Skip to comments.The graduate wears two caps and two gowns
Posted on 06/15/2009 1:42:12 PM PDT by reaganaut1
For years Chase Abrams has lived a double life: By day a popular student at Sierra Canyon School who played football and enjoyed hanging out with friends, by night an intent student of film studies at Cal State Los Angeles who organized college film festivals and held his own intellectually and socially.
Today, the energetic 18-year-old can finally take a breath. On May 29, he received his high school diploma from Sierra Canyon in Chatsworth and on Saturday he graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from Cal State L.A.
Other gifted students have dispensed with high school altogether and gone directly to college.
But as a member of Sierra Canyon's close-knit first graduating class, he wasn't willing to give up football, class trips, prom and the rest.
"I think it made me more normal," Abrams said while taking a break from college finals.
"In a way I had two different personas, in high school I was lovable Chase, just a jokester, and in college it was like 'Oh, look at Doogie Howser.' Even though I'm not that smart, I played that role."
Telaia Mehrban, who has known Abrams since ninth grade, said he has never acted superior or been too busy to offer support.
"Right now he helps me a lot with essays," said Telaia, 17, who is graduating from Agoura High. "He's ridiculously smart, but can be . . . so much fun."
Some of Abrams' family members and teachers worried that he would shortchange both his high school and college experiences.
"Sometimes he didn't have time to breathe and enjoy the moment," said Heidi Ellis, an English teacher at Sierra Canyon, a private school. "But he keeps himself very organized and has incredible determination."
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
“Today, the energetic 18-year-old can finally take a breath. On May 29, he received his high school diploma from Sierra Canyon in Chatsworth and on Saturday he graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from Cal State L.A.”
A commentary on the degree of difficulty for a film degree, imho...
“Busy people are happy people”.
I cannot think of a more truthful statement.
It is also amazing what one can accomplish when one has a full plate.
Very interesting. I wonder how he got admitted to college when he had not yet completed his high school work?
Which restaurant do we visit to extend our congratulations?
Our school district here in McKinney, TX has coordinated program with some local colleges to allow “co-enrollment” for advanced students. I think some of the college classes can also be counted as HS credits.
It’s called dual credit. My kid did it. You can take college courses that count as high school courses too. Mine hadn’t racked up enough credits to graduate with a BA by the end of HS (in our area they limit you to 15 per term for 3 years...so technically you could), nor did he do the extra curricula stuff this kid did. But he did finish 12th grade with his HS diploma and an AA (78 transferable hours) so he was able to graduate college with a BA at 19. This kid’s feat was phenomenal in that he did both plus extra curricula. My kid opted out of the HS part and you’ll find plenty of kids doing the same these days. I think I know at least a dozen kids who graduated this year with their HS diploma and an AA. And to answer your question, you get your HS diploma and then they award you the BA or AA right after that. You get into college by testing in, you usually have to score a certain level on the college level placement test (in our area, you have to be able to test into College Alg, and Comp I.)
“Guess Strategic thought in Basket Weaving was full.”
I think that is how Joe Biden got his hair weave...
Did the government high school get to collect your son’s allotment to the school while he was attending community college?
The government schools are being forced by the free market to provide more choice.
Homeschoolers are frequently found enrolling in college early. My own homeschooled kids matriculated at the ages of 13, 12, and 13. All three finished Calculus III and all general college requirements by the age of 15. Two had B.S. degrees in math at 18.
Congratulations to you and your son.
It can be done without that level of saturation. I started taking summer school classes after 8th grade. The extra summer school credits allowed me to "skip" my junior year in high school. I continued the practice into college and finished with my BA in Biology from UCSD at age 19. I took 18 to 22 units during Fall/Winter/Spring quarters. Most summers I was able to wrangle another 16 units. It didn't leave much time for "social life", but UCSD was pretty dead with respect to "parties" in the 1974 to 1976 time frame.
Now that the young man has his bachelor's, it is time to look ahead to grad school. Hopefully, he has a good idea of where he wants to go in life. The absence of life experience could make for a less than optimal decision.
This is the kind of schedule Service academy cadets & midshipmen face. Carry 17-22 semester hours, play a mandatory intercollegiate or intramural sport, formations, inspections, parades, PT tests, military training, mandatory study hours, extracurricular activities, etc.
My son took a bunch of AP classes. He was so well versed in the topics that he often taught the sessions during the school day and tutored in the evening. He and the students he tutored achieved the top score of "5" on their AP tests. He had enough credits to be a college sophomore the day he graduated from high school. He should have taken those AP credits to the local college to convert them to college credits before he went to USMC boot camp. It would have been an immediate promotion to PFC.
No...he never stepped foot inside a high school. When he finished 9th grade of homeschool, we went to the college (in our state it’s any state college, not only community colleges) and took the College Placement Test. He tested into College Algebra, but that summer we had him take an Intermediate Alg. class (just in case we’d missed something, LOL, during homeschool.) Than in the fall he started and went to the college classes for 10th, 11th, and 12th. Best part was, tuition for dual credit is free (if you’re in public school, books are also free...homeschooled or private schooled kids have to pay for their own books.) It became so popular among many kids, that now on one of the community college campuses, they actually have a “Collegiate High School” and if they attend that, then the school board can get the gubmint dollars.
My kids were the first homeschoolers ( and the youngest) ever to admitted. We had to jump through a lot hoops just to get them in. We even had to hire a psychologist for testing to prove that they were gifted. And...We paid full tuition and all books. They were not eligible for loans or scholarships because they were not high school grads and it was against the law to take the GED before age 18 or 19 ( I forget exactly.)
Anyway...Thanks to my kids and other pioneering homeschoolers its a lot easier now for both the homeschooled and institutionalized teens to get admitted.
In Florida it’s very inexpensive (the free books are only for the public school kids, homeschoolers pay their own books...probably worth challenging at some point because we pay the same school taxes through our property taxes as any public school kid’s parents.)
Dual credit is free tuition, then there’s a scholarship for full tuition to a state college if you score high enough on SATs (the lottery funds that.) Our kid’s finishing up his Master’s and we’ve never paid any tuition...during grad school his tuition’s been paid because he’s a GA.
Our son’s 21, but my sister homeschooled her kids and they’re in their 30’s now. Back in those days you had to fight for everything you wanted to do. Taking them out of school and homeschooling was being “radical.” It’s so much more accepted now.
Its so much more accepted now.
Congrats on having not only gifted kids, but obviously hardworking ones!
I skipped a year of HS myself, and I was also young when I started school, so I was barely 17 when I entered college. I did not find the course work difficult, but I caught a lot of flak for being so young, and also had my opinions ignored a lot when I started grad school. I’m curious whether your kids found it difficult being in school so young? And also, what did they do with their degrees when they finished? Grad school? Did they have difficulty getting jobs afterward, at young ages? I am interested in this not only out of curiousity, but also because I am thinking about homeschooling my kids. Thanks for any info you feel like sharing!
We started with just one course at the community college. Then they took two courses and did fine with that. They decided to gradually take on a full schedule of courses. By the time they were in the university they had full control over their course work. It was like putting a big toe in the water and gradually gaining confidence to do more.
Some have accused my husband and me of pushing our children. But...Honestly, achievement on this level must be self-generated by the child. Also...Success with course encouraged them to take on big course loads until finally they were full-time students.
Socially, there was little interaction in the beginning with the college. I drove to their class, waited for them, and then went home. They were typical homeschoolers doing the usual teenage things ( ballet, jazz, music lessons, church meetings, etc.) Later the children made friends with the tutors in the math lab at the community college, and they enjoyed "hanging out" there. Two became official math tutors at the age of 14 or 15.
On the university level our 2 younger girls continued to live at home. They majored in mathematics. Our church had a center just off the university and they made many friends there. They are accomplished ball-room dancers and made friends with other dancers. Our home often hosted dinner parties and afterward our girls and their university friends ( also members of our church) would go out dancing.
The oldest is a nationally ranked athlete. We moved to another state just before his 16th birthday. He chose to study accounting since it meshed well with his training. His friendships centered around his church friends and those at the athletic center where he trained. As an older teen he worked for our church in Eastern Europe for a few years and while there learned Russian fluently. He continues competing in his sport and this year will finish his MBA ( accounting). He is 25.
And also, what did they do with their degrees when they finished? Grad school?
The oldest is still competing in his sport, and will soon finish his MBA. He coaches part-time as well and manages to support himself doing this. We pay for books and tuition.
The middle child finished a masters degree in math at the age of 20. She was offered work as a professional statistician, but chose instead to be a teacher in a private school. She is married a chemical engineer and they have a 2 year old and are expecting their second child.
The youngest is also married. She earned her B.S. in mathematics at 18. She is a full-time wife and mother.
Did they have difficulty getting jobs afterward, at young ages?
They haven't had to deal with that problem. The oldest has essentially been a full-time athlete and part time business student, as well as taking time to work of our church for a few years. He will finish an MBA at an age typical for accountants to enter the work force.
The middle child finished her M.S. degree at 20 and was offered work in her profession, but by then was married and decided on teaching.
The youngest has never looked for work since she is a wife and mother.
I am interested in this not only out of curiousity, but also because I am thinking about homeschooling my kids. Thanks for any info you feel like sharing!
There are many homeschoolers going to college early. Also, there are many college programs on-line now. Also, now that colleges have had good experiences with homeschoolers they are actually recruiting young homeschoolers .
Your best source for information is your local homeschooling group. Check out the Homeschool Legal Defense Association web site, or ask your local librarian for a group near you. Good luck! It is a wonderful adventure.
Isn't this true for high schoolers as well?
Young people who graduate from college early may not go on to make their major their life's work. If they don't, they still have a college level education in that field, and that will become part of the general education that will greatly enrich their life.
My youngest is considering becoming a physician's assistant or a nurse. She earned a B.S. in mathematics at 18. To earn that B.S. degree she needed to take all the general college courses, biology, chemistry, and physics. I consider that a very well rounded liberal education. She is well prepared educationally for whatever she chooses to do in life.
A well rounded education still serves you throughout your career. Sometimes it becomes a safety net when your desired trajectory doesn't pan out.
I decided against doing that.
To have the success you’ve enjoyed in your field, you must be a highly creative person who enjoys solving problems.
Well....Much of medicine is very rote, and dictated by “best practices”....not much room for creativity.
Some of my colleagues that have had the good fortune to be on very long term contracts have come up with some work to fill my empty in-basket. It's the bread and butter compiler building, porting and testing work that I've been doing for the last 30 years. That never seems to go out of style.
I spent 3 years doing bench electronics repair on radios, sonar, radar, phones, fax, sat/nav and other assorted gear. Like medicine, it becomes a rote process. Certain types of equipment have common failures with fixes that can be anticipated before the equipment cover has been removed. A few make you wish that electronics was blessed with a PDR or a current copy of Bergey's manual. Unlike humans, electronic equipment doesn't have an immune system or healing processes. You have to find and fix the problem. I love the level of exacting performance. I also love being able to leave a problem for a lunch break...something you can't do with a chest cracked open for surgery.
Taking concurrent classes during one’s senior year isn’t uncommon—and many take AP classes in their seinor and junior classes. But this guy is good.
I wouldn't know...but I think it would be time consuming.
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