Wednesday, January 11, 2012

school daze

Ok, so I've completely abandoned you. I'm shit. I know it. But if we're going to be friends you're just going to have to understand that from time to time, I'm going to drop you like penicillin drops the plague. It's not personal. It's the cray cray. I wonder sometimes if I did drugs, if I would be able to juggle everything better. I know that sounds counterintuitive. Not a lot of junkies out there that you think "man she has REALLY got it together!". But I just mean you, know, a little dabble to take the edge off...Go ahead, you know you are thinking it. Mother of the year.

Which brings me to the pursuit of knowledge, the search for the right elementary school, or as I like to think of it, the one decision that we make that will possibly influence, the way he learns, the way he feels about school, learning, teachers, and KNOWLEDGE. Whatevs, no biggie. Someone pass the joint, because I am FUCKING FREAKING OUT. But you know, quietly, in a suuuuuper dignified suburban way. I'm asking questions, I'm taking tours. I'm learning about things like "singapore math", and "dolch words".

The thing is, and I know you're thinking it, I know that Nipper and I will be the biggest, most formative influence on how he feels about school, books, learning, etc... But if we choose wrong, or he doesn't get in, I'll feel like maybe we missed an opportunity for everything to be perfect. There I said it. Saying it out loud, is the first step right? I'm Marija, and I keep trying to make everything perfect. Someone please send me a vaporizer. Mommy needs to go bye bye.

We are trying to get him into a good neighboring public school, but don't know if that's going to work out. So we are looking at some privates (that we can't really afford). Yesterday we toured a school that shall remain nameless. It was not for us. I don't want to say I knew it when we were still in the parking lot... But very shortly thereafter. I had to leave half way through the tour, at which point, I was more than sure it was not for us. There were 4 parents of currents students on the tour, with 4 of us who were looking. It was awkward. They were trying too hard. It was like a super awkward group date where they kept grinning, saying how great it was going, and all I wanted to do was go home, put on my buffet pants and watch The Daily Show. The director was a dingbat, and the second grade teacher wore so much perfume, her classroom smelled like church on easter sunday. And for all of that you could have the privilege of paying $16,000 a year. For Kindergarten. And for the uninitiated $16k is at the low end of the "independent school" tuitions. (I guess we've decided "private" sounds too much like we might be excluding someone, and we all learn in pre-k that we never ever exclude anyone...)

At the end of the tour, Nipper said they were standing in the small courtyard  between the classrooms and the modular buildings that make up the school. Oh...yeah...where do you think we are, New England? For $16k, you get a smaller class size, maybe p.e., perhaps art of foreign language, in a school that is usually located in an abandoned public school, or worse an old office building. "But OH LOOK AT OUR PHILOSOPHY!" So they are standing around talking, and the 5th and 6th graders are having their "recess" in this squalid courtyard. One of the parents on the tour asked the director what is their "conflict resolution system"? The dingy director prevaricated briefly, which is shocking, because these things are usually so ingrained in their spiel, it's like they are DYING for you to ask. Then said, they didn't really have one (gasp), as their kids are really good kids, and they don't have incidents often enough to warrant a whole system.

As she was speaking, Nipper looked beyond her shoulder where a wild eyed 10 year old was pounding his fist into an open palm at a fellow student in a menacing manner. The only thing better would have been if he'd dragged his index finger slowly across his neck and mouthed "I will cut you".