Wednesday, March 23, 2011
A Little Story About Perseverance
This is a recent piece of art done by my son. I hope the recent line of events will encourage him to get on his blog and start updating again!........
I've been living in my little mountain town for nearly 23 years. One of the draw backs of this life in the jewel of a forest, is the life for a teenager. K-8 is pretty good with the small community. Everybody knows everyone and keeps an eye out for the kids. The school is wonderful with excellent teachers and a large group of volunteers, myself included. This is how our smARTS Program was developed... with concerned parents getting involved and making more art present in the school It's been a big passion for me for the past 9 years.
My son is now in 8th grade. He's been at the little sheltered school from Kindergarten through 8th grade. What happens after 8th grade in this town? Well the nearest public high school is almost 30 miles down the mountain road, in the not so quaint and neighboring town. When my son started kindergarten, that's when I began my fret over what would happen to him once he hit high school. Not only is this school in another town and a whole other environment, the kids are on the bus before 6 am, sometimes being ridden through terrible weather conditions of ice and snow. It's a lot of time being taken to and from school. Not to mention the very large school where after being in this safe community can be overwhelming for some kids. I do have friends whose kids have attended this large school off the hill. They all insist that it's been a great experience, so long as your kid gets in with the good crowd. I, on the other hand, have hated the thought of my kid so far away on a daily basis, as well as the things I've mentioned.
One of the alternatives to this school is either homeschooling, which definitely has been something I've considered, although I'm really not much into that. I've also actually considered moving. The other option is the extremely expensive private arts academy here in my own little town. This is a very prestigious school with talented students from all around the world who are gifted in all aspects of the arts, both visual and performance. I knew I, in no way, could afford the tuition for this school, it rivals many universities in price. But I had to try.
So the time came, this last February to apply for the art school. My son had to create a portfolio with at least 10 pieces and write an essay. I had to fill out an extensive financial application, write a letter of need, and whine and moan for help (ha ha!). We got the tedious application completed for the February 1st deadline. I bitched and moaned and fretted and worried to my friends and loved ones. I knew my kid had the talent and the excellent grades so that he would be accepted, but the financial part?? I was feeling pretty glum about it. Some kids would be accepted completely with a free scholarship, because one of their parents worked there. Some of these kids, I'm sorry to say, have barely tried to get good grades, or even be creative in anyway, yet they'd get in with a free ride. My kid on the other hand, is very creative, tries very hard in school, really wanted to go to this school, as much as I wanted him to. It just didn't seem fair to me. I felt my kid would be unable to attend, purely because his parents are not well off-financially. Plus, I had heard stories from other locals whose kids applied in the past. They would tell me how the school would give them a partial scholarship, but this still wasn't possible for the parents to handle. Thus their kids were bussed down to the enormous high school down under. It just all seemed impossible to me, and I often sat and worried myself sick over the future.
Two weeks ago was the day that they were to announce to us whether my kid could attend this special school. The email came, late in the day, but on the day it was suppose to happen. My son and I read it together. We both could not believe our eyes as we read the amount of scholarship they were going to give my kid!!! How could this be??? My eyes literally filled with tears. This is not how I've heard of it happening before. I thought at the best I'd be having to beg and plead with them and wheel and deal to get them to give more. No, they gave a very generous amount right off, It was as if it were a miracle! It seemed it was like the perfect storm. My kid had talent, brains, excellent teacher recommendations. His portfolio was superb, I was told. He did it with his own hard work. All this and maybe because of his dad having health problems, and being nearly poverty stricken, all these things lined up and an amazing scholarship was given. All my worries for most of his life were over. I do need to come up with some money to pay his tuition, but it's not the amount I had dreaded. It's a very doable thing now.
My moral of this story is to not give up. Don't let what has happened to other people stop you from trying. Each situation is unique. You just don't know until you try. And most importantly remember that hard work can very well pay off. If you want something bad enough and truly try, good things might actually happen for you!
I'm still an emotional wreck over all of this. And yes, I'm still on the verge of tears when I talk about it. It's a fantastic feeling for sure!!