Launching the offspring, continued
(Again, unreliable Internet means I am writing this post late Saturday night, but I have no idea when I will actually be able to post it – the motel’s Internet was working this morning, but it’s not any more, even in the lobby.)
Gerald is now in his dorm. We were a bit late getting to campus, but what that meant was that we missed the cattle-call storming of the dorms that is typical on ASU moving-in day. It also means we missed the time period during which the dorm check-in process was taking place in the parking lot of the basketball stadium. We ended up wandering around and finally dropping Gerald off to find his way through Student Services. As it turns out, once the central dorm-check-in was put away, the place to check in was at the lobby of the dorm building itself.
There are still a couple of paperwork details to deal with … First, Arizona is much more strict than even the Federal government on proof of citizenship, and nothing that Gerald has with him is a sufficiently “reliable” form of ID for the state’s purposes, so there’s officially a hold on his registration for that reason. Second, ASU requires that Gerald provide proof that he has had immunizations – which he has definitely had, and proof of which his Albuquerque doctor’s office has twice faxed to the student health center. But the health center seems to have lost that information, so there’s a hold on his registration for that, too. To remove those holds, Pat and I will have to express-mail Gerald’s birth certificate and immunization records to him on Monday.
The dorm in which Gerald is now ensconced is not as tall or as glittery as it looked last night. In fact, it’s rather old, as exemplified by the elevators, each of which has its own unique “character” – one is reluctant to show passengers what floor it’s at, while the other takes a good, long while to decide to open the door at the end of its passage.
Gerald’s room is on the seventh floor, at the top of the building. It’s a somewhat odd, asymmetrical shape, as it is located in a portion of the building where one arm branches off at a 120-degree angle from another. That makes it harder to arrange furniture, but it probably has a few more square feet of floor space than a strictly rectangular room would. He arrived to find his roommate already settled in; the roommate brought in a fridge and a television, so those two amenities are already in place; Gerald will be contributing a microwave.
The dorm room came with one interesting touch … a tag hanging on the doorknob, similar to what can be found in many hotel rooms. On one side, the card reads “Sun Devil At Work – Do Not Disturb.” The other side says “Sun Devil At Play – Come On In.” Since Gerald is carrying a heavy course load, and he has to keep his grades up to keep in the architecture program and also to keep his scholarship, I hope he hangs the “do not disturb” side more often than the “come on in” side.
As for the view … well, it’s a view, but it’s not spectacular. First, the window is very, very dirty. There’s a nice, wide ledge outside, which would make a great platform for cleaning the window … but then, this is a college dorm, and sometimes college students do less-than-smart things, so the windows have been secured shut so nobody can go out there. Then, as I mentioned before, it’s in sort of a weird angle in the wall, so the rest of the building cuts off a lot of the view, such as of the football stadium and the mountain that contains it. Still, there’s a view of the distant Phoenix skyline, and some nearer buildings. Of course, if the view is less than riveting, maybe that’s one less distraction from studying.
We last saw Gerald this evening as we dropped off a few things he had forgotten. There was a big, happy party going on, on a lawn in the center of several dorms, with free pizza, more free pizza, music, and thousands of students moving about in swirling, eddying currents as thunderstorms flickered in the southeast, stirring up gusty winds as a few drops of rain fell, bringing on that super-fresh rain smell that is especially welcome in the desert.
(Update: 10:30 p.m. Sunday)
We had a final outing with Gerald this morning, driving around Phoenix and seeing sights, including the west campus of ASU, where one of Gerald’s classes has been relocated, and a boat dealership and marine store in that corner of town. Then we returned to the ASU area, where we had one last lunch with him at a little burger place right near his dorm, and we said our final good-byes before heading back through the desert, over the mountains, through more desert, and finally home to Albuquerque.