Archive for Thursday, August 19, 2004

Back to school with new twist

August 19, 2004

In the past three years, I've become accustomed to August trips to deliver boys to college. Or, at least I thought I had.

Each of those Augusts has meant at least one trip to Iowa. Last year, it was two trips. The first one three years ago was extremely painful, marking the start Brett's initial foray into college life and being away from home.

Last year's second trip, taking Anthony up for his freshman year, wasn't much easier. I was a little better prepared, but it was still the whole leaving the nest thing.

Those trips have always come while I was in the throes of putting together or delivering the annual Baker Edition, which is in this week's Signal. It's always a busy time as Baker marks its annual start to the new school year.

I've always loved the hustle and bustle that the return of the Baker students brings to Baldwin City. It's always an exciting time and doubling that thrill is the start of school in the Baldwin district.

But, for the last two years, that's included more than a pang or two when I would see Baldwin High School graduates who had moved onto Baker walking to and from campus. I was jealous and it made me miss my boys even more.

That won't happen this year and I couldn't be more pleased. Anthony's move this year will be few blocks, not 300 miles. He transferred to Baker for his sophomore year.

He made the decision this spring and the news was greeted with much happiness. But, no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't get used to the idea of having a Baker student of my own. I still can't.

I've watched over the years as other BHS grads have gone to classes at Baker, played on the football field and just plain been around town. I've always waved at them, talked to them and enjoyed watching their contributions to the wonderful community that Baker is.

Now it's my turn. Anth's roommate is Hans Broers, another BHS grad and fellow transfer. Hans will try his hand at kicking for the Baker football team this year, as he did as a Bulldog. I couldn't think of a better roommate pair.

They'll be joining other such BHS grads as Mark Gastelum, Tyler Inzer, Kyrstan Hubbel and a host of incoming freshmen. I've always enjoyed watching Bulldogs take advantage of the fabulous opportunity Baker has to offer and watching them become Wildcats.

The educational offerings at BU are second to none. We've always told the boys that and encouraged them to go there -- if they wanted to. It doesn't mean staying home. Half of the college experience is getting out on your own. That's always been the message.

While in the past, that's meant Iowa, it won't be anymore. I finally have a Wildcat and I couldn't be any more pleased. It's going to take some getting used to and I can only imagine what a charge it's going to be the first time I see Anth walking to class.

I'll be sure and wave and the smile just might break my face.

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