Whew... Heading back to work almost felt like a break,compared to the whirlwind we've been in the last four days! I wanted to get this posted last night, but instead needed to get some domestic duties done - figured laundry, dishes and cleaning were more important than blogging!
Here was one big part of the weekend, loading up the car and taking Paige to where she will be spending the next four years immersed in higher education:
But more on that in a minute. First, we kicked off our crazy weekend on Wednesday night with a celebration of Jace's birthday and Paige's transition to college. Dave fixed dinner for the five of us and our friends Dan, Gail and their kids. It was great to have all the kids together the night before Paige left for college; we know we'll still see her often, of course, but it is still somewhat sad to know that she won't be just 15 minutes away anymore.
As for Jace, he is now officially one year closer to being a teenager and, as he likes to remind me, one year closer to having that cell phone glued to his ear (or more likely glued to his fingers, thanks to texting). That's his big thing-- can't wait to be old enough to have his own phone. (Here he is with his buddy, Connor, who also has the meanest parents ever, just like me, and won't let him have his own cell phone yet either!)
On Thursday, Dave had a work project that was 2 hours southeast of Springfield, and would not be home until 7pm. So I worked most of the day on Thursday and then met Paige at our house about 4:30 to ride with her to KC. We are so lucky that our good friends Garry and Heather live about 15 minutes away from the WJC campus, so they will be right there if Paige needs anything. And, we will be lucky to have a place to stay when we visit Paige, just like we did on Thursday night. It was great to catch up with them, and enjoy some dessert and drinks with them before Dave arrived about 10:30 that night. Then it was off to bed shortly thereafter, since we had to be at the campus at 7AM.
Jewell is an absolutely beautiful campus, and it was so interesting to me to see the obviously long-standing traditions at the college, and how intimate the entire college experience will be for Paige. With only 300+ incoming freshmen, and 1200 students total, it will be a very individualized experience for her and totally different from the college experience at a big university like Missouri State, where her dad, mom and I all attended. I found myself so excited for her, for all of the people she will meet and the things she will experience over the next four years.
One of the traditions for incoming freshmen is the walk around the quad; they will do this again in cap and gown when they graduate in four years, as well. The walk started with a group (gaggle? chorus?) of bagpipers, followed by the faculty, and then the students, who were all hyped up about their first day.
This took place at 3pm, after we had spent eight hours getting Paige moved into her room (you will notice there are no pictures of the dorm room - it was rather old and nondescript, although it was one of the bigger rooms on her floor), going to lunch with her and her mom/stepdad, and generally just enjoying the campus and all of the activity. The walk and the welcoming ceremony were the last two things of the day before we left, and her dad was in pretty good spirits, considering he was saying goodbye to his little girl.
After the walk around the quad, we all crowded into the chapel to watch the matriculation (I type that like I knew what the heck it meant before last Friday- nope, I didn't, but to bring you up to speed it means "to enroll or begin at a university") ceremony of welcoming the freshmen class of 2013 to William Jewell.
The speaker giving the address will be Paige's Arts and Literature professor in her Oxbridge program, and he was such an interesting individual. I don't if I've ever been so captivated by an address at a program like this- most of the time one just listens, waiting for the address and, quite truthfully, the entire ceremony to be over. But this professor was just so interesting, with a quiet and eloquent diction, a dry sense of humor, and a absolutely fascinating and insightful manner. Paige had already met him when she enrolled, and I look forward to hearing about her classes with him. I have no doubt that he will be one of her favorites, because he will challenge her and expect top notch performance from her and all of his students.
The rest of our weekend was just as busy, with a trip to my folks and to St. Louis to see the Cards play on Saturday night. Jace and Neil had a great time, it was Jace's first St. Louis Cardinals game! More pics on the rest of the weekend very soon.