Dear Mrs. C:
Our son, ‘Waldo’, wants to become an astronaut and then start a shuttle service between Earth, Mars, and the Moon. Frankly, his Dad and I think he has been playing too many video games. But …. In case he continues with the goal, what can Buena do to help prepare him for that career?
Future Shuttle Parents
Yikes! Assume you two are not afraid of heights! The jet-lag to Australia (daughter/family live there) about does me in – can’t imagine what a lunar/planetary trip would do.
Back to your high-flying son. Yes, rest assured, Buena can help launch him towards that career. First of all, he needs to load up on all the math and science he can – to up and including AP Calculus. That would be preceded by Alg. I and II, Honors Geometry, and Honors Pre-Calc/Trig. Physics, Chemistry, and Astronomy would also be good choices. I’d also recommend Marketing/Management/Entrepreneuership, and Starting Your Own Business. Plus the variety of required classes – Technology, English, Future Focus, etc.
I would avoid saying, “Earth to Waldo! Moon to Mr. Mars! Prepare for landing! Release the shuttle landing gear! Opps – crators! Green cheese! Little blinking mini-people with flashing red and green lights on their head! Wait – they know you – check out the sign they are holding up – “Mars Welcomes Waldo and his Entourage! You will lodge at the Marriott of Mars, and dine on Celestial cuisine.” Wow … and to think, we are your parents! You are our son!”
Rather, you might try this approach: “Waldo, dear one, while your Dad and I totally support lofty career aspirations, this outer-space thing has us pretty concerned. Our retirement dream is to have a condo in Florida, not a dwelling in Crater-ville de Mars. I mean, who would our neighbors be? Green Cheeses R Us VIP’s? Anti-atmosphere scientists? Oh – flash back – did you hear about the new restaurant on Mars? (Then you say ‘no.’). The food is great, but it doesn’t have much atmosphere. Hahahahaha.
Back to Waldo. This son of yours is definitely going places …. He certainly ‘thinks outside the bun.’ Creative, future-thinking, dares to follow his dreams. Might want to get his autograph now. I would continue to ask him questions, help him problem-solve (‘what would you do if’ type of thing; or ‘how would you approach the perceived water shortage on Mars’, etc. Keep this wheels a –turnin’.
Hope this helps!
ELAINE CARLSON is a Buena High School counselor. Questions can be sent to her at email@example.com.