Monday, February 27, 2012

Let the Brainwashing Begin!

This past weekend I got to introduce my sweet babies to one of my favorite things...

Basketball is a very important part of the student culture at Villanova University.  Even though I probably never went to a high school basketball game (not because I am anti-social, mostly because I was a swimmer and our meets were at the same time as Friday night basketball games) I quickly fell into line when I went to college.  Philadelphia is a college basketball haven with the "Philly Five" (Villanova, St. Joes, Penn, Lasalle, and Temple) battling it out every year for city bragging rights.  It was something the campus rallied around for games, partied about in the evenings and just generally a really good time.  Pair that with a Hotty Mchotterson basketball coach (Jay Wright) and you have an irresistible combination.

Ladies, need I say more?

Okay, so we aren't the greatest team this year.  Our historically dominant team is going through some growing pains, but that won't stop me from trying to get to a game when I have the chance.  This past weekend Villanova played Georgetown at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC.  And since my husband and I are originally from DC, and my dad happens to have a suite at the Verizon Center, I jumped at the chance to introduce Kate to Jay Wright the kids to college hoops.

And so the brainwashing begins. 


Whenever I encourage our children to cheer for Villanova I can hear the "cha-ching" going on in Johnny's brain as he adds tuition, room and board, and then calculates out what it will be in 18 years.  Johnny and I will playfully put each child in our respective school's shirts and swear they will be part of the class of 2031 and 2033.  Of course all of you math majors out there will side with my husband and remind me that Villanova costs about $50,000 per year right now while USNA is the bargain price of "$0".  But then I will point out the quotations around that "$0" and remind you that nothing in life is free.  Especially when it comes to paying back your time (and then some) for service academy educations.  But I digress...

College is very important to my husband and I.  Not just so that they can get a higher education.  Both of us are big believers in the college experience.  The dorms, the sporting events, going to class in pajamas (or uniforms in John's case), eating together, learning to deal with roommates, and so on and so forth.  Some of our best friends are our college friends - especially John.  His friendships from Navy are unbelievable and I can honestly say without hesitation that they are all amazing people.  We feel like we really grew up with our college friends - it was our first little baby toe into the "real world" - freedom to do what we wanted and make mistakes, all under the watchful eye of the college, our RAs, and from a distance - our parents.  Obviously my college experience and John's college experience were different.  But we both emerged smarter, more mature, ready for the work force, with great friends, and full of happy memories. 

We want that for our children.  Not just the education - the experience.  As a high school counselor I have been challenged to not give preference toward "going away to college" in a professional manner.  It is not the best choice for everyone.  Some children really do want and need a few years at community college or a few years working under their belt.  A lot of families don't believe in "the experience" that I had.  Some, even if they go to a four year school, want to commute and live at home.  And that is totally, 100% fine.  I would never tell a student or a family that their choice to go to community college or trade school or enlisting in the armed services or even going straight to work was a "bad" choice or an inferior choice.  But secretly, in the back of my mind, I want to scream out how much FUN college was, how I really felt like I learned 10 years worth of stuff (both educational and social) in the span of 4 years, and that I would give my left arm for just a week hanging on south campus at Villanova eating frozen yogurt in the SPIT (a dining hall with an unfortunate name).

Kate has been to a few Navy football games already.  Connor will hopefully get to go this fall when John has his 10 year reunion.  And hopefully this basketball game was the first of many.  The brainwashing has officially begun.



Megan Mills said...

We have the same conversations! We'll be at USNA for a 10 year reunion this fall as well--hope you all have fun. The best parts of that "free" education seem to be in going back not the living though ;)

Hi, I'm Jill!

Hi, I'm Jill!
Extrovert. Mom of two. Wife of a cute Naval Aviator. Lover of wine. When I'm not chasing my two kids around town you will find me writing, taking too many photos, and researching the ten future areas the Navy could potentially (but probably won't) PCS us. We are fish out of water, landlocked at 7,000 feet. For now.

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