Re: DSM: Graduates without essential life skills

Date: Thu Nov 22 2001 - 13:14:54 EST

    Most people I talk to are much more concerned with SAT ability and how I
will do in college, but you're asking simple things that in my experience are
known by 8 and 10 year olds. Well anyway, to answer your (wife's) questions,
I have been at SVS since I was 4 years old. I am now 18 and preparing for
college, SAT's, essays for application, etc.
    Reading - I learned to read at the age of 6, on my own. I'm not the best
cook, but I can sure follow directions, distinguish tbs. from tsp., read
contracts I sign on tax forms, my credit card contracts, airplane tickets I
buy, in between the lines at restaurants to make sure my meal will be animal
product free. I love reading, science fiction especially, as well as the
Boston Globe, Time, and writing of my friends.
    Writing - Writing a little note, signing a contract, check, deposit slip,
yearbook, essay, paper, email, poem, song - no problem.
    Math - My math skills aren't the best, though I have been studying like
crazy for the SAT's (which I took and haven't yet received my scores for).
Money wise, I waitress, which includes working the cash register many times a
night, giving change, changing in tips in a hurry. In France and Australia I
was able to calculate in my head whether clothing/food/youth hostels were at
a reasonable price the different money exchange rates of the countries. In
the US I'm not going to pay $20 bucks at McDonalds, but I might at a quality
restaurant on a special occasion.
    Adults - I sometimes find some adults to be too condescending when they
find out my age, but generally I get along with adults pretty well. I can
have conversations with most adults I meet, get what info or whatever I need
in the situation I am in (traveling, working, getting directions, etc.)
    SVS alumni that I have had the pleasure of knowing after they graduated
all seem to be doing well. Josh, Hillary, and Erin are doing well at college.
Jon is starting a computer business with Duff, another graduate. Anna is
taking classes at Harvard Ext., Mindy is at Brandeis. Some are traveling,
some are seeing where life takes them. I don't think any of them have a
problem with skills they "should" have acquired; some things just come
naturally in such a free environment.


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