Today is a big day! My youngest son was scheduled to have his High School interview this morning. I was so not worried about it that I didn’t bother to tell him about the interview until yesterday, and didn’t tell him until 7 pm last night that he needed to complete a student resume for it even though I’d known about it for months. He and I worked on the resume for a couple hours, digging deep to include his awards, honors and activities all the way back to preschool.
This morning, I made sure he showered. He wanted my help in choosing what to wear. I wasn’t worried about the interview, so I hadn’t thought to check his closet for suitable clothes until an hour before it started. Come to find out, he had no clothes that fit him. Since he wears a school uniform, I mostly just see him wearing that or his pajamas. He tried on every decent, long-sleeved shirt in his closet and every one was too short in the arms. He decided on a short-sleeved polo, even though it’s 10 degrees outside, because it was that or nothing. The polo is light yellow and he needed an undershirt with it. We were rummaging through his dresser drawers looking for an undershirt, but everything was too small. Like way too small. There was even his vacation bible school shirt with the year 2009 on it. I had to go to my closet and have him borrow my white tank top.
Apparently I’m not a good teacher because he asked me again how to shave. He’s only ever shaved one other time, a few months ago. I had told him what to do, and kind of halfway demonstrated it without actually shaving my own face. Then I had gone out and bought him his own shaving supplies. But he hadn’t touched them. The bag of razors was still factory sealed. Not sure if my lesson this morning was any better than my lesson a few months ago.
I told my son what to expect at the interview. I told him he’ll be asked why he wants to go to high school there and what he would want his legacy to be. I gave him a heads up that he’ll have to pick a random question from a basket like “If you could go back in time and meet any person in history, who would it be and why?” or “If you found out you had 24 hours left to live, what would you do in those last 24 hours?” I told him I would be there with him, answering questions like, “What are your hopes and expectations from this school?” and “How do you see your child relating to the environment here as opposed to his current school’s environment?” My son was anxious, afraid of being rejected by this school. I was not nervous at all.
Phew, got him ready. But I was still in my pajamas, hadn’t even washed my face, with only a few minutes before we had to leave. I was not worried though, because although I wanted to look nice, I’ve been through this high school’s interview process two previous times with my older boys. I tried on a couple different outfits and settled on a sweater dress with leggings and my new boots. I brushed and flat-ironed my hair for the first time on a Saturday, did my makeup, brushed my teeth, and remembered to put on jewelry. Ready or not, here we come!
I drove 20 miles to the school, and we arrived five minutes early. Before we went inside, I reminded him to just be himself, be a good listener, respectful and polite, make good eye contact, and to just try his best. I told him it’s okay to say “I don’t know.” I suggested we pray before we went inside, and I started asking Mary for her intercession and for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Then we prayed a Hail Mary together. This seemed to calm him some, but he was still anxious. This is the first interview he’s ever been to for anything. He wanted to do well.
We walked into the lobby and several school personnel greeted us by name. Since my oldest son is a senior at this school, I know most of the faculty and staff. I was planning on small talk. I was planning on talking about how fast and well the past 3.5 years have gone for my oldest. I was planning on being included in the interview. But I wasn’t.
The president of the school directed my son to go with the Dean of Students for his interview and he directed me to the cafeteria for coffee and cookies while I waited. I was surprised and said, “He was expecting me to be with him. I told him I’d be there. I was there for his two brothers.” The Director of Admissions replied, “Oh we’re mixing it up this time!”
I sat down in the cafeteria and felt anxious for my son. I wasn’t in there with him like I told him I would be. I didn’t know how he was feeling or if it was going okay. What if he froze and couldn’t answer anything? What if he sneezed all over the lady interviewing him? And I sure wouldn’t have bothered dressing up or doing my hair and makeup just to sit at a table by myself in the cafeteria.
The interview was scheduled for 15 minutes, but he was brought back to me after only six minutes. Is that a very good sign or a very bad one? He didn’t even take off his coat! It was still zipped all the way up to his neck. He said by the time he realized he still had it on, it was too late.
Wonder if he was the only one wearing a coat during the interview. His polo was wrinkly, so maybe it was for the best.
Once in the car, he said there was no basket full of random questions, he didn’t get asked about his legacy, or any of the questions I had prepared him for. There were several other questions, like “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” and “What do you like to do after school?” As he recalled the interview, he second guessed all of his answers and came up with a “better” answer that he “should’ve said” instead. He was disappointed. I told him he said all the best answers, the ones he was supposed to say, and that I’m proud of him.
On the way to lunch, he continued to express concern over the interview, even though everything he told me sounded just fine and great. His grades and personality are more than acceptable to get accepted to this school, but he asked what he would do if he does not get accepted. I told him he’d apply to another school. He asked what he would do if he got rejected by that school, too. I told him he’d have to go to public school, but I bet him $100 he will get accepted into this school.
As we arrived home, he asked if I think he’ll get in, and I reaffirmed yes. I told him the interview was probably just a formality, that they already know they’ll accept him. I told him that he will get in, and then he will owe me $100. He replied, “Hey, I never shook on that!”