Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

We're discussing COLLEGE already?

The Boy's IEP meeting was held Friday afternoon. This was a review meeting after his 3 year testing, so we went over the results carefully with the school psychologist and the education director. Nothing noteworthy other than the FINALLY, after so many frigging years, put dysgraphia into his IEP. This was because the SAT is coming up in the fall, and he'll now be able to take it on the computer instead of filling in those damn circles. This is very good news.

What was most interesting was that his English teacher, who is adorable and looks exactly like what an English teacher should look like, including brown corderoy jacket and shaggy hair, was extremely praiseworthy of the Boy's contributions in class. He also read aloud a paragraph from an essay the Boy had just handed in on Dovstoyevsky's Notes from the Underground, and if I do say so myself, it was brilliant. The kid is so verbal, his vocabulary is so advanced, and he is such a talented writer. It's such a shame that his dysgraphia has gotten in the way of his confidence about writing.

But I digress. After we all listened to the teacher read this paragraph, the guidance counselor looked a bit stunned and said, "Hm, I think Oberlin might be a good school for him to consider. Or maybe Grinnell."

To say I almost fell off my chair would be putting it mildly. Never, and I mean never, had I ever even thought that that caliber of school would have been a possibility for the Boy. I mean, I know he could handle the work, and I know he would probably like going to a smaller private college, but Oberlin? Grinnell? This totally blew my mind. These are great schools. How I could afford to PAY for them is beyond me, but the fact that the guidance counselor and his program director thought that it would be possible to consider them... oh man, it made my heart sing. I almost had tears in my eyes I was so proud of him.

I know this probably makes little to no sense to most of my readers, because much of what I tell you about him are his successes and not his failures, but school has never been good for the Boy. His schooling, since he started at the ripe old age of two in preschool, has been a series of bad and worst experiences. Every year has been a crappy year. Until high school. High school has been good for him. Last year was a fabulous year, with honor rolls and student of the year awards. This year... well, it's been ok. Not great, but decent. He is having some successes, in English, History and Biology. He's doing moderately well in Latin and Math. I'm not unhappy with his performance, although I know he can do much better work. As the end of the school year creeps up on us, I am feeling confident that next year he'll be fine.

But the pressure is ON. MCAS is in a couple of weeks, and this is the test he must pass in order to graduate from high school in MA. I think he'll be fine, all the teachers think he'll be fine, but I do worry about his attention to detail. Oh hell, let's be honest. I just worry, period. You never know with this kid what he's going to do. If he doesn't like the essay question, he might spend the entire time writing an essay about why this is such a stupid question. It's happened before.

PSATs are in October. Then we start looking seriously at what colleges might be a possibility. Next summer will be the year of the college tours. And during the year, the SAT prep class to help with the SATs. I'm so not ready for all of this. It's too fast. He's still my baby.

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Blogger Annie said...

It's scary is't it, how far ahead you have to think with your kids schooling. My daughters have to sit an exam in year 4 to determine which high school will make an offer to them, THEN resit another exam in year 6 to see which of those high schools will actually take them. And that's just high school!
Thank you for sharing this post.

19/5/07 4:07 PM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

How very exciting Margalit! I am familiar with Oberlin---I have a niece that went there, and I have heard of Grinnel, too....How proud you must be that he has come so far...!

BTW: Around 30 or more of those Arms from the Amak are in pots and have rooted....I just don't know where to put them all....! (lol)

19/5/07 4:12 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

It is good that they have finally taken note of what is said to be wrong, and that they know it is neurological,and not from his intelligence level (since it is high). Good luck with the testing!
Michele sent me.

19/5/07 4:36 PM  
Blogger The Turmanators said...

You must be bursting with pride! And how wonderful that we are now aware of these things. When I was in high school kids with learning/expressive difficulties got the ol' "you aren't working up to your potential" speech. It's clear that you have been a wonderful advocate for him, too.

Thanks for visiting...glad you enjoyed Fontella.

Long Day With Short People

20/5/07 5:43 AM  
Blogger Em said...

That's fantastic! For those of us who sit through those IEP meetings and listen to the lists of shortcomings every year, it is so wonderful to get that bit of good news. And this was a big bit! Congratulations to you and The Boy.

20/5/07 8:42 AM  

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