College Bound

One of my students, “Faustina”, is extraordinarily bright. I know, I say that a lot. But if there’s anything I want to convey with this blog, it’s just how much brilliance exists around us all the time.

She was supposed to be in Making Math from Scratch, but she wound up doing college prep during that period, instead. And frankly, what she needs is some time to grow and stretch her legs.

She stopped me on my way out the door a few weeks ago and told me a story about a fight she got into with her mom, which I won’t go into due to an overabundance of caution. But the only conclusion I could draw was, “It is time for you to move out.” She’s going to college next year, as her mom has expected her to do. She is maintaining her personal business while there, as her mom has expected her to do (even though I’m skeptical that doing so will work well for her — college is an all-immersive experience by design, and her business is important, but she can come back to it later.) What upsets her mom is that she doesn’t have a car.

This is a little baffling to me. My students came out the door of the school earlier this year and asked me why my car is a piece of shit. Not only is that a weird thing to say (it is the newest car in the best condition I’ve ever owned!), but my answer was, and could only be, “Well, I have to prioritize, and I work here.”

But to a lot of people, their car means a lot more to them than a means to safely and effectively move things and people around. In the case of Faustina’s mom, it means that her life is together. I think it’s a certain assertion of non-poverty to her.

So, I understand where her mom is coming from. But also, I think Faustina will be ill-served by having an expensive burden to shoulder when she’s in college.

I’m looking forward to seeing her again next week. I want to know how important the car question is, and if it’s given her any clarity about how she wants to operate her own life now that she’s growing up and out.