One of my students was on CollegeBoard.org today doing research for his website. For each school, they list recommended plans of study for how to get admitted – for example, four years of math, English, social studies, and science, two years of foreign language, etc. Well, one of them went on Harvard’s page, and while other schools have required courses, Harvard only lists “recommended”. For many of my students, “recommended” means “you don’t have to do it.” Thus, my student calls me over and gleefully says, “I thought Harvard was hard! You don’t even have to go to high school to get in!”
I had a young lady come up to me today and tell me that over the weekend, she had been doing research into colleges and medical schools, since her career she was researching was a pediatrician. She told me that she really wanted to go to a good school – and she’s a good student, although she’s never taken any honors classes. She is taking my AP class next year. She asked me a question that thrilled me to pieces: “Mrs. H, you know that list of books you always talk about? The ones that you said everyone should read, the ones that changed your life? Can I borrow a few of those?” I just about fell over. I spent part of this evening combing through my personal library to deliver her such wonders as 1984, Song of Solomon, Sense and Sensibility, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – books that made me really think, books that made me smile, and books that rocked my world. I’ll let her pick which ones she wants to borrow, since she already has to read The Great Gatsby for her AP summer reading assignment.
My New Penpal
My pencil-thrower had a fantastic last two days – he wrote me emails throughout the day answering reflective questions that I asked him. Where he seems to get tripped up in writing essay, he can be very eloquent in letter form. Perhaps he writes better with an audience. Anyway, he spent the day describing his ideal friend, both in fun and adverse situations, and a leader he looked up to. He also chose three leadership qualities that he intends to work on in himself in the next year. I asked the questions but he did all the work, and it’s really good. I’m very proud of him. At the end of the week, I’ll have him edit his letters for spelling and grammar and then submit them for his final exam grade. I don’t know for sure, but I already think he’s gotten more out of it than the website. I’m excited to see what he’ll write tomorrow…