Tuesday open thread

We have an open thread today.

Topics coming up:

Wednesday — Your Morning Routine and its Impact on your Day
Thursday —  Rumination
Friday — Advice Column Friday
Sunday — Politics open thread
Monday — WTF, young fathers?

122 thoughts on “Tuesday open thread

  1. This is more of a whine, but I don’t have another space to say this.

    Why does it seem that I am always the one who has to be the adult and other adults get to behave badly? I volunteer with a couple of people who have some issues (mild brain injury, autism spectrum, etc.) which affects their ability to regulate their emotions. Over the weekend I received a scathing email from one of them, and this is not the first time. Even though I realize this is the situation, with all things COVID and the recent Snovid on top of it, this is straining my reserves. If this email had been received in the work place, their would be some sort of consequences, but here there is not. My options are to quit being a volunteer or suck it up. Normally, I can suck it up, but this week I am struggling. Thanks for the ear.

  2. Another anon

    This is also a whine, but I can’t say this in real life.

    DS has been offered an almost full ride at U of Alabama. He has also been admitted into Cal Poly engineering with a small scholarship.

    He wants Alabama, DH and I think Cal Poly is a better choice for him in the long run.

    What do we do?

  3. I’d let your DS make his choice, as long as you don’t think he’s making a serious mistake. UA’s engineering dept has had a lot of investment from the university, and has great reviews.

    I tried to get DS1 interested in UA engineering, but he preferred other schools.

  4. Anon. At least once a quarter I start fuming and tell DH I am going to resign my treasurer position for exactly the same reasons. (Bridge players who are involved in administration have both the age and quirkiness factors that lead to poor filters, and I also end up doing all necessary things well outside my statutory duties, being one of the “young uns”.) I hear you loud and clear. If I could find a volunteer (there is a stipend, too) under 60 to take over for me I would be out of there. With Covid disruptions I will have to stay on at least through 2022.

  5. So two good things to counter my current state of the blahs:

    1. DD unexpectedly paid us a visit this weekend. Unanticipated advantage of school within driving distance — who knew a college kid would want to come hang out at home? SO nice to get my little “hit” of DD’s energy and humor, and to be able to spoil her a bit.

    2. DH *totally* came through on the Valentine’s/birthday/anniversary present! All I’d been hearing for a month was there were shipping delays. Then it arrived in two big crates, and the reason became clear: it’s a 1940s refurbished Berkel slicer that got held up in customs. It looks sort of like this, although this is the new model:

    https://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/berkel-stand-p15/

    I have been lusting after these things for years and would never ever ever have actually bought myself one — I was toying with the idea of a modern knock-off brand, but even that I couldn’t bring myself to buy. And oh boy, let me tell you, this thing is the perfect combination of beauty and function — it is quintessentially Italian in that way. It is perfect fit and finish, with nifty little gizmos (like a tray that pops down to catch the little pieces), and the wheel is so solid and the operation so smooth it gives that same feeling of quality you get from closing a perfectly-designed luxury car door. I am in love. Which is good, because it’s pretty much my last gift until our 30th anniversary. ;-)

  6. First Anon, I hear you, and your whine is valid. It is rare to find any word or news on the downside of volunteering. It is is especially difficult when the benefactors of your efforts can’t fully understand or relate to your decisions. I run into rude emails and FB comments about how I’m running my little organization, and I get annoyed and move on. Last year was a lot of complaints, but COVID prevented us from doing any of our fundraising, meetups, and annual conference. At the end of the year no one else submitted a request for a board position, so they are stuck with me.

  7. First anon: I think it is entirely appropriate for you to respond (calmly) by stating that the email was out of line and disrespectful, and that you expect to be treated professionally. Yes, people have issues that affect their ability to control themselves, but that doesn’t mean the behavior itself needs to be tolerated when it directly affects you. You have every right to set a boundary here.

    Second anon: I’d also choose Cal Poly. ;-) But I also agree it’s his decision. Can you help him think through logically, by focusing on things like the area of the country he ultimately wants to live in, find out the kinds of employers and internships each school has connections with, etc.? Is he concerned about the money, and if so, is there anything you can say to help him take that off the table? FWIW, we were very clear with DD that we had her covered no matter which school she chose, but she still felt a lot of internal pressure to choose the cheaper option because she owed it to us. I had to directly talk to her and ask where she’d go if money weren’t an option, and to explain that my own college choices were very much restricted by money, and that the reason I had been saving since before I even had her was for the satisfaction I receive knowing my kids won’t have that restriction. You know your kid; find out what resonates with him — why he’s insisting on UA and why he thinks it’s the better option for him. Either you’ll help him understand why that’s not true, or you’ll start to see that maybe he’s right.

  8. Anon with the DS. I have a number of (white, male) acquaintances who relocated and live in science and engineering enclaves in Alabama, and they have a wide range of life and political views. He should get a great education, have interesting peers in the student body, and have access to summer work and internship/mentorship opportunities. If there isnt any family or medical reason he NEEDS to be at Cal Poly, this is a decision that might well be left to him, especially if the grant would spare him or the parents additional debt or financial strain.

  9. “He wants Alabama, DH and I think Cal Poly is a better choice for him in the long run.”

    Can you share why you think this is the case? In general I think in this situation since your DS wants Bama AND he has an almost full ride there, let him go to Bama. If it is a bad fit, he can make a change the next year and you haven’t sacrificed anything. Good luck. It is hard when our kids don’t make the choices we expect.

    Anon for this – sometimes volunteer gigs run their course. One thing Covid has clarified for me is what situations I miss and what has been a relief not to do any more. There’s nothing wrong with concluding that something is no longer fulfilling if the environment is too frustrating/annoying/painful. Volunteers don’t have to put up with crap up with which they do not want to put, as someone once said.

  10. Anon2 – What would you do with the money saved if he went to Alabama? Would you transfer it to him over the next few years and get him set up with some lifelong tax-efficient investments?

    That’d be my choice.

  11. This is random. This girl was in my class at Paly. I had no idea she was one of the “sneak-ins” from East Palo Alto (this was a semi-official program at one point.) I also can’t believe that she says she didn’t experience any racism at Paly. She was extremely pretty, was a cheerleader, hung with the popular kids, etc., so maybe that’s why her experience was good? I didn’t really know her; she was higher social status than I.

    https://phenomenonproject.medium.com/the-phe-nom-e-non-project-cammie-lagene-strong-harris-250798c262d3

  12. I’d let your DS make his choice, as long as you don’t think he’s making a serious mistake

    This +1000. It’s his life, let him live it.

    LfB, that’s awesome he nailed the gift, although I have absolutely no idea what you use that thing for :)

  13. “although I have absolutely no idea what you use that thing for :)”

    I’m guessing you cook up a pot roast and slice it like you’re at the deli in the supermarket?

  14. Anon, I have no information on the programs, but do have a friend who went to Bama and is now a successful entrepreneur and a really nice person. :)

    My carpal tunnel is acting up and both wrists hurt. :( Hoping to use this opportunity to teach the kids how to cook!

  15. In my good news (and tooting my own horn a little), we are gearing up for spring softball. 12 of our players from last fall want to play again, but half have to move up to 12U. So we decided to do a 10U team in one league and a 12U team in another because there will be very little overlap in the season. We’ve maxed out the rosters for both teams because a lot of them referred friends and former teammates to play with us. It feels good to be liked :)

    Of course I have no idea what we are going to do in the fall when there is only one league so no way for us to coach two teams, but we’ll worry about that later.

    There is one girl whose mom said they couldn’t afford it and the league approved my scholarship request for her. The mom is a single mom of 6 and the girl has some health issues. My assistant coach and I had already agreed to split her registration fee if the league turned down the request.

  16. Rocky, my high school may have been a little like yours. Last year a HS friend of mine, who is black, posted about how she never experienced racism in school until she was in college. Her mom was an educator, her dad was a doctor. Many of the black kids in my school were from very successful families, high on the socio-economic scale.

  17. Thanks for the advice. Some background…DH & I have put money aside for all the kids’ college. The deal was we would pay instate expenses, anything over that was on them, anything left they got to keep. The older two have or will have most of their college fund available for whatever they want.

    DH and I know that this is fundamentally his decision. We know two other families whose kids choose their own college against their parents desires and it worked out just fine.

    DH & my concerns:
    1. there won’t people like us at Bama, and after the novelty wears off, it could be wearing to be hanging out with people who think people like us are bad.
    2. It is very far away
    3. DS has health issues that he is in denial about. He stopped taking his meds and will likely have a relapse within the next four years. i also know that bringing this up is a nonstarter and will make him more likely to choose Bama
    4. Cal Poly is one of the best five engineering schools for what he wants to do. Alabama is good ,but not in the same caliber
    5. Poly is in state, so he doesn’t have to worry about keeping his scholarship.
    6. If engineering doesn’t work out, Poly has more options than Bama.
    7. Bama has no ag college. (affects 1 and 6)
    8. DS has stated that he wants to open his own business and own a ranch as an adult…Poly works better for that goal.
    9. Western, ag kid at a Southern school….culture shock galore
    10. When we visited Bama, there were building that had been fired on during the civil war, buildings with names clearly scratched off, and a gazebo where the sign said that rented slaves had played. I was kind of skeeved out by that. Yes, I know my state has the missions, but somehow, without reason, this felt different.

    DS’s points:

    1. He wants to go to a football school. Bama wins this hands down.
    2. He wants to start over, not be already pigeonholed. There is a group at Poly who already know him and his older sister, however, they will not be in the engineering program. DH & I know this, but DS doesn’t believe us.
    3.He is tired of being the go to math tutor and is concerned that would happen at Poly.

  18. Anon 2: would the research into internships/companies that recruit help him discover for himself where is the best fit for his goals?

    FWIW, if I were his age, getting to keep the rest of the money would be a huge pull to UA, and I can’t say he’s wrong to choose that option! Same with the value of a fresh start. Also, IMO, culture shock is a feature rather than a bug.

    I think the medical issue is a big thing, though. If he’s mature enough to expect you to allow him to move most of the way across the country, he needs to demonstrate that he’s mature enough to manage the tough decisions that go with that — using good jugment, not stick-head-in-sand avoidance. Can you put him in charge of figuring out how health insurance/treatment would work at either location? And if he’d need to buy separate health insurance to go to UA to ensure proper treatment of his condition in the event of a problem, that should be considered a cost that he is responsible for there.

    FWIW, DD’s best friend from HS is at UAB in engineering and seems to love it despite the cultural differences. And DD is surviving NC despite the same. ;-)

  19. Milo: well, the actual idea is that I have this gorgeous piece of sculpture in my kitchen. ;-) Lust is not exactly practical. But yes, that’s the plan. And hey, it’s a deal — I can buy a whole leg of prosciutto at Baldor for half the price of the sliced stuff at Wegmans! ;-)

  20. My whine – A project leadership role was thrust upon me. I had no idea things were in such disarray. I am trying to push through but our application support group is supplying things with glitch after glitch. In the meantime, one of my colleagues is being very negative saying the data has glitches and we will not make the deadline. I want to slide the project leadership role, right into that colleagues lap. This is on top of my existing duties, so a ton more work for me. Whine ! whine !

  21. My best friend/best man’s DD went to Alabama from Seattle. She loved it. According to both him and her she got a good education, got to live in a different place than where she grew up. Has now moved back to Seattle and is in grad school at UW. I think the engineering academics will be perfectly good at Alabama, being on a full ride will carry with it some perks I’m sure, and he can always come back to CA after.

    (I am always a ‘different experiences’ guy and I think of this choice as low-risk long term)

  22. you to allow him to move most of the way across the country

    “Allow” a legal adult with a free ride?

  23. LfB – It looks kind of like the pure ingenuity of the standard apple-corer-peeler-slicer that we haul out every autumn after picking up 50 pounds of apples.

  24. From a college ranking perspective Cal Poly and also from a medical perspective. From a football school/social life and decent enough academics UA.
    Cultural fit – my kids wonder how they would fit in a school not in the Southeast. This is irrespective of race.

  25. DH & my concerns:

    And the answer to all of them is he can transfer if it doesn’t work out.

  26. Anon, I get the medical concerns – I would be concerned too. Unfortunately, you can’t control what he does as an adult with his meds even if he’s living in your backyard. You have my sympathy.

    Alabama draws from all over the country and I don’t think your “people like us” concerns are founded. Plus, meeting people who “aren’t like us” is an important part of the college experience.

    FWIW, I also know people who went to Bama and ended up with great jobs all over the country. I also know kids who really came into their own when they ventured out beyond what their family knew and felt comfortable with. Its just super hard to let them go somewhere that feels unfamilar and scary, I totally understand that. I hope he chooses Cal Poly for your sake.

  27. Anon –
    This is a pivotal moment in your DS’s life. As hard as it is, I totally agree that this is his call. And I think you send him SUCH a message that you trust and have every confidence in him to make the call that’s right for him. I think you should share the things you think he’ll miss out on vs. Cal Poly, but in a way that conveys….please take all this into consideration. There really isn’t a bad decision in the mix. My kids made some choices that I wouldn’t have. I got very comfortable (and told them a few times), “I made my choices, you make yours”. There are a lot of ownership and consequences that come with making your own decisions. You don’t want him to go to Cal Poly out of obligation and carry that around forever.

    And btw, congrats on that! How fantastic that these are the two choices in front of him? Please don’t speed past how lucky YOU and he are that this is his dilemma.

  28. “DS has been offered an almost full ride at U of Alabama.”

    Is it the 5-year scholarship? Does your DS plan to go to grad school?

    From what I’ve read, it sounds like many on that scholarship use the 5th year for grad school, e.g., med school, law school. I’ve even heard of some graduating in 3 years, and having the scholarship pay 2 years of med school tuition.

    I’ve posted about this before, but there’s a lot of parents on the CC parent groups I frequented who visited and whose kids went there. Apparently they campus is a big bubble, where most of the people are from OOS. And most of the 5-year scholarship winners are in the honors college, which is a bubble within the bubble.

    Also keep in mind, it’s not like he can’t transfer out if he doesn’t like it there.

  29. “I think the medical issue is a big thing, though.”

    DS1 has a medical issue, too. He just had to learn to manage it on his own–it’s part of growing up.

    If he wants a football school, yeah, there’s no comparison. Game day, tail gates, pep rallies, etc.

    I’ve given both of my kids their college funds and anything they don’t spend, they get to keep for grad school.

    Bottom line, you’re not wrong in what you want, but neither is he. It sounds like he wants to leave home and spread his wings.

  30. Anon 2 — As a child whose parents (especially Mom) were ALWAYS telling me that they knew more about what was better for me than I did, I can tell you with certainty that at most of those pivotal moments in my life when they said that, I actually knew more about what was better for me than they did. I agree with Sunshine that telling him you trust him to make the right decision for himself is huge in establishing your relationship with him as an adult child. Conversely, please think about the resentment you might engender if you try to strong-arm him into making the choice you want.

  31. I have no idea if Alabama is like North Carolina, but if it is, it’s separate from the rest of the state. I’ve mentioned that dear old Jesse Helms said they should put a fence around Chapel Hill and call it the North Carolina State Zoo.

    I suspect you’re falling into a trap that my friends fell into. “You’re going to North Carolina?? Haven’t you seen ‘Deliverance’?” It’s not like that. Big universities are big universities, not small towns with no one but Cletus and Lurlene.

  32. College Choice: I tried posting earlier, but I don’t see it. We had some issues with DD#2, she initially wanted 2 schools and we were encouraging the 3rd, where she goes now.

    We have the “rule” that we purchased the “old” guaranteed tuition program in our state, which pays 4 years (128 credit hours) tuition and fees for any in-state school. It does pay out on a per credit hour basis for OOS, but it is not as good of a deal. Tuition is the DD’s responsibility and each has some burden (about $5-7K) each semester because they chose OOS schools.

    When we really talked about major, options to change within the school of choice, and that she could always transfer, she saw the benefit of the current one. Where she is now there is a Natural Resources College with a variety of majors and the first year to year and a half have very similar core classes. She has already switched from conservation biology to wildlife biology and added a minor in zoology. She could not have done this at the other 2 schools as they had very narrow majors in her area of interest.

    When they are adults, you do not have as much control. However, you do not have to fund choices you believe are not in their best interest.

    A new start can be a double edged sword – On one edge, your baggage doesn’t follow you, unless you choose to bring it along. On the other, if it is a school where students tend to come from just a few places (even within the major) or it is a very different culture, it can be harder to find their tribe than they think.

  33. I just quickly looked at info about Alabama and Cal Poly on CollegeHunch. It was one of my favorite apps for accessing a lot of info about every college. I find it is much easier than Naviance and other sites. I used to use the Fiske book when I was a kid and this is provides the same type of information at my fingertips. My mom friends told me about it and I’ve bene surprised at how often I use it.

  34. “If engineering doesn’t work out, Poly has more options than Bama.”

    I’m surprised at this. Bama is a much bigger school, which would have me guessing it had more options.

    But if engineering doesn’t work out, and Bama doesn’t have the program he wants, he can transfer.

    “Western, ag kid at a Southern school….culture shock galore”
    “Also, IMO, culture shock is a feature rather than a bug.”

    I’ll add my 2 cents in agreement that leaving his comfort zone is a feature. That’s a big factor for a lot of kids from here who go OOS. For many of them, that experience convinces them that they want to return after they graduate.

  35. “if it is a school where students tend to come from just a few places (even within the major)”

    From what I’ve heard, Bama attracts kids from all over the country. My guess is that Cal Poly.is less diverse in this respect.

  36. Cal Poly – and all the the California schools for that matter, the reputation is that it’s hard to get into from OOS, so kids from here who don’t want to stay in state don’t give CA universities another look. Most kids from here, stay in region in the Southeast

  37. “For many of them, that experience convinces them that they want to return after they graduate.”

    Ha Ha! Yes! DD#1 was never thrilled with the idea of NY winters. But, I can’t count the number of times she has said since she has been home this semester that she does not miss the gray cloudy skies. Other than during Snovid, we have sunny/partly sunny skies most days. It is currently beautiful out my window.

    And, this along with usually no snow have reinforced her desire to return to this area.

  38. I suspect you’re falling into a trap that my friends fell into. “You’re going to North Carolina?? Haven’t you seen ‘Deliverance’?” It’s not like that.

    Ha ! It’s the state flagship, full of bright kids and pride of the state. I hope it’s got a better reputation than that.

  39. Second Anon – I immediately thought “let the kid go” and simultaneously realized that I am going to be a wreck when my kids go off to college. As long as you and your son are eventually on the same page, I don’t think there’s a bad choice here.

  40. My DS (HS junior), who has been totally non-communicative about any thoughts he might be thinking about college, just told me that he thinks he wants to go to UMass/Amherst. I asked him what was appealing. He said (1) he can bring his car there, (2) one of his best buddies from the supermarket goes there, and (3) it’s cheap. I’d be totally happy if he ends up there, but I had to laugh at his decision-making process.

  41. NoB – my DS has #1 and #3 as considerations.
    #1 – yes, she (car) must go with him. I’m afraid if he meets someone and is asked whether he loves her or his car, it’s going to be the car !

  42. “he can bring his car there”

    He needs to check on the parking situation.

    I think that will be a key criterion in his college selection process.

  43. “you to allow him to move most of the way across the country

    “Allow” a legal adult with a free ride?”

    Rhett…Yup…I am at the end of “allowing” him to do anything.

  44. ““He is tired of being the go to math tutor and is concerned that would happen at Poly.”

    The math tutor at Cal Poly SLO? Yeah, no. Those kids can already do math.”

    RMS, you know this, and I know this, but he doesn’t know this.

    His concern is the other kids from high school who have used him as a tutor will expect to do that at Poly. And, yes this is more an issue of him needing to learn to say no, and to trade his services for others of value, which he will need to do whereever he goes to school.

  45. ““If engineering doesn’t work out, Poly has more options than Bama.”

    I’m surprised at this. Bama is a much bigger school, which would have me guessing it had more options.”

    Probably my little world view bias, but there are huge opportunities in the ag world for drones, remote sensing, robotics and all manner of tech. There is a huge amount of low hanging fruit. Cal Poly offers contacts and entre into that world. There aren’t that type of contacts at Bama. I think that with a mech engineering degree, he can get a job anywhere. With a more generic business degree, it becomes more problematic.

    Yes, he can always transfer, but the way California colleges are set up, only as a junior and only if he gets in.

    It will be ok, but i need to get my angst out somewhere and it just isn’t a option in real life. No one turns down Poly engineering where I live. And whining about having a choice between a full ride at one school and a scholarship to a top notch instate doesn’t get any sympathy.

  46. Anon, feel free to whine here! Maybe pay for deposits at both schools to give your DS more time to change his mind?

  47. I am at the end of “allowing” him to do anything.

    Maybe thinking about it that way will help you feel better about it?

  48. “Yes, he can always transfer, but the way California colleges are set up, only as a junior and only if he gets in.”

    There are schools outside of CA too.

    If he wants to transfer to Poly earlier than junior year, couldn’t he transfer to a Cal State or a CA JC, and then transfer from there?

  49. Has your DS ever experienced humidity? I mean real, true, Alabama-level humidity? Try locking him in the steam room of your local 24 Hour Fitness facility and tell him he can’t come out til he’s finished his first ME problem set. Then ask him which school seems better.

  50. “There are schools outside of CA too.”

    Pffft.

    We Californians have told y’all that from the parochial perspective we grew up with — no, there aren’t. There aren’t schools outside of California. None worth mentioning, anyway.

  51. “Has your DS ever experienced humidity?”

    No, absolutely not. Last weekend he was helping his sister in the greenhouse and that was as close as he has ever gotten. I’m planning a trip to Bama in April, before the May 1 deadline. I wish I could take him in July and then pop over to Poly.

  52. “We Californians have told y’all that from the parochial perspective we grew up with — no, there aren’t. There aren’t schools outside of California. None worth mentioning, anyway.”

    Doesn’t the world just kinda end once you go east of the Sierras?

  53. Second Anon – Vent away! He’s got two great options, and he can be really successful with either – even if he changes his mind about specifics. But hearing or even knowing that doesn’t make it any easier when the decision is before him, and you are on the sidelines advising. Good luck to him & to you!

  54. I think the idea that there might be people from high school that expect anything (including but not limited to: math tutoring, academic and career interests, sexuality, sportiness) of someone would be an excellent reason to avoid a school. Everyone should have the chance to reinvent themselves fully in college.

    I was the only person from my state at my college and my medical school. It might have been more comfortable if there were more people “like me” – but I think it was good for me.

    On the other hand, if I had stayed in state, maybe I wouldn’t have become the kind of person to move overseas.

  55. I went to a big state school that was filled with so many of my high school classmates. However, I roomed blind and so happened to get a dorm that was away from many of my high school friends. I ventured out, figured out what I didn’t like about people (such as roommate) and what I did like about people, and settled into a tribe. I rarely saw my old high school friends. In fact, the HS friends I’m still close to went to schools all over the country.

    If you DS is committed to getting away from his usual people, he can do so at Poly. And oh my goodness, the humidity in Alabama! However, I loved going to a school that had a big football presence. Saturdays in the fall were special. Good memories.

  56. No one turns down Poly engineering where I live. And whining about having a choice between a full ride at one school and a scholarship to a top notch instate doesn’t get any sympathy.

    This is where the Totebag is very useful. It’s difficult to get a group of people from all over the country, who themselves or their kids have attended a variety of good colleges. The perspectives are useful even if the Totebag kid in question goes with a completely different choice.

  57. For as long as I can remember Finn has been recommending people look into Alabama because of the generous financial aid and every response has been “ooh, yuck, then my/their kid would be at Alabama and would be surrounded by troglodytes and racists! and would get a sub-par education and I’d be so embarrassed!” (I’m paraphrasing). It would be great for this blog for someone to choose Alabama.

  58. “No one turns down Poly engineering where I live.”

    +1,000 here. The tears that have been shed by locals rejected by Poly would flood the Central Valley. In my neck of the woods, Stanford/Berkeley are pretty unattainable, and Cal Poly is the more realistic dream school, so a rejection is especially painful. Worse still, there’s little hope of transferring in, as the most desirable UC/CSU schools are impacted in the prestigious majors, and openings are few.

    Anon2, I feel your pain, but I agree with the others that your son will do just fine either way.

  59. ooh, yuck, then my/their kid would be at Alabama and would be surrounded by troglodytes and racists!

    Suddenly Last Summer and As I Lay Dying are documentaries, you know!

    If I went there, I’d spend all my time singing Steely Dan’s “Deacon Blues”.

    Learn to work the saxophone
    (I) I play just what I feel
    Drink Scotch whiskey all night long
    And die behind the wheel
    They got a name for the winners in the world
    (I) I want a name when I lose
    They call Alabama the Crimson Tide
    Call me Deacon Blues
    (Deacon Blues)

    And eventually Mrs. Venable would have me lobotomized and then I’d be torn apart and devoured by the starving street urchins I had sexually exploited. Then my rotting corpse would be put in a mule-drawn cart and would stink up the countryside and plus I’d have to give my dad the money for my abortion so he can buy new teeth. See? It just isn’t worth it.

    Unless they have an honors college.

  60. Am I the only parent of a senior who has no idea where they’ll be going next year?

    My senior applied to 15 (I think) schools: all UCs except Merced, 4 Cal States, two in-state privates, 1 out of state private, plus UW-Seattle. All regular decision, so acceptances are just starting to come in. Of course the least competitive ones are first to respond, so it will be at least a few more weeks before we hear from the top picks.

  61. I think the idea that there might be people from high school that expect anything (including but not limited to: math tutoring, academic and career interests, sexuality, sportiness) of someone would be an excellent reason to avoid a school. Everyone should have the chance to reinvent themselves fully in college.

    Along these lines, there’s a girl DD has gone to school with since kindergarten, they played softball together for a couple of years, DW and her mom are really good friends. The girl is a total Type A – she’s in the top 10 or 15 in the class, there’s a club they are both in and she’s the president, etc. Her first choice college was Montana State, but DW said her mom told her today that she decided on CSU instead. We are very happy that she won’t be at the same college as DD (if that’s where DD goes). They both got into the honors college so they probably would’ve crossed paths a bit.

  62. “I’m afraid if he meets someone and is asked whether he loves her or his car, it’s going to be the car !”

    Louise — I’ve said before that DS’ car is truly the first great love of his life. Just yesterday, in the latter part of the afternoon, he drove his car to school to drop off a form. Mind you, the school is literally around the corner from our house, so he had no reason to drive there. But he wanted to park his car right in front of the school (which is a beautiful old brick building) so that he could take some pictures of it against that grand backdrop. He now has those glamor shots of his car as the wallpaper on his computer and phone, so that he can stare at his love all day.

  63. On going to college in a different climate, it’s pretty amazing how quickly DS acclimated to the heat in Arizona and lost his cold tolerance. We were talking to him yesterday and he was complaining about how cold it was there the other day – it was all the down to the 50s!

  64. Unless they have an honors college.

    This may get interesting as UA would be a serious contender for one if not both my kids. I had forgotten about it, till it was mentioned here recently, so thanks to our posters. A kid from my neighborhood goes there.

  65. “Unless they have an honors college.”

    If ‘they’ refers to UA, yes, they do have an honors college. Besides the generous aid, that’s a commonly cited draw among NMSF.

  66. “Am I the only parent of a senior who has no idea where they’ll be going next year?”

    I’m sure you’re not, especially this year, with many schools delaying their admissions decisions.

    For both of my kids, April was the month to ponder and decide. In the case of DS, that involved a trip to attend several accepted student events.

  67. “We are very happy that she won’t be at the same college as DD”

    Why not? Just curious.

  68. Why not? Just curious.

    I guess I wasn’t clear enough. It’s the ability to reinvent yourself/start fresh for DD. It will be nice for her not to worry about being in the same classes or activities with someone who has overshadowed her for years.

  69. And yes, DS got a notification from u of A that he was admit to the honors college.

    When we visited, the campus was beautiful, the people were friendly, DS is still talking on snap chat and insta with some kids he met there. We were also introduced to banana pudding….omg…there must be a heaven.

  70. DD, by way of contrast, I went to flagship U along with, I’m guessing, a quarter to a third or so of my HS class. I’d guess about a third to a half went to local CC, a handful went to other colleges, and the rest didn’t go to college, including some who joined the military. Many of those who went to local CC later transferred to flagship U.

    My dorm had a whole bunch of grads from my HS, not just my classmates but also from preceding years, and then from subsequent years. We shared a cafeteria with three other adjacent dorms, and I saw a bunch more people from my HS there.

  71. “When we visited”

    I’m interested in as much as you want to share about your visit.

  72. Blythe – it happened to my kids, too. It all works out, really.

    Which are the 4 CSUs? Would he really go to Riverside? More the location than anything, though I guess Davis is just as far inland (drive time). Never seemed very far to me because we drove thru there whenever we went to Tahoe. I suspect he’ll get into at least one of the 8.

  73. 2nd Anon:

    It was 30 years ago next month when I was trying to decide between my top two college choices – Stanford or an Ivy (not Harvard). I visited both campuses before I made my decision. Stanford was too much like my California home town, so I chose the Ivy. At the Ivy, I was surrounded by people very different from me. Socially, as a Californian, I stood out. When I made my college decision, I hadn’t intended to continue in sports. I ended up lettering 4 years, and was the first athlete in my sport inducted into the Ivy’s Hall of Fame. I got a great education. I was challenged by the weather. I returned to California after I graduated. A club teammate also got into Stanford. They told me their total SAT score was 800. They were the best athlete in our sport in our county. They took Stanford to the NCAA finals their senior year. (They lost.) There are definitely times that I wonder how my life would have been if I had chosen Stanford and been in the Silicon Valley in the early 80’s. And I always think different, not necessarily better.

    Your DS will have the opportunity for a great experience at either Bama or Cal Poly. In either case, it will depend on how much he chooses to put into it. The medical issues are a concern, and I think you will always worry. Model how you would analyze the pros and cons of each school and support your DS’s decision. He will be doing the work, he gets to own the decision. Just let him know that he can always come home.

    p.s., My father offered me a Porsche 911 if I went to the local CSU instead.

  74. He now has those glamor shots of his car as the wallpaper on his computer and phone, so that he can stare at his love all day.

    NoB – this is so cute !

  75. The car story is really cute and I love it because he worked for that car.

    Speaking of cars, I went to Volvo yesterday to drive the xc40. I liked it, but I have no idea if it is quiet enough because this is the only dealer that insisted that I could only take a test drive with someone in the car. He wore a mask and sat in the back, but we had the windows open so it was impossible to tell if this car is quiet enough for all of my phone calls. I mentioned this to my salesperson when he emailed me later and he offered to let me take another drive and he would follow me in a separate car. It is annoying because we’ve been to six different manufacturers since we are looking for 3 cars and this is the only one that required someone in the car for the test drive.

    I spoke to

  76. Volvo doesn’t trust you? that’s weird. Honda and Acura have always just given me the car. Even when I was a 23-year-old, Acura gave me a TSX twice, the second time was with DW, who was my girlfriend. And when we were 22-year-old college students, Acura gave my roommate and me an RSX to test drive, and when he was still indecisive, told my roommate to keep it overnight, to take it from Chantilly to Annapolis. (He did, and bought it the next afternoon.)

  77. I thought it was strange too. We’ve been to Acura, Lexus, Mazda, Subaru, Tesla, BMW, Audi and Volvo since we are looking for 3 different cars. Audi wouldn’t let us go on a highway without them, but Lexus just made a photocopy of my license and told me to keep the car all day. It was a little buts in the other extreme. BMW would have let us keep the cars overnight, but they know me since I am an existing client.

  78. So I had some entertainment yesterday. I got my COVID vaccine. A whole bunch of appointments had suddenly opened up Sunday morning and I just happened to be on the state vaccine site checking to see if another site had loosened its geographic restrictions when I saw this. I had always heard good things about the Javits vaccine process and it is easy to get to, so I snagged an appointment for me and for DS2. I should have known – the fact there were so many appointments should have been a warning!
    So I got there at 4:30 for a 5p appt. The line outside snaked for several blocks. It was bitter cold with winds whipping off the Hudson (Javits is right on the river). Eventually I made it in, and saw many more people in lines, all being routed by Army dudes. I showed my barcode, and got put in a line. And then I waited. And waited. The line kept moving slowly forwards, into a vast room where we snaked around and around and around like the airport security line from hell. At 7:30 pm, I reached the goal – the actual vaccine check-in desk. I got to sit my weary rear down on a folding chair for exactly 60 seconds while the clearly exhausted worker looked me up in a computer and stamped my barcode. Then I got hustled by the Army dudes (who by this point were all trying to get people to run, or at least trot fast) into another line which twisted around and around. One hour later, at 8:30, I got routed by yet another Army guy into the “orange lane” which I followed to, yes, a nurse with a needle. That poor lady said she had been there on her feet since 7:30am. They jabbed me, gave me a card for my second dose appointment, and by 8:45 I was on the sidewalk heading back to Grand Central. Over 4 hours to get my vaccine.
    And what I learned was – Javits had been handling 2000 appointments a day, and they decided going forwards to do 7000+ appointments a day. Yesterdy was the first day of the expansion. That is why they had so many appointments on Sunday. And they clearly did not have the staffing. Most of the check-in desks were empty and most of the vaccine stations were empty, when I went through. I heard they plan to expand to 9000 a day and run 24 hours a day. They better hire a lot more people!!
    DS2 has his appointment this afternoon so I warned him to bring water and a good book and pee beforehand.

  79. DH is getting his first vaccine today. The kids and I are not yet eligible. Mooshi’s story is impressive! That’s a lot of people!

  80. “Probably my little world view bias, but there are huge opportunities in the ag world for drones, remote sensing, robotics and all manner of tech. There is a huge amount of low hanging fruit. Cal Poly offers contacts and entre into that world. There aren’t that type of contacts at Bama. I think that with a mech engineering degree, he can get a job anywhere. With a more generic business degree, it becomes more problematic.”

    FWIW, I think the “contacts” and direct experience is worth considering — that’s the sort of “internship/who recruits there” issue he should be evaluating to make an adult decision. I think the latter concern is normal but overstated. As Rhett has repeatedly pointed out, it’s amazing how many jobs are out there for generic business-ey people, particularly those that are scrappy.

    Also, it occurred to me: if he’s worried about getting called on to be a math tutor, that seems *much* more likely at UA than at Cal Poly, because the former is going to have a much wider range of student ability and background.

    Finally: vent away. We get it. If I couldn’t vent here about #firstworldproblems, my head would likely explode.

  81. Wow, Mooshi, that is quite an adventure. Congrats on getting your first shot!

  82. Ethical quandary: my mom has been haunting vaccine websites and somehow got me an appointment for a vaccine this weekend. The problem is that I am not officially eligible — MD is doing a more stringent version of 1c where health issues make you eligible only if you’re receiving in-hospital care. But I do have two health conditions that make me high-risk for the “serious” version of the disease (and it’s definitely annoying that I’d already be eligible in the surrounding states, but that’s beside the point). So: do I go? Or do I cancel the appointment and try again whenever the hell we ultimately get to Phase 2? If I go and they ask me to prove eligibility, do I plead ignorance and just say my mom made the appointment, or do I lie? I really can’t see lying, but it’s very hard to think of giving up the appointment when I know there’s a reasonable chance I could die if I actually get the disease.

  83. LfB, that is a tough one. In NY, we are supposed to show documentation of the condition, but a doctor’s note will do. What is the documentation requirement in your state to show that you get in-hospital care (and btw, that is nuts – lots of serious conditions do not mean in-hospital care). what documentation do you have?

  84. LfB…get the vaccine.

    1. You could be seriously ill or die if you get the vaccine

    2. This nightmare only ends with some form of herd immunity. The sooner everyone gets the shot or the virus, the sooner it ends.

    3. Once you are vaccinated, the system is a teeny big more open for everyone else to get the vaccine.

  85. DD – If your DD gores to CSU and does honors, let me know. My DD#2 did not get very good advising from her department on how the honors seminars work and how you find the topics they are on. First semester, her honors seminar was very duplicative of parts of 2 other classes. This was a downside to her of too much of the same topic. But, this semester, even though she knew how to choose, she ended up with one she isn’t thrilled about because it was the only one that fit in her schedule.

  86. And….Texas has no mask mandate and is fully open – of course businesses can choose to limit and require masks. This made a call with DD#2 awful last night. Her boyfriend’s (current from HS) family invited her to go on Spring Break with them (next week and not the whole week). It means flying to Houston, they’d pick her up. They are renting a house and were planning mainly socially distanced activities. If things had remained the same, I’d have minimal qualms about the trip. With the opening of Texas AND Spring Break, I have major qualms. They invited her last year (trip was to Florida) and COVID cancelled it. After a few tears on her end, she was able to joke that the Universe doesn’t want her to go on Spring Break.

  87. Also, it occurred to me: if he’s worried about getting called on to be a math tutor, that seems *much* more likely at UA than at Cal Poly, because the former is going to have a much wider range of student ability and background.

    I think his concern is that people at Cal Poly from his HS will already know him as the tutor, whereas at UA he will have a clean slate so can avoid being cast in that role.

    DD – If your DD gores to CSU and does honors, let me know.

    Austin, the other girl is going to CSU. But thanks for the tip, I will pass it on to DW to pass on to her mom.

    LfB, get the shot and don’t feel guilty about it.

  88. Laura. One of my closest friends has a fancy concierge doctor. She has well treated serious asthma, many med controlled high blood pressure that fluctuates , a BMI of 29.9 stark naked in the morning and looks heavier, and is 64 years old. And is a do gooder with a conscience. The doc said, you arent bad enough to have sign on the dotted line comorbidities, But MA doesnt have that express hospital based treatment qualifier. We are in a self reporting comorbidity system, no notes required, since it is intended to sweep in underserved higher risk populations. She agonized, and finally said screw it after everybody and his sister in law (ahem!) kept finding ways to get vaccinated. She got her first shot yesterday. At the Roxbury center.

    I doubt they will ask anyway. Their goal is shots in arms.

    Mooshi. I am glad you got your shot. Better than driving to Syracuse, but still….

  89. Thanks everyone. FWIW, it’s apparently the new J&J vaccine, so that mitigates the guilt somewhat since it’s not as effective (but supposedly still effective enough to prevent, you know, dying, which is my concern).

  90. LfB — Speaking as someone who is in the very last cohort of eligibility, I say unequivocally that you should get the shot. Everyone who gets one now helps those of us who can’t get one until later.

  91. FWIW, it’s apparently the new J&J vaccine, so that mitigates the guilt somewhat since it’s not as effective (but supposedly still effective enough to prevent, you know, dying, which is my concern).

    LOL ! I am so glad my parents got the Pfizer. There would have been endless angst from my Mom about a less effective vaccine. I realize it’s because they know so many people who have died of Covid in the home country. The deaths are very sobering because there cannot be the traditional funerals, ability to do in person condolences, meet the extended families. The person is just gone.

  92. Louise, there was a long form report on pbs news hour last night about widespread resistance in India to taking the vaccine. Appts go unused. 60 yr old father of a covid doctor says no, you all get it that will protect me I heard about a death of sonebodys cousin…

  93. I got my second dose of Pfizer on Monday (which was less than 21 days after my first, but that is when it was scheduled and they assured me as long as it was at least 17 days after, it was within the guidance). And boy did it knock me out. About 12 hours after the shot, I had a fever of 102, chills, a pounding headache, and body aches. Those lasted 24 hours and then went completely away all at once. I am glad I didn’t have to work yesterday. It would have been miserable. My first shot caused a tiny bit of arm pain.

  94. Fred, Rocky,

    Snowflake One is indeed a student at UCSD; it’s Snowflake 2 who is the current HS senior.

    The 4 CSUs she applied to are San Diego, Long Beach, San Jose, and Poly. She’s got the GPA for any of them, but so do zillions of other kids.

    I have never been to Riverside. I have some vague idea it’s near Palm Springs, but I realize it’s probably wildly different. Am hoping to remain ignorant unless it’s a serious contender, and then I suppose we’ll have to investigate.

    Snowflake 2 is prioritizing beach access, warm water, sunshine, and low humidity (humidity makes her hair frizz).

  95. Reality – that vax + 12-36 hrs experience is consistent with several people I know.

  96. I have never been to Riverside. I have some vague idea it’s near Palm Springs, but I realize it’s probably wildly different.

    Yeah, they’re different, and Riverside was sort of famously the most boring UC campus until Merced came along. Nevertheless many people live happy, productive lives with a BA from UCR.

  97. @ Reality – DH and I were both knocked flat after the 2nd one. I’m envious of people who just had a mild reaction. Not fun.

  98. Fred – interesting. Almost everyone I know who had a big reaction is younger than I am.

    Lark – I guess it is good to know our immune systems kicked in to gear! But I was surprised how much it knocked me out. And even more surprised that I felt great this morning, with zero lingering effects.

  99. “It was 30 years ago next month when I was trying to decide between my top two college choices – Stanford or an Ivy (not Harvard). …I chose the Ivy… There are definitely times that I wonder how my life would have been if I had chosen Stanford and been in the Silicon Valley in the early 80’s. And I always think different, not necessarily better.”

    If it was 30 years ago, then choosing LSJU would’ve put you in Silicon Valley in the early 90’s.

  100. “I love it because he worked for that car.”

    I’m guessing the fact that he paid for the car out of his own earnings is a big reason he loves it so much.

  101. “the new J&J vaccine, so that mitigates the guilt somewhat since it’s not as effective”

    Apples and oranges. J&J efficacy was lower, but for only one shot and tested in an environment that included more variants.

    Get the shot. A lot of people are thinking like you and are hesitant about getting the J&J, but from the big picture it’s important for people to overcome that. As we’ve seen with Pfizer and Moderna, as more people get the vaccine, it becomes more coveted.

    From what I’ve read, J&J efficacy is similar to one shot of Pfizer, but in more challenging environments. J&J is apparently testing a two-shot regimen; I suspect its numbers will be similar to Pfizer/Moderna 2-shot regimens, and folks who get one shot will later have the opportunity to get a second.

  102. “Snowflake One is indeed a student at UCSD”

    How’s she doing? Have her classes all been online? I remember reading last summer about UCSD developing their own tests, and having plans for aggressive testing.

  103. “Apples and oranges. J&J efficacy was lower, but for only one shot and tested in an environment that included more variants.”

    It also looks like it continues to increase in efficacy through day 56. It looks like a really good vaccine. I don’t think of it as inferior.

  104. “The 4 CSUs she applied to are San Diego, Long Beach, San Jose, and Poly. She’s got the GPA for any of them, but so do zillions of other kids.”

    I did not know Poly is considered a CSU. I’d thought of the 2 Polys as their own group, and Cal Poly SLO as more selective than some UCs. People I knew seemed to slot SLO about even with mid-level UCs.

  105. Finn — Yeah, the Polys are part of the CSU system and thus have the bargain in-state tuition, better than the UCs. SLO is hugely popular, but Pomona seems to be the redhaired stepchild of the system. I’ve never heard of anyone who wants to go there. I agree with the assessment of SLO = mid-tier UC.

    And yes, older DD is enjoying UCSD in spite of pandemic restrictions. Winter quarter all her classes are online, but fall quarter she had one discussion section and one course in person (sub-30 students socially distanced inside). I’m not sure what her spring courses will look like, but they have tents set up outside now for classes.

    UCSD has been doing great with managing COVID. The students seem to all be obedient sheep, so there have not been outbreaks on campus. DD was excited that this week they have slightly relaxed some campus living restrictions. They can now eat outside in groups of no more than 3, using real plates from the cafeteria. Previously they had to order food from an app, and eat alone in their rooms. The administration is trying hard to keep kids on campus over spring break to reduce outbreaks on return, but we haven’t decided yet if DD will be coming home.

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