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School Admission: What A Battle

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Tamrakshar, Dec 15, 2018.

  1. Tamrakshar

    Tamrakshar Gold IL'ite

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    Getting your kid admitted to a reputed school is as good as fighting enemies at the border, or maybe as hard as hitting a six to win on the last ball. At least, I had these kind of feelings when my elder daughter got admitted in a reputed school in Salt Lake. That time I took only 4 shots, but later on I realized that it was a kind of gamble. The first and the last shots were on target, while the other two resulted in failures. We admitted her in the fourth school, as it was better between the two. After getting her admitted, I took a sigh of relief, and told my wife that admitting the younger one two years later would be a cakewalk, as schools have quotas for siblings.

    But, last year I was rudely awakened from my sense of complacency when I heard the news that no sisters were selected (at least 3 cases were cited by my wife). She pronounced that there was no such rule, at least in my elder daughter's school. So, we have been on alert, and have tried to be prepared for the battle. Two daughters at two different schools could be a real challenging task from the point of view of time-management. But as we could not take chances, we again filled up forms for 4 schools.

    I had no tension regarding my 3 year 10 months old daughter's abilities. She knows alphabets, she can write both capital and small letters, she knows the names of domestic animals, wild animals, sea animals, vegetables, fruits, flowers etc. She knows all the colours and shapes. She can sing a lot of rhymes, she understands the questions put to her in English, and can come up with short and crisp answers. She knows numbers from 1 to 109. She hardly fails in writing after and before numbers in this range. She can do small additions and small subtractions. She is deft at counting. Most important part about her is that whoever sees her loves her.

    Regarding myself, I am fluent in spoken English. My organisation has given me a respectable salary and a highly respectable designation. But, my real cause of concern was my wife, who is a product of Bengali-medium school, and hails from a very humble semi-urban background. From my previous experiences, I have noted that whenever she opened her mouth, we lost the match then and there. She was not asked any questions in the two schools where my elder daughter was selected. Like the last time, I gave her probable question-answer sheets for memorizing. Like an obedient student she said that she would remember them, but whenever I wanted her to appear for a mock interview, she evaded. So, I was very tensed.

    The first interview, which was for a different school, went so hunky-dory that I thought we hit the bull's eye. My daughter fared very well, and my wife was asked a couple of questions about her qualification. The second interview was the interview that we aimed for over a year. This interview, too, went very smoothly. The Principal was very cordial, and she explained to us the circumstances when they didn't admit the sisters. She told me that my elder daughter's reports would be sought from class teachers. She asked me how did I evaluate the school. This was the question, I was well-prepared of. She also asked me about my job.

    My daughter was again at her best, answering all the 6 questions asked to her correctly. The good news was that my wife didn't have to face a single question. The little hiccup occurred at the end. The Principal offered my daughter a toy camel and 2 toffees ( one for her and one for her elder sister). I had tutored her hard to thank the teacher after receiving such gifts, as I knew that they want to know whether the child is well-mannered or not. But, the toffees made little Rai so excited that she forgot to thank her. So, I told her in English that she forgot to thank, and she immediately complied. The Principal laughed, and said it was okay.

    While returning home, I asked my wife about the performance of my elder daughter in the school. "Immaculate", was her answer. Tinni, my elder daughter, had 99% in attendance, only 1 B rating (in singing) among 25 categories, and most importantly the class teacher had praised her in the PTI. That was assuring, but still the incident of not thanking the Principal remained like a thorn in the flesh for me. When I told my elder daughter, who is not as bright as her sister, about her sister's performance in the interview, she quipped in a hushed tone to me, "Rai will not be selected. Because she didn't say thank you." Sibling rivalry at it's best, I thought.

    These two interviews happened in Octocer. The other two would happen in November. The result of the 1st school would be out on 13th November, while the results of our choicest school would be announced by the end of November. There was a catch, though. The problem would be if my daughter got selected in the first school, I would have to admit her there as I could not take any chance, and if she was to be selected in her sister's school, I would have to cancel the first admission. That was cool, but what was not was the fact that I would have to lose the entire admission fee, which would be around 50000 rupees.

    Should I or shouldn't I admit her in case she got selected? For me, the amount of 50000 rupees is not a small amount of money. But how would I take chance? What would happen if she failed in her sister's school? So, I was in a great dilemma. As far as my wife was concerned, she had no dilemma. She prayed hard to God for my daughter to be selected, and she would not blink in admitting her. The reason? She would not then have to appear in the remaining two interviews! Is this why it's said wives don't care anything about their husband's finances?

    13th November appeared, as it had no other option. The result was to be declared at 5 PM in the afternoon. My wife said she would go. I was waiting for the phone call. But by 5-30 no phone call came. I didn't ring her. When it was 5-40 and she didn't ring me, I got a hint that my daughter wasn't selected. Within 5 minutes she rang me, and yes, I was right in my guess. Her name didn't appear in the names of 200 selected candidates. I was morose because my deserving daughter was rejected. My wife was shell-shocked, mainly because she would have to appear for the interviews again. I observed a sense of satisfaction in Tinni's face, though she didn't say anything.


    This result made us go into the panic mode. I told them to prepare hard to appear at the interviews on 17th and 24th. Little Rai was promised a lot of gifts if she answered all the questions asked to her. Among the promised stuff were a toy guitar, a toy mobile phone, a bicycle and a few other things.

    On 17th, I had to take a leave to appear at the 3rd interview. As usual my daughter came with flying colours. But here I was asked about my elder daughter, and they asked directly what I would do if my daughter got selected in her sister's school. I had no other option but to come up with the honest answer that this school was our second choice. So, the result of this interview, too, became a matter of grave concern. So, we had to go all out for the 4th interview on 24th.

    On 22nd, I got a viral fever after so many years that I can't even recall. While returning from office, for a moment, I thought that I would go senseless in the train. The fever must have been as high as 103° F. Somehow, I managed to get back, but I was in a no mood to open the Internet.

    At 10 PM, after taking medicine and sufficient rest, I got back some energy. Before going to sleep, I opened the Internet, and there popped up a mail. What was that? Out of curiosity I opened the mail, and boy, I got the best news of the year. My daughter has been selected among the 100 students. Everyone celebrated, but my wife became happier of the fact that she would not have to appear for the last interview.

    My daughter was selected in the 3rd school, too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
    Gauri03, Amica, kkrish and 8 others like this.
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  2. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    @Tamrakshar,

    I normally I like a long-winded responses to such a wonderful snippet. However, this time I am posting a video in response. Scenes from my favorite movie Abhiyum Nannum. Unfortunately, the dialogues are in Tamil. Please pay particular attention to the father preparing for the interview for his daughter's school admission.

     
    kkrish, Tamrakshar and poovai like this.
  3. Greenbay

    Greenbay Finest Post Winner

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    Very nice snippet. You took readers to go through your emotions. Ira would have been happy :laughing:

    So Sandycandy, Naari, and the rest who suspected I was another ID of Tamrakshar, you have your answer. Tam is father of 2 girls who are school age. My babies, Arth and Aru are just 12 weeks old.
     
    ashima10 and Tamrakshar like this.
  4. Rihana

    Rihana IL Hall of Fame

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    Well narrated. If this was made into a short film, the starting scene could be the dad telling family about need to prepare hard for the 17th and 24th. And ending scene could be the face of the relieved wife.

    Come to think of it, it can be an ad for so many products. Like most catchy ads, we don't know the product till the end.

    I found that 1 to 109 especially cute. Not 1 to 100. 1 to 109. : )

    Wish this stress could be avoided and parents and little ones spared the tension. I wonder why schools do it. Is it to ensure they have good statistics and student performance to report in later years?

    The 2017 movie Hindi Medium starring Irrfan Khan was a good one on the topic.
     
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  5. Tamrakshar

    Tamrakshar Gold IL'ite

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    Viswamitra ji, thanks for the response. Though I have heard a few Tamil songs, I don't understand Tamil. Also, whenever I click on the video, it says the video is unavailable!
     
  6. Tamrakshar

    Tamrakshar Gold IL'ite

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    Many thanks Greenbay for liking the snippet. Yes, I read your experience about being a father. Very soon, you will also have go through this school admission process. However, once admitted, you can relax for the next 12 years.

    Yes, a few ladies mistook us to be the same person. I don't know if Sandycandy and Naari are still active members of this forum or not!
     
  7. Tamrakshar

    Tamrakshar Gold IL'ite

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    Thanks Rihana for liking the story! It means a lot to me!

    "I found that 1 to 109 especially cute. Not 1 to 100. 1 to 109. : ) "

    My younger daughter is probably the only one of her age who loves to do homework. She becomes extremely dejected if her Montessori teacher does not give any homework. So out of her love to studies, she has learnt a lot of new things. Currently, she has moved up to 150.
     
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  8. jayasala42

    jayasala42 Finest Post Winner

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    When our children were that age, there was no such problem.Just hand over the application,attend an informal interview and pay the fees.Our son and daughter are facing similar problems in Singapore and US.

    But one thing I remember distinctly.My daughter was three.She was to get admitted in L. K. G.
    The principal asked the Kindergarten teacher to test whether the child is fit.In those days as there was no interview, we didn't prepare the child also.She knew her name, parents' name, and their office.
    The teacher after asking her name etc,showed her the picture of an elephant and asked what it was.my daughter said'Yaanai' in Tamil. But the teacher expected the child to say'elephant'.My daughter didn't know.The teacher prompted 'Ele,Ele' twice .My daughter began to laugh clapping her hands.
    'Ele' in Tamil means 'rat'.My daughter immediately said in Tamil' Miss, you don't know the difference between 'yaanai and eli'( Elephant and rat) One is so big and the other is so small.
    The teacher managed and declared the child fit.
    As I had urgent work in the office, I didn't go. My husband alone went.Soon after returning from office my daughter happily narrated how the teacher was ignorant and she didn't know to distinguish between elephant and rat and that she only taught the teacher.

    jayasala 42
     
  9. Tamrakshar

    Tamrakshar Gold IL'ite

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    Ha ha, that was very interesting Jaysala42 ji! I was very lucky being the son of a government employee. I didn't have to appear for anything to get admitted to a very reputed government school in Salt Lake.
     
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  10. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    @Tamrakshar,

    My apologies for the video not playing for you. It is working fine for me. However, a quick narration of the video for your benefit. It is a movie where the parents live in an estate and try to get their daughter admitted in one of the premier schools in town. The wife tells him that the child needs to be admitted as she is 2 1/2 years old. The father is shocked as he was very attached to her and refuses the need for sending her to school so early. When his wife hands over books and ask him to prepare, he asks her how could a 2 1/2 year old child understand all that. The wife explains interview is for him and not for the child.

    He studies day and night for 10 days. He was memorizing all state capital and international capitals and even the name of Alexandar's horse's name. Finally, the interview day arrives and the wife wakes him up at 5:30 a.m. for an interview at 10 a.m. telling him that he needs to stand on the line to finish the interview on a timely basis. He stands on the big line and his wife comes with Vibhuti to apply on his forehead from the nearest temple so that he would finish the interview successfully. Even his own daughter asks her mother, "If dad doesn't pass the test, are we going to change the dad?"

    Finally, they sit in the interview room asking about the reference they gave. The principal after reviewing everything begins conversation, "I would explain about the capital". Immediately, the father jumps in and says "ask any capital name and I will be able to tell and he gives some examples as well". The principal quietly responses, "I am not talking about state capitals and I am talking about non-refundable capital of Rs 10,000 you need to pay upfront". She adds the monthly tuition fee is only Rs 1,500 but they also teach a lot of extra-curricular activities in the school and they charge approximately Rs. 5,000 for that. She explains they don't collect unnecessarily any further money from the parents. The father responds, "Even if you asks, we will be left with no money in our hands". Finally, the interview gets over and the child joins the school.

    Viswa
     
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