University factor

Today is Deen’s 22nd birthday. He graduated from Marine Military Academy in June three years ago, and swore he would never again cross the threshold into another classroom. Claimed he had been wanting to drop out of school since fourth grade (I didn’t notice it until ninth grade).

So he spent the last three years in the School of Hard Knocks. Emphasis on hard knocks. In his defense, he did not want to ask us for so much as a sandwich, and didn’t. Nor were we wasting money by making him attend college when he had zero motivation. But it was hard as his mom to watch him struggle. He never asked for help nor would he accept it. I had to beg him to let me pay for his annual physical checkup, and for the extraction of wisdom teeth. Sigh.

Long about March, he decided it was time to enhance himself and his prospects for making it in our society. We toured St. Ed’s and he was smitten. He applied, and somewhat miraculously, was accepted.

I truly don’t care what he studies or what he majors in. I have witnessed personally, and through observation of countless Heart counselors, the personal maturation and transformation that occurs through the college process. It is not just getting older. When I interview someone who has finished their freshman year, that is one thing; when I interview someone who has finished their junior year, that is another thing altogether. More ability to articulate, more self-assuredness, more U factor. That’s what I know he will find in college.

Deen is a happy camper, and for now, appreciates that his only worries are attending classes and turning in assignments. For fun he works out with the rugby team. This mom is also very happy these days.

About the Author

Jane Ragsdale

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Jane Ragsdale (Mrs. Dick Howell) is the director of Heart O’ the Hills. She was a Heart camper and counselor, and served as program director from 1978-87. She has been one of the owners since 1976, and director since 1988.

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