The Crazy Suburban Mom: My son started college this month...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My son started college this month...

I wrote about my kid not going to college last year because right out of high school he went into an apprenticeship for guitar repair. He's a Luthier.


It was the perfect thing for him (for a lot of reasons) although there are zero resources available for high school seniors wanting to continue their education in alternative ways; in fact the school was a bit, I don't know...

Are you sure you want to do that? Don't you want a few letters of recommendation, anyway?  Well, here's a list of.... the word REAL visibly floating in this pause.... schools that have music programs....

You could see the smell they felt over the whole thing.  It was as if he'd said, My plan is to go into the Sanitation Arts.   And so what if he had? 

They pushed for him to go somewhere, it felt like anywhere the hell else.  I'm sure they would see it differently.  The end result  was just sad because he could have used help with  financing his education and Hello. It was an education.  And instead of spending all that time trying to get him to go somewhere, anywhere the hell else how about helping him find a way to pay for his education?

Like they did for every other kid in that school...  Um, I'm going to stop now before I have to get down off a soap box....

And to continue - Alternatives schools are not cheap and much more expensive then many colleges.  His six month apprenticeship came with a  $9,000 tuition and the anticipated  $1500  in tools ended up being twice that, plus.  And he had to live somewhere.  And eat.  Have you ever fed and eighteen year old boy?


Many (most) apprenticeships are not eligible for student loans.  This one wasn't so you have to cover ever single cost with a personal loan (Or your Grandfather. Thank you so much again, Pop-Pop).


It was the hardest thing he ever did.  Very worth it, personally expanding but really, really hard (I wrote about it here).  I don't know who grew up more, him or me but when he was done and he moved back home I was probably more relieved.


He worked full-time doing guitar repair from graduation day until this summer and he decided to go back to school.  College.  He started at the beginning of the month.


He's still doing guitars and ultimately wants a business but he...  I'm not sure actually.   I asked why a few times.  He told me he missed Science classes; he loved them in high school.  He wasn't done learning.  A few other things...

I think he partly missed being a kid a little;  like he lost that a bit too fast.  But maybe not, that could just be maternal conjecture. Plus it doesn't really matter.  I think you should never stop learning whatever the reason.

I have a lot of respect that he went back because school was so far from Disney for him it was like, I don't know. What's the opposite of Disney? The movie Saw with report cards?   I spent huge amounts of time  trying to get him help.  The bigger problem was if I was( even) able to get it I had to get him to take it, and he didn't want too.

In college he has to work all that out himself.   Plus manage the details.  Details are not his thing.  I'd like to write about all of that but I need to ask him.

So honey, I'm very proud of you for taking on something that you know is hard.  It's not often people are willing to do that.  Especially when there will be tests.  Rock on, Baby.



Dan.Eliot 9/30/10, 10:25 AM  

Hi there I'm a new single mom and I know it will be hard for me a long the way so I am browsing the web for some good blogs and I find your blog very interesting and helpful to be a good mother. Bookmarking your blog now. Thanks!

Gabriele Agustini 9/30/10, 10:35 AM  

Very frustrating!!
And how great that he's hangin' in there!
Handsome young man, isn't he? :)

The Crazy Suburban Mom 9/30/10, 10:41 AM  


He's having quite a time with it and hanging in there. I have a lot of respect for him. School is much harder for him then it ever was for me. Tons harder.

and I think he's adorable :)


LivewithFlair 9/30/10, 12:09 PM  

I'm thrilled for your son. I'm a college professor, and I love hearing all the ways people arrive at college. College students get to spend 4 years in a process of self-discovery and learning. I'm jealous of that! I want everyone to go to college.

Kim Moldofsky 9/30/10, 2:05 PM  

I recall some of your previous posts on this topic and I'm glad to hear how the story is progressing. I figured an internship wouldn't pay, but I didn't realize it was so costly! Good luck to both of you!

The Crazy Suburban Mom 9/30/10, 2:15 PM  

Livewithflair - Its a hard road for him but he's working it :)

Kim, No, actually it did work out. Really! It ended up be good for him in a lot of ways and he has a skill that is useful to him and hopefully will pay his way through whatever schooling he wants. He really wasn't ready to go from high school to being a freshman - he 'gets' a few things now he wouldn't have gotten them.

And he is paying with what he earned working the 6 months he worked. He also knows what its like to work a full time job, for real.

And he still loves doing the guitar thing. I actually think he will end up doing that. But who knows. Like I said, I don't ever think learning is a bad thing no matter why you choose to do it.


Babes Mami 9/30/10, 3:31 PM  

If I wasn't married and almost 8 years older...


Good luck to him, I'm sure it will be a challenge but he will do great and he has a fabulous momma to back him up!

The Crazy Suburban Mom 9/30/10, 3:34 PM  

Babes, LOLOLOL! you're too funny...and too sweet.

And he's way too messy for you. You have seen pictures of his room :)

Christy 9/30/10, 4:04 PM  

Well then I am proud of him too for all he has tackled since graduating high school. Good luck from here on out, too!

Maureen 9/30/10, 5:09 PM  

It is an absolute travesty that he couldn't get financing. Is everyone supposed to become an accountant or doctor to get it? I could rage on and on but I will put a zipper on it!

At the end of the day as long as your job is something that you want to do every day and not dread, you have been successful.

Lynette 9/30/10, 5:44 PM  

Tracy, Oh my....we have theater internship this summer. I am pulling out hair to figure out how to keep her from living behind the stage and eating from trash dumpsters. OH MY!

I am so proud of him. Going at it still...never easy but what a great journey. 2 thumbs up!

J Sedai 9/30/10, 6:15 PM  

the learning is fun, it's the testing at the end that's rough! he's doing ALL sorts of growing up, pretty soon he'll be all moved out and well, lets just not think too far ahead of ourselves! I don't want to think too far ahead with mine either!

Janiss 10/2/10, 4:29 AM  

Your son is amazing! I think a lot of that is your fault. ;-)

Lin 10/2/10, 10:04 AM  

It's so hard on kids in high school now because EVERYTHING is college oriented--but not everyone is college oriented! And with funding eating away at the arts and the trades, I think it is leaving too many kids with little or no options.

Weirdville gives away 10 $1000 scholarships every year and so Colin applied. He won a nice one from Joe's work and another smaller one from Marketday (because we order every month) and that certainly helps, but I thought he'd be a shoe-in for the Weirdville one too. He has great grades, good ACT score, and graduated in the top 8% of his class. Did he get one? Nope. The list of winners were kids I knew weren't the top of their class or great students. The winners were kids who were just average and wouldn't stand a chance at a scholarship anywhere else. One of our friends actually got it to go to mechanics school! You know, in hindsight, I'd rather we lost out so that these kids got the chance too.

And to think I trash Weirdville on a regular basis!

Anonymous,  10/2/10, 12:04 PM  

I would like to exchange links with your site
Is this possible?

The Crazy Suburban Mom 10/2/10, 5:21 PM  

Christy - Thank you :) Me too!

Maureen, I know. truth is there are things that the state/federal gov. considers a school and things they dont... whatever the rules, I don't know. But this wasn't one of things because they hadnt applied or actually they had but the red tape and time and effort was just unreal - I think at some point they pulled out of the process...

Lynette - oh man. keeping my fingers crossed for you

janiss - he still loves guitars - still doing them. :) and thank you :)

J - yeah the testing....ugh its so hard for them

lin- i know, the process is odd. i dont know who decides who gets what... but what you said, that i never thought of or heard of here. which is why I guess Im all up in arms...

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