<p>Just got back from CMU yesterday to see my freshman daughter! She is working and playing VERY HARD!!!!! Only got two hours sleep Thursday night due to having to write a humanities paper and completing Physics homework. She blamed herself, of course! She looks tired and put on a few of those FROSH 15! I had to take her to Kaufman's Dept Store to buy all new clothes in a larger size. DREAD! She is finding her experience amazing but is admitting that the work is strangling at best. She is a Chem major at Mellon College of Science. She has had many "dates" so to speak with guys who seem to appreciate her "witty" humor, love of the "Simpsons", love of the sciences..she actually looked at the recent "eclipse" for more than a few seconds, and no make-up earthy appearance. BIRKENSTOCKS are in and so are khaki shorts for now...so if your child is into fashion statements, look elsewhere! She is set up in an apt at least a 15 minute walk from campus. I wonder if they didn't put her there because it is next to the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Pittsburgh and her two roommates are Catholic. Stupid reason..she hadn't seen the inside of the church until we took her yesterday! And her "born again" Catholic roommate who is still trying to find Jesus is asking for a room transfer! She is from California from a Catholic school and is having a hard time accepting that my D and her other roommate enjoy sponsoring parties in their apt. with "OH MY GOD" BOYS! ANd "OH YES" she had to "steal" two shopping carts from the Giant Eagle in Squirrel Hill because they were unable to "carry" all their groceries home! I was not so thrilled with the concept of "borrowing" the carts as they claimed, but HEY! my D's roommmate"s mother whom we met yesterday and who is really a delight as was her hubbie I might add, suggested they leave them on a street corner in the wee hours of the morning. CRINGE! Hey! whatever works for you. I offered no formal explanation on anything. This is college and one needs to work things out for oneself! Her supposed "boyfriend" to date is Jewish and his parents with whom we had lunch, his dad thought he was a slacker. My D on the other hand said he studies all the time when he is not with her and spent more time biting his nails and cuticles than doing his work! I am not sure I want to instill that extreme work ethic in her. She needs to learn to balance her consumption of "useless" calories, "eclipse" watching, dating Jewish fraternity types, and completing assigned homeworks in her freshman year without my influence and badgering. Interestingly, at lunch in my D's boyfriend's father's presence, my husband did not talk and actually started to bite his own nails. I thought that was an interesting observation on my part. In addition, as parents we spoke about how we viewed a CMU education, how we believed it would enable our kids to find decent jobs and somehow no longer be so financially dependent on us. His mom claimed they could have bought a second home for what it is costing them! Of course, they could buy and sell us three times over...we have already sent two S's to Ivy LEague schools and were major in the "hole" so to speak. Anyway, the school offered some nice International Festival activities which we did not participate in as my D had no clothes that fit! The activities were there for the taking. And she reiterated that the food was VERY bad and she needed normal groceries so that she could cook in her apartment..which we obliged at GIANT EAGLE. Pittsburgh was clean and wonderful and the weather was great, although my D claimed it rained continuously the week before. She still will not acknowledge I was "right: when I bought her a small collapsible umbrella. I did notice it on the doorknob of her bedroom dorm room, however, so I knew it had been used! And her bike, which she said she didn't really need, was strategically located locked to the side entrance way of the apt house...all rusty I might add! So my advice??? Buy it for them even if they say they don't need it! No one can ever admit MOM was RIGHT! Sometimes not even DAD!</p>
<p>By the way, do you think I could get into a prestigious university NOW if I used the last post as my college essay for...."Tell us about one of your unforgettable moments" topic????</p>
<p>Sgiovinc1, Are you a James Joyce fan? Just kidding. </p>
<p>I liked your report on the CMU family weekend. Please keep us abreat of your daughter's developments and feelings about the school. However, so I don't run out of breath reading your next report, please put a few paragraphs in next time. I must have held my breath until I finished reading the report.</p>
<p>I like to keep my readers on the edge of their seats, so to speak!! HA! No, I don't edit my work and YES! I love stream of consciousness kind of stuff! If I put in paragraphs, then it would look like I was editing my thoughts!!!!! Usually my D tells me to "SHUT UP, MA!" or "Get over it!" her frequent words of advice. Anyway...I will keep you abreast as to her experiences at the school as I have made a mental note that you are one of the parents that is seriously considering the school for your child. Speaking of breast.......only kidding! By the way, my D's Jewish boyfriend's father did not find me amusing. SIGH!</p>
<p>sgiovinc1: I'd love to swap stories w/ you. We just returned from CMU Family weekend too. I had a hard time. They just cannot exist (and keep their health at the same time) on that little sleep!!! I have to run to a meeting, but I'll check back and write more later, once I sort out my own impressions. Or...email me through cc & I'll try to connect that way.</p>
<p>Is your daughter by chance in London Terrace apts?</p>
<p>sgiovinc1: Your D got lucky and got off campus apt. Tell her to stay off the ethnic Indian Food because the wraps are loaded with real butter. The oriental food truck gives better food at less cost with more nutrition. </p>
<p>Comment on Physics and Math. Our son's first semester mids in physics and math were taught by profs who have not taught lower classman for a while. His highest scores were low C and D. Not too worry he said..."no one passed, and profs had to give another exam(s) to find the true curve." Told wife that CMU is just looking for another John Nash. Son has friend at CMU who as freshman who took upper level Math and as Junior is taking Senior and Grad Math. There are maybe some Jone Nash's in each class.</p>
<p>Just returned from fifth and last family weekend.
sgiovinc I enjoyed your post, you have to wonder how can anyone function in any capacity on 2 hours sleep. And to do it day after day (thank goodness for weekends)! Oh to be young again. They'll get sick a few times, try to catch up napping here and there and finally, maybe, find that bottle of vitamins you packed for them in August. </p>
<p>A highlight for me (besides meeting new Gfriend who seemed very nice) was the Saturday evening show in UC. It was a "cabaret" show by 8 fine arts seniors, including some original Broadway style songs written by one of the guys. Sensational!</p>
<p>But I'd say the best was watching, along with S and his friends at the frat, the Steelers destroy the Eagles.</p>
<p>WCT: My D is in Webster Apts. on Dithridge and Fifth. LONG LONG walk to campus.</p>
<p>I am feeling the nostalgia creep up. I love Pittsburgh. Webster Apts are great. It took H and me a while after we were married to get to that level of comfort. LOL. For CMU kid in those houses and apts where they can keep food, my advice is to get them a small freezer- under $159 at Sam's and load it with frozen meals from their that are portion oriented. Keep it relatively high protein--hard to do. My D recently discovered small cans (look like Fancy Feast cat food) of premade chicken salad complete with spreader and crackers that she finds as a great protein pickup and with fruit or a real salad and water, makes for a good lunch for her. They are at Cosco, and I sent her to school with a case of those. It's easy to pick up a croissant or muffin, getting protein is the trick. And portion control rather than just grazing. My D was slightly heavy when she went to college and by watching what she eats-focusing on a small amount of protein with salad and fruit, she has really slimmed down and looks terrific. She is only on a partial meal plan. But coming back to CMU, it is too easy to grab all sorts of tasty tidbits if you don't plan your meals out, and having a freezer and microwave can make a big, difference.
I'll be in Pittsburgh as my s has applied to CMU and is auditioning. Am looking forward to it!</p>
<p>GREAT IDEA about the small freezer! IS there a Sam's Club in Pittsburgh? I really never bothered to look but I would love to be able to go over there to pick up some nutritious items for her. Thanks alot for the advice!</p>
I'm relatively new to CC and so am not familiar with your prior posts, but must admit to being a bit taken aback by your post describing your CMU visit. I personally have no idea what "Jewish fraternity types" are, nor do I undestand why you felt it necessary (having already advised readers that your D is dating a Jewish student) to refer to his father as the "Jewish boyfriend's father." Similarly, that you find telling the fact that your husband bit his nails in the presence of the Jewish boy's father also left me puzzled.
The "they could buy and sell us 3 times" comment also reeks of stereotyping. Am I missing something or did others find this post offensive?</p>
<p>Thanks for having the courage to articulate what I felt about these posts, Schoolmarm. I wanted to speak up as well, but I was simply not brave enough to be the first to say something. Sgiovinc, I've often enjoyed your spirited posts, but I, too, am offended by your characterization of your daughter's boyfriend and his family. To my mind, it's unacceptable to engage in this type of stereotyping on a public board (or anywhere). I'm dismayed that you think it's okay.</p>
<p>The closest is on McKnight Rd in the North Hills, really not far at all. Also one in Monroeville. </p>
<p>I am not familiar with a Jewish fraternity type but would guess that it is not much different than any other fraternity type. I just assumed that Sgiovinc1 was just commenting on the religious diversity. I am catholic, myself, and did not think that it was a prevailing religion at CMU though it is mentioned more than the Jewish and probably in a more unflaterring light. When I lived in the neighborhood I found that Oakland is such a mix of religions and ethnic backgrounds as you have Pitt right next door to CMU. Both schools have a lot of international students and many religions are represented. </p>
<p>It seemed to me the post was very much off the top of the head and was not intended to disturb anyone as the air about it was of exhuberance. I have mentioned that my D was dating and is now engaged to someone who is Jewish. And I have also mentioned that there are some issues and problems, and my tone was a bit darker than Sgiovinci's. Without bringing up the fact that he and his family are Jewish, I could not really communicate what was happening. His family, is in fact, very upset about the young man marrying a catholic, though it seems that they are getting over it. They are not interested in getting to know our family, at all, and we are not pushing the issue. A major obstacle in acceptance is our religion and most likely our social standing as well. I am not really happy about D getting into this type of situation because it can cause so much unhappiness, but have welcomed the young man and his family as we would anyone who is marrying one of ours. I don't sense this kind of ominous undertone in Sgiovinci's situation.</p>
<p>I'm sorry if anyone was offended. ANd I was not stereotyping anyone. I was happy that my D was able to cross religious lines especially when SHE was stereotyped and placed next to the Catholic Cathedral with a born-again Catholic roommate who considers what my D does as "offensive." I tend to be a little tongue and cheek in my writings....just trying to convey how college freshmen change what their parents expectations are of them...so too for my D's boyfriend's father...If you were at lunch with him you would understand...he bellowed and pontificated throughout the meal and at one point I even got the feeling that he considered my D a distraction to his S's need to study. My H was very nervous with him....he is the introverted and sensitive type so I had to "fend" for the family. My stereotype was not that he was Jewish..but that he was hard-driving...and his S's head fell further and further down at the lunch table as he spoke. Afterwards, My D told me his S was very unhappy....that he felt alot of pressure from his dad and didn't know whether he could keep up. His Dad also criticized his choice of major..PHYSICS..and wanted to know what the heck he could with that when he graduated. And yes..they could buy and sell us three times over..no doubt...he being a successful engineer and his wife an attorney. We are lowly civil service employees on a very fixed income..and trying to give our children the best...even if we can't afford it. I have been around the block with these kinds of relationships before...and been told very frankly from my many Jewish friends....his parents will never allow this relationship to continue...so I feel the need to protect my D from any hurt although I would'nt say anything to her. While we try as parents to be open-minded...my D is still very naive about such things...and if she does go to the Jewish fraternity ALOT, I'm not sure she will be accepted by those fellows any more than she has been accepted by this guy's dad....the distraction to his son's studies! As an aside, my D studies with him and they help each other on their problem sets..so I don't know what all the hub-bub is about...but I think my D was turned off. She claimed her boyfriend feels he is only there because his father expects it of him...and not that he has the PASSION about the sciences. My D says she has the PASSION for it and chooses it because she enjoys every second she is there. I really did not mean to offend anyone. It seems I cannot talk about religion without offending someone!</p>
<p>Sgiovinc: Thanks for taking the time to explain. Understood. I hope everything works out for the best.
(Ditto to Jamimom.)</p>
<p>I don't think it was the religion as much as it smacks of stereotyping. I am living the situation where my D is marrying a young man whose parents are very unhappy because of religious issues. They have calmed down somewhat--at the beginning of the year, they were absolutely crazy, and said some unfortunate things. I was concerned because of the whirlwind nature of this thing and also because D is only 20. He is nearly 10 years older and is finishing up a residency this year. THe furor from the family did not help, and my biggest fear was that D would be hurt. But the couple seem to be very committed to each other, and we are certainly not going to be the ones filled with gloom and doom. They will be living well away from both his famiily and us anyways, which will allow them to be with each other starting a new life. The jewish part was not an issue for us, just the fact that the family is not happy with the engagement and are vocal in expressing it, and it appears, unfortunately deep seeded reason. Not just a sterotypical reaction, but pretty well though out. They are very proud of their family heritage, and that the future generation will not be jewish as things now stand really hurts them. But it is difficult explaining the difficulties without bringing the religion into it as it is the crux of the problem. I don't think the fact that your D's boyrfriend or family is Jewish, has anything to do with the type of people they are. Alot of families worry about distractions that the opposite sex brings when the kids are in college. My D's first boyfriend in college came from a family that is way, which drove him literally to distraction, and I don't know what his religion is, as it was never brought up. it is touch when you are dealing with stereotypical situations, not just for religion but ethnic backgrounds as well.</p>
<p>I'll wade in here, but just a little.</p>
<p>Sgiovinc -- I appreciate the explanation, and I'm trying to understand it, but I have to say that right now your remarks still sting. I guess we'll have to leave it at that.</p>
<p>Jamimom -- I want to preface these remarks by saying that I have enormous respect for you. For me, your posts on college and parenting in general are among the soundest and most influential on this entire forum. I understand how hurtful the response of your daughter's fiance's family must be. Here's an attempt to explain why Jews don't want their kids to intermarry. It is not that we dislike non-Jews or that we revile other faiths. Not at all. For those who want to be tolerated by the broader culture, tolerance is essential. It's that we are a miniscule -- and shrinking -- portion of the population, and part of a venerable religion and culture that we want to perpetuate. Every intermarriage threatens to reduce our tiny numbers further, as statistics show that intermarried Jews do not raise their kids as Jews. That's it in a nutshell. Having said that, I firmly believe that once a Jewish kid does decide to intermarry, it's time for his or her parents to reach out to the non-Jewish family. Frankly, I think your daughter's fiance's parents are fools not to want to know you.</p>
<p>Yes,I too didn't pick up any underlying sinister theme from Sgiovinc1. Maybe I am just dense. However, her explanation was reasonable anyway, in my opinion.</p>
<p>WJB, thanks for that wonderful explanation; and I do agree that her daugher's fiance's parents are fools not to want to know the potential inlaws. Just for the record, when I was about to marry my wife, her parents were dead set against our marriage. They didn't even know me that well. This has created a rift that has lasted to this day (23 years later)! It can be a very serious problem.</p>
<p>This whole message board has really "opened up a Pandora's box" on the religious differences issue that our young people have on their plates. My take is this: if you care about your child and you instill in them the sense that they are capable of selecting someone who is appropriate and good for them, then I think you need to let them be. As i said to my D, you need to be happy with someone who enjoys the little mundane things that you do...whether it is standing in the shivering cold to observe an eclipse because you are interested and it is there! or you even bicycling through Schenley PArk in a snowstorm...it is the little things that you enjoy together that solidify a relationship.....my children's observations have been for over 32 years their dad and I have kept a marriage alive by just enjoying each other's company....not that he earns alot of money or had wealthy parents to bail us out of some pretty lean years....we still can laugh and enjoy the same things to this day. It does not really matter what religion you are...what you family's personal financial situation is, what STATUS they have in life, because as I see it, the very fact that my D is THERE at CMU leads me to believe that she has the gray matter to be successful and can compete with the best of them...and should not be a distraction to anyone...I made it a point to say to my D's friend's dad.....they are good for each other in that they both help each other on their assignments. He looked almost HORRIFIED! Yes, girls can be techies, too, and level-headed.</p>