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Day 247. in which we mean no disrespect to Kipling.

Last year, Seth came home with an English textbook. It was a reading primer and his assignment was to read Ricky Ticky Tavi. The next day, I called the school to make certain Seth had been not been accidentally placed in the wrong class.

Nope. Guidance verified he was in the right class. In fact, the counselor confirmed that Seth was in the highest level available for English.

What books did he read last year? Nothing remarkable was assigned by his teacher, so I generated my own assignments for him. Poor kid.

And remember the library? Seth asked to go there in place of recess. It wasn't allowed. In fact, you were permitted to go to the library only if your purpose was to research a paper. You could not just 'go' there without a school-designated 'purpose'. Going to a library simply to peruse books was arcane.

Given these fine experiences and the fact that Kingston High School is also centrally located on lower Broadway, we registered Seth for Coleman Catholic and resigned ourselves over to poverty. We are used to being poor, so it wouldn't be much of a stretch for us.

So when he came home today with a textbook printed in 1979, which was essentially another primer, only slightly more dog-eared and musty, I felt a bit disconcerted.

At least, it wasn't his Science textbook...