Monday, October 13, 2014

Middle school decision is a lot like ice cream

Something happens to me when I go to Kroger and stand in the ice cream section.  I become paralyzed by indecision, mouth agape.  So much to look at; too many choices.  Trying to manage in my head what is on sale while coordinating conversation with my stomach as to what flavor actually sounds appealing.  (This doesn't often work; I once bought blueberry-pomegranate chocolate chip.)

There is also the dilemma of considering what I think D would like.  I'm not making a decision for just one person, I'm making it for two (and possibly 5 since sometimes the kids like to try a flavor that isn't sprinkle-infused).

Sometimes, if my freezer is particularly full, I also have to wonder about size of container.  Will it actually fit once I get it home? Whether I have a coupon for it or not also comes into play.

I hate buying ice cream.

And I hate this damned school selection ordeal.  (And I say that knowing full-well it is a minor ordeal in the grand scheme of things.  Ebola in Liberia=really, truly big deal.)

In my lazy, ornery, "I don't want to play the game" heart, I want to do absolutely nothing.  I want to send N to our resides school and be done.  Allow my antidepressant to cease working overtime or to just work on Ebola-anxiety.

But, like the ice cream section, it gets complicated when one's child did test into the gifted & talented (G&T) pool, has awesome state-test scores and grades.  When one asks the teacher at conferences, "So, do you think we ought to apply for a magnet or optional program for N?" and are met with the statement, "Oh my g*d, yes!"  When other teachers bring it up to me in the hallway, suggesting we try to get N into certain schools.

It makes me think that I might be a bit of an idiot not to apply for a program that could potentially give her a little something extra, especially when the cost of doing so is her writing an essay.  (There is a slight cost to momma in "playing the game," but I need to get beyond that.)

What makes it more complicated is that N is 1-point away from applying to a special downtown G&T program, and though her school gives the G&T re-test in a week, there is no guarantee she will bridge that 1-point margin.  It seems a little too gambly to me to bet on something like this, a little too assumptive, and I'm highly risk-averse.

So we are left with considering the school that she has a really good shot at of getting into; not a magnet, but one that offers a little more than our resides school.  (This middle school is also the one that lots of parents at my kids' elementary school want to get into because they think it is head-and-shoulders better than the resides school, and that is the rub for me.)

This optional school is the one N wants to get into because her best friend is applying there, and though the adult part of me thinks wanting to go where your friends go is dumb, N is 10 years old, and I would be dumb to not recognize that this plays a huge role for her.

So that is where we stand today, 11 days since my last post on middle school decision-making.

I will be glad when rigor mortis sets into this horse.  

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