The Road Not Taken- Alternative Education

Where I live we have two big high schools with over 2300 students each and one alternative high school with 400 students. The alternative high school started out as the waste basket for kids who couldn’t get up and go to school and didn’t have parents who would make them. The pregnant teens, the druggies, the goth all went to the alternative high school. But pretty soon, because the other high schools were so big that you literally couldn’t move through the halls, get through the lunch lines or find a counselor everyone wanted to go to the alternative high school. The alternative high school had the most dedicated and innovative teachers. The alternative high school made connections with the University and hundreds of community resources where kids could complete their secondary education in a fashion that fit their learning style. And everyone knew everyone. So many children and their parents wanted to go to the alternative high school they had to have a lottery. For a few years this involved waiting on line to get a number and the first 100 got into the freshman class. Soon, parents and kids were camped on the school lawn a week before, sleeping in tents in the snow. This became an embarrassment to the local school board, especially when first the local and then the national news began to cover the story. Later, your only chance was to fill out an application and throw your name in the hat and hope to be selected.

Both of my children went to Community High School. For Dan, it was the perfect choice. He loved high school. He had opportunities that will serve him all his life. For Abby, the vote is still out. And I’ll be happy to write more about that later (if you just keep quiet…shhh…she is still lurking through life).

For now, prom season is upon us. The kids I see in my practice are all a twitter. They are buying 300.00 dresses, getting their nails done and ordering up stretch limousines. They have dinner reservations at The Chop House, where hor’douvres start at 23.00. I’m thinking, yes and soon it will be weddings with 28 attendants. At Community High you do prom your way. For Abby, this meant also competing for a Duct Tape Scholarship by creating her prom dress out of duct tape. She and her date went the whole nine yards. There was no danger of it falling down but getting it off was painful. She reported that it was fine until her third glass of water during dinner and she felt the need to piddle…Ducttapeduo_1

7 responses to “The Road Not Taken- Alternative Education

  1. That dress (and his suit): Damn clever!!

  2. !! Awesome !!
    I bet they both sweated alot, too..

    :::waves::: Michele sent me…!

  3. Look at that! That is so innovative! Wow! She taped herself into it? Good grief– did she have any hair left?

  4. No- they double faced both outfits so they didn’t stick to them- other than where she added a little tape to the- ahem- bodice of hers. What I like are the areas on his that have sort of wads and bulges. E.g.- it looks like he’s got a pack of cigarettes ala young Brando there on his arm. Or a growth.

  5. I see you’ve passed on your quirky and marvelous sense of humor to your beautiful daughter!

    Community High School sounds too good to be true and I love its history!

    How do you feel about matchmaking, Vicki? I have a couple of teenaged boys who also appreciate the versatility of duct tape. And their parents attended the finest university in the Midwest.

  6. You meant to say finest university for vets, right? I’ll write more about CHS soon- it IS a wonderful high school and now has the highest ratio of merit scholars and students who go on to good universities of the 3 schools. Abby was able to take Latin through Latin 6 via U-M as well as Greek and Dan played at the North Sea Jazz Festival both Jr. and Sr. years there before going on to music school in jazz studies. But if we move to the Northwest, Abby will probably trail along- she likes the ocean there as much as anywhere. So- who knows? 🙂

    Bonnie-loved your quote over at S,C, and A. Thanks for that!

  7. Wow. I could think of things more comfortable to wear…

    Not quite as nice as the duct tape wedding gown I have upstairs from our big day…


    I think Abby is THE coolest kid! I wonder what all the debutants at prom thought of that!! She is so confident. I admire her.

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