My son just moved out and took me with him

Thrilled and devastated at the same time.

I’m thrilled because my son, who I had when I was 21 years old, was accepted into Waterloo University. He’s chosen to live at college so at the beginning of September we packed all his things and moved him into his tiny little dorm on campus.

When I say we, I mean I folded and fretted and packed way too much and agonized over what he wasn’t bringing with him.

His father moved him. I didn’t get to go for another two weeks. This was the agreed upon time that we had all decided was a safe margin for me to visit. And I admit fully that the both of them were right. I was definitely at risk of doing one of three things:

  1. Yelling at someone about their incompetence and therefor humiliating my 18 year old son in front of his new potential friends.
  2. Getting frustrated about something and making a big scene, and perhaps throwing something out a window and therefor humiliating my 18 year old son in front of his new potential friends
  3. Cry hysterically and beg him to come home, therefor humiliating my 18 year old son in front of his new potential friends.

Yes, one or all of these was an absolute certainty. I admit my fuse is short, and lit 12 months of the year. And truthfully I wasn’t sure how I was going to react when the time finally came. I’d never sent a child to college before. I’d never had one move out. I’d never been away from him for more than 5 days in his entire life, and even then he was with family.  We were young when we had him and I grew up while I was raising him, so we kind of became adults together in a lot of respects.

So I let his dad move him. I packed, I shopped, and ok, I cried a little, but he still wouldn’t cave and let me hold hands like we used to in the car when he was a toddler.

I’m thrilled, I’m proud. I am so happy that I’ve raised a smart, confident, driven man who is ready to be out on his own and take his place in the world. That’s my job. That’s always been my job. And he’s been a success on every level.

But I also feel like half of my personality went with him. There’s a strange empty space there that I can’t quite describe. It’s not good, it’s not bad, but it’s ultra-weird to be sure. It feels like I’m only half the person I was two months ago. Everyone tells me it will pass, but I’m not so sure.

Until then, I DO get to visit now, and I got to bring him all that stuff he insisted he didn’t need and then texted me for later. He keeps me updated on his classes and he’s making friends and loving his life. So although I’m a bit adrift, I am happy for him and hopeful that if I’m needed he will call.

But he still won’t hold hands.

Blog Post 3: Social Media in the IT and Higher Ed Realm

This post is three-fold, and I will discuss all three in a broad way; there is a difference between social media in:

  • the IT field alone,
  • in higher eds alone,
  • IT within higher eds (IT department in a College, for instance)

The IT Field

This one goes two ways – companies are either tweeting the overly technical information (new device specifications – stuff you’d find in a manual, which in my opinion, is the not-so-great use) to the gearheads out there who keep track of all the updated devices and features and operating systems, or they’re posting about wicked new innovations, journeys, or campaigns (I.e. technology developed to move objects with your brain, augmented reality, etc – in my opinion, the better use). Two of the places I follow for the latter (because I’m no techie, and I have no interest in a device’s IMEI or its firmware – no disrespect to anyone who does! It’s just over my head, is all) are FastCompany and Mashable. There are new innovations posted on these two sites daily, our world is moving forward at a rate I’m not sure we even know how to keep up with. I can’t wait to see what ten years from now will look like.

Higher Eds

Based on my observation, higher eds (main identities for universities or colleges) use social media to promote their programs, services available, campus events (or College-related events), as well as previous or current students who are doing great things, and to me, this is what social media is all about – spreading the word about things and people who are making a difference, or at least on their way there) Social media has actually changed a lot of these institutions’ approach to the admissions process. For instance, on MIT University’s admissions page, the first thing you see are these blog posts that are written by students, and they’ve chronicled their journey to and from MIT. What better way to sell yourself? They’ve put all of the admissions babble (I.e. admissions fees, policies, any other relevant babble) subsequent to the most important pieces – testimonials. It’s brilliant.

IT within Higher Eds

If you look at an institution like MIT University in the States, their use of social media in this realm would be much different than ours here at Algonquin, in that MIT is a forward-thinking, innovation-driven, prodigy in advancing information technology and being a force behind many breakthroughs in this area. MIT will often tweet or post pictures, videos, or tidbits of what’s going on in their classrooms with the most advanced technology and most up and coming developers and designers. Not to Algonquin’s discredit, but we just aren’t there. Algonquin, and more specifically the IT department, uses social media to communicate changes to/outages/maintenance to critical College systems (I.e. Blackboard, e-mail, etc). We’ll also use it to retweet content about really interesting things that are commonly known and current within the IT world (I.e. the Google Glass Project), or we’ll use it to help people connect to our wireless infrastructure or configure e-mail on their mobile device. Depending on the issue, we will also use Twitter to respond to complaints or questions regarding our services, and if it’s too complex or requires a work order, then we’ll send them off to the right place.