Thursday, January 10, 2008

Feeling Over the Hill

I am Old. Old I am.

Last night we attended an Open House event at our local high school for our 8th grader who will be a freshman next year. High flipping school!

Since I have been out of high school, all I hear about is how schools do not offer any options for kids. Money is so tight that things like the Fine Arts, Sports, and other electives are being cut left and right. When I look back on my High School career I have to give Music the reason why I even graduated. I was not a big fan of school but Band made me come each day and I had to get good grades if I wanted to perform which was what I loved. Not to mention the family that band became for me. I spent 4 years with these people and we would travel together, rehearse together, and hang out together. Hell, I married one of them!

Anyhow, I know my son is in and likes band but I did not know what else he would be interested in or what options were available to him. Here is a list of what is available to him and any high school kid that attends this school, Fine arts which include Band, Orchestra, Jazz Band, Marching Band, 3 levels of Choir, Guitar, Ukulele, Drama, and Dance. Sports, like Football, Wrestling, Basketball, Cross Country, Track and Field, Tennis, Golf, Water Polo, Soccer, and Baseball. Marketing and Business Academy for those kids who are interested in pursuing a career in the Marketing field or want to prepare for Business careers in the future. An Agriculture program which participated in FFA competitions and prepares kids for a future in agriculture if that is there interest. A Program that focuses on Forensics, Fire and Police academies for students interested in those careers and apparently the course final is like a mock episode of CSI. The AVID program that focuses on organizational skills and preparedness for College is available. The Heritage of the Americans Magnet Program which is another course that focuses the students on College life and prepares them for success and tons of AP classes that offer College credits during their high school career and will not only jump start their time in college but save mom and dad lots of money.

Whew! My wife and I were so impressed. They had a panel of kids talking about all the programs that each of them was in and how their school really allows them to check out different programs so they can find their niche and focus on that when they head off to college. This is something that my wife and I did not have at all.

When we got home we sat down with George and asked him what he thought about the whole night. He was very excited that he could be in band and cross country. He was worried that he would have to choose but he saw that with some time management he could pull it off. He said he was inspired by the other kids to try some new things and really wants to get into some AP courses. The thing that really excited him was AP classes in Music Composition. He wants to learn more about music theory and composition what is very exciting. He had a lot to talk about and was up long past his bed time but it was well worth it. It is funny how we learn more about our kids each day or at least when we do when we listen to them. It is so easy to want to talk and talk to your kids but listening is when your eyes are opened to the adult your child wants to become.

It’s our job to help get them there and it’s the best job ever.


Allison said...

George, Glad to hear things went well with visiting the high school. It seems like it's getting to be more and more like college (getting to choose what you REALLY want to do) which I think is great. I loved that the AP/IB courses I took got me out of freshman English. :o) Allison

Donna said...

Wow! I can't believe all the options they have. It's nice that they can start planning for their futures & get on that track while still in high school. My school was very small & just offered the basics - still does.

I'm glad to hear he's excited about high school. That's definitely a plus.

AmyT said...

Wow, George, I thought we were Old... ;)

I am reading "Acceptance" right now. Check it out.

Penny said...


You can't be old. I think you and I are about the same age (I'm 34.) So, you can't be old;-)

I remember the last day of Holden's 8th grade year. I cried when his principle got his class to stand up and announced that they would start high school the next year.

And, next year he'll be a senior (sigh).

Chris said...

I'm only 34 but, WOW, how things have changed. Sounds like there is a lot of choices your son can choose from, which is really nice. Good luck to you and him in finding his niche.

Amylia said...

Wow...that's really great. It's nice to have options.

And you are not old. :)

BTW, I just blogged about how I joined WW, inspired by you. Thanks, Ninjaman!

Hannah said...

Ha, even that makes me feel old. We had a lot of programs back in high school, but I don't think we had that many to prepare us for college! (At least not in the honors program. AP English helped me avoid that mandatory freshman composition class in college and take something more fun. AP rules!)

Scott K. Johnson said...

Damn dude! You're a frickin' DINOSAUR! RAWR!


I'm kidding of course. I'm almost 33. Watching your kids grow up sure speeds that time thing along doesn't it?

It is so hard to really listen to our kids, and you are a role model for me. You set a fine example my friend!