Wednesday, September 5, 2007

What a Great Trip! (Posted 6/12/07)

So much has happened recently! It was a fantastic weekend filled with wonderful memories, great new beginnings and tons of information.

So we'll start with Friday...

Friday there was an assembly at the High School. Taylor's guidance counselor called me on Thursday and invited me to the assembly, the Senior Awards Assembly. I discussed my invitation with Taylor who assured me he was not up for any awards so he didn't think I needed to be there. I debated it and still thought there had to be a reason for the personal invitation, so I decided to go. Much to our surprise, Taylor was awarded a $300 scholarship from TCE (the business and technical department). WOO HOO! After the assembly it was a whirlwind of getting things ready to go to Daddy's for his 82nd birthday and Farmville on Saturday for Taylor's Orientation at Longwood. (Incidentally they call Farmville Farm-Vegas now, too funny!).

Once we got packed up, Taylor had just gotten home. We left here around 3:30 for Richmond and ended up telling Dad we would meet him at Arby's at Tuckahoe Village. We got to the West End early so we drove around a bit. We first stopped at WalMart so I could get a phone card. While in there, Dalton's shoes were untied and we stopped to tie them. Taylor, who's been working with him trying to teach him "Bunny Ears" method, showed him again and we stood patiently while he LEARNED TO TIE HIS SHOES IN WALMART! WOO HOOO!!!!

I showed the boys Canterbury Lake and reminisced a bit about all the good time there during our cold winters. Then drove him the back way to our old neighborhood and then to Arby's. We waited only a little while for everyone to come and were blessed to be in the company of some wonderful people who all share their time and friendship with Daddy and each other every Friday night. They are affectionately dubbed "the Friday night crowd" at Arby's and we were taken right into the fold when we started visiting Daddy on the weekends again.

After dinner we went home to Daddy's where he and I talked into the night. Just reminiscing... I didn't sleep well at all...

Got up at 4:30 (yes that is AM) and tried to rest and couldn't. Played computer games until about 6:05 when I woke up Taylor and Dalton and got everyone ready for breakfast and to leave. Daddy makes terrible coffee and I needed some desperately so I made a pot for the two of us and had a cup with him.

We arrived in Farmville at my ex-inlaws about 8:14 dropped Dalton off (they're such great people) and were back at Longwood at the Student Union Bldg by 8:30. So much has changed but it is still so full of wonder and awe, fun and good memories, amazing place... You can feel history there and the atmosphere generates excitement and other good feelings.

So, in the Student Union, they were taking pictures of the incoming freshman for their school id's they will get when they arrive in August. Unfortunately, the town had experienced a severe electrical storm Friday night and half the campus was without full power. Va Power was on the scene to fix it but had not found all the trouble spots. Which is why they couldn't get their ID's that day. It was also an indicator of what was to come - heat wise.

Jarman auditorium was the site of our first few meetings. Because I minored in Drama, I spent a great deal of time in this building and it was FABULOUS sitting there just below the apron and seeing the new lighting they have, how well maintained the stage is and just feeling those feelings again.

So anyhow, I was sitting in the auditorium loving being there remembering all the fun I had in there and I was getting HOT - REALLY Hot - like can't fan myself fast enough hot. That was soon dissipated by all the exciting news happening and so many new faculty faces to get to know. We were greeted and led through orientation by the new peer leadership which used to be the Colleagues and Orientation Leaders (which I was also while there starting my sophomore year as a Colleague and Jr and Sr as an Orientation Leader). They gave us old fogies some great time in a Q & A while the kids were off taking their placement exams, which by the way the computers died half way through and they were placed "as possible" into the classes that they were best suited based on their transcripts. Half way through our presentations and Q and A, the auxiliary power went out and the fans died and they opened the doors. It allowed such a nice breeze to flow in there and we loosened up a bit.

Soon we were to be reunited with our kids to meet for lunch in the new Dorrill Dining Hall - a great state of the art facility. Food at Longwood was never what I'd call inviting. Not even "Birthday Dinner" was something to write home about. This was WAY better than anything we experienced when we were there as students. Selections were amazing, the food quality was SUPERIOR and the drink options were all over the board from all natural flavored waters to sodas to all kinds of milk. Desserts were gorgeous and the ice cream was oh so good!! (Not soft serve, real scoop it yourself ice cream!)

The food plans are very expensive... Taylor chose a 10/150 plan. You get 10 meals a week that's all you can eat while you're there and $150 bonus dollars for the semester to spend in other "food" areas on campus including vending machines etc. Kind of worries me that he may not get enough food but I can recall not eating much in the cafeteria and hopefully he'll be full between his extra funds and the microwave and food in his room (which knowing Taylor will be plentiful).

The card they use is also re-loadable with "Longwood Dollars" that we can put into his account so he can eat at the snack bar etc or spend in the new Barnes and Noble bookstore (yes, I think EVERYONE has one of these now...)

We talked a bit together about the dorms and the pros and cons. He's elected to put the Cunninghams as his first, second and third choices (North, then South, then Main) since they're so centrally located. Frazier, though air conditioned, is three rooms to a suite and so far removed he didn't want to be that far away from the thick of things. Especially since he'll likely be on work/study and it requires all freshman work study to work in the dining hall. Can I tell you the memories I had of living in the Cunninghams?!? Such great times!

We then met for the afternoon in Bedford Hall, the Art building, since they had power and therefore air conditioning. It was cramped but more comfortable none the less. The students left to get their schedules taken care of while we learned about other campus programs and the computer program. They are required, as I'm sure most freshman at any college now, to have a laptop and we were given the specifications. Since it is a requirement, we are allowed to use Financial Aid dollars to buy IF we buy through the Dell/Longwood program which I'm not sure we'll do.. We can get just as good a computer through direct purchase for half the cost. The only difference will be the graphics won't have a Longwood graphic... ummmmm do they think kids don't know how to share graphic files? oh well... c'est la vie on that point... we will not be buying through the college...

After we were done there, we had dinner with the Lane's (my ex father in law was, at one time, Chairman of the Science Department and taught the Earth Sciences, she was a nurse at the hospital). Then home to Daddy's. We got back about 8:30 to Dad's and Taylor literally fell into bed. I think Dalton and I finally went upstairs about 9:30 or so.

Sunday saw me rising about 2:30..... yes.. 2:30 am. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't dream, I couldn't watch tv... I was just stuck. I played some computer games and went outside to cool down for a bit. Then inside to watch some television which was boring and I can't remember what I watched. Then again, I'm kind of a zombie at that hour of the morning, so I'm not sure I ever remember what I do during those sleepless nights.

So that was our journey! Filled with wonderful exciting things to see, hear, learn and do. I'm so happy Taylor has decided on Longwood. It's going to be quite an adventure!

1 comment:

Lissa Ballard said...

Comment from: Jacquie
Lissa, sounds divine! Glad you all had a great time!

Comment from: Nik
Wow sounds like a busy weekend.. sounds like you all had a wonderful time though...