If you’re safe right now, and you haven’t done so already, please call your parents and let them know you’re OK. If they’ve heard about this on the news, they will be freaking out right now.
My Mom just painted this awesome picture of Sarah Palin, and she wanted it to get it out there for some people to see. I thought Wesleyan would really appreciate it. We’ve also made a bunch of postcards with the picture, and we’d like to send them up if anyone wants them.
Ezra didn’t mention how to request the postcards, but a simple way might be to leave a comment with your name and WesBox.
Hannah Masius ’10 sends over this Father’s Day piece by Ben Stein from the New York Times about acknowledging how hard your parents have probably worked if you live a decently comfortable lifestyle- chances are the people who raised you have given at least some kind of support:
“O, brilliant kids, you get to put on the garments of the morally righteous and upstanding while your parents work… O, golden children, you get to talk about how you’ll never ‘sell out,’ and meanwhile your parents stay up late in torment, thinking of how they can pay your tuition. Because, brilliant kids, work (business) involves exhaustion and eating humble pie and going on even when you think you can’t. And you are the beneficiaries of it in your gilded youth.
“Be smarter than Ben Stein ever was. Be a better person than I ever was. Right now, today, thank your parents for working to support you. Don’t act as if it’s the divine right of students. Get right up in their faces and say, ‘Thank you for what you do so I can live like this.’ Say something…
“Get it in your heads that if you throw away your moral duties to your parents, you are thieves. You were born on third base and your parents put you there, and you think you hit a triple. It’s not true. It’s time to give back.
“ `Attention must be paid,’ as Arthur Miller said. So start now, and make it a habit to be grateful to your parents. Say you’re grateful and mean it. Do it now, however young or old you are. Do it on Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, every day.”
Ian Pylvainen ’10 sends us this GQ feature about Marston Hefner, son of Hugh, who is apparently graduating high school and names Wesleyan as his top college choice:
Marston has been busy lately filling out his college applications, deciding where he wants to go. (He’s thinking Wesleyan. “I’m trying to stay away from really earthy schools,” he says. “Like, I wanted to apply to Bard, but from what it said, it was a really granola school. Wesleyan is, like, academically rigorous.”).
It sure is! So, is there a possibility of the elder Hefner showing up on a Parents’ weekend as an involved parent ’12? Maybe pointless speculation, but hey, it’s already in the public domain.
Hefner Jr. seems remarkably grounded considering what you might expect from a kid who grew up in the shadow of Hef Sr.:
For a kid who spent the first eight years of his life in the Playboy Mansion, the mythical home of American male sexuality, Marston seems to keep this place at arm’s length, as though he is from this world but not of it. He seems to have no interest in, say, scoping chicks with Bill Maher at the Midsummer Night’s Dream party. He does not wear silk. He is a former leader of the Human Rights Student Task Force and has strong opinions on Darfur.
…“My, like, expectancy for what girl I’m going to get is, like, so fucked-up. I’ve just been around really hot women my entire life, so the average high school girl won’t do it for me. But instead of making me really care about looks, I look for the personality and a personal connection. Because I’ve been around looks all my life, and it’s like, if I can’t talk to her…”
Watch out, ladies!
GQ: Next of Skin
Anna Quindlen, P’07, writes a poignant Newsweek article called “Home Cooking” describing what it’s like to see your child graduate college and actually move into the real world – and finally, as a parent, letting go. My mom sent it to me with the title “Fw: I found this pretty moving…” so it seems it’s already being passed around the college parents’ circles.
A friend whose children are just a little older than my own told me once that parents fool themselves, pulling away from the quad with an empty SUV and tears in their eyes, that sending a child to college constitutes the great separation. The real breach, she said, came after the car, full once more, left the quad with a mortarboard and a diploma tossed in the back seat.
During college there were those long winter breaks, the occasional weekend, the summers in which the high-school friends reappeared at the breakfast table, if pancakes at 1 p.m. counts as breakfast. But then, college over, real life began. The unfamiliar names of workplace acquaintances. The inconvenient or nonexistent holidays that come with the bottom rungs of the employment ladder. The tiny apartment in the new neighborhood. The frying pan…
If your parents were like mine and neglected to ever give you a straight up facts of life talk, your sex education probably consisted mostly of 7th grade health class, “special episodes” of your favorite shows in which someone gets molested by a creepy neighbor, and/or a lot of furtive time online. But chances are, no matter how open-minded and liberal your parents were, they didn’t go into much more detail than what euphemism goes into what other euphemism to produce the magic that is you until you were at least in imminent danger of going all pubescent on them.
In the new documentary “Please Talk to Kids About AIDS”, the adorable kindergarten-age daughters of two filmmakers tag along with their parents to the 2006 International AIDS Conference in Toronto, where they were filmed interviewing top AIDS experts, gay activists, condom distributors, drag performers, and sex toy salespeople, resulting in a lot of awkwardness and interesting connotations about how much explicit information kids can safely handle. Apparently the girls took most of it in stride:
Sevilla did say she was scared twice — once by an African guerrilla theater skit showing a village massacre and an orphaned girl forced into a sugar-daddy relationship, once by learning what a sex worker did. “I know it’s a job,” she said, “but it’s a weird job.”
From the mouths of babes! You can watch the entire 26-minute documentary here for free.
I. Love. Helicopter. Parents. I DO! I love them so much I’m devoting part of my thesis to them. Ever since I started looking at colleges, I’ve been obsessed with those parents who do that one-finger, ask a stupid question answered in the guidebook already thing at every college I ever looked at. And they do ask the most inane things.
When I was a tour guide here, I used to get asked questions like if students got report cards mailed home or whether it was possible to bribe Reslife to ensure that our daughter Katie ends up in Westco and not the Butts. I’ve been told extensively about a prospective student’s serious mental problems and asked how they would be accommodated at Wesleyan (Um. Yeah, I’m just a tour guide. I’d have no idea. So, this is Fisk. This is where the languages are taught. Yeah. Ok. Over there–). I’ve been asked so many ridiculous questions like “Are there many Jewish boys at Wesleyan? I wouldn’t want my daughter to go to a school without any straight boys,” (yeah, what?) or “Is it true that they still cook meth in the tunnels? An alum friend of mine told me that once.”
Yeah, so helicopter parents. MY FAVORITE.
Anyway, my friend sent me this link from College Confidential, which is replete with the craziest of helicopter parents. This question is great:
“When DD got her room assignment, she also got her roommates information, and I googled them – only found good information on them, nothing negative. My husband thinks I overstepped my bounds by doing this – what do you think? Did anyone else google their child’s roommates or am I just the nosiest parker that ever lived?”
Best responses to this inquiry?
- “Your child is doing the very same thing on Facebook. Why shouldn’t you do it on Google?”
- I must confess I have done this too, especially before this summer’s internship when D was going to room with three girls from different schools. She knew I was doing this and laughed it off saying “Mom, you are such a stalker!”
- Sure, why not Google the roommates. I’ve Googled S’s professors, teaching assistants, etc. The info is public, why not use it?
- Just talked to a friend who googled her son’s roommate. She has been losing sleep over the pairing; S, who went to a diverse public HS, listed himself as “atheist,” and roommate is a home-schooled fundamentalist Christian. Her older son had almost as extreme a pairing a few years ago, with disastrous results. I think it’s better to know this ahead of time…
- Why wouldn’t a responsible parent do the same for the person their kid would live with, or in the case of a boyfriend/girlfriend, share their intimate life with? And what it your own daughter has photos of herself on facebook in her underwear? Wouldn’t you sit her down and have a talk? This stuff is posted by the kids themselves for all the world to see.
Ok, granted, I got a single my freshman year (nanner nanner) but good God and gravy would this not freak me the fuck out.
A mom tells of her facebook adventures in today’s NYTimes…
So last week I joined Facebook, the social network for students that opened its doors last fall to anyone with an e-mail address. The decision not only doubled its active membership to 24 million (more than 50 percent of whom are not students), but it also made it possible for parents like me to peek at our children in their online lair.
At Facebook.com, I eyed the home page (“Everyone can join”) with suspicion. I doubted Facebook’s sincerity. What could a site created by a student who was born three years after I started mispronouncing “Henri Cartier-Bresson” want with me?
Realizing that these were cynical, mocking thoughts cheered me — I felt edgier already — and gave me the courage to join.
After I got my Profile page, the first thing I did was to search for other members — my daughter and her friends — to ask them to be my friends.
Shockingly, quite a few of them — the friends, not the daughter — accepted my invitation and gave me access to their Profiles, including their interests, hobbies, school affiliations and in some cases, physical whereabouts.
Meanwhile, my Profile had News Feed to inform me of every development:
Michelle and Paige Ogden are now friends.
Michelle is out for a run.
Michelle and Jesse Bendit are now friends.
Michelle is home.
No word from my daughter, though.
Out of the blue, I got an invitation to be a friend from one of my neighbors, Ted, who coincidentally had just joined to check out the applications that independent software developers started adding to the site last month. He showed me how to add movie reviews and snippets of music to my Profile.
I invited my friends — my actual friends — to join Facebook. Some did. I sent a “poke” to one to say hello. I wrote on another’s “wall.” I tagged a photo to make it appear on my friend Tina’s Profile. In gratitude, she “poked” me.
Things were going really well, when suddenly something disturbing happened. An instant-message window appeared onscreen to deliver a verdict.
“wayyy creepy,” it said. “why did you make one!”
Ah, there she was.
“What are you talking about?” I typed innocently.
“im only telling you for your own good,” my daughter typed.
“Be my friend,” I typed.
“You won’t get away with this,” she typed. “everyone in the whole world thinks its super creepy when adults have facebooks.”
“Have facebooks? Is that what you think a Profile page is called?” I typed.
But after receiving a follow-up threat from my daughter (“unfriend paige right now. im serious. i dont care if they request you. say no. i will be soo mad if you dont unfriend paige right now. actually”), I started worrying that allowing parents in would backfire on Facebook.
If the presence of people like me alienated Facebook’s core younger group, would they flee? And if so, whom would I annoy?
Errr. I think it’s a good sign we all jump ship and take back face-to-face socializing. That’ll fuck with them.