Columbus Day

I’ve never been one of those Columbus apologists.  Never will be.

Columbus/Colombo/Colon took mankind a giant leap forward with his bold adventures.  He expanded the world’s consciousness and horizons.  In so doing, he hung it all out there.  It was never easy for him and his crew.

I’m not putting on blinders as to all the negative stuff that came from Columbus’ journeys.  Nevertheless, you have to consider it all within the context of the 15th century.  Judging him by 21st century standards is totally inappropriate.

Anyway, the members of Kay Nou set off on our own adventures on this Columbus Day.  We all discovered something new.

The five of us traveled by car to Geneseo, New York to tour the campus at the State College there.  It is rare that we have the opportunity to do anything with all of our members these days.  So we tend to savor these occasions.

Now, what to name our vessel?  The Niña is out — this was overwhelmingly Subway’s Dude’s adventure.  He was the wheel man for both legs of the journey.  As he is not a girl, the name doesn’t fit.

The end of the road for the Santa Maria

The Santa Maria is no good either.  That ship met its doom in the shoals off the shore of Haiti.  Our family almost broke apart in Haiti on January 12, 2010.  But, we survived.

I guess we’ll have to be the Pinta, which means “painted one.”  If we looked deeper, I’m sure we could find a meaning in this somehow.  But for now we will move on.

Subway Dude has pretty much made up his mind in terms of his college selection.  However, Running Girl and I are attempting to get him to broaden his horizons by looking at alternate schools.  SD has put up cafeteria-sized portions of resistance for some reason.  But, on this point, Running Girl was firm — we were going to Geneseo.

We took a tour of the campus.  Our guide, Dom, did a great job.  He loves his school.  Geneseo is known as the “Ivy League” of the SUNY system with good reason.  It was very impressive.

We saw lecture halls, dining facilities, residence halls, the library and the student union.  Surprisingly, Island Boy was a model visitor.  He listened carefully and desperately wanted to be part of the tour.  He contented himself by standing right next to Dom as he proudly described campus life to the 25 or so people he shepherded from point to point.

Dom doing his thing. Note the young note-taker in the foreground.

To Dom’s credit, he allowed IB to act as his unofficial assistant without giving the boy too much attention.  For, if Island Boy had the chance, he would have taken over.  I’m fairly confident in stating that not everyone showed up that day (from places far and wide across the state) for the “Island Boy Show.”

Afterward, I pulled Dom aside and congratulated him on a fine job.  I told him that I had done his job at my SUNY school more than 25 years ago (click here).  The big difference was that I was paid for it.  Dom was doing it as a volunteer for the glory of his alma mater.  I then duked the guy a ten-spot in appreciation.  It did not appear that any of the other parents followed my lead.

Over lunch we realized that Geneseo was not the right school for Subway Dude.  It does not offer the right fields of study.  Also, SD is a big campus man, and Genny is small and intimate.  But we all admitted that the tour was definitely worthwhile.  We learned much about campus life.  As he found many things that he liked at this institution, Subway discovered that there may a school (other than the University at Buffalo) somewhere out that meets his criteria.

The future?

Surprise — The Fashionista liked Geneseo a lot.  This was a voyage of discovery for our freshman as well.  RG and I have always thought that our girl would do well at a smaller school.  Even if Geneseo is not the right place four years from now, her mind has been opened.  When I went to recycle the literature from the tour, TF kept it for herself.

When we got home, our senior went off to work at Subway.  The Fashionista made a beeline for the mall to meet her friends.

Island Boy had some post-tour energy to burn off.  After all, he had been so good for so long.

Over IB’s vehement objections, I insisted that he give his training wheel-less Toy Story 3 bike another go.  Some of you may remember that IB has had a few ups and downs with this conveyance in the past (read this and then read this).

During the tour, many people assumed that Island Boy had gone off to pick some berries. I correctly surmised that he was looking for a place to pee on campus.

I overcame my youngest child’s objections with my superior lawyering skills (“Either you ride the bike or you go upstairs to your room”).  I know — it’s brute intimidation.  But, sometimes a good parent knows the best time to nudge his child forward.

With a little persistence, IB realized that by pedaling faster he was able to maintain his equilibrium on the bicycle.  He went for longer and longer sprints up the street.  This led to not one, but two trips around our half-mile block (with Papa jogging proudly behind him).  After that, IB spent the better part of an hour working on his take-offs and landings (Hey, these brakes really work!).

Island Boy discovered that bike riding is not a chore that you perform for your parents’ pleasure.  It’s kind of fun.

Now, how about Running Girl and me?  What did we discover today?

We learned that sometimes we need to listen closely to what our children are trying to tell us.  We also discovered that other times we need to push them forward to land upon their own new worlds.

I’m thinking we may go out of our way to ensure that Columbus Day is a family event every year.

— The Major

Dom and his new assistant


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Anna on October 10, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Has SD looked at RIT or the U of R?


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