RUSHVILLE — Pardon the tear stains on this column but we've just dropped No. 3 son off for his freshman year of college and my wife can't stop crying. Or laughing. Or crying.
Tears of joy, tears of sentimentality, and laughter, oh, the sweet laughter of knowing we're a little closer to experiencing that mystical thing called “the empty nest.” That is, of course, assuming No. 3 matriculates successfully, commences with a degree, and gets a job other than his current one, which is mowing our lawn.
Following in the footsteps of my No. 1 son, No. 3 could only satisfy his yearning for higher education at dear old EOSU -- Expensive Out Of State University. The silver lining in this is that he isn't going to his first choice of school, BOSU -- Bankrupting Out of State University.
No. 3 isn't going to exactly the same EOSU as No. 1 -- although interestingly, they both have the same initials: B.U. No, this does not – I hope – mean “Bankruptcy Underway.” The actual particulars are that No. 1 went to Butler U., in Indianapolis, whereas No. 3 is at Belmont U., in Nashville, Tennessee.
Belmont has a lurvely little campus, south of downtown Music City, and steeped in some history. The first building on what is today the Belmont campus was a mansion, built in 1849 by a wealthy socialite and businessperson named Adelicia Acklen Hayes Cheatham. The joint has 36 rooms, which is plenty of space for both classrooms and dorms, and thus, today, it remains the only building on the Belmont campus.
Kidding! There are now over 5,000 undergrads at Belmont, and they could never all fit into Adelicia Acklen Hayes Cheatham's old digs – although I bet they'd have a blast trying.
Nowadays, the Belmonters live in places like the one where No. 3 is bunked, Pembroke Hall. Pembroke is right in between Potter Hall and Patton Hall. Yes, the Belmont dorms are just like P's in a pod.