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They’ve Come A-Callin’

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The boy suddenly has become awash in mail at home: mail from colleges far and wide, trying to get into his head and convince him that they’re the best place for him if and when he makes the next move.


He’s squirreled away the pamphlets and letters in his room somewhere, probably not to be found until after he leaves for college, though there’s that part of me that remembers the feeling and wonders if he’s doing what I did at that time in my life: carefully read through every single piece of propaganda they sent to me.


It’s a hell of a feeling, to know that someone out there wants you, at least they want you to apply, to try for one of their precious few spots. But it’s fun to see him excited about coming home everyday and finding that he has more mail than we do.


When I was in the college hunt mode, I kept getting mailings from some of the strangest places: St. Scholastica in Duluth must have thought I was perfect for them, because I’d practically get monthly mailings reminding me of how great they were.


Grinnell–my first choice–on the other hand, sent me one mailing: a brochure loudly pointing out that they were rated as having the comfiest library in the country by Rolling Stone magazine. I have no idea what attracted me to them, because it really wasn’t that. And for our visit to campus, I was thoroughly charmed by the old, Ivy League look of the place, but alas, they didn’t want me.


Actually, I’m waiting for the letters and calls from the military recruiters to start. I got them incessantly for two years, even when I told them I just wasn’t military material–seriously, can any of you picture me in that environment? I know that some day soon they’ll start to come, and I’ll be anxious to see how Patrick reacts. There’s that little part of me that thinks he’ll turn out like one of my uncles and shock the hell out of everyone and enlist for two tours, and come out with all of the practical experience he ever needed.


We’ll see where all of this leads.


See you tomorrow.