I Don’t Know From Cars: A Hogwarts Story

I’ve said this before: I could send my kid to his school for the next nine years or I could buy a new car every year for the next nine years, or a really nice car every two years, which might be a bit more reasonable.  My current vehicle is old enough to drive itself and has 150,000 miles on it.  It looks good for its age, honestly, but anything even vaguely resembling a close inspection will reveal certain, oh, let’s call them beauty marks that make it clear that if I tried to trade this thing in I might well have to pay the dealers to take it off my hands.

I went to pick the boy up today and there was apparently some sort of athletic event going on, because the lot I parked in, which was usually empty, was full.  I get a weird sort of class anxiety whenever we go to big school events because you can tell from the parking lot that most of the people who send their kids here have tons more money than I do.  (And I should be clear: everyone there has always been perfectly nice.  This shit’s in my head.)

However!   It is mid-January.  In northern Indiana.  Everyone’s car is covered with road salt and sand and shit and looks like hell.  No one’s car looks nice in northern Indiana in mid-January.  Go ahead; take it to the car wash.  It’ll look like shit by the time you get it home.

I glanced at the car behind me, a dark blue or black station-wagon-lookin’ thingy, as I was heading into the building.  See?  I thought.  That person’s car looks like a piece of shit, just like mine.  You’re being ridiculous.  Stop it.  Those folks are like you.  Nobody rich drives a station wagon.

And then I got a closer look at the hood of the car.


Who else had no idea that you could spend a hundred thousand motherfucking dollars on a station wagon?


The end.

In which I am upset about a good thing

Hogwarts_coat_of_arms_colored_with_shading.svgSo the boy got into Hogwarts.  Which is what I’ll be calling it from now on.

He actually had to do the preschooler equivalent of an interview today, which was basically just my wife dropping him off for a couple of hours and them making sure he didn’t try to stab anyone.  I suspect the actual interview part of the interview was with us, not with him.  But at any rate: he’s in.  Next year my son will be attending a private school, nay, a private academy, that will cost me $car his first year and $muchnicercar every year after that.  And my salary is about to drop.  Rather substantially.

I’m conflicted.

On the one hand: like every parent, I want my son to get the best education I can provide him, and I’m willing to work harder to provide him with a better education.  On the other hand, I’ve spent almost my entire career in public schools– hell, I’ve spent almost my entire life in public schools– and working in them while refusing to send my son to one seems just a wee bit hypocritical.

The more advantages I can provide him with now, the more likely he is to land on his feet as an adult.  On the other hand, the first time he starts acting like he’s more special than the people who don’t get to go to schools like his I’mma slap him.

I’m not looking forward to the day where he finds out he’s one of the poor kids, and I’m even less looking forward to the day where I have to convince him he has no goddamn idea what poverty is.

There are not nearly enough children of color in his classes, and I don’t know that there’s more than one or two people of color on the staff.

They don’t do any standardized testing.  Well, okay, there’s one test in middle school.  But they pick it themselves and use the data for their own purposes, and it’s not the ISTEP.  No IREAD.  No second and third grade nearly entirely wasted on testing.

I’m not conflicted enough to even consider not sending him to this place, mind you.  We can definitely afford it next year.  The year after that… we’ll see.  It’ll depend on an awful lot of things.

Until then?  I think I probably need to spend more time writing books.  And maybe jobhunting.  We’ll see.


In which I bullet point

ostriches-head-in-sandJust  a couple of things that are rolling around in my head; do with them what you will:

  • President Obama did the right thing– politically, morally, and legally– by going to Congress for authorization to attack Syria.  I have no idea whether he’ll get it, but this thing where we just attack other countries without a declaration of war because the President wants to needs to stop.  That said, the AUMF is probably too broad, and for it to matter Obama’s going to have to pay attention to what Congress says to do, which he doesn’t actually have to.
  • Congress should say no, and Obama shouldn’t have wanted to do this in the first place.  Not one more thin fucking dime for bombs in the Middle East; I don’t give a shit what they do to each other anymore.  Chemical weapons, machine guns, eat each fucking other for all I care.  No more goddamn Middle East wars.  There’s no good outcome from this under any circumstances– we take out Assad and bring democracy to Syria, they’re just going to elect an Islamist government– so we shouldn’t do anything at all.  Let them solve their own goddamn civil war.
  • Humanitarians are no doubt thinking humanitarian things based on that last paragraph.  I initially supported the Iraq war on humanitarian grounds; look at where that got us.  “Fuck it” is now officially a position on war.  If that makes me a bad person, I can live with it; if that means tinhorn despots will continue to use chemical weapons to ineffectively kill relatively small numbers of people I can live with that too.
  • NICE OF YOU TO SAY “FUCK IT” WHILE PEOPLE ARE DYING, ASSHOLE:  Refer to “no good outcome” response.  Nothing we can do about this.  Bombing just kills more innocent people.  I’d prefer we not do that, and since there’s no viable positive outcome that means we don’t do it.
  • I was already aware of most of the information in this useful article except for the bit where we’re pissing Russia off, which seems like another reason for this to be a nay-nay war, as John Pinette might say.
  • Notre Dame’s first home game was yesterday, which meant we got our first onslaught of poorly-housebroken drunk asshole fucks after the game, two of whom were wearing shirts that said “SOUTH BEND FUCKIN’ INDIANA” on the front and something along the lines of “IF YOU DON’T BLEED BLUE AND GOLD TAKE YOUR BITCH ASS HOME” on the back, displaying the kind of grace and class I’ve come to expect from Notre Dame students over the years.  I considered throwing them out on the spot and settled for making them turn the shirts inside out, then managed to get into a minor Twitter fight this morning while making sure I’d gotten the back of the shirts right.
  • No demolition today in the bathroom; we’ve decided to wait until measuring is done and we have a timeline on the guy coming in to do the tile.  There’s no point in wrecking the bathroom early– possibly a couple of weeks early– when there’s so much else to be done before we can put it back together, even if a three-day weekend would be convenient.
  • Here’s the front of the shirt.
  • It’s probably time to potty train the boy.  There have been Constipation Issues this week.  I don’t like knowing about other people’s poops.
  • Making snow pea beef stir fry tonight.  I am hugely looking forward to it.
  • Looking less forward to having to wade through four inches of grading HOW THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN ALREADY.

Might add more later.  Whee!