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rbk mama

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About rbk mama

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  1. I just read a funny anecdote about a guy who claimed to have an inside connection at Brown and would guarantee admission for a certain fee. He took money from several students, knowing that some of them would get in. Then he did absolutely nothing as he had no such connection. He simply cashed the checks of those students who got in, and returned the others. Made some decent money by doing nothing. I guess these guarantees don't necessarily mean there are unethical connections (which 15K isn't really much for anyway).
  2. The Rick Singer scams bring to mind the college consultants that "guarantee" admission into Ivy's. Like the one put out by College Confidential -- "College Karma" which guarantees admission into one of your top two choices for $15K. http://www.collegekarma.com/college_counseling/admission_guarantee.htm You first have to have the stats, but then I still don't see how they can make that guarantee without (unethical) connections on the inside. Am I missing something?
  3. Again, skipping won't work unless the professor gives very clear notes about what he or she feels is most important to learn. And I think this is a very odd student who digests textbooks. Not defending it - just explaining.
  4. This is why its not possible to skip unless you have a professor who gives very clear notes about what he or she thinks is important to know. I'm not defending it, just explaining. And my son likes well-written textbooks - he's strange that way.
  5. Yes, skipping like this can't be done if there are not clear notes given; DS can't do it for one of his classes for this reason. But the bolded is definitely a concern of mine! He actually started out the semester with the flu. He was very sick and missed 8 days (we live far away and I was going crazy - stays in a crowded triple, on a loft-- climbing his weak feverish self up and down, getting friends to bring him food... aaargh). He is nearly caught up about a week later, which has in his mind confirmed his choice to skip. But I have been concerned about the future, his handle on the content for the rest of the semester, and his relationship with his instructors. When I've mentioned this latter bit his response is that attending every lecture would be a fun, easy way to learn, but is still not the best use of time, since he can learn it much faster on his own and fit more into his schedule. When I mention getting time to interact directly with the professors, he says lectures are not the place he'd do that anyway - it would maybe happen right after lectures, or at office hours. But as you said, how would a professor feel about him showing up at office hours when he's skipped lectures? I'm sure less than thrilled.
  6. I don't understand how a textbook can be necessarily rudimentary or somehow lower level? Surely a good university will be using quality textbooks that cover the subject matter in depth. I don't know what "deeper material" would be necessary to add if it really was a good textbook. For something like engineering physics, understanding is shown by ability to solve problems, as the PP mentioned. If one can successfully complete the weekly assigned problems, and the assigned text is understood, I'm not sure where the gaps in understanding would be.
  7. I don't think it requires experts to teach lower level courses, at least in engineering physics. I can see how it would be different in a humanities class. If the instructor gives good notes, you know what material he or she thinks is important to know, and if you are good at self-teaching, you can make sure you know it (with the textbook that was written by experts). There are weekly assignments, and it is obvious if he understands the material and can do the work or not. Yes, this is Cornell. And he's averaging over a 4. GPA. He attended every class last semester, but he always covered the material on his own first, and found the lectures didn't add much. Again, these are lower level courses, so I don't think that's surprising. (And not that it's relevant, but Cornell gave us a very generous financial aid package, making it cheaper than our best in-state option.)
  8. Yes, this is definitely not the scenario I had envisioned! But at the same time, I know my kid. He is a super intense student who will not fail to keep up with each class and thoroughly master the material. I know the 26 and 27 credit students are extreme examples - they are definitely not the norm. But his 21 is not terribly unusual. Two of those credits are for a project team. I'm also wondering if he's able to do this now because he is only in his first year, and the material is not terribly difficult for him. I don't know, though. What if you are someone who learns best by reading and not by hearing? So you read the textbook and complete the assignments without hearing the verbal explanation of the written material. He's an engineering student, so its not like he needs to hear the professor's personal opinions at this point. We'll see -- he may change his mind further into the semester.
  9. Thanks for sharing this! I can see how this would be very annoying for the professor, which is why I asked about it. DS knows a few students who are taking 26 and 27 credits (??). He is taking 21, including a 6 hour lab each week, in addition to research and a few other extracurricular commitments. I think what I'm most concerned with is that loss of time to interact with instructors, which is what he was initially very excited about. He's all about efficiency right now- learning and doing everything he can possibly fit in (while still getting good sleep). He did find out that one of his professors puts very little online, so he cannot skip that class. We'll see how this semester's plan works for him.
  10. Apparently its fairly common where DS is, mainly among those who are taking a crazy amount of credits. DS agrees this is the best way to maximize time. Nearly all his classes have the notes and assignments available online, and he learns best and quickest by reading, so.... that's his plan. Has anyone heard of this? Wondering how instructors feel about it.
  11. So happy and proud of DS. He LOVED his first semester and jumped into several extracurricular activities that he's enjoying. He is a wizard at time management, keeping basketball time and good sleep each night as priorities. Grades haven't been a priority for him, and he fully expected a B going into his freshman writing seminar, as writing is difficult for him. He recently got his grades back: 2 A's and 2 A+'s in addition to passes in two P/F classes. He's found homeschooling to be excellent prep for college, BTW. He was told that prelims would be killer, but he realized that he naturally self-teaches to a fairly thorough level of understanding, and so prelims were manageable. We've been talking about sending our younger two to a local school for high school, but my parents, who were very hesitant about homeschooling, are now wanting us to keep them at home. It's nice having a "success story" to pull out to validate homeschooling. 😊
  12. We used our friend's recommendation. He teaches AP Calculus at a high school and says this: My favorite Calculus book is a Pearson/Prentice Hall book called "Calculus: Graphical, Numerical, Algebraic", written by Finney, Demana, Waits, and Kennedy. Dan Kennedy is one of the writers of the Calc. AP tests, and the book is easy to read (as far as math books go!). It is the one math book that I think is clearly the best for its subject. DS found it very simple to use for self study. He used a suggested schedule from the College Board and a Barron's review at the end to prepare for the BC exam, but it's fine for AB also. My friend also recommended this course, which is free: https://www.edx.org/course/ap-calculus-challenging-concepts-from-calculus-ab-calculus-bc# DS never used it though, so can't comment on how good it is.
  13. Thanks everyone so much for your thoughts! Very helpful. DH doesn't have a really strong opinion on this either way, just was tending to want to protect the kids. The kids are ambivalent, but leaning towards not wanting to see him (they'd go if we said it might be good for them.) They had one really bad experience with him after he came home soon after surgery (we were at his house to support MIL and weren't expecting him home so soon) -- he was a completely different person - angry, raging, didn't even notice the kids were there. After he recovered, they've had only positive times with him. They are a bit scared to see him if he's not going to be the same person they've known and loved. FIL is dying of brain cancer, so his mental state is affected (though since he's recovered from surgery, he's been mostly fine mentally.) I think it makes sense at this time to keep them home. Thanks again everyone!!
  14. Agree that its best to have skills before serving overseas, but if college doesn't feel like a good fit right now, a shorter term overseas (6 months or one year) might be a great experience, giving her a taste of life wherever she wants to go, as well as showing her ways she can prepare herself to go there longer term. I have friends who have been working in Tanzania for many years - you can PM me for contact info.
  15. DH's father is dying (aggressive cancer). They live a few hours away, and we've been trying to see them every few weekends. My younger two are 11 and 8, and they recently had a really nice visit with their grandparents - grandfather was lucid, able to joke with them like he usually does, etc. He is now slipping fast and very confused. DH feels like its better for the girls to have their last memories of their grandfather be happy ones, and that they don't need to see him now. I can see his point, but am wondering if it would be good/better for them to see for themselves that he is fading and leaving soon. Would love to hear others thoughts on this.
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