Sunday, August 23, 2009

Putting a Cap on the Week

Sunday morning. I'm taking stock of the past week. It was a whirlwind, helping my daughter get enrolled and find classes at the local university. We made a last-minute decision that she would stay home this semester, for a variety of reasons, but executing that was very difficult. I had the renewed experience of being "Mom" in a way that I haven't for four years. I drove to and from school while she waited for a parking sticker, I stood in line to help get some of the administrative chores done, and I helped with the search for classes that would be useful to her and have credit to transfer to her main school. It made me admire what these young people do when we drop them off at college and come back home. I hadn't seen the process up close before. As a so-called "transient" student, my daughter was not eligible for advising or financial aid, so this was a particularly difficult registration. It was gratifying to see her sail through it.

Recently, I put a new category of blog post in my long list of things to write about. I wanted to begin dissecting one of those constant parental worries - how to tell what kind of job you are doing (or have done). I suppose that this should be one of the entries - Watch Your Child Get Started in School. It was fascinating to see my daughter function this week. She was adept at maneuvering through the decision tree involved in registering at a new school. She didn't agonize over which section of which course to take - she started by getting one class locked down, then building around it to make a workable schedule. She knew that she was already late in the process and didn't worry about which instructor was better, nicer, more lenient with grades. She accepted pot luck and went to class with an optimistic attitude. She quickly made acquaintances in each class, exchanging phone numbers and email addresses so that notes could be shared in case of an absence.

Her approach to instructors in closed class sections (where enrollment had already reached quota) was especially interesting. When she confronted one professor with the hated blue form (permission to enroll in a closed class), she was told "No." Her response was to smile and ask if she could remain for that class section and speak with him afterward. After class, she made her case and was accepted into his section. Shades of Cher, in Clueless. Everything is negotiable.

The big excuses seem to be gone from her vocabulary. In one class, she began on the second day, and discovered that the teacher had made lots of assignments on the first day of class. The daughter didn't ask for extensions or release from those writing assignments. She dug in and worked until they were done, completing the last one an hour before departure for the Friday session. I read them and was impressed that her writing had matured in the past four years. Hmm, maybe the big tuition has been worth it.

So much for watching the offspring. I listed a half-dozen new products in my stores yesterday, and one has already sold. It was the second sale of the weekend, very gratifying. I have more to list, as well as pushing ahead with my plans for fall products. The beehive hats (photo above) are coming along, I now have three to photograph and list - two cashmere, one organic cotton. I think the fibers are exactly right. The hand-dyed cotton blanket lacks only 20 rows. I'm ready to start another custom order. Everything is moving along.


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