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April 24, 2012 / Nautical Mom

Answering the big “why”

Ok, so I haven’t written in a long time mostly because we’ve been in the bvi’s: it has the best snorkeling, but is still rather mundane compared to our adventures thus far. Another big reason for radio silence is that we’ve been preoccupied with plans going forward.

The other day I came across this NY Times article citing their elementary school that clearly put into words a major reason why I’m out here: 500 kids selected East Side Middle as their first choice middle school and met the basic screening qualifications. There are about 100 spaces for incoming sixth graders. The applicants, 10 year-olds, are subjected to interviews, math tests, and personal essays.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/16/education/new-york-citys-tutoring-industry-grows-with-competition-for-admissions.html?_r=1&nl=nyregion&emc=edit_ur_20120416

Gigi has the grades, so at least she’d have a 1 in 5 shot. Am I wrong to pull her out of the running? Maybe. Is she being deprived of an opportunity? She thinks so. Am i being overprotective because of the potential rejection? No, she’s strong and could handle it.

Then there’s Jason’s classmates being tutored for a test they’ll take in a year. Not because they’re deficient or slow, but because their parents want them to be…what? Given every possible advantage? To what end? Higher and higher stakes feeding the next generation with a sense of entitlement and superiority to their endlessly sacrificing parents. And, at what cost? These kids are meant to be doing something better on a saturday morning.

The honest truth is that I cannot participate and thereby condone such a system. We (i think I speak for ej also here) believe in another way. In my utopia there is ample opportunity for individuals to reach there full potential without having to aggressively compete and defeat others. The land of the win-win! If we sail long and far enough, perhaps we’ll actually find it.

We’re off to Puerto Rico after Carnival on St Thomas. More soon.

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2 Comments

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  1. Liza D. / Apr 24 2012 2:22 pm

    Bear and EJ,

    I completely agree. What you’re giving the kids on this trip is something no tutor can possibly provide, and will undoubtedly have far deeper, further reaching, and longer lasting benefits for all of you. So glad you opted out of that lunacy. Your kids will thank you. Ironically, you are probably setting them up for two of the best college entrance essays ever written. xox, Liza

    • Nautical Mom / Apr 24 2012 8:13 pm

      Thank you. You are awesome and it does matter what you think.

      Sent from my iPad

      šŸ™‚ :)_:):):):):):):):):):):P:P:P:P:P::P::P:PPP:P

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