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Well, here I am in the same hotel between Santa Barbara and Isle Vista, and in the same room (except it is a different number) that I was in when I started this blog 65 posts ago.

Today was move-in day in Isle Vista. We spent the bulk of the day moving stuff in and out and around rooms with sleeping people in them. There are three bedrooms in Ralphie’s dorm suite: a triple, a double, and a single, but there is only one top bunk.

Nobody ever wants the top bunk (I’m not sure why – it seems like the place to be in an earthquake). When Kip moved into this same building four years ago, there were two dads on the verge of a fist fight defending their daughters’ rights to the bottom bunk. I think if these dads had thought it through, they would have realized that an 18 year old daughter a foot below the ceiling where everyone in the room can see her and with no privacy, is not a bad thing.

Ralphie thought of that and that is why we were up at 6:00 a.m. this morning so Ralphie (and his trusty family) would arrive at the dorm check-in right on time. There was a very long line. While Ralphie and Kip waited in line, Tony and I scoped out the room with the naïve (you’d think we’d be good at this by now) plan of putting a coat on the bottom bunk if the door was unlocked. Unfortunately, the door was locked so we had to do the right thing and wait in line, and fortunately, the door was locked so nobody else had been there yet.

We went through all of the check-in stations: photo, finger print (to get into the dining hall), keys, mail, laundry, coffee, cookies . . .  and then quickly made our way to Ralphie’s room and unlocked the door. Much to our surprise, all but one of the roommates was in the suite and they were all sleeping; the only bed available, the top bunk.

I made the bed for Ralphie (even though during the days leading up to the move, college freshmen say they don’t want you there, when the day comes they are very happy to have their moms making their beds). I had to stand on a chair and I never did manage to cover the top right corner which is reason enough not to want the top bunk. Mind you, I did this in the dark while someone I have never met was sleeping in the bed (and of course I was wearing my favorite/only gym pants). I have a friend whose mother used to clean cobwebs on the ceiling by putting cotton underwear on her head – I feel so much like that woman.

Immediately after Ralphie got every single item unpacked (he even took his clothes out of his basket and put them in drawers!), the sixth roommate showed up with an RA explaining that he was supposed to be the third person in the triple. Tony and I took a quick survey of the small, very messy, poorly arranged room with an already disgusting bathroom and looked at each other knowingly; Ralphie will not get anything done in this room. This is when I decided I could probably substitute teach three days a month so Ralphie could be in the double. This is when Tony tracked down someone in charge. And this is when Kip gave us that look the oldest child always gives his or her parents when the youngest child once again scores! It really isn’t fair.

So we moved all of Ralphie’s stuff into the double room and yes, there was a sleeping person in that room (it was 11:00 a.m. on Sunday morning in IV so this is not necessarily inexcusable). Unfortunately, the drawers were not interchangeable so we had to unpack all of the clothes and move them to the new dresser (yet another reason to keep one’s clothing in a stylish Martha Stewart basket).

After that we joined the throngs of other parents and 18 year olds (18 year olds are sort of goofy looking – they all look like they are trying to look older – I wonder why?) in K-Mart and Staples. After buying hangers (ha, ha, ha), a power strip, an Ethernet cord, socks, water, a pencil holder, graph paper, highlighters, stapler, notebooks, etc., etc. (I really felt sorry for the mother of twins – two TVs!) . . . all the stuff we forgot to buy yesterday at Target and Bed, Bath, and Beyond when we filled the car to the point of absolutely zero visibility, we returned to the room. It was 2:00 p.m., the roommates were still asleep. I think Ralphie must have checked “likes to sleep” when he filled out the roommate questionnaire.

We left Ralphie there hoping that someone would wake up and also finally understanding why the official move-in day is on the Sunday before school starts (Ralphie’s roommates all paid more money to move in on Saturday night – big mistake in IV, mom and dad).