Thursday, January 26, 2017


College is a transition -- a rite of passage.  My friend, Marianne, found this out when she applied to go to Temple University.  Knowing her as well as I do, I can see this happening.

September 7
Many of my teens are heading off to Freshman Year of college. Listening to their fears and also to their joys reminded me of the July/August Orientation I had to attend at Temple University after the school accepted me. My parents had to attend the mandatory Parents' Tea, in which school administration, professors, and student services personnel addressed parents and told them what to expect of Temple life, on and off campus. My parents returned late in the afternoon. I greeted them with,"Well? How was it?" 

They exchanged looks, a sign I knew to be trouble. Mom sweetly said, "Let's put it this way. If you so much as ever try smoking, drinking, taking drugs, having sex, asking me for birth control, I personally will break your face and every bone in your body." Then she kissed the top of my head. 

Stunned, I looked at my father who replied, "And when your mother's through with you, I will do the same. Don't even think about it!" 

What in the world did they hear? Well, it turned out that Pop opened up the proverbial can of worms. All the parents heard all the platitudes about college youth growing up. Administration asked the parents if anyone had any questions. Pop said he and Mom had a question. "What about drugs? What do you say about that?" 

A very uncomfortable silence ensued and then all hell broke loose with parents demanding answers about Temple's drug culture. The administration replied that drug experimentation, alcohol experimentation, sexual promiscuity were a normal part of the adolescent maturation process and that services existed on campus to help the students get past hurdles they couldn't control, AND, the school would never divulge the student's problems to the parent, My parents replied that was not the answer they wanted to hear. I couldn't believe my parents would ever think that I would be guilty of any of that. I was a very grounded teen with no desire to incur Italian Family Wrath and I had never been in trouble except for talking too much and speaking my mind, something my parents encouraged. Imagine my surprise, then, when I heard all of this.

"Am I still going there? It's too late to apply anywhere else." 

"Oh, you're going there and you're coming home, but all the time you are out of this house, just remember what will be waiting for you when you come home!" 

Two weeks later, all incoming Freshmen had to spend a week at Temple living in the dorm. The two girls who shared the room with me began talking about the Parents' Tea. They both said that when their parents came home, they read them the riot act. One of them said, "You know, everything was cool at my house before that meeting. Some father raised his hand and asked about drugs. Because of him I got grounded in advance!" 

I NEVER admitted that my parents were responsible!


  1. What a fun story!! Thanks for sharing it. When grandson Tristan was heading out of state to college, his mom bought him a book to read that covered so much...actually things that parents should have already talked to their kids about. He was kind of embarrassed about it. There were even instructions on how to use a condom. The times have sure changed.

  2. Enjoyed the story. I give her father credit. Somebody has to ask the hard questions...Thank you for sharing.

    1. I'm sure Marianne was mortified though.

  3. Hi Kathy! Oh, what a story and I agree, so much has changed today and not necessarily for the better. Well, I'm a lot older than you, but I didn't go to college - after high school I got married and started having babies! I guess I wasn't very women's lib! :)
    Thanks for popping in to see me and how I appreciate your comments.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)


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