Monday, May 18, 2009

Proud to be a Slug

We'll, it's official. We got back yesterday from Portland (after back-to-back 12 hour drives - departing Saturday; returning Sunday), after picking up our daughter from her first year at college. For the return trip, Jenny and I wore our new UCSC Banana Slug t-shirts, for Vienna has decided to transfer to Santa Cruz. Theoretically it's a "leave of absence," but the transition seems pretty permanent.

It's no secret to anyone who knows me how much I yearned for Vienna would stay at Reed. It's such a cool and quirky place, and I so enjoyed repeated opportunities to tell my "naked kickball team" story. I suppose I saw myself in a small way tackling this school's intellectual challenge right alongside my daughter (vicariously, I must admit).

But that's a silly reason to prefer one school over another, particularly when the person doing the work is convinced that UCSC is more aligned with her priorities and mindset. So the Wood Family is now a proud member of the Banana Slug family.

Vienna still plans to pursue psychology as her primary area of study, though the fun of college is its kaleidoscope of chance discoveries and serendipitous conversations that can transform any life-plan into an also-ran. While I'd be delighted for my daughter to stay on her current trajectory, I know that she can thrive in any choice she makes.

Oh, we did get one thing from Reed, other than Vienna's opportunity to complete that college's renowned first-year humanities program; we got a rat. More specifically, Vienna brought back a lab rat that has become her pet. The creature's name is Pericles (See? That humanities program was good for something), and already our two cats have began to stare hungrily at the rat's enclosure. I hope Pericles survives the summer.

New adventures wait. And while slugs sometimes move in strange ways, they eventually get where they're going.

3 comments:

detroit dog said...

Well, after reading your post title in my RSS feed, I thought "Ha. Somebody I can identify with today." But such is not the case. :-)

I'm sorry that Vienna cannot fulfill your immediate dreams, but it's great that you're allowing her to fulfill her dreams. And because you know she'll thrive anywhere she goes, I think she'll make you all the happier as time goes by.

Lucky family!

Andrew Wood said...

Thanks, DD. Your note inspired a smile.

Brett Lucas said...

Wow. That is quite the marathon road-trip up I-5 and back. Unfortunately with back to back 12-hour stints at the wheel, little time is available for wandering the back roads (i.e. old Highway 99 through Dunsmuir). I’m sorry to hear that Reed College did not work out for Vienna as she had hoped; nonetheless, it was a good experience to be away at school and experience dorm life and some independence. Regarding the rat enclosure and the cats, I see a Tom & Jerry cartoon in the making…..