Vincerò! Vincerò! Vincerò!
I decided to visit our Homeschooling Coordinator (HC) in person. I had been forewarned by other parents about a mysterious "loss of paperwork" by the DoE and HC, so I diligently reprinted our Letter of Intent (LOI) and Instruction Homeschool Instruction (thingy) Paperwacky (IHIP) at work, and put them into an envelope. I then proceeded to put on my raincoat and leave the LOI and IHIP behind on my desk at the satellite radio company in midtown as I proceeded to the Homeschooling Coordinator's office downtown in Chelsea. On my lunch break.
I'd been told it takes "hours and hours" before you get your Metrocard.
Ten minutes later, on the 12th floor of the DoE, sitting in a regulation DoE blue chair, I turned to one very serious-and-sedate-looking homeschooling mom with her child. I asked her about the wait. "Between one to three hours," she said, matter-of-factly. Okay, forgive me, but anyone who WAITS for three hours for a card has either a) arrived promptly in the middle of the Homeschooling Coordinator's lunch break (which, mind, she is entitled to take), or b) is seriously taking from the tokey bin if you do not let the desk clerk know that you have other things to do. Besides. Wait. Three. Hours. For. A. Subway. Card.
Serious-and-sedate-looking homeschooling mom (SASLHM) also informed me that yes, they have been losing all our paperwork, and there was no way she'd trust the coordinator to receive paperwork on e-mail. I had told her that I sent our LOI and IHIP via fax, certified U.S. Postal Mail, and e-mail. Last week the HC had confirmed to me that she received all three. I asked SASLHM about her daughter. "How old?" I asked, politely. "Oh, she's an old soul," she replied, and turned her back to me. I looked at her daughter. I gathered about nine years old, old. I decided not to talk to SASLHM anymore.
I waited 25 minutes. And then I announced to the desk clerk that I work for radio, and am on my lunch break, I am a working taxpayer, this is ridiculous, please take my number back, thank you very much, I'll come back tomorrow at the cock's crow.
It was on the elevator that I realized my umbrella was still on the 12th floor. I was rapidly approaching the first floor. Presto-chango. Back on the 12th floor, soggy umbrella in hand, I heard my name called.
"Ms. LaMai? and Ms. Thing. and Mrs. Thing, please come inside," was the instruction.
"Oh , no," said a desk clerk, "She gave her number back."
"Erm, no, I'm here. I'll go in," and I did.
The HC had all my paperwork before her, brought from her office (I had forgotten mine back at my office, remember) organized nicely into a pile, and one document was clearly printed off of e-mail. It was DoE paper.
"Is there anything that we, the homeschoolers, can do for you? Maybe to help you get an assistant?" I asked. She was embarrassed at the offer. And despite the chaos, was incredibly calm. She is in charge of over 3,000 families -- not students, families. She gave me absolutely no grief. I held her, hugged her, and she reached to kiss me on the cheek.
We have our Metrocard.
Dilegua, o notte!
- Calaf in Nessun dorma, Giacomo Puccini.