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Nicole M

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About Nicole M

  • Birthday 03/10/1967

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    Puget Sound

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  1. I haven't been around much in the last few years, but you people were so helpful when my older son was applying to schools several years ago, and each year I checked in to see how the college acceptances were going. Very exciting to see all the younger siblings getting in to various places now, too! Congratulations to everyone! My younger son has been admitted to two schools with aviation degrees, Westminster College in Salt Lake City and Rocky Mountain College in Billings, and to his brother's alma mater as well (although they don't have an aviation degree, so it's not really an option—he applied mostly out of loyalty to the brudder). He hasn't applied yet to Embry-Riddle, North Dakota or Central Washington, but those are also on his list, with good aviation programs. But, guys! What is UP with the congratulations phone calls?! Totally ruins the surprise of the big envelope! Is nothing sacred?! Not that I'm complaining, but my goodness.
  2. We just learned a hard lesson about unsubsidized loans, too. My son graduated from college in June and immediately entered the Peace Corps, and his loans have been deferred while he's volunteering. I thought that was pretty nifty, the deferment, until I realized that he would have to pay interest each month. His total unsubsidized loan is very small, but at 7.8%, that will add up to a sizable chunk of change by the end of two years. So I'm looking into just paying it off for him. The big lesson for me was to realize that the kids who are busy being responsible and independent aren't going to ask for help because it doesn't occur to him. I'm glad I found out about this, sort of by accident, and learned to ask more questions!
  3. Thank you notes are a big deal, and it's a really good idea to get into the habit of writing them, and this, writing to the college admission peeps, is good practice! At my older son's college graduation, I spoke with several of his professors, many of whom had written recommendation letters for the Peace Corps, and they all mentioned how thoughtful and considerate he'd been, and that getting thank you notes was very rare and delightful. Points or no points, it's a good idea to write them!
  4. Holy the cow! Now, I work on the campus of a small liberal arts college, and I've not heard of this phenomenon from my admission peeps. I will have to ask around. YIKES. The best piece of advice we got from an admission counselor about the essay was that he reads, not kidding, thousands and thousands of essays each year, mostly about "my mission trip to South America" and "my band trip to Europe." The essays he remembered were about jobs, actual employment, because there were so few of them. Son 2.o is just getting to this part of the application process. He will *die* when I show him this article!
  5. Whoa. This whole conversation seems a lifetime ago! I'm happy to report that my youngest survived all my attempts at teaching study skills, and is now taking no prisoners at the CC, in our state's program for HS students. An experimental design project (about chicken behavior!) that he wrote last fall will be published in the student magazine this spring. Son 1.o is graduating with honors from his LAC in June and leaving for the Philippines with the Peace Corps in July. Re-reading all this makes me feel like my children were educated in spite of my best efforts, not because of them. I don't know. We work so hard to be intentional about the content, but what *actually* makes the impact on our children, -- or, I should say, what seems to have made an impact on my children -- is the intentionality itself, not the content. It was quite a ride.
  6. I don't have practical advice, but would also encourage you. Looking into local digs, like Jane suggested, will put you in contact with folks who can provide you with support, information, and leads. You would be able to learn about all the different work opportunities, talk to people who do those jobs, find out what is what. AND, I can only imagine it would be super fun! I'm in a similar(-ish) situation, although I do have a job now, and have recently started looking at the little online biographies of people who have jobs similar to what I would like to do at institutions where I might like to work. I noticed that they seemed to have similar backgrounds, similar degrees. If you were working in the field, you would probably start to see patterns, perhaps, that would give you good information about how to proceed. A year ago, when I made the decision to pursue different work and started applying for other positions, it was out of a sense of desperation and deep despair, almost a flight response to pretty devastating personal loss. Then, as I got a few interviews under my belt and refined my search, started hammering out a plan, the steps that would be required to get from A to B, I just felt so... free! Excited! Yes, I'm still burned out in my current job, still there, but I feel excited about all the possibilities rather than overwhelmed. I hope that you feel that, too, or that you begin to. *fist bump*
  7. I would totally go with this idea if the dining room were a little bigger. Given the number of square feet in that dining area, I would feel claustrophobic with a wall of books. Also, if you were ever going to try to use the space for dining, you'd want flat surfaces for the dishes, a side table or buffet. My preference is to have the books I'm currently using, plus reference books, in the school room, and all the other books in our (very teeny tiny) library. So if this were my house I'd use the smaller library as a library, then use the dining room as the school room. Wow, I'd love to have this challenge! Oh, and something else to think about his light. Our "living room" is the largest space in the house, but on the north side, and poorly configured for use as a school room. You walk in the front door into that room. So we use it as our dining space and use the "dining room" as a living room -- although, actually, it's more like a "reading room" because it's adjacent to the school room (12 x 12) which was added on to the house.
  8. I think we made a sort of music resume to supplement my son's application materials. So repertoire, performance dates, festivals attended, choir tours were all listed under various headings. I'll have to double check on that, though. As for 2, absolutely show off. I'm not exactly sure what you're asking in 3, but, yes, I would submit the fine arts supplement if she's applying to be a music major specifically.
  9. We set up my son's credit card account with our local credit union, and his accounts are all connected, so he can make transfers between checking, savings, and his credit card loan very easily. One-stop shopping, as it were. A few years ago there were some high profile cases of suicides related to despair over enormous credit card debt. Predatory credit card companies had begun to target college students, and the families were, naturally devastated, and not even aware of the tens of thousands of dollars of debt accrued. Of course it was and is a complex issue, but since hearing those news stories a while back, we made it our rule never to respond to unsolicited credit card offers. And you know, it seemed like my son was getting a LOT of credit card offers, mailed here to the house. I was throwing them into the recycling the moment they came in the door. But two weeks ago I thought, I wonder just how many he gets, on average? So I collected them, and in ten days of mail service, he's received seven, from four different credit card companies. I guess I would just be very apprehensive about not going with a trusted bank.
  10. Ah, folks in the the good old days were not as staid and proper as we like to imagine they were. I couldn't stop clicking. One thing that struck me was the joy in the early photos. As fashion magazines and movies and then television became more a part of our lives (I'm guessing), people "posed" more for photos. Curious.
  11. Unless she has a personality disorder. The mother-in-law, I mean. My mother will not ever change her behavior, and that is a plain fact. I can change my coping skills, and have, but her behavior is not the result of having been enabled. None of us can know from a few posts what the real issues are with the MIL. Could be you are right. Maybe not. Sounds to me like the OP has figured out ways to cope and was just venting.
  12. My son had a hard time finding a job his first summer home, but he did land an internship for the city. (A nifty job, taking a comprehensive inventory of all the bike racks in the city, and then making an interactive map online). That was ostensibly an unpaid internship, but because the other student intern didn't do a single lick of work, the city rustled up some money to pay him an honorarium. Which was awfully nice of them. (I wasn't even aware of the issues with the other student until months later, when I ran into the city folks at an awards ceremony. I was surprised, because my boy hadn't complained at all. But that kid must have been a piece of work, because WOW did those gals give me an earful about him!) Last summer my son worked at the local ball park, serving meals to drunken obstreperous baseball fans, and trying to avoid getting hit by foul balls. (Lots of bruises.) He also had oral surgery and, later, an epic hemorrhage, so THAT was a fun summer. Okay, not really. This spring he's applied to a kazillion internships, one in Alaska, several in the town where he goes to school, and one here at home. They were all highly competitive, and they all fell through, except the one here. (Skype interview tomorrow — this one is similar to the city internship a while back, and he has great references, so I'm confident that he has a good chance. And the minimum wage here is about $3/hour more than it is in Illinois, so that's a definite bonus.) So just today he decided to come home. He said he'd rather be unemployed at home than unemployed there, but I think something will work out. This summer he plans to study for the GRE and do some more research into graduate programs. He's currently leaning toward environmental law, and may then end up studying for the LSAT. Every year my son makes a fairly rigorous reading list and plows through materials that are related or complementary to his field of interest. I think that's a holdover from homeschooling days. Or. You know. I'd *like* to think that I've helped him establish these habits of inquiry. I was prepared to be brave and happy for his adventures elsewhere, but now that he's decided to come home for the summer, I'm just tickled.
  13. Just a note to let you all know that Hannah has put together a document with a collection of Kay's posts here, and I've forwarded that to Kay's brother, who is organizing materials for a memory book for Karl. My sense is that Kay's first wish was for memories and stories for her husband and son, to help them keep her memory alive. I imagine she would have been very proud of her boy for going to school the next day, for carrying on. I mention this not because I want to discourage anyone from sending a sympathy card, but rather to hold up Hannah, and to let you know that she's done this marvelous thing — Kay's gifts to us are going back to her family, her son.
  14. I'm just trying to picture a bathtub large enough to accommodate two adults. Mine... no. I'm tall and can hardly fit in mine alone.
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