Summer camp and college dorms…haven’t we learned anything?Posted: August 1, 2009
We are in the midst of visiting colleges to help my son decide where he wants to spend his time after this year. It is an exciting and melancholy thing to do. I’m looking forward to watching the next phase of his life, but I’m going to be miserable watching it from a few hours away.
But that isn’t the point today. During the visits, I was reminded that as we get older we stop doing some things that we did earlier in life. There is no good reason for this.
Kids go to summer camp. They live, eat and do stuff with their friends for a week. They do this as a break from their usual summer activities: eating and doing stuff with their friends.
They leave home all stressed out from their life of not going to school, with a bag of clean clothes. A week later, they come back with a bag of dirty clothes and a grin. We get older and stop doing that. Why?
I guess I’ve started recreating that experience. I make a trip to the Keys every November with great friends. We rent a house and run amok. I come home with a bag of dirty clothes and a grin.
Still, if I hadn’t stumbled on the event that draws us there and my particular group of friends, would I have my own little summer camp experience? Nah, probably not. Most adults don’t. I’m pretty fortunate in that regard. My friends put up with my blowing off steam, we have a lot of laughs, live in a really nice cabin, and I go back to work and family better for the experience. I even wash my own dirty clothes when I get back.
If you get a chance, I recommend finding your own adult summer camp. Now, on to what got me thinking about this as a topic.
I’ve seen several dorm rooms over the past few months as the Omawarisan Family College Tour has gone on. During the same period, my wife has been talking about rearranging our bedroom. She feels that doing so will give us more space.
I have wondered for almost twenty years how, if you have a fixed amount of floor space and a fixed amount of furniture, you can increase space unless you pile the furniture on top of itself. Some things are not meant for me to understand. When the day comes, I will move the furniture and feel the freedom of the increased space in our bedroom. She puts up with my foolishness the remaining fiftyone weeks that my friends don’t have custody. Moving furniture is a small price to pay for such tolerance.
Yesterday, at North Carolina State University, the new front runner in the Son of Omawarisan Sweepstakes, I heard from a twenty year old tour guide the same thing I’ve heard in every dormitory, on every campus we’ve been to: “…and if you want, you can loft your bed and you’ll have a lot more space.”
Oh my God, thats it! Why do we ever stop doing that? It works in college, why can’t we do it now? I had a vision of our queen sized bed, five feet off the floor. Dressers beneath. More space! MORE SPACE! That is why the ceiling is so high in our bedroom. It was meant to be. Down comes the ceiling fan, up with the bed.
On the ride home, I expressed my new vision to my wife. I got the same look I’ve gotten for years. And a no.
She’s not the interior design visionary that I am, but she gets me.
Sometimes I wish I knew as much about how to live as kids seem to.