9.15.2012

School and the Urban Parent

I've blogged about a lot of things in this space.  But according to my Blogger stats, four of my top ten most read posts, including by far my top two, have involved getting my son Aaron registered for kindergarten. It helped that West Philly News had this tweet on Friday night:

West Philly's @leehuang Shares His Experience Registering His Child for Kindergarten... http://fb.me/13kN2cl4H

It's not like I would have guessed that my most read posts would be about the Oakland A's, gas taxes, or church community.  Still, it's telling that its education that has gotten so many hits. 

It tells me that school is so central to the urban parent's thoughts, and that the issues swirling around school are so grave, so confusing, and so rich that there's a deep interest there for information and for commiserating.  I'm glad to have made my contribution to the communal information pool, and humbled by the kind words of so many who have thanked me for sharing.

There is such diversity in my neighborhood - socio-economic, racial, religious, pedagogical, interests - and yet there is such resonance about the topic of education.  Not that there is sameness of opinion.  But there is a shared sense of the depth with which we care about our own children's well-being, about the system being fair for all, and about this being a topic that touches so many other topics.

At the same time, I am mindful of the fact that I am advantaged in relation to many of my neighbors, for whom a two-hour wait in a crowded lobby is a common occurrence and not cause for huffiness, and who, when faced with no attractive school options, can mull over private school, with the attendant increase in cost and time.  Some may read my words and roll their eyes or worse at my spoiled attitude and inability to understand true hardship, and they wouldn't be wrong for feeling that way, although as noted above we have things in common also so we're closer than might first appear.

I'm not sure I'm ready to look back and say this is how I would have mapped it all out, or to know exactly what God has planned for our family in all of this.  But I must say it has been interesting, to say the least.  I'm glad I've been able to be interesting to others in the process.  Thanks for reading so far.




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