Makin’ the grade

Danielle Idland

Photo by David Robert

No cliques. No gossip. No lying to cover your butt when you’re caught roaming the halls between class periods. High school without the drama. Danielle Idland, a recent 18-year-old, has found that TMCC High has it perks. Aside from being able to take college level courses, which also earn a student high school credit, the atmosphere, Idland says, is much more mature. Idland did so well at TMCC that she’s one of two students graduating with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree. Idland will attend her college graduation May 23 at TMCC and her high school graduation June 7 at the Reno Hilton.

Why TMCC High?

I was in an honors program at Wooster that was basically eight college-level classes a day with homework every night, so I had no time. My mom finally said, “No. No more.” She said I could choose TMCC High School and still have that academic challenge and get sleep or that I could go to a traditional high school. So I chose here, so that I could still be getting ahead.

Were classes at TMCC harder than what you’d taken before?

Actually, everything was easier for me. I don’t think that would be the case for everyone. I actually think there are harder classes, but in my case there were only half as many. So, like I said, more sleep, and I like sleep.

What are you getting your degree in?

I’m getting an associate of science transfer degree, so that I can transfer to UNR as a junior in the fall.

Then you’ll do what?

Biochemistry.

So you like the scientific side of things?

I want to be a brain surgeon. I figure you’ve got to take some science classes to do that.

Why a brain surgeon?

Well, I’ve always wanted to be a doctor since I was, like, 2, and that’s never changed. Then my sophomore year, I was doing this project for an English class. It was about the brain, and I was like, “Yeah, the brain!”

Who’s your idol?

My little sister. She plays Pop Warner football. She plays with the boys. They treat her so poorly, and she never lets it get her down. I mean, she and my brother were on the same team, and he didn’t talk to her for the entire season, not even at home unless he had to. She completely ignores it and gets right back out there and plays, and she’s really good. I see her going through all this hard work to live her dreams, and I’m like, “Yeah, I need to work hard.”

How are you feeling about going to UNR?

I’m not too nervous because going here has taught me a lot about the college atmosphere. I’m very excited because I’m also moving out in July.

So are you going to be living on campus or in a house?

I’m going to move into Wolf Run Village, which is student housing but not through the school, which means they let me live there all year, which I like.