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Profile of weepinwil
On 2005-01-23 17:26, Dakota Rose wrote:

My Mom is a single mother, so she works full time. So we couldn't do Home Schooling. Besides, I really like school. That may sound strange, but I do. I really want to stay in school. I have a lot of friends.

Then you may have to make some choices. First of all, with home schooling, at your age, you may be able to school yourself while your mother works and have a proctor grade your work, or mom could do that when she comes home. Second, if you like school and want to attend you will have to go by their rules and be there. Most schools have a set number of days you must attend.

I know it is a tough call but IMO the best thing your mother could do is to finish her education so she could support her family better and work less hours because while you may be good at 13 that does not guarantee you will be pro at 18 or 21 but a good education for her and you will open doors that will remain closed without it. In the meantime you could still continue your magic and go to conventions when you could arrange with your school and teachers to be away.

Be encouraged, you have a lot of time to become what you are to be and I hope all goes well with your mom and you in court.
"Til Death us do part!" - Weepin Willie
Michael Dustman
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Columbus, Ohio
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Profile of Michael Dustman

I was going to suggest the same thing Cybermage did in talking with Josh Jay. If I remember correctly, Mike Close did a feature story on him in MAGIC Magazine about 4 or 5 years ago and he talked about balancing school and magic.

Also, if you want, I work in the government in downtown Columbus and have some contacts in the Governor's office that I can poke around and see what I could do to assist. Give me the nod if you want me to check into it.

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Profile of pasharabbit
I suspect that your gifted in more than a few areas. You might want to look at enrolling in a school that has a performing arts program. You would get a more rounded performance background which will help you in your magic career. I was in a similar situation when I was 'in' school. Although I didn't do magic, I hung out in the library since I learned something there and nothing in school. As for college the really good ones will find your magic abilities more interesting on an application than a real high SAT score. If nothing pans out go into sales you don't need college and with your magic your sales calls will be real killers. Best to you and your mother. Sounds like your school district is run by idiots.
Danny Diamond
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Profile of Danny Diamond
I applaud your efforts and accomplishments in magic, but I do feel that you should put your education first at this point. It will be your foundation later in life. I understand that you intend on having a career in magic, but I think that you can get plenty of experience and practice, by sticking to weekend conventions and performances, or like some have suggested, just being more selective about the conventions that you do miss school for. A handful of missed days throughout school year is typical and shouldn't effect your grades. I think you have a long life ahead of you and you can focus 100% on magic, later in life. For now, maybe you cut your magic focus back from 100% to 50%. Save the other 50% for school, maybe a sport, a social life, and whatever else you encounter. You can never get your childhood back, so enjoy it while you can.
You don't drown by falling in the water;

you drown by staying there.

- Edwin Louis Cole
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Profile of snap
perhaps what you should do right now is focus on school. this would do two things. first of all, it would take some heat off your mom. this sounds like it's been an ongoing problem, so even if the matter has subsided for the moment, chances are it will just ignite again if you miss a lot of school right now. secondly, your education is one of the most important things you can have,even if you are planning on being a magician. I am in 11th grade and I have always been vigilant about putting my schoolwork first, and preparing for college, just incase the magic thing flops (you never know). so I think the best thing YOU can do right now is try and keep up on school and THEN do the magic thing.Smile
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Profile of toomuchmagic
I just want to point out a few things.

1) This kid has better grammar, spelling, and writing skills than a lot of people I know who have college degrees.

2) He obviously is not lagging in his school work because he was holding A's and B's before the schools "policies" took away all his hard earned grades.

Schools should pride and award students with passion and dedication like this guy has. And Mom should be praised as well for supporting her son and being there for him through everthing. You know who should be punished. The parents who take their D average kids out of school to go to Disneyworld for a week.

Or the school that suspends kids for having nail clippers or playing cops and robbers with their hands shaped like guns. Or the school that ignores little suzy even though she comes to class wasted everyday. Or the school that passes little Johnny into high school, ignoring the fact that he can't read or understand basic arithmetic.

I am not telling you to forget about school or ignore the rules. But sometimes people will intepret rules a bit too harshly and not exactly for what they were intended. But you should never, ever give up on your real dreams and passions. Keep up with your school work, keep getting good grades. Keep your positive attitude, and always wear a smile no matter what people tell you that you can or can't do.

That way, when you keep going to your competitions and conventions and if they take you to court, their argument will not be as solid as yours. Look at the grades you earned, and your ambition to be better in more than one area of your life, and your supportive home life.

Keep going with school. Keep going with magic. And stick it hard to everyone that tried to stand in your way.

You're the man!

I wish you the best of luck.
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Profile of snap
While it is true that dakota should persue his dreams, he also mentioned that when he is out of school, he gets zero's on tests and homeworks. since he is only in eighth grade, right now his grades don't matter as much as they will in a year. I am in high school, and am a performing magician. I go to conventions only in the summer and still manage to keep up on magic (i am not, however, saying this is what dakota should do). from what dakota has said, it sounds like he would like to go to college. if this is the case, then his GPA will matter tremendously. I think it's fine if he still goes to magic conventions, but I think, right now, anyway, his primary focus should be school, and then magic, as it should be when one is getting an education.

just my opinion Smile
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Profile of Proillusions
"Toomuchmagic"'s post kicks some real butt. It's really good advice. In fact, you were fortunate to receive a lot of sound advice from the other Café members. To add any further comments would only be repeating what has already been said. In conclusion Dakota, "Don't go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail".


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Profile of muzicman
I agree that a HS diploma is nearly worthless these days. I see graduates all the time that cannot spell or form proper sentences. They cannot make change and they are quitters when something gets tough.

I certainly don't understand your situation. When I went to school, some kids missed allot of days and never had a problem. Maybe things are different now. An unexcused absence would mar anyone's record. It gives the appearance that the parents did not know they were absent. An excused absence was never a problem for anyone I've ever known. I have never seen a school or teacher get upset that a student with an excused absence was denied the assignments for the day(s) missed. I would find fault in the school system and start a legal battle if that ever happened to my kids.

Magic can offer an exciting career and it could provide you with the means to support yourself for many years. However, putting all your eggs in THAT basket is not wise. There is no guarantee no matter how good you are. I would recommend staying in school and getting a diploma. Get every absence excused with a note from your mom and make up any missed assignments for the days missed. You might slow down a little on your magic if it starts to become too much to handle. Don't quit, but slow down a little. You have all your life to show the world your mitts. Get past the school years and the world is yours.
David Bilan
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Federal funding for schools is based on a head count. Didn't seem to be much of a problem 20-30 years ago, but now it is...

Some school systems are very tight about what they allow. Unless you want to go the home school route, you are stuck playing by the schools system's rules.

Whatever else goes on in life, no one can take away what you've learned. That diploma may not seem like much right now, but in the long run, it most likely will pay off, even if magic is your only source of income.
Yes, I am a magician. No I did not make my hare (hair) disappear... it just took early retirement.
Lee Darrow
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Profile of Lee Darrow
The "No Child Left Behind" initiative (really a requirement) is a blind that forces schools to test, test, test and to TEACH FOR THE TEST, as opposed to TEACH FOR EDUCATION.

It's all well and fine to try to quantify the results of an educational system, but there are numerous problems with the system including a serious lack of psychometricians to evaluate the essay questions. In one school district in Oregon, if I recall correctly, fully one quarter of the students in one school were incorrectly graded and HELD BACK because of it! At least one kid killed himself because of it - and, on review, his essay, which had been graded incorrectly, would have allowed him to PASS and GRADUATE with his class!

Needless to say, this program, growing as it is, under the requirements of the legisaltion, is a disaster in the making.

The Discovery/New York Times Channel did a special on this program recently and the results of their investigation showed that the NCLB program will cause more harm than good in the first decade of its run than the existing programs AND it will cost over ten times as much.

Not only that, but the rewards model that the NCLB program uses actually punishes school systems that already have high achievement levels becuse they simply cannot improve at the mandated rates necessary to even maintain their current rates of federal funding!

With teachers already being among some of the lowest paid professionals in the American work force, this is simply an insult to the students, the teachers and the taxpayers who are footing the bill.

And forget about programs like music and the arts, entirely. NCLB has NO room for them at all.

Welcome to the Brave New World, where students are told what to read, how to calculate and how to handle science experiments - but not how to think, are not exposed to other cultures and have no idea about the arts and music.

Does the phrase "culturally bankrupt" ring a bell with anyone?

Can you also tell that I used to be on a parent's advisory board to a high school and that my favorite gigs are post proms and college shows? Can you also tell that I am fed up with politicians who know nothing about education trying to fix a system that they know nothing about and refuse to listen to anyone who is really on the front lines in?

Lee Darrow, C.H.
<rant mode: off>
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
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Profile of Turk

Most, if not all, states have a Lawyer Referrral Service as part of their State Bar organization. As such, a group of lawyers have agreed to meet with a prospective client for a minimum period of time (such as 1/2 hour) for a very minimum fee. I would encourage you to contact your state bar and to obtain the services of an attorney who specializes in Education Law and/or Civil Rights Law. I would also encourage you to contact your local chapter of the ACLU and discuss the situation with them. It is possible that any and all of the above attorneys and organizations might be able to suggest a remedy and might even be willing to represent you pro bono or on a contingency basis and to go after the school and the school district.

A good offense is sometimes the best defense. Know also that governmental agencies HATE contorversy and if they know in advance that they are in for a fight (and possibly bad publicity), and that yu and your Mom are willing to go to the mat and fight for what you believe in and against what you perceive as "bad policy", it is amazing "cooperative" they can become.

At the very least, there might be some way to categorize your extra-curricular magic activities as a form of "in-kind" education that would both exempt you from school during your absence AND might qualify for the "Attendence" requirements that the schools are looking at to qualify for maximum federal funds. And, if worse goes to worst, perhaps a civil rights action for violation of constitutional rights might be an actionable rememdy for you.

And, if all else fails, I'd consider contacting the local newspaper(s) and TV and radio stations and try to get them interested in a Human Interest story. Government Agencies hate it when the light of day is shined on them and their idiotic policies. Sometimes, the publicity (and sometimes just the threat of the publicity) is enough to get them to reconsider and, miraculously, find a way to "work with you".

Sometimes guerrila warfare is the only viable option. If you are looking at 5 more years of this and if your college eligibility is being threatened, I'd really consider going on the offense and at least talking with one or more attorneys, contacting the local media and otherwise taking a very aggressive approach to resolving this situation. And, if it is deemed (by your attorneys) that you have a viable cause of action against the school and school district, a successful lawsuit and the accompanying money damages might make a good start for your "college fund".

Keep your chin up. And be thankful that you have such a caring and neat Mom. You are truly blessed.


BTW, many colleges are very interested in you--as a person. And while grades are preliminarily important in the selection process, Deans of Admissions are very interested in you as a complete person and what you can "bring to the school" and what might be accurate predictors of acedemic success AND success in life. Your extracurricular activities might prove to be a very telling offset to lower GPA--especially if the circumstances surrounding the lower GPA can be satisfactorily explained.
Magic is a vanishing Art.

This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
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