As the old ads for Sydnor and Hundley Furniture had it, “today is the day I’ve been waiting for” — the day Jeff officially began his career at Tulane.

We started the day with a trip to Bed Bath and Beyond in Metairie to pick up the stuff we’d preordered; somewhat to my surprise, it was all there except for the surge protector — they didn’t have the same kind, but they gave me a slightly more expensive one for the same price. No real hassle, and we were there early enough to beat the lines.

After that, it was time to go to campus for Move-In Day itself. Traffic started backing up about 6 blocks from the dorm; it took us an hour to travel that six blocks. Fortunately, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me was on the radio during that hour, so we were amused more than annoyed. Eventually, though, the show ended and we reached Monroe Hall, where we offloaded Jeff’s stuff; Jeff and Diane stayed while I parked the car at the baseball stadium, which was the closest available parking.

By the time I returned, Diane was in the room with the stuff, and Jeff was still in line to check in. And after he checked in, he had to wait in line to have his keycard recoded — apparently, someone had goofed and the codes they were planning to give the students weren’t the ones in the system. But by 1pm, he’d gotten through the system and was able to go to his room.

So, of course, rather than unpack, we set off for lunch — breakfast had been early, and we were hungry. We went with him to Bruff Commons, but I wasn’t focused on the food, but rather on the time; “Parents as Partners” programs started at 1:35 (clearly, they hadn’t planned on the faux pas with the keycards). And Jeff still had to pick up the packages we’d shipped and his books. So we split up, and Diane went to the program while I helped him schlepp (and after hearing Diane’s description of the program, I think I got the better end of the deal).

Except that there was more confusion; when we went to the FedEx trailers, they said they only had one package, and I’d shipped four! And when they retrieved the package, it wasn’t any of the ones I’d shipped — instead, it was a self-powered flashlight/radio that I’d gotten as an IBM Thanks! award and had sent to Tulane for emergencies. So we went back to Bruff and checked his mailbox; sure enough, there were four package slips there, along with delivery help. Jeff headed for the dorm with his stuff and I joined Diane for the programming.

The most interesting item was “Being Safe in the Big Easy”, led by the Chief of the Tulane University Police Department and one of his Colonels. To net it out, using common sense and not being drunk in stupid places are the best ways to stay safe here; Tulane also has a shuttle system to help students get where they need (or want) to go. The other thing they pointed out was that safe areas are often adjacent to very unsafe areas — we’d suspected as much last night while we were finding the hotel (and hoping not to have to stop).

While we were hearing about safety, the students were being herded into the McAlister Auditorium for welcome/orientation speeches; then it was time for convocation, which was simulcast to satellite locations for parents to see, and then we rejoined the students for the President’s Family Picnic on the lawn. We found some shade, ate some food, and talked with another family.

Then we went to the bookstore (even though I’d already picked up the books and had been carrying them for a couple of hours); we’d forgotten to pick up any notebooks or paper. And Diane bought a Tulane shirt (I’d confiscated the one Jeff was given during our scouting trip).

Finally, we went back to the dorm to help him unpack and move in; I wanted to get his printer (HP C4480) set up, too. But I failed at that — when the printer was going through its initial calibration, the paper jammed, and once we fixed that, it had decided that the print cartridges, which were the ones in its box, were “incompatible”. And I hadn’t found any way to get it to change its mind by the time we left an hour later. So the printer is unplugged, and I’m hoping it forgets by morning. Grump.

By now, Jeff should have had a mandatory meeting with his RA, followed by a party in “Pocket Park”, wherever that is. In contrast, we had ice cream at The Creole Creamery, then took a walk down Bourbon Street. I don’t see the attraction of being drunk in the middle of the street, but clearly many people do!

And we just got a text from Jeff: “I’m back. No need to reply.” I guess he is launched!