready to leave.

My hotel is about twenty minutes from campus, and my GPS lady takes me through dark, winding streets, not the way I came.  Maybe it’s less miles, but it's also less direct.  It’s a harrowing ride to be making alone.

On the way, I pass a Bed, Bath and Beyond, and an all-night Wal-Mart.  I stop in both and make some fill-in purchases. I see some other parents I'd met during the day, doing the same thing.

I am now completely exhausted.  It’s 10:45, and I haven’t eaten since two.  I don’t want to have a big meal, but I want something to eat, so I pull into a Friendly’s.  I order the hot dog, despite its warning:  this hot dog contains milk.  I ask the waitress what that means, and she hasn’t a clue, though she agrees it’s a strange warning. 

I arrive at the hotel around 11:30, too tired to feel emotion.

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