A College Degree In Colleges

Annie Merner Chapel

The Daughter is in the midst of her college search.  Her area of pursuit is pretty specific, and there aren't many places that offer the degree, nor cities where you can do it for a living.

But Chicago has both the schools and the jobs.

But that doesn't mean the search isn't confusing.  One of the schools that I told her to check out that offers her program was Northwestern.  Cora and The Daughter looked it up on the .net and were confused. 

It had nothing like the program they were looking for.  Turns out they were looking at Northwestern COLLEGE.  I meant Northwestern UNIVERSITY.

And while Illinois is like every state with the other "compass" schools: Northern, Eastern, Northeastern, Western, and Southern, there's also East-West University.  Just to mess with you.

And to really mess you up, do NOT confuse the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago.  The SIAC is the good one.

Another school she is looking at is Columbia… College, not University.  One is in Chicago.  The other is in New York.

I remember back in my school hunting days, I was always confused between DePaul University (on The Daughter's list) and DePauw University on no one's list.

And don't get me started on the whole University of Miami (FL) / Miami University (OH) thing.

Of course, I went to MacMurray College, which everyone thinks is Murray State.  It's not.  It's not even related to the MacMurray Ranch Vineyard.  But Fred MacMurray did once own the ranch.  He still has no relationship to the school.

And let's not forget IUPUI (OO-eee-POOO-eee).

Indiana University – Perdue University Indianapolis.

Make up you mind, you euchre playing Hoosier heads!


The Daughter

Since my last post was about The Daughter starting her first last day of high school, I thought I would keep the theme going.

You know, before Cora and I even started dating, I knew that there was a little girl who would also be involved in this relationship.  That didn't really bother me.  I had dated women with children before.  One's child I never met.  One's child I met when she was about a week old.  (The mother and I wouldn't date for another 4 years, relax.)  So, I would just see how this went.

I think on her first visit out here, when The Daughter didn't like the fancy (spiced) mac & cheese from the restaurant and I solved the problem by taking her to McDonald's for nuggets and a cookie vs. going home and getting her a cold bagel with cheese was the moment that she knew I was looking out for her.  (Since then, she has had a good number of bagel and cheese sandwiches at my place.  As well as more Ritz & cheese than should probably be mentioned.)

And now, I really only have two things left to do with my life.

  1. Make Cora as happy as I can, every single day.  I married WAY out of my league, and I know it.  Now I just want to let her know by gestures both grande and subtle that I love her with all me heart.
  2. Make sure that The Daughter is set up to be successful in life.

It's really that simple.  And doing #2 (Heh!  I just wrote "#2"!) solves #1 a lot.

See that countdown over there –> (if reading in a real web browser)?  The one that says about 60 days?  When I put that up there, it read about 1000, and is the countdown to her 18th birthday.  She about to become LEGALLY an adult.  She has the maturity already.  But she also has some of the innocence of child, and sees the world sometimes as it should be, and not how it really is.

I hope that she can keep hold of that, and not let the world make her cynical and jaded.  That would be a tragic loss.  But I'm sitting here, right next to her mom, and I know we will fight very hard to keep that from happening.  You can't shield your kids from having bad things happen to them, that's simply a part of life.  We all know that.  But The Daughter knows that we have her back, and are with her through whatever life is going to hand her: good & bad.

So, to end this somber story on a happier note:  I'm writing this on Labor Day.  The last day before school starts.  Maybe I will take my girls out for ice cream tonight.  One last fling.  One last smile of summer.

And my job will be complete.

For today.


The Beginning of the End of the Beginning

Tuesday is/was/will be The Daughter's first day of school.

The first day of her senior year of high school.

Her last first day of public school.

I know she's going to be emotional.

I know her mother is going to be worse.

I know I'll probably be the worst of all, even if I won't show it.

Her mother's been through this before.  Kindergarten.  Grade school.  Middle school.  Junior high.  This is really my first last time.

If sucks, and it's awesome at the same time.

Right now, she's sitting on the sofa, "The Simpsons" marathon on FXX playing silently on the TV, while she reads the 4th Percy Jackson novel to us.  A year from now, we'll be moving her into her dorm somewhere.  She'll won't be leaving forever; but she will never really live here again, either.  She'll be spreading her wings.  Growing into an independent young woman.  Taking those first step down the path of the rest of her life.

So, I'll try to spend the next year not looking too far forward (The school visits, admissions deadlines, and whatever the heck FAFSA is).  Rather, I'll be looking back at the 4 years she's been my Daughter, when she's gone from a beautiful young …


… to an even more beautiful young lady, and enjoy the now.  Because the now is pretty dang sweet.


Just like her.

Man, no one said this parenting thing could be the happiest and saddest thing in the world.  At the same time. Good thing I've got a wonderful partner to share these highs and lows with.