"This fall, Kyrie* will be attending the University of Southern Maine focusing on Early Childhood Education."
Of course she will.
Young Kerry,** seventeen, has likely known teachers more and better than her own parents (and vice versa). She's spent more waking hours getting ready for, traveling to, attending, and doing homework for school than everything else in her young life combined.
Schools have very quietly and successfully replaced churches as the central focus of our local societies. We're so distracted by our focus on having the "best schools," ensuring our special children are in the "advanced" groups,*** doing fund raising for the Spanish Club's cultural exposure trip to On the Border (the best they could do. It's a shame, really), with our kids attending anti-bullying rallies, endeavoring to succeed at sports, and carting them to dance, music, and math-club, that we never have enough free time to stop and consider...
That darling Kyrie**** has never had a moment of her early childhood that wasn't developed, planned or measured against a trajectory toward college. What has she lived? Early Childhood Education. What does she know? Early Childhood Education. What will she study in college? When pressured by society (or Aunt Joanne) for an answer, the adherents to the faith of The Church of Early Childhood Education know what to do: deliver the correct answer, pronto; rote and without thinking. According to her catechism, that correct and immediate answer is...
Early Childhood Education.
Annie's***** life is in front of her, but her path is set. What is life but school? What is school but life? She will get her degree, cum laude (whatever that means. I think it's Italian), and promptly enter indentured servitude to her federal loan programs for twenty years. Along the way she'll get married, lease her cars, pay her bills, laugh a little too loudly at her sitcoms, vote for the collectivist candidate, and have her own little Sidneys and Emmas to continue the cycle.
Unless, perchance, she makes a break for it between the queso dip and her enchiladas while she's On the Border.
Es una pena, de verdad.
* Or was it Katie? Christie?
*** Or, that not being mathematically possible for all our special children, taking perverse pride in reciting the litany of acronymic diagnoses, syndromes, and prescriptions that prevent young Cassidy from excelling like she should, "I just know it," if only she weren't "developmentally challenged by the unfairness of it all."