... my five year old daughter Emerald graduated from kindergarten on June 13th. It was a strange mixture of the proudest moment of my life and the most ghetto ass piece of shit imaginable.
Emerald's birthday is right near the cut off date for almost every damn school in Sacramento. Almost everyone we talked to told us the same thing, that they accepted kids into their kindergarten classes who were born before December 5th and Emerald was born on December 10th. We figured most schools would let her slide but almost everybody we talked to were very serious about "the rules" and wouldn't move an inch. The school we chose for her we chose because it was close to our house and they'd accept her.
The School, Florin Christian Academy, turned out to be a pathetic ghetto ass piece of shit school with no air conditioning and a family-run clique in charge of the rules that played favorites and excluded people they didn't like. There were half-finished walls and ceilings and the problems we had with the school and the people who ran the school would easily take up ten angry, expletive-laden pages, so I won't anger myself with details.
I remember my wife and I getting all dressed up for the graduation, Em's eyes wide with happiness and pride and excitement. But I just knew deep down inside that this was all going to be horrible - happy for her but hell for my wife and me. I was reminded of something my father used to say. "Stevie, you can't feed roses to pigs." Hearing my dad say that as a kid used to frighten and upset me, but now that I'm a thirty year old educated father of two, those words ring true in my ear every time a fat stinky idiot waddles up to me at work and asks "Y'all carry any dee-vee-dees?" So my dad's words rang in my ears as I saw my wife in an elaborate outfit curling Emerald's hair and fitting Bela in this huge monstrosity of a dress. I just knew that it didn't matter how much time I spent getting dressed up because there were going to be at least ten ghetto ass niggaz with baggy ass jean shorts and stupid Scarface t-shirts.
God, how right I was.
The graduation was held in their auditorium-slash-church, a massive empty barn of a room with absolutely no air conditioning. And this was June 13th, so we're talking 99.9 degrees outside in the shade and fifteen degrees worse in a room with fifty minorities and their screaming children and their cell phones and their weaves and their shitty tattoos. It was hell on earth. And we were all dressed up, so we were literally dripping sweat on the floor. Bela was screaming and crying. It was horrible.
We originally sat in the front row but someone kicked us out because they said the front row was reserved for family and relatives of the owners of the school/ Whatever. We moved back a row. Then ten minutes later we were kicked out AGAIN by a DIFFERENT person saying that the first THREE rows were reserved for family and relatives of the school. Apparently one of the teenagers in the school's graduating high school class of three (three kids in their graduating class, the pricks) was related to the owners of the school, so the first three rows were reserved for hooting and hollering wetbacks with massive Hindenburg-sized balloons and a Scarface shirt for every third mexican. So we had to move again but we had so many people in our group that we had to move all the way to the back just to be able to sit together.
And one of the owners, who already hated my wife for previously questioning school policy, kept reprimanding us for having Bela walking a little bit in the aisle. "We can't have people in the aisles," she said, but when we held her she just screamed because it was 115 degrees in there. I swear I never wanted to kill somebody more than that night.
AND THEY PASSED AROUND A COLLECTION PLATE?!?!? HOW PATHETIC IS THAT?!?!? This is a graduation, for Wood's sake! How ghetto is that?
After Em got handed her diploma, I took Bela to the van and cranked up the Groovie Ghoulies and the AC. I played with her and soaked up the air and taught Isabela how to say "assholes." I thank that school for teaching Em to read and write and to do small time mathematics. But I'm fairly certain that my eternally near-death grandmother who doesn't speak english could have accomplished that and for much less money, so do I really have that stupid fucking school to thank for turning my ready to learn daughter into a reading machine? I don't think so.
She was rapidly ahead of her class. That's partially because Emerald's so amazing and partially because this school was so damn ghetto that it had the world's worst parents enrolling their stupid ass kids there. Parent conferences were uncomfortable because either there were asian parents who barely spoke english or there were black parents with huge gold hoop earrings who talked on their cell phones while rolling up to the school in their Escalades (seriously) or there were fat white toothless parents with ADD and a meth problem. One kid in her class named Tyreek kept hitting and biting and cussing at his classmates. Of course Em was at the top of her class. Just the fact that she didn't set anything on fire put her ahead of the class.
The thing I'll always remember from my graduation experience is that on one of the tv screens they had the graphic for the graduation, the "theme" I guess. But they had white type on a black and white background ...
"Florin Worship Center: Fin and Finning Our Diny in 2007!"
But my beautiful Emerald Rose has never looked so beautiful and I am proud of her graduating kindergarten ahead of her class.
I am also proud of Emerald surviving that shitty ass school and being excited to enroll in her new school, which is going to be a million times better than the hellhole she somehow escaped from.
Best part of her new school? You can visit whenever you want, like during lunchtime. "Oh Emerald, I had the day off and just somehow decided to visit you. What are you having for lunch? What, beef stroganoff? Oh, I guess I'll have some."
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