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October 13, 2014

Mr. Spy has reached the half century mark. To celebrate, we took AJ to a high school open house followed by an oral surgeon appointment. It was fun for no one, especially AJ, but still, maybe a little fun to think about the possibilities. The school was pretty spectacular. A long shot. Many fingers are crossed.

The high school application process has been a little discouraging. It’s going well, in most respects. AJ’s a good candidate. But it’s kind of depressing. We received this enormous tome of a catalogue from the Department of Education listing more than 400 schools in New York City that he could attend. It looked overwhelming. First we decided to rule out the Bronx and Staten Island, because they’re too hard to get to from here. And then we ruled out schools where fewer than 75% went to college. This didn’t seem like an unreasonable requirement to me, but it was stunning how few schools were left standing after that. Add in a requirement that a similar percentage be performing at grade level and there are even fewer. The number of schools where fewer than 20% are performing at grade level is alarmingly high.

This process is so complex and confusing. I nearly missed a deadline, but was saved thanks to AJ’s teacher/guidance counselor who talked me off the ledge by email one night. Her daughter’s a freshman in high school. She not only knows how to do this, she’s lived through it herself. It helps. Last Friday, I met Mr. Spy at a local bar on my way home from work. On the way in, I ran into all of AJ’s teachers. I stopped to say hello to his classroom teacher and to thank her for her email. “So does this process drive you to drink?” “You don’t know the half of it.” I saluted her with my beer. There may be more drinking this fall. I think I’m okay with that.

Checking my work email at the dentist’s office, I heard I’m moving out of my cubicle and into my own office. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I’ll have a door and a lot more bookshelves (which, if you could see my desk right now, you’d know is probably required for fire code). On the other, I’ll miss my view of the apartment building across Madison Avenue, the dogs that come out and sniff the air, the woman who waters her plants, the man who smokes cigars in his bathrobe. The sliver of Chrysler building I can see when I squeeze between my desk and the file cabinet. But still, my very own room. Maybe I’ll take a picture of the view and hang it on my new wall.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. October 14, 2014 8:57 am

    I’ve had offices with no windows before – as a result, I have a framed poster of a painting of a window with interesting things on the sill and lovely, magic time evening light outside.

  2. October 14, 2014 9:04 am

    Your very own room will be very good. I’m enjoying my new windowed office even though my view is a parking lot. There are squirrels and trees and sky. I know what time of day it is, I know what the weather’s like. It’s lovely. I think you’ll like it.

  3. October 14, 2014 12:42 pm

    a room with a door? how nice!

  4. October 14, 2014 3:45 pm

    Your own office with a door! How thrilling and how well-deserved! You won’t have to hear all the kitchen chatter anymore! But how will I know where to find you when I visit?

  5. October 14, 2014 6:25 pm

    Jill, my basement office in my old house had a wall of mirrors. I drew windows with a view of trees and flowers on it with a white China marker and hung curtains along the sides. It did the job. This room is not quite as dark. And Jenny, I am looking forward to being a little farther from the kitchen. But you will find me — I’m not far away. When are you coming to visit?

  6. the other theo permalink
    October 24, 2014 4:04 pm

    Too many of the places where I have worked are cube farms with poorly calibrated HVAC. Everyone with an office in such places is either too hot or too cold, based on the position of the thermostat (usually in another office or conference room) or the seasonal position of the sun. I keep my temperature comfortable cube, thanks.

  7. October 24, 2014 9:12 pm

    It’s funny you mention that, Theo. Our office recently put in a bunch of fancy new thermostats that play an irregular little samba rhythm non-stop. The sound drives me up a fricking tree. One of the best things about my new office is that I can’t hear the thermostat. So far the temp has been fine. We’ll see how it goes when the heat kicks on though..

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