I was going to blog some responding to Mrs. M’s links about corporate dollars driving people to bail from the profession on us. I had read her first link, and was already formulating some thoughts, but I had not seen the latest one. Gawd, what are people thinking? I will be back soon to talk more of  these atrocities, but tonight I had to attend the orientation meeting for parents whose kids will be frosh (I like that; non-sexist) at the high school in the fall. And I just have to comment.

(Aside: Really Mrs. M? FIVE SNOW DAYS? This time of year? OMG. Our “rainy” season has been basically over for weeks, and it was 78 yesterday. Don’t you love it when people from California do that? Is there ice nearby? I guess I could skate, but sheesh. You must be made of stronger stuff than I. I would not be a pleasant person to be around. Sort of like how I was tonight. )

OK, back to the “informational” meeting.

1. It was PowerPoint start to finish. And all but a couple of the presenters (the administrators and counselors) pretty much just read their slides to us. One, a former special ed teacher, seriously showed her roots by asking after reading a few lines, “Does that make sense?”

2. In a presentation that lasted an hour and a half, there was exactly five minutes left for questions. By that point, everyone was so tired and anxious to leave that everyone paused and thought three times about asking a question. There were three. Every single parent there had at least 10 they wanted to ask someone. About 20 might actually stick around after to hound someone. But then only they will know the answers.

3. Every single slide had at least one typo.

4. (See #3.) I learned a new piece of punctuation tonight. Maybe I should have a contest for what to name it. Check it out:


I’m thinking they should be called collipses.

5. (See #3.) One slide’s title was “What’s Different About the High School?” or words to that effect. And the first bullet point was, “We are a safe school.” Waitaminute Cowboy, what are you trying to say here? One of the deans there is married to my principal. Ouch. Quite a few parents brought their soon-to-be frosh to fidget and squirm like me, and a couple turned immediately to me and started laughing. So did most of the room. Not the turned to me part, I mean the laughing part.

6. The entire thing felt like an infomercial for the high school. I can’t even tell you how many times we heard how fabulous the school was and how fabulous the teachers are and how fabulous life is when you have a kid attending the high school. They even trotted out pieces of the choir and band to serenade us, a couple of kids reciting poetry (“We do Poetry Out Loud!”), a kid riffing classical stylie on the guitar, and an FFA kid reciting the creed of the FFA (they actually have a competition for that), a kid trying to excite us about taking Latin (my boy is signing up), the secretary of the ASB trying to take questions, and I’m sure I forgot someone. They should have just shot it as a video and posted it on the website. At least then I could fast-forward to the useful bits.

7. At least when you sit through one of those time-share pitches, you get a nice dinner or cocktails or a prize package or something. I got a sore heinie and some words from the wife about eye-rolling and fidgeting.

8. What I learned: It’s a fabulous school, everyone really loves working there, there are a lot of electives and co-curricular activities, to make sure to check the website and the daily bulletin, to make sure be involved and communicate with the school and the kid, a couple of dates that I could look up on the website, some info that was already in the packet sent home, and that everything good there has happened in the last two years. Oh yeah, it’s a fabulous school.

Can’t wait.

PS: The boy’s mom is already freaking out.