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wWednesday, October 05, 2005


1752

APPS

I am staring at a computer screen.
Formerly I was staring at a manila folder
Of kindergarten applications.

It is not comforting to stare at the screen.
The screen is mostly white light.

The letters I am writing now are
Turned-off pixels. Coincidentally
I am feeling like a turned-off pixel.

What are your child's greatest strengths?
What about your educational experience
Would you like your child to repeat,
And what would you like him to avoid?

How does his experience in the family
Match the philosophy of our school?

I have some preformatted answers.
They feel like turned-off pixels.
I talk to friends and acquaintances
Who grew up here and who have
Instantaneous visceral responses
To the names of these schools.
I am supposed to complete these apps
In collaboration with my ex.

Mrs. Katz wore a scent I smelled at Saks.
I had half-day crushes, as well as
The more permanent kind. We played
Ring around the rosey, musical chairs,
And math workbook. I was good
At math workbook, except for the pages
With pictures of lengths of string --
Nobody had told me the shortest distance
Between two points is a straight line.
It came as a complete surprise.

When I asked them, as my father prompted,
Whether two minus four weren't negative two,
Suddenly I was doing math with second graders.

Driving back from a nursery school
Halfway between work and home
I put on some music. James says
Put on the song where they speak Spanish;
He means Pimsleur lesson one.

These schools run from $14,000 to $27,000.
The financial aid forms say
They can generally help families
With annual incomes up to $150,000.

Phone messages: "We should have done this last year,"
"That school only takes six kids for kindergarten,"
"Why haven't you done the applications yet."


posted by Jordan #