Today, a panel of three old white men will decide if my 11-year-old daughter is clever enough to attend the selective, “top 20%” girls grammar school next fall, based upon the verbal appeal my husband and I have spent the weekend writing. (Anyone else find it strange that three MEN are making this decision for an all-FEMALE school?) The three-page appeal we’ve written this weekend follows the six page letter we wrote some months ago to secure our place at an appeal hearing, which follows months of agony and uncertainty and stress about school places.
I hate this system. I haven’t encountered anyone who likes it, but, we’re stuck with it. In case anyone is wondering, yes (YES!) this is far too much stress and pressure for an 11-year-old (and her/his parents) and it’s time for this to be over. My girl needs to know where she’ll be in September, and even though she isn’t saying much about the process, we can tell she’s nervous and upset and stressed out about it. (Who thought this process up? I’d like to sue their pants off.) And while my husband and I aren’t the most relaxed of individuals, this uncertainty (on top of everything else) has added quite a few gray hairs to our heads (though I will always maintain that blondes do not go gray).
Here’s hoping I don’t burst into tears in front of the panel and that my nervous twitchy eye doesn’t go berserk while I’m speaking, leading those old white-haired men to think I’m winking at them.