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  • January 6, 2003
    Father lives dream through Dads Weekend
    By Jamie Heberling

    Ohio University's Dads Weekend does more than facilitate an annual father-daughter bonding experience. For the past four years it has been an active display of my dad's support for my college education.

    Having attended Ohio University briefly in the late 70s, the importance of a college education for my dad was not what it is today. Dads Weekend, for him, is the opportunity for his two daughters to fulfill the dream he was unable to attain. After just a year at Ohio University he dropped out of school for the bi-weekly gratification of a paycheck in Youngstown's booming manufacturing industry.

    Dads WeekendAnd while he didn't become the neurosurgeon he strived to be while in school, after a handful of career changes, he became a successful CAD/CAM programmer.

    Looking back, my father views his decision to drop out of Ohio University as one of his life's only regrets. However, when I decided to attend Ohio University in 1999, and my sister in 2001, he couldn't have been happier. Every winter he makes Dads Weekend everything his college education was not. Our weekend together has become a celebration of his monetary and emotional support of my education, and some of the best weekends I've ever had at Ohio University.

    The annual weekend celebration has brought with it many traditions. Taking off work the Friday of Dad's weekend, he arrives early to take full advantage of our time together. Full of anticipation, he even packs up the van the night before, and carpools with other Ohio University dads.

    From sledding down the Convocation Center parking ramps, to catching a Bobcats basketball game and ordering late-night D.P. Dough, the weekend has always been one that my dad, sister and I will never forget. We've even done quite a few things we've vowed never to tell my mom.

    My sister, Jessica, began at Ohio University last year. Since then, our Dads Weekend activities have become more family tradition-based. When we were little, every Super Bowl Sunday we made home-made chicken noodle soup. Now Dad brings our family tradition to Athens and my shoebox-sized kitchen. Jessica and I help out cooking, but mainly eating. Plus, he leaves us with plenty of leftovers to fill the fridge.

    On Sunday, tired from a busy weekend, he leaves his "big girls" confident because he's passed on a few of life's most important gifts -- family, education and celebration.

    Jamie Heberling is a student writer with University Communications and Marketing.

     

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