An Exercise In Professional Patience


Hey parents: when you take your son or daughter on a college visit, SILENCE YOUR PHONE.  And, don't answer it when it (inevitably) rings.  It's embarrassing to you -- but even more-so to your son or daughter. 

I had a prospective student and his mother in my office the other day. Mom had a ton of questions, which is funny, given that student's SISTER is a current student at our school. Didn't she just go through this whole process like, a minute ago?

But I humored her. 

About 10 minutes into our conversation, Mom's cell phone rang. Loudly. She kindly silenced it. Thank you.

But, not two minutes later, it rang AGAIN. Loudly! And again, she silenced it. 

Then, two minutes later -- SHOCKINGLY -- it rang a THIRD time.  And, much to my shock and awe, she ANSWERED IT. I sat there, mouth agape. I wanted to rip the ickle Droid out of her hands and say, "Lady, are you KIDDING ME with this?!" then throw the phone against the overly-institutional-looking cinder-block wall of my office. 

Look Mom, you and Junior here are sitting in an ADMISSIONS APPOINTMENT. A WALK-IN appointment, to boot (call ahead much?). I'm meeting with you out of the kindness of my heart.

Even though this appointment and college visit will have no bearing on your son's application and chances of admission, don't you think you should show at least a little bit of respect? For all you know, I am the admissions equivalent of Odin, ruler of Asgard. Did it ever occur to you that I could DENY Junior here based on your calloused, phone-related ignorance?

[ed. note: I can't. Our process doesn't work that way. Though sometimes I wish it did.]

I'm brewing a post about helicopter parents wherein I break-it-down for folks like Mom here.  Stay tuned.