in which we attend our first meeting concerning College

With only a few scant hours until the premiere of Cloverfield, Middle and I dashed out to the very first school meeting for parents concerning applications to higher education.
The weather was bad and Middle was apprehensive as he was looking forward to the movie and had been roped into attendance at the school. By me.
The whole point of the meeting was to give parents the special access code to a computer program with which all applications/research/data could be stored during the university research process.
Middle called bullshit and predicted that the meeting would be little more than the addressing of parent concerns, a power point presentation, and the closely guarded code.
And he was right. The power point presentation, touting the program, greeted us on a large screen and administrators were present to address over-anxious parents with humorous comments about taking standardized tests in kindergarten and going through early admission procedures in third grade.
I took notes. And embellished at will.
There are important things to remember during the college application process. I am listing them here in case you have a junior and haven't been lucky enough to attend a meeting like ours:

1. DNA. Each and every student must have DNA to complete the application at his or her chosen university.

2. Chlorine. Usually there is some in our drinking water.

3. The Administration finds it helpful to start A File for all college information. Middle feels it's important to remember to Throw Things Out.

4. Keeping a calendar can be helpful.

5. Try to visit some colleges.

6. Get some suggestions from friends.

7. Ask your school counselor for help before considering hiring a private counselor.

8. Use the summer to do applications.

9. Get your child's transcript from the secretary of the guidance department.

10. Don't forgo quality for speed of application. Everyone wants to be First In Line.

After these salient points were presented and the guidance team began working to put out fires ("Early application is not key!") and cover their asses ("Early application is not key!"), Middle and I realized that we were not going to be given the coveted Family Code for the computer program for quite a while.

As a counselor launched into, um, counseling ("We ALL share responsibility for the process. There is much inherent tension during application time."), I told Middle to call me on my cell phone.
He did.
I answered it and, in a hushed tone, told him to follow two minutes after I left the auditorium --
which would have been the perfect escape had he not laughed out loud and said, "OH THAT WAS SMOOTH," upon meeting me in the lobby.

I'll pay money for that code later today, in the school parking lot.


Badger said…
Oh good. Now I don't have to go to that meeting five years from now, when my boy child FIVE YEARS FROM NOW?! HOLY SHIT! is ready for the college application process.

Dying to know what Middle thought of Cloverfield. I can't see it until next week but I'm reading spoilers like crazy.
Eight years from now, that's us. Only, my child decided YEARS AGO where she's going to school. Then she spent some time worrying (when she was in kindergarten) that she'd need to know much more than she really does -- such as Mandarin Chinese, Latin, and other languages. At the time, she was primarily concerned that multiplication and cursive were going to be stumbling blocks for her.

If she ends up going to this particular university (and its our alma mater), I'll be freaking amazed. Not because she's not smart, but because it's so damn competitive now. So by the time we get to the middle of her junior year, I suspect we will have already gone on several college tours and started making lists of schools.

But I'm quite certain we won't have obtained the Secret Code from our school's guidance department.
Amy A. said…
Only two years for me.

I'm no where near ready to even think such things. I'm probably not going to be able to talk this one into beauty school so it looks like I'm going to face it, ready or not.
Anonymous said…
Okay, I took notes on your notes and now will begin training Team Testosterone for their response to said situation--NOT "Oh that was smooth!" but perhaps, "Mom, how bad was grandma hurt?"

This was a hoot to read.
Anonymous said…
I am in your boat. We had our 1st meeting last February(sophomore year)and the college guidance dept. showed us a giant 4" binder that they will give to each family at this year's meeting(1st week of Feb).I get indigestion every time I think of that upcoming mtg and the whole college process. What could possibly be in that huge binder?
We did get the coveted school code. They gave it out to the kids several weeks ago and my daughter has actually used it to begin looking at schools. ** shudder , shudder***
may the force be with you...
RW said…
We are very keen to hear what Middle thought of the MOVIE!
BabelBabe said…
college is overrated anyway.
jenny said…
I was hoping this would be the post titled

Middle reviews Cloverfield and lets Jenny know whether her ten year old son will be scarred for life if she takes him to see this movie

But instead you appeared to get all responsible and parenty on us and then wham! You pull the cell phone escape. Love it.
From Mom-who-has-done-it-already.

1. College visit-where Sorority Girl decides "this is where I'm going and I'm not even applying anywhere else" She got in. Whew!

2. Don't wait until Jan. to apply.Guidance counselor will be armpit deep in applications and get VERY stressed out.

3.Don't wait until Jan. to apply because then Sorority Girl won't hear from 1 and only school until March and will cry whenever a friend gets an acceptance letter.

4. Install a bigger mailbox. Your
current box will overflow with obscene amounts of letters from undesirable colleges, college loan companies, companies who want to sell you stuff your child will NEED, I tell you, NEED to bring to college.
Unless child chooses a college 45 minutes from home and calls to say I'm coming home to get a) food
b) laundry detergent c)a few more towels d)a few more picture frames
e) more money

Grandma Cebe said…
I've been lurking on your site. But must now comment. The college app process is so near and dear to my heart. I'm SO GLAD that this process is behind our family!! My youngest is a junior in college. All others have graduated. Whew! They went to a private high school where the frenzy started in their freshman year. There was no "secret code". But I found that after I spent a week hauling a van full of HS juniors around San Fransisco and LA chaperoning on college tours, the one and only college counselor was more than happy to be available for one on one meetings, write recommendation letters and pull a few strings if necessary. Guess that was the "secret code".

Good luck with Middle and the college stuff.
Fannie said…
WAAHH! We just did this and now are turning around to do it again. The secret code I want is the one that gets them to write the flippin' essays more than 48 hours before they are due!
Unknown said…
Our meeting is next week and this will be the second one. The first was to hand out a huge packet that I promptly misplaced after reading it, outlining the use of the program and how to get financial aid for school applications and sat tests. I'm so not looking forward to this.
Joke said…
The fact Middle told you EXACTLY what I would have told you only proves that he could skip ahead to getting his MD or MBA or whatever.

Poppy B. said…
It's lucky I've already gone to college, because I'd flunk the essay, which is apparently about a movie called Cloverfield, which I've never heard of.

Also, my son is kicking my ass at Guitar Hero.

I'm heading to the 18th Century to ask whether they have any openings.
Anonymous said…
We were ever so lucky. #1 son scored a perfect 36 on the ACT and 15-something on the SAT, and thus got got a $25K/year scholarship to NYU, the #1 picked school by high school seniors. (Even though he would have preferred to go to Berkeley, but they only offered him the opportunity to borrow $30K+/year at market rates) NYU was buying high SAT/ACT scores, and he was happy to be purchased.
Paula said…
First and foremost, early application is in fact VERY key. many institutions of higher learning throw out, willy-nilly, invitations to attend early on, but then when the year wears on and the spots fill, it doesn't matter even if you scored 1400 on your sat's, and have a glowing resume'.

Ask me how I know...