Friday, August 25, 2006

And, Lo, There Was Heard A Mighty Snap

It was Moving-In day at the college yesterday for the new students. They came as a caravan, with license plates from PA, NY and CT. Our security guards vectored everyone in to parking lots, just as quick and easy as you please. Everybody kept moving, there were uniformed people with radios and nobody had to wander around. Girls were helping in the boys' dorm, boys helping in the girls' dorm -- a match made in heaven.

There they parked: cars, people and implements of dorm living. What's necessary these days? The usual, just a little better ... tv, music machines, computers, fans, etc. What comes later on? Ratty couches from the cheap shops, some ratty tables from the same cheap shops. After four years, perhaps fewer, they end up in a dumpster, IF the landfill doesn't reject them as unworthy.

One by one, you hear a "snap," sometimes fairly loud, others much softer. They are the apron strings breaking as the excitement of coming here and setting up a dorm room all too soon becomes a sudden pang of loneliness as parents get into the car and students stand in the parking lot. The sound of the car doors closing is the dividing point between childhood and the beginning of becoming an adult. It is a loud and significant sound, as loud for the parents as for the child; the drive home as quiet for parents as the dorm room set-up for the child.

Things at home have given way to things at King's.