Saturday, July 4, 2015

"Hi! Welcome to CTY!"

   This is CTY's twentieth year at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland and over the two decades, I have greeted thousands of students and their families during registration.
   "The Bob Table," as it is sometimes called, has been part of the registration procedure for as long as I can recall. In the early days, it was where parents dropped off forms they had forgotten to fill out or turn in and signed up their children to attend religious services on the weekends.
   It evolved into the "Answers Table." When parents asked where they might be able to purchase something they'd forgotten to bring, what the best route out of C'town was, or where they could get a meal before heading home, CTY staffers would respond, "See that man in the pink shirt? He'll know." (Once an Answer Man, always an Answer Man!)
   These days, I sign up parents for their last-day conferences with the instructors, collect forms, and still answer questions. But my favorite part is seeing my prior-year students back for another CTY summer, many of whom have gone through growth spurts in the intervening period.
   And, occasionally, there is a long-ago student whose younger sibling is now taking a course. It is a delight to see them again, though there have been a couple of times when "I'm so glad to see you're still here!" came across as "Wow! You're still alive!"
   (I guess I deserve that for telling them that I'm the one who told Thomas Jefferson we should buy Louisiana and that I charged up San Juan Hill with Teddy Roosevelt.)

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