Monday, July 4, 2011

Spud: Big Man on Campus

Spud is now an actual college student. His first class was on Wednesday, June 29th.

The trip to becoming an actual college student literally started with a trip...a 6-hour drive to Jacksonville and the University of North Florida (UNF) with a stop, half-way, at Darling Sister-In-Law's (DSIL) house for an overnight stay.

Spud had a move-in time of 9:00 AM to Noon on Tuesday, the 28th and we opted to stay the night at DSIL's house the night before so that we would only have a 3-hour drive ahead of us on move-in day instead of a 6-hour drive from our house. It worked out nicely. Thanks for the use of your home DSIL. Thanks also go out to G-Pa and G-Ma (The Colonel's parents) for the use of their vehicle for the trip. It allowed us to make the trip in roomy and cool comfort (The Colonel's truck has been without functioning A/C for a couple of years now and the leg room in back has gotten less "roomy" in proportion to the increase of Yam and Spud's ages).

Move-in day we were up at 5:45 AM. DSIL was up with us and offered to make us a hot breakfast. We told her we appreciated the offer but that we would get something on the road and that she needed to get back to bed. She had come home around 1:00 AM that morning from a work-related trip.

After our goodbyes, we stopped in at McDonald's for a quick breakfast and hit the road for the second half of our trip up to Jacksonville and UNF.

We arrived on campus around 9:30 AM. We pulled into the crowded parking lot of Spud's summer dorm, making sure not to run over students and their parents who were shuttling their things from car to dorm. We noticed that many students were using a big cardboard box atop a little dollie to shuttle their belongings. The dorm had supplied them, but the number was finite. They were all in use by the time we arrived.

After safely parking, we followed Spud into the dorm complex which looks like a huge luxury hotel (with a "Lazy River" and a swimming pool in back). We walked into the large, crowed atrium. There was a very long line of students and parents with cardboard box-dollies that started in the atrium, ran down a long hall before terminating at three elevators.

Spud's room was on the fifth floor, the uppermost floor. He had to check-in up there first and get his room key. All elevators were busy, so we climbed the five flights of stairs and Spud checked in.

With key in hand, we went to Spud's room. He has his own private bedroom, but he and his three roommates share two bathrooms and a kitchen area. His bedroom is a nice size with a bed, desk and chair, and a chest of drawers with a wire shelf and hanging unit above (not shown in the picture, but is just around the corner from the door).

After checking out the new digs, it was time to start bringing Spud's things in from the vehicle. There still were no cardboard box-dollies available and the line to the elevators was still very long so we would have to carry things up the five flights of stairs by hand.

We made three trips up to the room. Thank goodness Spud did not have too much stuff and the boxes were not overly heavy or cumbersome. When it came time to bring Spud's fridge to his room there was a dollie available. Thank God, because it was a bit heavy and awkward for us (The Colonel and Spud) to carry up five flights of stairs.

We didn't help Spud set up his room. I think that is part of the fun of the whole experience...setting up your room the way you see it gave him something to do once we left him.

Before we left, we visited the campus bookstore where Spud picked up a book for one of his summer classes and to do a little shopping for G-Pa and G-Ma (they were feeding Charlotte and Shadow, our outdoor cats, while we were gone) and then we ate lunch at the student union before finally taking a tour of the campus, so that Yam could see where Spud would be going to school.

We said our goodbyes with kisses and hugs and then began the long drive back home. During the drive I would look at the clock on the dashboard to see what time it was and I would wonder what Spud was doing just then. A few times I got a little twinge of sadness, knowing that my baby was being left behind with many miles between us.

We got a call from Spud the next day. He said he had a good first day of class and that he liked his professors. He also said that on his floor of the dorm there are only eight guys and the rest were girls. "That's nice", he said.

And so begins Spud's life as a college student.


  1. College dorms have certainly changed for the better. Got to love the pool and lazy river! Classes, what classes!

  2. My parents still like to fondly tell the story of the day they dropped me off at college. My mom cried all the way home. This was a day you'll never forget - and neither will your son!

    Congrats to him on getting into UNF!

  3. Wow! Boys and girls on the same floor? Times are a-changin'. My first year at college, I was on the 12th floor, aptly named the "V V", no boys allowed!