and also this

Don't ask me about Middle and Art School.
I've spent weeks talking with him and had suspected as much all along. (Last semester was not exactly "fulfilling" though his grades were excellent.)
He has requested a one year Leave Of Absence.
He's "having too much fun" working two jobs and filming things like BMW LeMans racing cars.
He isn't sure he wants/needs to be at college.
We have talked and discussed and argued the points and agreed.
We've worked on it for weeks, but there you are.
We are, K and Middle and me, bereft over the decision making.
But he has decided, and we move on from here.
We are, each, in our own little worlds of reaction.


It's true.
He does very fine work.

Comments

1. Holy crap.

2. I'm not offering this by way of advice but I read an article (or heard an interview) a few months back profiling a very successful classical musician (or an artist. I KNOW I KNOW - details details) who reached a point in half finished studies and half arsed attempts at various things and finally sat down with his father to discuss what he should do - his father said 'enough, enough with studies and learning and posturising. You just need to do it. Go do it.'

3. So when are K and Middle setting up their company and pitching for business together?
paddlingOTAKU said…
he is very good at what he does.

re-evaluate at the end of the year.

B
Brigindo said…
College isn't for everyone but we've come to believe it should be. Many of my students are not ready for college. Every once in a while college isn't ready for a student. I think that may be the case with Middle. He'll be fine.
vicki said…
hi, i can't remember how i stumbled upon your blog, but i've been reading/lurking/enjoying for a couple of weeks, and now this post moves me to offer up my 2 cents:
having taught on the college level, i am now of the opinion that taking a "gap year" is very beneficial for lots of students--at all levels of talent and desire. So many--too many-- Freshmen Years are wasted money/time. Over the years, i met a very impressive bunch of 20-something Freshmen who came to college understanding how to use school to put it all together.

And, he's requesting only one year.
12 months from now, there will be a new perspective all 'round.

i understand the concern on your part...and impressed with your respect for him.
Badger said…
OH DUDE. As I have spent the past 3 days or so worrying myself into a nervous breakdown over stuff going on with my own boy child, all I can say is, I feel your pain. And also, pass the psychotropic drugs.
I'm probably not one to give advice on this subject, considering one child quit after 6 weeks and the other just decided to change her major with one semester left.

They have to find their own way. It's not our way. He's lucky to have parents who will be there to hold him up while he decides.
Ali said…
I know the moment when my way is not their way will come. I dread it.

At least you know that it has not been a decision taken lightly for him.
alice c said…
I deal with students who have decided for various reasons to interrupt their studies. It takes courage to step off the treadmill when there are so many compelling reasons to carry on. When they give me the completed form I say "Congratulations on making such a difficult decision and I wish you lots of luck as you work hard to make sure that it is the right decision." Because a decision is only right or wrong when you look back at it and there is all the time in the world for Middle to make sure that he has made the right decision.
RW said…
I took a year's break from my degree and it made a huge difference to my life.

I can appreciate the struggle.
Paola said…
Obviously he's VERY good at it. THen I believe his request didn't come out of the blue and wasn't mentioned "just because". I met your boys. Middle is not waisting his or your time, he's understood his path might be different from the one he originally thought. I appreciate a young man who's focused enough to understand this.
So jump in and let this flow carry you where he'll take full control of what he wants to do. And in a great way.

PS I hope the English of what I wanted to say didn't ruin everything ...
Joan said…
I've got a future "self-made man" as a son too. I just figure that if he gets to the point where he realizes he's going to need a degree, he'll be motivated and resourceful enough to make it happen. Bon courage, sometimes the wisest thing is knowing when to let them fly solo (while remaining a reassuring distance away)!
That's very good work, I agree. And I admire you for letting him forge his own path, despite your reservations. (I'd have them, too, but I don't know enough about his field of study/career to REALLY have them.)
Somehow I bet it all works out--with his talent and inherited genius.
Scot said…
Yo Middle, cool video!
Is this the same car you rode in? If so then I've got questions. At about 2:58 on the video you show three round lights on the side of the car. What are those? Lights, exhaust flames, what? and what are they for if they are lights?
Where did you get the music?
And, ultimately, what did you make this video for?
VERY WELL DONE!
Anonymous said…
He is very good ... I don't think it can hurt him to take some time. There are art schools and there are Art Schools. My nephew went to The School of Visual Arts in New York and got his degree in film. They concentrate fully on their art - no core curriculum ... no BS courses. His thing was filming skateboarding. He just finished a gig with the Quiksilver east coast tour. Thank God Middle was honest with you about how he feels about school right now. He's young ... and has time on his side.

Annie
Scot said…
And BB, this ones for you.
I've been thinking about this the whole time I was making dinner.
My father was in the military, we moved EVERY three years. As I grew up I became leary of making long-term plans. It became a way of life I guess. Finally, when I was in Jr. High, dad retired so my sister and I could spend four years in the same school. In my senior year I became restless and had no direction.
I thought about joining the NAVY but this was the early 70's and my dad forbade me to join any branch of the service. (as a side note I later found out that HE had plans to send me to Canada to live with relatives should I be drafted! But that's another story...)
The thought of more and more school was just completely out of the question. I made really good grades but still hated the slow pace.
Had I gone to college then I doubt that I would have been a good student. Years later, when I finally did go to UCCS I was totally into it. I couldn't get enough. 16 hours per semester and a full time job.
I remember a professor asking each one of us why we were in school. I mostly remember one young man who answered honestly that he was there because his parents bribed him with a new car. He did very poorly.
I went on to get a BA. A degree that I've never really used. Most of my friends got their degrees and entered fields that had nothing to do with their degrees.
I don't know how you and K feel about higher education. You've never mentioned it when discussing Oldest. I don't know if you or K or Oldest went to college.
Does Middle have plans? Can he proceed with his plans AND go to school? Has he checked with a university counselor to see if his plans might work with a particular curriculum?
Shit! I just realized you said NOT to ask you about Middle and And School.
Uhm...never mind.
Hey, I made baked chicken parm for dinner tonight. It took a long time! :0)
margalit said…
I am probably not the go to person when it comes y
To sons and college. But what I do know is that kids have their own paths and often our expectations of what we believe is the right path is in fact not st all what is right for the kids.

I took two years off before going to university and when I did go I picked major that pissed the he'll out of my parents. By the time I got my doctorate they were resigned but sure I would never find a job. They were wrong.

When I taught at Northeastern I saw this many times over. Kids took time off, switched schools and majors, and sometimes quit. Lots of successful people like Bill Gates and Steve Wozniak never finished college.

I know it is a disappointment but you have to be faithful that Middle will choose the path that is right for him.
Miz S said…
Well, I'm late to the conversation. But "moving on from here" seems like the sensible thing to do. xoxo
Suzanne said…
You've gotten some great words of wisdom from some wonderful people. I just wanted to chime in and say that I believe Middle will be better than okay, whatever he decides. He's got talent and smarts and determination, and can be trusted to know what to do. He's lucky to have such loving and supportive parents as a touchstone in his life. As scary as it obviously seems at the moment, you also have so much to be proud of.
(Even if I did end the sentence with a preposition.)
MsCellania said…
He'll be fine.
The boy has great PO TEN SHUL.
He is self motivated, creative and caring. And different! Different is good! I bet he will find he got more out of his year at Creative Academy than he now knows.
All of which you already know, but I couldn't let it be left unsaid.
MsCellania said…
ps. Please hold my hand when my sons do likewise in a few years. I'm all lofty with the advice now, but mine are still following my directions....
md said…
Hi BB. No advice from me either because my eldest is a lot like middle and we're slogging our way through too. So in the midst of strife, my selfish question: WHAT is the music he used in this. I often play this video on a loop at work so I can listen to the music.

xo
Anonymous said…
Also quite late to the commenting, since I was on vacation. It seems to be somewhat atypical. Middle isn't "dropping out" and won't become a long term drain on your wallets and psyches. I think he should proceed as he seems to be proceeding--thoughtfully, cautiously, but with wholehearted enthusiasm for his craft. Let's see how it goes. And by the way, I was a "returning student"--finished my BA much later than I "should" have. It was a very fulfilling experience; the opposite of my college experience the first time around. I was more grown up and focused and it made a huge difference.

jbhat