I've been feeling a little sad, so I thought an easy remedy (or not, who knows) would be to enter a post here.
I am still engaged, Canada Man has moved in, we are doing the paperwork then ceremony very soon. I am very happy about that. And I know, I know, I said it would be in the summer, but the recession happened, and well, just get over it. We're adults with lots of time.
Alex is still at B-school. It's been a rough three years. Would I do it all over again? I do not know.
The first year, A was bullied by his roommate. The bullying consisted of A being locked out of his room during study hours, A being told he "doesn't belong here" (at the B school, apparently, because he was not as financially well-off as the roommate), and finally the roommate ramming an oar into my son's back. That was the last straw. I photographed it and showed it to the Head Dean. My son was promptly moved away from the roommate and into his own dorm room. All the while, the school administration emphasized how "delicate" the matter was, and how they needed to communicate the matter to the roommate's parents who pay full tuition, and who generously endow the school. "Ms. Maitresse, it is a very delicate matter, and I hope you will allow us to handle the matter at our pace." Apparently, physical violence does not mitigate the "delicateness" of dealing with Wealthies. It took seven months of complaints for the school to allow my son to move away from the bully.
The second major problem was a French teacher assessing A's French abilities as being "equivalent to a First Year student." When I requested that A re-take the French placement test, and explained that he was likely tired when he took the placement test. He had taken four or five that day. B-School declined his re-taking the test. I invited the B-School French teacher (who is American) to discuss A's placement with A's previous French teacher (who is French). The B-School teacher declined. A studied Mandarin (Chinese) that year.
The following year, A applied again for French studies, and was placed in the 5th-year French studies level. Nothing had changed during the Mandarin studies year. He simply re-applied, was assigned a different language evaluator, and was placed in the French course of his choosing. This year, A is studying AP French.
Junior and Senior (this) year at B-School. Oh, where do I begin. When the Head College Counselor informed us that "homeschooling studies don't count" in the eyes of American universities? (of course, I sent the CC office the college survey info that you can find on the right here on my blog). Or when the college counselor informed us that A had to take the SAT last January, when A was a Junior and when A wasn't yet ready to take it, "because all the other students have, and [my] son will be left behind"? (I informed the college counselor that I never took the SATs myself and was admitted to the University of Miami, and that I thought A should take the SATs when he's ready. There was a lot of back-and-forth on this). Or when the college counselor completely ignored A's interests (Photography, International Studies and Sciences) and suggested that he "should attend that college on Staten Island" because compared to the other students at the B-School, his scores don't stand a chance for placement at USC, NYU or any other competitive undergraduate college. Gotta love when the college counselor really doesn't believe in your kid. (On this note, we have yet to see where A will wind up.)
American boarding schools, I have found, prefer that parents stay very very far away from their students' affairs at their institutions. Unless you have lots of cash.
My boss at the Network has also been incredibly difficult.
I long for the days when I could blog all day and sit with A and help him with his studies and do our little Bohemian activities like knitting in the East Village together. And worry less about things.
On a positive note, A spent the past summer in using his B-School science scholarship funds in northern Ethiopia, photo-documenting and videotaping physicians and patients at a cluster of malaria clinics. His photographs gained him admission as an intern to the International Center of Photography in New York this year. He's enormously pleased with this bit of personal achievement, and I am very happy for him.
Oh, A also won a playwrighting award. Stephen Sondheim's signature appears right on the award certificate. A got some cash out of it, too. Woot!
Anyway, how are all of you?