N has been cruising along with his schooling and doing very well. Despite his lack of enthusiasm for certain general academic subjects, he works hard and does a very good job in these subjects, including writing, which he claims to dislike. We don't push him too hard but have certain reasonable expectations, and again, he does a nice job of it. He's even diligent to the point that he'll "want" to do the work even if we give him a break. I'd like to think that he wants to because he finds it a gratifying pursuit rather than just a duty. Whatever be the case, it would be nice to expand his horizons a little and not only expose him to a broader range of experiences, but maybe get him into more social situations, as well.
With this in mind, we approached our local school and made some inquiries. One of the counselors, GM, who is also a good friend, told us of the options while subtly alluding to the fact that the opportunities were greater at the big city school. I think he got the blessing of the local principal to spell it out this way, so he wasn't acting in a backhanded way. What we were told is that there were some options locally, but if we really wanted some interesting and diverse opportunities, than the big city school was the way to go. We figured as much, but it's good to hear it from the source.
I contacted the big city school and as it turns out, we know several of the staff. In fact, we know the assistant principal, who was a good source of information and guidance, and we found out that the school has some pretty amazing opportunities as far as classes go, particularly in our areas of interest, which are computers and elective courses. We can do the general education courses on our own. We made an appointment and met with the principal and course overseer and took N over to meet with them.
I've been to the school countless times because it's a poster boy stop, but I'd never really ventured too far into the building. This time around we got the full tour, and it was pretty impressive. I won't bore you with the details, but the variety of classes was pretty extensive, including stuff that really piqued N's interest, including woodworking, 3-D modeling, and various computer programming classes. They even have some cool music options that he might be interested in... in my dreams. What's interesting about the school is that at the kids have the option to choose their classes and create their schedules. I don't really remember this to be the case when I was that age, way back in the dark ages. What's also really cool is that there are a number of clubs that he can take part in, including mountain biking and model airplane making. The full course catalog will come out later this spring, so we'll have a better sense of what he can take.
Since we're out of towners and have our own school which we are choosing to "not choose," we will have to pay the big city school tuition, which will be pro-rated based on the number of classes he takes. No free rides in the big city, but sometimes you have to pay a little money for the right experience. Plus, he'll be with kids his own age in a setting where they share common interests, i.e., boys and girls checking each other out. The timing is good, as well, because in his grade a whole wave of kids will be coming in who will, like him, be new to the school.
I think it's all good, so we'll wait and see what's being offered and do whatever it takes to make it work. Hopefully lots of people will be getting married this summer so that there will be lots of catering gigs. We shall see.
Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Marvin for the pic.