Monday, January 22, 2007

It's Crunch Time!

Klaus's application to Simon's Rock is due February 1 and, after six weeks of intensive work, it looks like he will have it done in time. Whether he'll be ready to go to college in the fall, he's not so sure. I don't blame him. It's a huge life transition and he's never done well with transitions.

He's also terrified of rejection. Been there, done that. Applying to college, particularly a competitive college like Simon's Rock, is horrible for a sensitive perfectionist. My mother had to lock me in my room (okay, the door wasn't literally locked) so I would apply to Northwestern, and even after I'd been accepted, I wasn't sure I wanted to go. I remember waking her up in the middle of the night a month before I left to get permission to put college off a year so I could backpack around Europe. At least Klaus comes by it honestly. ;-)

College isn't the be-all and end-all, particularly since some of the state schools are little more than very expensive, glorified high schools. Klaus' career plans require a PhD in psychology, which does require college, though. And I couldn't help thinking, while watching The Pursuit of Happyness that while Chris Gardner is clearly intelligent and driven to succeed, he'd have been in much better shape if he'd left the Navy with more than a high school diploma and radar certification. I don't know if Dean Witter would even accept a non-college-graduate these days.

I'm sure Klaus can handle college-level work. If I had him home for the next semester, I could guarantee he'd do well on his AP tests and know how to write a college-level paper. I know a college-type schedule suits him better than the more regimented high school schedule does. I believe he will find some true peers there. Now if I can only convince him of all that.


Zany Mom said...

Psst! Can we still sneak away and backpack around Europe? I wanna go!! LOL Now where did I put those passport applications??

I used to thrive under pressure. Now I've just had enough.

Piers said...

I am lucky enough to have randomly stumbled upon your blog while idly scanning Blogspot during class (shame on me, I know you teacher types can't stand that!), and I would like to thank you for your excellent chronicling of the gifted experience. I am a 17-year-old college senior at The Evergreen State College, having been accepted there when I was 13. Reading the descriptions of your sons' trials and accomplishments is very comforting: As you have observed, gifted students often feel isolated in their experience, that they are the only ones like themselves that can see things the way they can.

I wonder how my life would have been different had I applied to S.R. and been accepted. Many traditional 4-year colleges I applied to told me to apply again when I turned 16... Would S.R. have done the same at 13? From what I've read, your son (15?) would be an excellent candidate even for such a competitive school. My current stressor is graduate school (for my doctorate) next fall at 18... I'll be finding out about that in April. I wish Klaus luck!

Check out my blog for the flipside of the experience... It's new, but I intend to add more content soon. If you wish to establish more direct communication, you can find my email on my Facebook page (also accessible from my blog).

I look forward to reading more of your stories!

- Piers E-R