Monday, August 29, 2011

These parents are way ahead of me:

I don’t know who said they can’t wait until their kids start college and move out, so they can get their lives back. This empty-nest stuff stinks! But there is a real-life family who truly enjoys it: 'Gypsynesters'.  It is worth checking out, they write extremely well and know what they're doing. I admire David and Veronica, but I am nowhere near that point in life as they are.They are veterans with the third kid in college, I have an only, and everything is the first time for me. I am trying, though.
I work full time, write, take classes at the community college, walk her dog, and still find time to miss her. Roy feels the same way. It’s like we live from weekend to weekend, when she’s home. We better get over this soon.
Well, tomorrow our daughter is going back to campus, for her second year. She had all four of her wisdom teeth pulled, survived hurricane Irene, and the earthquake on Tuesday. With all this going on, moving her back to school was shoved to the backburner for awhile, but now we are fully aware that she is leaving us again. This time with her car. I pray to God that she is safe.

This is a little conversation we had at the beginning of the summer. She was offered to work at my job for four weeks, then at her usual summer camp for an additional five weeks.

Alexandra: "I am not getting up at 6:30 AM for the next 9 weeks. No way, I'm not doing it. Absolutely not." (Very grouchy tone of voice)

Me: "Heck, nine weeks sounds good. So far I did this for 30 years, with 20 more on the horizon."

She worked the full nine weeks, got up every morning, did a good job, and now has money in the bank for the next semester.
The car is packed, the husband and I are mentally prepared, (Alex is psyched to go back, a good sign).

The first year of college blog posts have now come to an end, but I promise I will post important events throughout the next three years. There is just too much to pass on and help other parents find answers to inumerable questions. May God be with us, and of course, with you.
Heather, your parents' point-of-view ally.

Finals for both

Thu, 5 May 2011: How are your finals going? I have mine tonight.
Love, Mom

I'm done with mine

How are you done? What about today and Monday?

I had 2 on tuesday and 2 on wed nd that's all 4 classes

Bin Laden is dead!

Mon, 2 May 2011:
Hey, Bin Laden is dead!!
When did you find out, where were you at the time, was there any celebrating going on at your school?

I was watching a walk to remember in bess' room nd her roomates bf txted her about it nd then we saw it on everyone’s fb statuses nd we flipped out.

Birthday at Appleby's

Thu, 25 Apr 2011: 8:30AM
Hey Alexandra, Happy birthday!!!
Grandma called this morning to tell you happy birthday.
Judy emailed yesterday to say that she and Beth are trying to think of a present for you. Would you like to go to the city soon (probably after I come back) and pick something there? (Sephora's on Time Square, just an idea).
When are you getting your pin?
What did you do last night? Did you go to Appleby's, who all went?
Pick you up tomorrow around four?
Talk to me, Mom

Hey thank u :) yeah deff need more make up!! (For real I do) the pin should be coming soon idk when exactly. I went to applebees with j, m, t, s, s and a it was fun :) and yeah pick me up the usual time on friday :) Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

did you get any birthday wishes yet, other than mine and grandma's?

yeahhhhhh tons already =]

That early in the morning?

It started at midnight lol

She came home that weekend to pick up our birthday presents for her (a windbreaker with her sorority’s letters, a beach bag, and money, of course) and she told us that she has gotten over 250 birthday wishes on her facebook and phone. She was sad that the semester is almost over; she’s had so much fun this time around. She went back to campus early, to hang out with her friends. Her grades are amazing, mostly A’s, she has grown so much emotionally and intellectually, she really matured in this short year (half) away from home. She watched kids getting arrested, busted, thrown out, and saw firsthand the consequences of bad choices.

Do they like care packages or is it exaggerated?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011: Al,
Thanks for the picture last night, I saw it this morning.  So you have your letters and your shirt, when is the pin supposed to arrive?
How was it last evening, what kind of rituals and celebrating did you do?
Congratulation on your accomplishment, now please go back to prepare for your classes and finals coming up. You’ll be done in less than a month, wow.
Also, please decide what places you want to apply to for a job.
When shall I get you on Friday? Mom

shirt and letters are the same big got me to sets of letters and a bag with the letters on them as well =]
the rituals are secretive but it was really nice and very professional then we took a ton of pictures and got gifts
i'm doing a campus clean up in the morning so i guess u can get me at like 2 on friday?
okiess =]
Her sorority got awarded highest GPA!
From our text messages on Wednesday, April 27, 2011:
I got ur care package J (Alexandra)
Cool! Is it good? (Mom)
Yeah, it’s delicious! (Al)
Did others get one? (Mom)
Yeah, a lot of ppl got them. (Al)

Her university sent out a letter to parents (every semester) to select a care package for their student for finals. They’re around $25 and there is a lot of stuff in them, so we ordered her one. Obviously it was a good thing to do.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hell to pay to get in

Thursday, April 07, 2011: okay
i just ordered my pin for xyz...that should be safe right cuz it went through an official website? Anyways it came to exactly $200 BUT it looks really nice and professional so yay! anyways i'll see you next week cuz im not coming home this weekend

Friday, April 8th 2011: What’s up? What did you do last night and how is everyhing going? Is it doable? Is pledging almost over? I transferred the money. Talk to me, Mom

yeah, pledging is fine its not bad or anything
saturday is the test and we all have get a 100 or we keep going with pledging so we are studying really hard cuz none of us want to pledge anymore cuz it’s like the hardest thing ever cuz everything has to be perfect soo if we dont all cross on saturday and we have to go another week i'm gonna lose it lol
if we dont do good on saturdays test that means we dont cross on tuesday and we go another week so it can be as beautiful as it wants to be outside and ill still hate everything so keep your fingers crossed that we cross!

I sent her a text message in the morning saying that Oma (her grandmother in Germany) lit a blessed candle for her and will keep it on all day. “Cool,” Alexandra texted back. All day Saturday, I was nervous and awaited the test results from her. After my writers’ group meeting in the late afternoon and no word from Alexandra I finally texted her:

She answered: What? The test is tonight and into the morning.

I texted back: Into the morning?!

She: Yup its all night u can come visit me at the looney bin cuz that’s where I’m gonna end up after all this is over.
A few hours later: Don’t text me, it has started.

I lit a blessed candle from Lourdes, France, and prayed a double prayer. Then hubby and I watched a movie with Russell Crowe, “The Next Three Days.” We couldn’t really enjoy it, being so nervous about how she and her group would do. At exactly midnight, just as we climbed into bed, my cell phone buzzed.
This is her text message from Sunday, April 10, 12:01 AM: We crossed!!! Don’t call me ill call u tomorrow.

We were so happy for her that we almost jumped up and down on the marital bed; eight long weeks of pledging, and she had reached her goal and survived.
The next day she called at noon. “Okay, I’m going to a birthday party now, I am freaking out with happiness, but this has been the most nerve-wracking experience in my whole life.” I said, “So the rest of college should be a breeze now, right?” and she said, it will.
Here is something that boggles my mind: Alexandra and I each had a goal, a dream, for the last few months. She wanted to receive her bid, pledge, survive the final week of pledging, and get into the sorority she had chosen last summer. My dream was to publish a book before I die. I was working on my sixth manuscript, a Young Adult paranormal novel titled Immortal Link. I felt in my gut that this would be the one that would make it. The writing, proof reading, rewriting, editing, waiting, changing things, querying agents, finally deciding to self-publish, creating the cover (with my daughter’s hand reaching for the indestructible, ghostly handprint of Alexander Campbell in cell #17 of the Old Jail in Jim Thorpe, PA), all these things consumed me since March of last year.
On Saturday, a friend helped me finish the cover on her laptop at our monthly writers’ group meeting, and I submitted the pdf files for the text and cover to CreateSpace which is connected to The format got accepted a few hours later and I ordered my proof early Sunday morning.
Alexandra and I reached our goals on the very same day…

Beware of Hackers

Mon, 4 Apr 2011: Can you tell me a little about last night? Love, Mom

last night was fun there was a lot of food and they loved my apetizer :)
the alumni were really nice but we were so intimidated by them that my whole class kinda like huddled together cuz we were too nervous to say hi to them but then we finally went up to them
my grand big came so it was nice to see her again
we played some games and that was pretty much it
sooo yeah it was a pretty nice time and today was greek sing which is like every frat and sorority does a skit and we won!
okay so see you next week

Alex, Be careful about emails from Verizon. Someone hacked into accounts and ours is one of it. Don’t open them and never, never give out your account number or information, especially not to people who contact you. If you call or order something, it’s different. But never give it out to someone who calls you! Mom

No contact for one week!

Thu, 31 Mar 2011: (Notice how the days pass without a word from her) Alexandra,
What have you been doing all week? Are you coming home this weekend? Mom

i've been super busy cuz we r almost done pledging sooo
i am coming home this weekend but i have to make an apetizer for alumni dinner which is on sunday at ur not allowed to come, family dinner is in the fall and u can come to that lol so i have to be back on sunday pretty early
i'm prob not gonna come home next weekend cuz its "hell week" nothing bad but we have like scavenger hunts and other stuff to do on thursday friday and sat and then there is no point coming home for just sunday and then hopefully i'll cross not this coming tuesday but the one after that so anyways i have my sleepover tonight after our meeting which is good cuz i dont have class on friday so i can just sleep and then do hw and then be ready for when u come get me
soooo thats it for now
bye! =]

Greek Life in College, better than we thought

Wednesday, March 23, 2011
pledging is fine we're almost done i got my big sister yesterday!!! :D
nd thats good i hope grandpa gets to go home soon

She told me before she returned to campus on Sunday that she signed up for helping at her school’s Open House next Saturday, which means she will stay on campus for the weekend. So far I haven’t heard from her, but assume she’s not coming home. My father is doing better and is being released from the hospital today. I might fly home this May instead of for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary next year in July. He might not be around then. I am trying to stay here long enough so I can finish my semester, because if I just miss one class, I am lost. Missing two classes would be the end for my course (English Composition 121).
Alexandra worked at her school’s Open House on Saturday, so I picked her up afterwards. Her first words were: Mom, by the way, I changed my major. To Communications. I said, “Praise the Lord.” Really, I am glad, because Marine Biology includes so much math, chemistry and physics, she would have been overwhelmed and frustrated. Now she has much easier math ahead of her and courses she can do, like public speaking, which is no problem for her. She spoke to rooms full of people during her years as a Girl Scout and since she was seven years old, she danced in front of hundreds of people, in shows and competitions. I am really relieved, because Communications is a broader and more versatile field, and easier for her. She is not all that into studying, thankfully she has great memory and social skills which hopefully will bring her far in life.
She got her big sister in her sorority and is so excited about belonging to that sisterhood. Whether sororities and fraternities are negative or positive, this is how I look at it: Before she even started college she researched the Greek organizations on her future campus and talked to people in different sororities. During “Meet the Greeks” she already knew exactly which group she wanted to apply to. She went to every one of their meetings, made friends during her first weeks on campus, and when the night of the bidding came, she received her bid. It was a huge deal. Out of 15 applicants, she was one of 4 freshmen who received a bid, a guaranteed spot for the next semester. She called us at 1 in the morning, exhilarated that she just got the call and was accepted. So, she decided what she wanted, showed her face at all the meetings, made friends, succeeded in being accepted, went through the pledging process, and reached her goal. Her sorority is involved in community service, they tutor each other because you need to have a good GPA to stay in it, and during the six weeks of pledging, there was no partying and alcohol allowed what so ever. Doesn’t this sound great to us parents? And for the fact that sororities and fraternities do nothing but party… if kids in college want to party, they will, whether it’s with a Greek organization or on their own. I trust that she made a good choice and picked a good sorority, not the ones you hear bad news about. She did all the research herself and reached her goal, and I am proud of her.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Gallstones from drinking?

Wed, 9 Mar 2011: Your (half) brother (who lives on the West Coast) needs an operation soon, he’s got gallstones. We told him it comes from too much alcohol, but he didn’t buy it. Always something.
Good luck during midterms and pledging. Mom

i know i saw on his facebook, such a weirdo
cant wait for spring break! woo!

Really, can’t wait for spring break?! Because of your lovely mother, right? Of course.

sureeee....... lol that and midterms will be done and ill have a break from pledging lol

Okay, so we both had spring break from school. She was home for a week, spent a lot of time with her friends and us, and when we brought her back to campus, she was quiet, almost sad. With my father being in the hospital overseas and my daughter going back to campus, I felt really lonely. I called her later that night to see if she’s okay, she was already out with friends, getting free ices at Rita’s because it was the first day of spring. Later, she had a meeting with her sorority, then finish homework.

Pledging has started

I got a text message from her on Monday, February 28, 2011: I withdrew from my pre-calc class to protect my gpa cuz I don’t have the time to give it the right amount of study time…I’m in class so don’t call me.
I called her later and she explained that she talked to her advisor about dropping pre-calc until next semester. I was concerned about her credits, she needs 12 to be considered full-time and stay on campus, but she still has 13. She said she is too busy right now (pledging) and doesn’t have the time to give enough time to study for math. All her other subjects are good, she has good grades, and she wants to protect her grade point average. I am not thrilled, but other mothers said that sometimes a kid has to drop a course and just take it in the summer or next semester.

Tue, 1 Mar 2011: Alexandra,
Just make sure you don’t drop any other classes, you need 12 credits to live on campus and be included on our dental insurance plan. I trust that you made the right decision. How was the sleep-over? Mom

of course i made the right decision im not a simpleton
and the sleepover was good

(woo, boy) I hope she’s right (You might also notice the scarcity of her emails, in text and frequency, compared to the first semester. I take it as a step in the right direction, becoming more independent and comfortable on campus).

Thursday, 3 Mar 2011: I’m coming home this weekend, consider yourself lucky

This college experience is falling into place, boohoo

Thursday, 17 February 2011
Do I pick you up around 4pm tomorrow?
We can go to the Met (art museum in NY for a project) either on Saturday after your hair appointment because it is open until 9pm on Saturdays, or on Sunday. Whatever you prefer but I need to ask Dad if he can drive on either day. Later, Mom

ummmmm idk i need to see when you are getting me tomorrow but idk what time yet i will call you either tonight or tomorrow morning after my class
and saturday would be easier cuz i wanna come back on sunday at like 2 in the afternoon cuz i have meetings and stuff on sunday and monday
anyways i paid with my debit card online the 125 for housing it was easier than going to the student housing because my friend said it was hell giving them a check for some reason so i still have ur check i can give back to you and it said pay with visa credit but i put my visa debit number said it went through so im hoping it actually paid so i guess we'll find out
anyways today is my first pledge meeting my pledge class is 14 girls and we have our last mixer tonight and then i cant drink anymore sooooooo ill talk to you tomorrow and stuff
bye, Alexandra
Tuesday, February 22, 2011 So how was induction? How long did it go and what did you do?
i got my new member pin that i have to wear all the time for 6 wks .....thats all im allowed to tell you lol but it was nice =]

Thu, 24 Feb 2011: What are your plans for this weekend? Let me know, Mom

i'm staying up here cuz i have so much to do

The whole weekend?

Idk, mom, Ill let you know Friday

Well, Friday came and went and she decided to stay on campus all weekend, which is the first time since she started college that she didn’t come home. I felt a little bereft. Then I realized I should be grateful that she is maturing and finding her place in school. She was not homesick at all, hung out with her friends, did homework and studied. She called us on Sunday night because she thought she had a virus on her computer, and Dad guided her through the process of running the AVG program to scan and erase the virus. Other than that, she was just doing her own thing up there (on campus) and we had better get used to the idea.

The trouble with tattoos

Wednesday, February 09, 2011: i've been super busy no time for reading emails
i <3 this tea nd my room smells really good =]
i still dont know when im coming home but i am coming home this wknd
the down payment for the housing application which is $125.00 is due on Feb. 19 ....yeah that early
anyways i have to study and then go to another class ttyl

Just give me the name of the dorm again, I’ll send the check.
Glad tea helps you relax a little.
Drink your fizzie, get enough rest, you’re doing good, we are proud of you.
Take care, love Mom

Wed, 16 Feb 2011: i will NEVER regret getting my tattoos no matter who turns me down. Alexandra

Wednesday February 16, 2011: Alexandra,
Here is a perfect example how life would be simpler for all if kids would listen to their parents, instead of having to make their own mistakes, but I guess that’s human nature: After all the big parties to see Peter off to Marine boot camp, guess what? The Marines rejected him because of his tattoo. He never even made it down to Parris Island. A soldier with a tattoo or a sunburn is considered to have damaged government property. (Soldiers are considered government property). I can’t even imagine how disappointed and upset they all must be.
Now he’s trying to get into the Navy, but this just to show you what I’ve been telling you all along. Tattoos are a life changing decision, not to be made lightly. I hope you will never be in the position and have to regret getting your tattoos. Later, Mom

Monday, August 1, 2011

This empty nest is starting to grow on us!

Notice the time span between emails. I am not contacting her every day anymore.

Tue 2/1/2011: hey so nothing is really going on this weekend so i think i might come home either friday or sat... ill let you know though

Thursday 2/3/2011: sooo i think im gonna come home on saturday at like noonish cuz on friday i wanna like do homework and go to the gym and stuff
but on the way home do u think we can stop at like the mall? i just need some things for mixers and stuff nd i think the bigger malls have a better selection so i can get stuff for cheaper than at our mall

Friday 2/4/2011: Yes, I can pick you up tomorrow around noonish, and stop at the mall.
What did you do last night? Be careful tonight, love mom

okay cool
im just planning on doing productive stuff today...gym hw im not going out tonight cuz i just dont feel like it

(Do I notice a little maturing/growing up here?…it does a mother good.) Side note from me, the mother: If you compare the first semester to the second, there is a lot less correspondence going on. I am more at ease. I don’t wake up in the middle of the night worrying anymore, at least on days I know she’s not at a frat party. The students seem to have calmed down, settled, figured out some things. My husband and I are a little lost being home without her, but that too is getting better. We are enjoying each other’s company more. I keep busy with a college course, only one at a time, and writing novels. Of course I also work full time during the day, but the evenings would be long without these activities. She still comes home every weekend, but it sounds as if that will be changing, too.

Playing with the fishies, in college

Mon, 24 Jan 2011 Hi Alex,
I set the “I survived Algebra” cake into the kitchen at work and the folks flocked to it like the birds outside our house when I put the seeds out.
When I came home last night, Max was still saving the bone you gave him and then ate it when Dad and I were home. He wanted to hold on to your present.
What did you all do last night? Mom

awww max is so cute
okay so today i had precalc from 11:15 to 12:05 and then i had bio from 12:30 to 1:20 and at 4:30 i have sociology
tomorrow i have fine arts from 9:30 to 10:45 and i have psych at 11:00 to 12:15 and then i have bio from 12:30 to 3:15
tomorrow i have pre calc 11:15 to 12:05 then bio from 12:30 to 1:20 then i have sociology at 4:30 to 5:45 pm
thursday i have art and psych and then friday i just have precalc
yesterday i hung out with tina and josy and did hw

Tue, 25 Jan 2011 I see that you had classes back to back since 9:30 this morning until 3:15 this afternoon. You must be exhausted and hungry. Please make sure you have food or snack or something with you since you don’t have time to go to lunch until after 3 and by then you will be cranky and hate life. How did it go today? What did you do in fine arts? Did you eat??
How’s your schedule for the rest of the week? Always thinking of you, Mom

yeah i brought snacks with me
fine arts is professor talked about the falling snow and how its in the foreground of life or something for like 20 min then we drew lines on paper and talked about shading for the rest of the class
bio was fun today i was playing with fishies!

Wed, 26 Jan 2011: Played with the fishies? Nice.
Is pre calc still doable? Are you able to understand and keep up?
When do you have time to “meet the Greeks” today? Mom
meet the greeks was cancelled nd pushed to monday cuz of the weather
math is pretty good.

The first "We're Hiring" signs have been sighted...

Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2011 Good morning, How was the meeting last night? Good luck today in your first course. Mom

the meeting was good! i really like the RAs and the people on my floor are really nice its kinda like a family thats what the RAs made it feel like

Hey, times must be getting better, Wendy’s is hiring, with a big sign outside. I haven’t sign help wanted signs for years.
Well, that’s good, that you’re not the only new kid on the floor, so six others moved to your floor, cool. I liked that one RA I met, she seems tough and dependable. I have a good feeling about this semester, too. Love, Mom
Wed, 19 Jan 2011: Hey, what did your friends say about your tattoo?

they love ittttt
 (Of course)
okay so i bought most of my books and it comes to 442.06....u could just round that up to 1000 hahaha just kidding (no im not!)
i had my first precalc class today and i love my professor so i think im gonna stay with it :)
this semester is gonna be good but im gonna be sooo busy! i already had a lab to do in bio on the first day! but my professor is really nice! so ill have a lot of school work and pledging so since ill be up 24/7 i think i should bring my little pink lamp back to school so i dont have to have the big light and keep my roomate awake
okay ill see you friday.... im not homesick at all like if i wasnt coming home to make calzones for dad’s birthday, i would just stay up here! hahaha well thats not the only reason but yeah i dont feel the need to come home to get away from everything i can actually come home because i want to not because im stressed here lol but i will be home this weekend =]

Well, that’s good to hear that you want to come home, and it’s also good to hear that you like it up there. You sound a lot better than last semester. When will you be done tomorrow? I will leave here around 3PM, so be there around 4:15 if that’s all right.
I will transfer $500 into your account, please budget, it’s more important than getting money handed all the time. You will have enough for the semester.
If you would stay in school this weekend, what would you do? Are there others who are staying? Just wondering, b/c last semester it looked as if the whole campus went home every weekend. Is it different now? I know during pledging you will stay there, but why now?
Another thing: I know tonight is party night and we are expecting several inches of snow, starting around midnight. Please stay off the roads, do not go too far, maybe only to one you can get to by foot. It is so dangerous to drive in newly fallen snow, please be extremely careful. Ttyl, Mom

okay i get done at 12:05 tomorrow cuz i only have 1 class yay! so yeah 4:15 works for me
a lot of ppl do go home but i guess cuz its second semester people would rather stay cuz they are used to this college thing already lol
and im walking tonight lol

Meeting her new roommate

Monday, January 17, 2011: The second semester is underway. Alexandra is back on campus since yesterday and the house feels empty and sad. We got used to having her home again for one month, and she was great. She actually spent time with us. We watched movies together, she hung out with us, not just her high school friends, and she was really nice and helpful around the house. Since the time she was a teenager, this is the first time that I feel like I’m having my “little girl” back. Let’s hope the new semester is less dramatic. Here we go…

Hey Alex,
how was your first day and night?
What did you discuss at the floor meeting? How are your other floor mates?
Please try to find as many used books and maybe art supplies as you can. Maybe you meet kids who had some of your courses last semester and you can get it cheap from them? Also announce your books and the recorder for sale or trade or whatever.
How is Frannie? Does she snore? Is she bossy? Did you figure out where to put the TV?
How loud is it at night, did you get any sleep?
Just tell me what your general feeling is about your new roommate. If she asks you if it bothers you when she brings in her girlfriend overnight, don't say ‘it's okay’ right away, tell her you don't know yet and will have to see how that works out.
What are you all doing today? I am home, so call or write anytime. Love, Mom

last night was good i really like my new suitemates...Fran didnt sleep here last night idk where she was and shes still not here but she was here for a while last night and she seems nice so i have a pretty good feeling about this room. i had lunch with Meghann and now im going with Tina and Josy to target just to get notebooks and folders and they have some art supplies there for cheap so yay! my floor meeting got cancelled till today so ill let you know =]

I was just outside walking Max and then we played soccer in the snow and he looked like a snow puppy. He keeps lying by your bedroom door, waiting for you. I told him you're back in school and that's life, but I do take time to play with him in the snow and walk him across the fields.
I'm sooo glad to get a good report from you, I pray all the time that you will have the best college experience possible. Dorming, pledging, sorority, frat parties to some degree, not too wild I hope, getting good grades, meeting a bunch of new people, problem solving, all this will be part of your life experience and the person you become. Make the best of it, because when you look back many years later, it might very well have been the best time of your life.
Did you figure out on which side to hook up the TV?
I just created my account on CreateSpace, the self-publishing print-on-demand site through Amazon, now I need to wait for my manuscript to come back from the editor I hired in Wisconsin, make the corrections, format it, and change it into a pdf file. Kathy will help me with the cover on Adobe Photoshop.
ttyl, Mom

i put the tv on my desk for now
we went to target but couldnt find any art supplies but i got folders and note books, and some soup lol
i need magazines for my art class so save them please ill get them this weekend
i miss max soo much!
anyways im going to dinner soon and then watch greek so ttyl!