server connection interrupted, daniel anderson...disconnect.

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It is interesting that I find myself, today, sitting alone in a hip little cafe in Baltimore with my laptop, sipping on a very tasty iced mint mocha and typing my thoughts about yesterday's events.

When I opened my laptop this is the "error" that I got...


Ironic that even our wireless network at home had us connected as a family and so that error seems all the more an appropriate reminder of the change that took place yesterday.

First off, I am not in baltimore to spy on our son, but interestingly enough had an errand tor Bryan. He is busy with that as I sit here...

relishing the mint mocha, and a new sense of freedom.

but about yesterday.

7:30 am
It started out with the packing up of the trusty convertible that has hauled anything from plywood to video equipment. Today it would move my son. After packing and repacking (Bryan is a master packer in these situations) we hit the road toward Daniel's new home. Picking up some fast food, we drove to baltimore chatting about various things, nothing major. I am always anxious at moments like this. I always fear that something won't be as expected, or there will be some unforseen difficulty. And in this case first impressions are SO big. What if there is a problem, what if Daniel's roomates are jerks, what if the room is too small, what if we left too late and it is a zoo with too many people and it is a bummer...?(It is amazing how many stupid little things a person can dwell on when stuck in a car.)As we got closer to the campus my fears began to be put to rest. There were MICA students holding friendly signs directing us where to go.

9:40 am
We parked, Daniel "checked-in" which consisted of getting a key and a packet of instructions for the next four days. We were ushered into a parking space, parked and grabbed the first boxes of stuff. Daniel is excited. The vibe of students that we see is excited.

Daniel's roomates have already been here and are in various stages of unpacking. All of them seemed pretty cool. Two graphic design majors, an environmental design major, and Daniel (general fine arts). Getting a sense of these guys was another fear put to rest for me. We met the parents, and us being the "local" offered our assistance if future needs arose for the guys. First impression, they all seem pretty compatable, Daniel connecting immediately with the guy from Turkey, discovering that they had favorite music groups in common.

We unpacked the stuff from the car and then Bryan and I went to the "parents only orientation", 11:00 am, leaving Daniel to do whatever.

Some of this "orientation" was a rehash of info we had heard before, but the new stuff was worth attendence and if there was any moments during the day where I felt emotional it was listening to the speal given by the vp of MICA. He talked about what a special class this was. That the administration and faculty had spent the summer pouring through portfolios and student bios in order to truly get to know this class, and they were excited about it. And he really did seem excited about what "this class" could do. Something that had sold me about the school was how each student is really looked at by the faculty and then positioned with a selected group of students and faculty to bring out the best in the student. This group then spends the first "foundational year" together. They are in the same classes and both teachers and students get to know each other really well. This creates an environment that although competitive in the beginning, later fosters a sense of trust and a unique learning environment emerges. As various assignments are produced, the students are also one another's evaluators.

Well, at this point I was feeling such pride and gratefulness, as a mom, this information just confirmed my original gut reaction to the place being perfect for Daniel. This place got it. This place fosteres a community dedicated to the creation of great art. To lay a solid foundation and then the "specialist will emerge". It is not the sink or swim mentality that seems to be the big deal in other places. They really care about the development of the person and wish to see the student succeed.

The orientation continued with advice for parents on what to expect in the next year and ways in which to encourage our students. And it concluded with ways to let go.

After this Bryan and I hustled back to find Daniel having lunch with three of his roomates.

server connection interrupted, daniel anderson...disconnect.

(This was a great indicator already that he was doing fine, having totally forgotten that we were going to have lunch.) Okay I have to admit that I had a split second of feeling a wee bit slighted, but thankfully that was corrected by the recognition that this was a really good sign. But the afternoon was set aside for parents and students to do last minute shopping and then say goodbye at six when student orientation began.

We still had alot to do.

See the school recommended that students don't bring desks until they have seen their room (some desks are just too big) and so, like so many other families, we had planned on taking the afternoon to make a run to ikea for all the other items that Daniel needed.

2:00. We have four hours.

This is when the "time nazi" comes out in me. I am feeling some anxiety because the desire is to get Daniel's room completely set up which means drive to ikea, buy the stuff, drive back, ASSEMBLE it all...

all before 6:00.


And the other curve ball was that although there is an ikea in baltimore, the one that is closest to our house (in college park 40 mins away) is actually closer. So we make the drive back, me VERY aware at this point that we may run out of time. We go down a list of all the needed items...

more lighting
desk chair

We make our selections and our purchases with the decision to stop back at the house for a table top that will work as a desktop (save 50 bucks) and a stop at Bryan's office for a rug of ours that will fit in Daniel's room (save 50-100 bucks). We knew that this trip would require driving back with the top down(to accomodate the oversized boxes), on the freeway. We pack up and start to drive.

It is 4:15. I am feeling a real sense of anxiety at this point. Not because in less than four hours we were going to say goodbye, but HOW in the world were we going to get all this done. Other people were in the same situation I was sure, but still...

Bless his heart, Daniel in the back seat with hair whipping in the wind never complained a bit.

So we are driving along and wouldn't you know it.

Traffic. bumper to bumper.

As we inched our way back to baltimore, I am calculating time and resisting the urge to get snappy. This is when I have a tendency to work backwards thinking through all the things we should have done differently to make things work more smoothly (completely counter productive unless you can use the information as a "lesson learned"). As we drive I am watching the clock and at some point I gave up on having his room perfect before we left to just getting him back in time for his orientation.

We arrive back at the apartment. 5:30.

Without too much discussion we launch into what needs to be done and unload the car lickety split. At least Daniel will make orientation. Now I am praying that the "say goodbye to parents" rule is not enforced and that Bryan and I can do the marathon assembly and set up.

6:00 pm.Daniel runs a brush through his hair and says, "see ya later", and I stop him and remind him that "we may not be here when you get back". So we say our goodbyes, hugs and he runs out the door. (good sign, he is totally excited) Bryan and I get to work. I start making the bed and putting stuff away while Bryan works his magic. He is a wizard with ikea assembly. As we both quietly work we comment on how great the roomates are, how cool the school is and such. Outside in the courtyard (where the orientation "kick off" is being held) we hear cheering. Sounds like fun.

The change starts to sink in.

server connection interrupted, daniel anderson...disconnect.

7:30 pm. Desk is assembled, chair and bookshelves assembled and now Bryan is stringing up some quartz lights. We hear the door.

Daniel pops back in, "I guess it's not goodbye yet," he says brightly. Just in time to tell dad where to put the lights. He seems pleased with his new room. Then there is a bang at the door and I almost dive into the closet, still paranoid about getting busted because we are not supposed to be there. Daniel goes to get the door.

Girls. I hear voices, female voices (more than one) asking if he is ready to come back down for the next part of "orientation". He politely says that he has some stuff that he still needs to put together in his room...

"Do you need some help"?

Bryan and I, overhearing this just look at each other.

Of course I am getting a huge kick out of this dialogue. Evesdropping from the other room I realize that, yes the girls were already zeroing in on him. And why wouldn't they. I had a moment of pride, confusion, and "ata boy".

server connection interrupted, daniel anderson...disconnect.

He politely told the girls that he would be down in a little while. We spend the next few minutes wrapping up. Now it is time to really say goodbye.

"We love you, we are so proud of you, you are going to have such a great time, be good...hugs. And he is out the door.

server connection interrupted, daniel anderson...disconnect.

As Bryan and I are walking to the car we see the stream of new freshmen walking down the street to their future, A herd of extremely gifted individuals embarking on the next part of their creative journey. From 45 countries and as many states,the group is turning the corner and Bryan spots Daniel just before he rounds the bend out of sight.

"Look, there he is, you can see his hair" (cuzs no girl even has hair like that). He is wearing it down (which he never does) another good sign...

spreading his wings. Go baby go.

server connection interrupted, daniel anderson...disconnect.

As we drove toward home we passed the big glass building (where the students had gone for the rest of their intro into college life) I felt a huge sense of excitement for my son. Yes I am so very proud, and I will spend the next few weeks probably feeling a little lonely, but for now I can't believe how blessed we are and how fortunate he is to go to such a wonderful place. I have a huge feeling of fulfillment as a mom, having played a part to get him here, and I am just SO excited for him. Total joy.

server connection interrupted, daniel anderson...disconnect.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Blair published on August 25, 2006 2:47 PM.

moving day was the previous entry in this blog.

another project is the next entry in this blog.

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