Sunday, February 17, 2008

Avocado is the name of the game

Ok, so I had to get that last post off the top of my page. It was just too negative and sad for me to keep looking at. Rather, let's discuss what I am going to do if this child is determined to be a girl. By do, I mean, name. We have a handsome boy's name picked out (of which we are 90% sure will stick), but if by chance the ultrasound reveals a little lady in my uterus, we are completely shit out of luck. So, friends, leave me some comments with your pick on girls' names just so I don't have a totally empty list going into the doctor's appointment next week. Squishy just won't work forever.

And from the girl who has cried wolf for the past couple of weeks, I am proud to tell you that Squishy has finally made it's presence known and given me a few tiny jabs. We saw Definitely, Maybe on Friday night with our lovely friends A & M, and during some of the scenes I would get a little jab whenever Ryan Reynolds was looking particularly dreamy. I don't know if that bodes well for a male child, but quite possibly he was just making sure I didn't lapse into a deep state of overinfatuation and risk his happy family unit on a pipe dream of making out with RR for the rest of my life. Or I am completely making that up, and the burger I had for dinner was making me gassy.

Also, I received my newest Chicago mag late last week and just started reading it today. The main story brings parents together with Chicago-area kid-friendly activities, stores, and information. What really suprised me was the article on the Chicago Public School system and the kindergarten application process for your local CPS school. You have a couple options:

1) Send your kid to the local school in your 'hood. Your kid is automatically accepted.
2) Apply to a magnet school. These students are picked from a random computer lottery, and you don't need to live close to the school.
3) Apply to a magnet cluster school. This program can fill slots with kids from outside its neighborhood boundary and from the lottery.

The applications are due in December, and the notice of acceptance/decline is sent in March for the following school year. What I glean from this article is that the application process for KINDERGARTEN is highly competitive, when you're looking to send your kid outside your geographical boundary. The article goes on to suggest that the parents send letters to the principals of the highly-desired schools, and let them know why your kid deserves to get into their school, and why you want him/her there. I don't know about you, but if I was a principal receiving hundreds of glowing letters about 4 year olds who can read French, and write in Chinese, and do advanced calculus, I might shoot myself.

So, of course this led to a deep discussion between myself and Tim about the pros and cons of this system. The cons are pretty self-explanatory: its simple to get your kid into your local school, but near impossible to get him/her into the highly desired schools. An example the article used is the LaSalle Language Academy in Lincoln Park...800-900 apps a year for 60 spots in kindergarten. That's like sorority rush on crack.

Tim made an extremely powerful argument for the system though, one that didn't occur to me (I admit it, he's smarter than me). The fact that, as a parent, you actually have a choice when thinking about a public school for your child. That choice is not available to suburban parents, unless you go private. In the suburbs, you go to the school in the district where you live, regardless of how good or bad that school may be. In the suburbs, you might pick your home based on a specific school district, which can be limiting. In the city, your geographical location does not necessarily determine what school your child attends. That is a pretty powerful pro for the city in the city vs. suburbs argument.

This is not to say we're staying in the city forever. It just makes me a little more comfortable with the idea of staying here long enough to see Squishy start school. I have choices, though I don't usually do well under the pressure of those choices. At least we know the Latin School is out...$17,425 tuition per year for PRE-kindergarten makes me throw up in my mouth a little.

(all facts courtesy of Chicago Magazine, "It's Elementary", March 2008)

1 comment:

Ariana said...

I can't wait to feel the baby kick! I think squishy is cute. I can't think of any girl's names either so can't help you there :)