Thursday, May 28, 2009
This morning's New & Record, our local newspaper, contained an article about a sale that is taking place at one of our local colleges.... UNC Greensboro. This university-sponsored sale, called "Cram & Scram", is held annually after the students take their exams; after graduation is over; and after they have packed their cars to head home for the summer. It's a catchy name which means little unless, and until, you comprehend WHY the school has a need for such an event.
Each year students leave behind EIGHT tons of STUFF....books, televisions, clothing, appliances, shoes, furniture...according to the N & R article even an electric wheel chair! Eight tons of stuff! Think about that.... EIGHT tons of stuff! EACH year! I think that there are about 10 colleges and universities within our county and I cannot even begin to fathom what the grand total would be.
I came into work this morning still reeling from the thought that the students whose education we are subsidizing in this great state of North Carolina, are allowed by their parents and by the university to leave such a mess behind! I'm amazed that these students may be the very ones who stand on the front of the picket lines to protest an unavoidable tuition increase but don't understand that it takes money to dispose of the things that they leave behind. I'm shocked that the college doesn't charge an exorbitant room deposit fee that is refundable only when the vacated room passes a final inspection. And I'm really disappointed that the students themselves...some of the the very ones that lament about how the older generations have littered their world... have so little respect for how they leave their "home away from home".
My grandmother always used to start with stories about how life was back in the good 'ol days. I'd roll my eyes and try to find some excuse as to why I needed to leave the room because I really did think that her stories were archaic and non-revelent to the current day. Well today, while people like myself who are in their sixth decade don't look anything like what our grandparents did when they were in their 60's, I do feel like judgmental senior citizen.
When we went to college there was a room deposit which was not refunded if your room wasn't clean. When we packed to go home I wouldn't have thought about leaving things behind for someone else to pick up because you just didn't do that. Belongings had value; students had scruples; colleges had rules, and parents had expectations. If asked today what was one of the most important things that you learned from your mother I'd have to say that "Leave a place better than you found it". That can be interpreted many ways (...a kinder world.... a cleaner environment...a neater room). She was 'about' all of these things.
And so am I. I rearrange furniture when I visit hotel rooms because I know that it works better when the sofa is here rather than there. When we are housguests I often clean the bathroom and change the sheets before we leave. And I'll often try to declutter a client's house because I know what a demoralizing and depressing effect that has upon the lives of the people that live there.
So the idea that young women and men care so little about who has to pick up after them is something that simply ticked me off this morning. What was an innocent article about the sale where everything had a fantastic and unbelievable pricetag of just 50 cents an item...even the wheelchair... sent me into this thought process about the magnitude of having to dispose of the discarded belongings from maybe half of the campus population of 17,500 students.
I have pondered over this all day and find that I just had to get out the soap box. I'll read it again just to make sure I'm not crazy....
OH, WAIT!.... I am so relieved!!!! I just reread part of the article and this year's sale has only FOUR tons...down from the eight in years past! Thank goodness! For a minute I was worried....
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I often get a chance to write about our Greensboro 'munchkins'...Olivia and Gabe because they are local but because I don't see Jeff and Vicky's daughter frquently I never have enough pictures of Kira who is now getting close to her third birthday.
Kira is the comedian...she's the actress. As an infant only weeks and months old she'd close her eyes or cover her face when she saw a camera come her way. She knew she didn't like the bright light flashing in her eyes.
What a difference a couple of years makes! This girl now seems to love the attention of the camera! Kira is all-girl...loves makeup and dress-up as you can see by her 'flapper' outfit. She's an amazing mix of Jeff and Vick... she has her mother's sweetness & kindness and her father's sense of humor...(maybe this is good?) . She's the resident ham and, as Jeff's loving parents, we happen to think that the "chickens have come home to roost" for Jeff.... Heh, Heh, Heh. (Sorry Vick...)
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
I usually get an early morning visit from Olivia who tiptoes down the stairs and tries to surprise me while I'm fixing breakfast or sitting in the tub. (Yikes!) Sometimes I'll sit her up on my vanity while I'm putting on makeup & she'll gaze at the non-magnified side of my mirror while I'm working on the other.... "What's this for doing", she asks as she handles everything from a hair comb to mascara. "What's this for doing"?...as I try to put on eye shadow. "What's this for doing"? as I show her an eyelash curler. All efforts to figure out life's meanings for the simplest things!
I love the disjointed sentence, the innocence and the amazement as seen through a child's eyes, and I'll probably remember and steal her "What's this for doing" phrase as I go through the rest of my life!
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
The pictures in no particular order include Olivia trying to hide in our suitcase so she could go with us; The Bellagio's exterior, lobby, hotel room, view from our window at night and the fountains which we got to see once in between rainstorms; The interior of the Paris Casino and hotel which looks like we're outside because the faux skies are so realistic. Yes the Frenchy-looking street scene is really inside the Paris Casino!