Archive for August, 2011

Taking Your Child to College or (How to Give Away All Your Money BEFORE You Die)

August 24th, 2011 4 comments

Tomorrow my wife Maria and I will bring our daughter, Ally, (and loads of our money) to Harvard where she will begin her freshman year. She has been packing for two weeks and I will need to rent a small semi to get all her things to Boston. I remember my parents sent me to Colgate with a trunk full of jeans and flannel shirts, some toiletries, and a winter coat (which I started wearing in October, I might add).

I’m sure that some of the differences between what I brought to Colgate and what Ally will bring to Harvard are gender-based. But the technical toys and modern conveniences that she has at her disposal are so far removed from my college experience to make me think I went to school during the dark ages. For instance:

  • Ally has a 3G Droid cell phone on which she can surf the internet; I had quarters and waited in line to use the hall phone at Center Stillman Hall;
  • She will have sushi and sashimi at a posh student “eatery”; I ate slop at the SAGA mess hall if I was hungry enough to brave the alpine trek from the Freshman Quadrangle to the bottom of Cardiac Hill and back up again.
  • She has an Apple computer and word-processing software to prepare “documents”; I knew a coed in West Stillman who would type my term paper for money IF I gave her enough lead time. Oh. And I also had all the apples I wanted if I was desperate enough to brave the ice and wind down the mountain and back up again;
  • She has an I-Pod so small she can carry it in her hip pocket; I had a turntable that traveled no farther than the longest extension cord.
  • She will have wi-fi, hi-def and cable television with over 200 channels; my dorm had a rabbit ear-ed black and white TV that played three Syracuse stations.

Then again, my parents paid $5,500/year in tuition, etc.; Maria and I will pay $55,000.00. Why is it that I feel I have been shortchanged twice?