Describe the world you live in (500 words)

Reports of my demise are exaggerated.
But only barely.
Maybe I can squeeze it in sometime in late January.
This is just the two weeks from hell, given the universal proposition that, all other things being equal, everything must be scheduled at the same time.

So, take Saturday.
December 1st — a day that will live in infamy.
There's two SAT subject tests, because as a homeschooler she has to take at least four subject tests.
She already did English Literature and Math last month, so this time it's Latin and Biology.
That's 8am to around 11am.
Then she can zip back to ballet for Nutcracker rehearsal all afternoon, but she'll have to leave a little early for her chamber orchestra call at 5, for their winter show at 7pm.
Oh, and her UW on-line application is due at midnight.
Oh joy! Sair is applying to colleges for next year.
Yes, she is doing it on her very ownsome, but life as an interested observer is difficult.
And since we homeschool, I have a certain amount of work too, since I am  effectively her high school office, and I get to organize her transcript.
My role is master of the scavenger hunt: Wanted, what were we doing for history in 2004 (American history), and what did we read for it? When did we do which community service? Oh, and how did we assess her work?
Filing and record-keeping have always been my weak point, so I am doing much tossing about of papers and a little fancy cursing.

Luckily it is all pulling together at last.
Basically, there are three sensitive dates: November 30/December 1 — public universities, and either January 1st or January 15th, private places, for a total of about nine schools.
Each school has an essay, or two, or three, with only minimal overlap as to subject.
So far she's nailed:
"Describe the world you come from,"  and "An accomplishment that defines who you are or makes you proud" — for a total of 1000 words.
"A story that helps us understand who you are" (550 words).
"Your best mistake" (500-650 words).
She has a short statement on what are her plans for her career in music still to do for Saturday.
She is just starting on 250 words for UW on how she will contribute to diversity on campus, or a story about something multicultural and what she learned from it.
That finishes off the first lot.
The next batch includes gems like, if she was singing karaoke, what song would she choose, how will she introduce herself to her college roommate, and if she could meet a famous person of her choice what would she tell them?
There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
My role has been the applying of cups of tea, and occasional reminders that the essay has to clearly address the assigned topic.

We are getting weird cross-overs from the necessary multi-tasking; she just looked up from biology review to announce
"I can tell UW that sexual reproduction increases diversity."
I guess it's an improvement over the first two options:
"I hate you, I hate you." or "I'll bring the cupcakes!"

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15 responses to this post.

  1. Yikes!!!You are seriously BUSY!!!!!!!!!!Reports of my demise are exaggerated. *whew*


  2. I'm not looking forward to this part as a parent. 🙂


  3. … you mean they actually grow up?Seriously, congratulations! I realize she's the one that has to do the heavy lifting, but you raised her, so it's really both of you going off to college!


  4. Good luck to you and Sair. Ugh.
    I went to a state school and only had to fill out a form, no essays, no nothin' but my test scores. I did want to try for Northwestern, but when my family checked out the cost, they gently steered me away from getting my dreams (and my debt) to big. That's okay. Life has worked out.
    So if I had any advice, I would tell her to enjoy having so many options to go after! She's a great gal and I have no doubt she will come through all of her applications with flying colors. How exciting!


  5. if everything I hear about homeschooled kids is right, she'll be juuuuuust fine (and so will you!)


  6. Good luck with everything! I hope she gets in where she really wants to go and has fun while she learns. Has she been going to for vocab practice? =)


  7. Wow…Good Luck to you and Sair.Have to admire you for the home schooling thing — that seems like such a huge undertaking — seriously — to be solely accountable for providing quality education for a child like that. You both really must have been dedicated all of these years.Don't be demised, lauowolf. Who would open all the cans of kitty food then???


  8. I am totally confused just reading this.


  9. Lauo, I didn't know you home-schooled. Wow! That's a real job, there. Sounds like you both are doing a good job at it. I'm sending Tony over there for math tutoring 🙂


  10. Ah, but we outsourced the mathematics to a real mathematician.She runs a tutoring service, basically for adults, and has taken Sarah from pre-algebra through to Calculus.They meet three days a week, have tea, and do math.Sair loves it.


  11. You're awesome with math though. I feel pretty stupid not being able to help a 9 y/o with math, I remember all the equations you left on your site when the carp hit the fan about the pet food. I was all whoa….she knows math! Hat's off to you. That's something to be proud of. Totally impressed with you. Now if you can teach S not to torment the kitties….ppppbbbblllltttt!!!


  12. How great! College next year! Congratulations to you both. I'm sure the homeschooling has helped her develop the disciplines needed to study without being told "Have you done your homework" I'm sure it will be a busy, exciting, and goals accomplished year. I tip my hat to you both.


  13. Right now it's suspense and trauma time.She's an earnest kid, so the essays have all been personal.The best mistake one, for example, she wrote about doing twelve years of ballet — five days a week for the last few years, with weekends too — but not being one of the "stars' who will go on to dance professionally.And working herself around to finding a good side of it.I think it's been good for her to work through her thinking on it, since this fall has been hard.Instead of promoting her to pre-professional class, they are calling it level 7++. She takes four classes with the pre-professionals, and one with level 7, and gets cast just one step down from the best roles.She spent most of September being broken-hearted.And now she wrote one of her application essays about it.I don't think I have that kind of emotional courage now.The scary part is that:First we homeschool, so there's no way to know what they will make of what we send them, and Second apparently she was born in the middle of a little baby boomlet, so this year and last year have record numbers of kids applying everywhere, so it's more competitive than usual.Crossing fingers, whistling, thinking lucky thoughts….


  14. I'm crossing my fingers, whistiling, and sending my Irish luck your way.


  15. Good scene, interesting post, thanks.


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