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.)
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. “
Padme: ”Ani? My goodness, you’ve grown.”
Anakin: ”So have you, grown more beautiful… for a senator, I mean.”
Padme: ”Ani, you’ll always be that little boy I knew on Tatooine.”
Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones
Today, Padawan Learner signed up to be a volunteer at our local nature center as part of their Youth Volunteer Group, which is run at the same time as their homeschooling classes for younger children. When I told him about it, he was interested but wanted to know more about what he would be doing. While it would have been easy for me to send out a quick email, I knew that it would mean more for him to find out for himself.
So I drove us out to the nature center after lunch today. Once we got there, he went about asking for the homeschooling program director and getting the information he wanted. It was, well, just so nice seeing him take charge of making this decision. He listened to what she said, asked a few questions, and decided to sign on to volunteer once a month.
I couldn’t be prouder.
“From the moment I met you, all those years ago, not a day has gone by when I haven’t thought of you.” – Anakin, Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones
Padawan Learner hit the jackpot. The thing he has been dreaming about since he first held one last year has become reality. Behold, Padawan Learner’s new iPod Touch.
I got proof tonight that he’s going to do just fine in this world. How? His first couple of purchases included the Flashlight, Lightsaber and More Cowbell apps. “I got a fever and the only prescription is more cowbell.” Family and friends alike pooled their money to make him the happiest guy in.the.entire.world. I think he’s still in a bit of shock. Any MUST GET apps for the iTouch that you recommend?
Happy Birthday to my favorite young man!
“The boy is dangerous. They all sense it, why can’t you?” - Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace
Padawan Learner came rambling out of his room this morning without his shirt on and I almost fell off my chair. My little boy is growing up AND IT’S FREAKING ME OUT. His shoulders appear to have widened overnight, but perhaps it’s because it’s been too cold out to go roaming around the house without a sweatshirt on for a couple of months now.
I’m sure his tiny, little, impossible-to-find-slim-jeans-for waist and hips are helping make his upper body look even wider but COME ON, Mother Nature! I can’t handle these changes coming at me so fast. Wasn’t he just 6 last week, and 2 the week before that?
That blond hair and those brilliant, blues eyes have been trouble since day one. Then, you made that hair wickedly thick and wavy so that I can’t bear to make him get it cut, thereby curling seductively at all the pre-teen and teenage girls you’ve dropped so casually around us. He has a little entourage now at his trampoline class, thankyouverymuch. Wasn’t it bad enough that you made him 6 inches taller than me in the past 18 months so that I have to strain my neck to give him a talking-to?
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but you’re quickly building him into some kind of blond, blue-eyed, flowing-haired, V-shaped, almost no body fat, already has 6-pack abs at the age of 13 danger zone. AND to top it all off, he just learned about the joy in working out at the Y (“The cardio machines have individual TVs that let you pick your own shows!!!”), so it’s only going to get worse. Thanks, Mother Nature. Thanks a lot.
When he starts figuring girls out, I’m doomed.
COME ON: the favorite exclamation of Gob (pronounced like the Biblical name, Job) in Arrested Development, one of the best shows to ever come from television. All three seasons are on DVD and I highly recommend you watch them all (without your kids in the room). We say this expression all.the.time around here.