School is (sort of) open

School is (sort of) open

School starts this week. I am wondering if I listen closely enough, I will hear the collective screams of joy coming from the parents who have had their kids home since March. Can you imagine what that will be like? Of course we love our children and we love spending time with them, but enough is enough.

Since I have no more little ones at home, I am wondering if there were secret parent WhatsApp groups that discussed agreements to pay more tuition, just so the day schools all would agree to open. Discreet packages of hundred dollar bills left in the mailboxes of principals around town. Please. Open schools. I will dress my child in a government-approved hazmat suit. Just get the kid out of my house. Please.

I have been talking to some people about their kids’ schedules for the year. Let’s say you have three kids in high school. Each kid has one day at home where they Zoom learn and there is another day that rotates, with each kid taking a turn to be home for Zoom learning.

I develop a math headache just listening to this. What about the parents who are not organized? I can’t figure out simple calculations. I am convinced that there is a reason why I don’t have any kids in school. I would never be able to figure out their schedules.

And forget about carpools. They are disasters waiting to happen under the best of circumstances, but a rotating schedule adds a whole new element of crazy to the mix. When is my morning? Which of your kids am I picking up? Who isn’t coming home after school, but went to school during the day? Hello? Anybody? Help please!!!!

And I can only imagine the barrage of emails that were sent to each parent. The fun parents could have drinking games. Every time the principal writes the word “Cautious” or “hygienic,” take a shot of tequila. And every time the phrase “keep your child safe” is written, add a shot of scotch. That should get you through the morning!

I find it absolutely amazing that I have no children in school. I love being a part of the chaos! I love giving my unsolicited opinion on things that I have nothing to do with. What good is not having an editing mechanism, if I have no one to use it on?? (Except for poor husband #1…you gotta feel bad for the guy, having to live with me and all…)

This is my latest idea, and husband #1 fully supports me. I have decided to resurrect my high school transcript and my SAT and achievement test scores and apply to Harvard. You heard me. I am going to get into Harvard. How? I will tell you.

Since the schools aren’t technically open in the physical space sense, all of the kids are learning online, from either their homes or their on/off campus apartments. So my thinking is that there is no limit to how many kids can be in an online class at any given time. Which means that Harvard can accept more students than it usually does, because it doesn’t have to worry about filling up the physical space which, as I previously mentioned, is not being used.

Think about it. I am an almost 50 year old woman who has raised three sons more or less successfully, depending upon, of course, who you ask. I have a column in a newspaper, I have many extracurricular activities. Of course I barely passed chemistry or geometry, but those subjects probably are obsolete by now. My SATs were pretty decent and if you add up all three of my Hebrew, biology and math achievements scores, I think I might have a perfect score! Of course I will have to write a killer essay and really knock their socks off with my interview — but I think it is totally doable.

And I promise to get each of you a “My friend goes to Harvard and all she got me was this lousy T-shirt” shirt. Could you ask for anything more? I will let you know how that turns out. If I apply early decision, I will find out by Chanukah, so stay tuned!

In any event, I would like to wish all the parents good luck in navigating their child’s school experience. It is nothing like it ever was before, and hopefully soon it will never be like this again. Good luck and stay healthy!

Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck wishes her son #3 a very happy and healthy 20th birthday. She no longer has any teenagers and she is feeling very sad.

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