Since I’m home for spring break, I thought I’d give my parents a little interview for my blog this week!
Are you glad both of your kids go to Hopkins?
MOM: Yes! I have a son who is a senior majoring in neuroscience, class of 2016. And my daughter was a writing sems major, political science major, public health major, writing sems major, and now has finally settled on a political science major– class of 2018.
DAD: I am very glad that both of my kids go to Hopkins. It helps the logistics of getting kids to school and home.
You live in rural Illinois. Were you worried about sending your kids to Baltimore?
MOM: No. I am glad both of our children decided to step out of a community of 20,000 where everyone knows one another, so they could experience life in urban America and all that has to offer and the responsibility it demands.
DAD: Baltimore didn’t scare us very much. We both went to the University of Maryland and were familiar with the area. Baltimore has a long history of being a friendly community. We feel that the worst thing about Baltimore is that it is so far away from home, not that it’s super scary or anything.
What’s your favorite spot on campus?
MOM: I’m a big Gilman fan. I enjoy the archeological museum, the big white hanging lights, the stained glass, and the reading room.
DAD: I really like the marble steps between the quads. However, every time I go over them I think of trying it when they are wet with rain or snow and they seem so smooth that they would be too slick and that scares me a little.
Best restaurant in Baltimore? What do you get there?
MOM: Amicci’s in Little Italy. Lovely, casual family restaurant. I’m obsessed with the Pane Rotundo starter (a round Italian bread loaf topped with shrimp scampi) and the Eggplant Parm.
DAD: We come from rural Illinois and our town has fast food and maybe one restaurant. Therefore, we love to go to Baltimore for the food opportunities. We had a really good meal near campus at Paper Moon. That place is full of atmosphere and the burger I got was fabulous.
Have you guys made friends or connections within the Hopkins community?
MOM: The parents facebook page has provided a bunch of opportunities for parent-to-parent connections. My favorite connection has been of the “small world” variety. My parents, who live in another state, have a neighbor whose daughter entered Hopkins in the same class as my youngest, so we’ve become friends by coincidence.
Favorite piece of Hopkins Gear?
MOM: I have 3 “Hopkins mom” mugs that go through the rotation every day with my morning cup of tea.
DAD: I love my Hopkins hoodie that has Hopkins embroidered on it. But I also bought a stuffed animal for my son majoring in Neuro. It was a stuffed brain cell with the axon and dendrites included. The fact that I could buy that at the JHU bookstore is just so amazing to me.
Something that you are still waiting to do in Baltimore?
MOM: I’ve been waiting years to go to The Edgar Allen Poe House, but somehow I’ve never gotten around to it. I’m a big knitter, too, so Lovelyarns in Hamden is calling my name.
DAD: I probably would not actually do it (because I am too cheap) but I have thought that it would be pretty cool to go to The Preakness.
(Editor’s Note: Dad they just call it Preakness)
What are you looking forward to doing during Jay’s (my brother’s) graduation week this May?
MOM: Of course I’m looking forward to the actual graduation ceremony, but also the Wilson Fellowship graduation. I would like to see the lab my son has worked at for the past 4 years and meeting the PI who has been such a mentor and advisor in his academic development over these past four years in order to say thank you. I would feel great success if I get my graduate to pose in front of something that says Johns Hopkins and snap a successful photo – this would be a grand accomplishment if you knew how averse he is to mom and her camera!
DAD: We are so proud of our graduating Blue Jay. We can’t wait to go to the Wilson ceremony and to meet his research mentor. We are also very much looking forward to the actual graduation ceremony.
What’s a class one of your kids took that you’d like to take yourself?
MOM: Diseases and Disorders of the Nervous System. Each week a different Hopkins doctor lectured on their area of specialization. A great way to learn from the top specialists about various diseases.
DAD: One kid almost took a class from John Astin. That would have been a really cool class to be in (except that I have no acting talent) because John Astin has been a TV icon all of my life.
You guys lived in Maryland for a bit. Did you ever see Hopkins before you had kids?
DAD: I ran cross country in college and was in the same conference as JHU. We competed on the JHU cross country course twice during my career- it was such a great place to run. Open fields followed by a bit of roads and a track finish. The course was mostly rolling hills running on grass and that makes for a really good cross country course. There were two JHU runners that I was competing with, Dave Stewart and Andrew Brecia. Those two ended up just ahead of me at the conference meet the year I did my best. The fact that I remember those two all these years later means that JHU had made a significant impact on me long before my kids were even born.
Share a Hopkins-y story.
DAD: We were dropping our daughter off at school and we were walking on the street by the bookstore. Along came a former student of mine from Eastern Illinois University. He had just started graduate school at JHU. It had been a few years since I had seen him and we were both a little unsure who the other was. It is so strange to see people out of their normal context. However, he stopped and we had a nice visit. We have since learned that as of today there are at least 4 people from the small town of Charleston, Illinois associated with JHU.
Best things about Hopkins?
DAD: I have seen a number of opportunities made available to my kids that are exceptional. From research opportunities to internship opportunities to classes that are outside the box I have seen my kids given opportunities that are far better than we would see around here.
MOM: My two kids!
My parents are such parents. Love them.