About this time last year, I was fixing to take Velvet to college. At the time, I thought it felt a lot like taking him to sleep-away camp, except he'd be studying Forestry Engineering instead of survival skills (In Which Velvet Runs into the Woods, Stonerdate 06.28.09). He did study, some. Actually, he thinks he busted his ass - and maybe he did - but it looks to me like he focused exclusively on Survival Skills.
It was a freshman year destined to become legend. I'm not sure which part was my favorite: The King of the Halloween Party (Stonerdate 11.04.09), his arrest for being a dumb ass (Velvet Gets Arrested, Stonerdate 04.17.10), or finding this photo on his Facebook account:
He considers his freshman year a success since Tree Hugger Academy is allowing him to return. He's on Academic Probation for another semester, and he's on Disciplinary Probation for life due to his run in with The Law - and I figure that's a good place to begin his third semester as a college freshman.
He's going up to Hookah House today on the bus. I'm heading up there tomorrow with the first load of provisions for his new apartment. He has to appear in court on Tuesday. It's a damn good thing that Tree Hugger and Big Beautiful Private University share services so that the boy gets a free lawyer because if there had been legal fees attached to his arrest for being a dumb ass, I'd be pissed off. But the whole episode has been handled so neatly by the Institution that it looks to me as if keeping privileged dumb asses out of jail is standard operating procedure.
A close review of events determined that the boy was not arrested for swiping the fraternity letters at all. He was arrested because when Big Beautiful Private's University Police wanted him to reveal the name of his friend, he said, "I don't have to tell you because you're not real police." One of the officers then said, "That's right. We're not real police. But we can put you in handcuffs until they get here."
I still wish that we could have a copy of the mug shot for his baby book. Maybe I can get one through a public information officer - but for now, I remain content that the arresting officers speak highly of his manners.
He's no longer a Forest Engineering major either. He's switched to Environmental Studies, which is the closet thing Tree Hugger has to a liberal arts degree. And I'm in the process of arranging for an Executive Functioning Coach to facilitate his transition to college from a Self Contained Special Education setting for kids with ADHD, Dyslexia and other learning differences. Tree Hugger and Big Beautiful Private both have adequate generic supports for SPED students, but the differences between his school in New York and college was so great that we have to build our own bridge.
Private measures must be instituted to deal with this situation. Fortunately, the Education Department at Big Beautiful Private offers a BA in Inclusive and Special Education and five students have already applied to be my son's Coach.
Now that we know what to expect at Tree Hugger and Big Beautiful Private, I feel like he's set up for success this fall. It's a lot like he's going back to Sleep Away Camp and Hookah House is his cabin. All things considered, he was very successful in the social arena last year. He's a kid who needs solid peer support, and now that he's got his Hookah brothers, he feels comfortable.
I still have no clue where this path is leading, but it's leading somewhere. I'm pretty sure there's blue skies ahead.
The Road up at Hippy Dippy Quaker camp in Vermont and the sky over the field where I was taking a nap a couple of years ago.
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