33 Days

In 33 days, Beta will move into her dorm room at UTK and begin her college career.  I can’t imagine a 6-year old exuding more excitement than this child has.

Yesterday — in between helping her father reassemble the engine for her vehicle — she spent hours agonizing over whether to enroll in both honors calculus and honors physics in her first semester.  Without question, either one will be hard; two will be quite demanding.  Fortunately, since her older sister is already there and acquainted with a number of people in the math and physics programs, a quick call to Alpha yielded some useful information.

On the UTK Physics website, Beta noticed a couple of Alpha’s friends in one of the pictures that rotate across the department’s web page.  She also noticed a student in a t-shirt proclaiming "I survived Soren’s honors physics," which made her a bit nervous — Soren Sorensen, the department head, is teaching the class in which she enrolled for the Fall.  So, she had Alpha place a quick call to one of her friends that is a physics major and ask whether the honors course would be too much.  The friend hadn’t taken it, but said it was his biggest regret to date.

So, it’s settled.  She’s starting off with a pretty hefty course load, but I think that’s probably best for her.  She needs to learn from day one that school comes first, and material that really challenges her is most likely to keep her engaged.  She’s planning to pick up her physics book this morning while she’s in Knoxville on another errand, so that she can begin getting familiar with the first few chapters.

Beta is a difficult child, but one with great potential.  I’ve always said that the traits that make her hard to parent will make her a strong, capable, confident adult.  She doesn’t give up easily (though having her cell phone disconnected has proven to be rather effective as a catalyst for behavioral change).  She has the intellectual ability to succeed in a difficult major; I hope that I haven’t made a mistake in encouraging her to stick with a tough first semester’s course selections.

There’s a whole lot that I hope I haven’t done wrong.  But, it’s almost time to let go.  33 more days.

3 Responses to “33 Days”

  1. on 14 Jul 2008 at 8:17 am Joel

    Spirited child. It’s a good thing.

  2. on 14 Jul 2008 at 9:24 am realtorchick

    I am confident that whatever she decides to do, she will do it with gusto! What a long, hard trip it’s been!

  3. on 14 Jul 2008 at 5:49 pm girlfriend

    She’s quite a gal and it has been my pleasure to get to know her. She is both book and street smart and she is a survivor. She will do just fine. Sometimes kids are a success in spite of us. You have done a good job raising her and now it is time to give her her wings and let her fly. She will soar. If her wings get clipped, she’ll call you.

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