Fortunately, he is a self-starter who has pursued his own interests rather than get involved with drugs or alcohol. If your interest is piqued, see the bottom of this post for a peek of his YouTube channel. It is likely he will get into video production on some level, but he really isn't sure yet, and by golly, he shouldn't have to know! There is no "alternative" college that teaches what he could offer. I'm confident, however, that this round peg (he is well-rounded, for sure) will find a hole via some zig-zagging path. He is a young adult who can carry on a conversation about football statistics (I don't know how he retains them all) in the same sentence in which he evaluates the camera angle of the play just witnessed while also offering commentary on the incorrect use of grammar by the announcers. Yes, he is diagnosed with ADD (inattentive, non-hyperactive) but he is also amazingly attuned to his surroundings. His mind is the one that will be able to offer creative solutions to problems. Those students who can only give the "right" answer to a question won't know what the heck to do when presented with an anomaly in analyzing data, whether for business, mathematics, science, or technology. This kid, however, will ponder for a moment, the neurons firing across all the various information he has retained from history, literature, math, science, graphic design, 3 languages, video editing and more...and will offer 'what if' alternatives.
I was cheering when I read this article about the need for less specialization and more liberal arts studies. (Liberal Arts Article) CREATIVE problem solving comes not from studying and applying formulas and data, but from making connections between ideas that are not inherently related. Mere logic and application are not enough for us to tackle the future. If you are the parent of a middle or high schooler, I urge you not to pre-determine a path for your child simply when an aptitude for a topic presents itself. Just because algebra seems to be "easy" for him or her does not mean it should be a course of study. Students need to see the connections between ALL subject areas. This is the beauty of cross-curricular integration, PBL and Interest-based learning. When the students in my classroom read novels, we cover a wide variety of topical information, not just literary elements and devices. We've tackled physical and mental disabilities and how technology is helping, the advantages and disadvantages of uniformity on both large and small scales, high altitude climbing and the science knowledge needed to survive, political conflict and its causes, and soon...the realities of time travel and the math and scientific facts that support its possibility. I teach sixth grade, not tenth. A student who studies physics and quantum mechanics without reading A Wrinkle in Time, or The Time Traveler's Wife, or seeing Back to the Future (all three of them!) or Star Trek will have no understanding of the human variable that creates the STORY, and finds the solution to the "problem" whether it be fighting evil or finding a way home. We are all doing both every single day.
I wholeheartedly support teaching every child science, math, technology, and engineering. I also teach a computer-based graphics design course - to middle schoolers. But those same students need to know how to write, how to speak, and how to tell a story. BALANCE, as always is the key to it all. If we focus only on STEM in high school and higher ed, we will be ill-equipped as a nation to generate new strategies for problems we cannot begin to foresee. How can we plug in a formula when the variables are no longer recognizable? To make sense of the problem, we must first be able to interpret and understand it. More importantly, we must be able to communicate it to others. The world is our oyster - will our young people know what to do with the pearl?
Here's a taste of the kid, who is not a golfer. He's a tennis player and a pool shark and does all his own video and editing production.