A-Croc-Alypse Now, Children, Living in This World

Things Change

Sometime in the past five years, while I was clearly not paying attention, they changed the policies about bus routes in City By the Sea. In trying to search for the high school bus routes, I discovered that at 1.5 miles away (according to Google Maps, though it seems further in traffic), we live too close for LP to ride a bus to Downtown High School. At least I think so. Gone are the days when the local paper publishes all the routes. Now you go to the website, which links to a school website, which announces "High School transportation policies are being revised." The page is copyrighted 2007.

I also think the chances she'll make that walk in a timely fashion in the morning are pretty slim. Good thing I was planning to drop her there in the mornings, eh?

What I wasn't planning to do is pick her up in the afternoon. She gets out at 1:55 p.m., and that frankly isn't always a free moment in my schedule, especially in these days when I don't work in the same town. I suppose it's possible she can join a wave of young people walking down the hill and through the park and there picking up the same route she walked from Renowned Middle School. If everyone is doing it, I suppose that's okay.

And there is a city bus, for which we could buy a pass, I guess, though I'm not sure why people who pay property taxes out the you-know should have to also shell out for bus fare for a high school student.

My guess is this all results in more kids taking cars to school when they reach driving age. This does not seem like a solution to the problems of economics or consumption or pollution in our fair city.

#1 Son got up and hiked a few blocks to get a bus to the same high school. I frequently picked him up in the afternoon. It gave us time together before the younger children got home. It's weird to realize he started high school before Pure Luck was part of our family, while I was in the midst of my return to seminary, before I had a ministry job. I would go downtown early and hang out at the Public Market, reading a book, an actual bound book. I had no laptop. I had no Kindle. I had no iPod of any kind.

I sat with a book. I watched the people. I got a coffee. (Okay, that's not a change.)

You could buy vegetables at the market, which had a fabulously high ceiling and beautiful rustic rafters, and little stalls for local businesses. There were restaurants at either end and other food purveyors. The downstairs seating area had a big fireplace.

It's closed now. The owners could not make a go of it. It's been empty for several years and is currently undergoing remodeling to be a call center. Some of the anchor tenants moved across the street into a storefront, but without an attached parking garage, it has less attraction as a destination.

Parking in general is a headache near Downtown High School. That's one thing that does not change.

Another is that the end of summer means a renovated sleep schedule. It's 7:24. Tomorrow we'll be heading out the door for the first day of school. Today LP lies abed. She needs to finish an essay about "Animal Farm" today, as well as proof-reading her assignment on "To Kill a Mockingbird." She's been working on these since July. She likes to take her time. That needs to change, too, I fear, as the doors of Downtown High School open to receive her.

We'll figure out our new routine. We'll throw ourselves into the morning, somehow, and after Pure Luck leaves for a job in the southwest (2 months this fall), Sam and I will drive LP to school and circle around to Greyberry Woods and Star$$ before I go to work. Eventually I'll figure out a place to meet her on my day off. I'll wait for her at a coffee shop, reading a book on my iPod Kindle ap.We'll order a chai or a green tea, then make our way home.

It's a new year. Who knows what other things will change?

9 thoughts on “Things Change”

  1. In the place we just moved from, a place not known for low taxes, we paid $175 a year for the Kid to ride the big yellow bus. And without a car of his own (or even a license to be honest) he rode it all four years of high school, much to his chagrin.
    Yes, the times they are a-changin’. I guess that’s the one thing we can count on.
    Hope LP has a great year.

  2. Our schools have a far more (although not totally) parent-friendly schedule; usually 8:45 to 4:00 or perhaps 8:15 to 3:30. And, unlike American High Schools (as I understand it), the timetable changes daily, so you are usually doing the same subject at the same time each week, but not at the same time each day. In one school I looked at for my daughter, the time-table ran on a two-week basis, which must have been very muddling!
    School buses are rare here, so most people use buses or other public transport. Buses (this year) are free to under-16s, who pay a reduced fare on all forms of transport. And I believe 16-18s get reduced fares if in full-time education.
    And I’m sure your daughter will be absolutely fine walking home from school!

  3. Some places will give students free bus passes for city transportation if there’s not regular bus route. I’d look into that.

  4. And some places don’t have city buses. Or, rather, reliable city buses. Hmph. When I first got here I had a student tell me that the bus driver stopped off at her house so she could go to the bathroom…in the middle of her route. WHAT!? No wonder we all drive our own cars…
    I digress. Blessings to LP on that first day of school! And to you as you enter this new phase of MamaLife.

  5. Well, in Minneapolis currently it’s 2 miles before you get a bus to high school, one mile for middle school. I’m sure it will all work out, but it probably is a good thing you can drop her off in the morning. I spent 2 or more years writing tardy notes for Cordeliaknits — her school was 2 short blocks (about 1/6 of a mile) away and started at 8;30 I think. Those years between 11 and 18 are prime sleeping years and I don’t understand why high school starts so early.

  6. I have the bus schedule down for the two different times the kids go to school. It will take me a month to help them remember which “specials” they have and to not forget their sneakers, or to where a painting friendly outfit. I can almost get enough caffeine in my system to remember what after school activity is going on and where each gets off the bus after school.
    What has become my recent source of angst is the way lunches are done at school. If you want to buy lunch, you have to set up an account. They don’t accept money anymore. (and we wonder why kids cant add or subtract well) You have to set up an online account and pay a fee every time you put money on the account. If you dont have money to loan the system and therefore put enough money for a term or 3 months or whatever, the cost to load money weekly adds up quickly. For those who dont have and qualify for subsidized lunches, the state just pays the school. But this causes me to pause and wonder how many people in our midst have JUST enough, and can’t pay out $100 every three months or whatever it costs. So they are the ones who get hit with the fee every week and it hurts them the most.
    I guess we could afford it. But I am currently angry with the system, so for the first time in Pianists and P1′ school career, we are making lunches…..I will encourage all who read this to buy stock in peanut butter now!

  7. My kids had to take a public bus to Crumbling Down of Great Renown Middle School. The yearly pass cost over $200, and included a ride alongside those members of the public traveling to (not-so) Medical Marijuana Mecca. The other option was driving them the four miles, which took about 45 minutes, if you could get through the first stop light in less than four light cycles.
    Ah, lovely Hottubber County!

  8. Ours is a two-mile radius – the ES & MS are too close, but the Teen can now ride to HS. He hasn’t tried it yet – while I’m off I’m driving it, although in the mornings it’s not too bad – the bus stop is at 8:18 & the trady bell at school is at 8:45. In the afternoon though, he gets out at 4 & arrives back at our stop at 5:15. I’m planning to make him take it one day soon so we can see how it works before I get a job!

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