This week, I had to be a grown-up. RT Teen wants to change his college course which, due to lack of choice locally, means also changing his college. So, on Thursday evening we traipsed through to Carlisle College for an open night to meet new tutors.
I'd worried all week about him changing colleges and by Thursday night was really existing in some other, lighter place. Courageous enough on the outset, but by the time I'd driven through to Carlisle, I seemed to have used up all my sense.
I concentrated hard on the driving, as I was at that stage of stress where you feel disconnected. We got through the city, parked up and then had to find the college. I was prepared (for once) and we trotted off in the right direction.
Like country bumpkins, we got stuck on the wrong side of a barrier and couldn't figure out where we were meant to cross the road. Eventually, we saw a familiar looking building (thank you, Google Street View!) and hurried over. Once someone had pointed out the large button with Press Here written on it, we managed to open the doors...
It was a big, open space with lots of glass and very hot. The open night was going to be in the foyer, which also turned out to be their canteen area and main thoroughfare. Tables and chairs everywhere, with very few labels and none of them for Art or Computing.
Oh dear. We sat down on the edges, looking like we'd been dumped and waited for enlightenment to strike. It didn't, so we started wandering around the tables, vaguely angling towards any tutors who looked Arty or Computery.
Finally, a sympathetic admin woman caught sight of my face and came over to help. She identified the non-Arty looking Art tutor and we were off!
It went very well, though RT can't join the Art course this year due to how much he has missed. The Art tutor loved his work and made all kinds of helpful suggestions. Then, at the end, I found myself rounding off with a meme.
Yes, I've spent so long online that I now speak in memes. This is kind of embarrassing even with people who know me, but seemed to delight the Art tutor, who thought it was very funny. It was; I slotted it in the right place and presented it with panache, but, looking back, I'd rather have just thanked him and wandered off, like any other mother.
Onwards and upwards and, by bothering the disinterested receptionist, we found the Computer tutor. He turned out to be IT Teen's old tutor, who jumped ship from our local college and went to a better working life in Carlisle. He followed the department head, also IT's old tutor, who did the same thing. He was quite surprised to finally meet IT's mother and brother.
We got on very well, talked about IT, made fun of his iphone while he wasn't there to defend himself and talked about retro computer games too. He was more than willing to have RT on his course, using IT's consistent enthusiasm for computing as a reference.
This was weird, as when both boys were small and going through school, each new teacher would look at mini-RT Teen and say something like, 'Oh, I expect you'll be a good, hard-working boy like your brother!'
RT was good and he could be hard-working, but mostly at home and not at school. It was always a shock to his teachers that he wasn't a carbon copy of his brother and was so good at making their lives interesting.
Funny that the same phrases still come out all these years later. Ah well, at least these days RT will be less likely to climb things he shouldn't or introduce himself to new people in creative ways.
I did resist the urge to meme with the Computer tutor but, unfortunately, heard myself describing to him how the Art department at our local college always made me feel like going in with a flaming torch to clear the air and liven things up a bit. There were other descriptive phrases, but he seemed to take it all well.
Also, and I haven't been able to get to the bottom of this, there was a certain lack of surprise when I was being 'eccentric'. I just dread to think what IT has said over the years.
So, there we are. We found the right way out of the building and the short way back to the car and both flopped into our seats like we'd swum the Channel. RT is to turn up on Monday for a trial day, then he can make up his mind about the course.
Readers, I have to tell you that the fog had lifted by the drive home and I was able to travel safely again, as well as replay all the things I said to both tutors, in alarming technicolour. A good sign is that, unlike at the local college, neither of them flinched or widened their eyes while I was speaking. Perhaps, this time, we have found the right place!
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