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View Diary: Pulling Eric out of School (135 comments)

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  •  My nature was to resist authority, as well. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge

    And to try to figure things out for myself. My mom simply figured out when she needed to put her parental big foot firmly down. And when to ignore stupid battles so as not to give her rebel-without-a-clue teen that satisfaction of escalating a resistance-punishment cycle.

    Of course, parental authority has to be established from the start. Amazing that with all my rebelliousness, I never thought to shirk basic household chores. Chores were a part of daily life around our house since each kid was old enough to walk. And homework? Getting bad grades or good grades didn't mean a thing to our parents. My mom never commented either way. Did I want to stay in school with all my friends? Did I want to go to a cool, fun college? It was all up to me.

    What concerns me most in this post, beyond the content, is the alarming level of the grammar and spelling. Had I needed to leave high school because of a severe health crisis, for example, my parents would have been qualified to teach me at home. Both have PhDs; one was a college professor and author, the other a high school teacher.

    My parents treated me 'like an adult' also. In that if I wanted to forfeit getting a good education because acting like an idiot at 13 seemed cooler than behaving, then that was my choice. But dropping out of school? They would have laughed in my face.

    I learned that I was only hurting myself. And laughed all the way to having an awesome time doing it my way in high school, at a superfun college (complete with Ivy!) and grad school, too.

    Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

    by earicicle on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 10:28:20 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I'm glad you found a path forward to adulthood... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      earicicle

      that worked for you.  I finally found mine and Eric found his.

      You say...

      My mom simply figured out when she needed to put her parental big foot firmly down. And when to ignore stupid battles so as not to give her rebel-without-a-clue teen that satisfaction of escalating a resistance-punishment cycle.
      My own mom was very unorthodox and egalitarian as a parent.  She was very facilitative rather than directive in her parenting (for example, I was never punished), but she would "put her foot down" when she thought I was not behaving well, not properly acknowledging the people I was in relationship with. That was not about punishment, it was about calling out my bad behavior and her dismay with it.  It was always important to me what she thought of me, so I heeded her (eventually) as a respected mentor.

      I eventually tried to follow my mom's approach.

      Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

      by leftyparent on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 10:53:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What was your "superfun college?" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      earicicle, FloridaSNMOM

      One of my critiques of education as my kids have experienced it is that it is a sort of "most reasonable common denominator" environment. My son in particular needs more engagement at a personal level; otherwise he just sort of floats away.

      •  Yale. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        leftyparent, PinHole, badscience, rosabw

        I had a blast. Plenty of 'engagement on a personal level.' I could take small seminars or large lecture courses--my choice, no prerequisites other than how hard I wanted to challenge myself--all taught by professors, not grad students or TAs.

        Great social environment, which was my principal reason for choosing Yale. The undergrad student body of 5000 is divided into 12 residential colleges--you get a sense of belonging to a tight-knit community within the larger student population without the hierarchical, exclusionary cultural of fraternities and sororities. Colleges are physical residences with their own dining halls, and they compete against each other in intramural athletics (and back in my day, drinking competitions).

        God, it was fun. I made so many great friends who remain in my life all these years later. Oh, I learned a lot, too. Going to college 5000 miles from home is educational on many levels.

        The "common denominator element" (I call it 'false egalitarianism") of American education is a big problem. Parents of bright kids often have to encourage their kids to seek out additional challenges, to supplement the normal curriculum.

        For example, in high school I took AP courses without having taken the prerequisite. I did the 5 year Spanish program in 2 1/2 years. I popped up to the local university to take German, b/c the high school teachers weren't very good. I volunteered (in a State leadership position) in a Presidential campaign when I was 17. Bright kids get bored (and can get into trouble, as I did) when they're not challenged. But they're not going to get the opportunity to go to a challenging and superfun college if they don't have the mininum entry requirements: Stellar grades in the toughest courses they can tackle, and a GREAT attitude about embracing challenge in spite of circumstances.

        Much love and luck to you and your son, badscience. Parenting is the toughest--and best--job in the world!

        Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

        by earicicle on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 12:36:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your Yale experience sounds great... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          earicicle, rosabw

          I think i would have enjoyed that sort of college experience as well.  I like being around people that aren't so much interested in talking about the mundane world of "stuff" and are more interested in talking about ideas more in the abstract.

          Does sound fun! Jealous I guess!

          Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

          by leftyparent on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 12:48:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Does sound fun! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          earicicle

          I am a Smithie myself and absolutely had a blast. I would do some things differently with hindsight (there was no interwebz in 1980 and a little more background in math/programming would make my life a little easier) and I didn't discover rowing until after college.

          Daughter is there now and loves it.

          ELITEELITEELITEELITE. Yes, I know how lucky I was and how fortunate daughter is.

          •  Glad to see you acknowledging the privilege here.. (3+ / 0-)

            The opportunity for some of us to go to the schools of the elite, which I guess are generally designed to be fun while giving you the experiences and connections you need to function well in positions of power.  A key part of "Tier 1" or our three-tiered American education system.

            http://www.leftyparent.com/...

            Tier One – The elite private schools for the kids of our economic elite (the so called “One Percent”), where they have the opportunity to develop skills of leadership, entrepreneurship, and creative outside-the-box thinking and develop the necessary connections to people in power to become the next generation of corporate and political leaders.

            Tier Two – The “good” public schools (and comparable religious and secular private schools) that train the kids of middle-class families to become part of the what Gatto calls the “professional proletariat” – the doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers, and other “knowledge workers” – that staff the corporate enterprises financed, launched and led by the kids from the tier one schools.

            Tier Three – The “bad” or “failed” public schools for the economically disadvantage communities, which according to Gatto and other radical education activists are designed to “fail” and maintain an underclass of “them” to anchor the hierarchical pyramid of a country that continues to be comfortable with being economically stratified. These schools basically warehouse the kids of the poorest among us who, if they can find jobs at all, are hopefully grateful to take the service and other menial jobs along with filling the ranks of our large volunteer military.

            Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

            by leftyparent on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 01:32:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  'Elite' schools are NOT just for 'The Elite.' (0+ / 0-)

              And 'elite' colleges are open to everyone, based on merit. If your familiy income is under $60-100,000 (the cut off varies by school), tuition is completely free and your child isn't even asked to take out ANY student loans.

              I went to a private K-12 school for free--the same one the president did, at the same time he was there on scholarship. We were among the MANY middle & working class kids there. My college tuition was covered more than 90% by need-based scholarship from Yale; my middle class parents were required to make a small contribution every year (divided in half when my brother arrived a year later); I had to take out a student loan. I had a 100% tuition scholarship to grad school.

              Yes: You have to find a way to get a good K-12 education, and I was incredibly fortunate (ironically) to live in a state where lots of great private & parochial options existed to supplement the rocky quality of the public school system. We CANNOT continue to let public education crumble. But abandoning the public system only lets the wingers win.

              Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

              by earicicle on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 01:49:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Agreed... but would you agree they are designed... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rosabw

                to prepare people for positions of power in society, not just to be high-powered "clerks" (as John Taylor Gatto would say) for those in power.

                Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

                by leftyparent on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 01:53:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Nope. Not the main thing anymore. (0+ / 0-)

                  My best friend from college is a UCC minister. A BOATLOAD of my classmates (moi included) are writers. Actresses, dancers, teachers, non-profit founders & fundraisers, happy hausfraus...there are just as many of us 'non-power' peeps as the lawyers, doctors, bankers, etc.

                  One classmate did just become an Episcopal bishop. But he's one of my wild singing group buddies, and wears his progressive credentials proudly.

                  Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                  by earicicle on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 02:45:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Ok... Maybe I'm wrong there! (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    earicicle

                    Good to hear!

                    Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

                    by leftyparent on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 02:48:43 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Guess you didn't need to take Bragging 101 (0+ / 0-)

                    either, earicicle.  Sheesh.

                    If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

                    by livjack on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 06:11:53 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  ??? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      rosabw

                      What's to brag about? The only 'power' position I mentioned was 'bishop,' and you can't get much more down-to-earth and un-authoritarian than my old singing group buddy S. And we Episcopals are pretty progressive, thank you very much.

                      My 'elite' education was fun, but it was no magic ticket to membership in 'The Elite.' Peruse a few of my diaries if you care to guess what socio-economic strata I've landed in. Middle class looks might fancy from down here!

                      Doesn't mean I choose to be bitter. I still celebrate the lives my friends live. And fight every day to get better so I can communicate to a wider audience--especially the Power Peeps--just exactly what it means to struggle in this America.

                      My life is nothing to brag about. So far, I've survived...just barely. I only even mentioned Yale b/c I was directly asked. Search my 25k comments for how many times it's come up. [I 'fess up that I will trade digs w/a Hahvahd person when provoked. Old habits...] Amazing how prickly the Ivies make those who don't know how different they are now.

                      I hope you're doing much better than I have. Poverty sucks.

                      Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                      by earicicle on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 07:04:11 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Free college? (0+ / 0-)

                In what year did that miracle occur?

                •  The "miracle" would be consensus among citizens... (0+ / 0-)

                  that tax dollars should be collected and spent for people's college expenses.  Actually in CA enrolled high school students can take community college classes at no cost.  Registered teen homeschoolers in CA are considered enrolled in high school so they can take advantage of this program.

                  That said, the rising cost of college points out the rising cost of conventional education generally with its plethora of teachers in classrooms and labs, "brick and mortar" buildings sequestered on campus real estate.  A structure that is really archaic given our 21st century information technology, and therefore IMO not delivering real learning value for all the billions spent.

                  Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

                  by leftyparent on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 07:08:23 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's wonderful that high school & homeschooled (0+ / 0-)

                    kids in CA can attend community college classes at no cost. (This is NOT the case in Vermont, as far as I know.) This is a tremendous idea--should be the case in all 50 states.

                    It's another discussion for another day, but I disagree with prioritizing online education over the in-person classroom. I learned more from the intangibles of interacting with the PEOPLE I met--teachers, professors, fellow students--not only in classroooms, but in libraries and dining halls and on athletic fields and in bars and singing group rehearsals...etc.

                    A small seminar with Fred Friendly on the Constitution? Priceless. And just one example of hundreds. I went to college a naive girl who had grown up on an island. I left an adult who had lived and learned and broke bread with people from all over the world.

                    No computer experience can ever replace that.

                    Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                    by earicicle on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 10:43:26 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                      •  Nance... thanks for sharing that link! (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        earicicle

                        Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

                        by leftyparent on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 07:23:30 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Glad the state has changed policy. (0+ / 0-)

                        Under 8 years of R governorship, this was not the case. A few years ago, my friend whose son had exhausted all the HS math courses had to pay the tuition for him to take advanced calculus at community college.

                        We have a good D governor now, and solid majorities (Dem-Prog coalitions) in both houses. Elections matter!

                        Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                        by earicicle on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 11:56:40 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Maybe picking & choosing is the best path... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      earicicle

                      Taking an in-person class with the likes of Fred Friendly but taking any and all of those "cattle classes 101" online.

                      I think if we start looking at education as something managed by the learner then picking from a variety of educational paths and venues seems like a very effective path forward.  Choosing just to be in a classroom all the time or just to be at home is a thin broth.

                      Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

                      by leftyparent on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 07:23:01 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  It's been the case at the Ivies for quite some (0+ / 0-)

                  time now. The cut offs vary by school--usually there is one income level where a family pays no tuition, and another higher family income level where a student still is not asked to take out any loans even when the family has to make a small contribution towards tuition. For example, at Brown families with income below $60,000/year pay $0 tuition/room/board, which is now about $50,000/year. All financial aid has been exclusively need-based at the Ivies for 3-4 decades.

                  The image of the Ivies as bastions of the wealthy elite is hopelessly outdated. I have faced this false assumption all my life, even though I attended on 90%+ scholarship many years ago. Even then, some of my fellow students not only attended for free, but received modest stipends for expenses like books & travel b/c their families had zero resources to pay for anything.

                  Yes it is a miracle: You can go to the best colleges in the country FOR FREE (without taking ANY loans) if you work hard enough to get in and your family has modest or low income.

                  Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                  by earicicle on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 10:34:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  "Work hard enough" (0+ / 0-)

                    means that you test high enough, I'd imagine...is that right?

                    If you starve the middle class, whose gonna pay for your crap?

                    by rosabw on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 04:44:46 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  What does "work hard enough" mean? (0+ / 0-)

                      Goodness knows we are well below the $60,000 income figure. Several times over. And yet when I visit a website to see if my DD is going to be able to go to some college or other that she's interested in, the worksheet always assumes she will take out at least the $5500 Stafford Loan http://www.staffordloan.com/.... And usually this is only part of the loan package.

                      Let me go see if Brown has one of those calculators.

                      •  I'm not saying it's outrageous (0+ / 0-)

                        but the worksheet shows

                        "My Estimated Net Price for Academic Year 2011-12 is $ 5,050"

                        So we're still looking at a $5500 Stafford Loan for the first year.

                        Maybe that's nothing. Maybe after 4 years of $5500 X 4 plus whatever and you get a degree from Brown with $22,000 owed. Maybe that's a good deal. Maybe you even have a Master's because, like DD, you have earned an AA during high school (thanks to the dual enrollment mentioned above).

                        And maybe they work an even better deal for you if you have perfect this or that.

                        Is that what you were expecting, earicicle? Does that sound like a good deal to you?

                        •  NO LOANS. (0+ / 0-)

                          Jeebus. What part of 'NO LOANS' was hard to understand?

                          I have a family member at Brown right now. No tuition, no room, no board, NO LOANS for him or for his family. He will graduate with ZERO debt. In fact, Brown requires NO LOANS if your family income is under $100,000. LINK to Brown's press release explaining this policy.

                          Many other schools have adopted similar policies. They recognize that student loans are a crippling burden and that economic diversity is vital to building a healthy student body.

                          I don't know why you have a chip on your shoulder. We have serious issues we need to address in American education--among them, the insane costs of college & post-graduate programs. But dogging on 'name' schools is senseless. Why the resentment? Jeebus. Now you see why I rarely mention the Big Bad Name.

                          Read some of my diaries if you'd like to see how fancypants book learnin' has given me super-elite protection from all the bad things in life. Ha!

                          Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                          by earicicle on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 12:32:28 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  So why does everyone end up with loans... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Nance

                            these days and a mountain of debt?  Because they have made a huge mistake on charting their academic path?

                            Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

                            by leftyparent on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 07:26:03 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No, not at all. Our system is broken. (0+ / 0-)

                            But a growing number of schools with big enough endowments, in recent years, have been raising the income threshold that allow students to get a $50,000/year education for FREE. These limits for free tuition, or modest contributions and zero loans, now extend well into the middle class. (For example, Brown's cut offs are at $60,000 for free tuition and $100,000 for no loans. Which I know first hand from a current family member attending there, despite whatever 'Nance' says he/she found online.) I worry that not enough people know about this unique opportunity. Not enough parents or students even think of applying, and instead limit themselves to what they perceive as 'cheaper' options, such as their local state university, where tuitions are skyrocketing and financial aid is becoming scarcer b/c of state & federal budget cutbacks. Why bankrupt the family and burden a child with loans--or worse, skip college--when there are opportunities (albeit limited) to get massive financial aid?

                            There really is a lingering misperception (witness the nasty tone of some commenters--not you!--towards me re: Y__e) that the Ivies are for Teh Evil 1%. Even back in my day, the majority of students were on financial aid.

                            I just want people to have less despair, and know about an option that is out there. And give up this silly resentment towards perceived 'elite' schools, many of whom are at least doing something in the midst of this American education nightmare to atone for their past and open their doors (and wallets) to EVERYONE regardless of financial status.

                            Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                            by earicicle on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 11:29:01 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh, bite me. (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm trying to follow up on what you said and the calculator at Brown's website gave me the figures I posted. The 2008 press release says something different. Do you suppose I give a rat's ass where you went to school decades ago? I'm trying to find accurate information now. I went to the Brown website hoping you were right. I ran the numbers. I posted what I got. Feel all the outrage you want. It's not helpful to students in today's reality.

                            And if you thought college was going to protect you from life's vicissitudes. . . sorry.

                          •  Bitter much? (0+ / 0-)

                            You can believe what you want: Some online tool that you're obviously using wrong, or our real life family member who is about to graduate having paid only for his books (with his term-time & summer jobs). $200,000 in tuition/room/board via Brown scholarship, ZERO in loans, completely based on financial need.

                            I don't have any outrage; just sorrow at parents who let their bitterness and bias interfere with giving their kids the best opportunities. One small detail that might have given my family member an extra point or so on his application: Schools like Brown always want to have kids from every state. And an Ivy admissions officer admitted to us that the number of applicants from that fairly large state (which has some very strong public and private high schools) is surprisingly low. Because the parents and college counselors are very narrow minded and usually don't think about out-of-state opportunities for their children. Makes me sad. Why wouldn't parents want only the best for their kids?

                            As for this:

                            And if you thought college was going to protect you from life's vicissitudes. . . sorry.
                            Wow. What a disgusting thing to say. It is the opposite of what I think. I don't believe I'm 'entitled' to anything, other than basic human dignity & respect, which apparently you don't feel is important to give.

                            I just wanted to debunk your underlying assumption--a pathetic movie I have seen before--that the blessing of a privileged education equals a sense of entitlement. ON THE CONTRARY, it leads to a sense of burden: to give back, to make a difference. As Luke says in the parable of the servants, "To whom much is given, of him much shall be required." Luke 12:48

                            I have been forced to stop working and give up all volunteering during my difficult recovery from cancer. Your ignorance makes me want to put admissions interviewing back on the top of my volunteer priority list. So I can be a small part, if possible, of giving a kid a chance. A kid whose parents allow him to dream.

                            Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                            by earicicle on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 11:49:52 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Oh, and "work hard enough" means the same (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        rosabw

                        thing it has always meant: Hard work. Initiative. Tackling challenges, not manipulating someone (especially your parents) to get out of them. Taking on leadership roles in community, school, athletic organizations. Showing tenacity. Showing character. Applying your smarts. Making a difference.

                        Not whining that "life's not fair" or "the system is stacked against me." (Messages that kids would most likely absorb from their parents, sadly.) Because of course these things are true, but good families raise strong-willed, creative children determined to overcome whatever obstacles stand in their way.

                        Right?

                        Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                        by earicicle on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 12:43:14 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  My understanding is that what really... (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          earicicle, rosabw

                          makes you a hot prospect for a top school is not so much your grades and test scores but the sort of outside the box real-life things that you have managed to do in your youth.  Every applicant considered has the obligatory grades and test scores, but it is the real-life you've led that makes the difference.

                          Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

                          by leftyparent on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 07:29:01 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Absolutely. "Outside the box real-life things that (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            rosabw

                            ...you have managed to do in your youth." Well said, leftyparent. Who you are, in three dimensions, is far more important than two dimensional scores and grades. College admissions committees realize that standardized tests are DEEPLY flawed indicators of academic ability. They also look at grades with a giant grain of salt.

                            And every year, top colleges get more applicants with perfect SAT scores and 4.0 GPAs than they have available slots for admission. But what would a class comprised of only grade- and test score-chasing kids mean to a school? Not the vibrancy, creativity and vitality that make up a dynamic environment for living and learning.

                            Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                            by earicicle on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 11:03:26 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Um...no. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      rosabw

                      Test scores play less and less of a role in college admissions today. Some colleges don't even require them anymore.

                      You might be surprised how much colleges--even the top colleges--are really looking to bring an interesting mix of kids to their schools. I've done admissions interviewing, in case you're interested. So I'm not just imagining things...

                      Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                      by earicicle on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 12:35:40 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yeah, (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        earicicle

                        That might be interesting!!

                        I have a friend who probably is a little more aware of that than most.  She  home schooled and had her kids taking part in many math, science, and history competitions--sometimes they did really well, too!  They were in athletic activities as runners, they were in 4-H, and they also did a lot of community service.

                        Her oldest son was really smart, but he got into MIT based a lot on his "portfolio" that showed he was a very well rounded young man.

                        I'm guessing that is what you mean.  Her kids are so used to being a part of the larger world, of following their own paths, but working very hard and doing the best they can. It used to be just test scores...I'm kind of relieved it isn't that way anymore.

                        My son is pretty dyslexic, and would like to go to Georgia Tech (they love people who think "outside the box" from what I've heard)   I'll look at the press release from Brown, and see if we can't get a little more creative regarding college.  He already has a professor at Georgia Tech who has asked him to call on him when he is ready...

                        Thank you for helping me to think big.  Have you done a diary on this that I could look at?

                        If you starve the middle class, whose gonna pay for your crap?

                        by rosabw on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 06:03:24 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  The 'role model' that inspired me, in part, to go (0+ / 0-)

                          Yale was also dyslexic--a classmate & family friend, three years older, who I'd grown up with. He had a blast there, and told me I would, too.

                          The reading load was EXTREMELY heavy there--so heavy in subjects like history that even super-fast readers (like me) could never really make it through every assigned word. [You learn how to prioritize, and divided and conquer with your classmates!] Colleges have become SO much more aware of learning disabilities these days, and I think EVERY college has an office dedicated to students with special needs.

                          It's an excellent idea to get to know or work with a professor when you're still in high school. [Is there a class your son could take with him, or an independent study project they could devise together?] You never know: That prof could certainly write a key letter of recommendation for college--something that counts VERY highly in admissions--and even specifically advocate for your child if he seeks admission at that prof's university.

                          Well-rounded, creative kids are EXACTLY what schools seek. I haven't diaried on any of this because it's not my direct area of expertise per se. But this is the world I grew up in, worked in and still know intimately and directly. Trust me when I say: Go for it, rosabw! Don't be discouraged! All the things that feel like disadvantages--dire finances, minority status, learning challenges--can all be turned into opportunities. Even being a boy is a plus these days: Girls make up the stronger applicant pool today, so qualified boys are slightly harder to find.

                          Of course you don't have to tell your son the fact that women are smarter is gonna help him get into a better college! ;-)

                          Good luck to your family!

                          Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                          by earicicle on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 07:29:18 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  this is kind of a diary...thanks. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        earicicle

                        If you starve the middle class, whose gonna pay for your crap?

                        by rosabw on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 06:12:45 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I apologize for the testy tone of some of my (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          rosabw

                          comments. Over the years I've been through a lot of unnecessary hostility [although 'bite me' from someone in this thread is a new one!] about having gone to private schools. Even when I'm trying to share the great, good, amazing news that they are now FREE, FREE, FREE even to middle class families, and loan-free to upper middle class families.

                          Glad that you found some info to help you and your son. I wish you every success!

                          Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                          by earicicle on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 07:37:12 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

            •  the underclass schools (4+ / 0-)

              are indeed very challenging.  I can only speak to my own experience, but in Texas where my husband is a kindergarten teacher, the poor kids are in high percentage either Black or "Bilingual" (meaning 100% poor Mexican, Honduran or Guatemalan immigrant children). There is little to no diversity, and the class size is large. The teaching is directed towards the standardized tests that they must pass or be held back. Few resources, and parents too poor to contribute the huge amounts to the PTA that the schools in the wealthier parts of town have.

              My own child attended a public school that was like the Tier II in your description above.  The parents provided wonderful tutors, and gobs of money for the PTA.  
              The standardized tests were passed by 95% of the kids with ease, so they were free to explore music, art and extras that were not available to the other schools. A tragedy that this kind of experience is not available for all.

              We have nowhere else to go... this is all we have. (Margaret Mead)

              by bruised toes on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 04:21:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You point out the hypocracy of std testing... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                EclecticCrafter, rosabw, FloridaSNMOM

                Middle class kids of some economic and racial privilege learn so much of their std tested learning outside of schools in their more enriched lives.  The poor kids have to rely on school for a lot more of their overall learning so they are focused on testable learning rather than really exploring their talents and interests.  They are groomed for failure and the economic underclass, and set up to be seen as their own fault.

                Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

                by leftyparent on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 04:32:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Heh. (0+ / 0-)

            I skipped math, too. I did give computer science the literal college try, but couldn't hack it [cheesy pun intended]. Thank God for idiot-proof Macs!

            I just took up Dragonboating last summer, with a breast cancer survivors team! Not paddling right now as I juggle more complications, but hope to get back in the water soon. My Concept 2 is my BFF! ;-)

            Rowing in college? Weren't the practices sometime before noon? ;-)

            Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

            by earicicle on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 01:53:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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