13 January 2011

Electives and big plans

When I was starting high school, I made the interesting decision to take both Spanish and German in the same semester.  Feeling (foolishly) confident, I figured I could easily learn two languages at once.

My confidence lasted a week, ending at a painful episode where my German teacher asked me to count to ten in German, and I started out "Uno, dos, tres..."  The laughter of my classmates still rings in my head all these years later....

...which is probably why I broke into laughter when I was handed Jon's picks for his high school electives, and saw that he had picked Spanish, German, AND French.

I'll admit I have to admire his determination to improve himself, but damn - three languages???  No way can he handle that.  We've told him to pick one and save the others for later in high school (or maybe even college). 

He's got an impressive list of choices for electives.  I don't think I had that many to chose from, and my hometown was twice as large as the little township we are currently living in.  He needs to choose four electives out of 52 choices!  And some of the electives are just plain awesome.  He can choose guitar lessons, for cripes sake.  I don't remember guitar being one of my choices when I was in high school.

We've made it clear to Jon that we will be having a hand in his elective decisions.  For example, he didn't even think of taking computer keyboarding, and without that skill, he's not going to do very well in high school (why the heck that is an elective rather than a requirement in this day and age, I have NO idea).  So we told him that while the school does not require him to take this course, WE do - and we explained why.  Fortunately, Jon agreed that knowing how to type quickly and accurately was a wise decision.

Now, what you should know is Jon has BIG plans for life during college.  Rather than paying a dorm fee or renting an efficiency while in college, he wants to build his own Tiny Tumbleweed home.  Here are a couple pictures from the internet of these tiny homes:

The concept behind the tiny homes is very simple.  The home is built on a trailer, and the size of the home depends on the size of the trailer you start out with.  Despite their size, these homes can include a small kitchen, bathroom with shower, living room and loft bedroom.  Ever since he saw these homes for the first time, he's wanted one. 

Having a tiny home built for you costs about $50,000...but building your own, using salvaged materials, can cost less than $10,000.  Jon did the math and discovered that if he works full time during summers, and part time during the school year, all the time at minimum wage, then he will have earned about $15,000 by the time he is ready for college - more than enough to build his own tiny home.  He also figures that living in the tiny home during four years of college will save him more money than he spent building the home in the first place.

So since this is a dream of his, his first choice of electives were "Intro to Production Tech" (Wood Shop) and "Intro to Welding".  And he just decided this morning that he wants to take Spanish as his foreign language option.

And last but not least, Jon discovered that he can get a head start by taking some of his required classes (and some of his electives) in the summer.  He figures that he can't get a job until he's sixteen, so until then he's going to take extra courses in the summer.  If he does well enough, he might be able to finish school a semester early, which would give him more time to work full time and save up money for college.

~GRINS~  He's got big plans, and he's looking at planning for his future rather than living in the now.  I don't know if he'll see all his plans come to pass, but I'm proud of him for thinking ahead.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Your son sounds like a smart kid. I love that he's planning to live in "his own home" while he's in college - and even more that he's acknowledged how important owning one's own home is.

Wish I'd known as much when I was his age ;).