Thoughts & Views: School daze, school daze . . .

When I was a toddler, there was no such thing as pre-school or day-care.

Formal education began at kindergarten, or, for many kids, not until first grade.

Until age 5 or so, we were free to be unrestricted children. While the daddies were out hunting/gathering and the mommies were cleaning the caves, we tots were outside playing with our pet brontosaurus. (The brontosaurus was the approved child-safe pet; when we got older, we might be allowed to have a T. Rex, provided it had obedience training.)

In any case, yours truly never went to pre-school. But if I ever felt deprived because of that (and I haven’t), today’s world offers a second chance. And this particular second chance is yet more evidence that today’s world is going stark raving mad.

Recently, a friend sent me an email link to an ABC News story about “the world’s first day-care experience for adults.”

What?

Yes, over in Brooklyn there has been established an adult pre-school, where for between $333 and $999 per month (the difference in price was not clearly explained in the email), you can attend classes featuring dress-up, games of musical chairs, Play-Doh crafting, fingerpainting, etc.

You will also have naptime. And maybe a field trip or two — but the destination was not specified. (I’d vote for a pub crawl.)

“In this one-month adventure,” the school’s founder was quoted as saying, “we’ll explore preschool concepts, like sharing and friendship, in order to apply and inject play, wonder, self-belief, and community into our grown-up lives.”

The program also includes a “parents day,” when the students can invite an (other) adult to speak to the class. (I would invite a psychiatrist.)

All of this reminded me of another “return to your youth” school I had heard about many years ago. This one was in England. For a fee — can’t recall the price — you could book a week at a private girls’ “boarding school” and relive all the joys of your privileged British adolescence.

It was touted as an alternative vacation option. The adult female students would be issued uniforms and live in dorms and spend their days in class and their evenings doing homework. There must have been some social events, too, but these have faded from my memory.

I was actually intrigued, until it dawned on me that I had never been either British or privileged.

I decided to give that particular “reliving” experience a pass.

As for the adult pre-school, I’ll give that a pass, too. I already have enough “play, wonder, self-belief, and community” in my grown-up life.

That’s because I’ve never completely grown up — as I have been told more than once. And I wouldn’t change that at all.

– Karen Zautyk 

The Observer Staff