They're everywhere! Holding pamphlets and reading maps. Pointing fingers and taking tours. Telling awkward jokes and laughing loudly. Asking me dumb questions. With no shame!
Today is freshman move-in day at UVM, and here at the school administration's darling Davis Center, parents have attacked. All summer long, this place has been a mausoleum. The only thing that crowded these halls were the occasional echos coming the tap of a solitary pair of flip flops.
But now things have changed.
Not the kind of sweeping, mythical, hard-fought change that President-to-be Obama spoke about last night. What we have here is a temporary kind of change. It's a three-day transitional period that forms the margin between the off season and the commencement of the academic session. This margin is the Parent Attack.
It's a phenomena that conjures a host of emotions. A knowing smile creeps across my face as I remember the time when my anxious parents moved me up to school. The smile becomes a smirk as I walk by a blonde first-year shooting her dad a look of death as he painfully jokes "hey honey check it out, it's a gender-neutral bathroom. Is that for people with both parts, or neither?!" My smirk devolves into a full-scale scowl as the path to Underground Copy (i need to fax something and this is the only place on campus that still boasts an operational fax-machine) is obstructed by about 100 parents in a sprawling line emerging from the Chittenden Bank branch here at The Dud. I fight down the urge to yell "don't you remember what college kids spend their money on..." Images of booze, condoms, and cigarettes float into my head.
We can't blame these Helicopter Parent Baby Boomer Almost Empty-Nesters for being here. After all, in 2008, parental involvement in college stops far after packing the car and a pat on the back. With that said, this is only day one of the Parent Attack. Updates to follow...