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May 4, 2003

lost in space

It seems longer than two years ago that my son gained admission to the University of Phoenix Online.  We were excited and proud.  Here was an institution of higher learning offering degrees in bookkeeping, secretarial, computer programming, pediatric neurosurgery...you name it.  So with the bittersweet realization our boy was leaving behind his childhood, we helped him pack for the move to manhood and college life.  My eyes moistened, a lump formed in my throat as I waved goodbye to him.  It would be a long trip from his bedroom to the end of the hall where his dorm was located.  We had converted the study/computer room into a dorm room complete with a UPO pennant and ivy growing up the door.   Above the door was a plaque I made with my wood-burning set.  It read: Disce aut discede.

We didn't see much of our son after the first semester started.  He immersed himself in online college life.  He went through rush and pledged Delta Tau.  As virtual fraternities go, the DTs were the zaniest.  I'll never forget the hazing incident that almost got the chapter kicked off the internet-campus.  It involved an initiation rite that required a Delta Tau pledge to chug-a-lug printer ink while fucking a cyber-goat.  Anyway, between the virtual frat parties, the online dating, and the rigorous academic schedule, we saw our son only when he opened the door to exchange empty food trays and beer cans for full ones.

As so often happens, my son fell in with the wrong crowd.  He dropped out of the fraternity and began experimenting with optical illusions that gave him a "buzz."  Day and night he'd listen to psychedelic music downloads while staring at spiraling checkerboard patterns.  It wasn't long thereafter that he dropped out of UPO altogether.  My son became a cyber-slacker.

I have no idea what's become of my son.  I haven't seen him in six months.  I don't even know where he is.  Oh, I know he's in the room down the hall.  But I don't know where he is.  Do you know what I mean?

©  2003 by the beastmaster