Homecomings

Nov. 9th, 2014 09:24 am
kybearfuzz: (Patsy)
It's been a very busy weekend. And it's been a lot of fun too.

Me and the Sibs
The Sibs and Me

My trips to my hometown are fairly quick. I drove down on Friday morning and hung out with Mom for a bit, then went over to my sister's house. Later, my sibs and I went to dinner and I dragged them to the local coffee shop downtown afterward. It really is an oasis of sorts among the usual conservative nature of the town. With a bearded hottie folk singing in the corner, we each had various coffees (including some of the alcoholic variety). I'm not sure my brother was taken with it, but my sister and brother-in-law liked it. I'm surprised they never went there. I even had to tell my brother where it was and he lives there.

The next morning, I got up and headed to Berea College where it was my 20th homecoming. I was sort of pulled into a science presentation about the effects of sleep on health. It was interesting, but I had to bail to meet with my class for pics. I ran into my buddies Greg and Carla, both alumni from my class, and their son Edmund. All of us hung out the rest of the day. After a few hours, it got late and we parted company. I needed to drop of a laptop to my nephew and was planning on taking him to dinner. Oh, his dorm room is a wreck, mainly due to his roommate, I think. No dinner though as he had plans to "game" with some local guys, so I drove him to the gaming place and decided to head home.

This morning, I woke up to sound of Maggie the Cat meowing her head off. Not sure what is up with her.

It was a good weekend, but now I'm worn out. I think it'll be a take it easy sort of day.
kybearfuzz: (Otter Surprise)
Yesterday, I hopped in the car and drove to my hometown to help my sister out with my nephew's upcoming move to college. She and her hubby had a few unexpected money issues this past week, so I told her I'd help out to get my nephew some odds and ends he needed.

After we spent the entire day shopping and burning a hole in my credit card, we had dinner with the twin and his family (Mom refused to go out, but that's a whole different negative story). So eventually, I crashed around midnight and was up around 5 AM this morning. My sister didn't even go to bed, she stayed up doing laundry.

The Alumnus and the FreshmanWe got to the Berea College campus around 9 AM and did a quick unload in his dorm room. His roommate had moved in, but had gone to soccer practice already. After we got everything settled, his roommate and his family showed up. His roommie is a great guy, he likes horror movies and comic books. Honestly, he'd have made a perfect roommate for me back when I started there in 1990. I think he and my nephew will hit it off well.

Next, we ran all over campus, getting his student ID, his books, his laptop, etc. We stood in line for HOURS. I felt like we'd gone to Kings Island without the rides. The one thing my sister was amazed about was the fact that everyone was so nice. There were students to guide you anywhere on campus, some students were there to help you move your stuff, etc. My sister said that when she went to Eastern Kentucky University, the student guides just ignored you.

Eventually, we grabbed a late lunch at one of my old hangouts, which was wonderful, before they had to go do the parent-student thing. At that point, I left them to head home. I'm sure my sister was a mess to let her kid go.

I'm so envious of him honestly. It made me remember my first day on campus and being both excited and terrified. If I could do college over again, I'd do it in a heartbeat I think.
kybearfuzz: (Disco Kitty)
My sister sent me a text message earlier today, giving me some of the details for my nephew's upcoming orientation at Berea College, where he's starting as a freshman in a couple of weeks. I called her and we discussed things. He has his schedule, his roommate is a guy named Jacob from West Virginia who he doesn't know, and he's got his dorm assignment (a fairly decent dorm really).

My brother-in-law asked my sister if she would ask me to go with them next Saturday. As a Berea alumnus, they feel like I know the ropes better than they do. I can tell they are starting to freak a bit. This is my sister's only kid, so she only gets to do this once.

I talked to my sis about making sure he had all the odds and ends -- a fridge for the room, a TV, bed sheets and towels, pillows, garbage can, laundry basket, washing powder, shower shoes, etc. I told her that he needs to call his roommate to see what he's bringing so they don't double dip.

I told my sis that I'd be there Saturday morning to help him get settled. I have a feeling I may be buying his books for the first semester. Just a feeling. We'll get his room situated and I'll take him to lunch at one of my old favorite hangouts. I hope to see my old dorm room if I can.

Before I got off the phone, my sister told me, "This $#!+ is getting REAL!"

Yeah, it is. Her baby is grown and going off to college. I hope she can handle it.
kybearfuzz: (Happy Larry)
As I was coming in from lunch today, my phone gave that special "double-vibrate" that signifies that I've gotten a text message. I wasn't expecting anything specific today, so it took me a few moments to get my phone out to take a look.

The message was from my sister. She told me that my nephew had gotten his acceptance letter to Berea College. She and my nephew have anxiously been waiting for news and I'm happy that he made it in. It will be a good experience for him I think and the proximity to home (it's 45 minutes away from our hometown) will give him some security but enough distance for independence. At least that is what Berea did for me. He will get a good, well-rounded education there, with small classes and individual attention. I expect it will also be an eye-opening experience for him too.

The funny part is that he still doesn't know yet. After classes today, he went straight to work and won't be home for another 10 minutes or more. My sister didn't text him or call him, she wants him to read the letter himself. I replied via text to her soon after reading the message to express my congrats!

So, another Berea alum in the family. I'm happy. I suspect I'll be buying his books and paying some odds and ends expenses for him at times, but I'll be glad to do that.
kybearfuzz: (Knowledge)
Last night, I had a two hour phone call with my sister. Usually, such a call would be about something nutty our mom has done, but my sister was more excited than that. Not that Mom didn't come up, but my sis was excited that about the visit that she and my nephew had done at Berea College, where I got my bachelor's degree back in the early 1990's.

Berea is a small private college, academically respected, but better know for their work-study program. No student that goes there pays tuition, but all students must work on campus at least 10 hours a week. It's an ideal place for students who have the smarts for college, but lack the money. In fact, the school has a limit that your family can earn as part of the enrollment process. I was concerned that my sister and her husband made too much money for my nephew to go there, but my sister told me that they qualified as "highly likely."

Now our folks were poor as church mice, so my getting in was easy, but I think the criteria was more clear-cut back then and may be softer now. My sis and nephew went to the campus yesterday for a tour and an interview to see if my nephew would be a good fit and it appears that he is, provided he can get his paperwork to them by the end of this week.

The campus has changed certainly and they do make it easier for students to get around. My sister loved it and is practically praying that he gets in. I hope he does too. It'd be nice to have another Berea grad in the family.
kybearfuzz: (Disco Kitty)
I was chatting with a slim, daddy bear type named John on one of my iPhone apps. He and I have been discussing things for a while, nothing really sexual, just the odds and ends of the day. Yesterday, he sent me a message saying he was free all weekend and if I wanted to grab a drink or lunch to give him a text. So this morning, before I worked out, I sent him a message to see if he wanted to grab lunch. He said sure.

After a snafu of bad weather, road closures, and crowded places, we finally met up and went to eat at an Irish chain restaurant. In the first five minutes that we sat down, we were talking about education, only to find out that we are both Berea College grads, only twenty years apart in our attendance. When I find someone who went to the same college as me, something fun happens. The school itself is so small, only 1500 students in the whole study body in a given year, that it is rare to run into another grad at random. Immediately, there is a fun connection, shared experiences and backgrounds (we're almost all from poor families).

Despite our age difference, we did know several professors in common, with me knowing them at the ends of their careers and him at the start in some cases. He told me some past stories about Berea in the early 70's and I related how many of those things continued during the 90's. We talked about living in the same dorms and our different jobs. He started as a freshman in "food service" while I was a waiter at Boone Tavern, essentially the two most menial freshman jobs on campus.

After lunch, he needed to head home, but we're staying in touch. He is wanting to get out more, so I told him about the Cincinnati MovieBears, the gay softball league, and Woof Wednesdays at the 701 Bar in Covington, KY. So I'm hoping I'll be hanging out with him more.

I was happy to meet him. It was a tonic I really needed this week.

Happy 4th everyone!
kybearfuzz: (Bill the Cat)
My college was and is on a 4-1-4 semester system, going four months, one month, then four months. The one month is in January where we students would take one course for the month for several hours a day. I loved the Short Term because that's when the really cool classes would come up, a chance to step outside your major and explore new things. One year I took "Science & Fiction," where we read and discussed fictional sciences, like phrenology, and also read science fiction novels and watched movies, seeing the evolution of science fiction and how some fictionalized science at the time eventually became reality. My very favorite was "Humor Writing," where we learned to write jokes, cartoon gags, situational comedy, stand-up, etc. Don't be fooled, trying to be funny on command was hard.

[livejournal.com profile] martini_tim reminded me yesterday how much I loved college. so on a lark, I checked my college's current short term catalog and found the following gems I would love to take. I put the descriptions behind the cuts to save space on everyone's pages.

Computer to Paint )

Bring Out Your Dead! )

The Geometry, Art, and History of Quilts )
kybearfuzz: (Click)
I finally realized that in all my years at Berea College, I had never taken campus pictures other than just candids with me and my friends. I finally did get some photos shot last Friday.

Me at Berea
Click the Picture for the Gallery


Saturday was the family reunion of sorts. It was my grandfather's sister's family on my dad's side. Unfortunately, my sister and brother couldn't make it, so it was just me, Mom, and my stepdad and a slew of relatives I really don't know that well. It was a nice time, but I was bored. The food was good though. Too good. I also have some really burly second or third cousins or cousins-in-law. I'm surprised as facial hair is generally not prevalent in my family, except for the current generation.

The rest of the weekend was pretty tame. I went to Goody's, a regional clothing store, and was shocked at the colors in the men's department. When did pastel colors come back? I felt like I was walking through a Miami Vice garage sale. UGLY! Did we learn nothing from the mistakes of the 1980's? I await the return of the mullet....

I came home early and went bowling with one of my college friends and his hubby. That was a lot of fun, it was good to reminisce with him :)
kybearfuzz: (Disgusted Betty)
By some unforeseen scheduling hiccup, I managed to snag the day off and drive to my hometown to visit family. I stopped at Berea College on the way down to visit my favorite chemistry professor, Lee, before he left for Chicago (permanently). Instead I ran into my least favorite chemistry professor who was moving the new guy into Lee's now vacant office. Apparently, he left for Chicago two days ago :( So after some awkward chit-chat with least fave (I never bothered to put forth the effort to hide that I don't like him), I went around and took pictures of the campus. I'll post those when I get back to my house on Sunday.

So I made it to Corbin and stopped by Mom's to get caught up on the family gossip, usually involving people and places I don't remember, but that's life when you move away. Well, she dropped a good bomb on me this trip. Apparently, my first cousin's daughter is pregnant. And she's only FOURTEEN!!!! My cousin had to be stopped from hunting the daddy down with his gun (hey, this is KY after all). I don't know how old the dad-to-be is, but if he's 18 or older, I'll call the police myself. I could easily turn this into a rant about the sad state of sex education in KY schools or what stupid parents my cousin and his wife must be for not having the talk with his kids about sex, but ... I'm just too tired and surprised.

Tomorrow is my dad's side of the family reunion. The food is going to be incredible and fried, but it'll also be two hours of unfamiliar relatives telling me that they haven't seen me since I was "this high" (insert flat hand, palm down, about 2 1/2 feet from floor).

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