Luke: But tell me why I can’t…
Yoda: No, no, there is no why. Nothing more will I teach you today. Clear your mind of questions.
Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back
Palawan Learner recently became an even bigger boy and not because he’s now 6’2″. How did this happen? I swear I turned my back for one second…
Here’s the proof for yourself:
The Emperor: “I’m looking forward to completing your training. In time you will call me master.”
Luke: ”You’re gravely mistaken. You won’t convert me as you did my father.”
The Emperor: “Oh no, my young Jedi. You will find that it is you who are mistaken, about a great many things.”
Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi
There has been a nice discussion going on at one of the local Facebook homeschooling groups in our area about duel enrollment classes. An area of quiet contention is that the public schools get to bump a duel-enrolled homeschool student from any class up to, but not after, the first day of school if a full-time public school student wants to take the class and there aren’t enough seats to accommodate everyone.
I was told that the public schools get full state funding per class for full-time students but only half funding per class for duel-enrollment students, although I don’t remember who I heard that from, so that’s why they give preference to full-time students. I think that’s fair. Basically, our kids fill the holes in these classes. It’s a win-win in my book.
I also think it’s been a great experience for Padawan Learner, especially the realization that classes move at a steady pace regardless of where you fall in the mix. He has had classes where he’s been so far ahead of everyone else that it’s agonizingly boring – for example, he did an entire year’s curriculum projects for two blocks of piggy-backed intro to and principles of (mostly mechanical) engineering classes in about 2 months, proceeded to teach himself several advanced concepts in the same area, and (as the teacher admitted in our winter conference) so outstripped the instructor’s knowledge in the software usage that he honestly had nothing more to teach him the remaining 7 months - and enough behind in getting things done that he’s been stressed about getting everything turned in at times. He even learned when to admit that a (distractable) student and (disorganized) teacher fit is SO bad that despite really enjoying the content of the class and liking the teacher’s personality, it’s best to drop the class and cut & run to save your GPA some seriously horrendous damage. He also learned that you can pick right back up at home with a self-teaching program and keep learning the material that you enjoyed so well.
This is, in my opinion, a great lesson to learn for anyone about to head off to a community college or – especially – a large, 4 year university. As one of my instructors in a 600 person freshman mathematics class at (40,000 undergrads alone) Galactic Empire University said in almost incomprehensible English, “Kas vate no man.” (Class waits for no man.)
Anakin Skywalker: “I’d much rather dream of Padme. Just being around her again is… intoxicating.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi: ”Be mindful of your thoughts, Anakin, they betray you.”
Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones
So this update that is long too over-due.
Padawan Learner had a fabulous time on Cataline Island despite – I am told – wanting to kill off many of the people in his group on a regular basis. What can I say, he’s not much of a group tour kind of guy. Apparently not shutting your trap even occassionally is a guaranteed excellent way to get on his Dark Side. I don’t know where he gets that from. The island itself was fairly amazing I’m told with dark, dark skies perfect for star-gazing, crystal-clear lagoons for snorkeling, and complete hillsides just begging for some invasive species removal. He was such a monster at this task that he earned a special badge for his efforts. And to think he used to argue with me about pulling weeds back in our Michigan flower beds.
View from camp. Rough, huh?
An invasive species' worst nightmare
The ropes course
The class was also privy to a behind the scenes Physics of Roller Coasters program at DisneyLand the day before their return home. I am told it was fascinating and also that it also reinforced his previous memory of NOT being a fan of roller coasters in general.
A fun end to a great week
Padme Amidala: “I don’t need more security, I need answers. I want to know who is trying to kill me.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi: “We’re here to protect you Senator, not to start an investigation.”
Anakin Skywalker: “We will find out who is trying to kill you, Padme. I promise you.”
Obi-Wan: “We will not exceed our mandate, my young Padawan learner.”
Anakin: “I meant in the interest of protecting her, Master, of course.”
Obi-Wan: “We are not going through this exercise again, Anakin. And you will pay attention to my lead.”
Anakin: “Why else do you think we were assigned to her, if not to find the killer? Protection is a job for local security… not Jedi. It’s overkill, Master. Investigation is implied in our mandate.”
Obi-Wan: “We will do as the Council has instructed,… and you will learn your place, young one.”
Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones
I have been saying those words over
inside my head thse last couple of days because Padawan Learner has made a very different choice than I would have made way back when for what is, without being over-simplistic about it, a potentially pivotable point in his life. I look back and think about those few times in my life when I made (or chose not to make) a decision that had an impact on the direction of the rest of my life. This feels, and very probably is, one of those moments in our young man’s life.
Yup. Very different. It has re-emphasized how different we are as people. How easy it is to get emotionally wrapped up in your own image of someone else and someone else’s future. Not bad, I should state that right off, but very different. I know I’ll look back in 15 years and most likely not even think about this single decision, but that is shallow reassurance right now.
They don’t tell you in the parenting books how hard it is to watch your kids make big decisions, to not step in and force a direction (the “right” direction as you see it), to be encouraging, and honest, and respectful. How not to care – for lack of a better word – so much, while still loving with all your heart.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: “If you spent as much time practicing your saber technique as you do on your wit, you would rival Master Yoda as a swordsman.”
Anakin Skywalker: “I thought I already did.”
Obi-Wan: “Only in your mind, my very young apprentice.”
Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones
So… Padawan Learner got in a fight with a tree Thursday night. This may surprise, you but the tree won. $1900 dollars and a week later and the old car should be back in fighting shape again. Let’s hope this little event reminds him to slow down and drive more carefully on snow-covered roads from now on. And people wonder why I hear Rainman’s voice in my head every time he tells someone, “I’m an excellent driver. “