My Two Days at College – Day 1


Me...a klutz?      If you’ve been reading my blog with any regularity, you know I’ve had my share of adventures with handsome son #3 because of his knee injury in November.  Thanksgiving – 10 Reasons to Give Thanks   and  Tracks in the Snow    Yes, this is the same son to whom I recently repented for selling his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in a garage sale.  A Little Ninja Repentance    


He finally had surgery two weeks ago, receiving a donor ACL.  Week of Extremes   For me, each day immediately after that ran into the other in a blur of post-op care.  I was both proud of him, and skeptical, when he decided he absolutely had to get back to college classes.  He is no wuss, but balancing a backpack bulging with books (how’s that for alliteration?), and trying to traverse, on crutches, a humongous campus parking lot packed with ice and snow, and filling ice bags between classes to treat his swollen leg during lectures, and…there was just no way.  So I offered to go along.


Day 1 – While he was in class, I sat in a commons area,  occupying myself  people watching and working on a project I’d brought.  The significant number of older adults walking the halls, also obviously students, excited me.  With my nest nearly empty, I daydreamed, I could do that!


Two hours later, the rhythmic click of crutches announced my son approaching.  He sat down, took off his brace, and propped his leg on the bench where I sat.  Time to fill ice bags.  But where?  Certain I could get ice from the soda machines, my son pointed me toward the cafeteria, which was extra crowded, since it was Inauguration Day and people were gathered in front of TV screens. 


Since I’d never been there before, I had no idea how to navigate the cafeteria set-up and system, but I finally found my way in line for the soda machine.  I had two hospital-issued ice bags with fairly small openings to fill.  I positioned the first bag under the dispenser and pressed the lever.  Chunks of ice clunked down onto the bag opening; some went in and some tinked on the metal grate below.  This was supposed to be easy.  I felt stressed.  I repositioned the bag to catch all the cubes, and pressed the lever again.  At the same time, without my noticing, the wide cuff of my winter  jacket depressed the lever to my left.  It dispensed chilled Coke into my perfectly-positioned sleeve, running over my watchband, down my arm, soaking my sweater to the elbow. 


What do you do with a sleeve of soda?  My immediate reflex was to lift my elbow and put my hand down.   Coke poured out my sleeve and joined the ice scattered on the counter.  Looking for a dry spot to set the ice bags, I scanned the area for napkins and grabbed a handful.    A collecting line of people behind me waited to get their paper cups, ice and choice of soda.  Oh, Lord, is this really happening?  I sopped up the mess, snatched the ice bags and got out of line. 


From a distance, I watched for a lull.  By the time it came, I’d figured a better system: fill paper cups with ice and step aside.  Put said cubes into ice bags at a table.  Simple.  But I had to go to college to learn that.

9 Responses

  1. Sounds like my escapade in a self serve restaurant here in Latvia. I went to get some orange juice and got a glass and depressed the leaver and filled my glass, easy! When I put my glass on my tray the flow of orange juice wouldn’t stop, I tried wiggling the leaver about and still there was a steady flow of orange juice. Ian went to fetch someone which is not easy when he speaks no Latvian, by which time we had a pool of orange juice. Just as assistance arrived it stopped, typical/ Sitting at the table later I thought why hadn’t I got the glasses down to fill while the juice was flowing, instead of letting it gather in a pool on the fortunately recessed counter? Oh well! Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

  2. Those cafeteria lines always made me nervous!! 🙂 Of course, it didn’t help that if you were ever unfortunate enough to drop your tray, someone would start applauding…trying to be funny I guess.

    But, I’m glad you got it all figured out. 🙂

  3. Why do I think this isn’t the end of your adventures @ the campus….felt a little like a freshman hazing activity. Good job, you passed your first test 🙂

  4. LOL. I feel for ya!

  5. lol had to laugh

    You are a good mommy!!! I am so tickled by your dedication and love for son#3…and I bet he is too!!

    God bless-

  6. Ok, for the twenty-fifth time, I am going to say, “really, they someday go to college?” 🙂

    Good for you for helping. There are some parts of college life that I don’t really remember with fondness. The Caf is one of those.

  7. i remember those college cafeteria. chaotic, messy and CHARGE!! lol.

  8. Funny! Nice one-liner at the end, too! I like reading your blog, Grace.

  9. Never have done the cafeteria well! 😉 I hope your son is recovering well! What a great mom you are!

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