When I left North Adams for Quinnpiac College many, many moons ago, we packed the car, my parents dropped me off and I was on my own until they picked me up for the long Columbus Day weekend.
Everything I brought to college fit in the trunk of the car. I had my clothes, bedding and towels, an iron and small ironing board (thank God, that ironing stage of my life didn't last long), toiletries, a lamp, an alarm clock/radio and my typewriter. Whatever else I needed, I picked up at the college bookstore.
I existed quite well with what I had brought to college. We made grilled cheese sandwiches on aluminum folied-covered irons and heated soup in electric hot pots because hot plates weren't allowed. There were vending machines with candy, chips and soda on every floor. If we wanted anything else, the college snack bar was open until 9 p.m. If we wanted to keep something cold, we would store it on the ledge outside our windows.
When we wanted to get in contact with our parents, we used the pay phone down the hall and called collect (and only once a week, because the parents said it was too costly to call more often).
A daily highlight was checking our mailboxes to see if there was any letters or cards from family and friends. If we wanted to watch TV, there was one in the common lounge. At night, my roommates and I turned not to an Xbox, but to the gymnasium for pick-up volleyball games. Home work was hand-written or typed
So, when did going to college get so complicated? The night before our son, David, left for college three years ago, we piled his belongings on the deck prior to packing his and our pick-up trucks (two!). I could barely see over the pile -- and I'm 5'9".
There was a small refrigerator, microwave, stereo system, computer, TV, Xbox and accessories, iPod, cell phone and charger, his clothes, bedding, towels, food, toiletries ...
In contrast to my college experience, David could live in his dorm room for weeks without having to emerge. When we saw his room a month later, he and his roommate had bunked their beds and added a futon so their friends could play Xbox comfortably. My first apartment wasn't furnished as well!
In the spring semester of his sophomore year, Dave informed us he would be living off-campus with four other football players his junior year. When I pushed for living in the dorm again, he insisted it would be cheaper in the longer run to live off-campus, (The jury is still out on that one). I also might add that by the time he told us about the plan, he had already signed the lease.
Last September, it again took two pick-up trucks to get him to school. In addition to all the usual must-haves, there were boxes of food, cases of water and furniture. As he was getting ready to leave, I handed him a notebook filled with his favorite recipes. (He had also opted not to get a meal plan for the college cafeteria.)
When going up for home football games, it's become routine for me to bring a casserole and leave it in his re frig erator for a future meal. One of his favorites is courtesy of a Southern belle named Paula. As with most of her re cipes, it is definitely not low-fat or low-cholesterol!
Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf
1 pound ground chuck
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 (8-ounce) package sharp Cheddar, grated
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup bread crumbs, toasted
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 (3-ounce) can French fried onions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck and next 8 ingredients, mixing well.
In a small bowl, combine the ketchup and mustard. Stir 1/4 cup ketchup mixture into meat mixture, reserving remaining ketchup mixture.
Press meat mixture into a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan, or shape into a loaf and place on a rack in a broiler pan. Spread remaining ketchup mixture over loaf. Bake 40 minutes. Top with French fried onions; bake another 10 to 15 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink.