Both Velvet and my Pulitzer Prize winning brother did very well in high school, but they are both the kind of people who need to be duct-taped into their chairs at class. My worry about Velvet isn't that he's a fuck up - because he is totally not a fuck up. There seems to be a major disconnect between how he perceives his academic performance and Reality. Until I can get some concrete information from the school, I am thinking that he is so clueless about his daily assignments that he doesn't even know he's fucked up. He's learned to follow the syllabus well. The trouble is that professors often vary from the syllabus once the semester is underway. If you go to class and pay attention, it's pretty easy to keep up. There may have been some serious deficits in the Going to Class and Paying Attention arena.
I would be pissed off about it, but he's so sincerely disappointed in himself that I can see he really, truly believed in his deepest heart that he was getting a B in a class that he failed. My task is to assess and define the specifics of this disconnect between perception and performance. Until we fully understand the nature of this deficit - Velvet is not going back to Tree Hugger. We haven't gotten the letter from Tree Hugger yet, but we can be sure that Velvet is suspended. Many times, parents have successfully appealed a suspension and the student goes on to perform within normal parameters. I have already told Velvet that is not going to happen.
What is happening is a Semester in the Rockies with an outdoor education program that is similar to Outward Bound. He went for a summer in the Wind River Wilderness area of Wyoming back in 2008. If he likes the semester program, which will give him 16 college credits through a university in Utah, he can stay in Wyoming and pursue a four year degree in Environmental Science and Leadership. Either way, he'll be a certified Wilderness First Responder which will help get him a job with the Parks Service.
Velvet on the right. Wind River Wilderness Summer 2008