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A New School Year

There she goes! Erin and her heavy suitcases, Boston bound.

First we drove Erin to Spokane. She flew out of the airport there with two giant suitcases (weighing 49.5 and 50.0 lbs respectively), her heavy messenger bag (carrying all the stuff that she unpacked from her suitcases to get them down to the 50-lb limit) and her violin. She flew into Boston to spend a few days at a guesthouse before moving into an apartment with a couple of roommates. The paperwork and financial calisthenics that were required to pay her tuition, get her visa, secure the apartment, procure a transit pass at student rates and wire money around to various people threatened to overwhelm both of us several times. However, I think it has all worked out. She was able to cross the border without incident, and when she arrived in Boston things were in order. Phew!

Now it only remains for her to acquire all her furniture and household goods, move into her apartment, get an American cell phone plan, a bank account, do her orchestra seating audition, get the food cupboard stocked and so on… She’ll handle it. She’s done this sort of thing before.

Some Ikea stuff and some computer stuff, with the SFU tower in the background.
Some Ikea stuff and some computer stuff, with the SFU tower in the background. Noah’s pad.

For Noah things are a bit simpler. He decided to move out of his (mostly) furnished bedsit in favour of sharing an apartment with two guys in his program. So I merely had to show up with Chuck’s truck, empty his belongings out of the old place, take him to Ikea for a bed and desk and move everything into the new place. The new place is in a brand-new apartment tower within spitting distance of his university (Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus). It’s a good bit cheaper than the old place, so it made sense to spend some money on furnishings.

He really likes his roommates, whom he’s known for a couple of years already. They have a lot of interests in common, of course, which helps. But it seems like they’re well-matched for lifestyle and social style as well. I think he’s going to be very happy there.

Sophie is starting her engineering program at University of British Columbia this fall. She also successfully auditioned for a choir led by a director she knows through her Nelson choir’s involvement in various choral festivals, exchanges and tours. Rehearsals are Tuesday evenings, off campus. Adding this to a full roster of first-year engineering courses is a tall order. But she’s a master of organizational self-management.

Looking out the dorm room window

She’s living in residence, which will of course be a change, but in the opposite direction from the change most post-secondary students experience. While most of her peers will be dealing with living away from home and having adult-like freedom and responsibility for the first time, for Sophie residence living at university may feel more sheltered and controlled than what she’s experienced the past two years in Nelson. She won’t have to grocery-shop, do meal-planning or cook for herself. Her classes are very close to her residence, and she’ll have public transit to simplify transportation off-campus. She’ll have some (minimal) residence rules to contend with. In a lot of ways her life will be easier. She’ll have fewer responsibilities and will be able to focus more narrowly on school.

The BGC. Bought used last year. Come to Nelson, my pretty!
The BGC. Bought used last year. Come to Nelson, my pretty!

Complicating the Vancouver trip was the fact that Noah’s new place had no space for The Big Green Chair. That meant that I carried it around Vancouver in the back of the truck under a tarp for a few days. I got pretty skilled at securing the tarp, what with the usual Vancouver weather (read: rainstorms). The payoff will come when I can move it into the office area once the Nelson renovation is completed.

Speaking of Nelson, the next phase of the back-to-school transition is getting Fiona moved down there and off to her orientation and first week of high school. She’s taken the opportunity for a trial run this week. She got Sophie to drive her to Nelson the day before we left for the big Vancouver expedition, and leave her there. That enabled her to get to her last summer aerial silks class, which she would otherwise have missed, and to spend a bit of time at the house by herself. (Yes, she’s only 13, but shhh… We could argue that supervision was provided, albeit in a virtual fashion.) She successfully navigated the vagaries of the inter-community bus system to return to New Denver on her own. It was sort of a solo urban version of the big end-of-summer alpine adventures we’ve enjoyed doing the past few summers.

Now that have returned from dispatching the older three and it only remains to get Fiona launched into school this week. She’s probably about to experience the biggest transition of all the kids. More anon.



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