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June 16, 2010

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CF Oxtrot

Ah this brings back sweet memories. I went to a school called Town & Country Day School in Wheaton MD for K-6, back in the days when there was a Jr High for 7-9 instead of a "middle school" for 6-8. This was 1965-1972. T&C eventually merged with The Newport School in Kensington, then the whole shebang failed as I understand it.

In any event -- we had a "graduation" from 6th grade complete with caps, gowns, and tassels on the caps. We also had annual class trips -- 3d grade to Luray Caverns VA, 4th grade to Williamsburg VA, and the big deal was in 5th and 6th grades when we took 4-day trips to NYC. So high-falutin', we were. All my classmates went on to academic stardom in the DC area's finest snob academy prep schools. Me, I shuffled off to FS Key Jr High in White Oak, where nobody did any school work and the academics in 7th grade approximated what I'd seen at T&C in 3d or 4th grade.

What a life. I often wonder how I escaped snobbery, other than my family's poverty preventing me from going to Landon.

Al

We didn't have graduations at all in 6th or 9th grade at my MoCo public schools (in the 70's), so this kind of pageantry strikes me as overdone. My son, who "graduated" from 5th grade recently took part in a ceremony held at school, limited to speeches, certificates and a few awards.

I discovered your blog recently and like your humorous take on the overclass. I get the feeling you like the DC suburbs, though. Once you look past the appearances and the striving you see that people really value their educations and don't want their kids to miss out. I will be very surprised if my son's (California) high school turns out to be anywhere near as good as the "W" school I went to.

TLB

to CF Oxtrot, I too attended a 7-9 Junior High, Thomas W. Pyle here in Snobethesda. I also have 4 step siblings who attended Key Junior High and then graduated from Springbrook, I'm guessing from their successes that they did do work :-) I on the other hand struggled at a "W" school. As the parent of 2 teenagers @ a different "W" school in Snobethesda, I still cringe at the snobbery that you speak of, it is alive and well same as the '70s.

CF Oxtrot

TLB,

My brother and I both graduated from Key and Springbrook. My post-schooling career was "successful" by DC standards, but I've given up on that and moved far away and am doing something that would be more suited to a Takoma Park resident now. My brother has succeeded in fine DC style, he's a high-security-clearance dude at Booz Allen, drives a sporty Volvo turbo of some kind, lives in a McMansion development in northern Montgomery County.

My point about the kids doing no work at Key was related more to the gulf that existed between the education at a decent (but now defunct) private K-6 and that which existed in the lower- to flat-middle-class parts of Montgomery County's public K-6. I'd guess there were kids who were at Key with me who did lots of work. I didn't have to do any, because I'd already done it several years before at T&C. That was my point, probably not clearly enough stated.

In any case, I find there's an even bigger gulf between "education" of the type well-loved in DC, and real learning that helps one sift the intellectual chaff from the meaningful wheat germ. Rather than judging one's wisdom and abilities by his or her placement at Ivy League colleges, I prefer to see how one uses his/her smarts in ways that benefit humanity. Fat wallets, fancy cars and 10,000 sq ft mansions are not indicative of humane intelligence, but rather, of shark-like predatory finesse.

In my opinion, that is.

Lisa L.

Do you think we can pare it down to one party this year (pool party *or* DJ party)? You can help spread this notion, please. :-)

--Lisa

Nekole

I for one loved my 5th grade graduation at Rock View... we had a pool party with pizza and the 5th graders did some special activities the last week of school that no one else did... we got shirts with all of our names printed on them (no we didn't sign them) we had a ceremony in which we were alphabetized by last name, called up to shake peoples hands, and handed a rolled up scroll. And then when it was all over, we had cake and celebrated.

It was like that with the 8th grade promotion ceremony at Newport Mill... we walked over to Einstein's -gasp!- auditorium, dressed in our finest... but we weren't called up. THey called out our names and then afterwards, once we were outside, they gave us our certificates. We had snacks after that, as well. We'd also had a end-of-the-year trip to some park or another, where we got to swim, and then we had a dance at the Wheaton Moose Lodge or something.

Doris

We had a nice but simple graduation at Olney Elementary with ice cream and tee shirts. The kids all went on to Farquhar and to (gasp!) Sherwood. Two of my kids went on to Georgetown (and one continued on to Georgetown Law); other kids went to Princeton, Harvard, Vanderbilt, etc. But maybe these were all smart kids who managed somehow to surmount their non-W high schools!

Nekole

Doris, as a student at Sherwood (transfered in Junior year from Northwood) I consider Sherwood snoburbia, as well as that who area.

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