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Biting my nails

January 13, 2013

It’s my turn to write, and has been for a few weeks. I apologize.

In my defense, I’ve been working on my Flourish Through Divorce workshop (with special guest: LOD) and freaking out about turning 40 and finishing my previous semester and then starting my last semester of business school. And the kids were with LOD for 8 days over Christmas, so I didn’t have much to report.

But now, well, now we’re dealing with a kid who is in fifth grade at a K-5 school. Which means we need to find a middle school for him. And we’ve got a bunch of options, and have only successfully eliminated one. I have my favorite, but we don’t really know until we go through the process at all the (non-eliminated) options and then get in to a school. And part of the process for some of the schools includes writing essays.

You would think that writing admissions essays for middle school would be super-easy when both parents are writers. And I suppose it’s easier than it would be if we were afraid of writing essays. But LOD and I met when we were both teaching people to take tests and write essays to get into undergraduate and graduate programs. So we have two chefs and no workers. And we each want to write a certain way (and, as you know, we have massively different writing styles) and with a different tone and flow. So this has turned into a comedy of “you write these essays and I’ll edit, and I’ll write those essays and you edit.” And then we edit back to closer to our own writing styles, and go back and forth about what we really want to say.

It would all be silly and not worth spending time on, except that it’s my baby, and this decides the school he goes to for the next three years, while he’s going through puberty and figuring out who he is. So it feels high stakes. And I don’t want us to mess it up because his parents are playing King of the Castle with the essays.

So. We write, and we edit, and we submit, and we wait.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. Natalie permalink
    January 14, 2013 2:30 am

    The PARENTS are the ones to write the admission essays? Huh? Kids are admitted based on the writing ability of their parents, and not their own skills and personal aims? Not that any 10 year old should be held to selling themselves to get a spot in school, but still, if they’re looking for ability, didn’t the kids themselves have to do that in the olden days?

    • askmoxie permalink*
      January 14, 2013 1:54 pm

      It’s middle school. The kids are 10. They ask for essays from the parents, yes, just like they did for preschool. I’m assuming by the time it’s time for high school they’ll ask for only essays from the kids.

  2. SarraJK permalink
    January 14, 2013 9:03 am

    Wait, so the parents have to write an essay for the kid to go to a middle school? My head just exploded. Is this normal?

    • askmoxie permalink*
      January 14, 2013 1:56 pm

      Some do, some don’t. It seems totally normal to me, but then my kids started going to school in NYC where it was all kinds of interviews and essays and every kind of measure imaginable to get into school. This middle school process seems incredibly laid back to me, actually.

  3. Molly permalink
    January 14, 2013 1:39 pm

    Why are “we” writing? That doesn’t strike you as inappropriate? It seems to me that “we” don’t belong in that process and “we” have lost all sense.

    It is not going to work out perfectly. Accept that, back off, let your kid do his own best. Support is not writing, editing, etc., for your kid.

    • askmoxie permalink*
      January 14, 2013 1:55 pm

      Molly, obviously the system is different where you live. Some of the schools ask for essays specifically from the parents.

  4. Ani permalink
    January 14, 2013 2:03 pm

    Given today’s marriage realities and blended families etc etc etc…would they consider two essays? Seems to me, from the standpoint of the school, it would give a better picture: two households, different styles, but BOTH deeply engaged in their child’s education. Win all around.

    • askmoxie permalink*
      January 14, 2013 2:10 pm

      Ani: Irony. We agreed easily on the content of the essays! It’s just the way to write them that’s the conflict. The nice thing is that we are both on the same page about our kids’ schooling. We just don’t agree about anything else. ;-)

      • Ani permalink
        January 29, 2013 3:04 pm

        Ah yes, we have a similar conundrum with Christmas letters. But what if the two parents, with joint custody, were less, um, collaborative? Is it even possible to submit two essays? (Just curious, now, not trying to pick on you)

  5. Sara permalink
    January 18, 2013 2:56 pm

    I’ve just discovered one more reason to love my teeny-tiny school district! We have one elementary/jr. high and one high school. If your child wants to go to school there, just show up. Happy writing/editing!

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