Tag Archives: Dorm Room

Another One Bites The Diploma

by Richard

Another year later, another big group of family coming to town as we watch another Jones boy walk across that stage, grab a diploma and hope nobody realizes they made a mistake and keeps him in high school.

Well, no, it’s really not that bad. In this case, it’s actually pretty great.

Zippy the Monkey Boy is graduating high school today and he’s doing it as his class salutatorian, which means he had the second-best grade-point average in his class. As such, he has to make a short speech during graduation.

He tried to dump the responsibility off on me, but I just let it bounce right back. As of Thursday night, he still hadn’t written a word. Graduation occurs today at 11 am. He says he works best under pressure. I can’t wait to tape this and then play it back for him the next time he says that stupid saying.

His mom and I are really proud of Zippy the Monkey Boy. In eighth grade, he was struggling, both academically and socially, and turning into a real sea urchin of a person, all spiky and prickly and somebody no one wanted to be around. Going to The Fletcher School, a private school for dudes and dudettes with learning disabilities, changed all that.

Thanks to fantastic teachers and administrators, Zippy the Monkey Boy became reenergized academically and not only enjoyed most of the work he was doing, but he actually looked forward to it. Socially, he started growing again, making friends and finding out that people actually could be good and were fun to be around.

That’s a lot of growth to pack into just four years. And he did it all while also discovering the joys of competitive basketball, flag football, cross country and, of course, girls.

The most important skill Zippy the Monkey Boy learned was how to climb trees on his own. I hardly ever had to get on his case to get him to do a project or remind him of an upcoming test. Sure, a lot of that was due to how The Fletcher School was run, but I’m hoping enough of that was innate that some will come through when he starts college at University of North Carolina Wilmington in the fall.

He’s already looking forward to that. I think, in his mind, he’s skipped the whole tedious graduation thing and is, even now, checking into his new dorm room and saying good-bye to the anchors (which would be his parents).

His mom and I, though, still are firmly rooted in the now. We’re going to smile and, maybe, cry just a little as our second young dude walks through another milestone on his way to his own life. This is the big one. Zippy the Monkey Boy is moving out of Casa de Dude, heading off to make his own nest and, we’re sure, make a whole lot of mistakes. We’re just hoping he’ll be able to straighten them out on his own.

It’s like Thomas Wayne, father to Bruce, said: “Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”

Here’s to you, Zippy the Monkey Boy. You’ve made it through the hardest part of your life. What you didn’t know was that now we get to add two little words to that. Those words? So far. The hardest part of your life. . . so far. Now you get to do it all over again and this time you get to do it on your own.

The good news is that I know he can do it. He’s one of the most stubborn people on the face of the planet and, hopefully, his mother and I have taught him to use his powers for good, not evil

He’s moving from the Falcons to the Seahawks, but he’s still going to soar.

Congratulations, dude. We love you.

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The Future Is Breaking Out All Over

by Richard

I know this is old hat to most of you dudes out there, but I’m basically just flabbergasted. Of course, you can tell I’m the sort to marvel over some technological wonder everyone else has already used, abused and moved on from just  because I’m the sort of person who actually uses the word flabbergasted unironically, correctly and without needing a spellchecker to get it right.

Sad is what it is. It’s also off topic.

What’s on topic is the talk about the future. Yesterday I actually got  chance to chat face-to-face with Sarcasmo even though he’s still away up to High Point University. Yeah, we made a video call to the young dude.

No, it wasn’t using a video phone strapped to my wrist. (that was a joke for the really old among us who might remember Dick Tracy as more than Warren Beatty in a yellow jacket [which was, itself, a joke for the slightly younger old people out there]). We used iPads and Macbook Pro computers to do this delicious deed. Well, also an application called FaceTime as well, but you get the point.

Yeah, I know there’s a service called Skype that can accomplish the same thing, but we just happened to use this application.

It’s not so much what caused it to happen, but that it actually happened at all.

I mean, I still remember all those old movies and television shows that showed people in the future making video calls. And here I was yesterday, actually making a video call to Sarcasmo. How is this possible? We’re not living in the future? Are we?

Regardless of our temporal location, it really was cool to be able to talk to Sarcasmo and see his face at the same time. We gave him a virtual tour of the newly carpeted upstairs that included a view of his room that was cleaner than it had ever been. In return, he gave me, Hyper Lad and Zippy the Monkey Boy, a tour of his dorm room.

Zippy the Monkey Boy was especially jealous that Sarcasmo had a room of his own and all that neat stuff to be found in a dorm room. I think Sarcasmo really enjoyed being the center of attention and having his brothers be jealous of him. For him, that’s an unusual position.

The future, dudes. Here’s to it! Let’s enjoy it while we can.

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Further Notes On The Drop Off

by Richard

Well, that was. . . interesting. Getting a little space between the actual event and my thinking bits, I’ve come to the conclusion that Sarcasmo had it amazingly easy when he went off to start college at High Point University.

Pardon me, dudes, please while I get into a bit more detail.

But first, a bit of background. When I went off to the University of Florida way back in the prehistoric times, so far gone that some dorms, (for instance, mine) didn’t even have air conditioning, things were a bit, shall we say, looser. We were told that school started on a certain day and the dorms opened a week before that. See you there. And that was about it.

I pulled up outside my dorm and then got to work lugging all my stuff up to my dorm room. I know. Poor me.

For Sarcasmo, though, things were more than significantly different. Firstly, all the smallish freshman class of 1,300 dudes and dudettes were all told to come to campus to move in on a single day. We were told when we should arrive, based on dorm room, and even given directions. When we got there, we were met by people wearing tie-dye t-shirts. We opened the door and they reached for our stuff. Sarcasmo had to hold me back when I went for the frightened students, thinking we were being mugged by a particularly non-bright bunch of thieves. Turns out they were there to take all the stuff up to Sarcasmo’s room.


Anyway, after a short visit with campus cops, we went up to his room to set things up. Lovely room. Four young dudes, four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen with a full-sized fridge, and a living room. I wish my first apartment had been that nice.

The room, when we got done, was great. I knew that was not to last. I knew Sarcasmo. (True. When we went back to do a few last-minute things on Sunday, there were clothes all over the floor. Already.)

When the parents left campus, rather than being left alone to do whatever stupid thing came into our heads (Hi, Dad! Sorry again for the whole freshman year thing), the college had set up a bunch of events for the freshmen to get to know each other and have a (relatively supervised) good time.

I don’t know if this is normal for other (non-private) schools, but I’m thinking it might be closer to the norm than would be what I did when I went off to university.

Now comes the hard part: not calling the young dude. Or texting. Or e-mailing. Seriously, with the plethora of communication options available, it’s almost as if we’re trying to keep those apron strings tied.

All right, Sarcasmo, listen up. Here’s the big snip. SNIP. You’re on your own. Damn it.

shhh. quietly resewing at least one tiny string. i’m weak.

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