Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Next Leg of the Journey - The Right Path

So we have come to a bit of a standstill in our task to get CM1 onto the next level of his education. The issue being what is it going to be? I have written for awhile now about him taking the law boards and applying to law school but suddenly hubby is not certain that that is necessarily the right path for our son. Not because CM1 wouldn't be able to excel at law school. By all indications he should be rather good at it. No, its about the law field itself and the fact that lawyers can not find jobs, the law practice is changing and whether CM1 wants to practice law or use a law degree to branch out into another area of the world.

So here we are sitting quietly and hubby springs this idea. Fine. I have no problem with that. We discussed what to do. I bookmarked several graduate school websites and we are going to go through them to see if  there is anything that strikes CM1's fancy. The truth be told, Forbes came out with a list of the top ten jobs for the future. You can rest assured lawyer was not one of them. There was engineering, business and healthcare (therapists). Now the reason that CM1 never pursued any of these before is simple..he hates math and can't do math beyond basic high school math. In fact he hasn't taken a math class since high school.

CM1 had been interested in forensics in high school, but the last year of physics and pre-calculus aggravated him to no end. He actually did well in both classes but it was a struggle and very very very anxiety provoking. So when he saw that for a biology degree in college he needed physics and higher level math, that was the end of that. Now he has registered though for a forensic chemistry class for the fall and we found out that all he needs for that class is highschool level math. Nothing fancy shmancy. I hope it works out. I definitely think we need to move CM1 out of his comfort zone and let him see more of the wider world.

So as we continue on this quest to figure out if law really is his calling, I have looked at some management programs in the area. Brilliant-computer-sis warned that alot of these programs do require higher level math so I am trying to do some research. I have looked at the course list and while there is no finance, accounting per se, we will need to see just how much math is required in the study of global marketing, urban renewal and health administration.

We are thinking at this point to try to have him take a class in marketing or management at the college. It does not look like he is going to be getting an internship. After sending out dozens of resumes and not one call for an interview there comes a time when you need to accept the fact that nothing is going to happen for this youngman right now. He couldn't even get a job at McDonald's. Or as s supermarket checker.Those are all taken by adults. The traditional jobs that a teen or college student would be able to get during the summer does not exist around here anymore.

So that is the plan right now. Maybe a course outside his comfort zone and let him see if there is something else that sparks his interest. He is already signed up for the LSAT and this summer I will try to get him accommodations for the GRE if graduate school is the way he wants to go. Interestingly some of the graduate programs don't even require a GRE unless you do not have several years of work experience. Now he does not have that of course. But in reality how many recent college grads really do?

On another note, hubby did mention that law may be the way for CM1, merely because he is genetically predisposed to it. It's why people follow in their parents footsteps. Not because they can't think of anything else to do, but because they are more inclined to that profession. Perhaps that is why you have families of doctors, lawyers, accounts, businesspeople, artisans and professors, etc. This is what simply comes naturally to everyone. Who really knows right now. We could also be over-thinking the entire episode, but we want to make sure that if we set him on a path that it really is the right path for him.

Now CM2 is another story. He has always wanted to major in computer science. He loves computers and his goal in life is to create computer games. Problem is he is not very independent in his classes and the professor is of the opinion that this is not a major for him. I kind of became annoyed with that response. I have lost count of the number of times people have told me that the boys can't do something. So I am not one to say "oh, OK" if a professional tells us the boys shouldn't....

Of course this may be a different situation as the professor has been teaching CM2 for two semesters and he sees how CM2 functions in class and on his tests. Honestly if you cannot maintain an A or high B average in your choice of major, it is probably not the area for you. Now CM2 is not doing that well in these courses. Not certain what the issue is. We are trying to figure it out. He even has a tutor.

Yes I know he has a math disability and so much of the computer science is math or math related but I think there has to be a way around the issue. He is registered to take another computer science language next semester and I am told that BASIC is much easier than JAVA. Honestly I have no idea what to really do. We have never told the boys they can't do something. We have always told them if you want to do XYZ and it is difficult you need to figure out the way to do it. So maybe one more semester of computer science to see how he does. Perhaps it is the professor. Perhaps it is the type of computer language. Perhaps CM2 needs to get off his butt and work harder than he is willing to.

Problem is when I told hubby what the professor said, his initial response was that the professor may have a point. CM2 may not be cut out for this major. But on the other hand, CM2 has given us so much trouble about putting in the right amount of effort in school, not sure his issue is not effort related rather than understanding related. I suppose either way it may not bode well for what he wants to study. I just wish the boy really listened when we tried to explain this to him.

So anyway here is where we are right now. It's a type of limbo that I really am not used to. I have always had a direction for the boys and I have always knew where to point them. The issue is making certain that in today's world CM1 studies something that is practical and realistic in graduate school. Hubby is determined to get him away from holocaust studies. Even most of his history courses are depressing, talking about subjugation and annihilation of one people over another. Hubby says he needs something positive to study and something that looks to the future. I agree. That is why urban renewal or public health or international global markets may be the way to go for him. Get him away from the sadness and into something that brings hope.

Now CM2..he is a totally different story. What that story will be I have no idea. But what I do know is that he really cannot put two and two together and figure out that with a little more effort he would truly have an easier time at school.

So here is my recommendation for all you parents with children starting middle school into high school: make certain in your transition plan there is a way for your child to branch out and to take courses that may not be exactly what one might think they would enjoy. Challenge them. Don't let them get comfortable with studying only what they are used to. Make sure the schools have them take classes in every area and even if they go to a technical school make sure they are exposed to the wider world. (Yes there are the across the board classes that student take in college but its not the same thing as hands on experiences.) I think this was our biggest mistake. We allowed them to get comfortable in their little spheres. Yes I know the boys are still very young and have quite a ways to go..but it would have been better if we had started this leg of the journey alot sooner. It's the aimlessness that bothers me. Not knowing what's out there too is a problem...

Websites, books and research that is now the name of the game....we might end up where we began. But at least we would know that we looked at the wider world.

Until next time,