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Mother, writer and daydreamer. Also chocoholic and chick-flick lover. But mainly mommy. To two boys, at that! When not escorting my Elder One (EO) to karate class, I'm trying to get in as many cuddles as possible from my Younger One (YO). And when not doing either, I'm hard-at-work trying to maintain a steady relationship with my laptop. And as for the Man I Married (MIM), well, let’s just put it this way – even though we share a bedroom, our most meaningful conversations are held over the cell-phone!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The 'Great' School Debate

The MIM's alma mater's admission process is slated to start soon and the whole world, his wife, second cousin once removed and her transsexual neighbour are all waiting with bated breath to see what I do.

Sigh. I still don't know, but I just might go MIA for a while and take a nice, relaxing break in a mental asylum somewhere. Any suggestions?

My dilemma, you ask? Let me begin from ABC...that's where Maria-before-she-was-von-Trapp would have started.

When the Bro and I moved to Beantown from the US of A, we both went to different schools. They were both new. In fact, coincidentally, we both happened to be the third batch to pass out from our respective schools. Now, Beantown was an absolutely new palce for Maa-Janoni and she didn't know any better. She relied on the research done willingly and helpfully by my Choto Mesho. As we got to know people, and after introductions were exchanged and people found out which schools the Bro and I studied in, the reactions would either be (a) "Huh? Never heard of it!", or (b) "Why?!? Why not try for an RST or an FGH or an XYZ? I'm sure your children still have a chance!" The RST, FGH and XYZ being the 'old', established, century old, once-upon-a-time British institutions that wouldn't have allowed brown-skinned kids like us to walk in through the front gate. Maa-Janoni stuck to her guns and now she has the last laugh as both these schools are two of the most sought-after in good ol' B'lore now. I then went on to study in one of those stuffy, ex-Anglo-now-CSI-run schools, simply because I wanted the experience. There are pros and cons to be said for both. And I know first hand.

But the thing is, because my mum trusted her judgement and let us continue where we were, did the Bro and I turn out the worse for wear? If anything, I think the Bro and I got a superb education. One of the biggest things a new school has going for it is that it tries harder. They are more sincere, use newly researched methodolgy where education is concerned, pay individual attention to the students and there always seems to be a sense of brightness and purpose radiating from the walls.

And now, years down the path, I am the one faced with the same dilemma that Maa-Janoni was faced with all those many, many, oh-too-very-many moons ago. The MIM's ex (as in school people! I mean really! ;p) or the present school where the EO already studies?

The new school has so many things going for it, brightness and spanking new walls aside ;p ...the biggest being that the EO is well-settled and just loves it! I quite love it myself, even though it's not 100% perfect, but 94% ain't bad, right? So do I take him out, put him through the trauma of settling in all over again and risk the fact that he just might hate it there?

But what if he eventually falls in love with it? Do I let him miss out on the prestige of being a part of a pedigreed, heritage school? Many in-laws and Kolkata-born-bred-raised-and-mated friends look at me as if there's even a choice in the matter. For many Calcuttans, as far as schools and schools of thought and go -- Old is Gold.

And so, the great debate rages on. I had round number 584 with a friend yesterday, and an early morning bout with His Majesty, the FIL.

I think it's safe to say that I'm almost brow-beaten to within 15 inches of my life. And forms haven't even been issued yet...


PI said...

oh. i didn't realize you've been a bangalorean for a while. that makes us neighbours twice over. you know what i mean!
as for the school issue, go with your gut feeling. i've changed school thrice. newish school, normal private school, convent and back to square one as well.loved the first 2 times, but when i came back to my first school after 5 years, to do class XI and XII, things went wrong from day 1. if EO's enjoying where he is, it might be a better idea to let him be. but that's what i feel.
good luck with the decision!

PI said...

can you add me on your blogroll? pleej? :)
(not if you don't want to, of course!)

dipali said...

This is such a toughie!
New schools often have a lot more to offer, but imagine having to answer a questionnaire each time people ask where your kid is studying. What does the man you married have to say?
or is he all for the vintage school?

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

Dear PI,

Yes...gut feeling, that's what I believe too, it's just that the gut is feeling mighty twisted regarding this!

And please believe me when I say, I've been meaning to add you and a couple of others onto my blogroll for quite some time now! Will do it right now!

And Dipali,

You know how I'm feeling. Need to do some intense soul searching here.

It was great talking to you...can't wait to meet!

noon said...

Mammamia - if he is loving it why do you want to change - meaning do you think he will get better education in the other school? In India though a place where you get good education - meaning the standard one where kids end up in good colleges - probably matters a lot?
I need to figure out your acronyms now...I get confused as to who is who! :)

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

Hi Noonie,

Like I said...I know. There's a huge, and I do mean HUGE part of me that doesn't want to take the EO out (ie Elder One). As for the standard of education in the EO's school, it's excellent.

The only one thing that is killing me is that in Calcutta, the name of the school really matters...the old, established schools are the way to go. The 'log kya kehenge' syndrome!

Mama - Mia said...


in the larger scheme of things will the name of the school matter? its not like he is giving interview and has to say I am from harvard!

but i guess, i know what you mean!

M went to one of these fancy school in Mumbai when they shifted there while BIL went to a relative smaller school! M was quite at loss in new school, while BIL settled in pretty easily in a no fuss school!

but i guess, you really cant get in someone elses shoes and take a call!

me, i a seriously thinking of taking Ms panic suggestion of home schooling! :p