Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Kindergarten Enrollment

I have many memories of school admissions mostly unpleasant ones. The first time was starting kindergarten at what was supposed to be the best school in town. My mother was a woman on a mission - she would move heaven and earth if that's what it took to get me enrolled there. It turned out that she had a friend who had graduated from there summa cum laude. One summer morning, I was taken to be "introduced" to the school principal by mom's friend.

I remember the anxiety that clouded all discussions in our home about my kindergarten admission and my mother's painstaking efforts to prep me for the "audience" that I had been so fortunately granted. At less than four I had been tasked with making the equivalent of an elevator speech and work my way in. I could tell a lot was at stake on how I fared. I don't remember what (if anything) I was asked. Maybe the event and all that led up to it was stressful enough to make me forget.

Thanks to my mother's "connections" I was enrolled without having to jump through the hoops as I would have to several othe times in my life. School admissions have been associated with mom and I visiting schools, waiting outside the principal's office, serpentine queues of people waiting for admission forms, tests and the agonizing wait to find out if I had made it.

I enrolled J at kindergarten today. I had arrived before time expecting to see a long line of parents. The whole process took less than twenty minutes. J and the other kids colored and watched Barney as we parents completed the paperwork. They will have an orientation program in a few weeks and then another one just before school starts. The school
enjoys a great reputation and made a wonderful first impression on me and J. I could not help thinking about the contrast in our "starting kindergarten" experience. I missed my mother dearly this morning and wished her life had been easier.

1 comment:

ggop said...

J is lucky. The state of public schools in many school districts here in Silicon Valley forces parents to pray that their kids get selected in the private schools' lottery.

You won't believe how much desi and Asian parents cough up each month in the name of fees. :(