My family is going to Europe next week. Our flight leaves from Charlotte late Friday afternoon, requiring us to take our daughter out of school 2 hours early. No big deal, right? 2 hours early on the last day before Christmas vacation? I mean, when I was a kid, we'd be having Christmas parties during the last 2 hours of the day Christmas vacation began. We'd be hanging from the ceilings. Half the teachers would be working on their Christmas cards; the other half would be drinking spiked egg nog from the Teachers' Lounge.
Well, apparently it is a big deal. The same school that cancels school THE NIGHT BEFORE a dusting of snow is forecast, has scheduled midterm exams on the last day of school before Christmas vacation.
Of all exams, Linda has her Science midterm at 1:00 that day. And Mrs. Tyrannosaurus, the science teacher, takes the exam schedule quite seriously. It is apparently quite uncommon for her to release her prey from an exam.
I decided to send Mrs.Tyrannosaurus an e-mail, explaining our predicament and asking permission for Linda to take the exam at another time, AT HER CONVENIENCE. I was as polite as I could possibly be.
And here is the response I got back:
Dear Mr. Clyde,
You must have approval from Miss Illaneous, our Instructional Principal, in order to be excused from taking an exam at the designated time. You may call her at 555-5555. Once you have spoken with her, she will inform me of the outcome and arrangements will be made accordingly.
Mr. Clyde? Mr. Clyde was my father!! And Miss Illaneous will inform Mrs. Tyrannosaurus and arrangements will be made accordingly? Am I applying for an FHA loan? I called Miss Illaneous and left her a voice mail message with the request, mentioning the fact that Linda has not missed one day of school so far this year. Low and behold if I didn't get the following e-mail from her:
I have copied Mr. Imincharge, since the principal makes the decision about a student taking an exam at a different time.
The principal? What next, the superintendent? Perhaps the school board? Governor Sanford has been in a bad mood lately, with Jenny appearing on that Barbara Walters show, so I hope he's not the one who decides.
As it turns out, I got a call back from Miss Illaneous, saying that Mr. Imincharge made the determination that Linda could take the exam when she returns to school in January.
I decided to suck it up and sent her this e-mail:
Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. You mentioned in your voice mail that Linda could take the exam after the holidays. She's able to take the test early, as well, if that would be more convenient for Mrs. Tyrannosaurus.
It makes sense to stay on the good side of these administrators, right?
Here's the response I got back:
You are welcome. Mr. Imincharge made the decision for her to take the exam after the holidays. If you would like to appeal to him you may do so.
I decided to cut my losses and stop there. Besides, Mr. Imincharge has more important issues to deal with. There may be snow in the forecast next week.