John Hopkins CTY Summer Program, Part II: a Teenager Gets Candid

(a teenager’s take on CTY Johns Hopkins Summer Program)


My teenager’s home. That means that I get to experience the grunting and the groaning in real life, and in real time; not just through the phone like we’ve been doing for these past 3 weeks.


I sat down with my oldest son – the older brother of the one featured here – at our local coffee shop the other day, and we had ourselves some lunch.

We got to talking, and I told him his brother had agreed to be interviewed for my blog.



The sides of a bridge, on our way into Rhode Island, to drop the boys off at CTY
The bridge, on our way into Rhode Island, where the summer camp was held


During the process of mastication – right around the moment my jaw snapped back into place to aid in swallowing a fork-full of arugula into the depths of my mouth-cave – a lightbulb flickered on above (my mind is always active, even while I eat!).


“What about you?”


I asked him, and turned to face him.

Iwatched him process the question, allowing him necessary moments to allow the words to fully sink in.


“Sure!” He knee-jerked.


(I had a feeling he would. They say mothers have a 6th sense. Or maybe no one really says it, but I do. HSP’s have it, too. If you don’t know what an HSP is, but would like to, I touched on what it is in my article, “Emotions Aren’t Just Baggage, They’re Louis Vuitton Carry-On”, which you can read at your own leisure here)


So just like that, my blog had itself a second interview about the Johns Hopkins CTY Summer program in a row!


The following is the transcript – pretty much verbatim – of what we discussed. As in the previous interview, I sprinkled in some motherly commentary in between (with pixie dust only we know how to dotingly sprinkle in..).




The Teenager, at Johns Hopkins CTY Summer Camp:


A sign that reads 'The New York State Experience' can be seen on our drive home from John Hopkins CTY Summer Program, Part II: a Teenager Gets Candid
Our ride back from camp, happily crossing state line with our ‘goods’ on hand; the boys.



Me: This was your 3rd year at the Johns Hopkins CTY summer camp (what is it? We’ll tell ‘ya right here). You seem to be enjoying the program, since you’re back for more each year. How was your summer this time around?

Him: It was good.


Me: Care to elaborate on specifics?

Him: The course was very interesting. CTY knows how to combine learning and fun at the same time. I got to learn new subjects while making new friends.

Me: *doting* (in fact, channeling her:)



Me: How do you qualify to get in?

Him: You can take any of several tests, and you have to get a certain score or above to make it.

Me: *Again, doting*




(Me: qualifying tests include the SAT, SCAT, ACT, or Spatial Test Battery. The SAT – note: essay section not required – is typically taken by those above 7th grade, and seems to qualify kids for more courses. I assume that’s because it is harder to pass so require more rigorous testing and scores. With the SAT, you only need to score above a certain number in ONE section, rather than the standard two, for universities. There are also online courses, with different qualification criteria. For more info on qualifying, check out this blog, which covers the info.)




Me: So let’s cover the fun. What was some of the ‘fun‘?

Him: We got to participate in sports, watch movies, there’s a dance every Friday. You get a lot of free time to wander around and do your thing.


Me: Where do you sleep? How many roommates?

Him: It’s all luck: there could be 1 in a room, 2 or 3. If you do have a roommate, he’s in your class.


Me: What class did you take?

Him: Math of Money.


Me: Did you enjoy it? What were some of your takeaways?

Him: I did. I felt it was a good course to take because it applies to real life and helps you for the future. For example, knowing how to put money into savings, at a young age. We learned about taxes. About exchange rates and the topic of currency. (right about now I’m thinking I could certainly use some of his services..)



Dad and his boys: reunited with the gang, our first afternoon walk-down-the-street in a while



Me: Would you do it again?

Him: Yes.


Me: Did the fact that it was academic make it less fun?

Him: Yes. If I was playing sports all day, with same people, it would be more fun. But I appreciate mixing both.




Other pearls:


“It’s cool that you meet other people. IF you see someone wearing a CTY shirt outside of summer camp, you can have a convo with them.”




“I like being involved in a program that teaches you important topics you can use in your personal life.”



For more adventures, including family adventures that involve my sons, check out other blog posts or my new chronicles section, or my new YouTube channel, which gives advice on some of the cool activities we partake in, as a unit!



Closing sentiment from Mom:





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John Hopkins CTY Summer Program, Part II: a Teenager Gets Candid

Johns Hopkins CTY Summer Program, Part II: a Teen’s Reflection on the Experience