Friday, June 03, 2011

One More Student Whisperer Post

I thought I was done with the Student Whisperer, but the following point keeps coming to mind.

In the "personal experience" section, Ms. Earle talks about going to a simulation as a college student. (A simulation is some kind of simulated event-- in the book, she discussed a meeting-of-nations simulation, I think. It sounds sort of like debate, but deeper and in a variety of contexts.)

Anyway, after she came through the simulation, she talked about the constant tension, the man-on-the-ground immediacy of what was happening. Decisions had to be made quickly. There were so many people lobbying in different ways... well, let me just quote her:

"One girl said she was used to being in control,and when she realized she had no control over the way the simulation was going, it scared her."

Okay. Life is like that sometimes. Not everyone is like you. Some folks will behave in ways you cannot predict. Kids have to be prepared for it. Studying the Bible and history and literature frames our minds to respond properly in real-life experiences, which for students may come through sports, speech and debate, volunteering, part-time jobs, and theater and music collaborations and performances.

A friend of Ms. Earle's said the simulations helped him prepare for a tense situation later in life. He was in a condo association meeting and the majority shareholder became unreasonable. Her friend was able to keep his cool when the situation spiralled out of control. He helped resolve it.

We hope our kids will be able to handle situations like this by the time they leave home. Getting them out in real-life situations is a natural step after steeping them in the right books. I have a tough time with this one, because I would rather stay home and read and play music and watch movies with my family. So I post this as a reminder to myself that properly chosen extracurricular activities are a vital part of my kids' education.

(One more thing to remember is that experiences can only be called "real-life" if we allow the kids to experience them. If we engineer our kids' experiences so they don't have to deal with unpleasantness, that's not real life. We have to use discernment in order to decide if we need to intervene or not, but as they get older, they ought to have their experiences less and less diluted by their parents.)


Willa said...

I always find that "exposure to real life" hard to manage for my kids. Even when they are involved in an activity, it's usually fairly structured and teacher or coach oriented, so the way things go is fairly predictable.

When we are doing family things, my kids naturally look to my husband and me to handle anything unexpected that comes up.

It's probably something that most school kids aren't exposed to much either, though! Perhaps some volunteer activities would work in providing a more open-ended and responsibility oriented environment. But it probably depends upon the activity.

Katie said...

I think a part-time job would provide this kind of thing, as well as volunteer activities. Also, being in a performance environment, such as debate or acting, when something happens you have no control over and you have to deal with it and move on.

Javamom said...

Church and youth group type activities do this, as well as mission trips and service trips. PT jobs also add to their ability to handle things under pressure and grace. Our older two were also in a band together for a couple of years before J moved up north and K graduated and moved into the city.

I wondered at the simulations as well, if they were a type of mock trial or simulated governmental crisis of sorts.

p.s. I am having a hard time just getting started with my SW narrations or review on my own blog. LOL.

Katie said...

No pressure, Kim! ;o) Remember a few years ago that idea that swept the Mom blog world-- "Blogging Without Obligation". Lol. I love that.

Katie said...

We try to provide that real-life situation in a somewhat protected environment through our student-led drama club. It's tough to strike a balance between student-led and mom-guided, but that is our goal.

Javamom said...

I think the SW quadrant evaulations (Artist->Manager, Healer->Warrior) will help with that, eh?

Katie said...

Yes! I'm beginning to think of Artist, Manager, Healer and Warrior as ingredients in a mentoring 'recipe'. :)

I naturally lean more toward Warrior than Healer, so I need to stretch myself in that area-- make myself more flexible. I go back and forth pretty easily between Artist and Manager, though. What about you?