Mommy and Goliath


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.


Samu's spare time, arranging "Angry Pigs" and photographing them
Samu’s spare time, arranging “Angry Pigs” and photographing them



Author: Namzola_Goodness

A Japanese-American who grew up in the streets of New York during the racially volatile 70's, Nami blogs with guts, heart and humor. Dysfunctional parenting, cynical citizenship of beer to wash it all down.

10 thoughts on “Mommy and Goliath”

  1. I wouldn’t disregard the Angry Pigs penmanship.
    I remember teaching English to Japanese kindergarten kids in Aomori. One of the boys was always doing his own thing – when I brought in writing exercise sheets to practise individual letters, the boy would write the entire alphabet instead of the letter we were concentrating on…his teacher scolded him for not obeying the instructions! Clearly, he was gifted!
    I got an email from his dad a couple of weeks ago, this particular boy is in his final year at Tokyo Denki University and is planning to become an electrical engineer.
    So, you never know where those Angry Pigs are going to take you…or Samu!
    Grace recently posted..Racism: To expose, discuss and educateMy Profile

  2. I’m not sure what your summer camps are like but over here, they’re actually pretty cool. And they’d better be, cause we’re paying out the ass for it! Two weeks of none stop fun, from 9-1.

    Christopher really enjoyed it lats year, so we’re doing it again this year.

    After that, The two of us are off to spend EIGHT weeks with my in-laws.

    Pray for me, will ya?!
    Diplo Daddy recently posted..Middle East Sunset: KuwaitMy Profile

    1. We have that in common. All the good camps with super fun activities (not just going to the park) and caring supervisors cost upwards of $100 a day. You know, that’s just too much this year. Biiiiig sigh.

  3. First of all, your kids ROCK. Noah is going to spend the summer watching Suite Life, the same episodes he’s watched every summer, because I’m working and refuse to take him (no where). I’m frantically looking at places for him to go and things to do and it’s $375 for two weeks and NO.

    Second of all, the little blue pill you mentioned…isn’t that Viagra? Worrisome.
    Kim Pugliano recently posted..T.M.I.My Profile

    1. Is Viagra blue? Did not know that. And obviously, you are not subjected to Matrix fanatics. Actually, $375 for two weeks is nothing. I looked at an outdoors camp and it was $420…for one week! Next year – Israel. Seriously.

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