Friday, June 13, 2008

Portland Bound!

Suddenly I am keenly ware that this is Madelaine's last week at home. The idea, the thought itself is nothing new. We have, after all, been planning for this for sometime. The pieces are all starting to fall into place.

First of all, she graduated! We have the diploma and the final set of grades, which were remarkably good. She made all A's and B's in her last semester and passed all of her final exams! She's legit!

Next, we have gotten an apartment for her in Beaverton, which is a suburb of Portland. It is just about ten minutes from downtown via the MAX, which is their fast, clean and inexpensive light rail system. And from the MAX stop in Beaverton, her apartment is a two-minute, well-lit walk, so it should be very convenient for her.

We may have arranged for a roommate as well. Maddie's been in touch with a young woman named Brittany who will, like her, be starting the Patisserie and Baking program out of high school. I say 'may' because the school put the two girls together and I haven't been in the loop. We will meet her next week when we go to to apartment complex to sign on the dotted line.

I have a good feeling that it will all work out, but even though we haven't got it all firmed up, so to speak, we are going ahead with the plan to put her in this two-bedroom apartment. Then, if the roommate falls through and we can't find another, we can move her to a one-bedroom apartment in the same complex.

The apartment will be available to move in on the 27th, so hopefully by the time I leave on the 24th (I can only stay a week), we will have worked out all the details and it will be up to Valery to help her get settled in. Valery will stay in Portland till July 8, just to keep an eye on Miss M.

Now, I think there's a good chance that she'll just be in the way as the girls get to know one another and settle into a routine. I think she will thus have some time to explore Portland on her own. At the very least, Valery will spend a couple of days in Powell's Bookstore, I am sure.

The only other thing we have 'hanging' now is the job. Maddie will be expected to work part-time while she is in school. This is for two reasons. First, it prepares the student for life in the 'real-world' by exposing them to the work environment even as they are learning the skills to compete. It's a chicken-egg dilemma where one simply does and learns by doing so you can say you know how to do it. There is a lot of trial-and-error and a lot of hidden-mentoring that goes on at this level. She must, as we say, 'pay her dues' just to get in the club. So, the school works with local employers and pretty much guarantees that the student can get some kind of job, even if it is not directly related to their program. Thus, Maddie may not work in a bakery, though that's what we are hoping for.

The job and school will mean that she has very little free time. There is a washer/dryer in the apartment so she can keep her uniforms clean and pressed, and we're getting her a laptop with which to stay connected (email & Skype) and do her homework when needed. The school provides internet access in the library, and that may be the extent of it. I don't plan on paying for internet access at her apartment, nor, get ready for it, TV! This will be a long nine months for Miss M, but I am ever more convinced that she will do it and with flying colors!

No comments: