Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Adventures in TaG-land

As you may or may not know, my oldest daughter was accepted into a magnet High School through DISD.  It's the TaG magnet whick stands for Talented and Gifted.  She is an incredible girl and I so love and respect her.  I think being her mother is going to teach me so much. 

This new journey we are on is definately an interesting one.  First, we had to get into Tag!  The whole process is quite involved, but we told our then 13 year old that if she was really interested in doing this, then it would be up to her to "drive the bus" on her application process.  She had to keep up with her deadlines and there were several.  We promised to do whatever we could to help, but we would NOT do it for her.  She had resumes to write, applications to fill out, tests to take, projects to do, and more.  We drove her to tests, and her timed essays etc, but she had to do the work and prepare.  She did! 

To tell you the truth, I don't think I would have been able to do at 13-14 what she did.  About the we were visiting her top 2 school choices and getting all the how to's on doing this, my father's illness took a turn for the worse.  He'd been in the hospital with pneumonia, and they found advanced COPD.  We were visiting schools around Thanksgiving time and my Dad rallied and was home for thanksgiving.  It was such a beautiful time and we were all filled with such Hope!  Then a couple of days later He fell ill, and wound up back in the hospital cardiac care unit.  By Christmas it was becoming obvious that his health was getting worse and that my daughter's deadline was fast approaching.  All her tests, essays, application, project and resume were due by January 31st. 

So we signed her up to take the Stanford test at Tag costing about $100, since our home school district takes only State level standardized tests.  The Stanford was given sometime in the first week or so of January.  She had to go to TaG again 2 weeks later to take a timed/supervised essay.  500 word minimum, and she wrote somewhere around 800, so check!  While my husband was taking her to take the test and write her essay I was spending every weekend with my parents at the hospital.  After the test/essay they would drive out to see Papa!  Stressful, Much?! 

She had a week or 10 days left to finish her admissions paperwork, and submit a project.  She was to exhibit some talent or project that shows her passion.  It could be just about anything.  My daughter wrote!  She wrote a short story.  It's a passion for her.  She spends much of her free time writing, and when she's not writing, she is reading! 

So I took some time off work on January 30 to drive her application down to Tag!  Had to make copies and get everything checked off the list.  I drove the hour down to her campus and turned everything in. They have copies of her test scores and her essay scores.  I forgot my proof of non-residence, however they were so understanding of where I was at in my emotional health.  I tried to stay in touch with them, and communicate often enough to be diligent, but not so often that I was a pest.  As, I get into the car to leave TaG, I get a call from my brother.  Dad wants us all to come to him now.  So, I drive another hour + from downtown Dallas to Dowtown Ft. Worth to see what my Dad wants. 

He has decided to remove the oxygen.  He has had enough of the battle.  His doctors see no way for any measures available to offer any change in his condition.  He has fought hard and is ready to enter his rest.  So on the same day, that I find out my daughter has done extremely well on her tests and essay, I find out that my Dad is losing his battle.  Such a bittersweet day.  Within 2 days, on February 1st, my Father officially lost his battle and entered into his rest. 

We found out at the end of February that we qualified for TaG but were put on the waitlist.  Since we live outside of their actual school district they fill all their slots with "In District" kids first and everyone else is wait-listed.  I called again in April to see what the next step would be if she were to make it.  They told me at that time that she was #3 on the list to get in.  By early May, we got the call.  She had made it into TaG! 

It's ironic how the application process felt like a marathon, but our journey into TaG-land has really only just begun.


No comments: