I am a typical grandmother. I am absolutely crazy about my granddaughter. She has always been smart, funny, witty, and clever. She is special in so many ways. Those of you who have followed along with the Musings for a while. probably read about her entrance into the world as a preemie (a tiny preemie!) and her encounter with Hepatablastoma (a malignant tumor on the liver) at the age of 3 1/2. She came through both of those experiences with flying colors and earned the title of Our Miracle Baby because of them. And now at two months shy of her 13th birthday, she is a completely healthy and a pretty normal pre-teen. She loves to read. She plays violin in her school's Symphony Orchestra. She's a Girl Scout. We are very proud of all of her accomplishments in the last 12 years.
Like most kids she has a few things she struggles with. She has a temper, she gets frustrated easily, she is interested in a gazillion different things, she doesn't like being the center of attention (but she's getting better at it). She is a huge Dr. Who fan (and I mean HUGE) along with a group of her friends. When she's cranky, she is world-class cranky!! She is an individual who follows her own drummer and does things according to her own time schedule.
She's a great and unique kid and we love spending time with her (when she's not cranky!! lol!)
I mentioned that she is smart. We've known that for a long time. I could give you multiple examples of things she has done and how great her grades have been. She attends a magnet Middle School with am academic program for bright kids. She is now in the second half of the seventh grade and she is doing just great. She loves the school and finds it challenging but not impossible. They seem to have enormous amounts of homework, and all the kids complain, but they get it done. That's okay, kids always complain about homework and the older you get the more there is!
Okay, there you have it...."This Little Girl of Mine" (okay, she's OUR girl) our granddaughter, is Maddie-the-Great and we love her to pieces, just like every grandparent feels about their grandchildren. We don't love her because of her gifts. We love her because of who she is!
Nevertheless, there are times when her special-ness stands out in a way that is hard to miss. For instance.....
Duke University (along with several other colleges and universities around the country) has a program for identifying academically gifted kids and offering them opportunities to attend special summer courses exploring all sorts of fields and topics. The way they identify these kids (at least in Texas) is by having high scorers on the Texas STAR test are given the opportunity to take the S.A.T.s while they are in 7th or 8th Grades. Yes, that's right, they take the regular S.A.T. exams when they are in the 7th or 8th grade, right along with the regular administration of the tests to high school juniors and seniors! 7th graders are 12-13; juniors and seniors are 17-19 that's 4-5 more years of maturing and schooling received! The 7th graders take the exact same test, which is scored in the exact same way.
And then they wait for the results. So, as you might have figured out (because you are pretty bright too!! LOL!), Maddie-the-Great was one of the kids to take the test back in January.
Just to be clear, there is no penalty involved if the child doesn't do well. The test results do NOT stay on the record if their score is below a certain level. There is no stigma attached, after all they are only 12! Most kids don't take the S.A.T.s for several more years. No pressure to do well, no embarrassment, no bad consequences. Participation is completely voluntary.
Okay, so M-t-G was one of the 7th graders. She was pretty relaxed about it given the circumstances and the lack of "expectations" both at school and at home. When she talked with us after the test she said that the Math was kind of hard, but the rest wasn't too bad. She felt okay about the test. Good!
The sponsors of the program, Duke and other schools, offer two levels of summer offerings for these kids depending on their test results. "The Academy" offers classes to the kids that rank in the top 5% of participants' scores. "The Center" offers classes to the kids who have the highest academic achievement scores.....that's all it says.....just the "highest"....I think these are the uber-smart, almost genius level kids, but it doesn't exactly say that.
Last Thursday they got the results. Maddie scored a 500 in Math, 520 in Writing, and 580 in critical reading, which puts her solidly in The Academy group....the top 5% of her peers!! That gives her a composite of 1600....1500 is the average score for High School Juniors who take the SATs!!!
Just like any grandparent I am very proud of her ability and how well she did. That's nothing new! But now when I say, she's pretty smart, she's got the SAT scores to prove it and she got them at age 12!
"This Little Girl of Mine(/Ours)" did it again!! Maddie-the-Great, indeed!
(In the interest of complete disclosure, I did not do extensive research on this program. But this is what Ratchlet and Maddie said and I sort of confirmed it on Duke's website. So I'm pretty sure I got it right, but I could be off a bit.)