No Pictures Today

13 Jul

No pictures today – just a lot of miscellaneous thoughts.

We spent yesterday at the Illinois Math and Science Academy. It was orientation day. We got a lot of our questions answered about campus life and academics. One thing that was pressing on my mind was drugs. Apparently a couple of kids from our area have gone to IMSA in the past and have come home with a drug problem. The had a 30 minute Q&A about the discipline policy. The very first time you are caught with any drug or alcohol it’s a 10-day suspension and a hearing to determine if you’ll be let back in. Last year, they had less than 10 of those for a student body of 600. Now, was it worse in the part? I don’t know. They don’t do random drug testing like my son’s current school. I may be naive, but DJ doesn’t currently have the disposition for drug use. He’s not worried about fitting in with the “cool kids”. His current friends sat home are not drinkers. THIS area has a terrible teen alcohol problem. We have parents who are partiers raising kids who follow their footsteps.

Second, will DJ fit in socially and academically? As I looked around the room, there were a lot of boys who looked similar to DJ. Smart, geeky, introverts. So I think he will find friends there.

Third, what about the boarding? That talk really eased my mind. Each “wing” has 24 boys – 8 from each class (sophomore, junior, senior). A Residential Counselor (RC) is an adult who lives in the wing 24/7. We met the RCs and asked a lot of questions. They also have two counselors. The counselors and RCs talked about how they help the kids fit in, deal with stress, and look for signs of depression, anxiety, etc.

What’s holding me back from embracing this school? My fears. The unknown. I’m a “safe” person who doesn’t take many risks. So I’m afraid if DJ takes this risk and of fails, it will be a setback for him in many ways. That’s what we talk about the most with him. It’s okay to come back to his home school if things don’t work out. It’s not a failure. It just wasn’t meant to be for you at this point in your life. But DJ? He’s 100% for this. He wasn’t with us during the orientation. They broke the kids away from the parents and had a separate set of sessions for them. They had sample classes taught by the actual teachers. He LOVED the history and English teachers (go figure – in a math and science school DJ loves the other subjects!). Being a teacher, I can appreciate the different teaching style the employ at IMSA. It’s not for everyone but it’s similar to they way DJ has learned his whole life.

The bottom line (if you’ve read this far) is that I’m 95% sure that this is where he will go next year. Scary? You betcha. But I think it’s a good move for him. I think….

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3 Responses to “No Pictures Today”

  1. Melanie in IA July 13, 2014 at 3:37 PM #

    Best of luck to you and your son. Thirty plus years ago, my husband used to teach Physics in the building that became IMSA. We were very aware as it was debated and opened. That kind of structure isn’t for everyone, but it’s a lifesaver for some.

    • ginaquilts July 13, 2014 at 3:56 PM #

      Thank you.

  2. bsburgess July 13, 2014 at 5:02 PM #

    Sounds like it will be a good fit for DJ. Maybe not the best fit for you but I think once he gets in and settled you’ll get a better feeling on the “life” and school at IMSA.

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