March travel plans with a 17y.o. fencing phenom

Melensdad

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Just a couple updates.

Dasha visited Harvard and very much liked it. But she was unable to tour the fencing facilities. The coach and the team were, if I understood correctly, not on campus and the facility was closed. Photo below is at Harvard.

She played telephone tag with the fencing coach from M.I.T. but never got to actually meet with the coach. She did get to tour the M.I.T. fencing facility.

Tuesday evening they traveled from Boston southwest to New Haven, Conn and then toured Yale on Wednesday. Dasha was not impressed with their engineering or their computer science offerings. Looks like Yale has been crossed off the list of schools she will consider. She and her mom check in/update me daily and send me a picture with Dasha in front of some building or sign from the campus. Didn't even bother to send a photo from Yale so that says something about Dasha's feelings about Yale.

Wednesday evening she arrived in New York City. Today & Friday she will visit Columbia & NYU. Emails have previously been dispatched to the fencing coaches at both schools, hopefully she can see the NYU fencing facilities. If I understand it correctly, there are no large centralized fencing facility at Columbia, rather they utilize a couple local fencing clubs for their training facilities so not sure how to advise Dasha, but she will at, very least, try to meet up with the Columbia coaches.
 

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Melensdad

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So the lovely Mrs Bob and I have things 98% confirmed for travel plans for this month with Dasha our near Olympic level fencing student.

100% confirmed: Melen, the lovely Mrs_Bob, Dasha & myself are flying to San Francisco with Dasha on March 12, staying in that area until March 16. While we are there we will visit Stanford University to tour the campus and meet the saber coach for their division 1 team. We plan to be there for 3 full days, 2 of which are just 'tourist' days to see the San Fran area as its an area that my family has never visited so Dasha gets to travel with us ... whether she wants to or not!

...

Another update ... this time about Melen :thumbup:

One of the reasons that Melen went on the SanFrancisco trip with us is because she received a job offer from CISCO Systems, which is headquartered just a few miles south of San Francisco and adjacent to Stanford's campus.

This morning Melen accepted the job offer with CISCO :clap:

To be honest, CISCO was her 2nd choice job. She was hoping for Cummins Diesel. They have not gotten back to her and time is running out on her ability to reply to CISCO so she gave up on Cummins and accepted CISCO.

In my humble opinion, given the very specific type of law that Melen wants to practice, the CISCO job is probably the better job for her to take. So professionally I believe this is the right choice. Emotionally I'm not happy with her being so far away from us again and neither is the lovely Mrs_Bob. So its a mixed bag with this job. Good for her, not so great for us?
 

Melensdad

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Going to visit NOTRE DAME with Dasha but date is not set. Possibly April 16???

We are trying to find a date that will work but the available dates are filling up pretty quickly and our time is running out before finals and standardized testing is scheduled for some weekends. The school also, being Catholic, limits tours due to Palm Sunday, Easter weekend, etc.

Notre Dame has one of the best teams in the nation. ACC Championships. Several individual NCAA champions. Several Olympians. So it would be good to get her there. Might have to pull her out of school mid-week some week to make the trip?



We also are hoping to get the DUKE and University of N.C. Chapel Hill. Both have pretty strong fencing teams, both have good computer science programs and pretty good engineering. So she should visit both of those schools too. Unfortunately the lovely Mrs_Bob and I have travel plans with Melen to move her to California so that will eat up a couple weeks in May. Dasha will be moving to Boston in early June? June might be the only practical time to try to get in a North Carolina trip ... not sure if she would be able to fly in from Boston to meet us in Raleigh and pull off a N.C. 2 college visit.

Running out of time with our 'adopted' daughter! :ohmy:
 

Melensdad

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Just a follow up.

Notre Dame University tomorrow. Probably pictures tomorrow too?

We have a meeting set up with the #1 fencing coach of the #1 women's fencing team, and ACC and NCAA #1 overall fencing team in the USA tomorrow at NOON. After the meeting we take a campus tour at 2pm. After the campus tour we visit Admissions and Financial Aid. After that we go back to meet the fencing team, watch their practice, etc.


Still trying to figure out a visit to UNC-Chapel Hill and DUKE universities. Not sure that is going to happen.
 

Doc

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Congrats to Mel Sounds like you will getting more frequent flyer miles. :clap:
 

Melensdad

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Notre Dame University visit today. Nearly 3 hours with the coach, follow up meeting at Summer Nationals, and she got invited back for a 2 day visit as soon as the school year starts so she can attend classes and visit with the team. Coach told her he will basically get her into the school, wants her on the team, but didn't promise any scholarship. We also went to the orientation, campus tour, ate at one of the dining halls, etc etc... Great day for her.

Notre Dame was her first choice school when she arrived in the US, then it completely fell off her list of choices. Now after visiting a bunch of schools, and spending the day on campus today, it seems to have elevated into the top 5 choices.
 

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Melensdad

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Looks like Notre Dame likes Dasha... at least the head coach does.

He is looking for some scholarship $$$

This arrived last evening!
 

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Bamby

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Shes is really lucky you've chosen to take her under your wing. I full well know that my parents could't have helped me financially as far as your help has allowed her to go.

But I've a question on sports such as this sport. Where is the money and the financial rewards for their dedication to the sport. In ordinary sports a person could turn pro but fencing, swimming and some others where do the rewards kick in to feed and cloth yourself and keep a roof over your head.

Or is all the effort and training come to nothing in the end?
 

Doc

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Just my opinion but I think all sports help us develop and grow in ways we would not have otherwise. No financial benefit. Like many others, I played baseball and basketball when I was young. I rowed on my HS crew team for four years. Got to travel and see things that I otherwise wouldn't have. I learned teamwork and comradery. Baseball skills transferred into adult softball and helped me make friendships at work and in community. I've also coached baseball, girls softball and youth basketball to help share my skills with young teams when my kids were growing up.

I feel there are and were many rewards for me because of sports, but none of them fed me or clothed me or put a roof over my head.

If Dasha's skills help pay for her college education that in itself is a huge financial benefit, besides the other benefits she will get from excelling in her sport.
 

Melensdad

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Scholarships, which are rare and limited by NCAA rules, are likely the biggest financial reward. A few are under contract to NIKE yo endorse their shoes but I doubt it pays much. Mostly it costs money.
 

Melensdad

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Today is the day we send Dasha away to Boston.

We've been spending a lot of time with her these last 3 weeks of school. She's been spending as many nights at our home as possible. Taking her to family events, attempting to teach her how to play Putt Putt Golf, visiting some of Chicago's less seen sights and various local neighborhoods and haunts.

Dasha gets on an airplane today at 2pm to fly off to Boston.

Her next coach is someone I'm in pretty close contact with and he is aware of her current fencing issues that need some extra attention. His club can provide what my club cannot. He has several high level fencers who can challenge Dasha and his club is open 7 days per week for this month as his fencers train to attend the National Championships. He even arranged for her to live with a family that is within walking distance to the school she will attend and the fencing club.

The lovely Mrs_Bob and I will see her again in 1 month when we pick her up at the airport and take her to the National Championships. I expect that her fencing will be better 30 days from today than it is today because I've seen her skills drop due to lack of local competition.

After the competition she will return to Boston, then to Moscow and Kiev to renew her visas. She will return to Boston in August to start her senior year of high school. We will see her at some tournaments, and she may "come home" for some of the holidays? It feels like we are sending our "daughter" off to a distant college.

Pictures from the past couple of weeks. The guy in the photos with close cut black hair & beard is my friend Charlie Rohrlack, he has helped immensely with her coaching. He is a top US saber fencer, has been ranked as high as 13th in the US, has fenced internationally with the US National Team, earned a medal at every North American Cup event he entered and is a solid tactics coach. I owe him a great deal of gratitude for his assistance.
 

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pirate_girl

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Best of luck to Dasha!
At this point she could write a book about her travels and experience in America.
I hope she keeps a journal.
:smile:

Bob, the upside down pics arghhh! Lol
Now sideways isn't so bad.
My phone goes flip flop.
 

Melensdad

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Didn't want to start a new thread just for an update. Figured this post 'qualifies' as travel with a fencing phenom...

I picked up Dasha at Chicago's Midway Airport yesterday, she flew in from Boston. Yesterday evening I took her to Notre Dame University for her "official" NCAA recruitment visit. Technically I took her to a hotel room across the street from campus and checked her into a hotel under my name (as she is still 17). No NCAA rules were broken.

After checking her in and taking her to dinner I drove back home*. This morning she starts her official visit. She will meet with the coach and team. She will be 'shadowing' a team member during some classes, attending a practice (not allowed to actually practice) and then spending friday night on campus with one of female fencers. Saturday the lovely Mrs_Bob and I return to campus to pick her up. We are also attending the football game. I arranged to take her to a 'tailgate party' in the parking lot outside the game with some guys I know who raise funds for scholarships. My brother is an alum of N.D. and he is going to walk her around a bit and talk to her about campus life, etc.

Saturday evening we return home. Sunday she goes back to the airport for an afternoon return flight to Boston.

* home is a bit less than a 90 minute drive from campus, but there is a 1 hour time change. I live in Central Time Zone and N.D. is on Eastern Time. She needed to be on campus fairly early this morning. Given the 90 min drive + 1 hour 'lost' for time change I didn't want to wake up pre-dawn to drive her 90 minutes into a glaring sunrise :smileywac It was just easier to drop her at a hotel last night.

I'm hoping this official visit moves Notre Dame to the top of her list. Currently she still favors Stanford as her 'dream' school. She likes a couple east coast schools. Notre Dame is in her top 5. Not sure which schools may accept her; N.D. seems to like her because they are recruiting her. It would have her close enough to 'home' that she could visit for holidays.
 

Melensdad

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Had a great meeting with the ND coach on Saturday. He pretty much guaranteed me that he could get Dasha into ND with her academics and he pretty much guaranteed me that he can get her a decent scholarship. And I'm not her parent so I'm just a conduit for all of this and coach really needs to have a real conversation with her mom. I've already written to Dasha's mom, she has already replied and everything is now in process for her to call coach with the background information I provided. I believe that Dasha still prefers to attend Stanford or Columbia if either is possible, but Notre Dame is very close to the top of her list.

Dasha was escorted down to the sidelines of the ND -v- Virginia football game. She got to see the opening kickoff from the sidelines. She then went into the student section of the stands to sit with some of the fencers she met on the team for the first quarter. She joined us during the second quarter of the game.

Put her on an airplane this afternoon to return to Boston. We will see her again in early November in Milwaukee and she is invited for Thanksgiving, but we don't know if she will be able to make it back here for the holiday.

She is wearing a yellow jacket on the sidelines, the coach is wearing a white shirt. When it was time for the kick they moved farther up the field so they had a better view.
 

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Melensdad

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Bob, she wouldn’t be there if it wasn't for all your good work!


:ThumbsUp:
Thanks. What I did was the easy stuff, mostly a glorified chauffeur. She did the hard work being an amazing fencer and brilliant student.

I'm hoping she goes to Notre Dame because she will be close to 'home' but the reality is I hope she gets a chance to go to Stanford simply because that is her dream school. Notre Dame will push her hard for fencing, perhaps harder than she wants to work at fencing in college. Stanford's team is less competitive and will allow her to spend more time on studies. The way I see it she now has her one of her top choices so she can spend some time working on getting into her dream choice.

And her former high school coach pretty much hates me for helping to make things happen. Apparently I don't know what I'm talking about most of the time and I should not be allowed to influence teenagers. :bolt:
 

Jim_S

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If her former high school coach would look in the mirror she would see who is really the problem. :hammer: :hammer:
 

Melensdad

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Got an email today from the ND coach and am hopeful that the money can be found for Dasha. Coach asked me to get in touch with her mom and explain a few things, I sent off an email to her yesterday. Her mom and the coach had a conversation today. I think there is a pretty good chance for coming up with the funding that she needs now that the coach understands what her family can contribute.

Now to see if other universities can compete.
 
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