On emotional whiplash

scrooge-mcduckSo.  Went to see this school.  Long story short:  it’s amazing.  Amazing.  And then we sat down with the director of admissions and the principal, who had led our tour, and I brought up the tuition issue.

Now, I was already aware of what their tuition was going to be for my son.  It’s… we’ll say considerable.  It regularly elicits a low whistle or a raised eyebrow from people when I tell them the number.  But the thing is, quality day care is amazingly expensive, and we’re already spending something like 90% of the cost of tuition at this place on day care, so the move from one to the other is not actually that extreme over the long run.

The problem is that I was expecting a move from $X to <$X when we moved beyond the preschool years, because preschool classes 1) are resource-intensive, 2) are tiny, and 3) contain two adults as opposed to one.  I was thus startled to hear that rather than going from $X to <$X, tuition beyond the first year is more like $1.8X.

X was already ludicrous.  $1.8X provoked open laughter from several people today.  We do not make remotely enough money to pay $1.8X.  That’s Scalzi money.  But goddamn, this is probably the best school I’ve ever set foot in, and they offer a fairly robust financial aid package, and the principal looked me in the eye and told me flat-out that they do whatever they can to keep their families once they get them.  And honestly?  Even if the boy’s only there for the first year and then we can’t get it together for the second, we’ve still got that first year.  Honestly, the ECE classrooms impressed me more than the rest of the building did.

So we’re gonna see what we can do.  Meanwhile, buy a book, goddammit, and if anybody out there is interested in optioning me for film or TV the rights will come cheap.

And then I went to my school, where this afternoon’s activities involved finding out that a student at another middle school had committed suicide last night and left a note behind that blamed some of our students for the bullying that led to her suicide.  Also, unrelated, I collected two bullets from one of our 8th grade classrooms.

Did I mention the other school offered me a job?  Yeah, that happened too.  And I had to turn it down because it wouldn’t pay me nearly enough to make my bills.

I’m kinda depressed right now.

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Luther M. Siler

Teacher, writer of words, and local curmudgeon. Enthusiastically profane. Occasionally hostile.

12 thoughts on “On emotional whiplash

  1. What a day. Working with kids can be really rewarding, but it’s also heartbreaking.

    We managed to get Little Jedi in a good charter school here, but NOLA is a maze of charter schools with their own application processes and requirements, and it took ages and lots of advice to figure it out.


  2. Oh, makes you want to just throw your hands up to surrender in some way. Hang in there. You’re doing great things. Kids would not make it without you. 🙂


  3. There is a japanese drama called desperate-motherhood about schools (worth a find) It is mad. Somehow you seem to have your sanity still


  4. What a day. No wonder you are feeling blue. I hope you manage to send your son to the school, if only for a year. I was trying to raise money a few years ago to send my daughter to a private school because she needed that opportunity. She’s a bright girl and gets bored when she’s not being challenged. It never happened, and now I’m being called into school more often than not because her boredom reflects in her attitude to her lessons. Things seem to be improving slowly, and we don’t have to deal with bullets in classrooms so I know nothing of the hardships that schools face in the US. Bullying and teenage suicide is prevalent wherever you live, and that makes me sad. I’m a little depressed now too.


  5. Bummer!!! Great to hear the inside scoop on the school, but sorry to hear that the deal didn’t work out. Well, you could always open a vegan restaurant… oh…wait…


  6. That is rough. Especially to offer but not offer enough to make it tenable, even with a tuition break. Just dang. Suicides are rough. We had a bad year once with that in my building.
    I hope you are not year round and have a summer break to ease into at least.
    Sounds like a great school for your boy. Still, if you are still shopping around maybe you will luck out and find a good one at a bit of a lower cost all the same? The expense of childcare really floors me as is…makes me wonder if Australia’s system would work in America?


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