Thursday, August 5, 2010

High School Blues

Yesterday I went out to Office Max/Depot/Staples to purchase my go-to organizational tool for all projects that require simultaneous tracking of numerous variables, the collection of various important pieces of paper and that greatly enhances ones ability to make a final informed decision based on the collection and organization of these aforementioned articles.

The ideal tool, you might ask? Well, the mighty plastic envelope folder with the 12 sectioned interior complete with colored tabs and elastic sealing loop.

Why do you need this superior tool, you might ask? Well, yesterday was my own official kick-off day of the "Find-George-the-Younger-A-High-School" project.

This project could also be entitled "need-to-find-the-kid-a-high-school-since-the-schools-in-san-francisco-only-go-to-8th-grade-and-then-you-have-to-find-the-right-school-for-them-even-if-it's-public-cause-the-idiots-that-manage-the-SF-public-schools-thought-it-best-that-ALL-students-apply-to-public-schools-by-lottery-and-since-that-doesn't--work-out-for-any-of-the-students-odds-are-we'll-be-paying-tuition-for-a-private-school-that-is-tough-to-get-into-and-require-some-serious-planning-and-whatnot" project. But, that's a little wordy don't you think?

So, yes, as George the Younger enjoys his last days as a camper in the wilds of New England - I have been making various strides in the high school search 2010. I have registered him for open houses, shadow visits and scholastic aptitude tests. I have written letters and filled out applications to ensure that he gets additional time on those aptitude tests. I have started filling in the calendar with the dates of independent school fairs, alumni nights at his current school and public school fairs. And, I have labeled 9 of the possible 12 tabbed sections in my handy-dandy super organization plastic folder.

For those not here in the Bay Area, there's something you need to know. There is no such thing as a "neighborhood" public school. Every child from those entering kindergarten to those entering middle school to those entering high school needs to APPLY for the priviledge of attending public school. And statistically you have about a 1 in 40 chance of getting in the school of your choice. Those odds are give or take - depending upon the specific school. I spent a good chunk of time yesterday on the SF Unified School District's web site looking at high school options. For George the Younger there are really only 2 viable options. He doesn't have a holy hope in hell of getting in to either of them. Drat.

The remainder of the day I spent muttering to myself - sometimes even audibly to others around me. Mutter, mutter - who in tarnation thought this was a workable system - grumble, grumble - why are the very people who pay the highest taxes in SF the very people who have the least likely chance of getting in to their school of choice - mutter, grumble - the ranking criteria is RACE blind, but it is sure as heck isn't socio-economic blind since the first 5 criteria for who gets top priority has to do with socio-economics -- bitch, moan, grumble - - and since there is no neighborhood school, there is no neighborhood pride or community feeling - - mumble, groan..... And so it went all through the day. My republican-ness was clearly rearing its ugly head. (And obviously that head is still with me the following day- but I won't dwell. It is what it is and we will deal with it.)

What I do know is this. At the end of the day, George the Younger will go to High School. I don't know where - but I know that he will go. How do I know this? Because I am now the proud owner of the 12 sectioned plastic folder and good things come to those that are organized - -or at least expected things come to those that are organized. We will gather, we will assess and we will know the odds. We will look at independent, we will look at parochial, we will look at all the options. We will use the folder to all of it's organizational capabilities.

More importantly - the folder is BLUE. Blue symbolizes wisdom, confidence, intelligence and faith. It is also strongly associated with calm and tranquility. Did I know this before I bought the folder yesterday? Nope. But a few clicks on the internet and you can acquire oodles of information about the meaning of color. And, in the face of projects such as this color analysis can't hurt, can it?? Any port in a storm.


Stephanie said...

Red (the color of your face as blood pressure rises) symbolizes energy, speed and strength -- you'll need all of these. White (the color of your scalp after you pull out all your hair) symbolizes reverence, purity and simplicity -- kinda like church. You might need that, too. What is the color of "luck" as in good luck?!

wendy wisniewski said...

Ah Steph - how I miss you!

Jeanne Sirkin said...

Don't blame a "no neighborhood school you have to use the lottery system" on all Democrats, please. I hate vouchers, and I hate a lot of other plans to mess up ...uhh fix the educational system. I'm sorry for the pain and suffering you have to endure to do the very simple thing of finding a high school for your son (and then another one right after that). You could just move to Sharon, MA -- GREAT public high school! :)

2W3 said...

Ah, the policies of the self-loathing, wealthy of the Bay Area. You are living what the rest of country will soon be experiencing-it is called the redistribution of wealth. Hope and Change, baby!

wendy wisniewski said...

Ah yes - and since we're on the redistribution of wealth topic - doesn't Uncle Trip want to pay for his favorite nephew to go to private school here in SF? Only $35k a year baby!! Better you give it him than someone you don't know....