Kelly and Mike have made their college choices and, surprise!, they’re going to the same place: the university of Delaware.

Can you tell from the photo?

This is them taking a break at an ultimate frisbee tournament.

The Graduate


We were in New Jersey this weekend to celebrate Jamie Roberts’ graduation from the University of Delaware. Jamie finished up his studies over the winter, and has been working for months now (for Pepsi, in northern Jersey). He’s a good kid, with an impish grin and a stated desire to corrupt my two sons. If only corruption was so easy to identify and thwart 😉

We had a nice time seeing everyone, including Jamie’s sister Allie (above), who is a workout fiend and an accomplished teacher. It’s great to see these Once Little Ones becoming Big Ones, and even Self-Sufficient Big Ones. Still, it’s a sign of the times, I think, that so many of these SSBOs are still living with their parents.

Sometimes I wonder whether that’s a function of a lack of finances to actually get out of the house, or whether young people today are smart enough to realize they aren’t going to live in a place as nice as their parents’ home again for a very long time. Why would you leave? It’s the same question I ask about Santa Claus: why stop believing? I wish I could re-believe in Santa Claus (and the idea of consequence-free desires).

That’s enough musing. We saw lots of my family, watched Jamie’s friends frolic, and had a friend of Jamie’s mom decide she wanted in to our family. In a word, fun.





College Visit Tour Goes to Pitt

IMG_4674We took Kelly last Friday to Pittsburgh, to check out the University of Pittsburgh on a Saturday morning visit. Kelly really liked it. Virginia and I were not impressed by the food, but we’re told we messed up, because there’s lots of good food there (didn’t make it to Primanti Bros., for example). Anyway, more colleges—and towns—to visit before we’re done, I’m told. Photos below.

College visit to U. of Delaware

We took Kelly on a college visit this weekend to the University of Delaware, where I went from 1984-88.

I was in Newark for work last fall so I had already experienced the half-familiarity of a place that I once knew really well but it has changed so much. Even so, I walked around much more on Saturday than I did last fall. I even went past the offices of the school newspaper where I was editor as a senior. It had changed less than anything else I saw—even the keypad to enter the office looked much as I remember it (no newfangled to gain access, and the sign and windows haven’t changed in 25 years). That was a bit of a shock. I remember one of my last acts as editor was to OK the purchase of a bunch of Macs to replace the terminals and typesetter we had used, and cursed, for my 2 1/2 years at the paper. I’m sure folks cursed me as well.

We’ll see where Kelly decides to go, but I still like Delaware. Some photos from our visit.

New Year, New Start

We dropped Pete off at college Saturday. This time, it was at Temple University.

Temple was Pete’s first choice coming out of high school, but he just missed being accepted then. He transferred after the fall semester of his sophomore year, and will pick up his studies at Temple’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management.

He’ll be living in Morgan Hall, which is not your typical dorm. It’s beautiful (check out the photos) and answers the primary objection of parents to Temple over the years—a lack of on-campus housing.

What’s a Job Placement Worth?

I work as an adjunct professor at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. I’ve done it for 2 1/2 years now. In that time, my employer has hired 4 of my students—the most recent, Gerilyn Manago, this past week.

I do not want to sound as if these students aren’t worthy; they are, and for the most part I’m so impressed by the undergrad students and their drive. But here’s my selfish question: what is that worth to the university? I have no false illusions about my teaching skills—I’m adequate on my good days, but it’s not something that I have extensive experience with, and the fact that I usually interact remotely, via Skype, means that there’s a level of intimacy that’s missing.

I acknowledge all that, but … but … I get these kids jobs. How many of their profs do that? Maybe a lot do.

Anyway, as we near the end of Semester #5, and a strange semester it’s been, this is what I wonder: would I be better getting paid for delivering employment results? And if so, what’s a job for a colleage graduate (or grad student) worth to a prestigious university?

Twitter Serendipity and a Question Answered

My Sports Writing class, SW500, at the Newhouse School of Syracuse University, recently read and was moved by The Courage of Jill Costello, by Chris Ballard, of Sports Illustrated. I tweeted it out and heard from the author himself, SI_ChrisBallard, with a thanks for the mention. Since we were in contact now, I felt permissioned to ask him the class’ biggest question from the story: Had Ballard met Ms. Costello? Our guess was no, that he had weaved together this very detailed, emotional story from those who knew and loved her. The answer’s below.

Many thanks to Chris for being so gracious and accessible, and for telling a moving story so well. Stylistically, it reminded me of a Gary Smith article, and I have no higher compliment for a sports story.

Finally, chalk up another example that the world is a very small place.

Move-In Day


Pete’s departure for college came fast. Thanks to summer session at Bloomsburg U., we packed him up (simply, as is his want) yesterday and drove off this morning toward Bloomsburg, Pa., to get him settled in.

The process went smoothly enough and included a trip to the book store and a walk around campus (I hadn’t been there until today). Nice-looking school, and because it’s summer session, we weren’t part of the usual mass of students and parents on a college move-in day. And because our last name starts with D, we were among the first folks allowed to arrive. Pretty sweet.

We stopped at a store to make some final purchases (water! It’s ungodly hot this weekend and this is a dorm—so no AC) and, after grabbing a brunchy meal at the Bloomsburg Diner, we dropped off Pete with his case of water and some hangers, watched him walk into his dorm, and headed out of town, to attend a family high school graduation party in NJ.

You raise your kids with the idea that someday you want them to thrive outside your home, at least I always did. I told Peter on his 18th birthday that he receives a lot of freedom this year, and more important than enjoying it (though I hope he does that too) is respecting it, and understanding that freedom disrespected has a nasty habit of becoming freedom lost.

He’s a smart young man and I love him dearly, and I think he will grow into his freedom. But those are big thoughts. For now, I’m remembering how I watched him head in to his dorm while Virginia and I returned to the car. Lots of emotions and a thought—it’s a moving day, alright.