BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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First Day Jitters, Again

kid writing.jpg

It happens every time. Tomorrow I start writing camp with a new group of kids, and I’ve got the jitters.

I’m prepared. My day is all mapped out, my cart is full of the necessary supplies, and today I toured the site, so I would know just where to go and how to get there. Seriously, I’m ready.

I’ve reviewed the roster, sent out a welcome email, and planned activities that I think will be both fun and enriching for my young writers. I’m bringing my A game. So what’s the big deal?

The big deal is that every time I work with a new group of kids I get this way. I’m not afraid of them. I’m not afraid that I won’t know what to do with them. It isn’t fear at all. Anxiety is more like it. I suppose it’s more excitement than anything else.

I’m excited to get to know them. I’m excited to try out some new things. I’m excited to see what they can and will do. I’m excited for it all, and it all starts tomorrow.

I know it’s going to be great, now if I can just calm down enough to get a good night’s sleep I’ll be set.


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And Then There Was One

And it’s the one that makes the most sense, of course. Yes, folks, he’s going to the hometown University – Arizona State!

FIMOpvK7_400x400You see, Arizona State University did this really cool thing. While he was weighing pros and cons they gave him a call. By they, I mean a super chill guy named Luis from the financial aid office. Luis wanted my son to know that Arizona State University decided they wanted him badly enough to pay for his full tuition and fees, for four years. Yeah, baby!

That bit of information made his decision so much easier, and it opened me up to admitting that deep down I dreaded the idea of him being all the way in Indiana, no matter how terrific Purdue University is (and I truly believe that it is terrific). He’ll be close by, he can still see his grandparents regularly, and several of his close friends are going there as well. Who knows, maybe they’ll rent a house together after freshman year? I suppose it’s possible.

My greatest fear, the university’s sheer size, has also been calmed. He was invited to apply to a particular engineering program that puts together a cohort of students who have similar educational goals. He was accepted right away. I suppose that fact that they invited him to apply meant that they wanted him in the program. I’m not sure about that one. It doesn’t matter though, I think it will be a good fit for him, sort of a school within a school approach. In fact, it seems similar to the International Baccalaureate program from which he’s graduating high school (only on a much more difficult scale, of course).

Anyway, I suppose it was inevitable. From birth this guy has been surrounded by ASU “stuff.” He had Sparky onesies and he attended Sundevil football games in diapers. His bedroom was painted gold with maroon accents, and his clock sported Sparky pointing to the hour and minute. His golf towel is embroidered with the pitchfork, and the plastic cups in our kitchen bear the ASU logo. Yes, this boy is a Sundevil, and this mom is a proud ASU mom.


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And Then There Were Two (Universities, That Is)

The whole process of selecting and applying to colleges and universities has been a daunting one for my son. There was so much information to wade through, and so many factors to consider. There were applications to complete, essays to write, recommendations to request, and more. It was a strenuous process, to say the least.

The tallies are in, and there are two universities in the running for my son’s heart, mind, and tuition. Today is April 5, and decisions have to be made by May 1. You might think it would be easy, but you would be wrong.

In-state vs. Out of State

It would be nice to have him nearby, at the local university, but I think he might miss out of something by not striking out on his own, away from his high school comfort zone, both in terms of geography and friends.

On the other hand, the other university is SO far away! I would see him far less, and each visit would cost hundreds of dollars. Still, there’s something to be said for striking out on your own.

Cost

Both universities have offered him scholarships and financial aid packages. They’re fairly comparable, but the in-state university has the added bonus of being, well, in-state. They’re both public universities, so they offer reduced tuition rates to residents of their respective states. Obviously our in-state university has a huge advantage here. Between the aid package and the savings we’ve managed to cobble together over the years, he could earn his bachelor’s degree there without any significant (or possibly ANY at all) debt. Wouldn’t that be something in this day and age?! The other university would require some loans from all three of us (him, me, and his father).

Climate

Okay, maybe it’s just the mom in me, but baby it’s COLD out there! Out in the midwest, that is. Yesterday when I looked up the temperature it was 36 degrees! It was 89 at our house, with bright sunshine.

Now I grew up in the Great Lakes region, so cold and gloom are nothing new for me, but my boy is a sunshine kid. He claims not to mind, though. And he DID visit the campus in December. Still, brrr!

Campus

By this I mean the feel of the campus. Does is seem like a place you might like to spend the next four years of your life? Only he can tell that one. Sometimes a place just feels right, you know?

Energy

This is similar to the campus one. What does the energy of the place feel like? Do you get excited thinking about it? Or is it just a place to punch in and punch out? It was clear to me after his December visit that the out of state school had a great energy for him. His eyes lit up talking about all he had seen there. For me that was enough. Ultimately, though, he’s the one who has to make the decision.

Making the Call

Time is ticking and he has to reserve his spot at one of those universities soon. I know he’s torn, but either way he’ll get an excellent education. I support either decision. I just hope he chooses for the reasons that make the most sense for him and his future.