Human beings are terrible creatures.
May 15, 2012 Leave a comment
Confession: I am a documentary junkie.
I don’t really know if that’s a confession since everyone in my life pretty much already knows it. But! I found the Holy Grail. The most stomach churning documentary ever! And it’s not what you might think from the chick who sat through (and thoroughly enjoyed!) Human Centipede 2.
Oh no! This is so much more disgusting. What is it you might ask?
A documentary about New Yorkers–primarily upper-crest Manhattanites–trying to get their 2 and 3 year-olds into the most competitive pre-schools in the city. Yes, pre-schools. Those places you go to finger paint and learn to not shove other kids when they wipe boogers on you. Oh dear lord. Education should not be this disgusting. I understand there is some apparent lack of good pre-schools in New York. However, from what this documentary showed me, unless you are super rich and can both afford to send your kids to these ridiculous schools and have a connection to get your kids into them, your kid gets no early education or very poor early education.
I’ll start off with what, to me, is the most important issue here. What the fuck New York? Education is not a limited resource. Why is it difficult to build more pre-schools, especially when parents will obviously pay a great deal to get their kids into anything. The doc starts off with the statistic that for every 1 spot they have in these private pre-schools 15 children will apply. Obviously some parents are applying to multiple schools for their kids, thus skewing the stat some–who knows how much. But for fucking real, New York. I’m stressing this point here: You can build more schools and hire more pre-school teachers! It is not difficult! I refuse to accept the idea that it is impossible to educate each and every child. I don’t know what New York’s public schools are like, but if they are like Chicago’s or Detroit’s they are probably terrible. Overcrowded, underfunded, and run by apathetic administrators. So I understand the want for private schools and pre-schools. But at this earliest stage of life, when education and exposure is most important and when more and more parents are forced to make the decision to work or stay home solely on economic basis, I’m struggling to understand why creating more schools is so difficult. More schools=more jobs across the board. And it has a long-term positive effect of education. The lack of schools has across the board negative effects that fucking hurt my soul.
Okay, now that that is out of my system. Let’s talk about these shitty fucking schools, then we’ll talk about these shitty parents. Some of the highlights that scroll past my eyes include administrators rejecting “shy” children, rejecting children who show any kind of separation anxiety during the “group interview”–okay, stop. Fuck. They would reject the 25 year old me! I just need to make that point.–talk about “legacies” (what the fuck? Legacies are bullshit no matter what the level of education), ranking preferable races of children, criticizing freeplay, denying any child that cried or is “developmentally young” or had a temper tantrum (because that’s not what toddlers do), talking about preparing these children for their first job at Goldman Sachs, and forcing children to complete puzzles during this interview process. I would love to learn the philosophy that actually drives the philosophy behind these schools. They describe each days as being so over-scheduled, with first yoga, then Spanish class, then reading, then blah and blah. For real. And they don’t see the benefit of free play? What? Do they know anything about child development? God, the Goldman Sachs comment made my fucking stomach churn. Is this really how rich people think?
Okay, now the parents. Again, I totally understand that these parents are overly stressed due to the lack of good early education opportunities. But, they sit around and write essays for their children, they step on one another to get the last spot in a good school, they make massive “donations” to the school to inflate their chances, they kiss so much ass because that is what they feel they have to do. I’m sure their is an even seedier side of this; the documentary mentioned–in not as much detail as I would have loved to have heard–an incident in the early 90s (I may be a bit off on that) when a stock trader inflated the stocks of the head of this school in order to get his child in. That’s fucking hard core. It’s like applying to Yale for a 2 year old. It’s so wrong. Parents should not have to do this for their child just to get their child into pre-school. And then the parents who don’t get what they want complain. One woman ends by saying “We’re not used to not getting what we want. I thought we could pay like $20,000, $30,000 and get what we want. I don’t know what we’re going to do.”
And all these little toddlers want is some fucking play doh! Come to me children, away from your creepy parents! I have play doh that you can stick in your nose or throw in each other’s hair! I hope all these children, in their coming years, leave all kinds of tiny legos around the house for their parents to step on!