Tag Archives: UNCW

Ook, Ook To The Monkey Boy

by Richard

Look out, world. Today is the day Zippy the Monkey Boy turns 18.

It’s the day he’s been looking forward to for a long, long time. He likes to think that, just because the law considers him an adult now, that he’ll be treated like an adult here at Casa de Dude.

His mom and I don’t like to disillusion him* about stuff like this, but he’s really not going to be treated as if he’s a house guest. Okay, we’ll probably not cut up his food and wipe his mouth for him, but he’s still a kid in our hearts.

At least until he’s the one who pays for dinner when we go out, but that’s a separate thing entirely.

Today, we come to praise Zippy the Monkey Boy, not to bury him.

With a name like Zippy the Monkey Boy, you’d think he was the one who was always running around, knocking things over and flinging poop all over the walls. He was. But that wasn’t why he got the name. He got the name because he took to climbing like greased-up pigs take to sliding.

He never did learn to crawl. Instead, he kept low crawling until he could stand up and walk. He wanted the extra height, you see.

Once he got up on two feet, it was only a matter of time until he started seeing the fences and stuff we’d put up around the play area, not as a thing blocking his way so he’d better turn around, but as another toy, something we put there so he could have fun climbing and dropping.

That was what we listened to when he was a baby. That thump. We’d hear it and know he’d found his way over another obstacle and we should be expecting his arrival any moment. Diapers were a wonderful thing for Zippy the Monkey Boy. Great cushion. Of course, if it were already a full diaper before he climbed and dropped, we got to clean a lot of flung stuff after.

He’s kept it up. One of my favorite pictures of him shows him high up in a tree, screaming out his triumph for having climbed that high. He was 15 when we took that picture. He likes to climb is what I’m saying.

His other most distinguishing feature through the years has been his love of animals. This is a little dude that has wanted to be a zoologist since he knew someone could actually tell people he was going to study animals all his life and people would be okay with it. Now he’s going off to one of the best marine science schools in the country so he can make the study of sharks his life work. If nothing else, it shows he’s able to find a goal and stick with it.

Zippy the Monkey Boy is getting ready to head off to Wilmington to try his act out down there, along the beaches, among the co-eds and out on his (metaphorical) own. Sure I’m worried.

But only a little. I have the feeling Zippy the Monkey Boy is going to keep on climbing, always reaching for something just out of his reach and finding a way to get it and then seeing the next thing just a little higher up.

It’s been an adventurous 18 years. I can’t wait to see what the next 18 bring.

Ook, Ook, Zip.

*no, that’s a lie. We love disillusioning him. It’s such fun.

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The Parents’ Dilemma: College Edition

by Richard

Over the weekend, we got the last piece of good news. Zippy the Monkey Boy received word from the seventh college to which he applied that he’d been accepted.

So that was seven for seven, which was good. He got into the one college he really wanted to attend, University of North Carolina Wilmington, and, according to the news from the weekend, he also got into the school he didn’t think he had a chance at: my alma mater, the University of Florida.

Now I’m torn.

See, both Zippy the Monkey Boy’s mom and I graduated from the University of Florida. I was born in Gainesville, FL, and she attended medical school there. Additionally, both my parents graduated from there and my grandfather coached football there. So, yeah, UF runs deep in our family.

Now, the odds of Zippy the Monkey Boy getting accepted to the University of Florida were, at best, slim. Seriously slim. He was from out of state. He didn’t have that outstanding an SAT score. He was in the top 5% of his high-school class, but that was about it. Looking at it objectively, I didn’t think he had a chance.

Heck, looking at it objectively, I, with my test scores from back then, didn’t stand a chance at getting into UF with this class and I had a better SAT result than Zippy the Monkey Boy.

Things, as they say, were not looking good. And then we never heard from the University of Florida. Acceptances came and were disregarded. He got into all six of the other schools to which he applied, but still no word from UF. And then, finally, here in the ides of February, he finally heard.

I gotta say, I’m torn. Really, really torn. Zippy the Monkey Boy’s wanted to go to UNCW since he was old enough to know what a college was. But, as a son raised in a rabid orange-and-blue loving home of the Gators, he also loves UF. I really do want to keep pushing him to go to UF. I know it’ll be (much) more expensive, but I think Zippy the Monkey Boy is the last chance we have for any of our next generation to go to UF. I mean, I doubt Sarcasmo will be going to UF if he ever goes back to school and I know Hyper Lad, who’s currently getting his room painted in *gah* Alabama *gah* colors, won’t even consider it.

Zippy the Monkey Boy was our only choice. And I have this sinking feeling he’s not even really, seriously considering it. When the other choice is UNCW, a school he’s loved for so long and loved on his own, well. . . There’s no choice.

I guess I’ll have to get used to yelling, “Go, Seahawks!” during basketball season. At least since UNCW has not football team, I can still cheer for the Gators on the gridiron.

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To And Fro On The Earth And From Walking Up And Down On It

by Richard

Okay, let’s get one thing straight first, dudes. I am not comparing myself to Satan, even though I did steal the title of this post from Satan’s dialogue with God in Job 1:7. It’s just that it gets across the sense of what’s about to happen.

That is, In the next week or so, I’m going to be doing a lot of traveling and I’m going to feel like hel– heck.

Here’s the deal. My sweetie, known to me as She Who Must Be Getting Off Lucky This Time, and I like to make sure each of our little dudes gets to do something special over the summer. In some years, that included getting to mow the lawn for the first time. And the second. And the third. And the fourth. Etc., etc.

Hey, I didn’t say it was fun, just that it was special.

This year, though, it really will be fun and special. Unfortunately, it’s all starting at the same time. Here’s the schedule.

On Sunday, we’ll all four be volunteering on behalf of Tri It For Life at the Rock Hill Ramblin’ Rose women’s only triathlon. That should run us from 0600 to about 1100. After that, I’ll drop Sarcasmo and Hyper Lad off with their mom. Then Zippy the Monkey Boy and I will be off to Wilmington, NC, to drop Zippy off at MarineQuest. That is a fabulous three-week camp centered on learning about marine science and marine biology, while also having fun and — this year — getting his PADI open-water scuba certification. Zippy the Monkey Boy is mad for all things marine, so this is his dream camp.

Unfortunately, Wilmington is four hours away. Which means I’ll be getting up before 0600 and then be on the road for eight hours.

Which wouldn’t be that bad if it were the only thing going on. Monday, Sarcasmo and I head up to High Point University (about 1.5 hours away) to spend a day in early enrollment. Sarcasmo is headed off to High Point for college in August and this is his opportunity to get registered for classes and get one final look around campus before he matriculates for the first time.

So that’s Monday gone. Then, when we get back, on the next day, I take Sarcasmo to the airport. He’ll be flying from Charlotte to San Francisco airport, where he’ll catch a plane to Hong Kong with a group from Rustic Pathways. He’ll be in China for three weeks; the first week he’ll be working hard at a panda conservation park and the next two he’ll be traveling around China and seeing the sights. Lucky bas– dude.

Finally, on Sunday of next week on July 17, I’ll be loading Hyper Lad up in the mini-van and headed off to drop him off for two weeks at YMCA Camp Cheerio. Both Sarcasmo and Zippy the Monkey Boy before him went to this camp and he loves it.

So, yeah, we’ll have almost three weeks alone. If you don’t count the construction workers who will have ripped out our kitchen and started banging on walls. If I make it through the next week. Yeah, should be fun.

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