Parents' Weekend

My daughter's college is holding its annual Parents' Weekend for the parents of new freshmen from November 2nd through the 4th.

It's not too hard to predict how the weekend will go.

First we'll be greeted by an administrator who'll look absolutely delighted to see us, as if she's just absolutely certain, before she even gets to know us, that we're the most wonderful group of parents to ever grace her campus.

Then, basically, we get to spend the weekend being told what wonderful care they're taking of our little dears.

We'll be told how special our daughters must be to have gotten into such a selective college.

Then we'll be told that the college is a wonderfully nurturing environment where our daughters will be encouraged to explore their different intellectual interests, and where they will master skills essential to meaningful scholarship. They will learn to reason critically, and to argue clearly.

They will inform us that the young ladies will absorb "an interdisciplinary approach to learning," and a lot of other meaningless platitudes.

We'll be told of the world class faculty who will instill a great love of education into our daughters.

We'll be informed that our daughters will be molded into "independent thinkers."

We'll be told about the wonderful diversity on campus, how the college attracts students of every race, creed, and color from all around the world, and that this will confer "educational benefits" to our daughters.

We'll undoubtedly be told of the college's "wonderful community spirit" as well.

At some point we'll be given a speech by the college's distinguished president, who will tell us with great earnestness that the education the college offers extends beyond the classroom, and that their experience here will help students to go on to "make a meaningful contribution to the world." She will inform us that being a member of this college community is a lifetime affiliation, that the alumnae take "great pride" in having gone here, and that "lifelong friendships will be forged here."

Blah blah blah.

The worst part would be looking around at the faces of the other parents and seeing their expressions of sublime appreciation as they nod approvingly at all these cliches.

Seriously: what kind of person would want to spend their weekend listening to this kind of fulsome treacle?

Not me.