Saturday, March 7, 2015

Junior Parents Night

I have to confess that I haven't always been a big fan of all the rules and regulations, policies and procedures at my daughter's high school. I've rolled my eyes at the dress code. I've complained about the number of (more accurately, dearth of) women authors on the English department reading list. I disagreed when they revoked the add/drop period. I despaired when they fired the arts administrator and used the money to install surveillance cameras.

So, you can imagine my confidence level as I attended "Junior Parents Night" last week.

But, guess what? I was pleasantly surprised.

The school auditorium was pretty full, with maybe 200 or so concerned junior parents. Make that, very concerned. Very, very concerned. We were there to hear about ... the college admissions process. OMG.

The guidance department ran the meeting, which lasted precisely 90 minutes (methinks they had done it once or twice before). There were lists and charts, standardized test schedules, reassuring anecdotes, and demonstrations of the online college search tool that each of our sons and daughters could access. There was even some humor.

The audience was having none of it. Not even when we learned that "Jane Junior," with her average GPA and lackluster SATs, could still choose ten schools to consider: two "safety," two "reach," and six "probable." Truly, looking around the crowd, I was taken aback by the sky-high level of anxiety and abject terror of my parent peers.

And we're still months away from applications and as much as a year away from actually receiving acceptances — or, gulp, rejections.

I wasn't feeling great, and would have bagged a less important event. But, my mommy-guilt got the better of any physical ailment. After all, if I skipped Junior Parent Night, I probably wouldn't be prepared to guide my daughter and then she probably wouldn't get into college and then she'd probably wind up on some reality show with the other beauty pageant moms who lived in her trailer park.

The probablies were positively terrifying.

Well, I rallied (as we moms do), and I'm glad that I did. Not because I now feel prepared to single-handedly run my daughter's college search. But, because I now feel like I don't have to.

The guidance department really seems to have its you-know-what together. The process starts next week. Juniors will set up their online accounts, receive their official (work-in-progress) transcripts, and fill out their "brag sheets." They'll take SATs and ACTs in May and June. Over the summer, they're expected to write drafts of their essays and visit campuses. By the fall, just like "Jane Junior," they'll have a list of their safeties, reaches and probables.

My jobs, which will include planning trips and writing checks, are much fewer and less mission-critical than I thought. 

And, I'm relieved.

So, in conclusion, I'm grateful to have been pleasantly surprised by my daughter's high school.

Now, if we could just get some women authors on the reading lists ...

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1 comment:

  1. One of the things that could get people anxious is the whole path to college. It can get tough, because a lot of things can play into it, such as the matter of finances. We hear a lot of stories about people who really struggle to get a bit of dime so they could enroll, and I think it's best if we open up as many avenues of support as possible for that. In any way, thanks for sharing that! All the best!

    Carlton Mclaughlin @ The Financial Solutions Network