Moving into the Dorm | Learning About the City You’re In

college-move-in-notDear Kid,

Today you move in to your dorm. I could wax poetic about the sentimentality of the day, but since I am given to neither waxing nor polishing, forget it.

In all seriosity, the term “waxing poetic” has nothing to do with cars or candles. It means “to grow” (the opposite of “to wane”, which means “to decrease”) as in the waxing and waning of the moon. And if there are candles or car polish on the moon no one is talking about it.

Seriosity. A perfectly good word which is a less serious version of serious and cannot be found in any useful dictionary. Therefore not legal in Boggle or Scrabble. But it probably should be.

As you acclimate to the dorm, the eating establishments (I know your priorities), and the university, you should also become familiar with the city in which you now find yourself. I think this is Most Excellent Advice for all college students. It is often ignored advice, but I think you will enjoy the next four years more if you get involved in school and community activities. Or are at least vaguely familiar with the area.

The Athens Area Chamber of Commerce kindly provided me with some interesting information about the county. You may thank me later for sharing with you.

Athens was established in 1805 (which, you will note, was after the establishment of Ohio University. This does not however mean that the University trumps the City in anything except age. And probably football.)

Since 1805, the population has grown dramatically as have the number of restaurants and churches which (as we saw) are all over the place.

There are 54,688 registered motor vehicles and 147.84 State highway miles in the county. All I’m saying is it can get congested.

Each year there are 61 teen births per thousand residents. Not at all sure how teens are born but it says so right here. Perhaps like Athena herself, they burst out full grown. Regardless of the mythology: STAY AWAY FROM THIS STATISTIC. Extra points if you know what animal Athena is generally associated with.

Now here’s a factoid that’s got me giggling. According to the Chamber’s numbers, for each 1,000 residents: 456 die, 322 get married, and 210 get divorced. Just in case you don’t have a calculator handy, that adds up to 988. Which doesn’t leave a lot of room for people happily staying alive and not changing their marital status. Or else a lot of people stay married less than a year or die from getting married. If I were you, I wouldn’t quote these stats as gospel.

In the fall, there are lots of leaves in Athens. If you’re lucky, many of them will be pretty. In all likelihood, you will not be responsible for raking them.

There are 11 radio stations, 2 television stations, and 1 newspaper (I’m assuming this does not include the media at the University, but I can’t be certain).

There are two hospitals (hopefully, you will never see the inside of either of them) and a whole bunch of medical professionals.

There is also a Walmart.

Did I mention there is a University? A lovely one. Learn and enjoy.

Love, Mom

P.S. Being the Goddess of Wisdom (and War), Athena is generally associated with the owl. But you probably knew that.


  1. I thoroughly enjoy your writing and look forward to posts every day! Beth Martinson recommended I follow you and so glad I did. Good luck with the whole college experience.

    • Stephanie–
      Thanks so much (and thanks Beth for the recommendation!). I’m so glad you’re enjoying the posts. (Tune in tomorrow for an update on the College Drop Off.)


  1. The Story of Medusa and Pissing Off the Gods | Dear Kid, Love Mom - […] upon a time there was a beautiful maiden who was one of Athena’s […]

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