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Posts Tagged ‘Band of Brothers’

New York City skyline with Empire State Building

Image by meironke via Flickr

Of course we’re ALL too young to remember D-Day when it happened – June 6,1944, BUT you’ve seen the old war movies, you’ve heard your parent’s and grandparent’s stories about WWII-The Big One and you may have even watched Band of Brothersthe HBO series about D-Day and the invasion of Normandy.  This past Tuesday was D-Day all over again.

The general in command of a motley band  of brothers and sisters  was Chiara Clark.  She had assembled her squad earlier in the month and with consistent email reminders and one to one training she had turned us all into crack soldiers ready, willing and able to march in battle for the cause: Finley Ray MUST get into one of the chosen Nursery schools for next year.

You think I’m exaggerating about this soon-to-be executed attack on the New York Nursery School system?  Then you haven’t met General Clark!  Two days before the set date of the invasion, assignments were reviewed, personnel notified to be on ready alert. On the day before the big battle, encouraging words from our leader were sent out via email.  A few of us even received personal greetings from our esteemed commander.

We were under strict orders to man our battle stations by 0800 the morning after Labor Day.  Not one to let anything possibly interfere with the plan, General Clark personally called each combatant to make sure they were at their stations at least an hour prior to the sounding charge.  This battle plan was well thought out, success was almost assured – but as in any war zone, you never know what might foul up the works.

Not like the actual D-Day which relied heavily on man’s willingness to take risks of personal injury for the cause, this day’s battle would rely the human capacity for patience and frustration and the advanced state of modern communications technology.  The troops were in a Tri-State formation; New York, Boston and New Jersey.  Our means of keeping abreast of the various battle fronts would be thru G-mail (appropriately named).

The trumpet was sounded, the call went out and each of us in our own foxhole attacked the schools we had been assigned.  I was one of the lucky ones;  removed physically from the actual battleground of New York City, I was able to perform my duties while tucked safely away in New Jersey, far from the fray of the raging fronts all over the City.   Armed with a land line, a definite advantage in this kind of warfare and a laptop, I stepped into battle confident I would succeed.

Things went well; there were some early on victories, exalted by our leader who spread the word through the G-Mail system.  However, shortly thereafter,  battle fatigue began to set in with some of the squad.  The pent up frustration, the potential of carpal tunnel dialing finger and the sheer repetition of the dialing was beginning to fray some nerves.  A few of the soldiers resorted to name calling and derision of certain recalcitrant application offices.  The schools wouldn’t answer the calls and in some cases the lines went dead.  There was even talk of physically storming one the schools!!

General Clark tried to keep the troops in good spirits and in line, while she  remained firmly in command.  However, there were a couple of soldiers who were too smart in their subordinate roles (or at least they thought so) and eventually we had a short period of mass confusion and communications breakdown.  Not to point fingers at anyone in particular because we all know who it was that began to use the G-Mail to send out his own directives about battle fronts and assignments!

By the end of the second hour of the battle, we had lost a few soldiers but the core remained on the line so to speak and in the end we had lost St. Thomas Moore and worst of all, the 92nd St Y – which was only disappointing because we felt we never even had a chance.  So disheartening to receive an email stating the 3 year old tours were all booked up.  HOW COULD THAT BE WHEN THE PHONE WOULDN’T EVEN RING?  Well when one plan of attack doesn’t work, a good general has a back up plan and in fact she did.   Personal calls to several well-connected people were made and I’m happy to report that by the next day, we had Finley not only on a waiting list BUT ALSO within the hour, she had been given a tour date.  Wow! You know it’s who you know, don’t you?

Clearly the Tuesday after Labor Day in New York City is its own kind of special day; the day that every determined mother marshals her forces and gets  applications for the coveted few openings in a New York Nursery School.  See  Extreme Sports: Portable Cribs and New York Nursery Schools.

On Wednesday, the New York Times ran the following article:

A Frenzied First Day for Applying to Private Kindergartens

Thank God, the bun in the oven now (known as Frankie, Cessca, Franny) will be able to be among the elite corp of toddlers who gain entrance into those hallowed halls by virtue of being a sibling!

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