Tuesday, March 9, 2010

a different kind of crazy

My deadline for turning in the school choice forms is this Friday and I am still undecided.

When Maxwell was going into kindergarten I started feverishly touring school in January and had the form all filled out by March 1st.

I had a really clear idea of what was best for him, even thought  we didn't get our our first choice magnet school, and the second choice one we did get turned out to be a absurdly disorganized, unfocused mess and  totally SUCK.  (We wound up moving back to the neighborhood program in 3rd grade).

With Freyja I feel really conflicted and undecided and confused and a little sick inside.

We have a number of good choices, but the stupid lottery system is such, that for our top two school if you don't put them in as the first choice, then you get nothing.   The whole lottery system for academically focused programs is stupid anyway, but testing in was eliminated a few years ago to make things more fair.

Mark isn't being helpful at all.

Welllll both schools are goooood. 

Sorry Charlie, that is not helping!

He would be completely fine with sending her the five blocks and across the football field to our neighborhood school.
It is a perfectly fine school.  In fact it is a pretty sought after school in the lottery.

Why can't I feel ok about it?

Why must I feel driven to send her to one of the focus options

Because I am an intensely competitive person when it comes to getting the very best for my children and the notion of them not having the very best all the time, regardless of how unspecified the best might be, drives me nuts.  

I have been bitter for years that Maxwell didn't get our first choice when he was in kindergarten, even though he tested in the 99%.  It enraged me every time I thought of it.  In fact it still pisses me off.  Instead he got our second choice, which turned out to be a mess and I am still bitter about that whole debacle and at having to switch schools, despite taking so many pains to make sure his placement was well thought out and done with research and care.

So here I am again, six years later, in the same soup, worrying that I am making the wrong choice.



  1. for whatever it's worth, and it's not much - my sister is also an intensely competitive person and she sent her kid to the school just a few blocks away from home. and it's the school all the other parents try to get their kids *out* of. because i think she understood that learning and academics are up to the kids anyway and that schools aren't really places for learning as much as for socializing, and the neighborhood school - being one of the poorer ones - means that her kid gets an extremely diverse population of classmates to interact with, which is one of the few things school can offer with any confidence.

  2. oh, and i meant to say also that she's never regretted it. and sending your kid to the nearest school has a lot of practical advantages that you may not even appreciate until maybe you don't have them.