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Brighid got a letter in the mail a few weeks ago from the prep school she will be attending in September. They invited her to take a test to see if she qualified to enter their Honors program in English and History. She is totally psyched about the test, since English is her very best subject, and she is convinced before she gets to the testing center that she will pass the test and get into the Honors program.
She takes the test, just three days after I get home from the hospital after having Grace. In spite of the turmoil at home with the new baby and everybody home together for the first time in nearly a month, she says that she aces the test. It was incredibly easy, she had no problem with any part of it, and she is just waiting for her letter of invitation into the Honors program.
Yesterday, we get a letter saying that you have to score 10 in order to get into the program, and Brighid got an 11. But, after they print the scores, there is a paragraph that says she has not been accepted, although she has the potential to get in next year. The letter encourages her to study hard and keep her grades up as a freshman, and she may get in as a sophomore.
Brighid gets home, PMSing to add a touch more interest to the story, and she reads the letter saying she isn’t in the program. She is devastated, crying, upset, convinced she is a complete moron that will never be able to compete with the kids going to this school next year. She is regretting her decision to go to this school, she is convinced she is destined to deliver pizza as a profession, and she sees no point in continuing life outside this house or out of pajamas.
Jim makes a call to the head of the English department to see if he can find out why she didn’t get in if the qualifying score was 10 and Brighid got an 11. Maybe they have limited the number of kids accepted and 11 is not good enough to get in, but it was good enough to “qualify” to get in. We just don’t know. We wait for a call back from this English department guy, and he phones today while Brighid is in NYC on her class trip. There seems to be a mistake. The rejection letters were printed out with the “sorry, try harder” paragraph before the “you are brilliant and accepted” letters. When they got around to printing the “you are brilliant” letters, they forget to change the form letter, so all the kids that were accepted got rejection letters. Brighid was one of those kids. Not only that, Brighid scored the second highest of any kid who took the test.
I cried. I felt so awful for her because of how hard she took the rejection – for no reason. It was a huge blow to her ego, and even though we have good news to share tonight when she gets home, it was a shitty thing to have to go through.
I baked a cake. I bought her chocolate strawberries. I bought her a black and white graduation teddy bear (her new school colors are black and white). I bought her a card to let her know how proud we are of her. I hope it washes away some of the bad taste left in her mouth.