I sent you a message on my squattoman blog

That's what my husband said to me, sprawled across our squattoman as if it were a balance ball. This was his message:

Sweet, huh? Distracting, though. I was lamenting - for the umpteenth time - how poorly I performed amidst a sea of teenagers during today's pre-college summer studio program orientation. It started off well enough...lunch was followed by orientation, and then the kids broke up into groups and went through various "stations" together to get their student IDs, that sorta thing. I was at the "meet your mentor" station with the other grad mentors. About half of my mentees seemed confused by the whole concept of "one-on-one" time but reluctantly agreed to an initial meeting later this week, while the other half seemed altogether uninterested in ever encountering me again.

I haven't felt this uncool since, well, high school. It probably didn't help that I whipped out my personalized jotter cards to give them my e-mail address and cell phone number. I realized pretty early on the damage I was doing, and then mumbled under my breath that I worked at a stationery store and got this kind of stuff for free (not true) or heavily discounted (somewhat true).

Oh well. Hopefully, first impressions are not that important to the average sixteen year old. We've got five weeks to grow together as mentor and mentee, after all. Five weeks is a long time when you're sixteen. I keep telling myself, they're just like bees, probably more afraid of you than you are of them. That should help.

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