Interstellar Adventures

August 23, 2006

Houston…We Have Liftoff

Filed under: Elle & Zed,Mom Life — by InterstellarLass @ 8:20 am

Those words are what my boy hopes to say one day. The last couple of years, when you ask him what he wants to be, he replies “An astronaut or a professional basketball player.”. OK, wide variety there. But at this point, he’s leaning toward astronaut.

Night before last, when I went in to tuck him in, he looked up at me and said “Mom, I have a place I’m thinking about for college.”. But he’s only 11! my brain screamed. Never too early to start thinking though, right? So I asked him where. He looked at me and said “MIT”. I about fell over. I was stunned. “I want to be an astronaut, so I know I need to go to a really good school for math and science.” An astronaut? “Yeah, I want to be the first man on Mars.” I asked where he heard about MIT. “From my dad.” Ah, ok.

So yesterday, I looked up some stats for MIT.

  • 10,443 students applied, 1,495 admitted
  • Eight current faculty members are Nobel laureates.
  • Twenty-three alumni are Nobel laureates.
  • There are 18 MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellows among current MIT faculty and staff.
  • Thirty-one alumni were selected for astronauts in NASA’s space program.
  • Middle 50% score range of admitted students:
    • SAT I Verbal [690, 770]
    • SAT I Math [740,800]
    • ACT Composite [31, 34]
    • SAT II Math [740, 800]
    • SAT II Science [710, 790]
    • SAT II Humanities [700, 780]

He’s got the brains. I know he does. He’s a super intelligent kid, and for him to ask his dad about really good math/science schools so he can decide where to go shows forethought that I don’t think a lot of kids have. He has always both amazed and frustrated me with the way he thinks. Amazed in that he thinks of things in ways that I would never have considered. Frustrates in that he constantly analyzes everything I say and then questions me. But when he announced his proclamation that he has his sights on MIT, I nearly cried.

Now we just have to instill the discipline to study math and science rather than play computer games with characters like this*.

*Yes, I was playing. I was setting security on his new computer, and I had to check out the sites he wanted on his allowed list.


  1. Gee, and I was hoping that he would attend my alma mater, the University of Texas El Paso. I could give him a tour of the city, take him to King’s X, Erin’s, Lloyd’s, Texas Bar and Grill, Grahams Corner. Maybe a trip to Prince or the Harem. Hit up Chico’s Taco’s or Village Inn for a early/late breakfast. It would be great. Then the next day…

    Comment by nickphilips — August 23, 2006 @ 9:00 am |Reply

  2. That is very impressive. What a smart boy you have. You definitely can’t let him lose his drive. Our kids play video games as well, but I’m pretty sure they have to do some thinking and manuevering in order to play and win. I think that a few games, not excessive amounts per day, is probably pretty good for them. Have you tried to play? I suck! Anyway, that’s awesome.

    Comment by Jolynn — August 23, 2006 @ 10:13 am |Reply

  3. My little cousin always dreamed of being an astronaut. She just graduated from the Air Force academy and is headed to flight training. Reach for the stars! 🙂

    Comment by Gypsy — August 23, 2006 @ 11:29 am |Reply

  4. It’s fantastic that he is setting those sights high. But you may want to just hand him a list of all available great math schools. Counselors always insist on a great back-up. Oh, and I’m rooting for BYU.

    Comment by Surrender Dorothy — August 23, 2006 @ 12:53 pm |Reply

  5. I don’t think I knew what college was when I was eleven. And I don’t think I heard of MIT until I was 23 🙂 Which probably comes as no surprise to anyone.

    Comment by Bone — August 23, 2006 @ 1:42 pm |Reply

  6. Sadly the super inteligent either end up making those games…or playing them…lol.

    Go Mom! MIT all the way

    Comment by KaraMia — August 23, 2006 @ 1:55 pm |Reply

  7. Sounds like he’s halfway through the application process already if he’s thinking that throughly! Good on you having a child who thinks about his future…so many don’t!

    Comment by Claire — August 23, 2006 @ 3:22 pm |Reply

  8. Well, if you’re going to dream, dream big!! I know there was a kid that graduated with my nephew that got into MIT. And, for as smart as Patrick was, he was no where near smart enough to get into MIT. Good luck! You would have well deserved bragging rights!!

    Comment by Carnealian — August 23, 2006 @ 4:24 pm |Reply

  9. That is so cool! Seriously – the world needs more math and science lovers (and astronauts!) Have you taken him to the Johnson Space Center? How about Space Camp?

    Comment by Cara — August 23, 2006 @ 5:59 pm |Reply

  10. Lass, that is so fantastic! I feel all proud of him and I don’t even know him. I am so impressed someone so young could have such clarity of purpose. I hope he gets his dream of the first Man on the Moon. And let him play a game or two – he’ll need to have some fond memories to amuse himself while on that interplanetary road trip.

    Comment by writerchick — August 23, 2006 @ 9:10 pm |Reply

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