Thursday, December 15, 2011


The subject line on the Boy's e-mail was the same as the title of this post. When it arrived this afternoon, I opened the attachment to find a screen shot of his grades, then whooped so loudly that I was glad no one was passing in the hallway.

This kid had bitten off a big chunk of academic meat this semester, with four courses most people would consider extraordinarily difficult, as well as one general ed course and an hour of marching band. At the mid-semester mark he was wondering if he would make it through the semester with his academic standing intact.

School had always come easily to him, and it had taken him a few semesters to learn how to study. That homework can't be delayed until the hour before class. That difficult concepts must be mastered layer by layer. That there's no disgrace in asking for help from professors or from brainy roommates.

Unlike high school, when a poor semester grade point average would cause loss of driving and internet  privileges and earn a stern talking-to from his parents, Boy knew the stakes now are much higher. A poor semester here could mean loss of scholarship money, a consequence that could lead to...well, knowing how much he loves his university we try not to think of that heart-breaking consequence..

Today he learned that the studying has paid off, and sent the report card to share the joy.

"You know," he said, "this has been my hardest semester so far, but I've enjoyed these classes the most."

To learn that hard work pays off, and that tackling difficult concepts is more rewarding than filling a schedule (and a brain) with fluffier material?

Yay, indeed.

1 comment:

  1. An hour of marching band! More like 15 hours a week (if not more). Phew.