My daughter Faith is graduating from elementary school this year (waaaa!) and was invited by the Junior High to apply for an elite academic program. The process is very selective and highly competitive. My daughter, being a total perfectionist and a highly competitive kid in general, was all about this.
|Faith on a recent class trip to D.C.|
As soon as she learned she was eligible, Faith got to work on her application. She spent HOURS, every day, for weeks working on it. Whenever The Husband or I asked if we could see what she was doing, she told us to go away. "Don't worry, I got this." She replied, every time. The applicants were asked to get as creative as possible with their portfolios. Faith took this challenge to heart. The candidates must find a way to make themselves stand out and their applications must be really outstanding for them to get noticed. All kinds of things are taken into consideration- grades, standardized test scores, teacher recommendations, references, work samples, writing samples and anything else that sets you apart. And this is just Phase One of the process! When she was all finished, Faith finally showed us her application. The Husband and I were impressed by what that kid created. It was time to sit and wait to see if it impressed the panel as much as it impressed us.
Last week, the Vice Principle finally phoned and told me they accepted Faith's application- she had successfully passed through Phase One! Woot, woot! We were asked to bring Faith in for Phase Two, which would consist of cognitive testing, some group activities and a personal interview. Faith was super stoked, dancing all around the house, pulling clothes out of her closet to put together something appropriate to wear to her interview...meanwhile, I was starting to sweat. This was getting real.
Driving to the interview, I couldn't believe how nervous I was. My hands were shaking and my mouth was all dry. Faith was nervous too, but only a little. She told me she was worried about the timed testing, but not the interview. She felt confident in her ability to adequately articulate the answer to any of their questions but she was afraid she was going to have to rush through some of the math, and in her haste would get a problem wrong.
The Vice Principal greeted us at the door and congratulated all the children. She told us they should be very proud of themselves to have made it to Phase Two. Only 30 out of the 50 that applied, made it on to Phase Two.( I'm not sure how many spots are actually available, but I do know this, last year only 17 made it into the final program.) At this point, I couldn't help looking around the room in order to size up Faith's competition. I swear it was like looking at the middle school version of The Big Bang Theory. There were Sheldons everywhere! I've never seen so many little nerds gathered in one place, outside of Comic-Con. No doubt the competition here is fierce, and at that point, the parents were all asked to leave.
Knowing how important academic excellence is to Faith- I really want her to get in. That being said, I honestly only want this if it's what's truly best for her. It's her nature to obsess about her work and as her mom I'm not sure if this program is going to push her too hard. On the other hand, maybe that competitive nature of hers is a good thing and she will excel! I really don't know if she is going to make it. Faith did everything in her power to impress the panel and it's out of our hands. Now, we sit and wait once again, hoping for that phone to ring. Ring stupid phone! Ring!