Student Boarders are Baaaaack With Requests and Demands in Equal Measure.

Posted on August 21, 2010

My entire village is vibrating with the return of the students at the University.  The look and feel of this migration was amply illustrated in my back yard yesterday when a bush full of berry-eating birds virtually twittered with the feathery feeders.

I’ve already received the  first of a wave of request calls:  “May I bring my big stuff over this week.”?  The words “big stuff” did not reverberate with me until long after the phone call – until the middle of the night in fact when things reverberate.  I’ve just left the followup phone message to let my fledglings know what hall measurements are.  If I gain much more weight, even I will be unable to go upstairs.

I’ve fulfilled a request for a larger refrigerator – badly needed.  But they can’t have it on the second floor of this recently refurbished old home.  I will not replace another ceiling because the machine shut down and the water flowed.  It’s to the basement and they will have to burn some calories to get to it.

The man who owns the local appliance store and I had a chat about how much renters living  in their units with the students have to teach home economics 101 because parents are busy earning a living.  He says they are death to vacuum cleaners.  They flip the switch and zoom straight ahead over whatever is there.  When the belt deteriorates, they don’t replace it; they put it out at the curb for pickup.

I have just discovered that they would grind cement in the garbage disposal if they could.  The announcement came (that is the other action they take – annunciation) that there was something wrong with the garbage disposal. In it I found a Korean noodle so dry and hard it could have been cement.  Short, tactful instruction and I have survived to teach another day.

Of course they don’t like the decor in the furnished rooms.  This place looks like a B & B but they need all the charm of a dorm room so I have purchased the needed poster hangers that don’t destroy walls.

How do you explain to a generation of Ikea furniture aficionados that wood furniture for centuries got white ring marks when you put a glass filled with a cold liquid on it?  I am an expert removing such things.  Or how do you let someone know gently that to flip their knife into the coffee table is not the thing to do?  He was mad about a test – or was it anger at me and my rules?  Regardless, it’s  over.

Carousel Cat

But the joy of seeing them discover something nearby that they had not seen nor thought of – that is priceless and worth the entire effort.  Yesterday, a 19-year-old Korean student was captivated by the Menagerie 1905 Dentzel carousel at Ontario State Park and by the music of its organ.  There are very few true menagerie carousels left in the US today.  For more pictures of the Ontario Park Carousel go here.

The moral of this story is:  I put up with requests and demands.  Repayment is you have to take a mystery tour with the boarding house lady.  You never know where you will be going – you do not have control for a time.  Above all,  you learn that to stop at this way station in your young life is just one more learning adventure.