Friday, October 06, 2006

"Black Girl Lost" (© Nas)

I got off the phone with my younger sister at around 10:30pm last night. It was well past her bedtime, but she was studying for an exam she has at some point this morning. We had the longest phone conversation to date and I felt I had to share it with you all because I value your advice.

Sister Smartness turned 13 earlier this year. She’ll be graduating from elementary school next year and is beginning to seriously consider private high schools where the student body makeup is largely Caucasian and affluent. Somehow, Sister Smartness got wind of several exceptional private schools in New York City and all of them seem to harbor students that have little in common with her. I’ve secretly had the desire for her to attend one of these schools, but I’ve never spoken to her explicitly about this. I want the education offered by these schools for my sister because I believe in my heart that the learning experience would be phenomenal. I was taken aback, however, when during our conversation yesterday she named two schools that I had never heard of: The Trinity School (NYC) and the Birch Wathen Lenox School (NYC).

I did a bit of research and discovered that both of these schools are exceptional. The tuition at these schools also happens to be in the $25k+ range. But my worry has little to do with the cost of her education. I’m more concerned about how this exposure to children so different from herself at such an impressionable age will affect her.

Your thoughts/opinions on this would be most appreciated.

3 comments:

Brother Lightness said...

The younger the exposure the easier the transition. Better she gets that experience now than in college or the workplace.

qwerty said...

Why does she want to go to those schools? Did she tell you? Yeah, they have stellar academic reputations, but so does Stuyvesant. So does Brooklyn Tech. So does Bronx Science. So does Midwood.

The younger the exposure the easier the transition.

$100k to be amongst whites seems a tad... extra, no?

Anonymous said...

(rak here. I need to re-memorize my login)
btw, Of the many schools I've known non-white graduates of, Trinity's graduates (all 2...) have most often expressed a sense of being ostracized.

Better to get that transition early as brother lightness notes, but also better to look for schools where that transition is as smooth as possible--I don't know about the two you mention.