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dmmetler

Would you move the whole family for the needs of one child?

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Early entrance to the University of Washington through the Robinson Center. There is a one year transition school for students under 15 and then they become full time undergrads. UW has better herp resources than Mary Baldwin. The Leache lab focuses on "evolutionary biology and systematics of reptiles and amphibians" and they currently have undergrads participating in their research.

 

Plus Seattle is damp. And you are welcome to stay with us, we are about a mile from campus.

 

I don't know anything about the Leache lab, but I see Toby Bradshaw is now Biology department chair. He is a great teacher and a really quirky guy. As a long time falconer, he probably has the perspective to understand kids with an obsession about a given animal... UW EEP could be a good option.

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If you have any questions about MB, Jenny in FL should be able to answer them since that is where her dd attended.  

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Early entrance to the University of Washington through the Robinson Center.

That is on our shortlist as it is less hard for hubby to find employment in the tech industry (compare to other areas we are looking at). Someone in his office originally from Seattle just transferred back to near U of W.

The light rail would make it even more tempting. Our home is a 10 mins walk away from a light rail interchange now.

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Sigh... u Washington might possibly be about the only EEP that would be farther from family than the one we're considering.... It would be humid, though, and better for IT job options. How is the COL?

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Sigh... u Washington might possibly be about the only EEP that would be farther from family than the one we're considering.... It would be humid, though, and better for IT job options. How is the COL?

COL in Seattle is high. Not as bad as the Bay Area, but high. (Lots and lots of tech jobs!) That said, the light rail to the U next year will make commuting from more affordable areas of South Seattle a convenient option. And there are lots of bus options too. There are several lovely neighborhoods that don't have the best schools that I would totally consider in your shoes.

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I think you are unduly limiting yourself by only looking for places with formal early entrance programs. If you really feel that you need to move I would focus on areas that have the most opportunities for everyone, not just an EEP program for your child. We have lived many places and have found that there are usually a lot of opportunities that are not actually searchable online or advertised.

 

Also, if you are looking to move strictly for your child's education, you need to look closely at the universities/colleges attached to these EEP programs. Many of them won't have the kind of resources she would need for further advanced study in her narrow field of interest. Oftentimes what looks great on paper doesn't fare the same in person.

 

Overall, I would caution any parent about making extreme lifestyle change decisions for a child this age. Things change rapidly. The needs of today most likely won't be the needs of tomorrow. To base an entire family's future on the anticipated needs of a growing child (barring extreme life threatening medical conditions) could prove very unwise in the longterm.

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 .

The question is-is it reasonable to relocate everyone (especially DH, who would probably be more "stuck" in his current job because of the need to be able to telecommute, and who is most concerned about the climate) for DD, when what we have works? I think I can meet her academic needs, but one thing that has been brought home to me recently is how different she is socially among kids who are her peers, even when there's nothing academic in the mix, and how much happier, less anxious, and less stressed she is. And, frankly, how much more pleasant she is to be around. If it wasn't such a big move, I don't think there would be a question of DD applying. But I don't want her to apply and get her hopes up if there's any question of us NOT making the move if she's accepted.

 

Yes, we're probably going to do it in the next year or two for the benefit of my little one. It isn't 100% because of her since I always did plan on going to grad school as a way to relaunch my career. But my choice of field and the need to look outside my local area are both due to her disabilities.

 

Ironically, one of the places we might be moving to is TN, if I get accepted to and decide to attend Vanderbilt.

 

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The thing is, she has access to college resources now. And it's not really what she wants. What she wants is the peer group of kids close to her age who "get it"-along with the college resources. As far as I can tell, that basically requires a formal EEP to have the density of kids. It's not going to matter in 10 years. But right now, it makes a major difference. It's the difference between a kid who lives to work because that's all she has, and a kid who is living. She's not wilting on the vine from lack of academics. She's wilting on the vine because of a lack of kids who she doesn't have to hold back when she talks to them.
 

 

The herpetology thing is a big concern, because there are a relatively small number of schools that offer even a single course in it, and within the field, grad programs tend to specialize based on whoever the person who came and settled there is. Right now, DD thinks she wants Ethology. And right now, the best ethology grad program is at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. But at the same time, part of that is because that's the branch of herpetology she has had the most contact with, and it's one of the most accessible as far as understanding journal articles without as much science background in organic chemistry or reading genetic data. 

 

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Does anyone know anything about the program at Florida Atlantic University?

 

I did early admission at FAU, but I was older. I was 17. Now, this was in 1994, so things may have changed, but my big complaints were that it was a commuter school and I was living in a dorm, not much dorm life and the place was abandoned on the weekends. Obviously your daughter, living at home, wouldn't have that issue. 

 

But my other issue was that the required courses were VERY set, very little choice in what you took. I transfered to FSU the next year and was blown away by all the cool classes, like Intro to Islam, History of the Middle East, Latin American Civilizations, etc. All those counted towards your general ed credits, instead of just say, American and World history, like at FAU. 

 

Also, my professors were just plain smarter at FSU. 

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Yes, we're probably going to do it in the next year or two for the benefit of my little one. It isn't 100% because of her since I always did plan on going to grad school as a way to relaunch my career. But my choice of field and the need to look outside my local area are both due to her disabilities.

 

Ironically, one of the places we might be moving to is TN, if I get accepted to and decide to attend Vanderbilt.

 

 

Nashville is a nice place to be. We end up there many times a year because so many of the academic competitions have the state rounds in Nashville. (Although some are moving to Chattanooga)  Be aware, though, it's still not a great place for GT and higher level programs. Vandy's uses the 95% on the state test as their cutoff, which is pretty low compared to talent search, but they do offer some of the TIPS classes in the summer, and they have a high school program that's pretty good. There is a good magnet high school for arts which includes a strong writing program. It's not enough different for us to move in-state, but it would be worth considering.

 

Except for the Vanderbilt tuition (typical private college), COL will be quite low compared to what you're used to. And Vandy is beautiful.

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 She's not wilting on the vine from lack of academics. She's wilting on the vine because of a lack of kids who she doesn't have to hold back when she talks to them.

 

 

 

I would just caution you about one thing that does not change.....kids are kids.  We have found that common interests and matching personalities tend to bridge far more differences than intellectual abilities.  I also 100% agree with Butler.  They change dramatically yr to yr at these ages.  What might be an awkward age/fit one yr might be much better the next.  Just make sure you enter with realistic expectations that just b/c the kids match her intellectually does not guarantee that she will actually find kids that she can relate to.  You might increase the statistical odds, but it doesn't make it a statistical reality.

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 There is a good magnet high school for arts which includes a strong writing program.

 

That I actually think would likely be a better "fit" for my oldest than the school I presume you're considering for your DD. My oldest already feels "dumb" compared to most of the PG kids we know IRL since she skews verbal rather than mathy. She medaled for NUMATS and still she has shaky self-confidence when it comes to her intellectual ability because it was in verbal rather than math. [insert head-banging emoji here]

 

My BFF's in high school were not the class valedictorian who was my intellectual peer (though I was friends with him and attended senior prom as his date) but rather the MG kids who shared my interests.

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Wow. I didn't realize UNR is the flagship campus. (You get myopic when you grow up in the shadow of the UC system...) Free access to UNR would be pretty awesome. The Robinson Center program at UW is not free. :-(

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If it is the density of kids like her that is the goal, then as expensive as it is I would look at the SF Bay Area. We moved here from Arizona because of my husband's job. But it has been the only place where my kids have found other kids like them.

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We'd do it.  Our family experience so far is that older DS is way more of an outlier.  Younger DS & DD have been way easier to place into peer groups so far.  So they don't seem to have opposing needs that would force us in two directions.  They're only 5, so I've probably just jinxed us. :lol:

 

 

Also, we'd give almost anything to be back in the Bay Area.  To hear there is a sizeable cluster of highly GT kids, although we kind of already aassumed that, makes me want it even more.

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To hear there is a sizeable cluster of highly GT kids, although we kind of already assumed that, makes me want it even more.

I think JenneinAZ's home is within walking distance from my home :)

 

Remember the thread about reference points? :lol:

 

SF Bay Area is like a micro ecosystem which can skew the norm. My kids can blend in the crowd most of the time even though their outside teachers have made pointed comments.

 

Having said that the Stanford math circle was a flop for DS9. He was still bored. DS10 was on the waiting list but if DS9 was bored, it would be a worse fit for DS10.

 

There are still people who are sensitive if other kids are gifted. A friend in San Jose still face that issue so she is careful when chatting.

 

ETA:

My kids homeschool science classes have a few kids who are as enthusiastic about building mini mud dams and forts as them. That was a nice side effect of paying for science class so that they can have lab partners who are not their sibling.

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I have two kids. I would not move for one unless the new situation was as good as or better for the rest of the family OR the current situation was really bad OR it was for medical treatment.

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Sigh...now we're into the year we actually have to decide whether or not to formally apply. She has the scores she needs, she has loved and done well in their summer programs, she has teachers ready to write letters of recommendation who think it would be great for her. For her, it really is like Hogwarts for geeky, nerdy kids. And this year, the frogs were active in the river and trees. We also did a college tour of the bio and Ag departments (field biology spans both), and met some lovely people. It still looks like a good fit. But the climate is still miserable, DH would still be stuck in his current job, and I still have no clue what I'd do with myself. And travel is insane-we got stuck in the Dallas airport for 6 hours on the way home this year.

 

And the local social situation is only getting worse, not better, as the middle school exodus from homeschooling is in full swing. I'm still no more decided than I was a year ago-but last year we had a year to decide.

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:grouphug: my DS10 meet the ACT scores required too. But due to as good as zero job prospects there, it would still be split family if any of my boys are interested.

 

I thought you are moving to another city due to your husband's job which might have better match for schools?

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Sigh...now we're into the year we actually have to decide whether or not to formally apply. She has the scores she needs, she has loved and done well in their summer programs, she has teachers ready to write letters of recommendation who think it would be great for her. For her, it really is like Hogwarts for geeky, nerdy kids. And this year, the frogs were active in the river and trees. We also did a college tour of the bio and Ag departments (field biology spans both), and met some lovely people. It still looks like a good fit. But the climate is still miserable, DH would still be stuck in his current job, and I still have no clue what I'd do with myself. And travel is insane-we got stuck in the Dallas airport for 6 hours on the way home this year.

 

And the local social situation is only getting worse, not better, as the middle school exodus from homeschooling is in full swing. I'm still no more decided than I was a year ago-but last year we had a year to decide.

 

This is going to sound goofy and stupid, but what does your gut say?  Because, when I read your posts I get a strong, "she wants to go for her DD" vibe. 

 

Also, we are really starting to feel the pain of lack of peers in our area. I'm not really seeing any where local we could go find like minded peers for DS. He's not PG, at least not on paper, but he's gifted enough that he's an outlier and he's old enough now where he's starting to feel it.  So far he is ok with not having friends, but my mom instinct says that this isn't going to last much longer.  He loves reading books about kids in middle and high school and wants to be like the characters in the books that hang out with their friends. (When he's older, I know it sounds silly, what can I say? He's nine. :)) If he had the scores to go,we'd be really seriously considering it.  My DH can work from anywhere, and my other two kids are easier to place in peer groups, so we wouldn't be sacrificing all the much except it would not be a city that I'd ever want to live in if the school wasn't there.

 

Ok, off to meditate and do yoga and leave the intellectual discussion of proper placement of PG kids to the pros. ;)

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:grouphug: my DS10 meet the ACT scores required too. But due to as good as zero job prospects there, it would still be split family if any of my boys are interested.

 

I thought you are moving to another city due to your husband's job which might have better match for schools?

We've delayed that indefinitely. He really doesn't need to be at corporate HQ to work, and the COL difference was dramatic. Without an awesome school fit (the best looking option had tuition high enough that I'd have to get a job), it wasn't worth it right now.

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I would honestly visit Robinson. I know that is easier for us, since we live in the state, but the atmosphere was off. It was ULTRA competative feeling. It was not fun. It was not kid-like only in college. It felt like kids going to work (and my kid currently gets paid more than I do when he is working!). Most definitely did not feel emotionally safe for Ds. That doesn't mean your Dd would feel that way, but it definitely surrendered the fantasy for us. Robinson also has standard college tuition. Without meeting residency requirements it is expensive!!!!

 

The other colleges we have visited were for top performing students, but they felt fun. They felt like these kids knew when to work hard at their schooling, but then also just had a good time together. We have not visited Davidson. Currently Ds' needs are being met with his working for NGO's. The connections Davidson promised, we already have without attendence requirements, and Ds can accept payment for work.

 

It sounds like she does not want college, she wants kids. Camp is not the same as school. If she is comparing a camp experience to what day to day school would be, I think you might need to consider that. It took three years, but Ds has come to realize that reality means he is a major outlier. It was painful to watch. I wanted to take the hurt away, but he needed to see it. No matter where he goes, once he gets out in the world he is not going to regularly be around people who "get" him. Next year he asked to up his coursework again, to focus on himself, and to hopefully have fun with kids by just being a kid.

 

Is your Dd thinking that an EEP or Davidson is going to somehow take away her being an outlier? That is not possible unless in a pre-set, very false environment. It is not real. It is creating a "Camp Half Blood" situation. At 11, she might not see that, but shufting the family in order to create an unsustainable situation might be a disaster....

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So Ds and I just talked about the difference between the feelings of having academic success and having friendship success (for lack of better terms).

 

When he succeeds at giving a speech to a giant crowd, or at organizing this large group of people to a great cause, or at kicking the snot out of a hard math problem, "the emotion is inspiring. It is an adrenoline rush. It keeps me wanting to strive and move forward through the tough spots. I think it is what they are calling "grit."

 

When he is just joking around during teen summer reading gatherings, or during Magic the Gathering club, he describes the feeling as "an adrenoline rush too, but differently. It is delightful. It is like happy bubbling up inside. I do not have to filter what I say. I just start bouncing inside and I can just be wierd because are all wierd, just in different ways. It is not like with the skateboarding guys. These people are geeks. I am a geek. We are geeks together."

 

He added "I need both feelings. I need to know that I can move forward and push myself. But, I also need to be able to just stop pushing and talk about "your mom" jokes and play "Rockband" on the Xbox. There is no way I would want to do only one now that I know about both."

 

When the psychologist told me we had to take Super Kidtastic vacations and take away all contact with Ds' adult world, I really did not understand. No school. No environmentalism. No cell. No email or social media. No news. Just kid stuff. What it did was force Ds to get in touch with the silly, stupid, ridiculous stuff that is actually age appropriate. It allowed him access to other kids in a completely non competative way. He wouldn't have chosen it because he did not know it was there.

 

What does your Dd do if she is grounded from doing any schoolwork. What if she couldn't do school, how would she chose to pass the time?

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So I've reread this whole thread to remind myself of the various parameters involved.

 

It sounds like if there were no other considerations, it would certainly be worth a try for your DD.

 

For yourself, I have the impression that you would be resourceful enough to find something to do with your time.

 

It seems the biggest potential negative is for your DH. How does he feel about it now, and about the possibility of being "stuck in his job"? Does he have potential job changes that he could pursue if you did not move? On the one hand, one could say that if he would be stuck in his job even if you didn't move, then you may as well move. On the other hand, if you moved, would his needs be met enough for him to be able to be positive about it? 

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Being in our current area, we have access to so many educational options. Even if this year's option doesn't work, we can try something else promising next year. But in the place you are considering, I am guessing it is more all or nothing.

It sounds like it could be worth a try. But what will you do if you make the move and the fit is not good? Stick it out? Stay, but homeschool again? Or go back where you were? Or move to the other place you have been considering?

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Honestly, if she's not doing school, she's probably investigating something on her computer, or in the backyard (although she does enjoy her swing set and her scooter). Her brain is never not working. I think one thing she loves about the summer program is that it is, honestly as much or more a social skills program as an academic one-they spend a lot of time playing board games, running around outside, and just being silly, which she adores.

 

What she wants, what she feels in these experiences, is that she's normal. Not the smartest, just normal, with her own areas of strengths, but not having to be the best at everything. She gets some of that in cheer, where she's not the best, but gets frustrated with the behavior of the other kids-that they can't turn off being silly and be focused. She sees that in her summer friends.

 

What she wants is camp half-blood or Hogwarts. Somewhere the abnormal is normal and that even though you are still atypical of the world as a whole, you belong. She doesn't feel she gets that being the genius kid in college classes, and it's why she is nervous about taking college classes for real. It's bad enough being the tag along who is allowed to participate. She fears that if she does well, people will hate her, and if she does poorly, it will make it hard for other gifted kids, because she's setting the path. The idea of being somewhere where it's normal to take college classes at 12-13-14 is appealing to her, and she feels that in Reno, not just at DA, but elsewhere on campus and in the town.

 

We haven't visited the Robinson Center or Mary Baldwin yet, and there's a private Catholic college that works closely with the Catholic high schools to provide dual enrollment on campus, so I'm wondering if that might not be a good fit for her as a DE school, where she might be the youngest, but not the only.

 

But ultimately, she's aware she's an outlier, hates it, and only feels herself when she's with other outliers,

 

And yes, I want this for her. She is such a happy, relaxed kid when she feels normal. I don't see that at home much. Not even in her herp stuff, where she's happy, but not relaxed.

 

We leave Weds for this year's big herpetology conference. We're kind of tabling any early college discussions until afterwards at home.

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But ultimately, she's aware she's an outlier, hates it, and only feels herself when she's with other outliers,

:grouphug: that is very tough

 

I think boys might have it easier. There are typical up to mischief things that boys around my kids age does so they could blend in and have fun being 10 and 11.

 

When we went to the DA tour. A young male student who was 2nd year there said he had no friends from DA during the student presentation and a older lady student politely said she is his friend. The kids said they fit into DA because everyone there is "weird".

 

There is a lady with an only child (daughter) who is from Silicon Valley. Her husband stays in SV while she and their child stay at Reno. Maybe chat with her for BTDT opinions. Another lady with an only child doing the split family is from Alabama.

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Just to answer the original question, yes, I would.

 

A family we know just moved across the country for the needs of one child, too.  They are moving to a state with much better services for their daughter who will probably be in a group home as an adult. 

 

Her needs were not being met here, the way they could be met in the place they moved.

 

Now, they had some choices, and were able to go to a place where they are near family and the husband got a job he likes, they were not limited to one place.

 

But, yes, I would.

 

I live in a state where there is not an insurance mandate for autism coverage, but my husband's job provides insurance for my son.

 

I think people should move out of state sometimes, for the sake of their child, and I think they don't because they don't realize how much better it could be.

 

I don't think you have to do it, and I know it sounds extreme to a lot of people, who just don't think that a different location could matter that much, but I think there are times that it can matter. 

 

It is a different kind of situation, but just in principle ---- yes, I am in favor of it. 

 

Edited by Lecka
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Early entrance to the University of Washington through the Robinson Center. There is a one year transition school for students under 15 and then they become full time undergrads. UW has better herp resources than Mary Baldwin. The Leache lab focuses on "evolutionary biology and systematics of reptiles and amphibians" and they currently have undergrads participating in their research.

 

Plus Seattle is damp. And you are welcome to stay with us, we are about a mile from campus.

 

This is the program my husband went to the year he should have gone to 7th grade, and then onto the University campus thereafter.  He had some social issues (But I do not think being in a public school would have been better for him. I just wish I'd had an opportunity like this! -- I think they would call it executive function here on this board. )  One of my bridesmaids graduated the EEP program and went on to get her Masters at the age most people are finishing their Bachelors, so it went VERY well for her.

 

Reading the rest of the thread. Yeah, I'm not sure I'd recommend Robinson for what you want for your daughter. Other than that first year of transition school, DH was in college with all the other college students. His big problem with the program (and why he's negative on something similar for our kids) is that he missed out on having friendships/relationships with kids his own age.  And he really feels that hole to this day (in his mid-30s). He thinks it was a big negative. I've been... discounting that because in a highly regarded Public school with the kids of Texas A&M professors, I also felt left alone/left out in the crowd. My closest friends were at church, not at school. But I was ok with it. He definitely was not..

 

Edited by vonfirmath

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If you investigate UW's EEP, make sure you talk to Toby Bradshaw. He replaced Bob Payne as Bio department chair. Bio is a weak department at UW but Toby is a rock star as is Carl Bergstrom, who does mathematical bio and runs the grad program(?). Toby does evolution and ecology stuff which is the dept strength and mildly orthogonal to your DDs interests. But he is also a life long falconer... which suggest a commonality of interest with kids with a single intense animal focus I don't think they can offer what your DD wants...but if anyone can that's your best bet.

 

 

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His big problem with the program (and why he's negative on something similar for our kids) is that he missed out on having friendships/relationships with kids his own age. And he really feels that hole to this day (in his mid-30s). He thinks it was a big negative.

My hubby was in elite public schools from 7th-12th and felt he paid a high price for academic peers and not having social peers. He ended up being happy in college because engineering school is less "elite" than medical school for our alma mater. What compounded his problem was that his parents SES was lower than the general crowd at school. My one day's allowance in 7th would be about his one week's allowance. He still has some yucky feelings about those days and he is turning 44.

 

There are schools that supposedly cater to gifted children in my region and there would always be some kids who find it a good fit and some who find the same program a total flop for them.

 

ETA:

DS10 was working out how many hours of work he need to work at minimum wage to pay just the rent in our area. Minimum wage at my city is $11, rent is at least $2k for a one bedroom which can house 3 adults. Both my kids decide they aren't in a hurry to grow up.

 

ETA:

We have a high chance of hubby getting a job transfer into Seattle but would be jobless in Reno. I am in the same field so easier for me to re-enter the job market in Seattle.

Edited by Arcadia

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If I had only one child, and it was clear the new environment would be much better for them, then yes, I would absolutely do it.

 

It is only for a few years, in the grand scheme of things. If the location didn't work for me and my husband, we could leave when our child graduated and moved on.

 

The way I view marriage and raising children is that the years in which we are raising our children are short, compared with the many years of marriage. (My husband and I have been together for nearly 30 years, but have only had children for the last 12, so that's some of where this perspective comes from.)

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I haven't reread the entire thread, but I just wanted to let you know that I did my first year of my PhD at UNR, and I loved it.  I loved the desert, I loved the city, I loved the academics.  I would have stayed, but my dh did not get into business school in San Fran or in Sacramento, so we moved where we could both be in university.  

 

I went to UNR from Duke, and I found the courses I took to be equally challenging. It was not the downgrade I was expecting honestly.  I was in the first year of the EECB program, and they recruited from all over the country to get good professors and doctoral students.  They wooed me more than any other university, and I had the grades and scores to go anywhere.  I was never sorry I picked Reno.  I had always lived in the South East - Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia - and I was really worried about living in the desert.  But it only took about 2 months to fall in love with it. The landscapes are beautiful, and as an ecologist I came to see the complexities of the life surviving there. There is just so much land surrounding Reno, and so many different habitats to study given that you are only 20 minutes from the mountains on the west if you want to study there instead of the desert. UNR chose to put all its resources into an Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology program because for the same money that you could build a molecular or cell bio lab, you could recruit some amazing Ecology faculty.  

 

I know that there are lots of things to consider when making a move, but I just wanted to let you know that from personal experience, UNR's EECB program is top notch, and Reno as a city is absolutely awesome. 

 

Ruth in NZ 

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I went to UNR from Duke, and I found the courses I took to be equally challenging. It was not the downgrade I was expecting honestly.  I was in the first year of the EECB program, and they recruited from all over the country to get good professors and doctoral students.  They wooed me more than any other university, and I had the grades and scores to go anywhere.  I was never sorry I picked Reno.  I had always lived in the South East - Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia - and I was really worried about living in the desert.  But it only took about 2 months to fall in love with it. The landscapes are beautiful, and as an ecologist I came to see the complexities of the life surviving there. There is just so much land surrounding Reno, and so many different habitats to study given that you are only 20 minutes from the mountains on the west if you want to study there instead of the desert. UNR chose to put all its resources into an Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology program because for the same money that you could build a molecular or cell bio lab, you could recruit some amazing Ecology faculty.  

 

Wow! That's a strong recommendation! It also matches my bias. I think that sort of exposure is what DMs daughter needs intellectually  at this point.

 

I'm an opinionated asshole, so I don't think she's going to keep doing pure zoology. Eventually other more interesting problems or lack of funding will come in to play... in the best of all worlds I envision her becoming something like Louis Guillette but with snakes instead of gators. Breeding fancy snakes is less interesting that scoping out more existential threats like Guillette and Tyrone Hayes did. A good EECB program seems like a perfect academic fit.

Edited by raptor_dad
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What she wants is camp half-blood or Hogwarts. Somewhere the abnormal is normal and that even though you are still atypical of the world as a whole, you belong. 

This is exactly what my dd gets at her Saturday music school and this is the number one reason she loves it. It's her air.

 

I love that she gets her music/academic needs met (appropriate challenge) AND that she gets to interact with/play with kids her own age who think about music like she does.  It's invaluable! 

 

(So I say "go for it." Find that place for your dd.  If it means moving, well, it's only a few years of the parents' lives, but it'll be a huge impact on the kids' lives for a long time to come.)

 

Good luck!

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What she wants, what she feels in these experiences, is that she's normal. 

Thinking about it some more...

 

My oldest goes to a "magnet" STEM high school, on the campus of a university, where it is normal for high school students to take multiple college classes (during their school day). He has fallen into a social group of like-minded friends. I love that he feels comfortable, socially and academically. Again -- invaluable.

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Is your Dd thinking that an EEP or Davidson is going to somehow take away her being an outlier? That is not possible unless in a pre-set, very false environment. It is not real. It is creating a "Camp Half Blood" situation. At 11, she might not see that, but shufting the family in order to create an unsustainable situation might be a disaster....

But it's not a false environment. The truth is that there *are* other kids out there like our kids... I don't think it's fair or reality for them to grow up identifying so strongly as outliers that they always feel different and *special* (and develop that as an integral part of their identity).

 

It's important for them to be able to relax, socially, and feel like they are with a group of like-minded kids. It's important for them to be able to interact with a group of age-mates as an equal, without feeling, internally, like they are superior, different, or whatever word one might choose to use here.

 

They will be able to, as adults, find their group. (There are pockets of gifted adults all over the US and the world, even pockets of PG adults... there's no reason for someone to truly believe that they will always be an outlier. It doesn't have to be that way.)  But if they grow up thinking there isn't a peer group... that they are so different... will they even try? How will that lack of feeling like an equal in a social group as a child affect them as adults?  

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I haven't reread the entire thread, but I just wanted to let you know that I did my first year of my PhD at UNR, and I loved it. I loved the desert, I loved the city, I loved the academics. I would have stayed, but my dh did not get into business school in San Fran or in Sacramento, so we moved where we could both be in university.

 

I went to UNR from Duke, and I found the courses I took to be equally challenging. It was not the downgrade I was expecting honestly. I was in the first year of the EECB program, and they recruited from all over the country to get good professors and doctoral students. They wooed me more than any other university, and I had the grades and scores to go anywhere. I was never sorry I picked Reno. I had always lived in the South East - Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia - and I was really worried about living in the desert. But it only took about 2 months to fall in love with it. The landscapes are beautiful, and as an ecologist I came to see the complexities of the life surviving there. There is just so much land surrounding Reno, and so many different habitats to study given that you are only 20 minutes from the mountains on the west if you want to study there instead of the desert. UNR chose to put all its resources into an Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology program because for the same money that you could build a molecular or cell bio lab, you could recruit some amazing Ecology faculty.

 

I know that there are lots of things to consider when making a move, but I just wanted to let you know that from personal experience, UNR's EECB program is top notch, and Reno as a city is absolutely awesome.

 

Ruth in NZ

I'm so glad to hear you say that. The simple fact that they HAVE a wildlife ecology and conservation biology bachelor's is a major draw-enough that DD has commented that if she doesn't get into the academy she could just go there anyway. A lot of the labs have undergraduates actively involved in research, and they have excellent rates of acceptance into grad programs in specialized biology and ecology. They also apparently are starting to make inroads into mathematical biology, although they're not Utah state, and that interests her. There is a big focus on multidisciplinary research. Nevada has a state-wide undergraduate research journal. There is a wildlife biology student club separate from the biology student club. And while the medical school has a big sway over biology, because there IS such a large EECB focus, med school isn't a default, so when DD talked to people, she didn't get "oh, you're interested in snakes....that's nice"--she got "Oh, it's too bad Dr. X isn't here today-he's working on conservation of garter snakes and chemical exposure. Have you been out to Great Basin yet? They're doing some nice telemetry studies on snake species...." The Great Basin Research station is also a draw, although the day we were out there they had a group of 8-12 yr olds learning how to use dichotomous keys, and there's nothing that DD dislikes more when she's trying to do work than kids (and yes, she's aware of the irony of an 11 yr old kid who started doing field trips at age 8 complaining about 8-12 yr olds!)

 

 

And one thing that has impressed me at UNR, and Reno in general, is that DD is taken seriously there. No one questions or really seems surprised at a passionate kid questioning them on their research or their animal husbandry (the first time this really hit me was in a pet store. DD got the kind of responses there when she first opened her mouth and started asking questions that she only started getting locally after several years and becoming quite well known. It's kind of like the way everyone in the Tri-State area doesn't even blink at Phineas and Ferb's contraptions). I suspect that has everything to do with the DITD being there.

 

I also admit it appeals to me for another reason. I grew up in Harrisonburg, VA, which is a college town to the letter. I miss that vibe, and Memphis is a big city that happens to have a university and a few colleges. Alpharetta doesn't even have that. Reno is definitely a University town. Just one with casinos. I like that feel. I like the opportunities a major university opens up to learn even if you don't take classes. And, to be honest, I wouldn't mind going back for some classes myself. And Reno has mountains. Not my mountains, but mountains. I miss mountains.

 

The lack of a job market is a real concern, though. And so is the acceptance rate. A lot of kids, even a lot of DYS kids get turned down because they're not seen as a "good fit" for the program, despite having the full profile on paper. I think it would crush DD to apply and get turned down. It's not like college where there are dozens of awesome schools for any kid out there. It's more like setting your sights on MIT and deciding that it is the only option. That's a lot to put on an 11 yr old, and I could so see her bursting into tears at the interview or just plain blanking on the placement test because she wants it so much. To be honest, I think it would crush me to have her turned down, too.

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I am sure there are some kids who do look the same on paper, but for whom it would not be a good fit.

 

Some kids might be immature.

 

Other kids might have social, emotional, or behavioral issues.

 

It does not sound like these would be concerns for your daughter, but they could be concerns for someone who looked like her on paper.

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I think it's worth it. In your shoes, with no other kids and ability to work at home, I would, for sure, for a chance to have a tribe.

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I would honestly visit Robinson. I know that is easier for us, since we live in the state, but the atmosphere was off. It was ULTRA competative feeling. It was not fun. It was not kid-like only in college. It felt like kids going to work (and my kid currently gets paid more than I do when he is working!). Most definitely did not feel emotionally safe for Ds. 

 

I agree.  My son decided this past year to forgo applying to the EEP because of this.  He may decide to try for the UW Academy in two years.  We are local and know people who have done both. 

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Since your daughter and you feel at home there, I would apply then worry.

We are drawn to the Pacific Ocean so west coast or Hawaii would feel like home. Lake Tahoe just doesn't have the surfer waves.

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