I was out of town most of this week, but Thursday morning while waiting for breakfast in an airport restaurant, my cell phone rang. It was Sarah's mom from next door. Sarah's test date for the Orozco bilingual gifted program is in mid-February. She wondered if I had had a chance to talk to the principal about Sarah. Not yet, I told her. It may not matter anyway if they don't have space, but it doesn't hurt to try. We agreed to get together early next week to talk about the test.
It was funny when I explained I wasn't in Chicago, I was in Baltimore.
"Is that far?" she asked.
"Yes. I'm flying back to Chicago today," I answered. (Since she wasn't born here, I don't expect her to have a strong grip on US geography. But it still surprises me sometimes when moments like this pop up.)
Right after we hung up, I called a friend of mine who has had two sons go through the gifted testing process. She asked if Sarah would be going to IIT. I didn't know but said I'd find out next week. My friend's kids both took their tests at IIT. With the older son it was a cattle call--every kid had a number, there was a lot of waiting, it felt very impersonal. This year, with her younger son, she said it went much more smoothly. The wait was short and they called the kids by name. Apparently with the four-year-olds they just take them in a room and an IIT psychology grad student asks them questions until the kid can't answer any more. I wonder if it's different with the school-age kids who don't have standardized test scores yet. I guess we'll find out in February.