This weekend we watched a really good movie, “The King’s Speech.” We were not sure if we would like it because it had won several academy awards, and many times we do not have the same criteria for “best picture” as the people who nominate and/or vote for films. We must be finally gaining some polish, because we did enjoy the movie. There was a good bit of sly British humor that broke up the dramatic scenes quite well, and by the end I was hankering for a scone and a spot of tea. I settled for waving at my neighbor who lives “across the pond” as he jogged down the street Sunday afternoon.
As the mother of someone who has a disability that is not physically apparent, the frustration I saw expressed by the parent and the pain experienced by the child were intimately familiar. Thankfully, our family has come much further down the road of understanding than the Royals, but we still face perpetual challenges. Our current LEGO project is, coincidentally, The Tower Bridge of London. While working this weekend on the 2nd instruction booklet (there are 4), Leah broke out with the Gonzaga cheer, which goes like this: G-O-N-Z-A-G-A! Go, Gonzaga! After a few attempts, Lyle said in a very thoughtful manner that he had better not attend Gonzaga, but instead he should go somewhere like LSU because he could spell it. He thought that being able to spell correctly his college’s name on a job application would be important. Of course, we all laughed when he said it, but the fact is that he is probably right.
I am not sure that in all of the research that has been done on College Choice, how to spell the name of the university has ever been considered as a variable. When I was in the field, the most important predictor of whether or not a student attended college was parental expectation. So, if the parent expects it, the child will be more likely attend college than a student whose parents do not have that expectation. I have been to college, have several degrees and plenty of post-graduate hours that don’t impress the dogs enough to quit barking when I tell them to. I have also taught college courses. I know that the higher you go, the harder it gets, and that attending college for one of my children will be as difficult as public speaking was for Prince Albert. Not because he isn’t smart or capable of learning at the highest levels, but because he can’t get it back out in a way that is easy to measure or test. I hope that he is brave enough to try and that we do our best to help him be prepared.
Last night was graduation at St. Mary’s. I am so proud of our graduates, so many of which are continuing to further their education at colleges locally and out of state. At least 6 of those students will play sports at the college they attend and 2 will be cheering and dancing them on. 8/31 graduates will be scholar/athletes at the collegiate level, which is an experience that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. There is nothing like sweating towards a common goal that brings people together, and the students, parents, faculty, and coaches have certainly given it their best. The students who spoke gave excellent speeches and I tried my very best to remember my own valedictory address, but could not recall a word. It was overshadowed in memory by my brother’s speech four years later when he made a joke about “Prince Albert in a Can.”