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The graduate wears two caps and two gowns
Los Angeles Times ^ | June 15, 2009 | Carla Rivera

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 ...

TOPICS: Miscellaneous; US: California
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To: Hetty_Fauxvert
I’m curious whether your kids found it difficult being in school so young?

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.

21 posted on 06/16/2009 11:59:21 AM PDT by wintertime
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To: Myrddin
Hopefully, he has a good idea of where he wants to go in life.

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.

22 posted on 06/16/2009 12:08:00 PM PDT by wintertime
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To: wintertime
It's common to end up in a field that is completely different from your major. I graduated with a degree in Molecular Biology, yet I've worked in computer science and electrical engineering most of my life. The biology degree was intended to support heading to medical school. I decided against doing that. The electrical engineering skills had been built since I was in kindergarten. The computer science skills were added when it became a necessity to be versed in microprocessors around 1980.

A well rounded education still serves you throughout your career. Sometimes it becomes a safety net when your desired trajectory doesn't pan out.

23 posted on 06/16/2009 2:30:44 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: Myrddin

I decided against doing that.

Smart move!

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.

24 posted on 06/16/2009 3:43:25 PM PDT by wintertime
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To: wintertime
As an undergrad, my molecular biology profs would "use" their tests as a means of squeezing out creative solutions to problems in the lab. It was fairly common for my profs to leave me a little "thank you" for a creative solution to a vexing problem in the lab. I have no regrets about moving to the EE/CS world. It's a fast moving technology landscape. Landing a good contract puts food on your table and locks you into the snapshot of the technical world at that time. As you return to the current world, there is often much "catch up" to become familiar with the current technology.

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.

25 posted on 06/16/2009 6:33:21 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: reaganaut1

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.

26 posted on 06/16/2009 6:38:41 PM PDT by bannie
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To: jessduntno
A commentary on the degree of difficulty for a film degree, imho...

I wouldn't know...but I think it would be time consuming.

27 posted on 06/16/2009 6:45:24 PM PDT by lonestar (Obama is turning Bush's "mess" into a catastrophe.)
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