Pedant aside: please note that I did not say “Imma” in place of “I’m going to”.
The end of August is upon us. This is normally I time of year that I republish A Little Message for the College Crowd, updated with the newest Beloit Mindset List. As important as I still believe that message is — and I encourage you to send that link to the college students you know — there’s something else I have to say this year.
What is with you parents and your dorm room obsessions? Have you lost your minds?
Ok, yes. The kid is “out on his/her own” for what is probably the first time (heaven forbid you sent them to summer camp for a couple of weeks). Still, the space they will be occupying is a room. Not an apartment. Not a luxury suite. They are unlikely to have access to a kitchen, and there will be restrictions on what cooking implements they are allowed to have in their room. Also remember that they will not have a lot of room for, well, anything. And finally, remember that they will have a roommate. The aforementioned roommate may have his/her own ideas about the space — or worse yet, roommate’s mom might.
Here’s what you need to send to the dorm: school appropriate clothes (including pajamas and a jacket); bedding and towels; personal toiletry items; a travel bag (1); an alarm clock; school supplies, including stuff that would normally live on the student’s desk; laundry supplies including a basket, hangers, and soap; a few small items of decor (favorite poster, fun lamp, picture of the kid’s dog, stuff like that); essential personal electronics (computer, cell phone, MP3 player, etc.). Ask whether they need a trash can. If you’ve missed something really essential, I bet there’s a store near the school.
Here’s stuff that’s nice to have but not necessary: mini-fridge, if allowed; microwave, if allowed; calendar; white-board or cork memo board; a small stereo system and a few favorite CDs (assuming his/her whole collection isn’t on the computer and/or MP3 player); a little tote for getting toiletries to and from the shower; an electric fan (check dorm rules for when it may be used).
Every dorm room I have ever seen has two beds, two desks, two chairs, two dressers, and two rather small closets. Usually there’s lamp or flourescent light, and sometimes a task lamp on the desk. Do not send furniture to the dorm. And no, the kid doesn’t need a 42″ flatscreen in his room. He doesn’t really even need a TV! There’s one of those in the floor lounge, and he should really be studying anyway! Sure, make a list so you don’t forget important stuff. But if you have to rent a truck to get it all there, you’ve got way too much junk.
In short, treat the dorm like a bare bones hotel room instead of Baby’s First Apartment and you’ll do fine. The kid is legally an adult; now let the kid get on with his or her life. Please.
Now I get to sit back and wait for Calvin’s Mom to tell us what all those little darlings say when they arrive….
Obtuse Angle: Just a little rundown of the various Sharron Angle stories out there. At an event where she wasn’t expecting recordings, she said that evolution is a theory (just like phrenology, right?) and NPR has too small an audience for debates so Harry Reid needs to agree to meet her on Fox News. Both candidates think Cordoba House shouldn’t be built (is it sacrilege to have an apartment near Ground Zero? And if so, is it alright to *ahem* make whoopie there?) Here she is trying to sound sane repudiate clarify all her previous positions. Here’s our local politics guy calling her out on it. Here’s a blast from Sharron’s past. If you wonder what became of the Chicken Lady, this link is for you. And as a bonus? I’m Voting Tea Party T-Shirts.
Phoney Argument: Right, because just what we all need is to turn our $400 smart phones into $5 transistor radios.
Finally, In Closing: If “the easy answer is yes,” what are all the extra words for?; turns out everybody is cutting back, Boomers and retirees more so; the things you can dig up; we can hope; Thanks to E.B. Misfit for pointing out that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce thinks that women need to “make the tough choices about work-life balance” including “choosing the right place to work and choosing the right partner at home.“; what does it take to get shut down??; on arguing with conservatives; and more than you wanted to know about Death and Sesame Street.