Posts Tagged ‘Parent’s Weekend’

Descent of the Parental Units

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Excellent PhotoShopping? Really awkward memories? The world may never know.

Parents Weekend 2013 is upon us, and you know what that means… free food!

No, I kid, I kid*, it means that your parents may well be on campus, and if so they’ll be REALLY excited to see you, spend time with you, talk to you, hug you, dote on you, and otherwise keep you really, really busy… right in the midst of midterm season.  The timing, in a word, is inopportune.  Every year I gently remind my parents of how busy I am because I’m trying to make the most of my education.  Every year they not-so-gently remind me that they’re paying for that education.  Touché, parents.  Touché.

In the interest of keeping your parents happy while you keep your academic head above water, here’s a brief guide to parent-friendly resources and activities.

Stanford it up.

The Parents Weekend coordinators have put together a truly wondrous array of opportunities for your progenitors.  If you remember nothing else from this post


There are classes, receptions, tours, and fairs galore.  The whole calendar can be found here.

Don’t let your dad be that guy.

Teach ’em the lingo.

Stanford acronyms are really confusing to the uninitiated.  Help a brother… er, mother out and clarify the quirky verbiage that might otherwise lead them astray:

Go off the beaten path

Here are some quirky ideas for the parents who’ve been there, done that, and want to try something new on their 2nd, 3rd, …, nth Parents Weekend:

  • Cantor Arts Museum is one of the most underrated locations on campus, and The Thinker’s back!
  • Your hipster parents visited Hoover Tower before it was cool?  No worries!  If they’re active, a nice alternative (with breathtaking views) is the Dish walk.  It takes about 1.5 hours to walk, so can be a nice breather (literally) between classroom-based activities.
  • Sit in on an off-beat class.  There are lots of classes just for parents today, but Explore Courses has thousands.  One thing my parents like doing is visiting classes for what they majored in in college.  Also, courses like Psych 1 and CS 106A are both crowd-pleasers, and they’re both offered on Fridays!
  • Make sure they don’t miss Memorial Church.  A lot of my friends still haven’t gone, and it’s by far my favorite spot on campus.
  • Original student artwork is being showcased in the Cummings Art Building right now!  Check it out to support our budding artists.

*But seriously, work that free food angle.

Don’t make your parents fend for themselves while you’re in class.  Refer them to this list of on-campus eateries, or the full plethora of Stanford Dining’s offerings here.

When you’ve finally beasted the last midterm of the week, take advantage of Palo Alto’s diverse culinary fare!  Mom and Dad are lookin’ to treat (probably even your friends, so that they can start those criminal background checks), and there are lots of offerings.

I hope this is helpful, and happy Parents Weekend, everyone!

An Open Question to Stanford Parents

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Hello, parents. I hope you have been enjoying your stay during Parent’s Weekend and all the wonderful programming that the university puts on to convince you that you’re not wasting your money. I’m excited. Since you’re (sort of) finally in one place, maybe I can get an answer to this question that’s been bothering me for at least a few months now:

Why would you buy your kid a Range Rover?

We goin' down down baby

My tenure at Stanford has provided an unexpected education in the habits and ethos of the upper-middle class, and in a weird way, it’s been humbling. I’ve learned that being from certain suburbs and going to certain prep schools doesn’t preclude a family from having financial difficulties (in fact, it’s usually the cost of housing and education that causes them) and that flaunting one’s wealth is a trait pretty exclusively reserved for people from the 1900’s and rap stars, especially out here on the West Coast. Despite all the horror stories I hear about rich people and their kids, and despite this being a campus where 35% of the freshman class didn’t even apply for financial aid, I have yet to see any Jaguars or Mercedeses in student parking spots and only a handful of Beamers in almost 4 years. I find this phenomenon inspiring because it reassures me that Stanford is in fact not filled with people who like to shove their privilege in everyone’s face. However, I have noticed on campus recently a strident counter-example located (and fittingly, some would argue) in an around the Bromuda Triangle: The Range Rover.