Feb. 1 is a day that booksellers would call on you. Here booksellers are those people from different publishing companies whose products are college textbooks. So as I sat in my office with the door widely open (because that's an office hour, students may pop up, drop by, for whatever reason to seek your help), this guy came in, introducing himself as so and so, from whatever company and I realized I've been communicating with him for awhile and received quite a bit of help with some textbooks (for instance, I thought I lost one of the textbooks and sent an email asking them to send me one to replace the lost item and I indeed received very quickly).
After he left, another guy popped up, and I could even recognize him by name--first name even--as he's been here many times before and I do use his supply. We're still using the textbooks from the company he resprented. Seeing that we are planning still using the books from his company, he felt quite secure and then we had a ltitle chit-chat.
What could we talk about? I remembered once I called him, at the other end of the telephone someone told me this guy wasn't in his office because he had a newborn baby --so he was on "maternal leave" or perhaps, should be paternal leave. So I asked him how was his baby doing? He said, ah yes, he's no longer a baby, he's almost 5 years old, ready for K this coming fall. He said he's got two kids (how average! for the American family): a boy and a girl. He's got a 13 year old daughter and a 4.5 year old son. The 13 year old got a boy friend recently, and that's kind of a nerve-wracking experience for the parents. They (he and his wife) definitely are with some mixed feelings: happy to see the child growing up to step into a new phase, happy to see that their daughter was so excited about having a bf. It's extremely satisfying for parents to see that she's all excited, going to some school dance, holding hands with someone, and so on; but parents aside worry a great deal at the same time.
For this past Christmas, one of their presents to the daughter was allowance of using "facebook".
Long time ago, the girl started asking repeatedly for the permission to use facebook and the parents would repeatedly say no: They say: Wait till you are 13!
Now she's 13. The moment the girl got her Facebook account, she started to befriends with everybody and within a few days she's got over 400 friends on Facebook! Imagine how exciting this is to her. I asked did she spend numerous hours on that everyday? The father said, indeed that's what she did. He added, facebook is not a completely safe place for a teenager, there are lots of social cruelty and bullying going on, so they --the parents--still maintain the access to her facebook account, and would periodically check to see if everything is alright. Yeah, I said, I dont' blame ya -- parents just want to make sure kids are doing alright. Ben went on to tell me about his kids' participation with the musical or sports activities (the boy was involved actively in soccer and the girl was previously in cheerleading but had a injury so she quit that and she's ony playing some softball in a schoool team. For music, they have a drum set at home and they both do it from time to time, Ben was a drummer in a band when he was in high school and college himself). I am sure Ben's kids are adorable, lively, and healthy and I wonder how many parents gave facebook account as a Christmas present to their kids.