Family Weekend at WPI

After six long weeks I finally got to hug my boy again!! And hug him I did!! LOL. He was warned and graciously accepted my (not-so)surprise hugs all weekend! 🤗

Alan and I drove down Friday night and met Lex on campus for dinner. We ate at one of the cafe on campus, then we went to a show. The VOX (theater group) put on a show called Something Rotten that was hysterical. We laughed all the way through!

After the show we brought Lex back to his dorm, then Alan and I drove to the sketchiest hotel EVER!! It was an Econolodge that seemed to also double as a homeless shelter and methadone clinic — best case scenario. It was AWFUL! The non-smoking room smelled like smoke, the beds felt like box springs, and I was pretty sure my Tesla would not survive the night in that parking lot. There was a big tent with some sketchy looking people in it, all lit up at 11pm. We didn’t even unpack the car! That was the night I discovered that I do, in fact, have standards in lodging. (Had I read the hotel reviews a little better I would have made a better choice. 🙄) We got back in the car and left! We drove down the road a bit and found a Hampton Inn. Turns out they are owned by Hilton and I have a Hilton membership, and we got a deal for night-of booking and it all worked out to be almost the same price as the skeezy drug hotel! Of course I can’t get my money back for the sketchy place, but at least I felt safe in the Hampton Inn. It was a pretty crazy experience, but we definitely made the right choice to switch hotels!

The next morning we met Lex on campus for brunch at his dining hall. Because it was Family Weekend they had dining tickets available for families. We got lucky though and there was a college kid standing by the line offering to use up his extra meal swipes on parents! He treated us to brunch so we didn’t have to pay! It was a pretty cool thing to do. Their meal swipes reset Saturday night and he had extras that would have just gotten wasted, so he treated 10 parents to a free meal. Pretty cool dude!

They had a whole bunch of random activities planned for Family Weekend, so we walked around and checked out some stuff. Nothing terribly exciting, but I loved just being there. We went to the bookstore and I bought him two shirts to hang in his closet and look at for a few months before maybe trying them on. I also got magnets for my car and the teen car, and some new hot cups since the lids for the ones I have broke last week!

Lex had some homework to do, so we left him for a few hours in the afternoon. Alan and I went to Lowes and Best Buy to get him a shelf and a webcam. Then we met back at his dorm to drop off the stuff and take him out to dinner. Dinner, of course, was at the Olive Garden! LOL. We video called with Eve while we were there. It was fun, but maybe not nice for her. I’m not sure. She said she was happy to talk with us and that she missed the Olive Garden.

After dinner we went back to campus to see a free movie, Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse. Friday night they had the movie on the quad on a giant inflatable screen, but on Saturday they moved it into an auditorium due to rain. It was a great movie! I would have prefered to see it on the quad (they have lots of cool Adirondack chairs on the quad!), but it was good in the lecture hall too. Apparently they do regular weekend movies on the quad or the lecture hall. They had free popcorn and candy available. It was fun.

Sunday morning Lex had marching band practice, so I slept in a bit then Alan and I got a great breakfast at little diner near campus After marching band, Lex had to prep for his Concert Band performance. They had three hours of band at Alden Hall. First an hour of Jazz Band, which Lex is in, but apparently there are three Jazz Band levels and level 1 (the freshman) didn’t perform this time, but will at future concerts. Then an hour of Concert Band, then an hour of Symphony. Lex is in Jazz Band and Concert Band. He said there are a lot of percussionists in Concert Band, so they didn’t all play in every song. Of the six songs they performed, he played in three. I might be a bit biased, but I think he was excellent in all three! :)

We chatted with him a little before Concert Band started and he said he wasn’t feeling too hot. It had been raining all morning and they did their marching practice in the rain. He thought that didn’t help with his overall well-being. He was feeling pretty ready to crash. After the concert, of course! He also has test on Monday that he was trying to prep for, in addition to homework due Monday. It was a busy weekend for him.

After the concert we checked in with him again. He said he was still feeling down (cough, sore throat, etc.) so Alan and I went to CVS and got him so meds. The campus health center is apparently closed on Sundays. Good to know for the future. I was texting with him a bit this evening and he said the meds were helping and he was looking forward to a Nyquil-assisted good night’s sleep.

I’m so, so happy we got to spend this weekend with him. I miss him (and he misses us!) and it filled my mommy hear to see him thriving in his new world. Now we begin the countdown to his week at home in October between terms! Then I’ll get to hug him all week!! <3

The one and only time I take just ONE photo, I get this “eyes closed” photo, but I’m going to share it anyway because we all look so happy. He wasn’t feeling great. We just brought him some meds and were saying goodbye before heading home. I think his eyes closed smile is fitting. 💗

Marching Band @ WPI!

My posts are now going to come in threes, apparently. You’re welcome.

Tonight I got to watch WPI beat WSU in football. They livestreamed the whole event. Do you care? No, me neither. HOWEVER, they have the “greatest band in the land” and THAT is why I tuned in! Lex had his first marching band performance tonight. His first week at WPI was for marching band camp. He auditioned for the drum line and was given cymbals. He was hoping for the snare drum, but he is just a freshman after all, so cymbals was a good place to start. Half way through the week he told me he was so glad he was on cymbals because the marching part was so complicated, he really appreciated having an easy instrument to play. Maybe the band director knew what they were doing. :)

So tonight was their first game. They livestreamed it and I loved it. WPI is a NCAA Division III school, so their football setup (and streaming setup) is only slightly better than high school, but they have a marching band and it was awesome. Apparently the football team is good too. Or at least better than WSU. :)

I’m incredibly happy that he decided to join the marching band in college. He has made friends, learned new skills (marching!), and even put on a silly uniform that matches everyone else. He’s come such a long way. And the best part is, he’s loving it!! I’m so proud of him!


Holy moly we toured MIT yesterday! It was a lot of fun! We took the bus to Boston, met some friends, had some expensive pizza, and learned lots about MIT! It was a pretty cool day. MIT seems like a pretty cool place. They were working hard to present the college as a fun, relaxed place, not a high-stress toxic environment. Hopefully that’s true. River is interested in applying, which is why we were there. Simon was a little interested, which is why his family joined us, but not entirely sold. Eve said thanks but no thanks. LOL.

MIT is right in the fancy, smart part of town, surrounded by Google and several big research firms. Lots of brainpower in a few city blocks! I can imagine it being a pretty cool place to spend a few years. We’ll see what the future holds.

Another day at WPI

Lex, Alan, and I went to WPI yesterday for their “First Year Welcome Experience” day. We had a fun time. We started together at the opening greeting, then the students went off to follow their schedule and the adults had an entirely different schedule. We didn’t see Lex again until the end of the day. There were lots of sessions about academics, financials, housing, and more. We had lunch in one of the dining halls. Lex got to visit some dorms. We met new people and got lots of questions answered. It was really nice.

I felt really assured that he made a good choice and would have a good experience at WPI. He signed up for the marching band (they perform at football games, among other things) and will get to move in a week early. He knows who is roommate will be, and will learn which dorm they will be in next month. The campus is a nice size, the dorms are good, the academics seem just right, and the overall energy of the place was really positive. He’s excited for this next step and I’m excited for him. 💗

WPI Accepted Student Day

A sugar cookie that came with the swag bag.

WPI hosted several “Accepted Student Day” events. Lex was unsure at first if he cared to go, but last week decided it would be a good idea. I already had plans and also can’t walk for more than a few minutes, so I asked Alan to take him. They were both up super early in time to get to WPI by 8:30am, but both said it was well worth it! They learned about the robotics team (WPI has a FIRST FRC team that Lex could help coach!) and the music opportunities (Pep band and rock bands!) and some courses that interested Lex. He learned that May 1st is the deadline for enrollment (first round, I’m sure) and that lots of information will start flowing after that. I can’t wait! I love information. :)

I asked Alan to buy him a t-shirt for “Future Plans Day” at school. I got a text at 8:30 this morning from Alan saying “They gave him a t-shirt at registration, so one job done!” :)

Lex came home exhausted, but happy, and confident in his decision to attend WPI. That makes me happy. <3

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)

Hey! I forgot to post the great news here! We had a snow day on Tuesday and Lex decided that would be the date to commit to his college of choice.

WPI has an excellent computer science program, which is his intended major, but they also have a great music program AND a close relationship with FIRST Robotics. Apparently Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST, attended WPI but dropped out in 1976 to work on his insulin pump invention.

My favorite drummer boy with his percussion buddies, accompanying the high school choir at last night’s concert.

I’m so happy that Lex wants to keep music in his life. He arranged a song (based on a popular video game) that the jazz band will perform at their next concert. He loves making music in Minecraft and recreating songs. He was writing his own song too, but I’m not sure where he stands on that. He really likes the combination of music and video games. WPI gives him plenty of opportunity for both of those, plus it’s near Boston, hosts FIRST competitions, and is a really nice campus with modern technology and amenities.

He got a really good financial aid package from him, but the balance is still staggering compared to what I paid for Syracuse University many years ago! I immediately have a better understanding of the student debt crisis! I think he will be able to manage it though, especially if he sticks with that computer science degree.

This has also been the next step for me in the letting go process. All of the emails go to him, so I’m gently reminding him to check his email and keep an eye out for important things like move in dates! I want to have ALL the information immediately, but now I’m (kind of) patiently waiting for information to come from them to him to me. Eeek!

College acceptance #1

Lex applied to two colleges and this weekend we heard back from the first one — Worchester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). They sent him a “Welcome to the Class of 2027!” email! Things are different these days. They send an email and tell you to check the portal. The portal had the welcome letter. A few days later they sent another email directing him back to the portal for his financial aid package. I was hoping for a fat envelope with lots of information and pretty colors and stickers or something. But I guess it’s just email these days. All that aside – Lex got accepted to WPI!!!

I was really hoping he’d get in to at least one of the two schools so we didn’t have to start the whole process over again. Now we wait until February to hear back from Champlain College. 🤞🏻


We visited Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) this afternoon. Our third in-person college tour. It’s interesting to see how each school greets prospective students, what information they focus on at the visits, what parts of the campus they show, etc.

RPI is apparently a pretty prestigious engineering school, but we all kind of agreed that they didn’t put their best foot forward. The tour started with a luke-warm welcome at the admissions building, an old building with even older white guys pictures hanging on the walls. It was clear their heritage was important, however the dirty/broken bathrooms and abundance of sticky sanitizer everywhere did nothing to enhance the perception of prestige.

The student leading the tour was friendly and knowledgeable about many things, but she glossed over the two areas of interest for my group, comp sci and physics. She was a chemistry major and apparently knew little about the other majors. The campus is sprawling and full of old, old buildings. The school was founding in 1824 and the buildings look the part. Many have their build date carved above the entrances. She took us through dark hallways and into a basement-ish classroom. She showed us a dorm that was very institutional looking, small and dark, and not at all inviting. One of the parents asked if it was an older dorm and the tour guide said “Yes, our newer dorms are bigger and air conditioned.” Umm… why are you showing us this scary prison dorm then?!?

They had one really nice, new building that was impressive. She said it was built with money from an anonymous donor, with the stipulation that it would be used for offices, not classrooms. What?! It was a nice looking building though, and the tour maybe should have started there. They also have a really nice auditorium space with lots of opportunities for music and performances, including stage and tech crews. That caught Lex’s attention.

Back through some other old buildings, then the tour guide left us in the parking lot. It was weird. We weren’t entirely sure what to make of the whole thing, but definitely didn’t walk away feeling amazing about RPI.

After charging up at the mall (the car and the people) we continued on our route to Rosy’s house. It was a long drive and we were all very tired.

Lex is ready to start filling out the Common App to apply to WPI and Champlain. We are also going to tour MIT this fall, so he might add that to the list as well. He was undecided about RPI as of this afternoon.

Champlain College

We went on another college tour today. This time it was a whole day event! They had swag and sessions and presentations and tours and lunch! It is a really nice college in a beautiful city. Lex is definitely interested in their Game Programming major.

Their gaming center was a big hit.
This is where students learn and play
(and probably play and play and play!)
The professor said they put out pong for the parents, but I saw plenty of kids playing too. 😄
Accidental twinning
My new favorite photo! 🤣
Fight club! They make medieval weapons from foam and stuff and then “fight” on the quad. 😄


WordPress isn’t working properly so I can’t update the blog from my computer. Hopefully it works here ony phone.

We went to Worcester Polytechnic Institute this weekend. It was a beautiful day and both boys really liked it. Alan said he wants to go to college there too. 😄

Who is the prospective student here?? 😄
A classroom with whiteboards everywhere. They said the rooms are designed for collaborative learning or something like that.
I like this cool riser setup. There is a HUGE screen facing it. This building houses a 3D printer room, a ton of makerspace type areas and freshman dorms upstairs.
Does he look like a college student here? 😬
This building was designed to look like a church because someone wanted it that way, but it actually houses the music dept. They have multiple band opportunities! Also, that’s our tour guide, Sam.
This is the admin building. Our tour guide said students never see the inside of this building unless they are misbehaving. 😄
Toga and I enjoyed our day.
I love these masked not-babies.
This corner of the athletic center had a really great view of the athletic fields and tennis courts. The tennis courts are built on top of the parking garage, which was a student project years ago.
Just a cool building.
The library.
This doggie loved the fountain! 😄 Sam told us that the fountain used to be programmed to reach a certain height all the time, but on windy days it would blow and get people wet. So a group of students designed a system of wind monitors stationed all around the area that control the fountain. When it’s windy, the fountain doesn’t go as high and therefore doesn’t get people wet. Smart!
I took a picture of these pants figuring they were a joke I’m not smart enough to get. I showed Lex later and he told me it says WPI. Of course.
Gompie the Goat. Official mascot. Masked for our protection. 😄
Eve tried to hug it but the horns made it difficult.
While Alan and B’Lake talked physics with the admissions people, the rest of us took some down time… apparently we needed space. 😄