You will have heard murmurings that getting into University was going to get tougher. Good thing too. But I must admit I thought to myself, they will probably tinker with the entry requirements at the margins. I was vaguely interested because they affect my son this year. He isn't the most academically inclined and I am in no position to criticise him because he gets it (or in this case, doesn't get it) from me. We are both very focussed, to the point of obsession, in those matters that interest us. If they don't it's a struggle to concentrate. For him it is music. And we are all supporting in him his attempts to build a career around it.
Next year he continues his piano studies and music production. But he had planned to do two papers at the Victoria School of Music. Yesterday he found out that, despite having passed the music school's requirement - sat a theory test - he missed the overall entry requirement for Victoria University by 5 points and is now wait-listed for the papers if a place becomes available. The university raised the requirement from 120 points in 2011 (I am told) to 150 in 2012. Good for them. Son will have to redo one of his NCEA papers and re-apply. Fortunately he is young for his year. Many other 17 year-olds are only starting year 13 next month.
Somewhat surprisingly he's more relieved than disappointed. I hadn't realised he was dreading a major fail - a miss by a mile. And that his parents would, in his words, "go ballistic". We didn't. We talked about it, the options and we move on. Both of my children are musical and their performances, when they are in the zone, move me immensely. Robert's practising of Bach, Rachmaninov and Chopin fills the house and I couldn't be happier. At 17 he is extremely self-aware. Is utterly determined to make his life count for something. To make it matter. How could I be disappointed with that?