She got in.
Alcohol. Now. Please.
At the advice of my friends K and P, I waited until the final day to register Elanor. This means I’ve spent the last few days monitoring numbers and feeling nervous, but that I entered today with a good idea of our odds.
I felt confident that the school we were applying to would have enough spots for Elanor–but I was deeply worried that our documentation would pose a problem. Because we only had the “in-principle” PR approval letter—even after talking to the MOE P1 hotline (Ministry of Education Primary 1 Registration Hotline)—I had butterflies in my stomach. Because we only had an email from the NIR (National Immunization Registry) saying our paperwork was processing with copies of the US and SG shot records AND E’s missing the Tuberculosis vaccination I was scared. Had we done everything we could and still have our attempt at registration implode?
Arriving at the school, we followed directions to the registration area. Along the way we passed through the canteen (cafeteria) and walked past where kids were playing for recess. As a former teacher, I found the loud cafeteria oddly comforting–some things are universal.
When we signed in, they took our paperwork and I think went to call the MOE because E doesn’t have a number that starts with the letter T/ all of our stuff is in-principle and in progress. But after a short wait they emerged with the paperwork and took us to a table to fill out the paperwork. Within 20 minutes we were done.
We got home and I immediately began to feel buyer’s remorse. Did I really do full due diligence? Should we have tried to roll the dice at a “better” school where we would have likely balloted? Did I miss anything? I actually scrolled through about 4 or 5 more school websites, wondering if I should run back down and withdraw Elanor and then attempt to register her elsewhere.
Then I got reacquainted with my old friend, Sanity. Sanity has disappeared a lot this week, leaving me alone with her frenemy Anxiety.
I had to wait 9 hours until the MOE finally posted the days results. How many spots did each school have for Phase 2C, and how many students had registered. The school we picked will enter Phase 2C supplementary with available seats, which means Elanor has been accepted.
It was actually a fairly fast and painless process to register E—most likely because we weren’t playing chicken with balloting. I imagine schools who ended up massively oversubscribed today were a very different story. I watched that drama play out on the kiasu parent threads and you could feel the tension radiating from the screeen. I felt a great deal of stress today, but it was nothing compared to what those parents went through. Now many of them are going to be fighting it out for the remaining seats at our school, among others.
With support and guidance from friends, I feel like we played the game well and we ended up with what we wanted—Elanor has a seat at a school we are (thus far) happy with.
After I’ve had some time to process I’ll do a post breaking down what the experience was like. The practical and the emotional experiences were very different creatures. The stress of enrolling a child in a school system you have no real point of reference for is immense. The second guessing. All of it. I’ve done some very tongue in cheek posts these past few days, but I’ll have serious posts talking about it at some point down the road.
I’m sure that some of you can easily guess where Elanor is going to school, but I’ll ask you to refrain from naming names for her privacy. I’ll come up with an alias between now and Jan, just as I use one to reference Ravi’s workplace.