It’s been about a month since we’ve been back. Things are just starting to feel “normal”. I say this after going to Buford Farmer’s Market today and practically having an orgasm after finding they have Yakult Yogurt! I must have put on some kind of show because a lady who was nearby asked me, “Is it that good?” and then picked up a case for herself.
I’m still not comfortable driving. I swear every other car is being driven by people on their phones talking or texting and it makes me so paranoid. I keep having to remind myself to STAY ON THE RIGHT! STAY ON THE RIGHT!!! And on top of all that, I don’t know how Georgia code allows mailboxes to be placed so close to the roads. It’s life and death getting your mail here.
The last couple of weeks it has been like DefCon 4 here at the house. We decided at the last minute to try to apply Chase to different middle school Fall 2013. This involved last-minute EVERYTHING. We are applying to 3 different schools. To be honest, I just couldn’t muster the energy to apply to any more than three. They are like college applications nowadays. So for each school, I have to fill out involved background information and write essays about our family and Chase in particular. We have to pay registrations fees to each school. I have to request transcripts and teacher evaluations for each school from all the schools Chase has attended. I also had to late-register Chase for the SSAT which is required by private schools in Atlanta for entry evaluation. His test date is February 2nd. And by the way, did I happen to mention he had Spring Baseball tryouts last Saturday? All the schools have called and we have scheduled the interviews. Why are we going through this madness when we are already at a school with an excellent reputation that he attended since he was 3 years old? As much as we love Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School and appreciate its loving and nurturing culture, things have changed, and Chase has changed.
Very shortly after Chase returned to school, a boy known for being the bully type came up to Chase in the playground and forced him and a friend to stop playing. This boy, then got in Chase’s face and said, “So what are you?!? Chinese or Japanese?”
Next incident: Same boy comes up to Chase at recess and says, “Hey Chase, since you’re so fat, I’ll bet you’re slow too. Wanna race?”
Today, Chase told me he was challenged by this boy to a tether ball game and after Chase won, the boy hit Chase with the ball bruising his arms.
He started school January 7th.
The bullying is horrible, but this boy was a bully before we moved and it is obvious he has suffered no consequences for it.
The other issue is homework. In Tokyo, we often had 3 or more hours of homework each night. Here, we have hardly any homework and much of the homework is extremely easy. It is very hard for me to sit by and watch while Chase re-calibrates his effort towards schoolwork. We practically had nightly exorcisms to get to the point when Chase could survive academically in Tokyo and now there are days when he has no homework because “there’s a test tomorrow”.
Unlike most Japanese, people in the South have opinions. Especially about things like private schools. I’ve heard enough good and bad stories about every school at this point, I feel like it’s God’s Will. Even if we end up staying at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, I will take it as a sign that it is just meant to be. The great thing about HIES is I know they will cater Chase’s program for his needs. Given the fact that Cliff doesn’t want Chase to go to Woodward Academy because it’s “in a terrible neighborhood” (and he doesn’t think Chase will get to play sports because of all the black students), and I don’t want Chase to go to Westminster because I want him to have a life, that only leaves Pace Academy. In case you are interested, tuition to these private schools: Woodward ($19,770), Westminster ($22,270), Pace Academy ($22,570). Applications have to be completed around March and early April is when decision letters will be mailed out.
Making the decision to explore other schools for 6th grade is heart-breaking for me. Chase has been at Holy Innocents’ since he was 3 years old. His best friend is there and we have great friends and memories of the school. I don’t know what is the right thing. All I know is I’m just trying to do the best thing and for some reason this felt like it needed to be done.
Until next time…