8.13.2009

moving on up

And here's the requisite "my kiddo started school today" shot:


I've felt like some kind of crazy obsessive maniac today- telling everyone I talked to that SG got on the bus today- but to me, she got on the bus... and vanished. It was the most surreal thing, for one hour in the morning there appeared all of these little kids in similar duds on every street corner in the city, and hundreds of these yellow monsters were roaming around and gathering them up. For a moment, I literally felt like I was in 1984. The conformity of public school frightens me, the uniforms, walking in single file lines, kids packed into a classroom in rows and all learning and doing the same thing. And of course I almost (almost) threw a temper tantrum when she came home with her homework folder and it has got ads in it. The fact that our school system has had to turn to corporations for money turns my stomach. But, I had conveniently put that detail out of my mind. Oh well. Such is life- it's a big fat grind right? I don't know. Sometimes I do think that it's all a big farce. I've always felt that way- like we're all just playing a weird role, and everyone knows that it's pointless, but we just keep doing it anyway.

Maybe I shouldn't have these thoughts when I'm sending my child off to a place of learning, I mean, she's super excited about it. But my memories of school dredge all of this up. And she's just so great- I don't want her to be ruined. She reads the dictionary for fun. She sets the table with water flavored with mint from the garden with cups that have bendy straws and strawberry garnishes. Her favorite band is the Flobots. She's original and neat, and at some point I know that the peer pressure will become too much and it will be us, the weird parents against everyone else, and then... who knows? Sure, I could send her to a school where all the parents are as weird as us, and then she'll live in a little bubble and still not be making choices for herself.

What I figure that I'm going to do, is just try to be a voice at her school. I'm going to make it my goal to get them a garden. And maybe start a chess club. Public school is what it is. We all survived it. Granted, there really have been some changes. Like the advertising, and the lack of P.E. and the school lunches are just dismal. I keep hearing all of this talk of how obese our children are and how there's now a one in three chance that a child born after 2000 will get diabetes- and then everyone points their finger at the fast food chains. Point them at the public schools for god's sake! If you take a child that eats both breakfast and lunch at school, where they get sausage pancakes and chocolate milk, followed by chicken nuggets, and (I kid you not) one of the "sides" was graham crackers? Then they only get P.E. once a week. What do you expect? It's those kids that don't have choices that really bum me out. As a society we should really be doing a better job protecting them. A six year old shouldn't have to "choose" between a salad and french fries, just stop giving them french fries. Seriously, people would care if they got to "choose" between reading and playing video games at school. I just want to be reassured that the place where she'll be spending most of her time, has her best interest in mind.

It's hard to send your little people out into the world, enough said.

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