Monday, February 07, 2005

Ulpana-rama and the sucking sound of Knit-Alongs

So A went off this morning to get tested at yet another ulpana (girls' high school), this time the school in Ofra. (Thanks for the reassuring words, me-ander!) She's tested at 3 high schools so far, including the one she really, reaaly [insert teenaged whining here] wants to go to, Kfar Pines, and has heard from two--rejections. Her school is still working on Kfar Pines, though, hoping that enough girls who were accepted will turn the school down and that they will then let A in.

I know A doesn't have the world's best grades--last semester her average was a little over 80. But I don't think that's the sticking point; S, who had an average of 95 at the same point, didn't get into the exact same schools. Part of it is just too few spaces at the dorm schools: I've heard that for every bed in Kfar Pines's incoming class there are 100 girls who test. But if there's such a shortage of spaces and qualified girls aren't getting in, why aren't more dorms being built?

My daughters cynically tell me that the problem is we have no Vitamin P -- protekzia (influence, pull, pressure). That's quite possible; girls who didn't even have A's average and who are known to cry for home during an overnight in the next town over have been accepted to the schools where their mothers, aunts, and sisters have all gone. But how is an immigrant supposed to get influence at a school? If we had known then what we know now, I would have started networking the day we got to Israel.

Not that I have anything against the local (non-dorm) school. S goes there and seems as happy as any teen is at high school. But S is the stay-at-home type and A is definitely the dorm type of kid -- outgoing, a leader, influencing others without being easily influenced. If she doesn't get into a dorm school simply because I didn't go to one, my sister didn't go to one, and her sister didn't get into one -- well, I'm disillusioned enough with Israel most days (see your local newspaper and any news story about the Israel government), so I don't even want to think about how I'll feel come September.

In happier news: That sucking sound you hear is Moze being pulled in two directions at once. I frogged the green Romney socks again. Note to self: yes, cables do pull in, you lunce. Re cast-on with 60 stitches instead of 54; should work this time around. On the other end of the knitting world, I'm being sucked into two more knit-a-longs. The deep purple wool I bought off Ebay and had planned to use as a poncho? Note to self: when you wear head scarves, ponchos are not the world's most practical outerwear. But the wool would look wonderful as a Mariah. And that Wavy is calling me, too. At least it should be a fast finish--if I don't frog it over and over.


zibibbo said...

OOh go for Wavy! It's a fast knit and super cool except for the constant mentally counting to three thing, perhaps that's just me :) Oh I hear there's someone working on importing Southwest Trading fibers over there so hopefully you won't have to suffer with the all acrylic shelves for too long. Buon Divertenti!

muse said...

My kids all managed sans protexia, though most went to newish schools. And the one who wanted one he couldn't get into, ended up joining his big brother, and they both did amazingly well. I'll never forget the administrator telling me: "We want Nedavya's bother." and I answered, "but you don't know him." And he told me not to worry, since I was a wreck. And in the end it worked out much better than I had ever dreamed.
I don't think that Kfar Pines is all it's hopped up to be. Many of my neighbors who sent their elder daughters aren't sending the younger ones.