Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

This weekend saw the Family Robbo head on down to Eldest’s new school for orientation.  Because she’s a transfer instead of a freshman, a lot of the program was fairly unnecessary from her point of view, and indeed we didn’t even bother to stay for the second day.  However, she got her picture done for her school ID, we got to see where she’s going to be living and otherwise nose about campus some, and she picked up some valuable information on some of the social, religious, and service organizations available (which were her main reasons for transferring in the first place).

Of greatest interest, however, we got to sit down in an extremely small group with the chair of the History Department.  (The Gel has decided to stick with her history major, although she’s now also going to minor in non-profit management.)  It was nice to sit and chin-wag with the fellah, and it was plain that he takes a real interest in what happens to the majors coming up under his guidance.  (He insisted that, as a rising junior, the Gel should not be taking a Western Civ survey as recommended by the guidance counselors, but instead should be jumping straight into 300-level classes.  We duly got the change made. He also has a very real sense of what can and cannot be done with an undergrad history major these days.)

This particular prof specializes in military history, and as I sat looking about his office, I found myself drooling over his books and gewgaws (many of which seemed to be centered around the Napoleonic Wars). But the thing that really got me was a very large table in the middle of the room.  It was covered by a large diorama with lots of little Union and Confederate troops all over it, plus a couple of D&D dice.  Eventually, I couldn’t resist asking what it was.

“That,” he said, “Is basically “Risk” on steroids.”  It turned out that he and whatever faculty and students were around at the moment, were busy gaming The Wheat Field.  He said that he held wargames of various sorts every Friday afternoon, and that anyone interested was invited to stop by.  The only rule was that the first time, one could just watch.  The next time, one had to play as well.

I think I like this man.  I think the Gel does, too.

Anyhoo, the visit was so successful and the Gel was so pleased with what she saw, that she’s decided she doesn’t need us to help her move in next month after all.  This was especially good news because Middle Gel has her freshman move-in the same weekend about four hours away, and we’ve been going through contortions of logistical analysis trying to figure out how to be in two places at once.

(Incidentally, the Gel will be about half an hour from my brother’s house.  We stayed with him while we were down there.  All three of his kids will be in college starting this fall.  As we all sat at the dinner table – furiously debating whether Macbeth could have become King per the Weird Sisters’ prophecy without all that dirty work – I looked about me and was astonished again at just how grown up our family’s next generation has become.)