'Tis the season of projects, which today transitions into the season of exams. The last week I have listened to power-point practices of presentations on the life of Orson Scott Card, the physics of forces on the Brazuka soccer ball, the calculus behind bridge designs, and the way effective nuclear charge correlates to the wavelength of light emitted by burning compounds. Julia has been gluing popsicle sticks and Jack has been making posters. Today the Seniors present their "End of Times" journal which is a series of essays and photos in a scrap book that tells their life stories. I have not yet seen the 45-minute soap opera drama in Swahili that was a final project for that class, or the robot Julia and her friends made for computer science, or the lawnmower engine she rebuilt in advanced auto mechanics. There's probably a French project of Jack's in there somewhere too. We have a long school year. So it seems after 200 years of habit that June means summer, and because all the AP classes have to finish their content in time for May exams, the last month of school consists of a major research/paper/art/media project in every class.
Which is a great way to learn, but also a bit stressful. A certain child that got superb AP exam scores and nearly perfect grades begged to just quit school and drop classes as senioritis hit hard and one of these projects in particular just sapped her spirits. But she pushed through, and as of today I think they are all done. It is particularly hard when college things (register for classes, turn in forms) are due while high school things are still in full swing, another slight downside of our year-round schedule.
3 days of exams and then it's all parties and clean-up and alumnae games and graduation. We're almost there. Which gives me relief and joy for Jack, and a pit in my stomach for Julia. She is going to be fine, but not sure we are.