Last year, around this time, I was wigging out about the impeding summer break. Fretting over two whole months of maintaining reading levels while keeping my two monkeys busy enough that they wouldn’t choke the crap out of each other. This year? I’m counting down the last days of school – down to the millisecond – and I have no summer plans. I am done with planning.
This summer is going to be Summerish. Hot and lazy. Fun and spontaneous. Since Samu’s school is anti-field trips, we’re going to go on one every day. It’s going to be ridiculous – like his school. Ugh.
The Department of Education. Sometimes I wonder how we put our children in their hands.
Even McDonald’s is organized to reach the same standards for all their…whatever you call them (it’s not a restaurant. Restaurants serve food). But the DOE? Oi, vey. How does a department that’s obsessed with Common Core allow two public schools, separated by a mere four blocks, to have drastically different learning environments?
With “Common Core” a kid is ensured the same math curriculum should he move from Pennsylvania to Idaho. But if his family moves across the boulevard, he goes from a dozen field trips to one; two gym teachers to none and art, music, book fairs, evening concerts, baseball outings to – a crippling stomach virus. The education system isn’t concerned with consistency, content, instruction or even children. All they want is nickels and dimes and million dollar bills.
If I weren’t on the PTA, I’d be as blind to it as most parents are. It’s enough to make me wish I had taken the blue pill. Like glancing into the backdoor kitchen of your favorite Chinese restaurant on Mott street and seeing how your food looks before they smother it in black bean sauce. I’ll just have tea, thank you.
In dealing with the education hierarchies, I’ve learned, there’s never a simple yes or no answer. And if an answer makes sense, then it has to be put in writing so that it doesn’t – because it has to cover everybody’s ass from a lawsuit. Like an anti-depressant commercial, Lexapro can alleviate your anxiety because it might kill you, maim you, make you attractive to idiots and purple in the nose but sign the consent form before you forget why you’re taking it and it won’t be our problem.
Of all administrations, the DOE epitomizes a giant of giants – Goliath himself with armor that hasn’t been washed in months and no underpants to speak of. If you don’t get your shot right between the eyes and drop the giant on his face, you’re bound to be a slave for the rest of your kid’s educational life.
Take it from me, if you got issues, talk to other parents before you approach the administration.
With that said, I proudly announce that Samu – our very own monkey of a troll (or troll of a monkey) – passed. The Gifted and Talented test and the audition to the School of American Ballet. I know right? When just today his teacher spoke to me how instead of practicing his penmanship, he was drawing Angry Pigs.
For this summer, I may not have a plan – but if these boys keep up their antics by the time they’re ten, I’m sending them to camp. In Israel.