Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Flunking Out 101

I’m not quite sure how this happened, but I’m fairly certain I flunked out of college last week. Or was expelled or something. Which is pretty hard to do since I graduated years ago. I have a diploma, but I can’t show you, it’s in a box in the storage room in the basement under about 6 feet of other keepsake debris and I’d need a Tetanus shot if I tried to find it. I once ventured in there to search for my old turntable for my son and I finally had to make my way out after three days as I was getting really hungry. Sorry you had to buy a turntable Son, but I did give it the old college try . . .


Flunking Out - Bakinginatornado.com

So knowing I had a diploma somewhere and therefore had nothing to lose, we headed out to my son’s college orientation. I knew it was going to be a day from hell; I had to get up at 5:30 am so we'd all be ready to leave around 6:30 am to be there by the start at 7:20 am. Yes, I read it 3 times and each time it still said that it started at 7:20 am. We wouldn’t start our hour ride home until it ended at almost 4:30 pm. With that kind of time investment I figured I should walk out of there with my Doctorate.

I started the day with good intentions. I was determined to be no more than 10 minutes late. In retrospect, this may have been the first strike against me, but I put it in the “win” column; we got there, had averted all the long lines, jumped into the back of the group just as it was beginning and weren’t even the last to arrive. The Manager of the Bookstore started out a small group of us by talking about renting, buying or borrowing text books. Bla, bla, bla. But he was nice and treated us to a cup of coffee after his talk.

I won’t bore you with the details of all 9 hours of orientation. Truth be told I went into a coma after about the 3rd hour and suffice it to say the event was traumatic enough that I woke up the next morning with a little bit of amnesia. I’m sure it’s just my brain’s way of protecting itself from such an excruciating memory.

But I will say that we (the parents, the kids had been taken off separately) sat through lectures, skits, introductions. slide shows, rose to sing the school song (which I don’t know) were given instructions, and walked in lines through endless tables where we picked up enough reading material that I’ll still be reading all this crap when my son graduates.

The trouble really started at about the 4th hour when we were to go attend 3 different workshops of our choice. The first one I chose was about housing. And then I sort of took a left turn, and I mean that literally. It took some talking, cajoling and whining, but I finally convinced my follow-the-rules husband into skipping the next 2 sessions and joining me on a little shopping spree in the Bookstore. I rock at peer pressure, in case you were wondering.

And while in the Bookstore, guess who comes out of the back room, walks right up to us and, to my husband’s eternal mortification says “I caught you two skipping class”. Yup, the store manager from earlier in the day. I’m fairly sure it won’t bode well for my son that the guy specifically asked for our student’s name. I really need to get better at thinking on my feet. I should have said we were Lovey and Thurston Howell III and that our son was Gilligan. We were wearing name tags though, so there’s that. Anyway, we were nabbed. Strike two.

So we went through more of our day. A 17 mile walking tour (OK, maybe less but I was exhausted) that did not include the one thing I wanted to see, a dorm room. We had lunch in the school cafeteria (yippee), more introductions, some improv, more slides, questions specific to others that had nothing to do with us, more sitting and more listening and another forest’s worth of papers.


-Beef Shishkabob - Bakinginatornado.com
Beef Kabobs

Finally we find ourselves in the home stretch. We’re sitting with about 500 other parents in yet another lecture hall listening to the Dean of Who-Remembers-What telling us I-haven’t-a-clue-what when suddenly Steven Tyler starts screeching “same old song and dance” through the silent room. I have to admit that I would have enjoyed the moment much more if that screeching wasn’t coming from MY cell phone.

I’m pretty sure that this was my third strike and the point at which I officially flunked parent orientation. So much for setting a good example for my son . . . and for ever being welcome there again . . .  and I’m guessing I can kiss that Doctorate goodbye.

Earlier in the day, when I was still semi-coherent, I had told my husband that although this day could have been cut in half, maybe it was so long because of what they needed to get accomplished with the students.

Driving home our son told us what his student group had figured out; that although this day could have been cut in half, maybe it was so long because of what they needed to get accomplished with the parents.

And at the end of the day, what did I learn? That all the information imparted in those 9 hours is easily available on line.

Bakinginatornado.com 

Beef Kabobs
                                                                
©www.BakingInATornado.com


Ingredients:
1 1/2 # beef (I buy Top Sirloin steaks), cut into cubes
1 onion, quartered and separate the layers
1 red pepper, cut into large cubes
cherry or grape tomatoes
mushrooms, cleaned and remove most of the stem
2 zucchini, cut into half inch slices
1 cup Wish Bone Russian Salad Dressing
1/4 cup Catalina Salad Dressing
2 TBSP Poppy Seed Salad Dressing

Directions:
*Mix the salad dressings together.
*Put the cubed steak into a small bowl or a storage bag.
*Put the vegetables into a larger bowl or a storage bag.
*Pour 1/3 of the dressing mix onto the steak cubes. Mix well. Put the rest of the dressing mix onto the vegetables. Mix well.
*Put meat and vegetables into the fridge to marinate overnight or through the day. Mix them up at least 3 or 4 times to be sure all of the meat and vegetables are marinating in the dressing.
*When ready to cook, skewer (I like to keep the raw meat and the vegetables separate so I skewer them separately), and cook on the grill. I generally cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, turning the meat and vegetables a quarter turn every 5 minutes.

29 comments:

  1. Holy UGH UGH UGLINESS! What a waste of a day. Although, you did get to peruse the bookstore, so there's that :)

    With the exception of the poppy seed salad dressing (which sounds marvelous!), your beef kabob recipe looks amazingly close to the one I've used since Herbert Hoover was in office. Or wait, maybe it was Reagan...I suck at learning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I didn't just peruse, I purchased, LOL.

      Yes, I think everyone makes some version of this recipe. It's just so simple; marinate and grill. Perfect for a hot day.

      Delete
  2. The local community college is looking better and better....or a trade school. I don't do sitting and listening and walking and........*snore* How in the world did you come out of that with your sanity intact? I'd be a zombie if it were me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I honestly thought I'd do sitting and listening better than I did. But then 9 hours plus 2 more driving there and back is beyond excessive.

      Delete
  3. I'm proud of you for going most of the day. I would have totally skipped everything - and off campus too. I'm a rebel like that. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perfect. I'm no longer looking at this as a failure, it's a success. Because I DID make it through the day. Semi-conscious, but it counts.

      Delete
  4. Since both our boys went to Arizona State, ASU came to us, that is, the East Coast for orientation. We drove to a NJ hotel for the Northeast and mid-Atlantic session. They brought student 'ambassadors' who told the guys everything they needed to know, all paperwork was filled out that day including housing, course selection and whatever else was needed to complete the process. Everything was signed, sealed and done by the time they flew out to AZ. Your experience sounds absolutely dizzying. I applaud you for even being semi-coherent. I'm not sure I would be!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like ASU did a better job of it. The truth is, they must know that this long a day is ridiculous. It's not like they're a new school. And at the end of the day we rated the experience and one of the ratings was for "length of the day", so I KNOW they've been getting feedback and I can't imagine anyone gave that one a good rating.

      Delete
  5. That sounds like an ultra boring day. Ugh. Hey, at least you got through it, and your son is a college man. At least you might be allowed back one day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, fortunately I didn't get him thrown out too. And chances are he's not exactly going to want me up there all that often either.

      Delete
  6. OMG...that bookstore manager needs to get a life and not be such a tight ass, seriously. OMG. I would have checked out too. The whole thing was on line???? HOLY POOP...WTF? I bet the parents who paid attention really learned nothing. I would only want to know how safe the college is and if they actually report crimes or sweep them under the rug?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it was unbelievable. I swear I'm still traumatized.

      Delete
  7. Ugh! I remember orientation. The worst was my daughter's in Orlando in July. Something like 99 degrees out, no breeze, no shade. I think we skipped out to the local bar for COLD margaritas...so I guess this means you and I will be sitting side by side in detention for skipping out, huh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can we bring our Margaritas to detention?

      Delete
  8. This is one of my favorite posts of all time! I laughed so hard THE ENTIRE TIME. You may have flunked orientation but you won the comedy wrap up. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's funny too, now that I'm starting to get over the trauma. I just hope I don't end up with PTSD!

      Delete
  9. Oh that sounds torturous. I'll let you know what happened when we went on Wednesday, but after reading this, I think you got the worse deal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love to hear what yours was like. This was totally torturous.

      Delete
    2. Make plans to take oldest daughter's car to save on gas. Ask her to go to orientation too and keep me company. Up at 5:30am to leave at 6 to get there by 8. Get stuck in morning rush hour traffic. Get student daughter where she needs to be and quickly get in a group of parents going to check in for parent orientation. Man at check in counter says That'll be $70. Um, what? I don't remember reading that anywhere. Or agreeing to it. You know the unemployed situation over here. So oldest and I had to leave. Tried to figure out something to do in strange city for 9 hours with $3. No dice. Drove 2 hours home. Drove 2 hours back to pick her up for 5:30pm. Got stuck in rush hour traffic again. Drove 2 hours home. The end.

      Delete
    3. OMG, that IS a nightmare. You spent 8 hours in a car. I wish you had let me know, you could have gone to my Mom's, or I would have thought of something you could do. You spent more than $70 in gas, and as many hours on your butt as I did.

      Delete
    4. That would've been awesome! Hello ma'am, I know your daughter Karen. Well, I don't know her know her. We've never met. But she's my friend. Lol :) Thankfully we only spent about $50 in gas since we took my daughter's small car, but still! We tried going to the mall thinking we'd kill some time there and it wasn't even open yet. There was a state park nearby but we didn't have so much as a towel to sit on or a book to read, and I was wearing a dress. Next time I'm IM'ing you a 911 message!

      Delete
    5. I would have called her and said you were coming. At the very least you could have stayed for a while and then borrowed a towel and a book if you wanted to go to the park. Yes, IM me if something like that were to ever happen again.

      Delete
    6. Seriously, that's incredibly sweet of you. I would've done it too, as long as your mom didn't mind. Thanks for the offer and I will remember it for next time :)

      Delete
  10. I remember my own orientation and it retrospect it was incredibly boring. You crack me up bu the way - hysterical as always!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you laughed. I'm still trying to get over it!

      Delete
  11. You are absolutely coming with me to our next college orientation. There has to be a cafe or Target we can run off to.It would be my luck to go through that and have my son choose a different school to attend. I'm so late responding to this, but you knew I would; eventually :)Oh, I KNEW you were related to Thurston Howell!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't go to orientation with you. I love you but even the word makes me cringe now. I've been traumatized. I WILL kidnap you on that day, however. As long as you don't make me go anywhere near the . . . you know what.

      Delete
  12. Did you know that I love, love, love kabobs? Beef Kabobs are my favorite! Pinned and sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too, and they're so simple to make. I'm actually making them again tonight.

      Delete

Warning: Comment at your own risk. I have Comment Moderation, meaning I approve all comments before they show up here. So go ahead, I'm not scared!