RG’s College Admission Tests

January 15, 2009

Part 1: Is Your Family Dangerous?

Cigarettes have warning labels such as SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, and May Complicate Pregnancy.

Some families should have warning labels. Mine for example. David Rochester’s as well. The warning label for both of our families might say Possibility of Severe Mental Illness and Personality Disorder.

Part 2: Don’t Touch That Beautiful Lover!

When we first meet a new lover, we are often overwhelmed by the advertising slogans and the beautiful packaging. I Am Beautiful! Unwrap Me! We Will Have So Much Fun! I Will Provide the Missing Parts of Your Personality! Let’s Go to Bed and Frolic!

We may miss the tiny label that warns:  Sleeping with this Person May Be Hazardous to Your Emotional Stability.

Sometimes the person lives up to the advertising, though. My wife did not engage in a hard sell when I first met her. One of her labels said, I have small breasts. Nobody will ever love me. Another label said, I may look small but inside me is a big brute that can knock you out with a single punch if you are mean to me.

I guess one of my warning labels said, Needs a lot of work. Another of my warning labels says, Do not try to improve me.

We have been married for 43 years and my wife has never stopped working on improving me.

It gives her something to do besides puttering.

You just never know. A woman in a class I was teaching last week said of her late husband, We were married for 40 years. He was as good as it gets. I couldn’t have married a better husband. (This is the way I feel about my wife, by the way.)

This student said to me: This is how we met. He was on the third floor of a building and he saw me on the sidewalk. He said to himself, That is the woman for me! He came down the stairs and introduced himself to me.

You just never know.


Part 3: Are Colleges and Universities Dangerous to Incoming Students?

Universities and colleges also should have skull and crossbones warning stickers posted on the entrances. The University of California at Berkeley where I went to school as a 17-year-old should have warned:  Don’t Come Here If You Are Only Eight Years Old In Emotional Maturity.

Oberlin College should warn: War Zone: Stay Out of the Dorms. My daughter found a lover in her Oberlin dorm in her sophomore year. She and her girl friend moved out of their dorm in their junior year. They moved into a rooming house for students operated by a maiden lady named Miss Smith who kept  cats and  who had graduated from Oberlin many years earlier. Perhaps my daughter and her partner moved just in time to escape incoming mortar fire aimed at their dorm room.

The University of Washington should have warned me Don’t Come to Graduate School Here If You Have No Idea What You Want to Do with Your Life, just as Cornell should have given my daughter a similar warning.

Even so, you just never know. DW (initials of a brilliant young lady in my 6th and final high school who wanted to be an astronomer) got a warning from her father: Don’t go to a coed college! You will scare the boys! So she went to Wellesley. Then she went to California Institute of Technology to study Astrophysics, a school for people too smart for MIT. The warning label should have said, Full of Brilliant Sexist Pigs! DW was as tough as my wife. She got her doctorate in astrophysics anyway and now works on Hubble Telescope research, and mentors young woman astronomers on how to deal with sexist astrophysicist pigs.

Part 5: Are Incoming Students Dangerous to a College or University?

I had pretty good (if erratic) grades. I had decent scores on my SATs. No university required me to take a test that would have revealed my emotional immaturity. No test informed my admitting college: this person is a dyslexic introvert who suffers from severe ADDH.

No test warned Oberlin about David: this applicant suffers from DID and contains several alters.

Part 6: How Dangerous is the School for Very Bright Children?

My daughter’s partner, Mommy, teaches at a private school for very bright children. This school is testing and evaluating her birth daughter. As said child is Random Daughter’s adopted child, she has become our adopted Granddaughter, whom I call for blogging purposes, Random Granddaughter. In short, the SVBC is deciding whether they want RG and the mommies are deciding if they want to send RG to kindergarten at SVBC or to send her to kindergarten at a public school.

RG is a young lady with very strong opinions on matters affecting her, so at some point she may sit all of us down and tell us what she is going to do, just as my daughter once told my wife and me that she was going to skip her senior year of high school and enroll in an International Baccalaureate Diploma Program college in Canada called Pearson College.

One question would be how dangerous is SVBC, a school which seems to be a combination of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford for little children? After all how dangerous can that be? Perhaps no more dangerous than putting your child into a nuclear reactor to see what emerges after a few years of exposure to high levels of radioactivity.

Part 7: How Dangerous Are Very Bright Children?

On the other hand, how dangerous can exposure to a few very high IQ children be? Have you ever read a comic book or seen a movie called the X-Men? Would you like to have an X-Girl or X-Boy in your nursery? Do you read David Rochester’s blog?

Part 8: Can You Ever Have Too Many Cool Grandparents?

The mommies arrived after lunch. I had checked out a bunch of very cool library books for RG. Mrs. Random, designer of our little home in the middle-sized woods, had purchased a set of Lincoln Logs for RG’s home building efforts. RG, a child from a science fiction future with two mommies and two daddies, arrived with two super cool books from her latest grandparents.

One of RG’s mottos is You Can’t Have Too Many Cool Grandparents.

Her latest grandparents are the mother and father of RG’s second daddy, partner to her sperm donor (who is dad #1) Grandpa #5 is a very liberal Methodist minister in New York State about to retire to Colorado. His wife, Grandma #5, gave RG two excellent children’s books. The first is a popup book about an Italian Grandma who is a Good Witch. The popups are a marvel of the bookmaking art, as elaborate as Gothic Churches. The second book has translucent pages where one can see mysterious and wonderful figures in a magical forest.

Grandpa read several of the books he had brought to RG. Later RG read her new books to Grandpa and Grandma with astonishing fluency and great dramatic flair. “Is she actually reading those books?” Grandma asked.

“No,” I said. “I think she has memorized them.”

I thought, besides RG’s potential to be a fire chief, a ferry captain, or a train engineer (all careers under active consideration), RG may be an actress. She already has demonstrated great flair for being a drama queen. Spectrum, is this related to being a diva?

Part 9: Will RG Be an Architect?

RG took out the wooden blocks we keep for her. In the past, she had piled them in more or less random ways. My wife and I noticed she was stacking them neatly in an organized fashion, creating well-planned and well-organized little structures

Grandma brought out the Lincoln Logs. RG had obviously played with them before (we later learned her pre-school provided them as a toy) and set right to work constructing a dwelling. Her work added further evidence of her potential for a career as an architect. Perhaps I should take her to visit the female architect who designed our house under Mrs. Random’s direction. Mrs. Random, always very modest, says, “I didn’t do anything. I just told her what I wanted.” I sat like a dumb bump on a log while Mrs. Random told the architect what she wanted.

Part 10: Will RG Write a Book on Good Manners?

I admit this is a reach, but we noticed that RG is starting to become remarkably polite.

She hasn’t quite got “please” down as a reliably spontaneous term yet, but she is now strong on “Thank you.”

Her work with the word “No” in her terrible twos (which actually started at the age of 1½) was merely RG’s undergraduate work.

Now she’s on to graduate level work.  When she doesn’t want something, she quickly says, “No thank you” in a polite but decisive way.

I thought, Maybe RG will write a book on polite assertiveness.

 When Mama (my daughter) said, “You are very tired. You should take a nap,” RG went upstairs without a fuss and went right to sleep.

RG’s lap started late. The mommies told us she could stay up late that night to watch The Grinch and go to bed a little later than usual.

More on RG and her her college admission test results as soon as I get a chance.


8 Responses to “RG’s College Admission Tests”

  1. “is a dyslexic introvert” If you’re a dyslexic introvert, doesn’t that make you an extrovert? Perhaps I should have a warning label. That’s a nutty, yet endearing story that he fell in love with her from the third floor. Good thing he had the sense to use the stairs.

  2. truce Says:

    I am now wondering what my own warning labels are…

    And considering sending my ex’s packages with a selection of carefully tailored warning notices, and instructions on how and when to deploy them when meeting new people…

    I am also ever more convinced that a bright future awaits RG. I’d rather like to know the titles of the two beautiful books she was given – they sound like exactly the kind of thing our New Product Meeting on Monday 19th January should be looking at.

  3. modestypress Says:

    Truce: One of the books RG received as gifts is:
    Brava, Strega Nona! A Heartwarming Pop-Up Book

    I didn’t get a chance to write down the other one. I will try to get the other one for you. It may be a day or two.

  4. modestypress Says:

    OK, Truce, I have the title of the other children’s book RG brought: The Foggy Foggy Forest


  5. Average Jane Says:

    Mr.R..oh, if only people came with warning labels! But then my last post would never have got written, so that makes me think..hmmm.

  6. pandemonic Says:

    Oh, my. This is so interesting on many different levels.

    First of all, you’ve been busy contemplating even though you weren’t here. May I be the first to congratulate you? Secondly, your first five Parts were both hilarious and so true. I could find myself relating to the story of your wife. She sounds like me! Only now my breasts are not so little.

    The college thing — true, true and true. RG, you never know… David, nailed him.

    I’m so glad you are back.

  7. modestypress Says:

    Waxing, very witty. RG might say that to me pretty soon.

    truce, perhaps tattoo artists will start imprinting people’s warning labels on thei bodies. Just imagine a man taking off a woman’s bra and seeing on one breast, I bite! and I kick! on the other. Of course, on a man the warning label would probably say, Not going anywhere.

    Jane, I think your warning labels would be LED lights forever changing as we looked at them.

    Pan, David is much like my wife. You are much like my wife. This is very strange and both of you should be paying her royalties, I think.

    David would be so covered with warning labels it would be like trying to print an 800 page book on a postage stamp.

  8. Michael the little boot Says:

    Wow. Warning-label tatoos could be a problem. Might turn into a case of “too many amendments, not enough skin”.

    If I wasn’t so hairy as to preclude tatoos, my warning label should read “Warning: no warning label will suffice. You are not prepared for this.” Going into detail about the reasons only serves to bolster others opinions that I can’t be all THAT bad, and the warning forgotten as so much hype! Perhaps the above is ominous enough to be adequate.

    As far as the danger bits: hell, ain’t we all dangerous to each other, to a some extent? And ain’t that part of the fun?

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