Desi always makes me think or smile or cry. Guess which one this was?
Originally posted on The Valentine 4:
My daughter entered public school last year. I was nervous about it. I researched schools, talked to teachers and interviewed principals right up until registration day. I considered homeschooling. I considered academic challenge, arts focus, science focus, and international baccalaureate. I read studies about the risks/benefits of overscheduling and excessive desk-work. I read memoirs and blog posts about women and men who were “too smart” going into kindergarten, and what that may have meant for their social development and consequent life-choices.
Like all of us, every parent, I wanted to construct for her the best possible school experience, the best possible future: Please just let her be happy, let her make friends, let her try hard and learn things and grow in ways she couldn’t grow at home. And please let her come home safe.
I think it was around Christmas break, when Danica told me they had “Lock Down Practice” at school. I was shocked, and I did a shit job of hiding it. Lock Down Practice? Here?!?! She told me how all the kids had to go hide behind Madame’s desk and make their bodies as small as they could, so Madame could look after everyone if something bad happened in the school. It made me think of atom-bomb drills during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and it seemed so antiquated, so ridiculous. I could not put together in my head that horror doesn’t care how well your school is rated, or how many mature trees grow on the property, or whether the parents’ mean incomes are appropriately represented in class-room support and material goods. Horror comes blindly, and blindly it kills.