Calling all helicopter parents

Intern Rose Schapiro, '09, waves to the Magazine staff from Bartlett Quad

I'm no longer a helicopter parent, hovering over the lives of my undergraduate offspring. It helps that my daughters have both graduated.

Also keeping me grounded—at least partially—was the response to my first attempt at "helping" my younger daughter negotiate college life. A polite but firm note from the student-affairs office let me know that if my yet-to-matriculate child had a problem with her freshman-year roommate assignment, the staff was sure she would tell them about it herself. I quickly wrote back, cc'ing my chagrined daughter, to say that the only problem she had was me and promising never to write them again.

I kept my promise, but I didn't keep my distance, thanks in part to her campus's Web cam. I'd be sitting at my computer when my office phone would ring. "I'm about to cross Marsh Plaza," she'd say. "I'm wearing pink. Near the statue. See me waving?" I'd wave back at the computer screen, and we'd go on about our day.

I recommend it—to College parents and their kids. The best of the campus Web cams is the one that scans the quad between Bartlett Dining Commons and the Regenstein Library. Since College kids have to eat—and study—it's a convenient place to phone home. If the conversation gets sticky, you students can always end it, "Gotta go read my Western Civ," leaving your parents feeling proud.

Mary Ruth Yoe

Intern Rose Schapiro, '09, waved to Magazine editors from the quad between Bartlett Dining Commons and the Regenstein Library.

March 20, 2009