Thursday, August 17, 2006

Curriculum Change

The co-operative school parents met Monday evening and decided that our Greek course of study should be canceled until further notice.
I felt rather bad about it at the time, as if I had let everyone down. When J-with-two-N’s called me last night about something unrelated, I started to apologize about it.
“Why are you even worried about it?” she asked. “It’s not about you. It’s about the students. They weren’t applying themselves to it; once you got past the Greek alphabet they didn’t really get into it. Greek was taking away from other studies. It took up too much of your time, of the parents’ time, of the kids’ time. We didn’t want it to take away from things like, oh, I dunno, long division and multiplying fractions.”
“Well, I guess I wasn’t into it, either,” I said. “I’m just not … I don’t know …”
“You’re not into learning languages like [Maggie] was. It’s okay,” she whispered, “I’m not either!
“You’re not disappointed?” I asked.
She laughed. “Honey, I’m relieved. Now I don’t have to learn Greek.”
“What about Hebrew, Arabic and Russian? They said they’d look into this later.”
“Ugh. Well, it’s valuable, you know, I agree – but honestly if they need to learn this stuff, one of the parents who has a working knowledge of these languages would be a better choice to explore it. If it was going to be something that we did want but you couldn’t do, well, then one of us has to pitch in. Like [Monsieur]. He’s the one who can read in Russian and Hebrew, and speak Arabic and French and Spanish. Besides, that’s what a co-op is, sweetheart. We are all the faculty. Don’t feel bad.”
“Are you sure?” I asked.
“Of course I’m sure. Didn’t you talk to [Monsieur] about this?”
“Well, I didn’t know what to say to him,” I admitted.
She sighed. “Look. I’ve known him for about ten years, okay? I don’t know how close you two are, but it seems like he loves you deeply. He’s, well, he’s not like any guy I’ve ever met and that’s putting it pretty mildly. He might not be the easiest guy for you to talk to about this stuff but … well… these students, [E (her daughter)], [Bigglest Boy], [Littlest Boy], all of them, they’re your students. They’re our students. They wouldn’t be there if we didn’t want them. You wouldn’t be here if we didn’t want you.”
“I know. Yes. I know. Thanks,” I was saying to all of this.
“No, wait a second while I finish before you thank me – what I mean is, we wanted you long before [Maggie] left us.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“I mean, [E’s dad and a few other parents] and I went to [Maggie] and said, ‘We love her! Can she come work for us till she has to go to grad school?’”
“Really?” I asked. “You didn’t. Did you?”
“We did. Really. [Maggie] didn’t tell you?”
I then had go and break up a sword fight between The Two Littlest Boys and send them into the garage, where they could wale away on each other without worrying about a wild swing breaking a window or a table lamp.
I felt a lot better about Greek being canceled.

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