Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Unschooling College, so far...

From August 23, 2011:

Again ~ SO much to say, to share... but I only have a moment to share this:
Jake is showing his friends how to unschool college orientation!

From the first moment when we saw the orientation schedule, we were rolling our
eyes. OhMYGod~ such ridiculousness and time-wasters. And yet on their facebook
page, FIT was telling students that EVERYTHING in orientation was mandatory (they
never really seem to *know* much of anything on their facebook page, and I
always "argue" with them... we always joke about how they would be waiting for
me when we come to bring Jake, saying, "You can stay, but your mother has to
leave..." ;). Jake was feeling stressed about this ~ he is CHOOSING to go to
college for the wonderful classes that FIT has (as well as the *growth*
opportunities that happen in choosing this path). This entire silly orientation was not a part of his
choosing. And yet we kept walking Trust... And I knew
deep down that there was no way they could keep track of every student and say
things were mandatory...

So we all talked about it throughout Jake's move-in a feel from other
people about what they thought, shared our thoughts and opinions with Jake's
friends and suite-mates... and it was decided that Jake would go to the very
first scheduled *meet-up* in case there was a check-in. Jake had made a
reeeeeally good friend on facebook, someone with whom he has very deep
conversations about FEEEEELINGS (just what Jake needs in a friend!), and someone
who was also feeling very sad about leaving her family. We had coffees together
that morning before they set off to see what was going on with the orientation.

Jake got to his group and immediately knew it was Not For Him (and
goodness...Dave and I went to the bookstore and saw the groups and it reminded
me of when Jake was little and did his first *group* thing and he knew in his
heart that it was not for him... and he walked away from *that* one way back
then). The "student ambassador" got out a beach ball and said they would throw
it around and whoever caught it would say their name and their major. Jake
Walked Away. In fact, he walked over to Emily's group and kept mouthing to her,
"YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE HERE!!" She is a schooled girl, so she didn't know what
to make of Jake's suggestion that she just LEAVE after being TOLD to BE THERE!!
But she worked up the courage and she Just Did It!! And as she walked away, she
heard people saying, "She must not have been in the right group..." ;)

They walked away and we LIVED!! We walked to Best Buy to get Jake a TV antennae
and then we walked to Eataly to have lunch. When we were at Eataly, Jake got a
text from his roommate, who wrote: "You were so right. Orientation sucks. I'm
leaving and going to Brooklyn to do the IKEA thing and get stuff for our room."
Back at FIT, we ran into Jake's suite-mate, who said (about orientation), "You
were right! That was so stupid...there is no way that is mandatory and I am not
going back." We encouraged him to follow his heart and just LIVE in that
fabulous city while others are listening to yet another boring blah blah blah
welcome speech by the zillionth person, playing silly *getting to know you
games* that actually do not make ANY "real" connections, or standing around
waiting, waiting, waiting, while OTHERS ask questions to which you already know
the answer. Life and the City Await.

After Eataly, Dave and I (sadly...very very sad for *all* of us...) left. Jake
said he went to his room, cried for five minutes, then got up, and he and Emily
decided to distract themselves from missing their families and go to Brooklyn
and explore. HAD I BEEN THERE, I would have been all, "Here's a map... do you
have money??... see if there's anything on the orientation schedule that you
WANT to go to..." ... but no... I was NOT there... and he left his map up in his
room and yes he did have cash and no, there was nothing on the schedule the rest
of the day that was remotely interesting to him (he had checked). And I was
gifted with photos of their lovely adventures... they took the subway there and
back... they met up with Jake's roommate and suite-mate at a cafe (I was gifted
with a text containing a photo of a very lovely fish taco!)... and they hung out
in a peaceful park with the view of the Manhattan skyline in front of them.

Today, there is something on the orientation schedule that Jake wants to do at
1:40. Until then, he and Emily are walking the Highline together, and then he
is going back to the college to learn about things that he WANTS to learn about
(like how to get his mail, etc.) and then WHO KNOWS WHERE THE DAY WILL
FLOW??!!?!! That's the key to unschooling ~ allowing *life* to show you its
infinite possibilities!!!

All is well.

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