Saturday, September 17, 2011

Back in the Day VI

Every once in a while I post a string of old pictures and call it Back in the Day. I'm going to go in a different direction with this one. This afternoon I was digging through my flood-soaked files and throwing out that which has served its purpose (I can throw out my high school graduations cards, for example), and drying that which I want to keep for a bit longer.

I came across a bio my mom did for me my senior year of high school and decided it was in the keeper category. I forget the exact reason she had to write it, but I think I had to put together a student profile for my English class or something. I have no idea why we had to do that. But anyway, here it goes:

Angelo Villagomez

My son Angelo Villagomez is a quiet, introspective, private person. I have found him to be the best judge of character that I have ever met, and as he has grown older I realize that our mother/son relationship is evolving into a friendship that I treasure. Angelo is an intelligent, thoughtful person who observes and thinks things through before he acts. He is a very well-rounded person, with academic and athletic interests, and all the normal interests of a young man his age. He is involved in school clubs and activities, some in a leadership capacity, and attends school functions and team sport activities regularly.

Angelo is very independent, capable and dependable. I travel frequently with my position, and for the last two years have left Angelo alone at home while I travel. I hired a student to stay with him two years ago, but found out when I returned home that Angelo had done all the cooking and cleaning while I was gone and had felt burdened by the extra responsibilities of taking care not only of himself but the older student and his younger brother as well. I'm not concerned about his ability to adapt to college life because he is used to taking care of himself, and is good at it. He already has a great deal of freedom and responsibility, and he manages them well.

Angelo grew up without his father, which has presented some challenges for him. I know that he has missed the closeness that some boys experience with their fathers, and yet he doesn't dwell on this loss. He has had some contact with his father, through the summers he has spent in Micronesia with him, and these summers have allowed him the opportunity to experience his Chamorro cultural heritage by spending time with his rather large extended family in the islands. Growing up as a biracial/bicultural person has made Angelo very open-minded and quite accepting of the diversity that exists in the world. He is a mature young man, intolerant of racism and bigotry, and doesn't hesitate to state his opinion of where he stands on issues. He is usually very well informed on the issues, and he states his stance without being offensive or overbearing.

Angelo has had an opportunity to see some of the world. He moved to the U.S. from Micronesia when he was three, and he and his brother and I lived in Massachusetts until he was twelve, when we moved to England for a year. During that year, he visited France and Wales, and over the past few years has been to Japan and Micronesia several times. This exposure has provided him with a very wide perspective that is unusual in a seventeen year old boy.

Angelo is an excellent student, motivated and reasonably hardworking. I have never had to hound him to do his academic work; he is self-disciplined and manages his time to get his work done. When he doesn't get his work done, he accepts the consequences. His over-all grade average is good; he has a 3.9 weighted gpa and a 3.3 unweighted gpa. He regrets that his freshman grades were not higher, as these grades have lowered his average overall. However, it's important to note the major transition he had in his first year. Angelo attended St. John's High School in Massachusetts for the first half of his freshman year, while my younger son and I got settled in Florida after moving here from England. Angelo had his heart set on attending St. John's, as this is the school he would have attended had we not moved to Florida after England. He lived with my cousin for a semester and commuted to St. John's with her sons. He was only fourteen at the time, and I think that it showed maturity on his part to have managed so well living in a different environment. Once I was settled, I wanted him to move to Florida, and the transition was difficult for him, as Winter Park High was the fourth school in three years that he had to adjust to, and this adjustment was reflected in his grades. However, Angelo quickly got back on track and last year was inducted into the National Honor Society. He has never chosen the easy way out, and chosen easy courses. He has been in the Honors Program at Winter Park High, and this year is enrolled in five AP classes, for which he will earn college credit.

Angelo performed really well on the SAT last year, earning a 780 score on the math portion. Rather than resting on his laurels, he recently retook the test, with the expectation that he would get a better score, which he did. He wasn't pleased with a verbal score of 620, studied all summer to improve his score, and received a 690.

Angelo is an athlete, and I admire his dedication and perseverance. Once he commits himself to a goal, he devotes himself to attaining his personal best. He trains for track and cross country wholeheartedly, and pushes himself to excel, because once Angelo has his eye on a goal, he pushes himself to attain it. This motivation comes from within him, as he has not had the advantage of having a father there to cheer him on and urge him to do his best. He takes very good care of himself, and gets enough sleep and eats well.

Angelo is funny, and well grounded, and has a small circle of friends. He has never had any problems with drugs or alcohol, and I doubt that he ever will. He has clear academic and career goals - he wants to be a physicist - and I am confident that he will always be very successful in life because he is so well grounded, and has learned to maintain a good balance in his life. He is a good, kind-hearted, level-headed person who will (make) the most of the opportunities that life will offer him.

Donna O'Connor
November 20, 1995

No comments: