Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Kids will surprise you every time

For the last few years, Grendel has been kind of 'anti-school'. He used to be a great student, and then the hormones and teenage grouchiness kicked in. Then he was diagnosed with ADD. After we started the medication, his school work and attitude dramatically improved. (I've blogged about this a few times in the last six months or so.)

This year, Grendel decided to participate on his school's FIRST competitive robotics team. The team was pretty huge this year (he says around 40 people). Being on the team has meant going back to school from 6-9 pm most nights for the last two months, plus giving up Saturdays (9-6), and the occasional Sunday (in between his other commitments).

With all this going on, we were kind of stunned when Grendel managed to pull straight A's for the first semester. This included the flabbergasting achievement of a 99 on his English final (including an essay that the teacher is now using as an example of how to write a good essay). I teased Grendel about being possessed by an alien the day of the exam, and asked if he could arrange to channel that alien again for his English final in June. (English is his least favorite subject and he despises writing ... while his mother loves to write.)

Then, the cherry on the sundae: Grendel has been chosen to be on his FIRST team's drive team for their upcoming competitions. This is a huge deal. It's his first year, and with a lot of kids to pick from he got one of the most coveted positions on the team. Wow!

Over the last few years, every time Grendel has talked about college he's been interested in business and finance. This harkens back to a comment he made as a preschooler: "Mommy, I love money."

This week, he needs to put in his schedule request for his junior year. He was going to take Marketing next year as one of his electives. Because of his enthusiasm for the work he's been doing with FIRST, he has decided to make Marketing a second or third alternate choice. His primary elective is now Intro to Computer Programming. He's also opting to not have a study hall so he can clear out some other requirements before senior year (wow ... um ... planning ahead?). He's signing up for Mechanical Drawing (because of FIRST) and Racket Sports (to complete his final phys ed requirement).

He's also signing up for Honors Chemistry. We had mixed feelings about this. We would have rathered that he just sign up for college prep Chem, especially since he's opting out of study hall. However, his Biology teacher thinks he's more than up for the challenge. Several of his friends from FIRST will also be in the Honors class. In addition, it turns out that the college prep class is being taught by his science teacher from freshman year, whom he loathes. So, Honors Chemistry it is!

I am proud and perplexed by the choices being made here of late. So, here goes a cautious ... YIPPEEE!!!

P.S. - I'm also thrilled with his exuberant involvement in FIRST due to the scholarship opportunities available to program participants. If he keeps this up, he may actually be able to afford to go to college.


barbie2be said...

wow! yay, grendel!

changejunkie said...

CONGRATS -- and BASK in the JOY!!