Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Denise and Denephew

Wow, it's been almost a week since I last added anything to my blog. Well, there's a reason for that - my neice has been staying with us for a few days. She lives in Misery... err.. Missouri but it might as well be misery since she lives with her mom, stepdad, four brothers, baby sister and, at the moment, about four other kids who are guests of one sort or another. And now you know the reason she's staying with us for a few days.

It's been nice having her around. While she was growing up in Tulsa, I was going to school in Stillwater. I didn't have much of a chance to get to know her or spend any time with her. Now it's looking like we have a chance to have a little influence on her life. That's not to say we're trying to guide her in any particular direction but we are trying to make sure she has all of the information she needs - including posing a few soul-searching questions to her - before she chooses which direction she wants to take.

Let me explain...

High School bores her to tears. She's an extremely intelligent young lady. At one point, she was attending a special school that taught advanced subjects and generally expected higher levels of aptitude from its students. From what I understand, she did very well... until she moved. Then it was back to public school and listening to teachers who are forced to teach to the lowest common denominator. Vanilla education.

Sidebar: Before anyone starts to throw stones at me , God bless out teachers... ALL of them. My father is a teacher and I have a great respect for the work they do and the love they have to put into the job. God knows they aren't in it for the money. I just understand the mold that public education requires them to adhere to.

Now I ask you, is it fair to teach an Eagle to fly then place it in a cage? No wonder she stopped attending classes.

Lately, she has been talking to military recruiters. She was set to go into the Air Force then decided to look toward the Army because she felt the opportunities in the Air Force were too limiting based on her interests. She has been attempting to explain to us some convoluted reason she doesn't need her diploma, can get a G.E.D. and will have earned college credit enough for an Associate's degree through the training the military will give to her. As we attempted to unwind these reasons and better understand the path she had chosen we thought it best that she get some information from someone who wasn't trying to get her to sign on the dotted line.

Today she met with an enrollment counselor at OSU who helped her understand her options, including concurrent enrollment - taking for-credit college classes while also attending High School classes. Now she is weighing her options armed with information rather than feelings. I am a LOT more comfortable with that. Her dad will be happy, too.

Look, up in the sky!
It's a bird...
It's a plane...
It's.... Underdog!!??

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