This past weekend was Fall Family Weekend here at Middlebury College in Vermont. Parents stormed the campus starting Thursday night lasting through Sunday evening. I find it particularly bizarre how much the campus transforms when the high-rolling, tuition-paying parents come to town.
- The dining hall food puts out the high-end items. Don’t get me wrong, Midd food is good but the half roasted chickens and beef loins come out along with the melon slices.
- Free food is everywhere and anywhere an event taking place. There are about fifty receptions for various causes around campus. Everything is geared so parents either 1) reaffirm that their tuition dollars are being well spent or 2) can be elbowed into giving more to the college.
- The town of Middlebury is pushed to the max. Booked restaurants, busy shops, traffic in the streets. The businesses of Middlebury can make a good chuck of change during the weekend as parents take their kids to dinner, buy them more supplies, and generally consume like no college student would dare.
- Professors vanish from the campus. Why? No teacher wants to meet the parents. Parents are always trouble because they want to inquire more into how their son or daughter is doing and what the professor is teaching, etc. The beauty of college is professors teach what they want to teach (most of the time) and they don’t (and shouldn’t) give a rats behind what a parent thinks.
- The weather cooperates. This is amazing to me because whenever my parents are here, the weather is reasonable or downright beautiful. Weeks before: rain every other day. The Thursday before of parent’s weekend was the first cold snap of the year: frost warnings and an ear muffs came out. Parent’s weekend? 75 degrees and sunny.
- Students behave their darn selves. Students introduce each other to each other’s parents. It’s a slightly awkward experience but it’s certainly a reminder that the student that belongs the bubble of Midd is also a product of another place.