November 1980

Jo and Dad – Snake Dance Magic Routine


It’s unsettling to have no clue to what lies ahead.  I had plans all laid out to go to a four-year college like Cornell with a culinary arts and hotel management program next, but it’s hard to say now what I can do. We decided to get married after we both graduate in June; Lou’s getting his B.S. in Chemistry, and I’ll have an A.A.S. in Hotel Technology.  Getting a job in either a hotel or restaurant is not going to be difficult for me, but to have the career I planned, I really need to get my Bachelor’s degree and more training.

Lou has absolutely no idea about what he wants to do after college. He’s getting a Chemistry degree, but isn’t at all interested in being a Chemist or doing anything in the science field. He started out Pre-Med, but his grades weren’t good enough to stay on that track; he ended up on academic warning from all the stress at home, plus too much partying and not enough studying.  It wasn’t until he lost his parent’s funding that he really got motivated about school, decided that he had to get the money and had to graduate somehow. His friend Nico’s parents generously gave Lou a loan to bring his student account current. We rarely go to any parties, and are usually studying in his dorm room when I’m at the fraternity house.  I even read the same books for his literature classes so we can discuss the topics and I can work with him on his papers. That has helped bring up his grades. He is going to graduate – a year later than his class, but he did push through.  The only problem is that he just focused on getting the degree, and has put no thought into what to do after that was accomplished. He met with his academic advisor to help get some direction.  While he was in the office, I wandered around the halls of the Chemistry Building reading bulletin boards, and pulled off an information postcard about an MBA fair in Boston. When Lou came out of the meeting, he said that because he wasn’t sure where to go with his career, his advisor recommended he interview with companies recruiting Chem majors on campus to see if something clicks, but that he also consider getting a Master’s Degree at a business school.  I handed Lou the paper I was holding with the MBA fair info, and told him I’d just been thinking the same thing. So we decided to go to Boston to check it out; surprisingly, my parents didn’t object.  The only other time we traveled out of town together was with my parents to do a magic show for a convention at the Waldorf Astoria.  My dad wasn’t feeling great and wanted help moving some of the props.   Lou got to see our infamous snake dance routine, where my father acts as a snake charmer and I’m the snake doing acrobatic moves crawling up and down his body, around his neck, spinning and slithering, until he ultimately captures me in a rope net, stuffs me in a basket and impales me with swords, only to have me disappear.  It was a lot easier when I was a stick thin ten-year-old.  I’ve outgrown a few of my mom’s home-made snake skins through the years.

The Boston MBA fair trip was our first overnight alone at a hotel together. We picked up a lot of information on the different programs and learned a lot. It was nice having time to hang out and talk and think about the future. We were having a quiet time lying in bed looking for something to watch on TV; Lou stopped clicking the remote when he became mesmerized by boxing on a premium channel.  One of the fighters was an Irish redhead; I don’t know if it is true that they bleed more than others, but I was horrified. I hid under the covers because I literally could not watch.  I’ve only been to one boxing match in person, and that was to watch Lou fight in an inter-fraternity match. I wanted to be there to be supportive, but it was torture for me, and he got beat up pretty badly.

Anyway, Lou sent away for a bunch of applications to different grad schools, and registered to take the GMAT exam. His grades are not that good, so grad school may not be a realistic option, so he’s still going to send out some job applications and interview on campus for whatever he is qualified with his degree.

I’m pretty much on hold with my own life to see what happens with him. I know I can get work in a hotel or restaurant anywhere. Hopefully, we will end up near a college with a culinary program and I can still go to school.  My grades are really good – I get mostly A’s, and I’m in the Honor Society and lots of clubs and stuff, and have relevant work experience, so I think I would get accepted into most colleges. I should be fine.

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