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"I wanted to take Chinese. My school says I should take what gives me a better score." (P

Same setting as Part 1. I’m talking with my graduating seniors and their families when a parent tells me his youngest is getting a lot of push-back from his international school on his IB package and subject choices. He will start the IBDP--a two-year curriculum--after this summer. Push-back how? Ab (his nickname) is really keen to take Chinese. He has signed up for it at the Standard Level (SL) as part of his DP (diploma programme), which he’ll begin this coming fall. He truly enjoys learning Chinese even thought it's challenging for him. And, it's true: Ab's grades are average in Chinese. But…he really enjoys this subject. So, where’s the problem with the school? I ask. The school has

"I want to scoop ice cream but my school says I need an internship this summer." (Part 1.)

Last week I met with some of my graduating seniors and their parents. Everyone was quite excited and perhaps in awe of the passing of time: Did we really just go through the entire university application process? Am I really heading off to university? Little by little the reality will set in. Right now, at the end of a school year, there’s almost too much to absorb and change is happening in every facet of the student’s—and parent’s—life. Yet while we discussed generally stress-free topics—graduation, prom, summer plans (totally free!), favorite foods--there were a few things that came up during these discussions as we reminisced about the past year that deeply concern me. One parent ask

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