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Jan. 24th, 2013

red bike winter


Moving Out

Well, it's happening. The first little bird is leaving the nest. I've been going back and forth between "how can I miss you if you don't go away" to "my baby is leaving!". It's wearing me out.

My mind, my heart knows that its time. He's almost 20. He's been staying at home to save money while he earns his paramedic degree. He hasn't been very interested in moving out until....wait for it....he has a new girlfriend. And I won't let him have sleepovers. So there ya go.

I still have the 17yr old at home and he's a junior so my next won't be completely empty.

Dec. 29th, 2012



Egregious helicoptering

This community helped me a lot when my kids first started college. Both graduated, but one is now back, going for her MA. I think I've got the basics of not driving them crazy down, and this place was an assist. (I did buy them both solar/windup radio/flashlights that can charge cell phones as part of their holiday presents, but I only said I wouldn't helicopter, not that I wouldn't be a mom. Besides, they were both in the path of Hurricane Sandy, although they had no problems other than a brief loss of electricity.)

I thought of Whirlybirds when I saw this story about parents who took helicoptering to such an extreme the judge grounded them with a restraining order. I present it for your bogglement.

Aug. 25th, 2012

summer icon


And We Have a Result!

Many thanks again to everyone who offered advice or encouragement over the issue of year abroad accommodation for my son. 

As of yesterday evening, it looks like we've got a result. He finally received an email from the university accommodation people confirming that he's got a place and he's got instructions on where to report and when to collect his keys. (He can collect his keys from 1st September, so he heard with a whole week to spare.) With hindsight, it's just as well we didn't book anything else for him.

As far as I can tell, this is normal. He applied (using a paper form which was handed in at his home university and then sent to the French university by a deadline in by mid-June. Not hearing anything was bad enough, but what made it worse is that some others from his course heard about their accommodation a month ago, but as far as we can tell, that's because they bucked the system. In addition to filling in their forms, they also applied online, and it was the online application that got them the early reply. So, in all probablility, they've actually got two places each. I think the logic is that most people need to know in advance whether or not they've got somewhere to stay, but ERASMUS students are 'guaranteed' a place, so there's no need to tell them anything until the last minute. And even then, they don't get any information unless they email several times. It also seems to be fairly normal for students to turn up at the accommodation office having heard nothing at all. All I know is that it makes the whole process much more stressful than it needs to be!

Thanks, everyone, once again.

Aug. 16th, 2012

summer icon


An Update on the French Saga

Many thanks to everyone who came up with advice or 'it'll be fine' comments. They were all appreciated.

The situation is still as it was. What's changed, is that we've now heard from our son's contact at the university. His response has been along the lines of, 'Don't worry, your accommodation is booked.' When our son forwarded the email received from the accommodation company to him (which said there was none free), his response was, 'It's all a misunderstanding. Your accommodation is booked. Don't worry.' 

Tellingly, what he hasn't offered to do is to actually speak to anyone at the accommodation company. Or provided any information on where it might be, or when it might be available. He's convinced that they'll be in touch. We're down to less than three weeks until his welcome meeting. 

We've heard (unofficially) that the accommodation company has had its annual closure but is back today, so we've agreed to wait and see if something magically appears tomorrow. If, as we fully expect, it doesn't then he's going to forward his contact's emails to the accommodation company and see what they say then. And if that fails, then we've still got a hotel booked, and we'll revert to plan B.

On a positive note, our daughter got her A level results today and she's very happy with them, and with the fact that her first choice offer has now been confirmed. Just as well, really, as I suspect that any more stress might have proved too much for my sanity!

I'll update again if we get something definite.

Aug. 1st, 2012

summer icon


Year Abroad Problems!

I've been watching this community for several years, but have recently joined. I wondered if anyone can help with concerns around accommodation in France during our son's year abroad. To cut a long story short, he leaves tomorrow morning to head for a summer school in Germany and that's all set up. The problem starts in September when he's due to spend a semester at a French university (in Besancon). He applied for university accommodation, and had been warned that he wouldn't get a reply until late in the summer. This weekend, he's discovered that others have had allocations, and it looks like his application has fallen through the cracks. We've spent some time since then trawling the internet for possiblities, but haven't found anything much. (We've applied for something that would cover just the first two months but have not had a response.) It seems that there's always a shortfall in terms of students and places. And of course, most private renters expect a year's income.

Any practical help or even reassurance (it happened to us and we found something ...) would be much appreciated.

Jul. 22nd, 2012

Mums are like buttons


Future of WhirlyBirds.

Ladies and gentleman - a notification of spam posted here reminded me that I keep meaning to ask you about the future of this community.

It was very useful when we started it, but those teenagers we were so worried about are all out there leading their adult lives now. So do you want this community to remain here, even though we don't post to it any more, or would you want it deleted?

I had hoped to put a poll - but I don't think it works because this is a basic account - so just give me a quick answer in comments, please.

Oct. 12th, 2010

Hmm 2


Well - they're still wondering...

It looks as if the subject of helicopter parents, over-protected teens and so on is still a subject for discussion - Petzi just passed this link on to me, on the subject.

Although I have to say, folks, that we all seem to have done a god job of not hovering too closely over the years and, from what I see on my own FL, we have produced a crop of excellent young people!

Sep. 18th, 2010



Another one bites the dust...

Second daughter is about to embark on university life, at a small, highly-reputed Drama school in SE London.

And she's terrified. The girl who crossed Siberia, Mongolia and Chine by train, swam in Lake Baikal and rode a camel on the edge of the Gobi desert is really worried and tearful about the whole enterprise.

I am pretty confident that within a week she will be totally in her element, but currently I have a nineteen-going-on-nine daughter who is far from being a happy bunny. Advice welcome.

Apr. 18th, 2008



A few more links from Petzi.

Here are a few more links from Petzi on the subject of student finance in the USA -




Can't say they make cheerful reading.

Must dash out to work - to make money to keep my student!!

Apr. 13th, 2008



Money, Money Money...

I wonder if the current credit squeeze on both sides of the Atlantic will make finances for our students harder?

Petzi sent me this link to do with student finance in the USA.

One British bank (HSBC) has already stopped giving interest-free over-drafts to students - I don't know about any of the others.

I have heard a rumour, unsubstaniated but from an ex-teacher, that our own I-o-M government might be going to means-test its payment of student fees in future.

::waits hopefully for daughter to get job in future to keep me in a manner to which I would like to be accustomed, after all this pay-out for her education...!::

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