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Travel Time

I’m about to hit the road for some much needed R&R and while I’m away I thought I would revive a few old posts for your reading pleasure. Many of you have been with me since the beginning, three years ago this month, but many of you are new friends, and since there are well over 500 posts in the history of this blog, I’m certain you haven’t read them all! Think of it as an extended Throwback Thursday.

I hope you enjoy some of these posts from the past, and I also hope you’re enjoying some R&R of your own.

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Throwback Thursday – College Applications

Since my son is in the throes of this momentous process, I thought I would take the opportunity to compare and contrast his experience with mine.CommonAppLogo-small1

First off, I applied to colleges in the mid-1980’s, long before not only internet, but personal computers. Every application was paper, and had to be requested from the university (or just arrived in the mail unsolicited), Each one had to be filled out in ink, either by hand (frowned upon) or by typewriter. Of course if you made a mistake, it would show, even if you used correcting tape or fluid. Accuracy was important. So was lining up the printed lines on the application with your responses. It was easy to make even the most carefully thought out application appear haphazard and sloppy.

My son has the luxury of using the computer for his applications. His responses are neat and clean, and there’s a common application that many of the universities utilize, so he doesn’t have to input his data over and over. He can also word process his essays, then paste them into the appropriate fields depending on the school to which he’s applying. I can easily look over his work, and suggest minor edits that he’s likely to implement, since they don’t mean starting from scratch.

Just like Dad's old typewriter, my friend from applications all the way through graduation.

Just like Dad’s old typewriter, my friend from applications all the way through graduation.

When I did applications, letters of reference had to be handed to my teachers, along with pre-addressed, stamped envelopes. Each university expected the letter to be composed on its own form, no photo-copies allowed. Test score reports and transcripts were handled in much the same way.

My son, on the other hand, just needs to login to the test score company to request score reports, and there’s another website that handles his transcripts. His teachers are happy to provide letters of reference, since they keep a file and copy and paste it as many times as are necessary. The whole process is fast, easy, and painless. Well, pretty painless. There are still costs involved, but the time and stress that are saved are immeasurable.

I wish all of today’s resources had been around when I was applying to colleges. I would have tried for more scholarships, for one thing. I would have saved a ton of time, for another. I’m glad my son has these resources. Now to sit back and wait for the results.


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Throwback Thursday – School Trouble

pencilMy son is a good kid. A very good kid. He generally does what he’s supposed to do and helps out when and where he can. I know this about him. Nobody has to tell me he’s wonderful, but they do anyway. His teachers always tell me what a great student he is, and how much they enjoy having him in class. I’ve heard the same types of comments from people with whom he’s worked. I agree.

Good kid or not, though, he’s isn’t perfect.

This week he messed up. He made a poor decision and he got caught. He didn’t harm anyone but himself, but his dad and I are disappointed. He’s disappointed in himself. He knew he made a mistake right away and he’s facing the music. I’m so glad he’s taking ownership of the situation and not trying to make excuses or blame someone else. That would have been so much harder to deal with.

Like I said, he’s a good kid. In fact, this is only the second time he’s ever gotten into any kind of trouble in school. The last time it happened was in the first grade. He’s seventeen now.

Back in first grade, the kids sat together at tables. Long story short, he and his buddy Kyle got caught writing on the table. My son swears he was trying to erase K’s writing, and frankly I tend to believe him, because he was such a rule follower.  I can see how he might have thought he was fixing the problem, but his teacher didn’t see it that way. Continue reading