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!

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