When dad doesn’t come to town

Students who won’t be celebrating with their fathers share stories



“[It’s] safe to say he didn’t take me fishing for about another two months,” Gema Garcia-Ochoa, a freshman psychology major, said as she recalled a memory with her dad.


Some might say distance makes the heart grow fonder. For some out-of-state WSU students, Dad’s Weekend might just give them a reason to give their dads a call.

Melanie Murray, a sophomore pre-veterinary animal science major, said her dad could not attend because of the cost of traveling to and from San Diego, California. Her dad also did not enjoy the cold weather during Dad’s Weekend last year.

“He’s just a California guy,” Murray said. “He’s never going to get out of that, just like his flip flops and board shorts and stuff.”

Murray said her dad wanted her to attend San Diego State University. She considered University of California, Davis, but preferred to attend WSU instead.

“I’ll get farther here to get where I want to be for vet school than anywhere in California,” she said.

Murray said she bonds with her dad through music and concerts.

“One of the concerts we went to was for Bastille,” she said. “They were one of my favorite artists at the time.”

Kaylah Blas, a junior business management major, said her dad cannot attend Dad’s Weekend because of work. She said this does not bother her because she will come home to Daly City, California, over Thanksgiving break.

Blas said the memory that stuck out the most from her childhood was the morning she spent with her dad doing her hair and getting ready for her first grade school pictures.

“I’d be in the bathroom for at least an hour and a half with him brushing it down [and] putting gel [in],” she said. “If you look at my school picture, I look like I have no hair because my hair is just glued to my scalp.”

Alyssa Takamura, a sophomore psychology major, said she did not ask her dad to come to Dad’s Weekend and thought the flight to and from Maui, Hawaii, would be too expensive.

Takamura said she wished she had a better relationship with her dad so they could participate in activities and events happening on campus.

“I went to the football game last year, and to see all the other [students] with their dads — it must be nice,” she said.

Zoe Xavier, a junior mechanical engineering major, said her dad cannot attend because he is busy with work and engineering projects. She also mentioned the time it takes to travel from her home in Anchorage, Alaska.

“It’s hard to get here from Alaska,” Xavier said. “It’s a long flight just to get to Seattle.”

She said it was difficult to adjust at first with her parents far away, but her dad supported her choice to attend WSU. Her dad also influenced her decision to pursue her major.

“He likes to tell me about his work projects,” Xavier said. “I find that so cute because I finally understand what he’s talking about.”

Alexis Evans, a junior anthropology major, said she did not want her dad to drive by himself for six hours from Oregon City, Oregon, to get to WSU. She said it bothered her when her dad could not come to Dad’s Weekend before, but it does not bother her now.

Evans said her favorite memory with her dad was during the University of Oregon and WSU football game this past month. She was wearing Cougar gear, but her dad was not.

“The 50-yard line, all the way up four rows down, you can see a guy wearing neon yellow — that’s [my dad],” she said. “We re-watched the game just to see him.”

Grace LaPierre, a freshman chemistry major, said her dad is busy and has an on-call type of job in Chelan, Washington, which hinders him from coming to Dad’s Weekend. She is from Liverpool, New York, and said she is used to not having her dad around.

“I’d see him maybe two weeks every other year, and then after that it was a month every year,” LaPierre said. “I can understand why other people wouldn’t be so used to it.”

Despite the distance, LaPierre said she considers herself close to her dad.

“I’m like a miniature clone, [a] 50-50 split between my parents,” she said.

Gema Garcia-Ochoa, a freshman psychology major from Lake Quinault, Washington, said her dad cannot afford to take a day off this weekend.

“We had a plan for him to come here, we had this whole list of events,” Garcia-Ochoa said. “It really hurt for him not to come, but I understand.”

Garcia-Ochoa said she recalled a time when her dad taught her how to fish which ended in a “fishy” situation.

“I had a little cousin and I caught his underwear,” she said. “[It’s] safe to say he didn’t take me fishing for about another two months.”

Garcia-Ochoa said at first her dad was hesitant with her studying across the state, but he eventually realized it was best for her future, and she enjoys being at WSU.

“The ‘home away from home’ sense really hit me,” Garcia-Ochoa said. “I met and interacted with a lot of other people who made me feel at home.”

Jordyn Tucker, a junior biology major, said her dad will not be attending Dad’s Weekend festivities because he is not a huge football fan.

“Dad’s Weekend is mostly about football and he’s not into football, so I don’t see a reason to invite him over for it,” she said.

Tucker’s family lives in California and she said the tickets to fly to WSU are simply too expensive.

“I’m saving him money in a way and at the same time I don’t know if he would enjoy it as much as the other dads,” she said.

Tucker plans on spending her time relaxing instead and said she will text her dad at some point during the weekend.

She suggested WSU provide more activities that are not focused on football and still give dads and their kids a chance to bond.

Chris Holzknecht, a transfer sophomore majoring in sport management, is not having his dad, an elementary school teacher in California, visit because has to work.

“We’re big sports fans, especially football,” Holzknecht said. “I think it would be cool to watch the Cal game.”

Because his dad cannot come, Holzknecht will spend his weekend doing homework, he said.

“Luckily my teachers gave me a lot of assignments to do,” he said, “so I have to get a lot of work done.”

Kuria Pounds, a freshman majoring in broadcast news, said he respects that his dad does not like being in large crowds. Instead of coming this week, he said his dad will visit during Veterans Day weekend.

“He didn’t want to deal with the hassle [of] Dad’s Weekend,” he said.

Pounds plans on returning home this weekend to watch the game on TV and visit with his dad.

“Schedule-wise [Dad’s Weekend] is fine,” he said. “It’s just the amount of people that are coming here is the one thing that is turning my dad away.”

Anna Post, a freshman architecture major, said some of the reasons her dad will not come are that she never bought a ticket to the game before they were sold out, and he is more interested in soccer than football.

“I might tag along with my friends’ parents instead, or I might visit my sister because she’s close,” Post said.

She said Dad’s Weekend would be more inclusive if there was a bigger selection of events to choose from.

“Basically, every event is either the football game or surrounding the football game,” she said.