I am on campus continuing to prepare for the new semester to begin in less than a week. I was just over in Alliot and ran into our Residence Assistants (RA's) who are just returning from an overnight training workshop off campus. Then I headed upstairs to Eddie's where the 72 Orientation Leaders are finalizing their plans for Orientation with Grace Kelly, our wonderful Director of Student Activities. These Orientation Leaders have been preparing for our new students since their selection in February - with a great group on the O-Board, they have worked hard to make this transition as smooth a process as possible. I will be working with them this afternoon on just one part of what they will present on Sunday morning as we wrap up this Orientation. We go out on Lake Champlain this evening for the Sunset Cruise which they always enjoy - the weather is predicted to be excellent and so the sunset should be clear and colorful. I was in MA over the weekend and noticed that some of the trees at the higher elevations on 89 are beginning to turn and the tree just outside my office window, which is always the first to turn has already started........ I was reading the New York Times article this morning entitled "Students, Welcome to College; Parents , Go Home" - by Trip Gabriel. As I read it I had to laugh as I remember Fr. Mike holding up a sign at the end of the Opening Mass which was a replica of the I-89 South sign and his telling students and parents that this would be a great time, right after mass ends, for parents to say goodbye and then head home. Good advice as the article points out. The article is in the New York Times for 8/22/10 and you can find it under the author's name = Trip Gabriel or you may be able to just click on the URL I have posted at the bottom. Parents sometimes fail to realize that their son/daughter cannot begin to establish their own identity here until/unless they actually separate from their parents and that "moving in day" is important and a great time for parents to simply say "I love you and I know you will do well" and then to literally, hit the road.
You have done a great job so far in getting a son or daughter to college and now is the time to trust that you HAVE done a good job and let us do what we do best - provide a supportive learning environment where they will be challenged, where they will learn more about themselves than they ever suspected and where they will grow and learn in a college which values each and every one of our students as unique individuals. You made a good decision in having them attend Saint Michael's College - this is my 28th starting class and I continue to be amazed at the lifelong impact that this place has on people.
take care, be well and please keep our military and their families in your thoughts and prayers.