*This was the title of a regular column in my high school’s newspaper. To this day, I have no idea what it meant, not having been on the newspaper staff. There was a barn (useful as a storage space for athletic equipment, and as a convenient canvass for grafitti from rival schools) on the school grounds, but you could pretty much see it on any kind of day. I am sure there was some quasi-intellectual meaning that I am missing.
That is a really weird and long-winded way to say that I have been thinking about high school lately. I liked high school. I went to a big school (there were about 550 in my graduating class), but I had a niche of friends, neither popular nor unpopular, and I had fun. The benefit of a big school is that there are lots of activities, events, and classes to try, and I loved that.
The Jellyman did not enjoy high school. His family moved to Minnesota right before he started 9th grade. His high school was small and clique-y, and the clique was for people who grew up in that town. The Jellyman was out before he had a chance, and his friends were mostly from other schools. (He was a swimmer, and since the school was too small for its own team, he was able to meet people that way.)
As Raisin nears her 4th birthday, she’s due for a pre-kindergarten screening. Her slightly-freaked-out parents (she’s almost 4!? What happened?) are due for some decision making. Our house is located right on the border between two school districts, besides which Minnesota allows open enrollment**, in which parents can, with some restrictions, choose any public school for their kids. Of course, there are private schools, too, but our money tree isn’t quite mature enough yet for that to be an option.
Her kindergarten experience will not necessarily dictate her entire educational future, and even if it did there are so many factors outside our choice that in a sense we are rolling the dice. Still, as far as it is in our power, we want all of our kids to remember school the way I do, rather than the way the Jellyman does.
Did you like school? If your parents could have made a different choice for you, what do you wish they had done differently? What factors will you consider when making decisions about your kids’ education?
**Do all states have that?