Interviewing for Schools… Yeah, Elementary School

11.30.11

Yesterday we interviewed for sixth grade. Yes, it was a we and yes, it’s a 6th grade interview that requires the presence of two parents and one fifth grade child. If you aren’t in Los Angeles or New York this may seem foreign and perhaps even silly, but if you’re in my area I assure you it’s just part of life.

We toured and interviewed yesterday and fell madly in love with a school that nearly replicates my middle school experience. Just after visiting the koi and turtle pond I heard “Jessica! Jessica!” and turned only to see my ex-stepsister who apparently works there, but I’d forgotten. It always shocks me to see her because although a 35 year old mother of two is standing in front of me I see only a smiling 12 year old with braces and a fondness for her thoroughbred. It wouldn’t really be an LA story without mention of one of my parents five weddings.

The interview went well. The school is clearly the right school for Alexander and now we just wait until spring time to hear back from them. Since he’d be leaving the K-8 school he currently attends there’s a small part of me that hopes he won’t be accepted so we don’t have to make any decision. Maybe they’ll be like, “We don’t really want any straight A students who got excited about learning Chinese. Sorry, we’re just more interested in some C students whose parents may or may not pay the bills.”

My tennis partner thought it was funny that we had to apply to these schools. She said, “Wait, let me get this straight. You’re going to go and beg to spend money for school when there’s a free one down the road?” My tennis partner has no children.

So today I’m sitting here panicking, and trying to shake the crazy off of me. I’m also looking at a few other schools, mostly because I was made to feel so awful about the money we’re spending on tuition.

Catholic school maybe? I attended one… on the days when it was too cold to go to the beach.

Oh also, Alexander brought a deck of cards with him for the interview and did a trick for the admissions officer. Enjoy these card tricks.

We Didn’t Pass All the Interviews

06.9.11

Jane’s Outward Bound application is officially complete. Yesterday she had a ten minute phone call with someone from their staff. She stood in the courtyard at school on my phone shuffling her feet, smiling, laughing and saying things like, “I’m kind of nervous about that but I’m excited too.” and after a lot of yeses and nos she kicked her heels in the air, handed the phone to me and sang out, “He said to tell you that I’ve been accepted.”

So Outward Bound is official and now I’m nervous about the flight. 10 days in the wilderness under a tarp doesn’t worry me but LAX to SEA is where I feel like things could go horribly wrong. I’m sure it’s just a feeling.

I had another interview this week with a landscaper, and it didn’t go as well. When you drive around Los Angeles there are these fabulous sun gardens that are full and bright and change with the seasons (few things change with the seasons here). Some of his most beautiful displays have little signs with a phone number on them. I called the number and was informed that I had to not let my gardener near the area, it would be a $1,200 install, $200 a month maintenance and they’d come out to examine the property and see if there was an appropriate place for the mini garden.

I shuddered a little at the cost but figured my husband would enjoy the pretty flowers  and he probably wouldn’t mind too much (although in writing this I realize he probably would). So I yes’ed my way through the phone interview and threw two very important men right under the bus. Mr G would have killed me for spending thousands of dollars a year on an annual garden, and Pedro would never be okay with another man tinkering in my garden, he gets irritated when I put in my own spring plantings.

The swank landscaper showed up and immediately looked annoyed. I have redwoods out front, and don’t I know that an English Garden requires sunlight? In the back I had something more loathsome, more appalling than redwoods. I have animals.

The interview didn’t go well. My garden and I were rejected, and we’ll have to be ordinary, non seasonal and covered in succulents, though I’ve recently discovered that Hostas love the space under the trees. At least Jane got what she wanted.