Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Music Sterling Scholar - Busy Month Ahead

This past few weeks, Princess Five has been working on writing a song for region sterling scholar.

This has been a super busy time and we have spent lots of hours picking songs and figuring out how to combine songs. She is doing a super job and I am really excited for what she has come up with. She keeps telling me that I don't need to sit and listen, watch and give suggestions but when I ask if my suggestions are helpful, she tells me that "they are" so I will continue to enjoy every second of her playing as I know that soon, she will be leaving for college and I will MISS her playing! 

Last week, we went on a road trip and took along her scrapbook so we could scan it at the library of a major university so she would have them all in a form to put them into the online portfolio that they require now for sterling scholar. 

I messed up when scanning them in and clicked "PDF" format rather than a "jpeg" format which led us to all sorts of stress as you can't look at pdf in thumbnail. We tried several different converters and most will only allow you to change over one file at a time and the other problem had to do with needing to upgrade our older computers to run newer programs. 

I was finally able to find one that offered a free trial and was super fast to download and allowed me to do the entire batch of files into several formats. I was VERY grateful for that program.

Since we were able to get the pages into jpeg format, she has been able to upload them into the form that the portfolio needs to be in for them to be judged. She has been working many hours the past few days creating pages for the judges and she has also practiced her song on the guitar for hours in the past week. 

I didn't want the other girls to do sterling scholar as I heard how much work it was and in the end, they already had scholarships so figured it wasn't worth the work. We had a teacher talk Princess Four into doing Science Sterling Scholar and she took runner up to the winner at region and won $300 or so. I didn't know they actually won money for doing it but looking at the amount of time we have spent on the scrapbook, scanning, organizing and writing of the essays, it may not have been worth it in the end unless she does win and move on. 

She could have worked that many hours at a job and made $300. It truly has been stressful to me as it has made her take classes in school she probably wouldn't otherwise have taken. We have to make sure that she takes pictures of every activity.  

We did the scrapbook for another scholarship opportunity through HOBY and she was awarded a scholarship but it was one she was already qualified for anyway so it was a LOT of work. Princess Four also did the scrapbook for the HOBY scholarship opportunity only to find out she couldn't use it differed as she was already going to a different university on scholarship and had an ambassador scholarship on top of the original scholarship so it has been frustrating to learn these things after the work. I wish there was a specialist just for scholarship opportunities at each high school or in each district that would rotate through the schools helping kids in the process to know which would be worth going for and maybe a class as a freshmen so they would know which classes they need to take for which scholarships. 

The counselors know about a few regular options but with so many students and a busy work load, I know my girls didn't know how to plan and what options were best for that. I look back and think that dropping one class and taking one class their senior year would have given then $3000 cash scholarship for four years of college. I didn't realize that until after four girls had missed out by taking drill their senior year. They had all the other qualifications for the scholarship other than that one English class as a senior. 

If I had another child up and coming, I would suggest the idea to the high school as I think there are so many scholarships out there and just helping them know what classes to take to be qualified for the scholarship. Or, helping them write impressive essays, or portfolios, or resumes. Most of the kids she talks with that are underclassmen have no idea of the leadership opportunities available and I don't know that the new counselors are aware of them as each year, there have been less and less going from the school. The counselor turnover has been great in the past few years. I noticed that someone that moved from our town to another was going to Freedom Foundation which Princess One attended but since that year, the counselor retired and I haven't seen the opportunity for any other kids to attend. 

I can't say that I am going to miss all these type of things when she graduates. I have been doing this stuff for many years. Of course, I LOVE my girls and enjoy seeing them do things they love, I just don't miss the science fairs, book fairs, fund raisers, class mom, PTA, community councils, parent teacher conferences and school politics in small towns! 

I look forward to seeing Princess Five perform her amazing song and show off her musical talents. I hope this is just the beginning for her!

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