Thursday, June 11, 2009

Duke TIP recognition

Back before M went off to camp last week, he finally had his recognition ceremony for doing well on the SAT (through the Duke TIP program).  M was invited to the ceremony at Duke, but it was too far and at a bad time to go, so we decided that we would just do the state recognition ceremony.  GA had 4 separate ceremonies - I don't know how many kids were invited to each, but at the one we attended there were roughly 100 7th graders.  They seated them all alphabetically and called them up to shake hands with the president of the university (where the ceremony was held).

Then they separately called up the 4 students who had received national honors (90th % among high school students, 99th % among 7th graders).  M got a medal individually bestowed on him.
The boy on the left had actually received his medal at the Duke ceremony, so didn't get another here, but did get recognized again.  One of the 4 kids whose names were called wasn't there (and I don't remember if it sounded male or female), but the other 3 were boys.  M seemed surprised when I commented that the other 2 had probably scored at the national level in math.  Why, he asked.  Well, among other things, both other boys were "foreign", one Indian sub-continent and the other Asian.  Now, for all I know they and maybe their parents were born in the US, but it is equally likely that they or their parents may not have spoken English as their first language.  Plus, the whole "boys are better at math" idea.  Not that I believe that, but I will say that book publishers clearly think that girls are more interested in reading - based on the number of girl oriented vs boy oriented books available, especially for younger readers (and most especially for ahead of grade level young elementary readers).  Anyway, I don't know where I was going with that other than that was my guess and M was surprised.  

I tend to think that the idea that more young girls are interested in sitting down with a book than young boys are is (unfortunately) true.  Much more so than that boys are better at math.  And in point of fact, there are WAY more girls than boys in M's advanced math class (including M there were 3 boys in a class of about 20).  I think some of this has to do with more boys opting out of the class - it will be harder/more work and I don't want to.  M certainly said that, but we insisted he take the class.  And he did fine, although he did earn his first "B" due to poor organization habits mostly.  Not studying for most of the tests didn't help either, I'm sure...
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