Sometimes I wish I’d had me for a parent

My oldest son, Boo, is a freshman in high school this year, and is an incredible artist.  He’s decided that he wants to be an animator when he grows up, and his dream college is the California Institute for the Arts (Cal Arts), it was started by Walt and Roy Disney. John Lasseter, Brad Bird and Tim Burton are some of it’s most famous alumni. For his birthday in August we went on a tour of the college, and (coincidence that they had the animation QandA that day?) stayed for the question and answer period that was all about the animation department. It was really exciting, and you could see the fire burning in his eyes afterwards.
Honestly though, I’ve got to admit, there’s a part of me that is so very envious. I grew up in South Carolina and dreamed of going to the Savannah College of Art and Design. Instead, I had a baby at 18, moved to California the day after I turned 19 and had to go straight to work to support myself.
Neither of my parents went to college, so I didn’t know a thing about applying, or deadlines, and I didn’t even know my high school had counselors for that until it was too late. I didn’t know anything about SAT prep and I didn’t receive the letter telling me when my test would take place until the day after it happened…but I believe that everything happens for a reason, and instead of telling Boo “you’re going to college” like I was told, we’ve discussed where his talents are, what he wants to do, researched schools, and have narrowed it down to three-so far. (CalArts being the absolute #1 choice)
I admit, it’s easier now than it used to be to jump online and start googling: I can check out schools, set up to get information, and find all kinds of scholarships and financial aid (www.fastweb.com is an excellent scholarship resource). At the CalArts QandA, the gal mentioned a girl who applied for 60 scholarships, and was awarded 11. It paid for her entire 4 years, and even allowed her to study abroad!
We own our own business, and amazingly enough, one of our customers is a professional artist and art teacher. He’s agreed to apprentice Boo in exchange for yard work, which will be excellent for expanding his portfolio.
We were going to attend the National Portfolio Day in Laguna today, but decided to wait for the one in Pasadena in January so that he can have more choices of what to show and his work will be more polished. FYI- National Portfolio Day is a type of College Fair for Art Schools, it’s held nationwide and in Canada. You take your work to show the different schools and they give you info about their schools, answer your questions, and offer you feedback before you apply. It’s a really great opportunity, so we’re starting early. Their website is www.portfolioday.net and you can find out the schedule and what schools are participating.

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