February 20, 2019

'Welcome other-side-of-the-tracks students, not sure how you got here!'

Eddie is in his 4th year of Latin classes in high school.  The foreign language students were invited to go to Europe over spring break.  It is not cheap, but it is a great opportunity.  We agreed to send Ed.  My mom gave him some money for the ticket, he is paying part of the ticket, and Coach and I are paying for the majority of it.

I think I have mentioned before that my kids attend a high school that is in a split district.  There is the entitled school with mostly excessively wealthy students, and there is our diversity rich school complete with a variety of economic backgrounds - including kids who live in government subsidized housing.

This Europe trip is open to the entire district.

Ed and I attended a mandatory information session last week.  This meeting took place in the entitled building.  There are several chaperones.  The Latin teacher that Ed has had for all four years is one of the chaperones.  The woman in charge of organizing the trip teaches at the entitled building.  She goes by Frau Brady.

Ed and I walked into the meeting about 1 minute late.  Before the meeting, I drove 30 minutes south to one of Mini's away freshman b-ball games.  As luck would have it, the game went into overtime.

A woman directed Ed where to sit while I tossed my envelopes and paperwork into the appropriate piles on the main table.  Then, I crouched down to walk in front of the speaker to follow Ed to where he was sitting.  The same woman that had directed him told me that the parents were sitting on the other side of the room.  Swell.  Now I had to retrace my steps, walk back in front of the speaker, and find a seat in the sea of parents while Frau Brady was mid-stream with her presentation.

I saw an open seat - not easy to come by.  A woman had her purse on the seat, so I assumed that she was holding the seat for her spouse.  If she was closer to me, I would have asked her if someone was sitting there.  I ended up crawling over one lady who had an extra seat next to her.

Ed, here's your passport, better pack
some special potion to make you
 tolerant of the 'Oh, you're from
 the Diversity school' mentality, too.
The lady with the purse on the seat was NOT holding the seat for anyone.  Turns out her husband was sitting on the other side of her.  I guess we can assume that it was a Prada bag, and therefore it was special enough to require its own seat.  In a crowded room with very few spare seats!

I assumed that most of the students going on this trip would be upper class-men.  Based on some of the behavior and youthful faces, I assumed incorrectly.  A woman, who I will call Try-Hard, sat directly in front of me.  Her hand shot up when Frau Brady asked for a volunteer to start the phone tree should anything need to be communicated. 

Anyway, Try-Hard kept spinning around rubber-necking her daughter and her little group of chirpy friends.  These chirpies could not be upper class-men.  While I intended to sit with my kid, I could tell that Try-Hard wished she was sitting with her kid so she could revel in all of the excitement.  Even from the other side of the room, Ed found Try-Hard's spinning maneuver obnoxious.

It was all I could do to not lean forward and whisper, I hope my very mature, no-drama son can tolerate your kid and her selfie-taking posse or it is going to be a very long trip.  I can only imagine the Facebook post she concocted later:  'Seems like just yesterday they were going to preschool, now they are world travelers!'

Wow, do I sound bitter and jaded?  Sorry, these types rub me the wrong way as does most anything that takes place in the entitled building.

Then Frau Brady said the unthinkable:  'If you forgot your forms, you can bring them to me in room 103, and students at the 'diverse' (insert actual school name here) building, you can give your papers to Mr. Latin.  Oh by the way, we have 34 students traveling to Europe this year, 
and 12 of them are from the 'diverse' building!'

This comment sent a wave of squeaky oohs, and aws and perhaps a bit of applause thru the crowd.  Ed and I compared notes when we got home.  We both wanted to puke at that point.  Why was it necessary to mention/congratulate the 'diversity building' kids for participating in a trip that was open to them in the first place?  I don't think it is a stretch for me to imagine that the applause translated into:  'Hey, that's great that some of you folks can afford to join us on our trip!'

I wanted to tear my hair out.  And Frau Brady's hair.  And Try-Hard's hair.  What the Hell?  Why didn't she say, 'Hey, there are 22 students from the entitled building joining the diversity crew this year!'

Better yet, why did it need to be mentioned at all?


Geo Wilcox said...

I think I would have liked to have stood up right there and then and outed Frau Brady by admonishing her: "Heh, save the arrogance bullshit for New Trier, Highland Park or Deerfield. We've got the same name in our school too."

Ernie said...

Tempting, but I managed to stay in my seat and not pop up and shout at her . . . probably a wise move considering my kid is going to travel Europe with her. Didn't want to start off on the wrong foot. Still, so INCREDIBLY IGNORANT!