Move in day for Macalester students. I volunteered to help the freshmen class (Class of 2015!) move their belongings into the dorm, and spent the afternoon conversing with engaged young people from around the country while lugging fans and bedding into environmentally sensitive not too air conditioned dormitories.
I remember arriving on campus via airplane and taxi cab around 2:00 a.m. on a fall day in 1971. Some freshman lurking in the shadows, probably smoking a joint, helped me lug 2 suitcases to my dorm room in the now defunct Dayton Hall. I’ve been in St. Paul ever since.
This year’s freshmen class has the red carpet rolled out for them. They pull up to the curb with vehicles exploding with stuff – refrigerators, t.v.’s, athletic equipment, musical instruments. They head off to Target to return with another explosion of plastic case goods. The parents are reluctant to drive two blocks away to park their cars. I recognize the ambiguity in their faces-having deposited two sons off to college myself in the last decade.
Though I exerted little effort all afternoon, being on the campus where I lived for 4 years, and around the energy of parents parting from a lifetime with their sons and daughters, I am spent.