Tuesday, January 29, 2008

SOL at Peabody

So WifeRat and BabyRat ran into Roberta and her brood at a local playground today and apparently we're shit outta luck. Any previously mentioned hook up with regard to getting BabyRat into Peabody appears to be off the table. When I mentioned that we were in boundary for Ludlow-Taylor, Roberta kind of winced and pained look crossed her face. She didn't say anything more specific than she didn't know any parents whose kids went to L-T.

The only other time Ludlow-Taylor had ever been mentioned to me is when some parent (who was a little too impressed with themselves) proclaimed that BabyRat wasn't going to school at L-T less than five minutes after we met. I know that this parent was trying to be helpful and probably thought that their assertiveness was coming off as some sort of ranting comic charm, but it struck me as kind of paternal and bossy. In their defense, this other parent also did have some specific complaints about assaults that happened in the bathroom. When the Wife and I got home we agreed that there were probably no White kids at that school and a quick check of the Post website that breaks down DCPS schools shows that there are no White students at Ludlow-Taylor.

I wonder if BabyRat gets counted as White or Black by DCPS?


Monday, January 28, 2008

Re: [SWS] NYTimes.com: Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler]

The problem with articles like this is that no matter what you and I do as individuals, it doesn't affect anything.  I'm more than willing to cut my meat consumption by 20%, but unless everyone else does their part why bother?  The other problem is that the Times prints so much ridiculous shit (did you read the Hillary endorsement?) that it's dismissed out of hand by a large portion of the American population that it's attempting to reach.  I'm not just talking about conservatives either, I know a lot of liberals who think the Times editorial board is out of touch with reality; which is sentiment I totally agree with.  The bunch of eggheads that write for the Times mostly went to elite colleges and live in NYC, they have no clue what life is like for the overwhelming majority of the country.  They're talking about cut your meat consumption by 20%, OK great, but how do you do it?  How do the stores and restaurants support that move?  How does the gov't cut the subsidies that umpteen generations of cattle farmers have come to depend on?  More important than all of that, how do you communicate the need to make this change without it sounding like what it actually is?  A bunch of over-educated jerkoffs clucking their tongues and telling everyone how to live?


Friday, January 25, 2008

Cheap Beer

After spending most of my 20's drinking dark beer and turning up my nose at American lager, I got reacquainted with cheap beer at a place called Bob & Barbara's in Philly.  They have a nightly special of a can of PBR and a shot of Jim Beam for $3, needless to say the place quickly became my favorite bar in the city of Brotherly Love.  Unfortunately the esteemed Nate Wiley passed away about 14 months ago and I haven't been back since to see if the musical void has been filled, but my thirst for PBR (and most other forms of cheap beer) remains unslaked.
Apparently now the Red Derby is now serving $2 cans of Natty Boh and Schlitz, woo-hoo! 


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Peabody Open House

At 9am this morning they had an open house at Peabody Elementary School.  For those of you who don't know, Peabody is a early childhood education campus located on Capitol Hill; they have a three year-old program, a Pre-K program, Kindergarten, and a Reggio Emilia program all in one building.  It's kind of cool because kids get to start their scholastic career in a place that is just for them, rather than being in some sort of segregated section of an elementary school.
When I was doing some online research I found that the demographic breakdown showed that Peabody was 84% Black, but when I arrived at the school at 8:55 I was surprised to see that I was the only Black parent there.  Before things got started some more parents trickled in, including a few other Black people.  I don't know why I cared that I wasn't the only Black person there, but I did.
Anyway, the collection of administrators start up with a fairly disjointed presentation about the school that mostly consisted of, "Hey, we do a lot of art here!"  That's cool, art is good, I was surprised to see some of the quotes from the kids during the presentation saying things about Matisse and Monet; I was in college before I knew who either of them were.  I have to say that I was a little disappointed at the lack of polish during the presentation, these people are educators you would think that presenting information would more or less be in their organizational DNA.  I dunno, maybe the folks that run the school know that they don't really need to impress the parents because they're generally acknowledged to be the best public education option for kids on the Hill.
There was some discussion of in boundary vs out of boundary admission and how many spots were going to be available.  We live just outside of the boundary for Peabody, and it seems like we're pretty much fucked because I was told that they didn't enroll any kids that were out of boundary for the three year old program last year.
I saw some other parents that I knew from BabyRat's daycare center and hanging out at the park across the street from Peabody; a few of them were out of boundary too and they mostly seemed resigned to paying for private school for a year and applying to get into the Pre-K program which has more spots.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

DCPS Madness

OK, I've been trying to figure out a hook for this blog and I think I've found one. I'm going to try and blog what I have to do to get BabyRat enrolled in a quality DCPS school. The story could end up being short and boring, we have a neighbor that seems to want to be BFF with WifeRat and she has two little ones just slightly older than ours that are already at Peabody. It looks like we have the inside track on whichever program we prefer at Peabody Elementary, but who knows what's going to happen.

We actually got an e-mail today from Roberta (not her real name) today reminding us about the out of boundary lottery for Peabody. After responding from my iPhone (yes I am one of those obnoxious creeps that loves their iPhone; it was an unsolicited gift that I now can't live without) whilst enjoying a beverage at the Argonaut I came home, cracked open a Sierra Nevada and started conducting some preliminary research on what has to be done.

This shit is way confusing. More soon.