Thursday, April 15, 2010

What I still want to know is who showed it to him.

So, two days ago, I posted an update on all kinds of things, including our likely schooling choice for the coming year. And then, yesterday, I got an email from the business manager at my children's school telling me that someone had suggested that he read an entry on my blog and that my post was "to be very kind, extremely disingenuous."

Now, I must admit that until about 4 pm yesterday afternoon when I looked it up, I thought that "disingenuous" meant "not very smart." It turns out that I am "not very smart," because "disingenuous" means "dishonest," which even Mr. WG -- who speaks English as a second language -- knew.

So anyway, I thought that he was saying that it was not bright of me to post that we have no desire to pay $40,000 for tuition next year. So I wrote him a (surprisingly) calm and rational response, and I even consulted with Mr. WG to verify that I was correct in saying that this was, in fact, exactly what we had told the school in our meetings with them. I was sad to get that email, because this person happens to be one of the few people I genuinely like and respect in the school. In fact, I've written about him before. Twice, actually. Kind of telling that the person who showed him Tuesday's entry didn't bother to show him those, don't you think?

Anyway.

He replied to my email saying he was felt that a reasonable person would read my entry and assume that the school was asking us to $40,000 and that we didn't want to. Nowhere did I mention that the school offers financial aid.

And then at some point, I learned the actual definition of disingenuous, and I got a little irritated, truth be told (Ha! See what I did there?).

So. To be clear, I would certainly hope that a reasonable person would read my entry and assume that the school was asking us to pay $40,000 (OK, OK, it's actually $38,000, I rounded up) and that we were choosing not to. Because, that's pretty much what happened.

Here's how it went down: The registration packet arrived. We looked at the prices, which had already gone up 9 percent the previous year, and noted the additional price increase. We talked about it. Mr. WG and I decided that we were tired of having to apply for financial aid, tired of feeling like we can't provide an elementary and pre-school education for our children, tired of filtering every other decision we make (Can we go out to dinner? Can we take the kids to the zoo? Can we save for things we just plain want?) through the veil of "Is it appropriate to do this if we receive financial aid?"

And we went to the school and told that that, in so many words.

For Mr. WG, it is purely financial. For me, the finances are a part of it, but I also have significant academic concerns, which I have spoken about here from time to time.

Indeed, the school does offer financial aid. The application process involves filling out an involved form that includes question on the make, model, and year of the cars you own and any family you have who might be able to help out with tuition, submitting pay stubs and tax returns, and so on. It is not fun to have to ask for help. I'm not the only person who thinks the Day School tuition system is completely broken. But I am one of the few people who won't blindly acquiesce to the ever-increasing tuition demands. I will find alternatives -- I will homeschool.

And so, while I will admit that I am perhaps "not very smart," I reject wholeheartedly claims of disingenuity.

12 comments:

Teej said...

Good grief, someone showed it to him? Do you ever feel like you're re-living high school, only worse?

For what it's worth, I read your entry exactly the way you intended it to be read. But to tell the truth, I don't see how anyone could read it any differently.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it sad that they were more concerned about your reference to the tuition than to the problems with the education?

ella said...

You come across as pretty darn genuine (ingenuous?) to me, WG! Echoing Teej - I read it the way you intended it.

fern said...

For what it is worth-I also read it just the way it was intended, and it made perfect sense to me.

Shosh said...

1) I had never heard the word ingenuous until this post.
2) OMG Someone showed him your blog? If someone at my kids school found my blog and called me about it I would FREAK OUT.
3) Some people say that day school tuition is the biggest problem facing Orthodox Jews today.
4) I totally respect your decision to homeschool. It has crossed my mind before. And if necessary, I would still do it, although I think I would end up either killing myself or my children....

moplans said...

that would totally freak me out, but it is odd for him to write to you.

The Empress said...

Ugh. He sounds so juvenile.

WriterGrrl said...

You guys rock.

Teej -- ALL. THE. TIME. I totally live in high-school-but-worse-land.

Anon -- Indeed. Indeed.

Ella, Fern, Moplans, and The Empress -- ha! Thanks. :-)

Shosh -- 1. Glad it's not just me. 2. Was a little freaky, yes. 3. I have thoughts on that, which I might even post. 4. A lot of people think that before they try it. Happy to discuss with you, but don't want to force a discussion if it's not really wanted.

Love you all!

Anonymous said...

Can you send them to public school?

Jill Riter said...

homeschooling is a great option for many - I hope that you find the very best solution for your family.

Anonymous said...

Day Schools are expensive no matter what. Maybe the school is not the right match for your needs.

What about looking at a different Day School? It seems that you want something more than the school is offering. There must be other options besides the school that you are currently enrolled in. As a committed day school parent - I have taken the good and the bad, the good being what the kids leave the school with and knowing who they are. The bad - sometimes the teachers and curriculum don't match expectations. But that can be said for any school - private or public.

Angie said...

Hi, new here. We have also been paying for private school for my dd for years and this year decided to take a breather and homeschool. It has been a wonderful experience! Now what to do about next year...