So yesterday we (BM, J and me) checked out the local senior college. It only has Years 10-12, and provides a more mature learning environment than a 'normal' high school does (I guess it's a bit hard to tell a 50 year old to stay after school). J is thinking of transferring there to complete Year 12 (which starts at the beginning of next term). He has been unhappy at his current school for some time now, and unfortunately that is reflecting in his results, and more disturbingly, with his attitude to learning. He currently attends a public selective (academic) high school, and from what I can gather, it appears that some of the teachers only teach to the top 5 or 10% of the class, and the others fall by the wayside. It has severely effected J's belief in himself, and his dad and I hope that a new school may be the answer to some of his problems. High school is no easy ride, and J has had all the usual teenage hormonal problems, but also has had to deal with firstly Tarlo's disappearance, then the discovery of his body, the revelation that two of his friends had murdered Tarlo, the trial, the funeral etc over a long 4 year period, and then suffered glandular fever at the start of Year 11 which has made him behind in some of his subjects. Sometimes in the past few years I have felt we were losing him, and it was frightening to know that he was in so much pain and we could do nothing. When your kids are little and hurt, you can clean the wounds, pick them up, give them a cuddle, be there for them but as they get older, that seems harder and harder to do. Luckily we came through a very scary period of our lives with J and are still here dealing with wonderful, average, everyday, not so scary teenage problems the best way we can - fumbling towards incompetence mostly, but still trying.
Back to the college - had a long talk with the principal and J talked to the head science teacher about his concerns in Chemistry. The science teacher had a number of suggestions to help J catch up with the fundamentals, and J seemed to be impressed by the school (although as anyone with a teenager will know the difference between impressed and completely bored is barely discernible - his grunt seemed to convey a sense of approval). I was pleased to see that a large percentage of the teachers have functioned in the real world (had a real job, not stayed in school all their life), so that would definitely help in their approach to the students. Now we just have to sit back and wait for J to make his decision.
Been one of those weeks - my mother-in-law went in for a colonoscopy(?) yesterday, so we're waiting to hear about the results. Hopefully the bowel cancer hasn't returned, bad enough for her the first time round.
Think I'll just sit here and look forward to next week, gotta be better than this one.