Saturday, 1 May 2010

A woman with no legs

OK so we did not get the school we wanted.

Not only that.

My poor child is the only one from the class of 28 kids who got offered a place somewhere outside the village. You see, when I told you that we would most probably end up in one of the two schools we were close to.... I was wrong. I spoke too soon. I did not know that our house fell in an educational hole, a sort of a vacuum between two lucky areas. Everyone on our left ended up in the school we wanted. Everyone on our right- in the school we did not really want, but which would have been okay.

We, living right in the middle, ended up with nothing.

So, I thought this is what it would feel like if I had some horrific disease, like a terminal cancer. Or, maybe, if I had no legs. Yes, one day I had legs, and suddenly someone (the local council to be precise) chopped them both off. And then, in the morning, when I had to bring my child back to school, I had no legs. So everyone stared. They looked at my crippled bleeding body and hugged me tight. “It will be OK” they said, thinking to themselves “Hmm..It won’t’ really. The woman has no legs! “

I had a stunning bouquet of flowers from one friend whom I was meeting for lunch, and, when I got home., another friend stopped by with cream cakes. "I am so, so sorry she said. It will be OK."
Oh, and another one gave my child a nice present.

What's next then? you might ask. Well, husband is busy composing appeals and checking where we are on the waiting list. As for me, I am thinking I should camp outside the school with a board and a hat- to start collecting money for my child’s private education. It might work. Everyone is feeling very, very sorry for us.


  1. So sorry to hear this - how frustrating!!! And seems unfair! Got my fingers crossed that the appeal may help.....

  2. Thanks, Sharon...Unless you live where we do, it is hard to explain the aspects involved in being outside the community. and schools are a huge part of that community. my child would be excluded from her world. sounds dramatic, but when you are that small, it is very important. Plus, the other school is just a NO-NO. Over my dead,legless body.

  3. Sorry, Scary, but I think you are being overly dramatic. This situation sounds like a relatively minor screwup on the part of school district (or whatever they are called in England). I'm sure they will rectify the problem once they heard your side of the story. After all, it's not a communist country... Have you actually talked to someone at the district?

  4. @Riyad..

    Of course we talked to them. This country is very funny when it comes to the rules. And then some more rules, on top of the other rules. And people who get paid very little to sit there all day long looking after those rules. Anyway, let me just give you one little example of just how stupid this place can get. They created a rule which claims that they commit to providing my child with a school she can safely walk to. They then have schools trying to get funding by having full classes, so the schools stretch out of the catchment area to get more kids when the classes are relatively empty. The next year, when the class is full, the sibling rule over-rules the distance/catchment area rule (as those who already have a sibling in the school get priority) and people like us end up in a school a lot further than our local village one. So now, because they can’t give my child a school they promised, they tell us that they might have to provide her with a taxi to and from school, with a police-checked driver every day. Would that be a realistic option in the States? I doubt it. :))) But this place is, at times, simply surreal. :) Moronic might be another word.

    Anyway, I appreciate it is hard to imagine just how stupid and frustrating and difficult this is, when you don’t know all the details. I just had to get it out of my system, and will move on to something else soon. Promise!

  5. I can feel your frustration. And how senseless are those comments saying "it'll be OK".
    I really hope you can reverse the situation with the appeal you've filed.
    From here, all the best.

  6. This story is unbelievable.I fully understand your filings.I am so sorry for this,I hope everything will be all right.But I have to say,that our problems completely different,exactly in education .It is so easy in Azerbaijan,u can send your child wherever wanted,/ bribe/

  7. Scary Azeri, I like you, but I think you need a better perspective. My second son died of cancer a few months ago; he was one year old. His older brother is three, and at first he kept running after other families' babies, saying "Oh there you are, come back!"

    I do understand how much you hoped and sacrificed for your child to get into a good school. But your child has loving parents. Your child has a safe place to live. And for goodness sake, your child has two legs.


  8. @Mark: I am sorry, this is terrible...

    I know that there are real tragedies in life. And some truly sad things happen every day. But we all still tend to get annoyed and upset at little things, dont we.

    I know there are families in war -torn zones dying every day somewhere right now. Of course, that is very sad. Does that help me to feel calm and happy that by september I have not got a decent school for my girl? Nope. But just because I rant a little does not mean I dont have a perspective. I know what is most important, and I am very grateful we are all healthy and alive. But I cant help getting p**** off at the system occassionally.

    thank you for your comment though, and again I am so sorry.

  9. You know Scary, having read through (most) of the rest of your blog by now, I see how wrong I was to suggest that you needed a better perspective. Looking at this first post I made on your blog makes me realize something. I think the reason a lot of people are offended by you is probably less because what you say pushes their buttons, and more because they jump to conclusions - about what you're like, or what you mean, or what your positions are.

    That's just the Internet, and most people don't spend hours or days reading any site before they make decisions about it. I think your experiences and perspectives have given you a complexity most people don't run into in others they meet from day to day, and that's hard to see at first. You often write about how many people you have offended, but I don't think you need to worry about that as much anymore, because eventually your reputation will precede you. And when that happens, people will be much more patient with hearing you out.

    Anyway, good luck with your writing.

  10. @Mark: That is quite sweet, you know. Thank you! And I am flattered you've spent so much time going through this blog.:) I hope it is not entirely the research for that cultural project you were working on! :)
    Which I promise I will soon have a look through. I have not forgotten. But hey, thanks again.