High school class question

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by klmno, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    difficult child still says he wants to be a vet. Uhmm Uhmm....it's a stretch at this point since he can't stay out of trouble for a full school year for the fifth year now. However, he has passed every year and now has a GPA over 3.0 going into his sophomore year. He has an opportunity to take AP Environmental Science next year- he wanted Bio 2 but they don't have enough kids signed up for it to make it worth offering.

    So the question is- will Environmental Science really help him in the area of veterinary medicine? I'm kind of thinking it would- at least moreso than going into a medical field for humans but I'm not familiar at all with what this course really teaches.
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I would imagine Environmental Science would be more like forests and habitats, things like that, but I don't know for sure. Does your district have any ROP classes? Miss KT really connected with her Criminal Justice instructor...took the class two years, even though that wasn't what she wanted to do.
  3. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I don't want to rain on his parade, but it's extremely difficult to get in to vet school in most areas. Even for very highly qualified candidates with top notch grades in high school and college, it's actually easier to get in to medical school than it is to get in to veterinary school! That's because there are far fewer class slots available in the veterinary schools than in the medical schools. They get many, many applications from students who were all tops in their class and they can be very selective when deciding who will be admitted.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I know that Donna and he's been told that, too. Still, it's ok for him to go for it if it's really what he wants. I chose a profession that only a small percentage of applicants are accepted into and complete, also. I'm not going to tell him he can't or shouldn't try if this is what he wants and has the grades. Plus, we have a vet school in our state and they do accept a much higher percentage of applicants from this state. But what it really will boil down to is whether or not he gets thru under-graduate college, doesn't change his mind about what to major in, and has good grades there. That's a long way off- a lot of people change their minds in ungrad. college- I did. So I am not going to discourage him about this while he's in high school- I'm using it to try to motivate him. Really- am I supposed to say "you'll probably never make it into vet school so why bother taking AP courses and keeping a good GPA"? Not that this is what you meant- I know you were just trying to point out it's a difficult profession. But I had people tell me koi like that when I was in high school and I guess I'm very sensitive about not doing that with my son.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    What are ROP classes? (I guess different states use different terminology for educational stuff.)
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    This is a new school just opening this fall and will only start with rising freshman and sophomores. The sophomores starting this year will then become the first senior class to graduate from there, which could be very exciting if we stay here and difficult child actually makes it to graduation and on time. LOL! Anyway, because of that, the guidance counselor said they were only given funding and options for about half the classes that most high schools in the jurisdiction have. They will have more difficult child's Junior year but it's kind of slim this upcoming year.
  7. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    No, I never meant that you should try to discourage him - sorry if it sounded that way. If that's what he really wants, he should go for it, give it his best shot. I think it's great that he has a goal he's willing to work for and I think you're very wise to use that as a tool to motivate him.

    Something else that might really help him is if he does everything he can to work with animals before he gets as far as veterinary school ... volunteer work with an animal shelter or a part time job in a vets office - it will give him some real hands-on experience and will show his sincere interest and apptitude when it's time to apply for school. I really think that's one thing that helped my daughter get accepted to a very competitive nursing school program. There's a dozen applicants for every slot in the classes and some people apply for years and never make it. She was accepted on her first try and was the youngest one in her class. It was in part because she had worked after school and on weekends as a CNA in our local nursing home all through high school and had excellent references and recommendations from them. It showed her sincerity and made her stand out among the other applicants who had never had any real hands-on experience. Even if he just does volunteer work, it could greatly improve his chances in a very competetive program.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, Donna! I probably sounded harsh in my response, that's more of a left-over pet peeve from my teen years. And my step-father trying to encourage me in spite of other family members discouraging me- he actually had college professors tell him he'd never make it in his chosen profession but as it turned out, he did very well. So he taught me that it's the ones that never give up that tend to make it, even more often than the ones who have the best aptitude. (I'm still waiting to see which one difficult child is!)

    As far as your suggestions- yes- we had discussed this and got the PO on board with it and difficult child's mentor was starting to look into some of our places around here with difficult child to try to get him set up with some volunteer work with animals this summer, along with a part-time job (either with animals or not). But, as most are aware, difficult child is spending almost the entire summer in detention....again.... so this will now be the goal for next year.

    difficult child just called and is concerned that the AP Environmental Science class will be too demanding on top of his four core classes- he would be taking it along with Chem 1 and Geometry. So he's leaning toward Shop class now. We had to get off the phone real quick- he was calling from detention and they don't give him long. I called back and explained this was info that needed to be discussed for me to relay to his school district and they told me to call during their school hours tomorrow. OK- I'm going to check the graduation requirements for our state before I do. difficult child blew his Span 1 and JROTC credits by being put into detention- he might not have any choice about taking a more academic-oriented class this coming year- if he wants to graduate on time.

    ETA: Yes, he has great goals for himself but his BIG downfall is not realizing that he can't have his cake and eat it too- he can't expect to continue to get into trouble, skip school, not sink his teeth into the work, etc., and think he can attain these goals. This is why we are still putting a lot of weight on his "good" goals- to try to consistently point out to him that at his age and with his history, he has to make a choice between the two- go for college and quit getting into trouble, or keep getting into trouble and give up your dreams. Whether or not he changes those dreams later on (even if it's due to not getting accepted into vet school 6-7 years down the road) is not really the current issue, the way the school district and I are looking at it.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think focusing on his goals is a brilliant idea. If anything is going to motivate him to perform in school this might. What are his chances of volunteering with a vet or animal shelter after school this coming year? It might keep him busy and tire him out so much that he doesn't have the time or energy to go out and find trouble. You may have to work with the PO to get some volunteer hours put into place as soon as he comes home. That way he won't come home and have so much time on his hands to ponder all he missed while he was locked up and he would have less time to get bored. I have always felt that the most sure-fire recipe for delinquent behavior was a powerful brain and nothing to do.

    I would ask the school about the classes. Ask if he can change at the semester if it is needed. Then follow your gut.

    His chances of getting into vet school with the legal problems will depend on some pretty spectacular college grades and interviews. One way he may be able to finagle a way in is to move to whatever town the school he wants to attend is in. (After he has his bachelor's, of course.) Then he will need to take a year or two off so he can work and get in-state tuition. During that time he needs to apply and re-apply for jobs at the vet school. Even jobs cleaning cages. ANY job that will get him into contact with the people who run the school. After he has made a good impression on them he should apply for the school. If possible he should use a professor or two from the school for references.

    Many grad programs do not look back at high school records, except maybe GPA. Around here the vet school is the rare exception. it is SO competitive that they go back to grades in high school and other problems to compare potential students. They get so many high powered applicants that they sometimes need to. Having a year or two off between undergrad and grad school will add maturity that will be a huge benefit. Working at the vet school will earn him a HUGE "in" if he plays his cards right and does his job excellently.

    I know several people who have done this. Only one of them had even a prayer of getting into vet school before he spent two years working there. His grades were great, his family had money (and were willing to make a huge donation if it would get him accepted - enough to endow a chair or build a new building huge!), but he was from a state that does not have an agreement with our vet school so there were a couple of hundred applicants for the very few spaces available. By moving here and getting residency in-state he moved to a group of applicants that have access to a larger number of spaces in the program. Then his job made the professors aware of what he brought to the table and of his determination. Otherwise the trouble he got into in high school would have kept him out completely.

    This is one heck of a ton of work. I really pray that difficult child wants it bad enough to start working for it now. Regardless of whatever he eventually ends up doing. Mostly I want him to mature and make his mother proud of his hard work - whatever he does.
  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    ROP is Regional Occupational Program...vocational classes to give kids an idea of what they might want to do once they get out of school. Some are more "hands on" than others, for example, one of the high schools has a full scale ag program, complete with animals and a small working farm. They build barns and sheds, drive tractors, care for the animals, and whatever else one would do on a farm. They also run field trips for the elementary schools, and they do a very professional job of explaining how and why. I was able to go along with a first grade, and I was amazed at the interesting info...one of a cow's stomachs can handle nails and wire...I didn't know that before.

    Different high schools in the district specialize in different things...careers with children, Criminal Justice, careers in business, EMT, and many others.
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, Susie!

    Kt mom: I'm not sure that we have the exact thing here but I'll relay what we do have- in middle school there are "mini-school" classes available for kids to help them learn about a career. difficult child took several of these and one was for becoming a vet. They worked with the SPCA and he watched a vet neuter a male dog. We have dogs- one male- and difficult child was just entering puberty. He has never harmed our dogs and although I thought this would have sent most males (and me) thru the roof, he handled it very well. We have discussed difficult child's goals with our vet that we use for our dogs. We were informed that difficult child could take vocational classes thru his high school and they offer the option for being a vet tech or vet assistant (something like that). Our vet sponsors that and allows a week-long volunteer work experience with their office. This is a Plan B with difficult child. However, our vet told difficult child and me that if he has the grades and REALLY wants to be a vet, not to go that route. They said they would allow him to do the week-long work experience and if he did well, give him a recommendation to use with good grades to get into college and he'd be much better off to pursuing his goals.

    The main thing is- he has these goals- if he needs to "down-grade" them due to lack of motivation or effort, then this is what he needs to start realizing- he has every opportunity to achieve his highest goal if he puts forth his highest effort; he can settle for less and put forth half the effort; he can say **** it and get nothing.

    He says and thinks he's old enough to call his own shots now and know what he wants, etc, then these are his decisions to live with for many, many years.

    I've checked the graduation requirements for our state- sorry but he has no choice- since he blew his Spanish credit, he has to take an academic class as one elective next year because he's taking driver's ed as another. If he doesn't like it, he can drop driver's ed. The academic choices are some foreign language (which would be a beginner class and he doesn't want that), an AP class in history (which he hates- and I agree- history was taught much better in the college level), or this AP science class.

    AP here means advanced but if the kid passes the required test at the end of the school year, they get 1/2 college credit. If he did poorly in it, I'm sure they'd let him drop it and take shop or something in the Spring. This is a better option than being a sophomore and knowing there's no way you can graduate on time. And of course- this driver's ed class, learner's permit, and eventually getting a driver's license surely will help motivate him.

    Really, difficult child's hx has left him in a position where at 15yo, he has to either sink or swim. I'm sorry it has come at such an early age but he became a difficult child 4 1/2 years ago so this is where he's left now. Many people think he's pretty lucky to even have the choices left that he does.

    Sorry I started this thread in the WC- I should have put it in General.

    I could shake him silly for having opportunites that he has and not realizing how fortunate he is. I'm sure I'm not the first warrior mom to feel that way!!
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010