Last Sunday and Monday we visited Georgia Tech (from this point forward -- just Tech) for a 2-day FASET orientation. The incoming Freshman were typically bored, but dreaming of their new freedoms. The parents were anxious for their students, taking notes, asking questions, and attending session after session. It was a real taste of what lies ahead (for them). We were duly impressed and more than a little intimidated. And, rightly so, Tech is one of the top engineering schools in the country, private or public, and no party school. It's going to be a difficult and exciting 6 years.
Since high school graduation, I have been hunting and gathering the many items needed to outfit the dorm room. Looking for the most interesting items in each category. This busyness has for the most part kept me from seeing the bigger picture. I have been telling myself that I am not afraid of the empty nest, not me. They haven't left the nest, "they're traveling." After two days at FASET, I can no longer afford to keep the blinders in place. We as parents are entering another phase of lives, with both our children at university. You will no doubt be hearing more about it, perhaps before this post has concluded.
During our two days at FASET, I could not wait to see what the dorm rooms looked like. How can I continue to gather items for the dorm room with that flat, 2-dimensional footprint that I found on the web? Finally, I get inside the Yellow Jacket Hive! It's institutional, of course. It's that personal layer that will give the dorm room it's flair. My son is rooming with his friend Danny. It feels like only yesterday that Ian came home from third grade to announce that he had a new best friend, and went on and on espousing the many charms of this new friend. Now they are off to Tech and I am having another one of those moments . . .
Okay, so let me show you some interior shots of the average freshman dorm at Tech. It's actually a lot larger than I thought it would be. It's equipped with a bed (that is loft-able), desk, chair, wardrobe, a locker that sits on top of the wardrobe and possibly a dresser. When you look at the photos you will see the desk and dresser tucked under the bed. All the furniture is modular, so they can configure all the pieces any way they like. Hopefully there will be some pics shared down the road so that I can see the transition (and share it here).
The Georgia Tech campus is a beautiful city within the city of Atlanta. In fact, Georgia Tech was there long before Atlanta was a major urban center, and for that reason there are many parks and green spaces, along with all the advantages of an urban university. From their first semester at Tech forward, they are encouraged to co-op and intern, building their portfolios so that they will be competitive in the job market when they graduate. Many of these opportunities exist because they are inside the city. And, on any given day, you never know who might drop by and ask for an opportunity to speak with the students. On our recent visit, we had a surprise visitor, Usher. Bear with my out-of-focus shot of Usher, as this was the best I could do zooming from mid-theatre. Usher was on campus in support of his "I Can't But You Can" vote campaign. His visit really added energy and excitement to the day!
That's it, for now. It's Friday and that means it's time for a little spin during my lunch break, but will be back to share more later.
I'm back from spin and remembered there was something important I wanted to share. Among all the practical information we gleaned during orientation, there were some sessions that really made me think. Faculty from the Student Success Center spoke with us about the role that technology will play in the future. Technology impacts our lives in ways we probably never imagined a few years ago. Remember life before the internet? Engineers have the greatest impact on technological advances, and this generation of students will impact on future generations. To be successful they will need to learn to cope with and exploit change by nurturing creativity and embracing a life-long learning process. What an exciting new world they will live in. But this statement is true even today, even for members of an older generation and I believe it is a message worth sharing. Over the next couple of decades, we will no doubt see many more technological advances and we too must not only cope with but exploit what technologies are available. Unfortunately, I encounter it all the time, people who are afraid of new technologies or who think they are too busy with outdated modalities to learn something new. A year and a half ago I had to make the difficult decision to find a new manufacturing process to remain viable in the craft industry. It was a leap of faith, I knew it was right for Character Constructions, but didn't know how well it would be received. But it was never really an issue. Thank you for your open minds and hearts. You were right there with me.
For now, until something new and more exciting comes along, I'll be right here with you. I plan to keep an eye to the future and hope you all will too. Wars and environmental concerns aside, we are so fortunate to be part of this amazing technological age. And thanks to the internet the world is a smaller place, and we can have friends all over the planet! Who could have imagined . . .