Monday, July 12, 2010

Experimental

Earlier this year, Archer's GT teacher sent home information about a two-week summer program administered by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for talented youngsters. When I looked into it, I saw that Cady Gray could also apply. They were thrilled that they were accepted, as were we.

The monkey wrench in our planning is that the program is in Little Rock, a 40-minute drive from our house, and at an odd time -- 12:30-5:30 pm. One of us (Noel most days, though I'm hoping to relieve him a few times) has to drive them down at midday, and then find a library or bookstore or coffeeshop in which to while away the hours until it's time to pick them up.

It also means that our family mealtimes are disrupted. Noel is the cook, and most days he'll be on his way to pick them up at the time when he's normally serving us dinner. We might switch the big meal to lunch a few days; I'll pack lunchboxes so the kids can eat on the drive home. And there might be fast food sometimes.

Right now I'm waiting for my family to come home, and I'm hearing that there might be a few kinks for the program staff to iron out in the pickup procedure. Noel tweeted at 6:10 pm, 40 minutes after pickup time, that he had been stuck in a line of cars for 45 minutes and still hadn't gotten to the point where the kids could be retrieved. That makes me anxious for Archer. Things going over schedule, having to wait, minutes and hours dragging on without knowing when the next thing will happen -- these are recipes for weeping and meltdowns. I hope that the process gets fixed so he (as well as the rest of us) doesn't have to endure that day after day.

And I hope the program itself is worth the trouble it takes for us to commute with the kids and disrupt the routines that give comfort and structure to our days. Everything up to this point has made us confident that it is. I'm looking forward to the kids being home and hearing about it. It would be a shame if their enthusiasm about the classes and the experience was dampened by a traffic jam on the first day.

2 comments:

Mrs. CPA said...

Is it the Summer Laurete program (sluffy)? I did that every summer as a kid and loved it. We drove 4 hours round trip to get to go. Lots of the classes were taught by GT teachers from other cities, some of them got credit towards master's degrees by teaching the two week class. I don't know how they do it now, but back then it was really rewarding. I was actually on TV the year the Chelsea Clinton attended and Bill came to give the closing speech.

Donna B. said...

Yep, it's SLUFY. The kids adore it. It's in a new location this year -- Dunbar Magnet School -- and they're still working out some of the kinks about getting kids in and out in large numbers. But the program itself is getting rave reviews from Archer and Cady Gray. I'll get to take them tomorrow and I'm anxious to see the setup. Neat that you were a part of it -- I see they're celebrating their 30th year!