I know I’ve been quiet for awhile over here.
Not intentionally. Well, sort of. It’s really because more or less I have little to say/share.
Two of my kids have gone off to JBA at Truman State University for 3 weeks and it’s so quiet and boring around here without them. The other three mope around, watch TV, draw, read. That’s great but it’s just so quiet. And everyone seems so depressed, even though I know they aren’t. It would figure the two most lively girls would be the ones that would leave. Right?
So I haven’t had much to blog about because nothing too exciting has happened in the past week. Tomorrow it will be 1 week since we dropped them off in the dorms of Truman State University. Only two more weeks. I can do this, right?
And I’m not even going to pick them up like I usually do at the end of their college experience. Instead, I’m going to Food Media Forum, which I am super excited about – but I am pretty sure that when 2:00 rolls around on that Saturday I’m going to get antsy and itchy and wish I was there to greet them when hubby and oldest daughter return home with them. I promised I wouldn’t whine about them being gone, so I’ll stop talking about it now.
Instead, maybe I’ll tell you about JBA and what it is. It stands for Joseph Baldwin Academy for Eminent Young Scholars.
From their site:
The Joseph Baldwin Academy offers highly talented students a head start on their future university careers by allowing them to spend three weeks as college freshmen: they move into a residence hall, adapt to living with a roommate, eat dorm food, make new friends, attend classes, and work with Truman State’s faculty. We believe that many middle school and junior high students are not being challenged in the classroom in their home schools. The primary goal of the Academy is, and will always be, that our students leave with an increased appreciation for the pleasures of education, intellectual engagement, and the college experience. Along the way we expect that they will grow both academically and socially as they interact with other high-ability students from across the country.
So it all sounds amazing, doesn’t it?
One daughter it is her third and final year with JBA. The other it is her first year. I think that might be what I’m having the most trouble with. Brie has never left me for more than a week at a time and though we’ve only made it through a week, I know I still have two more to get through. I swore I wouldn’t whine, moving on.
So, JBA is an outstanding program – these kids have to jump through hurdles to get there. First of all, they get nominated by a staff member at their school based on their standardized test scores. So starting with that, those have to be high. That teacher or counselor then mails those names in they chose.
THEN, a few weeks later the student gets an invitation to apply. This is not a guarantee you’re going. At all. You choose three classes you are interested in taking (you only get to take one), then you have to write three essays, answering questions about why you want to take the course you are aiming for, how you feel it fits into your life and your future goals, and some other question that has completely escaped my mind at the moment.
You mail those back in with the application and what looks like a resume filled with information on “awards and achievements”, 3 teacher recommendations (in addition to the person that nominated you), and your school transcripts. Yes, all that. But we’re not done. So off that goes in the mail and now you must register your 12, 13, 14 or 15 year old for the ACT test. Yes, the ACT test – the one that high schoolers and college students are all taking at the exact same time.
Do you have an idea how intimidating it is, taking your 12 or 13 year old child to a test site, dropping them off and not seeing them for 4 hours while they are anxiously taking this huge test that is bigger than any test they have ever taken? Yeah, it’s mind blowing and kinda scary.
So those test scores then get mailed to JBA. They take everything they have collected on you and then you go through some kind of elimination process. Obviously some kids will automatically make it, some will not. You have no idea which one you are. It’s scary.
Then the Congratulations acceptance letter comes (if you’re lucky), you’re told which class you’re in (this year – my 3rd year student is taking College Level Psychology and my first year student is taking College Level Writing which her sister took her first year), you then have to pay. The whole program is like $1500 and they do not receive college credit, it just looks good on a high school transcript and considering the eldest of the two there is interested in attending Truman State University (where JBA is held) should hold some weight in that process as well. Yay.
So yes, I know this is all amazing, and I know it is all going to benefit them in the future, but that doesn’t make it any easier on mom. Or my wallet, for that matter. I’m just sayin’.