S’12 Issue 6: Final Grades FAQ; Photos, Student Work

Last week to complete program evaluations!

Current ATDP students should complete this year's Secondary Division Evaluation & Questionnaire between now and the end of the program. The survey can be done at home or at the ATDP office and takes about 15 minutes to complete. Thank you!

Come to the ATDP picnic on July 28 and the Architecture Exhibition on July 27 & 28!

Inside this issue…


Class Photos

SD instructors, submit your own class photos or request an ATDP staff photographer!

ATDP & Campus Resources

Previous S'12 Issues

S'12 is ATDP's weekly Secondary Division newsletter. Here you will find program news and announcements and learn about what is happening in different ATDP classes. You will hear from members of the ATDP family (the Faculty Director, teachers, mentors, staff, and alumni). S'12 is also about you; we provide a forum through which you can share your thoughts and work. Submit your poetry, editorials, reviews, photographs, or artwork at the ATDP office or via e-mail.

From the Faculty Director

Although it may seem hard to believe, we are coming to the end of the 2012 program and most of you are finishing up projects and preparing for final examinations. In the past few weeks, you have completed almost a semester or a full year of work in your classes. For some of you, the class has been challenging but fun; you have been in a class that you chose based on your strengths and interests, and while you were stretched, you managed to be in sync with the fast pace and the incredible amount that you learned. For others, the class was a lot more challenging. Although you learned a lot, you found the pace almost too much for you and you began to wish that you had taken a less challenging course this summer. For still another group of students, especially those who were here against their wills and who resisted being here, you probably had much less fun that your classmates.

One thing that I can say for sure is that if you gave any attention to your teachers, you learned things that you would not have learned if you were not here. Whether you are taking a class because you want to accelerate a year, be better prepared for the fall, or simply because you wanted to learn something new, you will have absorbed a lot of new information and there are two lessons that I hope you learned, lessons that sometimes get forgotten during the school year.

The first of these lessons is that academic success is dependent on hard work, or task commitment, as it was called in a column a few weeks ago. Renzulli (1986, p. 69) defined

"task commitment as a refined or focused form of motivation. . . . Whereas motivation is usually defined in terms of a general energizing process that triggers responses in organisms, task commitment represents energy brought to bear on a particular problem (task) or specific performance area. The terms that are most frequently used to describe task commitment are perseverance, endurance, hard work, dedicated practice, self-confidence, and a belief in one’s ability to carry out important work."

After reading this definition, I am sure that you will agree with me that task commitment plays an important role in whatever success you have had this summer.

by Meghna Satish
Cartooning (S1212)
Click to enlarge

A lesson that many of you may have experienced for the first time is how to deal with work not coming as easily to you as it has in the past. You may be wondering if you have lost your ability or reached the ceiling of your competence. The answer to this is no, of course. What you are discovering is that like the musculature in the body, the brain is stretched. If you have not completed Algebra I and Geometry, think of how much harder Algebra II would have been. And learning that you need to exercise the brain just as you have to exercise muscles is important, especially for those of you who want to go to college. Even though getting a Bachelor’s degree requires work, getting a PhD or an MD or a JD requires even more, and it is not always easy, although it is usually worth it at the end. So recognizing that not every thing will come easily does not diminish your capacity for success, unless you ignore the definition of task commitment given above and give up. You will get as much out of college as you put into it, and you do not want to be among the substantial group of students who graduate from college with little additional academic skills than they entered. Hopefully, participating in ATDP will contribute to you not being in this group.

I hope that you also found the time to make some new friends this summer. Some of my closest friends are from my middle and high school days. Strong friendships can last a lifetime and provide wonderful social support for the rest of your life.

As Program Director, I hope that you learned a lot and that you enjoyed your time with us, whether this was your first or your 10th summer at ATDP. To those of you who can, we hope that we made enough of an impression that you will choose to return, even if you did not choose to come this year. And to those of you who are leaving us for the last time, please stay in touch by friending us on Facebook and keeping us up to date on your future accomplishments.

Before closing, I have two favors to ask of you. If you enjoyed your class and learned a lot from your teachers, tell them thank you before you depart. Although the office is important, the most important thing that we do is bring talented students and teachers together and many of us forget to tell our teachers how much they have meant to us. As someone who has taught at ATDP and in several other settings, I always appreciate hearing from my students, especially when some lesson that I have taught has helped them think about something a new way or understand something that they did not previously comprehend. So let your teachers know how much they taught you.

The second favor is related to the first. Please go online and complete the program evaluation. We look at this information every year to aid in our decision making. In closing, I will borrow the closing lines from the Carol Burnett Show, another symbol of the generation gap between the you and me. If you do not know who Carol Burnett is, rather than ask your parents, you can google the name. Her show always closed with a theme song, and I have tweaked them a little for use here.

I’m so glad we had this time together
Just to make new friends and learn some stuff
Seems we just got started and before you know it,
Comes the time we have to say, enough.

Have a great rest of the summer and a wonderful 2012-2013 academic year.

Frank C. Worrell
Faculty Director

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