Saturday, October 31, 2009

No Chicken Patties

We've learned a couple things about being the parents of a college student since Heather was a freshman.  At her first Parents' Weekend, we registered for brunch and the college president's speech, and dinner that night, only to see her expression when we spoke of dinner in the cafeteria - her face said, "Do you know how many different ways they can fix chicken patties?" So we took her off campus to a local eatery (not many options near Houghton, NY, but they sure beat the cafeteria) and from that point forward, handled campus visits very differently.  By the time she graduated, we brought food from home, used the dorm kitchen to cook, and all her friends piled in, sitting on all available surfaces, and happily eating home cooked food with whatever miss-matched dishes and utensils we could find.

So when the announcement came about Friends and Family Weekend at Wells, we planned to whisk Jason away for dinner, and last night ate and early dinner at the Pumpkin Hill Bistro.  (Aurora, NY has many more fancy eating options than Houghton!) Delicious!  And not a mention of chicken patties on the menu.  Interestingly, he had mentioned being the oldest student living on campus earlier, and ordered a glass of wine with dinner.  We overheard the waitress proofing a young woman sitting near us, who didn't have her wallet, so was denied her beverage of choice.  Jason quietly commented, "See, I told you I'm old" when I said, "She didn't proof YOU!"  We had saved room for dessert - which was described by a decoupaged list on a rolling pin!  Very scrapbookish, I thought!  Jason had something chocolate, I had a frozen mousse with lemon curd, and Paul had an apple thing in fried filo dough.  Yummy.

We're proud of Jason - he's taken the long way to his Bachelor's degree, but may very well value it more than the student who just travels the usual route of hgh school, college, and graduation.  He seems to be working hard, fitting in the quantities of reading and writing required for the philosophy, anthropology and religion courses he's taking.  When I joke that the workload makes a nice Algebra course look appealing, he quickly denies that, so I guess for him, the demands at Wells are worth it!  We're leaving him alone the rest of the weekend as he's working on a paper due Tuesday.  The professor for that course has criticized his use of the passive voice so I offered to read it for him and give suggestions.  MY English professor would be proud of my identification of passive voice - we'll see if I'm able to offer helpful suggestions.

We went back to the campus to see the play Pygmalion.  The cast included students and a long time staff member who reprised his high school role of Eliza's father - I chuckled when he whistled "I'm Getting Married in the Morning" as he left the stage at the end of the show. 

So yesterday's blessing was the avoidance of the dreaded college cafeteria chicken patties, and our enjoyable visit with our Wells College student son. 

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