Dec. 13, 1999

We Don't Need No Education..

I'm not sure if I'm doing the right thing.

It has to do with Older Son and his education. He's 18 and presently working full time making just over minimum wage as a telemarketer. (Don't worry, he won't call you at home.. but he might call you at work if you manage a business that has a credit card printer!)

He graduated high school with mediocre marks and got into Junior College. In Quebec, high school only goes to grade 11, but you need at least two years of "CEGEP" before you can attend university. He's good at math, keeping records, analyzing trends, so he decided on a Business Administration program that was geared towards the job market rather than university. He spent a year attending class, coming home, playing video games, hanging with his friends (nice kids, at least) and doing some sort of studying (nowhere near sufficient). He failed about half his courses - not enough to get him kicked out of school, though.

He managed to find his full time job over the summer and liked the work experience (read: no homework) so much that he decided to take "a semester" off. If the alternative was a repeat of last year, this was fine. He and I agree he needs at least a Junior College diploma, and he's now looking into night school, still reluctant to let that job go.

What I'm not sure about is my acceptance of his plans, and my reluctance to push him harder towards school. Of course I believe in education, very strongly! I'm just hoping that he'll actually work at it when he decides he wants to, rather than when his parents tell him to. Last year was such a colossal waste of his time.

I happened to discuss this with a friend today. Her son is the same age, and attends a different but comparable college. She said he doesn't come home after class and often stays out until midnight after school. She said his personality has changed and he tells her she doesn't understand what he's going through. (This set off big warning bells in my head, drugs???) If they talk at all it's with raised voices. She thinks he's "not so young" at 18 and is wasting his life, not knowing exactly what he wants to do with it and wanting to further delay his education. (I told her I STILL don't know what I want to do when I grow up!)

Maybe I'm missing something but I don't see what the rush is. If my son was lying around the house doing nothing, or getting into trouble, it would be different. But he's going to work in a shirt and tie, enjoying feeling capable and useful (which he never did at school) and I don't have the heart to pull him away from it in order for him to stagnate in class. My attitude seems to be unorthodox but my instincts insist that this is the best way to go for this particular child.

In other news.. this site was offline from Friday evening to Sunday evening, as my ISP's entire website crashed. (Luckily it didn't affect my dialup access.) Considering I usually take bad luck in stride, I found it rather upsetting. I've only had a website for six months and I felt lost without the possibility of adding something or having someone visit. Seems like I need a dose of global perspective.

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