01 September 2016

Back to Maine

On Friday Bob, Whitney, and I headed north to pick up her things in New Hampshire then on to Maine for move in. The drive to NH was really long, the usual 9 hour drive took us 12 hours between traffic and construction. Ugh. Partly, too, since we knew it was going to take a lot longer we stopped and actually ate dinner (and I think lunch) at the rest areas instead of getting it to go so that added a bit of time as well.

Saturday morning we packed up the things Whitney left at her aunt's house over the summer and made a stop at Target to pick up a few last minute things before she left civilization. We got to Farmington, checked into the hotel, then went to find dinner in town.

Check in started at 9 on Sunday morning and we were there shortly after that and well before Alison got there. We unloaded the two cars and started organizing the chaos on Whitney's half of the room. We had everything put away by lunch time and took a walk downtown after Bob moved my car and Whitney got a prime spot beside her dorm. We went to check out Reny's, a cool discount department store, and bought a few things there then went to the Farmington House of Pizza for lunch (really good pizza!).

Monday Bob and I left after a quick stop at the bookstore (side note - what college doesn't have their bookstore open on move in day?? Students need to pick up books and parents are willing to drop money on school labeled attire.) and headed down the coast to Kennebunkport for lunch. Sadly the place I really wanted to stop at was a different fancier restaurant but I still managed to find some good lobster for lunch. Whitney got right into classes Monday morning and has had a couple of club meetings so has been busy. All in all a good start.

25 August 2016

Back at It

We're almost to the end of our first week of school and so far, so good. The first day ended up being a field trip, although I didn't go along. Sarah went with a friend downtown and they hit all the tourist high spots - the Archives, the "dinosaur museum" although most of the dinosaur exhibits are closed for a couple more years, the American history museum, Shake Shack for lunch, and the Castle. I knew she really wanted to go but I really wanted to get a start on school so the compromise was that she could go as long as they went to the Archives. She said they did that first to "get it out of the way." They had a really good time together. It was time to hit the books on Tuesday. Senior year is under way.

Tomorrow we leave to head to Maine. We'll stop off in NH tomorrow night at Bob's sister's to pick up the things Whitney left there, then go to Farmington on Saturday. She moves in on Sunday; same dorm, different room, different roommate.

09 August 2016

Community College

We had our meeting yesterday with the counselor at the community college. It went well. Sarah did well on the placement tests and was approved to take Spanish. The only real hitch is that the class we wanted (M/W afternoons) was full with a one person wait list. Since it's two weeks before classes start we didn't want to risk putting her name on the list and her end up not getting in. That was the only option for a class locally when I looked. They've opened more sections since then so she had a few choices. We declined the Friday hybrid class after having bad experiences with that type of learning in the past. She is signed up for a T/Th morning class. Not really the best option, but it will work ok. On Tuesdays she'll have to take her lunch with her and go straight from class to preschool. Hopefully she'll be able to get at least a math lesson done in the afternoon when she gets home. Tuesdays will be full since she's got dance in the evening. It will be an interesting first college experience and hopefully it will go well since it will "be on her permanent record."

Now that we know for sure that she's in the class I'll have to take a look at our plans for the year and see if we need to adjust.

01 August 2016

What a Year

So it's been quite the year. We've had a lot going on that has made life interesting. The summer has been mostly relaxing, it's almost done, and it's time for year two of college and senior year of high school.

The first year of college is done for Whitney. UMF has been a mixed bag for her. She's decided that while the location is pretty and is close to some great snowboarding, it's been harder for her than she thought it would be to be so far from hone. Academically she's done really well, made High Honors Dean's List both semesters and she's found some really great professors (as well as some rather quirky ones). She has made the transition from a homeschool student to college student very well. She found a church that she likes and as the only college student attending there has all the attention of the "little old ladies." Funny thing is that one of them has a daughter that lives not far from us and her son goes to college in Maine.

On the not so good side, besides being far from home, the college isn't as socially welcoming as some tout it being. She's had a really hard time making friends and finding her place. Even among the snowboarders it's hard since they're mostly focused on fun, not competition and most smoke pot and/or drink and she's just not into that at all.

Snowboarding has also been a mixed bag. She competed in the USASA Maine Mountain Series and went to races in Maine and Vermont. It was kind of funny that she's in the middle of some great skiing in Northern New England and yet she got to more competitions when she lived in Virginia. It's all about location. Her college coach sent her to the USCSA Nationals (the collegiate association) which were held in Lake Placid in March and she also went back to USASA Nationals in Colorado in early April. The competitions were good, she placed 7th at Lake Placid and 2nd at Colorado. Besides her teammates, the other problem was that the college snowboard coach didn't really know enough to help her much and didn't seem very organized. He would schedule practices then not show up and there were other problems. Hopefully things will be different this winter.

Her major is a perfect fit and if it wasn't for that and some stuff that she's working on for snowboarding, she'd likely transfer. She hasn't been able to find the same major at another school at all, much less in an area that has snow. Her plan is to finish classes in 2.5 years and be done a semester early. We have high hopes for the snowboarding things that are in the works but we won't know more until she gets back to school later this month.

Junior/Senior Year
Sarah's junior year was a mess to be frank. We had a lot of family issues going on that were distracting but hopefully a lot of that is behind us and she'll have a stellar senior year. The highlights were the writing classes, at least for me. I don't think she could take a writing class that she liked, but I really liked that they were outsourced and I didn't have to grade them. Mainly I helped her proofread her work before she turned it in and that made it better for us. She has geometry and chemistry to finish from this year as well as start most of her senior year classes.

A very last minute decision was to pursue taking Spanish at the local community college. She's been going on mission trips to Guatemala for four years. She had been talking more this summer about studying archaeology in college, mainly because she loves ancient Egypt. We started talking some about Guatemala and I found a college that has a focus on Central American archaeology, which got her thinking. She had a fabulous time in Guatemala this year, I'm still not really sure why this year was so different than past years but it was. She came back really wanting to focus on a Central/Latin America anthropology/archaeology degree with a minor in Spanish or possibly majoring in Spanish. This is so different than anything she had really been talking about all year my head is kind of spinning.

This new focus has really put us into a bit of a time crunch. She really wants to take Spanish this year and at this point the best option was the cc but with her heading back to camp as soon as she got back from Guatemala, it left us scrambling to get everything taken care of in time. It's a different procedure for dual enrolled students than it is for regular students and she's barely around enough to get it done. We have a meeting next Monday and hopefully we can get it all taken care of then.

So besides working to get her signed up at the cc for Spanish, she's refocused on four year colleges. Another time crunch. Since her plan has been to go to the cc for two years then transfer she hasn't taken the SAT yet and we haven't really looked at colleges besides just a bit online. We're now looking for colleges not too far from home, not too big, etc., etc. She has the first Saturday in October on the calendar to take the SAT, she's already applied to Roanoke College and is also looking at Lycoming College. A lot of things will have to fall into place for her to go to either of those colleges so I still think that going to the local cc might be the best option to start for her. It's shaping up to be a very busy fall!