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The Alumni Blog : empty nest

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    Senior Fall at Stanford Through the Eyes of a Mother

    In a word: busy. We're closing in on Thanksgiving break and hearing from my college senior is an occasional text, a random phone call and maybe a quick email. That's all fine and good but a visual was really helpful. What seems to be common amongst seniors is that they are very focused on fulfilling all requirements, whether it's distribution requirements or reqs. for their major. They are meeting pretty regularly with their advisor.They are socializing alot, attending their "last"... full moon on the Quad, Big Game Gaieties, Big Game, water polo event, soccer game...They have brushed up their resumes, attended the "career fair" and have been going through various stages of interviews with various companies, feeling the agony of defeat when they don't make the final round or they don't get the job. Or feel positively elated when they land the job! Especially in this economy when so many of the companies that used to recruit on campus no longer come. They are truly burning the can...

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    Posted by Mrs. Beppie Weintz Cerf on Nov 17 2011 1:31PM | 0 comments

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    The State of the Student: Home Rules vs. School Rules

    When your kids are little, you work hard to establish ‘home rules.’ You know, things like, “Remember to flush the toilet” or “This is a family, so everyone has to pitch in and do chores.” Garbage day is Monday, the cat needs to be fed every day, if you can’t see your floor, it’s time to clean your room, etc.

    Then, the day comes – more quickly than you can imagine – when your kid heads off to college. You (and your student) discover that there are now NEW rules…dorm rules, dining hall rules, new rules for friends, RA’s, professors. Suddenly, ‘home rules’ are obsolete.

    But here’s the big secret: The real difference between Home Rules and School Rules is that at college there are NO rules.

    No one to wake your kid up in the morning to make sure she gets to class. No one to oversee what or when he eats (or doesn’t eat). No one to check whether homework gets...

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    Posted by Ms. Charlene Scholtes Margot on Sep 16 2011 7:06PM | 5 comments

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    The State of the Student: Take Back Our Kids

    With films like Race to Nowhere hyping up parental hysteria about pressure, stress and competition, it's time to take a step back and consider what is REALLY important for our kids. 

    Think back to a time when your children were little, perhaps to when they were in preschool. What did they like? Dinosaurs? Polly Pocket dolls? Playing on the swings at the park? Super Mario Bros.?

    Whatever, odds are that you can very clearly picture that child and his or her particular interests. You knew what they liked to do, what they liked to eat, what they liked to wear (or not wear). Bottom line, you KNEW your child. 

    And now you have a high schooler. What happened to that precious child, the one that could name all the dinosaurs or who loved the smell of rubber cement? The one who hated how socks felt on her feet? Or who waited for the sound of passing trains?

    How well ...

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    Posted by Ms. Charlene Scholtes Margot on Aug 6 2011 5:03PM | 0 comments

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    State of the Student: See Ya, Mom!

    When your first child leaves for college, there is a gaping hole in your life. The child that you so carefully cared for and natured for 18+ years is suddenly gone. When your second child leaves home, the loss is less severe, since you know what to expect.

    When my youngest left for Stanford, I became a proverbial ‘empty nester.’ But, since we live just a baseball toss from the University, the change was more one of degree than substance. Somehow, the fact that home was just a few miles away meant that the separation (at least for me) did not carry the agony or grief of the first loss.

    And then something begins to happen. The house that seemed preternaturally quiet without the thumping sounds of hip hop music, mad dashes out to school, friends coming and going, etc. suddenly seems…peaceful. I could sleep in past 6:45 am. I could watch what I wanted on TV.  No more school lunches! And there was less laundry. Lots  less ...

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    Posted by Ms. Charlene Scholtes Margot on Jul 24 2011 1:21PM | 0 comments

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    The State of the Student: Can You Go Home Again?

    Charl DormWhen my son was four years old, he promised to live with me forever. Being that he was my first child, I took him at his word. And it didn’t occur to me that Thomas Wolfe might have had a point. 

    Now, some 20 years later, I’m finding that living at home forever might not be the best idea. For one thing, my kids have too much stuff. It all started innocently enough with our well-intentioned efforts to make sure that each child (one he, one she) started college life as well-equipped and comfortable as possible. A UC Berkeley dorm-regulation mattress? Ugh! That old desk in my daughter’s freshman dorm room in Stern Hall? Not! I remember those from my days in Larkin North…and that was many days ago. 

    This summer we have suffered ‘re-entry syndrome’ as one soon-to...

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    Posted by Ms. Charlene Scholtes Margot on Jun 25 2011 11:59AM | 1 comments