Jam Packed For Good

Some days are packed from end to end.

Friday was one of those days for me.

It started with heading up to Madison for a college tour of UW Madison with Ben. He's looking at that as one of three possibilities, and since I was headed up there for a poetry reading later that evening, we built a tour into the itinerary.

After a forty minute parking adventure (next time we bike up there) we sat through the spiel and then took an hour and a half walking tour. Ben came away with a new appreciation for the university and could totally see himself as a student there, should he get accepted. My daughter on the other hand, made UW her third choice with Carelton and Minnesota being #'s 1 and 2. I always find it interesting how our kids see through such different lenses at times.

Anyways, after the tour, we went to lunch at Ian's and then on a tour of the Capitol building. We were fortunate to get into a tour group and saw all three chambers, Judicial, Senate and Assembly. The building is beautiful - with no expense spared for anything, near as I could tell. We also got to go out on the veranda that encircles the capitol near the 5th floor. It was spectacular!

From there, we went to the Henry Vilas Zoo to kill some time before the poetry reading I was reading at. The zoo is a great little "old school" zoo in the heart of the city. We walked around until they kicked us out to close the place.

On our way to the poetry reading, I told Ben to brace himself for what might be a drudging two hours for an 18 year old. Poetry readings are not for everyone as I am well aware, especially a young man of the "digital generation."

Well, there were 8 readers and we pretty much covered the gamut of styles. Everything from poetry inspired by "Up North Wisconsin" to a woman who'd written a piece she called "Rural, Goth Feminism."

After the event, I asked Ben what he'd thought about the reading and he said he enjoyed it. He said it wasn't as bad as I had prepped him for and that he'd definitely go to one again. He really enjoys English and writing anyway, so it was a good fit. I'd misjudged his maturity level - again. I do that a lot.

When we were driving home, I was totally wiped out. The day seemed like it was three days all jammed together. At the same time, I came away with a good feeling about the day. It's not often I get the chance to experience such a range of cool things in a single day with my son. There was a little for him, a little for me and a lot for both of us.

And I'd call that a win.

Blogging off...


Jo Balistreri said…
Hi Jim,
I enjoyed reading about your day with Ben--all those myriad experiences and shared with your young man. The dynamic changes when it's one on one and I admired how you took advantage of that time together.

You did it all and a poetry reading to boot.

It must have been a good tired by the time you got home. Really neat stuff.

Thanks once again for posting.

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