I’m not much into camping or living off the land. In fact, I probably wouldn’t know there was an outdoors if I didn’t encounter it every day . . . as I walk from my office to my car.
But my son . . . well, he’s different. He loves to camp – in my office.
As many of you know, I teach marketing at a university in Arkansas. Several times I give tests or have other events that require me to be on campus at night.
And my son loves coming with me! Well, let me clarify. He loves coming with me, but then he doesn’t see me again until after the event.
Because what he thinks is big time is hanging out in dad’s office. Camping out he calls it.
And while this might not sound like roughing it, well, you haven’t seen my office.
By this time of the semester, my office resembles a landfill, only not as sanitary.
Papers are piled up waiting for me (or some unsuspecting soul who happens to wander by my office and has the necessary qualifications – breathing and at least 51 percent awake) to grade. Books are scattered like in that episode of the Twilight Zone.
So what does my son during these excursions?
Heck if I know.
I often suggest that he finishes his homework. And I think he did work on homework one time for about seven or eight minutes.
I think there is some video game playing going on. Maybe some watching of Sponge Bob.
If he can scrounge up enough change, he’ll go to the vending machine and get a snack, which consists of some natural ingredients (sugar is natural, right?).
But most of all he has fun. He looks forward to it. Often, he’ll even go hiking – making his way down the stairs and coming to visit me and my class. And usually providing the students with a laugh or two.
It’s good that we can teach in such a family-friendly atmosphere, allowing students to get to know their instructors and family, if even just a little.
I know this doesn’t sound like the most rugged of camping trips, but you know camping is supposed to build stronger families. To strengthen relationships.
And that’s what my son and I are doing.
And if he decides to experiment and build a camp fire, you won’t find me arguing – as long as he uses some of those ungraded papers for kindling.