Following extensive research during Family Weekend, the Carleton psychology department has released a comprehensive personality type indicator designed to classify the many varieties of Carleton parents. The Carleton Parent Personality Type Indicator is intended to help students better understand their parents and successfully navigate the awkward situations that arise when parents are temporarily exposed to the Carleton environment. Data was meticulously collected during Family Weekend by student researchers who hid themselves in bushes and under dining hall tables to capture authentic parent-student interactions on tape. After rigorous academic analysis, six different Carleton Parent
Types were identified:
The Clueless Parent: These parents are embarrassingly ignorant of Carleton norms. They throw away all of their compostable utensils, get into boisterous arguments on 1st libe, make lots of pleasant comments about St. Olaf and wonder why everyone cringes at their frequent use of the word “quirky.”
The When-I-Was-Your-Age Parent: These parents insist on constantly reminding you how much better your college experience is than what they experienced at your age. This may manifest itself in not-so-subtle references to the luxuries of your spacious dorm room and gourmet dining hall choices as they recall in vivid detail their days of living with two roommates in a 3×3 square closet while surviving off a diet of canned green beans and SPAM. Any attempt to question the accuracy of their stories will be met with indignant disapproval.
The Suspicious Parent: These parents will keep asking you what that strange smell in your dorm room is, no matter how many times you explain to them that it’s your roommate’s oregano-scented air freshener.
The Nerdy Parent: These academically-focused parents are determined to take full advantage of their brief access to a college campus. You barely see them as they attend six classes on Friday along with four faculty presentations and three different professors’ office hours. They lose all contact with civilization while spending hours wandering through the rows of the Libe.
The Planner Parent: These parents also maintain a packed schedule of classes, events, and presentations, but with a different purpose – to become an expert on how you should spend your college career. By the end of the weekend, they have picked out all your classes for the next three terms, applied for two internships in your name, signed you up to study abroad in Uzbekistan, and set you up on a date with whoever happened to be standing behind them in line at Sayles.
The Present-In-Spirit Parent: These parents are not able to make it to Carleton for Family Weekend, but honestly, you can barely tell the difference. They feel so bad about not coming that they call you every hour to receive live updates and make sure you’re not getting too lonely. They photoshop themselves into every photo on Carleton’s website and send them to you so you can pretend they’re there. They ask Carleton to set up webcams around campus so they can get a 24/7 virtual Carleton experience. You begin to think they would be less annoying if they were actually here.