E— is seventeen. He is insightful, bright, deliberate, and hardworking as long as the subject interests him. His longterm goals include working in film, creating music, art, yoga, vegetarianism, animal activism, and travel. I've done what I could to accommodate his curiosity and impatience with strict classroom curriculum. The first half of the year he was enrolled in a liberal arts high school. The initial term I believed this was the answer to his struggle with K-12 rigor. The second term, however, I realized the change wasn't going to stick. His attendance has suffered to the point that the school called out of concern. I explained and they told me to keep them posted, since children over 14 don't have to deal with the same truancy laws as the younger academic population. This past week he failed to attend at all, and Mr. PNU and I made the decision that he needs to make a solid choice about the future of his formal education. Tonight, E— chose to withdraw and seek his GED. I don't feel it right to force him to do otherwise. He knows that dropping out means he'll have to find and maintain employment, pay rent to stay part of our household, and that we expect him to make progress toward life goals other than living at home. He's said he is interested in enrolling at the Pie Tin. The open enrollment aspect of the university makes this a possibility, and then perhaps he can try out a class or two of his liking. Work prospects are slim, especially since he dislikes the food industry. Real life may be just what he wants it to be, or it may be a rude awakening. I'm trying to stay supportive, but for kids like E—, independence is the best way to figure out motivators and what is necessary to get what they want out of life. Parenthood is quite the ride. I'm still hopeful for him, still anxious to see what he will make of himself and how he will use his skills in the world. But one thing is certain; like his mother, E— doesn't believe in avoiding the road less traveled.