I received an important phone call on Wednesday afternoon—right when Sam knocked over a tall tower Alice had built with blocks and both kids were screaming. The admissions director from an independent school phoned to set up Alice's screening appointment and a parent interview. As the woman started to tell me about the process, I was waving my hands at my kids trying to quiet them down. Finally, I gave them pieces of Halloween candy that I had stashed away for myself.
Anyway, the woman was incredibly nice and she actually apologized for the school's requirement that children go through a screening. I asked her if there was anything I could do to prepare Alice or my husband and myself, and she said that we should just all be ourselves. (As I write this, I'm looking at my husband sitting on the couch. He definitely needs a haircut before the interview.)
The admissions director also told me that Alice's screening is from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. I cluelessly commented, "Oh, so it's an hour and a half." That's when I started shoving Halloween candy into my mouth.
Later that day, Ryan carried up the mail and handed me a letter from another independent school with news of another screening appointment and parent interview. The letter specifically notes that preparation and coaching are discouraged for the kindergarten screening. And that's when I decided to cancel the PISS (Preparation for Independent School Screening) classes I had signed Alice up for. (Just kidding!)
Of course, I'm starting to stress—well, okay, freak out—about the screening and interview. Actually, I'm assuming that Alice will do fine. She's bright and creative and typically she's outgoing and social, except around people she doesn't know....oh dear, I'm worried. I'm wondering what goes on in these screenings? What if Alice breaks down when I drop her off? What if she forgets how to spell her name? What if she shows them the tattoo on her right arm? I could really use some advice. I'm not an expert in the "interview" category.
At my first interview out of college with the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau, the lady interviewee asked a few questions and then she sprung a "pop current events quiz" on me. Do you know what I did? I ran . . . right out the door. The lady chased me down the hallway calling, "Kate, Kate, Kate," and I continued to sprint with tears running down my face. I hopped back on Cal Train to San Jose, where my dad picked me up.
"How'd it go?" my Dad asked.
"Not so good, Dad."
"Oh, it couldn't have been that bad." he said.
"Yes, it was that bad."
Luckily, Alice is more poised and composed than her Mom. I doubt she'll be running out of the screening—and I'll have my husband to pin me down in the interview.
I know some of you are going to passionately attack and scrutinize the screening and interview process. But I'm sure that some of you have been through it and can offer advice and some of you will be going through it and can empathize with my anxiety. So please share your thoughts and experiences.