Is It OK To Laugh At Your Kid?

Today I dropped my son off in England for summer school.  As background you need to know that he has lived in brand-new-out-of-the-shrinkwrap American suburbs all of his life.  So it was funny to me to see the look on his face when he was told at the college that his dorm room elevator was broken and might not be fixed for at least a month.  The "WTF?" look was priceless.  I could see him thinking that a one hour outage of infrastructure would be something to comment on back home, but a month??

But the really funny part was when the Dean asked him to check his rooming envelope to see his room number, and he realized the implication of the three digit number that started with "7."  As with most teenage boys, he wanted me gone anyway ASAP, and I was happy to leave him to his independence and avoid the trudge up to his room.  After I left, he still had a small voyage of discovery as he learns that "floor 7" in England is actually euqivilent to "floor 8" in the US.


  1. Max:

    Ahhh, yes, that reminds me of boarding school in germany =) I had one year in a private school in Baden-Baden, which actually was built on a hill-top. The results was a daily aerobic trip to and from the class rooms because my house was on top of the hill =) After getting accustomed to the school, this was no problem and until today I'd say a bit of excercise wasn't the worst I could've got =)

  2. James H:

    It's hard to beat the exercise you can get on a college campus. I gained at least 5 pounds after graduating, which was probably due to much less exercise. Just tell the kid that it builds character :) After the first month, he probably won't think much of it.

  3. David:

    Is It OK To Laugh At Your Kid?

    Why yes, yes it is.

  4. Matt:

    A *month* to repair an elevator?

    When I read that my first thought was of the perpetually broken elevator in Winston's apartment building in 1984.

    My father is a retired elevator mechanic. The company he worked for had 24-hour service and typically had the things running again within a few hours, although sometimes it took a few days, and, extremely rarely, about a week.

  5. Dr. T:

    But, Matt, in a bureaucratic school environment in the summertime, it might take three weeks just to get all the needed signatures on the request to hire an outside repair firm. Then the request will go to purchasing, budgeting, and/or contracting for approval, but the supervisors are on holiday. Finally, it gets to the low bid, unionized elevator repair company that schedules it ten days later and sends an incompetent team to dink around in the elevator and scratch their heads for a few hours before saying, "We don't know what's wrong with it."

  6. Stephanie:

    Floor 7 being the eighth floor!! Gotta love the Brits - we certainly know how to confuse some.

    And YES you can laugh at your kids cos I am sure they laugh at us!!