A year and a half later, I receive an email from Dora’s second grade teacher. The email breaks many unspoken rules of email etiquette.
For starters, an email titled, “Hi! Quick Check-in!”should be able to be scanned and digested between meetings, or even during a meeting. It should contain a few sentences, and each sentence should be dipped in goodwill and breaded with cheer.
An email with that title should especially not be used as a Trojan Horse for a teacher to express, through three, extended-play-length paragraphs, her “serious concern” about how “intensely challenging” it is to “convince Dora to write more than a few sentences at a time!”
Personally, I find the final exclamation point rude and unnecessary, a rotten cherry on a melted sundae. Perhaps this is why Dora does not want to write for her.
I immediately excuse myself from a meeting to call Dr. Ivy’s office. While on hold, I imagine David and I being informed, soap-opera-style, that Dora has Dyslexia, a condition I know from Lifetime TV. Or perhaps she has some kind of rare, progressive hand-eye coordination thing. Neither seems plausible. Certainly we’d have seen signs.
When Dr. Ivy’s assistant picks up, I stress the urgency of the situation using my best, most efficient, this-is-no-time-to-fuck-around Manager Voice. Despite Leaning In, we still end up waiting three weeks for Dora to be seen.
Four weeks later, Dr. Ivy’s Education Assessment Scheduling Specialist helps us schedule several official-sounding Learning Assessments meant to “get to the bottom” of Dora’s Writing Thing. Dora will have the assessments in two, sixty minute sessions, kind of like a massage except probably the exact opposite. The Assessment Package comes with a price tag that makes us silent-gulp when we sign the receipt. But only Bad Parents complain about price, right?
During the scheduling process I learn many new things about the world of educational and behavioral assessments, the crown jewel of which is this:
“The IQ test” has a formal name, and that name is not, in fact,”The IQ Test”.
According to Joan the Assessment Scheduler, the formal name of the IQ test is The Woodcock Johnson.
As in, “We have you down for the Woodcock Johnson on May third.”
It takes me approximately three seconds to process the phrase Woodcock Johnson. Specifically, that we, in the United States, measure people’s intelligence with a Woodcock Johnson. My immediate need to share this information with David is physical.
In the following two seconds, it first occurs to me that “Down For The Woodcock Johnson” has the potential to become perhaps the Greatest Album Name Of All Time.
In the remaining second since Scheduling Joan last spoke, I retrieve Beavis and Butthead from my neural gutter.
“She said ‘Woodcock Johnson‘,” Imaginary Beavis titters.
Butthead asks Scheduling Joan, “Uhhh … long is it?”
Later, over dinner, David only rolls his eyes.
“Don’t worry,” I assure him, “I was mature. I kept it in.”
Then, “Heh-heh. Get it? I kept it in?”
“Congratulations,” says David, “You are a twelve year-old boy.”