Mr. A seems to regard much of the homeschooling at a bemused distance, which amuses me not one whit. So in order to balance things at least a wee smidge toward joint responsibility, when the issue of scheduling Rhino’s AP exams came up, I suggested that Mr. A take that on. The asking was perfunctory—it was rhetorical asking—and Mr. A wisely understood this and we are still happily married.
Rhino had finished her AP government course last December right on schedule, so we knew that she would be taking that AP. She is, even as of this writing, not done with the FIRST semester of AP Biology, so it was clear even back in February that she would not be taking that AP. While she had done even less work in Environmental Science than in Bio, the EnSci class is designed to be done in a semester, so it seemed more practical that she should finish that up.
Then we found out that Mr. A and Rhino’s plans to go to a major music festival conflicted with the EnSci AP. No problem, I thought. She’s homeschooled anyway—why couldn’t she take the exam in the same city as the music festival? This was greeted as a brilliant idea, and I left the execution of the idea to Rhino and Mr. A and went about the business of raising children, caring for my mother, working full time, and looking for a new job.
Rhino made some phone calls and found out that a person should take all of her AP exams in the same place and with the same AP Coordinator. This threw a monkey wrench into the plan because it would not be possible to take the AP Government exam in the city with the music festival.
So then the issue became that Rhino did not want to take the make up AP EnSci exam because last year her AP US History teacher convinced her that the make up exams were designed to punish those who were not prepared on time in order to discourage everyone from postponing the test to a later date (thus having two more weeks to study for it). Rhino was back to worrying about liver evisceration. I stayed out of the fray, as going to the music festival was not even my idea.
Mr. A didn’t think much about his responsibilities for awhile. Then he called the AP people and found that Rhino’s test accommodations would still be in place and we did not have to re-apply for them. That was good.
Then he found a school in the suburbs that said they’d be happy to let Rhino take her AP exams with their students. So he thought we were good to go. Only he hadn’t told the school that Rhino gets special testing accommodations. Nor had he told them that she needed to take the make-up version of the Environmental Science exam. He didn’t want to spring too much on them at once. Then he did spring it on them, and they promptly rescinded their offer, claiming that they didn’t have a person or space for special proctoring, especially on a make up test date.
It was getting close to the exam dates, and Mr A started getting a little sweaty. He emailed me about the tribulations and his great anxiety that this was NOT going to work out. I considered replying with something very, very snotty. Something to the effect that this was pretty much the ONLY thing he was contributing to the management of homeschooling and he had managed not to do it, and to get me involved to boot. I even wrote a reply in such a vein, which included some more of those words Rhino tries to teach the homeless preschoolers not to say. But instead I thought about this piece on animal training (see http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/25/fashion/25love.html) and sent a note saying, “That’s too bad. What are you going to do?”
I figured that now if Rhino didn’t get into college, we could all blame it on Mr. A, which would be great for Rhino’s self esteem.
Then, Mr. A decided to contact Rhino’s old IB High School (which Twister will be attending next fall). The lovely people there at first pointed out that they don’t even offer AP US Government. Also, they had already ordered all of their AP tests, which did not include copies for Rhino, especially as she wanted to take the make-up AP EnSci exam.
Then Mr. A went and talked to the folks at the school, and the new principal there said none of this was a problem. They would order Rhino’s exams. They would find a special proctor to monitor her accommodations. She could take EnSci on the make up day. And they would even pay for that test because they offer the class and the city system pays for the tests (we would have to pay for the AP Government test, though I was surprised to find that the tests seem to cost less than they did when I took them in 1987). I have some thought that they were so accommodating because Twister is the valedictorian at his school and they are very excited that he is coming. But maybe they are just nice.
So Mr. A got the AP test issue all straightened out, and all we had to do was make sure Rhino was actually ready to take them, which if you remember our ongoing saga, was a very big issue in its own right.