We have entered another dimension of time and space: CJ is a college junior.  And as of 3pm this afternoon, GC is a high school senior…and we are officially old people.

What a ride: It's too bad we cannot relax and enjoy one more year of pre-empty nest quality time with our teen, but instead have to deal with Early vs. Regular strategies, biting nails over test scores, proofreading activity lists, and agonizing over whether it was a mistake to not include Bowdoin and Bates on our tour.  

But at least we haven't blown all our retirement money on remedial help for our kids.  In yet another NYT piece about the outrageous level of out-of-control educational spending in New York, there is an account of a Riverdale Country School family that paid $35,000 in a year to one tutor from Ivy Consulting.  (This did not include the $100k+ they spent the previous year on SAT prep.)  The $35,000 accounted for preparation for one oral exam, the culmination of one high school course -$750 – $1500 a week for the year.

The Neurotic Parent Institute has done some preliminary research about the class in question, and has discovered that it is not AP Calculus or Physics, but rather an interdisciplinary course called "Integrated Liberal Studies."  According to Wikipedia, there are "readings and assignments covering Western culture, surveying classical philosophy as well as the history of science, and featuring literature, religion and arts components." And the reason the class is so notorious is because it uses "source material" (real books) rather than textbooks.

I started this post somewhat depressed about the melancholy fleeting moments of youth, the circle game cliché that has taken over my life. But now I am energized, now I have something to look forward to. 

As soon as my youngest leaves the house I can move to a Hudson-view townhouse in Riverdale and become a Liberal Studies tutor. 

As a source material aficionado who is as liberal as they come, I am super-qualified to prepare kids for oral presentations.  Just ten students at $1500 each a week comes to $780,000 a year -  considerably more than I earn in the entertainment industry or as a blogger. 

I had planned to use this post to rant about how B's, once defined as "good," are now the end of the world.  But it is the pressure of those potential B's that make parents spend more on a tutor than on tuition at an Ivy. 

What joy it is to have found my cause: As soon as I brush up on my classical philosophy, I am prepared to devote the next stage of my life wiping out B's at Riverdale.

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