Day 4: Outdoor Chills and Future’s Thrills

Our school visit today was to a public boarding school. Again, another long ways of traveling having to rely on a rather unreliable bus system. This reform model was like yesterday’s in that the focus was on building a culture of achievement, except here it was 24/7 (well, not including weekends when students went home). The 10th grade boy I talked to at lunchtime I could tell was definitely going places. He actually was already a sort of “student ambassador” that gave visitors tours of the school, he was enrolled in multiple APs, and he already had a list of colleges he wanted to apply to…for chemical engineering! He was still very curious about college life; he had plenty of questions and he kept up a good conversation. However, he wasn’t from an urban environment (this school pulls kids from across MD), and his schooling before this one he described as pretty average and calm; so, I wondered how my interaction would have been with a student originally from the stereotypical unstructured, misbehaved urban school system.

At Midtown this afternoon, we had another info-packed day about resumes, interviews, and financial aid. We also thought it would be a great idea to save our students’ letters to themselves until the day of their 8th grade graduation (even though they apparently already did this for another class). I really hope all the information we gave them today and yesterday has stuck at least a little. It’s been kind of hard for our group to tell if they’ve truly felt engaged by our lessons, these past four days with them felt like no time at all…

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