Thursday, February 11, 2016

How To Feel Old, Part Whatever...

It's been a slow week or so here at Red Central.

Sure, I've played a bit of SWTOR and Jade Empire, but I've been both busy with work and making the first of what is sure to be many university visits.*

Our first campus visit was similar only in the sense that it
was ON a university campus. The temps were below freezing,
and it was only an hour or two after sunrise. I also managed to
embarrass myself by missing a step and falling down.
The oldest mini-Red was mortified. (from
I did ask about internet connectivity --because it's important to be able to access your online gaming school work-- and it seems that for universities with lots of older dormitories, wifi has been a godsend. Not so sure about speeds, given than you've got potentially the entire student body using the same pipe at the same time, but at least there is internet.


There is a gaming angle to this, as on the ride back home the mini-Reds pestered me to create a character on their new LOTRO server, just so that we could hang out.

So I did.

Not surprisingly, I created another Elf Champion with the exact same name as my old main on LOTRO, because I can still do a Paladin-esque melee figher. Alas, the graphics for the buttons on the UI are still red and green and are as hard to read as ever.

It's kind of like this, only a lot fewer attacks (obviously), as I've only an L3 toon:

From forums. A whole lot of red and green.
If you're red/green colorblind, this can be really bad.

Or, if you're just like me and have a hard time reading all the details, it can drive you nuts.

Still, the scenery is as beautiful as ever. Alas that the toon graphics don't match the scenery quite as well.

But for sheer immersion, LOTRO is hard to beat.

Now, to actually find the time to, you know, play the game. But with the mini-Reds around, I get the feeling time will magically appear...

*Where did the time go? Oh, right. Anyway, two years for mini-Red #1, then we go right into two years for mini-Red #2, and #3 is right after that. Six years of the college application process. Oh yay.


  1. Arranging education for your kids soudns like a lot of trouble in the US (the fact that parents are even involved in the first place says enough!). Hope it all turns out well.

    Also yay for LOTRO! I've been playing it a lot lately as well.

    1. I'd say that most kids in the U.S. are educated in their local public schools, with the notable exception of Catholic kids who will go to parochial schools far more frequently than public schools. If you can afford it, you can send your kid to a private elementary or secondary school, but those cost a lot of money. (Locally, there are high schools that cost more per year than the tuition at the local public university.)

      When you want to go to college, however, there's no set in stone method for choosing where to go. There are public schools, private schools, and it seems that most high achievers in school zero in on about 50 or so top performers, the ones that everybody knows: Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, University of Virginia. But outside of those schools, there are plenty of very good universities to choose from.

      A lot of the college search may have to do with money --whether the school will give you a scholarship or some other merit award, for example-- but a lot of it also has to do with fit. Typically, we'd look for a nearby university that would suit her needs, but it doesn't necessarily follow that our local universities would be the best fit. Each university has it's own... well... character. What might work for one kid might not work for another, and getting a chance to meet with professors and sit in on a class is an invaluable way to evaluate a university.

      Mini-Red #1 wants to major in Music Performance, and that also means she has to audition at universities she wants to attend. But at the same time, she wants to sit down and spend time with her potential professors because she wants to make sure that their teaching style works for her.

      It's a very complex process, and it certainly has gotten much more so since I attended back in the late '80s.

  2. Where indeed did the time go?

    It seems like only yesterday that I was marvelling at how small my new baby was - snugly fitting into the crook of my arm. Now, a time machine has teleported us 20 years into the future and they have all left for college.

    "We press on." as the DKs say.

    1. Tell me about it. Our oldest is right now learning the fun part of writing thank you notes after a college visit. (And I'm learning how much of a root canal process it is to get her to DO it....)

  3. Oh dear, that sounds so exhausting! it's hard for me to imagine that getting good education could require such research and effort....I hope you find the perfect place for all the mini-reds where they can also grow musically! :)

    1. To be honest, it's not that bad; just that you have to find out where you fit in. (And, of course, can afford.)

      If you're trying to go to one of the top schools in the country, then yeah, it'll be a bit harder, but we're not worried about that.