Thursday, April 07, 2005

Kindergarten Round Up

My daughter, who will be turning five in the fall, will be entering kindergarten later this year. Last night, I attended the Kindergarten Round up in Grand Blanc Michigan, the city we are moving to over the summer. It was a large affair and, having arrived just as the presentation was beginning, I was forced to stand in the back of the cafeteria while the school superintendent extolled the virtues of enrolling one’s child into the Grand Blanc school system.

The superintendent did a fine job of presenting the information, going through the information packet and highlighting the pertinent information clearly and concisely. He wrapped up his portion inside of twenty minutes and then passed the microphone over to what I assumed to be the district’s senior kindergarten teacher. I do not think that I will ever forgive him for that.

This teacher, both pleasant and soft spoken, was obviously very dedicated to her work, displaying a passion for interacting with young children that is hard to find outside of Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. I came away from her speech though, with the distinct impression that she was a little rusty conveying information to people over the age of six. Instead of summarizing the curriculum that Grand Blanc’s kindergartners would be exposed to during their year in the program, she went into very explicit detail and backed up each point with several pictures of students participating in the activity, each of which was explained in painstaking detail and complimented with a cute little anecdote about each child in each photograph. Though mildly amusing for the first fifteen minutes, after forty-five the cafeteria had become a psychological torture chamber. People were squirming in their seats, silently groaning at each new slide and, at least in my case, feeling incredibly guilty about praying for the overhead lighting positioned directly over her head to come crashing down around her and shaving another hour or two off of her diatribe. She was too nice to wish serious bodily injury upon, but I could have lived with myself if a glancing blow scared her speechless for a couple of days. In all, this portion of the presentation lasted over an hour, an hour that I want back by the way.

By the time she wrapped things up, a full half of the crowd that was there when she started had fled the building, exercising their right as adults to depart the school grounds before the bell is rung. The rest of us were reduced to mental mush. We all just stared at her mindlessly and devoid of free will, hypnotized by banality and ready to do her evil bidding. I think I actually drooled on myself.

Personally, I do not recall my kindergarten being that incredibly dull but in all honesty, I was eating an awful lot of glue at the time. That could very well have livened things up.


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