Dropping off your child at an elite Manhattan private school every morning may sound like a dream come true, but in actuality may leave something to be desired.  Three possibilities:

  1. There could be ear-splitting noise.  Last year, students and parents at Horace Mann Nursery School on East 90th between Park and Madison were the victims of the next door neighbor’s need to drill a massive swimming pool in the basement of his mega-townhouse.
  2. You could be underdressed.  Veronique Hyland’s New York Times article explains the problem: Curbside at School, a Red Carpet
  3. There could be people picketing, getting in the way of your son greeting the headmaster.  According to Peter Lattman of the New York Times, Expansion Plans Divide School and Son of Its Former Headmaster

Each weekday morning, the headmaster of St. David’s School stands at the front door of the all-boys school on East 89th Street, heartily welcoming his students with a smile and firm handshake.

In recent months, he has been joined outside the stately brick building by a husky man with a bushy beard, who greets the boys by chanting a Native American song and banging on a drum; sometimes, he shakes maracas.

To read a fictional account of unpleasant dropping off (and picking up) at a NYC private school that sounds suspiciously like Ethical Culture Fieldston School, try This Beautiful Life, by Helen Schulman.  You can also read about dropping off in the satirical admissions novel Where Does Caitlin Go To School?