I’ve Been Oriented


I learned some things at college orientation this week at The George Washington University.

  • It’s not George Washington University, it’s The George Washington University. Are there others?   Did someone else try to start another one?
  • A pit is formed in one’s stomach when dropping their kid off at a dorm, even if it is only for two nights.
  • A lump is formed in one’s throat when one is sitting at an outside bar with a buddy and one sees his daughter strolling down the street with two guys one does not know from Adam.
  • A panic comes across one’s mind when one finds out his daughter got home at 1:20 AM after walking home from the Lincoln Memorial with yet another group of unknowns.
  • If a skinny mouse eats a fat mouse’s poop, he will get skinny too (one sat in on a biology lecture).
  • All the parents at college orientation are old, except me.
  • One should never call their child at college.
  • As if the school is not expensive enough, GW has a box that you must uncheck on your online bill in order not to donate fifty additional dollars to the library fund when paying tuition. At $60K a year sticker price, one would think the Library should be covered without the additional support.
  • The Kennedy Center is a short walk from campus, and they have free concerts 365 days a year. Now you’re speaking my language.
  • The reason so many helicopters fly over DC is because there is nowhere to park one’s car.
  • Leaving DC, there are four big fat highway lanes that only about six people are allowed to use – which is cruel.
  • The relief one feels when one’s daughter is happy is euphoric in nature.

La Discoteca


I just discovered that my daughter is smarter than I am.  I knew it was coming.  Last year she put together some science mumbo-jumbo she’d learned in class to determine that her soy allergy was also acting up because she ate blue cheese.  Apparently they have some bacterial, ameboid, genome connection or something.

The only thing I learned in Mr. Seymour’s biology class was that the crush I had on Janice Templeton was stronger than I had ever imagined.  She sat right in front of me – whew.  That tight red sweater.  Oh, and Mr. Seymour’ derriere was out of proportion to the rest of his body.  Fascinating to watch.

I had to go with DJ to Parent’s Day on Friday at St. Mary’s. I think she would have been fine to go alone.  However, I would never pass up the opportunity to hang out with my baby.  We’re like peas and carrots.

Our first stop was Honors Biology.  We, well she, used the Bunsen burner.  I had hoped to heat up my coffee, but nooo, we had to put on these goofy goggles and burn wooden sticks with various elements from the periodic table dipped on their end.

Did you know cadmium makes fire turn green?  It’s fantastic.

I got no use for that Periodic Table.  You can’t even eat off of it.  And by the way, what is cadmium and what does it do?  I’ve never used the stuff myself.

The Environmental Science teacher invited parents to email her if we wanted to be guest lecturers.  I do.  I want to talk to this all-girls school about using less toilet paper.  It could save the planet.

But the most interesting class I attended with my 16-year-old was Spanish III.  El profesoro began by telling the parents that our participation that day would reflect on our children’s grades.  I have a smart one, so I knew that she could take a zero for just one day.  However, his enthusiasm drew me in.

We had to recite a Spanish tongue twister:  Juan junta juncos junto a la zanja.  Im not sure, but I think it means “John isn’t going to the jungle for a zebra.”

He then called me out.  “Senor Tanner.”


And then he threw out a slew of words I could not comprehend.  My answer?


Apparently that was not good enough.  He wanted me to make up a sentence about my daughter from the list of vocabulary words he had presented at the beginning of the class.

Some of the words weren’t working for my sentence, like fea (which means ugly), la discoteca (night club) or loco (crazy).

My ugly daughter goes crazy at the night club.  Nah – not appropriate for Parents’ Day. 

I settled with “Yo orgullosa mi daughtero.”

“Don’t use that Fred Sanford Spanish with me Senor Tanner!” my professor scolded.  “Just adding an O at the end of a word.  That won’t cut it in here!”

“Pero el professoro, ‘daughter’ wasn’t on your definition list.”

The rest of the day was nice.  I got to see DJ dance which always makes me happy.  She’s just got so much on the ball.  A heck of a lot like her mother I think.

The Spanish teacher seems like fun.  I think I’m gonna invite him a la discoteca – buy him una cerveza o dos.  Maybe insuro an A-o.  Come to think of it, it would we wise-o to also include el calculoso professoro too!

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