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.
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.
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
*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.