We Just Don’t Have the Numbers.

After many, many months of my planning Dylan’s entire high school schedule for him last spring, we finally had a schedule that would allow him to enroll in the IBCP program for video production. This means he gets the benefit of the International Baccalaureate classes, as well as a special certificate focusing on one specific subject – in this case, video production.

The IBCP program is offered for engineering students (our original plan), culinary arts, justice, and video production.

At an orientation meeting in February, the IB coordinator guessed that there also might someday be an IBCP for computer science.

Dylan would have loved the computer science program – far more so than video production – so I started emailing her last February about it.

“What are the chances that my incoming freshman will be able to do the IBCP program in computer science?”

She responded politely that she didn’t know yet. So I pestered her for months, until I almost couldn’t pester her anymore.

With nothing resolved, we tried to sign up Dylan for the introductory computer science class, just in case.

The registrar said they only had enough students enrolled to offer the class for one semester. Even if we enrolled Dylan, half a class wouldn’t be enough if the computer science IBCP program became a reality. I almost gave up.

In June, just before school was out, I tried one last time. “Please let me know,” I begged again.

“I don’t have the numbers yet. Email me over the summer.”

This was her cryptic way, I think, of telling me to buzz off. So I did not email her over the summer.

Then, when the teachers finally went back to work in late August, I emailed her. Technically, it was still summer – but they had to “know the numbers” by that point. And indeed, she finally emailed me back.

“We just don’t have the numbers. It’s not going to happen.”

So I gave up on computer science for Dylan. Finally. He was stuck with video production.

Dylan came home from his first day of school and said, “Why did you put me in Journalism?”

“I didn’t put you in Journalism,” I said.

“I went to Video Production and they said I was in Journalism,” he said.

At Back-to-School Night, I discovered that his Journalism teacher had no idea how to work the equipment in the TV Production studio. “Don’t worry,” she assured the parents. “I’ll have someone else to help me teach during those two weeks.”

Video Production class had been squashed under a Journalism heading – even for my son, who struggles mightily with writing and desperately needed a hands-on class during that time period.

I wrote yet another email to the IB coordinator. My email basically shrieked that I was not happy with Journalism being the “only” Video Production option – and what were we going to do to remedy the situation?!

Two days went by.

I got another cryptic email.

“I would like to talk to you about this. Please call me as soon as possible.”

I called her maybe 45 seconds after her email came in, ready for a fight.

“Aren’t you the parent who is interested in the computer science IBCP?” she said immediately, ignoring my lengthy, shrieking email.

“Uh, yes,” I stammered.

“It’s a GO,” she said. “We’re starting that program this year. Would your son still be interested in getting the computer science IBCP?”


“Yes,” I said. “He sure would.”

And so, now, Dylan is enrolled – and having a blast.

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