Sunday, June 7, 2009

I'm Not in High School Anymore!

Residency. It seems like a fairly simple concept. You either live somewhere, or you don't, unless you are dealing with institutions of higher education. And then residency becomes a complicated matter requiring affidavits, testimonials, utility bills, state ID and begging.

Here in New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment, UNM admits any student who has moved to the state for employment as an enchanted resident. No higher tuition. I qualify. Hip hip hooray! (And I am enrolled.)

In Utah, the "This is the Place" state, SLCC seems to have an issue with the fact that Kalen traveled to Brazil on a Rotary Exchange (as a student from Brighton High School, I might add) and is telling her that "this is not the place"(ie: they consider her a non-resident), thus warranting higher tuition to them.

Why is this so difficult? Kelly had a similar problem at SUU. She fought for two years before they finally figured it out. Maybe it's a conspiracy of some kind!

Seriously, it seems to me that an underage student, still registered with Brighton High School and living in SLC with her step-dad upon return from Brazil prior to renting her own apartment in the "This is the Place" city, should be a resident student. Done.

This is not brain surgery.

I am certain it will all work itself out, but today I had to chuckle after offering to help Kalen by making a call to SLCC with an explanation of her residency.

Kalen's response?

"I am not in high school anymore. Don't call, Mom. I will take care of it."

OK! Deal! Touche! Onward and upward! I'm here if you need me! You go girl!

I remember those days after high school, it truly was a joyous time. I loved making my own decisions, coming and going as I pleased, living on my own, decorating for the first time in colors other than the avocado green that my Dad had painted everything in my bedroom, and sleeping whenever I wanted (and not sleeping whenever I wanted).

Those were the days...and days they were. Not months, years, decades, but days, possibly weeks, because it wasn't too long before those high school days of yore looked fairly decent in retrospect (without the silliness and drama, of course) and living as an island became a bit lonely. But I wouldn't change a thing. It was a learning experience.

And now it's Kalen's turn. And I am behind her 100%, silently now, adrift from the island shore, and I will row in closer and be a bit louder when and if she needs me in the future, but no matter what, my role as Mom has now changed forever. My little girl isn't in high school anymore and that's a fact.

So, for now, I will enjoy a lemonade while sitting on my front patio in the Land of Enchantment, and smile as I think about my Mom and how she watched from a distance after I left home too, and also smile with thoughts of Kalen forging into the world with determination, smarts and a quick wit...with her Mom watching from a distance.

Residency? Pffft.

She'll get it. After all, she is a resident of the state of Utah and has been for several years. It's simple. But she is dealing with higher ed and folks with advanced degrees.

Which begs the question...why do overeducated folks have to make things so difficult? Maybe I don't want to get my degree, even if I do have residency....or maybe I do so that I can think in the same detailed fashion and overcomplicate things even more.....hmmm, I better think about this.

Back to lemonade, it's much easier.....

High School Musical

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