Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I woke up feeling tense this morning, and I'm not sure why.

Part of it might be the notification that my daughter got yesterday to the effect that she was accepted to a college -- and not just any college, but the one that she said she most wants to go to, a military college in northern Vermont. I'm still surprised by that desire. While it's true that she's had a passing interest in the military for a while -- she found a set of my old stripes and used to wear them on a Tshirt, and for a period she liked to respond to directions with a mock yes, sir! -- this is still not something we expected. Her logic is that she thinks the probability of getting a job is greater if she's been in the military, and that ROTC makes it likely that she'll get into the military, and as an officer -- which, as things are going, is a pretty good goal. I admit, I'm a little sad that she's selected the Navy as the branch that she wants to try for (I was Air Force), but that's truly not a big deal. I'm a little concerned that she really doesn't know what she's getting into, though. A military school? Uniforms all the time? (Well, except for some events.) And this is the school that has an annual event for first year cadets where they do what's called the Dog River Run. It involves much splashing, much crawling through mud, and carrying a big rock. Really. Plus, at eight hours away, she won't be coming home for breaks much. Odd - if she was going to university in France, I'd think well, that's just the way it is. But that she'll be in this country, and still isolated (the college is in a very small town) - not too happy about that. She joked about wanting a college that's far enough away that her parents can't drop in, and if she goes there, she'll certainly get that. I'm trying to get her to at least consider a college that's almost as far away, but to the south, or one that's only about two hours away - both of which have Navy ROTC and fairly direct travel connections, and one which has, like her primary choice, a Corps of Cadets. But I guess the biggest thing is that this signals a big change in our relationship. She's going away, going to be on her own, for the first time. It'll be in a structured, indeed, controlled environment, but still. Going away.

This whole Occupy thing still bothers me. I remember that when things like this happened in the sixties, it was chaotic then, too, but the results were good. Still scares me, a little, even so. I'd almost rather not have the improvement that I think it can -- not will, but can -- bring, if I can have back the quiet. Though, as things are going, that's probably a pretty dumb desire. Many economies, not just ours, are screwed up, and as interconnected as they are, they need to all move to improve any of them. I do have this lurking suspicion that no matter what happens, bright young people on Wall Street are going to make obscene amounts of money on the change.

I'm also most upset that my delightful weight lose progress has reversed itself. I know, I know -- I'm probably still losing weight, but gaining heavier muscle. My jeans are looser -- which by no means means loose. I still don't like it.


genderist said...

I love e idea of protests. This appeals to me on a visceral level. I'll never forget once in college there was a huge protest on campus. One girl made a poster that said, "I like asparagus." & sat in the sun all day long, getting burned to a crisp, to exercise her right to express any opinion. Loved it.

STAG said...

The navy is better. She won't become a pawn of misguided liberal foreign policy as easily.

The protests are presently unfocused. The danger is when the "mob" becomes focused, the person doing the focusing may not be the person who has their eventual good at heart.
I am reminded of the LA riots. They too were unfocused. However, as long as these protesters can afford cell phones and leather jackets and dental care, I don't think they will amount to shucks.

Cerulean Bill said...

Yes. We basically want focused people who aren't fanatics. Such people exist.

The asparagus, thing, though...not sure about that. Next, they'll be advocating beets and broccoli.

Tabor said...

Big move that empty nest syndrome. The syndrome does weaken eventually and you and she will both be different in a few years. The focus that I think is most important is if she changes her mind and finds it isn't for her after a year that you remain supportive.

Cerulean Bill said...

I'd agree with that. And there is certainly that chance. But she's big on security (as, I imagine, a lot of kids growing up are, these days), and it would take a lot for her to give up a shot at it.