I was awake in the middle of the night because I'm worried about Velvet.
Not terribly worried, but he's at the moment in the semester where - based on his first two semesters - he got all fucked up. And not in a good way. If he does reasonably well on his biology test this afternoon, he will have cleared a hurdle and changed his pattern.
He's totally set up for success, but he is very anxious because so far in college, Math and Science have been a disaster. It's too bad, too, because in high school he was quite the budding scientist. I call that a teaching gap - but that's the way it is in college.
This time last year, he was apparently doing mushrooms and running around a golf course with his buddies from the dorm. This year, he is reportedly studying in the library with his big brother from the fraternity who also happens to be repeating Biology. They are both on Academic Probation and are supporting each other in their goal to improve their GPAs.
I got a call yesterday evening from his Executive Functioning Coach. She is in Syracuse this year to finish up her PhD in Inclusion Ed. She's been commuting to Big Beautiful Private for some years, and now that her own kids are situated, she's doing her own work. She's a reading specialist with 25 years as a classroom teacher for third graders (I think).
The good news is that she's determined his primary learning style is visual and that his organizational issues revolve around an inability to break big tasks into small, manageable tasks. She helped him develop a weekly planning chart that is basically an annotated To Do list, but it keeps him on task.
Velvet has never been able to understand that there can be many steps involved in accomplishing anything. For example, when he wanted to go to visit his brothers at Hookah House this summer, you'd have thought that Scotty was fixing to beam him to straight to the Hookah Living Room and he'd appear with an Xbox controller in his hand. He doesn't even think about looking at the bus schedule on the internet.
This tendency of Velvet's can certainly be partially blamed on me and Buzz Kill because we typically arranged all those details for Velvet. But part of the issue is Velvet's Executive Functioning. It would be easy to dismiss the whole thing as Teen Age Syndrome - but it's more than that. He honestly doesn't see sequences or gets fully overwhelmed by details, forgets stuff and is then embarrassed because he looks like such a dumb shit. Once that happens, the anxiety kicks in and he gets a brain freeze.
Last year, he was relying on friends to help him figure out where to get his books and supplies. That was a problem because the friends were just as discombobulated as he was. They were all on Academic Probation together by December. They were also all smoking weed and carrying on together too. This year he has his Coach and his Brothers at Hookah House.
Hopefully, the Brain Freeze will be prevented because if he chokes on this test, there's a good chance the anxiety spiral will kick in and he'll be doomed. If he gets a C, however, I predict that the success will propel him on to further success and the cocky little bastard we all know and love will be dancing up a storm at parties all over town over the weekend.
His coach called me yesterday evening to talk about all this stuff since Velvet has been under the weather lately and she was concerned his saggy health was anxiety based. It is such a blessing to have a Mom with a PhD (almost) in Inclusion Ed tuned in to your child when he's away at college and living on Bush's Baked Beans because he hasn't been able to get to the dining hall to take advantage of his damn $2800 meal plan. He went to the health center and the first thing they told him was to improve his diet PRONTO.
I'm fairly confident that he'll do absolutely fine on his test, but I still asked The Goddess to help him out. I'm not much for praying, actually. It's more like Holding Velvet in the Light - which is what the Quakers call it when they are all focusing on someone.
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