Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Schools on Parade

Today began week two of the exhausting event known as "Tour My School." Parents line up in their best clothes and pressed smiles, and try and make a good impression on the principal so that their dear ones will be picked to play.

9 am. A school favored among the hipster parent crowd I will refer to as The Globe. Considered an alternative choice -- a small 300+ school for six grades that shares the same building with 3 other schools. The (s)mothers that show up? Dressed in black: tunics over jeans, boots, shorn heads, sneers laminated on their faces. The director (no principals here) recites her philosophy -- how children learn best by setting their own pace, creating their own challenges. How traditional schools make our little preciouses drink the "kool-aid." (Wait, I like kool-aid...)

Milk crates serve as storage bins. No library to speak of, hallways doubling as work spaces. Kids store their books in zip lock bags. Post-its for book marks. (Uh, can't you at least steal the free ones from Borders?)

10:45 am. I race to the one private school I am considering, arriving 30 minutes late. Parents sit in a circle listening to the director explain that anyone in a bitter custody battle should provide the school with appropriate paper work so that they know who to release their child to at the end of the day. 'Kay.

I see Marc Jacobs bags, Jimmy Choo pumps, one (s)mother murmurs to her coiffed hubbie how they can just pay the babysitter an extra $100 so she can stand in line on sign up day, and they don't have to hurry home early from their skiing holiday. Of course the classrooms are beautiful. Not just masking tape for art projects -- rainbow masking tape. A recent project? Making oil prints. These are the four-year-olds. Cost? $8000+ a year.

Tomorrow I actually have to choose my first choice for the rabbit's school NEXT September.

When you never fit in a box yourself, how do you know which one to check for your child? Should she go to school with Courtney Love's kidlet? Or Sarah Jessica Parker's?


Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

School is so much scarier than daycare or any of the other things you choose for your babies when they are still just that. I'd probably lean a little more to the Courtney Loves - but it's really just a different kind of coiffed, isn't it? Good luck with the choices you have, I feel your torment!

Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

ps - if you have any tips on how to make work properly I'd be grateful. our link will only read from our other recipe blog and is ignoring other lovely places who've linked us, like you two!

Kelly said...

Sounds like a rough go either way.
You are right though...
How are you supposed to choose for a kid who is only four?
Are there any other options?

bangkok expat mama said...

"When you never fit in a box yourself, how do you know which one to check for your child?"

beautifully put, MM. in this sentence you've distilled a mind-blowing quandry.

Manhattan Mama said...

Hi Bec, I'm going to refer the question to YLM -- she's a little more tech savvy on this stuff than me. I'm a Coutney gal myself but does that mean the rabbit is?
I agree Kelly! And actually the rabbit's not even 3 yet!
Thank you BEM for your note --
I actually ended up signing up for a different place that I never wrote about -- although they won't even tell me the answer until March (!) So, I'm tricking everyone and applying across the board. That way I just postpone the pain of having to make a choice....

SamSinister said...

And just for fun, consider that the choice won't last long. After a scant coupla years the problem of Middle School rears up and spits at you out of the mouths of multiple imperfect campuses (campii?).

And about checkin' that box. We never did fit in any box. But you need to teach your kid/rabbit about boxes, and that's your job as a box-less mama (at least that's how I've taken it on). Enjoy the ride :-P

(By the way -- 38, eh?)