Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Pre-school madness

Dave Barry on one reason I left NYC:
In certain places, by which I mean Manhattan Island, serious parents start obsessing about Harvard before their child is, technically, born. They spend their evenings shouting the algebraic equations in the general direction of the womb so the child will have an edge during the intensely competitive process of applying for New York City's exclusive private preschools -- yes, PREschools -- where tuition can run -- and I am not making this figure up -- well over $15,000 a year. If you're wondering how on earth a preschool can get away with charging that kind of money, the answer is three words: really delicious paste.

But seriously, the question is: Why are these parents willing to go to such extremes, and spend so much money, to get a child into a certain nursery school? The answer is: They're insane.

No, that's unfair. They're simply people who want their children to have every possible academic advantage so they can get into Harvard, which admits only extremely high achievers, which a lot of the time means students whose parents have driven themselves insane.