Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Back to school

Driving to work this morning there was a plethora of school bags, new uniforms and squeaky clean shoes. Yes, it's that time again, the start of the new school year. Those of us who work in town dread this time. The traffic gridlocks, the fake jams as parents stop to drop their darlings right outside the gates, the competition for taxis and public transport. Oh, we saw it coming. All those parents in the last week frantically buying up school supplies, the lingering text books, hair ribbons and the aforementioned shoes. At the High School across the road from my office a flurry of driveway paving, workmen nailing down whatever was flapping. Ah, progress, now we do these things the week before as opposed to the weekend before.

In my school days I dreaded the end of the vacation, my school books would have been bought by the first or second week in the vacation. I would have read all the literature ones by the end of the first month and avoided all the others like the plague. I still have nightmares about school and it's been a lot of years since. But this is not about me. I pity the poor children, woken up at the crack of dawn this morning. Parents trying to get them ready, lunches packed, hair combed and be-ribboned, school bags packed and then the long trek. Because you see, we don't zone school kids. They go to school all over the place, miles and miles away from where they live. There is no school bus service for the school district, parents must find ways to schlep their kiddies to and from school each day. But really, I've little sympathy, because it is these same parents who will not support zoning, but insist that their kids go to schools often far from where they live.

No, I don't have kids but having had to get up at 5:30a.m. to beat it down to the bus stop at 6:00a.m. for the seven High School years sure as heck taught me that I never want to put anyone through that. School started at 8:00 by the way, but in order to get a bus and get there on time you had to leave early or face rush hour which could mean either a half or two hour wait in those days. But that's me, I don't have kids. So I guess I have no right to demand that every child in this country receive the same standard of education, never mind the huge amount of tax extracted from my pay cheque every month. Education in this country is "free' paid for by the "government" including the tertiary level, but what price we have to pay. Sure during vacation time the traffic gets cut back by as much as forty percent depending on where you live, but who cares right. We need to break them in so that when they join the wonderful world of work, they'll be used to traffic, stress and headaches.

There are many repercussions, but I'm depressed enough today to not want to explore them. Because you see, it's been a long day, on top of a lot of long days. And I'm tired. And cranky. And overworked. I feel like I too have gone back to school. Oh well, tomorrow is another day.


HPD said...

I feel your frustration. Every day I look around me when I move from home to work and think "why the hell are we doing this to ourselves?" We just move along like sheep and smile happy smiles at work. Do we even like what we are doing? Sometimes. But not enough. And then we do it to the little ones. Tomorrow we'll get up and smile again.


GirlBlue said...

I guess I'm lucky in that the Spousal Unit is in charge of the waking up and sending off to school with the driver in the morning and the grandparents in charge of the picking up on days that don't involved gymnastics. Getting to work at 6 am means that I don't get any traffic and so am sheltered from the horror that is Port of Spain in the morning.

It is difficult to have to have your child up before 6 in the morning to get ready for 6.30 and probably getting to school just after 7. This morning was really hard on her and she fell asleep many times. As I type this its 10 pm and she is still doing homework. What type of life is that for a child of 9 or any child for that matter?

Smile, grin, bear it...rinse, then repeat

Coffeewallah said...

AA, I saw a sign up in a store over the weekend, it's something we should know well:

yesterday is over, tomorrow is but a promise, today is all we have.

For so many years my parents told me about tomorrow, and then my mother died waiting for a tomorrow that never came. So today I am smiling, because this is where I am. Even though there are still those moments when I question, why? And then it's off to find another slug of coffee to make it all work, for the moment anyway.

Blue, sorry I didn't call you back, the day went to hell in a handbasket. At least you try to make Spawnlet's life interesting when she's not confined to the grindstone! When will decide to change the status quo for our kids.

Wuzdescene said...

Remember dat saying ...."school days are yuh best days" ....

well who woulda ever tink .... it would turn out tuh be true ...

.... adulthood .... and real life .... sure didn't live up tuh de hype :-)