Planting Seeds for His Future

http://hacks.mit.edu/

“It will look good on my resume”

One day last year, our son brought home an application to run for student council. This was a great surprise for both my wife and I; neither of us had ever run for office during our school years. We quickly acted upon his request and started a discussion with him on what position he was deciding to run for, as well as assisting him with evaluation of each position available.

Then I stopped and had a short conversation with him.

I’m very impressed that you want to do this.

Yeah, I think I should.

It is definitely a commitment if you get elected. Are you positive this is what you want to do?

It will look good on my resume.

I smiled.

That is fantastic. Mom and I are proud of you for trying this. Neither of us were brave enough to try.

You see, some months ago, we were having a conversation about college. He is a great student and has always been very strong with mathematics and technology and has a love of video games.

 

When we bought him his first Nintendo DS, I remember walking into the office and seeing him using YouTube. When I looked further, he had a game paused, would watch a video for a bit, then play. Back and forth until the completion of this level. I realized, on his own, he had enough knowledge to use the available videos to pass a level. I barely remember even showing him YouTube, much less to use it in this manner. He was four years old.

Heck, he cleared the first level of Pac-Man at the age of two.

He has also taken several programming classes already, and we are active with a Hacker Guild under the ‘Curiosity Hacked’ organization.

Needless to say, I have a hunch his future is in technology.


With all that in mind, I had first shown him all the hacks/pranks MIT students have done over the years. From the Great Dome being redone to look like R2-D2 to the Green Building being turned into a playable Tetris, he was impressed. This sparked his interest in the school.

After doing a little looking, I found that MIT offers an excellent write up ‘What To Do In High School’ on their admissions page. He and I went through this page; math, physics, biology. Also, a discussion on extracuricular activities. I made him aware grades are good, but he also will want to show that he was the one to take on more.

I knew that our conversation about college and his future sunk in when he told me “It will look good on my resume.”

And it made me smile ear to ear.

I want to encourage him to continue to think like this. I never did, and the way I see it, my job is to help him be successful. (Deep down I truly want him to be better than me.) But at the same time, I need to ensure this thinking does not burden him with unnecessary pressure. He is only 10, first and foremost, right now he needs to have a good childhood.

Just keep planting seeds, slowly watering them, and my wife and I will watch him continue to grow into an amazing human being.

I know of no better reward.

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