April 28, 2010

Woogies and Waitlists

Where I live, a time- honoured tradition is to pick your kid up from the school bus and be engaged in the following discussions with the puffa-vest brigade*.

"Did you do anything nice on the weekend?"

"Did Hugo/Isabella enjoy rugby/drama this week?"

"My neighbours place went for 2.1 million dollars!"

"Where are you going skiing this year?"

"I just use sunscreen everyday."

"He just could not get away from the office, I thought screw you. So I am taking the kids to Fiji for Easter."

And then there is my Waterloo. My absolute chestnut.

"So, where are you sending your boys to school?"

Considering H is 6 and J is 4, I would welcome them making it to our local public school everyday with their lunch. Nevertheless, this question seems to be one of the most important posed - jump in here now and agree with me!?? Seriously!??

When I was pregnant with H, my panic button got stuck and I was concerned with everything. So I projected my anxiety fast forward by .... lets say 12 years... and I filled out waiting list forms for fancy private schools. Mr Woog begrudgingly attached a cheque to them at the birth on H and sent them off.

Then we waited.

J came along a few years later. We again filled out the forms, attached the cheques. Australia Post.

And waited.

A few years later, I was starting to wonder about my investment. Especially when my good friend Mrs Finlay received a confirmation letter for her son, who was a year younger than my youngest.

The beast was unleashed and I called the bursar at this particular school which rhymes with SNORE, situated in North Sydney.

According to my research, Bursa is a Latin word meaning "purse". Billing of student tuition accounts are the responsibility of the Office of the Bursar. This involves sending bills and making payment plans with the ultimate goal of getting the student accounts paid off. Bursars are not necessarily involved in the financial aid process.

My personal definition of Bursar is somewhat different.

"Hi Mrs Bursar. It is Mrs Woog here. I was just following up on the application forms for my two kids I sent in a few years ago."

"What are their names?"

"H Woog and J Woog. We sent in our wait list application and fee within a week of their birth and I have not heard anything since.... So thought I would give you an buzz and see how the whole wait list is coming along. I know you must get hounded all the time. You must dread when the phone rings and I am so sorry to bother you, you see I think it is better to have options at......"

"Mrs Woog, we give preference to sons of old boys and beneficiaries. I am looking at your file now and can say you may be disappointed in your children's case, as you and your family is neither."

I will not go into detail regarding the next exchange, but will share these phrases "you can stick your wait list" and "ass" and "fascist factory" with you. You could probably get my drift.

As we then acknowledged our differences during our farewells, I could distinctly hear in the background the big red pen go through our names on that bloody wait list.

SO when the question came up today of "where are your sons going to school?" I said J was going to get a scholarship to the Fame Academy and H was going to go to Bible College after I home school him from the age of 12 till 16. I was in good company so was met with a few giggles. And even more giggles after a mother who had a kid at SNORE told us about a note they received from the school. It requested that mothers do not drop of or collect their sons wearing gym attire or track suit pants.

So I was never going to fit in, it would seem. It was a sign.

* Approximates roughly 79% of bus pickup mums. The rest of us are in trackies.
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