Shiloh’s University Dilemma

“Sorry, I’m late, Mr. Gladstone but I had to babysit my thumb sucking sister.”

He smiled. “It’s all right, Shiloh. Come in.” He was relieved to see that she was wearing a top and pants this time. He couldn’t forget the last time when she visited and she was sitting on the floor with her legs showing because her skirt had ridden up. “How are you doing?”

“Fine, thanks, Mr. Gladstone. Is Emily upstairs?”

“No, Emily isn’t here today. Her mother called to say that she wasn’t going to need me to babysit after all. I’m sorry. I should have called and told you.”

“That’s okay. I didn’t come only to see Emily. I wanted to talk to you. Maybe I should have made an appointment.”

“It’s okay. You’re here now. My next appointment is not until this evening. Let’s go into the living-room and you can tell me what’s on your mind.”

They went into the living-room and while he sat on the sofa, she sat on the floor. She seemed to like doing that, he thought. Maybe it was more comfortable for her. He waited for her to tell him what was on her mind.

A few minutes passed and then, she announced, “I got accepted to the University of Miami.”

“That’s great! Congratulations.”

“I would love to go there but I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“It’s expensive. I don’t think my parents can’t afford to send me there.”

“What other universities did you apply to?”

“University of Florida, Palm Beach Atlantic University, Nova Southeastern University and St. Thomas University.”

“Those are all excellent universities but your first choice is the University of Miami.”

“Yes, it is.”

“Did you apply for financial aid before being admitted?”

“Yes, my father suggested that I do so for that university because it’s the most expensive of the ones I applied to.”

“Wait for a few days and you should get the financial aid award letter in the mail.”

“All right. I will wait.”

“Have you heard back from the other universities you applied to?”

“Yes, I heard from all of them except St. Thomas.”

“Did you get accepted to any of them?”

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“I got accepted to all of them so far. Just waiting to hear from St. Thomas.”

“Well, it’s March and you have until May to make your decision and reply to the university you want to go to and to the ones you have rejected.”

“If the financial aid I get from the University of Miami is substantial, I will definitely choose to go there.”

“Do you have second choice just in case things don’t pan out the way you hope?”

“Yes. The University of Florida is my second choice.”

“Good. You mentioned your sister when you came. How old is she?”

“Three. Should she still be sucking her thumb?”

“Well, many children stop sucking their thumbs on their own or often by age 6 or 7 months or between ages 2 and 4. Are your parents concerned about her?”

“No. They both say that she will stop before she turns 4. They said that I never sucked my thumb.”

He smiled. “I never did either but my sister did until she was 4. So, you see there’s hope yet for your little sister.”

“Well, I had better get going,” she said, getting up. “Thanks for seeing me, Mr. Gladstone.”

He rose to his feet too and preceded her to the foyer. He was sorry that she was leaving so soon. He truly enjoyed her company. “You’re welcome to stop by any time, Shiloh,” he told her as he held the door open.

She smiled up at him. “Thanks. Have a good evening.”

“Thanks. You too.” He watched her run down the stairs and hurry down the sidewalk. He was looking forward to her next visit. Perhaps one afternoon, he could invite her to go to the park or the playground with Emily and him.

Sources: Niche; College Choice; Mayo Clinic

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