Saturday, June 25, 2011


Kurt Holmes is the Dean of Students at the College of Wooster and his presentation and Q & A period were for me the most informative hour and a half of the entire ARCH session. He talked about mundane things like FERPA and HIPAA, but also the Wooster Ethic, where my notes say, “= BRILLIANT.” He gave some of the most intelligent and level-headed advice about parenting college-age children that I have ever heard, “Please do me favor: don’t kill them.”
The child in question is quite satisfied with the schedule of classes he registered for, to begin in the fall.

We went to lunch at Omahoma Bob’s Barbeque, where I ordered a delicious pulled pork sandwich, cole slaw and a root beer. The interior is a cool mix of sand-blasted brick and homey diner styling. The cute young gal with retro bangs and a wide pink headband handed us a nested pair of Styrofoam cups for our drinks. I do not remember the last time I used a Styrofoam cup in any setting. To be honest, I thought they did not make Styrofoam cups anymore. You don’t have to spend much time on the beach to notice that tiny bits of plastic and polystyrene are floating all over the world’s oceans and washing up on shore everywhere. You don’t have to work at the National Toxicology Program to wonder if Styrofoam is bad for people, too.

Obviously, I have been living in Seattle so long I have lost touch with the rest of America—the part of this country where they still serve drinks in Styrofoam cups. Next week, in fact, one week from today, I am supposed to get in my truck and drive across the United States, all the way from Washington to New York, with my oldest son, a cat, and two dogs. I will not be surprised by the ice-cold air-conditioning, friendly questions about why we’d ever want to leave Washington, or Styrofoam cups.

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