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.