Ok, you know me, I really really don’t want to be a helicopter parent. I’m happy for my children to go off and do their own thing, as long as
I know exactly what that is they’re safe and happy. But against my will, this morning I felt the rush of rotor blades and, before I knew it, I was airborne and swooping down on Child One’s life with a vengeance.
When last seen, she was happily ensconced in a little room in her hall of residence, ready for the adventure to begin. Ten days later and, I suspect, with a lot of alcohol and uproarious good times under the bridge, lectures have started, the game is on and she is actually trying to get to work. But her internet connection isn’t working.
When I was at uni, the internet hadn’t even been invented. We were all busily scribbling stuff down on paper, not really that much different from the monks transcribing the bible centuries before (though that’s probably the only parallel with behaviour befitting a monastery). And, if the quill pens and parchment (or their 1980s equivalents) had run out, my parents wouldn’t have dreamed of getting involved in my struggles to restock and I wouldn’t have told them anyway. Tottering to the nearest branch of John Menzies (or Mingies, as I soon discovered it was pronounced in Scotland) was certainly within my capabilities.
But poor Child One! I know that she’s been trying to sort her internet problem out since the beginning of last week. To absolutely no avail. And now she’s having to be out most of the day, at lectures and tutorials, returning at night to her room to work – only to find she can’t. Having talked to the college IT department, I can see what she’s up against. The chap I spoke to was about as open and forthcoming as a politician being interviewed on the Today programme. First he wanted to argue about when the problem had been reported, then he wanted to keep me guessing about when a solution might be found. No mention of what the problem actually was or how it was going to be fixed.
If it was my own internet connection, I think I’d give up and adopt a zen approach, stay calm, wait it out. But the thing is, Child One worked so, so hard to get the grades to get to this university. It was hours of work, every single night, for several years She read round the subject, she only watched films if they were in one of the languages she was studying, she read newspapers and books and listened to the radio only in her A level languages. It was a lot of hard slog. But she genuinely enjoys studying. Now she’s being stopped from continuing, by the very place she worked so hard to get to. Irony? Tell me about it.
Plus there’s the small fact that she is paying upwards of £6,000 for the tiny shoebox room she’s in, with the non-functioning internet connection. Grrr! I can feel my blades spinning ….