As they’ve grown, Eldest and Middle have learned that I’ve got a particularly dark sense of humor. I don’t trot it out often, and certainly not in front of Youngest.
But an opportuntiy came about several months ago as Eldest was looking at a college scholarship website. These sites are designed as databases for the thousands of scholarships available and the questionaire asks a wide variety to elicit enough information to best match the student to the available scholarships. The questions however, are not only about the children but also about the parents. Did either parent serve in the Armed Services? Does either belong to the Masons/Lions/Professional Circus Geeks? Then the questions take a darker turn. Is one or both parents dead? Has either of the parents suffered a job loss? Is either parent blind? These are valuable and understandable questions, helping to allocate a finite pool of funds to young people who might be in a tighter spot because of personal family difficulty.
I’m not proud to admit it, but reading the list of various questions led to the dark side. I remarked to Eldest that perhaps one of the hopes would be that I have a recurrence of cancer within the next year or that the best would be a tragedy trifecta of being hit by a bus while crossing the street with my seeing eye dog enroute to my chemo treatments. It did generate a solid laugh but it’s not one that I try for very often.
The point is twofold. First, concerns about how to meet the college funding challenge can cause a more emotional response than you expect. These are your children and the hunt is on for a piece of the large – but still finite – scholarship pie. Second, the criteria go beyond mere grades and merit. Don’t be surprised at the nature of the questions and try to keep perspective on the rationale behind them.
And for the record, I really, really, really don’t want to hit the trifecta.